Help

Getting Help FAQ Forum

Getting Help with HTML, XHTML, and CSS

When I wrote the first edition of my book, HTML for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, I published my e-mail and offered help to anyone who needed it. In those early days, I promptly answered all of the little mail I got. Well, I just published the Sixth Edition of my now bestselling HTML reference, and I thought long and hard about whether or not I should make my e-mail address available for anyone who needed help. The problem is I just get too much mail. It wouldn't be a problem if I didn't care--I could just ignore it or file it away, but in fact, I care very much, and I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to help people get their Web pages up and running. Worse still, I get too many letters from people who are not making enough of an effort themselves (no, I dont mean you : ). I do want to help, but I can't write your page for you.

I did in fact offer to help readers in the newest Sixth Edition, but I need to ask a few things in return. Please read through the rest of this page to see if you can solve your problem yourself--it's so much more satisfying! If you still need help, you'll find how to reach me below.

Check for Typos and/or Use a Validator
It's amazing how many letters I get from folks who've simply written SCR instead of SRC. The easiest things are the hardest to spot. If you can't find what's wrong, try sending your page through a validator. It'll pick out (X)HTML syntax problems and typos in nothing flat.
Read the FAQ
I get some questions over and over again. So, I created a Frequently Asked Questions list (or FAQ) with the answers to those questions. I spent some time writing these answers, so they're much better than if I try to write you off the cuff.
Is Your Question about HTML?
My book is about HTML and while I know bits and pieces about sister technologies like JavaScript, Perl/CGI, Web page editors like Dreamweaver or FrontPage, and getting a Web designer job, among other things, I'm much more likely to have a good, helpful answer about HTML. For more information on those other topics, try clicking the corresponding links in this paragraph.
Use the Question and Answer Forum
This Internet is a community. We need to help each other. My Q&A Forum helps you connect with other readers who may be able to help you right away. To keep spambots from posting frivolous and annoying messages, you'll need to use reader as a username and as a password.
Is Your Question about My Book?
If you have a question about a particular passage in my book, be sure to note the page in the Subject header when you post it to my Q&A Forum. For better or worse, I hardly ever get questions like that. I like to think that it's because everything is so clear... : ) If you mention the page number in the Subject line, you'll be sure to catch my eye.
Are You Really Stuck?
I'm a sucker for the really stuck. I want you to get it. So, if you've tried everything (reread this page to be sure) and you just can't get it, post a note to my Q&A Forum, put "I'm Totally Stuck!" in the Subject line and tell me about each thing that you've tried, exactly what you were expecting, and exactly what happened instead. Don't attach any files--just copy the HTML code right into your note. Feel free to include short snippets of the offending code if it can be isolated. Don't worry about images unless I ask you to. If it's about CSS, be sure and copy the style sheet as well. Then send me a note through my Contact page and let me know it's there. And I'll try to help.
Want to Help Me?
If you're feeling generous, I'd love some help. I especially need people to hang out on my Q&A Forum and help the folks there...most of the questions are pretty basic, and it'll make you feel good. I'd appreciate it. Or, if you feel like filling my Amazon pages with great reviews, I love that too! Thanks!

For more information about HTML, check out my book, HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide, published by Peachpit Press.

©Copyright 2006 by Elizabeth Castro. All rights reserved.

Please don't copy this page. Instead, link to it! Thanks.