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Wes Bos

Wes Bos

Full Stack JavaScript Developer. Creator of really good web development courses. BBQ enthusiast.

Scott Tolinski

Scott Tolinski

Web Developer, Creator of Level Up Tuts, Bboy, Robotops Crew and Youtuber

Playing: 378: How to Build a Website — The Show For Beginners

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LOUDNESS

Aug 11th, 2021

How to Build a Website — The Show For Beginners

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In this episode of Syntax, Scott and Wes talk about the basics of building a website — how to get started for beginners!

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Show Notes

04:20 - HTML

  • HTML is the language you write to get text and elements to show up on the screen
  • Elements can describe the content they contain
    • p
    • img
  • Or be structural and describe the areas of the website
    • div
    • h
    • header, footer
  • Listen to our ep on HTML elements to learn more about them: Syntax 354: The Surprisingly Exciting World of HTML Elements
  • HTML elements have default styling applied to them before you write any CSS
    • This comes from the browser and can be manipulated
    • However, by default all elements are either block or inline-display

08:11 - CSS

  • If HTML is the bones, CSS is the clothes and skin
  • CSS dictates how a website looks
    • Without CSS, you have text on a blank page and images
  • CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets ("cascading" being the key word)
  • Adding CSS to a page
    • Link tag
    • Style tag
    • Inline styles
  • Selectors
    • You can select an element on the page via element, class, id, attribute
    • Syntax is selector, brackets, property, value
  • Property
    • A property is what you are changing (e.g. background-color)
  • Value determines how the thing looks
    • background: red;
  • Specificity
    • Specificity is a big part of the cascade. When you apply one style to something, you need to learn how to target things appropriately. This is a huge part of being good at CSS.
    • People develop systems like BEM to organize this
    • General rules - Use elements for base styling and classes for specific styling. Don't use IDs for styling.
    • !important exists to override everything, but as a general rule, NEVER use it. Seriously.
  • Some interaction
    • Most interaction is done in JavaScript, but CSS has some basics
      • hover, active, focus
  • Pseudo selectors
  • You'll often see people reaching for libraries to make CSS easier and more consistent
    • Common examples are Bootstrap, Foundation, and TailwindCSS
    • For the most part you'll want to avoid these until you have a good understanding of the cascade, how CSS works, and how to write good CSS.
  • In addition to properties, you can now write your own custom properties for CSS.
    • While this could be seen as an advanced technique, I believe the new normal is CSS variables first.
    • CSS variables are indicated by —variableName: value; where variable name takes the place of a property.
    • You can then use the variable via var(—variableName) in place of a property. This allows for easy duplication of same values across your style sheet.

37:08 - JavaScript

  • JavaScript is used to add interaction to a website
  • It makes your website dynamic

JavaScript the Language

  • We have a base programming language that has nothing to do with HTML
  • It has things like:
    • Variables - ways to store things
    • Numbers + Math
    • Data Containers - Objects and Arrays
    • Functions - Code grouped together to achieve a certain purpose
  • It also has a "Standard Lib" which means JavaScript comes with built-in support for doing common things:
    • Formatting time + money
    • Alerting the user
    • Logging a value to developer tools
    • Capitalizing things
    • Sorting lists of things
    • Round or randomize numbers
    • Fetch data
    • Talk to a sever
  • Promises
    • Logic and flow control

JavaScript the DOM

  • When the HTML is loaded, it's parsed into something called the DOM (Document Object Model)
  • Events
    • JavaScript is mostly event-driven - when something happens, do something else
    • When you click something and want something else to happen
    • There are lots of events
      • mouse, touch, pointer
      • Ready
      • Forms
        • Submit, change, keyboard, etc.
  • Can be used to fetch data
    • fetch() - you'll often hear it called Ajax, or XMLHttpRequest
  • Can be used to make more HTML
    • Whole set of APIs for creating elements
  • The DOM can be traversed

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