My first website…
My first ever website – as with a lot of younger web designers – was built in dreamweaver. My first attempts at building a website involved using tables and frames. I would create separate frames for the header, the main navigation (which I commonly put on the lefthand side) and another frame for the page content, which would change depending on what navigation button was pressed.
My first couple of websites I built in my later teens – which thankfully never made it to the internet – were all based around personal interests. I remember making one on a video game, as I was heavily into them at the time. As with a lot of web designers at the time, it was all about DHTML and cramming as much cool features into a website as possible, just to show off! Lots of animated gifs, tacky animated flash buttons, things blinking on the screen etc. The words validation and accessibility didn't exist for me.
At first, I thought it was cool that there was a software program which you could use to build a website from the visual side of things (being a big user of Corel and Photoshop at the time). This point of view didn't last long. Being a person interested in how things work, I became frustrated at the complete lack of control I truly had when things would just not align properly, and I just couldn't workout from the visual side as to why.
So I decided enough was enough – and with my usual determined drive to learn new things – I ditched using Dreamweaver's 'design view' mode. I searched for good html and css books and started to learn the basics of both. At the same time, teaching myself to build using 'divs' instead of tables. This initial drive to teach myself paid dividends later, when I decided to take a few courses in web design, only to find myself way ahead of the rest of the class.
I've come a long way since those early days of tables and frames. The fast moving nature of the web means that there is always lots of new things to learn and techniques to master, so hopefully the best is yet to come!