Frequent Questions Answered

You've heard of Frequently Asked Questions? These are some of the answers

Added 2001-12-01

Web development, like any other endeavour, has its share of frequently asked questions. Here are some of the answers.

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The Answers:

What's so bad about the mailto: url? What's so bad about the mailto: url?
Some browsers do not have an email program

Where did that little icon in the address bar come from? Where did that little icon in the address bar come from?
Favicon.com http://www.favicon.com/ http://evolt.org/article/favicon/20/14239/index.html

How can I force Netscape to show the background colour in empty cells? How can I force Netscape to show the background colour in empty cells?
Use <td>&nbsp;</td> or <td><br /></td>

How do I stop the table background from tiling in Netscape? How do I stop the table background from tiling in Netscape?
Put the background image in an outer table

How can I hide my source code? How can I hide my source code?
How to prevent theft of your source code! http://www.vortex-webdesign.com/help/hidesource.htm

Can I make the options in one select menu determine the options in another? Can I make the options in one select menu determine the options in another?
Universal Related Popup Menus http://webreference.com/dev/menus/

Is there a javascript for viewing only the links on a page? Is there a javascript for viewing only the links on a page?
Bookmarklets.com http://www.bookmarklets.com/

What's a "custom 404" page and how do I create one? What's a "custom 404" page and how do I create one?
404 Research Lab http://www.plinko.net/404/ http://evolt.org/article/useful404/4090/4299/index.html

Why is  M y  C o m p a n y  a bad <title> for search engines? Why is M y C o m p a n y a bad <title> for search engines?
Nobody's going to search for it spaced out like that

How can make the page content go all the way to the edge of the window? How can make the page content go all the way to the edge of the window?
body { margin:0px; }

That doesn't help, there's still a margin! That doesn't help, there's still a margin!
<body marginwidth="0" marginheight="0">

That STILL doesn't help, the margin is still there! That STILL doesn't help, the margin is still there!
You just can't do it in Netscape 3

How can I fix it so IE6 doesn't center my page contents? How can I fix it so IE6 doesn't center my page contents?
p, td { text-align:left; }

Why does my link give "Page Not Found"? The page is there! Why does my link give "Page Not Found"? The page is there!
Change each space in your url to %20

How do I get rid of the coloured square around my radio buttons in Netscape? How do I get rid of the coloured square around my radio buttons in Netscape?
input.radio { background-color:#xxxxxx; } http://evolt.org/article/radio/17/454/index.html

Can I force page breaks when printing a web page? Can I force page breaks when printing a web page?
style="page-break-before:always;"

Why do select lists show through my dhtml layers? Why do select lists show through my dhtml layers?
Z-index doesn't work (demo) in older browsers http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/diner/seethru/

Are there any etiquette guidelines for email? Are there any etiquette guidelines for email?
How to Write Effective Mailing List Email http://www.digital-web.com/tutorials/tutorial_1999-12.shtml

Why are there gaps in my table layout? Why are there gaps in my table layout?
You have white space in front of your </td> tags

How can I get url variables and their values using javascript? How can I get url variables and their values using javascript?
.jeff's js_url_variables http://members.evolt.org/jeff/code/js_url_variables/index.cfm

How do I get SSI to process html files instead of shtml? How do I get SSI to process html files instead of shtml?
AddHandler server-parsed .htm .html .shtml .shtm http://evolt.org/article/htaccess/18/226/index.html

How do you create those slick dropdown menus? How do you create those slick dropdown menus?
HierMenus CENTRAL http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/hiermenus/

Why do I see a blank page when I view source? Why do I see a blank page when I view source?
Just scroll down until you see it

How do I redirect to a different web page? How do I redirect to a different web page?
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5;url=xxx.html">

How do I view a style sheet file? IE just seems to sit there How do I view a style sheet file? IE just seems to sit there
view-source:http://example.com/basic.css

What's this "foo" that everybody keeps talking about? What's this "foo" that everybody keeps talking about?
Jargon File 4.3.1 http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/html/entry/foo.html

When should I not use ALIGN on my table? When should I not use ALIGN on my table?
Aligning <table width="100%"> doesn't make sense

Is it possible to do rollovers for portions of an imagemap? Is it possible to do rollovers for portions of an imagemap?
.jeff's imagemap_rollover http://members.evolt.org/jeff/code/imagemap_rollover/index.cfm

How do I create those neat tooltips? How do I create those neat tooltips?
overLIB http://bosrup.com/web/overlib/

How can I get rid of the extra space in my form table? How can I get rid of the extra space in my form table?
Move the <form> ... </form> tags around the table

That doesn't help, there's still extra space on the page! That doesn't help, there's still extra space on the page!
form { margin:0px; }

Is there a way to find out who owns a particular domain? Is there a way to find out who owns a particular domain?
Allwhois.com http://allwhois.com/ or BetterWhois.com http://betterwhois.com/

Help! In Netscape my entire page is blank! Help! In Netscape my entire page is blank!
Your </table> tag is missing

Why does the W3 validator flag my url query strings? Why does the W3 validator flag my url query strings?
Change all the ampersands in your urls from & to &amp;

Where can I find out what the XYZ file type is? here can I find out what the XYZ file type is?
Ext Search http://www.extsearch.com/ or Wotsit's Format http://www.wotsit.org/ or whatis.com http://whatis.techtarget.com/fileFormatA/0,289933,sid9,00.html

Why do I have to close my <p> tags? Why do I have to close my <p> tags?
because <p> is a container http://evolt.org/article/xhtml/17/9953/index.html

What's the best way to preload my rollover images? What's the best way to preload my rollover images?
.jeff's preload_n_rollover http://members.evolt.org/jeff/code/preload_n_rollover/ or ppk's Mouseover http://www.xs4all.nl/~ppk/js/index.html?mouseov.html

Is there a way to position the popup window on the screen? Is there a way to position the popup window on the screen?
screenX=300,left=300,screenY=50,top=50

How come www.example.com works but example.com without the www doesn't? How come www.example.com works but example.com without the www doesn't?
Fix Your WWW! http://webdeveloper.internet.com/management/manage_fix_www.html

How do i remove the underlines from my links? How do i remove the underlines from my links?
style="text-decoration:none"

Is it possible to know what kind of software a site is running? Is it possible to know what kind of software a site is running?
Netcraft.com http://www.netcraft.com/whats/

Why does <a href="#" onclick="foo()"> cause the browser to jump to the top of the page? Why does <a href="#" onclick="foo()"> cause the browser to jump to the top of the page?
Because your page doesn't have an "#" anchor http://www.evolt.org/article/Links_and_JavaScript/17/20938/index.html

How deep can I nest html tables? How deep can I nest html tables?
Table Stress Test http://mozilla.org/newlayout/testcases/stress/test6.html

How can I disable the back button / right-click menu / enter key? How can I disable the back button / right-click menu / enter key?
Don't

But why? But why?
Because it's evil http://www.webword.com/moving/backbutton.html http://evolt.org/article/mouse/17/719/index.html

A number of the above FQAs are explained more fully in Craig Saila's excellent Web Design Tips, a collection of tips about HTML and graphics. The overlap is purely coincidental, and simply proves that these are, indeed, frequently asked questions.

Be sure to visit Shirley Kaiser's truly comprehensive WebsiteTips.com site, an invaluable resource for web developers. "You'll find HTML, CSS and color charts, font sites, search engine optimization sites, graphics and HTML tutorials and programs, usability and information architecture sites, informative articles, tips, over 2,400 categorized and annotated website links, graphics, and much more."

For additional web development tips, browse or search evolt.org's fabulous tip harvester.