About This Website

Photo of myself

I built this website from scratch, using xHTML and CSS stylesheet. If you have never done it before and would like to have a go yourself, there are several website tutorial guides on the internet for beginners through to more advanced levels. I can recommend "Newbies Paradise", which I used, and which is based on the French site "Site du Zero". It takes you through all the basic stages, step by step, and doesn't make the assumption that you know any of the technical jargon already. Don't be too put off by the 'matey' style and the liberal sprinkling of smiley faces because it actually helps - some of the other sites can be rather dry. The other good thing about it is that it's all free, as is the editing software Notepad++. Another informative site for both beginners and more experienced website builders is "thesitewizard.com" - again, free and with some more useful links. You could of course go down the alternative route of using pre-prepared templates, such as Microsoft's 'Dreamweaver', or getting someone to do it for you, but it's expensive - even extremely expensive - and where's the achievement in doing that?

Watercolor sketch for Mount Fuji

If you do decide to build a site from the raw code, my number one tip would be "Be meticulously accurate!" because every letter, symbol and space in a line of code means something. If it doesn't work, check it over - you may have left out a space (or have put an extra one in) or mis-spelt a tag. Also get it validated before you send it out into the big wide world. The "W3C" site has a free validation service (see the validation icons at the foot of this page) or if you use Firefox you can download their Web Developer Toolbar; their is a validation option on the "tools" drop-down menu. The reason for this is that even though your web page may display correctly while you are developing it on your computer, there may still be some errors in the code that you haven't spotted. If the errors are bad enough, the web browsers may ignore your site once it has been published. Result: oblivion!

Painting in progress

The more experienced or professional "Webmasters" might not be too impressed with this site, particularly as I have not made any use of all the bells and whistles like Java script (well, just once!) or PHP, nor have I splattered it with distracting advertising links which, I am told, are essential for 'search engine optimization'. I'm prepared to take that particular knock, however, because I just want a quiet life. So if you have managed to find this site, buried somewhere beyond the reach of the search-engine's rankings, congratulations! Please enjoy the peace - and my paintings, of course.

Paul Dier

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

Valid CSS!