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HTML Help: HTML FAQ Archive

Below is a collection of questions related to HTML, website design, and other "webmaster" issues that I've been asked over the years.

Note: If you don't see your question here, there are tons of tutorials in these other site sections: Website Design Tutorials | HTML Articles and Reference | HTML Tag Chart.

Quirks Mode
In the previous issue of AAN you wrote that a browser displays web pages in "quirks mode" if no Doctype is used. What is quirks mode?
Attribute Quotation Marks
In some HTML tutorials they show code examples using quotes around attribute values but other tutorials don't use quotes. Which is the right way to do it?
Alt Text and Search Engine Optmization
Do image alt tags help with search engine placement?
While snooping in someone's source code I saw a page that started off with some weird DOCTYPE code instead of the <html> tag. I've never used that, what is it?
HTML Case Sensitivity
Are you supposed to code HTML tags in upper case or lower case?
Browser Display Inconsistencies
Why do some of my web pages display correctly in some browsers but not in other browsers?
Make a Download Link
How do I link to different file types so people can download them?
Links Not Working
Why do some of my links only work in Internet Explorer?
Get Rid of Page Margins
I want my header graphic to go from one edge of the screen to the other, but no matter what I try there is a margin of about a 1/4 inch on both sides of the screen. How do I get rid of this unwanted space?
Custom Icon (favicon)
How do I get my site to display the custom icon in the address bar that I see on some sites?
Anonymous FTP
How can I allow people to upload files to my web site?
Break Out of Frames
How do I prevent my site from being displayed in someone else's frames?
Getting Framed Sites Indexed
Is it true search engines can't index sites with frames?
Website Software
What software do I need to make a web site?
Register a Domain
How do I get a domain name for a web site?
Find Good Hosting
My host stinks! How do I find a good web host?
Password Protection
How do I password protect part of my web site?
Better Search Engine Rankings
How do I get a better search engine ranking for my site?
Screen Resolution
I know 800x600 is the most common screen resolution, but is it better to design for this width or use a flexible design?
Stop Printing
Is there a way to keep people from printing out my web pages?
First Line Indentation
Here's a question my wife keeps asking. How do you get the first line of a paragraph to indent, preferably to auto-indent?
Color Names
I'm trying to code the background color of "grey" into a table, but it doesn't work. When I use red or green it works, but grey doesn't work. I know grey is one of the named colors, so what's up with that?
Validation Error
Why does the W3C validator give me errors for closing a paragraph? It says one wasn't opened, but there dang sure was!
Editing Source Code with Firefox
Firefox doesn't allow me to edit source code by by right-clicking to view the source. I like the browser but IE lets me edit my source code when viewing my site on my hard drive, and that's too handy to give up. Is there any way to make Firefox open the source code in Notepad?
Find Good Domain Names
How can I find a good domain name these days?
Copyright Notice Questions
Is a copyright notice on web pages necessary? ...recommended? often should it be updated? ...what makes it official?
Lost Rankings
I joined a link club to increase my site's link popularity, and about a month later my site fell way down in the search engines. What happened, is link popularity just a myth?
Stolen Content
After reading your article about copyrights, I wanted to know, how do you find people that have stolen copyrighted content from your web site? Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Cellpadding vs. Cellspacing
I'm working with tables for the first time and I need to know what the difference is between cellpadding and cellspacing. Help?
Selling a Website
I'm thinking of selling my online business. How do I determine what the business and website are worth?
Advertising Mistakes
I recently ran an ad in an ezine. My web site traffic increased, but no sales were made. Before I waste more money on another ad can you offer any advertising advice?
Dublin Core META Tags
My question is, what are Dublin core meta tags and will they help my search engine ranking?
Prevent Image Indexing
Is there a way to stop image search engines from including my images?
Determining Page Age
Is there a way to determine how old a web page is? Sometimes it would be nice to know if the information is fresh or years old.
Base Target
Is it possible to have all the links on a page open in a new window without coding "target="_blank" into each link?
CSS Comment
I know how to make comments in HTML, but can you make comments in external style sheets?
Comment Out JavaScript
Someone told me I should put my JavaScript in between comment tags. Is this true? What's the purpose?
Cascading Order
I understand what the style sheet part of cascading style sheets refers too, but I don't understand where the "cascading" bit comes into play. Why are style sheets cascading? What does that mean?
Justify Text
How do you justify text on a web page?
Format Alert Text
Is there any way to format the text in an alert box?
Broken Image
When I tried to put a picture on my web page it doesn't work, I just get an icon. Help!
Force Spider Revisits
I was told using a JavaScript to print the date on the page would force search engine spiders to visit your site more often because the search engines will see that the content changes frequently. True?
Change Animated Gif Looping
I have an animated gif of a dog that runs across my page, but it only does it once and stops. What's the code to make it repeat?
Hand Coding vs. HTML Editors
I want to get started right, is it better to learn to code by hand or better to use an HTML editor?
Reciprocal Link Wait
If you link to a site and ask them for a link trade, how long would you wait before taking the link down if they don't reciprocate?
Reciprocal Link Submission
I seldom read anything worthwhile about SEO that you haven't covered in SEO for YOU, but I read something the other day I'd like your opinion on. The author said after we obtain a reciprocal link we should submit the page it's on to the search engines so we get credited for another link. It sounds sneaky, but what do you think, will it work?
Saving Gif Images
I made a graphic I want to save as a gif image but my program doesn't give me that option, it's there for other images, but not this one. Is there something wrong with my image or maybe my graphics program?
New Top Level Domains
What's the deal on the new top level domains like .family, .mp3, .sports and the like?
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