When I was about 14 years old I was obsessed with a particular Japanese videogame. Have you ever heard of Pokémon? Those little creatures that can fit into small coloured balls and fight against each other? Yes, I was obsessed with them.

There was a magazine back then in Italy, it was called Pokémon World. I tried to buy a copy every month, they talked about the videogame, card game, anime and much more. I loved it! But what I loved the most was a specific section named Porygon Net where every month a Pokémon fan site was reviewed.

I decided I also wanted to create a website.

Starting from scratch

So I called my uncle and he told me about this application called Front Page, an application that lets you create a webpage easily. This is how I created my first website ever, HappyFantasy. A very original name… I remember a cousin of mine telling me that he couldn’t find my website: ‘All I see is porn’. Uhm… Of course at that time I didn’t know much about how Internet worked.

I started to connect with other people who had the same passion as me, I got in touch with the so called webmasters, made new friends and convinced my cousin and a friend of ours to create a brand new Pokémon fan site. A new era had begun for me.

Things were going good, but my webmaster colleagues didn’t really like our website. It was kind of… kitsch? The problem was: an application like Front Page (now improved and called Expression Web) can help you create websites without knowing anything about programming and web related programming languages, but also has its limitations.

That’s why I wanted to know more and started to study HTML, the most important and basic language used to create webpages. A simple language that obviously has evolved a lot since I first approached the web. HTML allows you to do awesome things.

BUT! Yes, there’s always a bad side. HTML alone will provide you a really small amount of graphical customization features. That’s why it always comes along with CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. CSS allows you to add the fancy stuff to your web pages: font customization, elements size and position, animations and much more.

First steps

If you are interested in learning how to create your own website from scratch, I definitely suggest you to start with studying the basics of HTML and CSS. You can find a good guide on the W3C School website – an organization focusing on standardizing languages and technologies related to the World Wide Web -, or you can try some interesting interactive courses on CodeSchool. Allowing you in a really good way to learn and have fun at the same time.

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