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You ve created a website for the first time. You re actively using the coding side of the HTML editor you bought and couldn t be more proud. Besides, your website looks fantastic on your computer. Before you upload, stop and read this article it may contain some rogue HTML.

Preparing for Trouble

Before you upload, make a backup of your current site. The code you re so proud of may not look the same once it gets online; you might have to take the files right back down. This has even happened to professionals. You learn to be prepared.

Once you ve backed up your old site files (made a copy of them and put them on your computer), run one more browser check on the pages. Even if you use a single browser religiously, you want to check any html file against Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera (Opera operates much like Safari for Mac).

Not all browsers read a page the same way. You could very well have a nice looking page in Firefox, but have white, boxed-in x s and a skewed header with Internet Explorer. Knowing what people will be seeing no matter what browser they use is just good practice.

If everything looks fine, upload your files; sit back and cross your fingers.

Troubleshooting With HTML Editors and Browsers

Now, if something isn t right, it could show up in several ways: a blank screen, a piece of code showing on the screen, skewed elements. Don t panic. Nobody knows you ve put up the site, so you probably won t have visitors yet. The first course of action isn t to take the site down, as you might think. The first step is to use your HTML editor and the browsers for troubleshooting.

Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome all have troubleshooting add-ons available. For Internet Explorer, you can download the Developer's Toolbar. Firefox offers the Firebug add on. Chrome has a troubleshooting feature built in.

These add-ons allow you to highlight an area to see what s happening to it. As well, for many types of errors, they ll show you the line number of the problem. You can then quickly switch to your HTML editor and fix the issue.

Google Chrome Image

Internet Explorer Image

Firefox Firebug Image

Before panicking, remember that your website server may not work the same way as your personal computer. You may (and most likely will) have issues the first time around. If it s a new site and you haven t had any traffic yet, you may be better off making changes while it s live. This way, when it works, you know the code isn t going to mess up once you transfer it.

If you already have traffic, the best option is to add a subdomain to your server. www.mysite.com/testing-site is an example of a subdomain, as is testing-site.mysite.com. Then, move the files to this subdomain. There, you can edit, test, move and delete lines of code without your main site constantly changing on visitors.

Keep up the work and you ll get it right. Take your time; don t give up on your HTML editor or strengthening your coding skills. Before you know it, you ll be able to call yourself a coding geek!

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