Building

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)

Contemporary, maintainable, accessible web design is based on complete separation of content (HTML/XHTML) from presentation (CSS) with both conforming to W3C standards; valid code contributes to accurate presentation by both standard browsers and assistive technologies.

Coding with Standards

Current practice is to use XHTML 1.0 Transitional or Strict (and CSS 2.0 or better). Strict code is best for future Web site coompatibility issues.

Using the Strict DOCTYPE in Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver isn't quite as careful as it could be about adhering to the standard. Dreamweaver will allow you to introduce non-Strict attributes into the code using the formatting button in the properties window. If you use the Strict DOCTYPE, take extra care to validate your documents and replace any invalid attributes. Typically, it will be quite easy to replace them with CSS.

New and redesigned Cal Poly Web sites must comply with minimum best practices for XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0. Validators for these technologies can be found at:

The following code should appear at the very top of an XHTML page depending on whether Transitional or Strict coding is being used. Dreamweaver will place this code into a page when one or the other coding standards is selected. As well, the Cal Poly Web Template contains the correct coding as originally distributed:

XHTML 1.0 Transitional

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en-us" lang="en-us">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>
</head>

XHTML 1.0 Strict

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en-us" lang="en-us">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>
</head>

Training Resources

There are numerous web resources online that may be beneficial to all web developers. Here are some recommended links:

OTHER TIPS: Look at examples of HTML documents. Some WWW browsers allow you to look directly at the HTML source underlying the document you are viewing (look for a "View Source" or "Document Source" option in the File menu or View menu).