BTEC First Diploma

Unit 4 Web Development

The Studyzone





Useful links


'My Website Is Better Than Yours' written by Dr. Nicholas Longo, Founder and CEO, CoffeeCup Software can be downloaded in full here as a pdf file. At 6Mb it is quite heavy but worth the wait. CoffeeCup have made this freely available to students on my web design courses, and it represents one of the best up-to-date and easy to read manuals around at the moment. Yes, CoffeeCup make software and you may feel that they're just promoting it but it isn't written in that way at all and you should bear in mind that the majority of their software is actually available free to use within College anyway!

1 Web site reviews P1 P2 M1

The Basic Principles

Some notes and links to illustrations and tasks can be found at this link. These will guide you through the main things you need to know to get started.
Why do people make websites?

The same reasons people write books, articles, scribble on walls or publish things, really. To make money, to entertain others, to provide some factual information, try and get you to do something or just because they feel like it. Sometimes you'll get a combination of these. The most common types of website are the commercial ones - people or organisations who hope to make money by selling a product or service - and those that individuals publish just for fun.

Let's look at each type in a bit more detail.

Commercial sites

Many organisations are now looking to make money, one way or another, from their websites. Whilst some will sell a product or service there on the page, others may merely use the website to promote their outlets, catalogues or simply get themselves better recognised in the market place. So even a website that doesn't try to sell you something on the page and carries no obvious adverts can have a commercial purpose. It is a matter of judgement, though, as to what the main practical use of a website may be, and this might vary between users. Google is, of course, a marvellous information resource but is a commercial business site. The free services being their hugely successful way to get a brandname and their expertise in the field recognised worldwide so that their lesser known chargeable services become easier to sell. For a typical research or casual interest user, though, Google can be safely categorised as an information site. They will be virtually immune to, and probably have never noticed, the business promotion aspects.

Information sites: mostly factual

Newspapers, libraries, archives etc. It is almost as if the world was wating for an easier way to get information and now we have it. For a generation that tends not to read books or go to libraries in the first place to borrow them unless their tutor drags them along to do so, being able to get facts and figures on-line as and when they want it and where they want it, is brilliant. As mentioned above, yes, there may be some commercial interest involved here and there but the many factual information sites out there are used for that not their commercial purpose by most visitors.

Sites that promote particular views

You'll find plenty of these. Information, perhaps, but maybe not necessarily reliable. People like to express their views on things so political sites fall into this category. The Britsh Government's vast range of sites falls largely into this category too by virtue of the fact that in many instances the Labour Party will seek to do what it can to preserve its hold on power and be, how shall we say, economical, sometimes with the facts it publishes. You should be able to rely on the likes of National Statistics and sites still run by independent minds within the Civil Service. It is because it is so simple nowadays to create a professional-looking and authoritative site with the right logos, colours and styles that the tasks contained in Evaluating Websites are worth doing to help you distinguish the good from the bad and the plain ugly.

Entertainment sites

Even though many of these will be commercial too, they are worth listing as a separate category as many people will use them purely for entertainment value. Music, free games, image galleries, film and video preview and downloads, sites related to tv series, films or drama are all visited with no product being bought or particular considered.

2 Create and publish a web site P3 P4 M2 M3 D1

3 Websites and the law P5

The law and websites

There are two kinds of legal liability: civil liability and criminal liability. Civil liability may lead to injunctions and damages payments; criminal liability could mean a fine and a criminal record, and possibly worse.

Unfortunately, websites can create both kinds of liability.

Issues of civil liability are more prevalent, although not necessarily less serious. For example, you need to be careful about copying text, images and other material from third parties - if you don't, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a copyright infringement lawsuit. You should also check that your domain name and other branding doesn't infringe another person's trade mark rights.

Intellectual property is just one issue affecting websites. Another big risk is libel. You should be conscious that any derogatory comments you or another person posts on your website could give rise to a defamation claim.

There is also a substantial body of legislation designed to help and protect consumers and others involved in online activity - which places special obligations upon website owners. Into this category we can place accessibility law, data protection law, e-marketing law, and e-commerce law.

Some of these things (e.g. copyright infringement or breaches of data protection law) can give rise to criminal liability. Other areas of criminal law which are relevant to websites include the laws of contempt of court, obscenity and racial hatred.


Disability Discrimination Act 1995


Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988

Criminal law

Contempt of Court


Racial hatred


Data Protection Act 1998


Defamation Act 1996

Domain names

Uniform Domain Name Disputes Resolution Policy

E-commerce law

Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002

English Laws of Contract

Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000

Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002

E-marketing law

Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003
Trade Marks

Trade Marks Act 1994

'Passing off' is a right under Common Law

4 Web design methods and software D2

Microsoft Office Live

Currently free and they are including a nice web address or domain name that you can use. The templates aren't brilliant but they are neat and tidy and the tools are fairly intuitive. You may have to put up with Microsoft ads. Many useful features included that would require quite advanced skills otherwise.

Google Sites

Still one of their 'Labs' products but looking good and could be a powerful tool when you use some of the many google gadgets that are easily incorporated. Worth playing with.
CoffeeCup software

Very reasonably priced and ready-made templates enable almost anyone to create a reasonable looking site quickly. You need to buy web space and a domain name and the software.

Serif WebPlus

Popular now in schools and even being used by professionals who want to put a site together quickly, especially as the software included things like shopping baskets and forms which are difficult to do otherwise. Even if you use Dreamweaver for the main site work, Serif could be useful for the e-commerce or feedback-gathering sections.

nvu | Komposer | Dreamweaver | 1st Page

These are all quite similar in the way they work and provide the tools for sites ranging from the simple to the very complex. Dreamweaver is the industry standard still but it isn't cheap and not at all user-friendly. Once you've learned the basics, though, you'll be able to use any of the others.

Pageflakes | Protopages | SiteKreator

Quite different types of site creation here, utilising very recently developed software that enables you to work directly on the web pages you create. No code knowledge involved and impressive results can be achieved but, as yet, the site address can't be your chosen domain name, being something like or whatever, not to everyone's taste. SiteKreator is very clean and tidy but they now charge for all but one template.


(PB = peanut butter sandwich, their motto being as easy as a peanut butter sandwich).

Another of the recent entrants to this field that uses Web 2.0 technology and allows you to create pages on-line that are there as soon as you do them. Free for 'educational' use but they are starting to charge now for commericial use. Many users think PBworks is great and it is certainly one of the simplest tools to get on-line with.


Another Google product that is probably the simplest way of all to create an on-line presence. Free and without ads, even if you don't feel it is suitable for a main site it could be a useful additional part of it for news updates.




© Andrew Hill Astcote UK page updated 11 September, 2009