Even pages put seamlessly together using WYSIWYG software can turn out not quite as expected. Usually the problem is something involving fancier HTML elements. (FrontPage is notorious for constantly trying to second-guess the author.) For those who are drawers of water and hewers of HTML, the problems are much more mundane. The following covers the most common errors. Believe me when I say everybody who has written HTML has done all of these.
B.10.1 Ask Heloise!
The more popular browsers will correct most errors they detect. That doesn't mean that your page doesn't look hosed on someone else's browser. If that person is trying to get some useful information, the error may thwart his efforts.
Ideally, all pages should be validated . This process checks for missing parts, overlapping tags, unmatched tags, and other problems. The W3 consortium has a validator on its site at www.w3.org.
Check your code against more than one browser. Only standard-issue HTML works on both Netscape and IE, and the latest standard may not work on earlier browser versions. Metatags and style sheets, the norm by today's standards, have to be commented out because the earlier browsers will print them code and all, right on the user 's screen.
To be safe put all tag content after the equal sign in double quotes.
Sometimes browsers get cranky and won't recognize a qualifier even when it's a clone of a tag you've used countless times with no trouble.
Even if you use a WYSIWYG editor double check all your ALT tags. The WYSIWYG will put in ALT="00187.gif" or "fzzypic1.jpg" because that's what the image source is called. If you can't figure out how to make them more user friendly using the WYSIWYG side, add them on the HTML side. Dreamweaver files can be opened in Notepad, and FrontPage has a nice HTML source code page incorporated in it.
B.10.2 Some Sites that Help You with HTML
World Wide Web Consortium ” This is the authority on all things involving the Web.
WebMonkey ” Full of hip tutorials on all sorts of Web- related topics.
National Center for Supercomputing ” the home of Mosaic.
The ultimate beginner's manual : read it online and print it out for future reference.
HTML Goodies ” excellent tutorials by Joe Burns, Ph.D.; subscribe to his newsletters.