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Course Introduction

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for aspiring first-time web developers and current developers looking to build performant websites. Throughout this and the following courses, you will:

  • Be introduced to the ways AMP pages differ from traditional “vanilla” websites.

  • Incrementally build a sample project using real AMP components and best practices.

  • Learn strategies for building modern websites.

Prerequisites

To get the most from these courses, you should have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. It is enough to be able to recognize HTML and CSS code, and to be able to make minor additions and alterations as instructed through the exercises. Please note that teaching these concepts is beyond the scope of this course. If necessary, you can find a refresher on HTML here and on CSS here.

Follow the Code With Glitch

To complete the code examples included in these courses, we will be using Glitch. Glitch is an online code editor that allows you to create and view websites without the need to install anything on your computer. It also allows you to create a server, all within the Glitch interface.

The Glitch code editor environment looks like this:

The online editor of Glitch

The red box above indicates the online editor where you will be typing HTML and CSS. The green box indicates the button that will take you to the live version of the page you are creating. The yellow box is the button that lets you create a copy of this project and edit it. The blue box indicates the files that you have available. In the assets folder, you can find your images.

Throughout these courses, you will need various images to complete the exercises. All of the images you need to complete these courses are contained within our Glitch projects. To view the images in your project, click on the assets entry in the list of files on the left-hand side of the Glitch editor. To get the link to any single image, select the image from the list of assets on the right-hand side. Click the “copy” button next to the URL in the pop-up that appears. You can then use that link anywhere an image is needed.

The assets view in Glitch

The details pop-up (including URL) for an image in the assets collection

In this course, we will start with a basic HTML page. We have created an empty project on Glitch containing a few images, server code that you’ll need later, and an index.html file with a title and a single image.

Open this project to begin. Click the “Remix This” button on the top right-hand side to create a new project that you can edit. You can continue to use this editor for this and future courses. Each future course will also give you the opportunity to start with a reference version of the solution to that point.

You don’t have to use Glitch to complete these trainings. However, some of the code required to complete the exercises is only contained in the Glitch samples. If you’d like to use another editor, you may still need to use the Glitch samples to find this code.

Setting Up The AMP Validator

To detect errors in our AMP pages, we have a valuable tool at our fingertips: the AMP Validator. Writing valid AMP pages is key to accessing the framework’s full benefits. The AMP Validator can be accessed in two ways: via a Chrome extension, or by adding a parameter to our URL so that our AMP page uses the built-in validator. For the purposes of this course, we suggest you use the Chrome extension, as it’s easier to use and access while you build your site.

  • To install the Chrome extension, visit the link here.

  • To instead use the built-in AMP Validator, add #development=1 at the end of your AMP page URL, and open the developer console in your browser to see the results. You don’t need to add this parameter if you’re using the Chrome extension.

What We'll Build

Throughout our three courses, you will build a website for Chico’s Cheese Bicycles Shop. Chico’s has developed a revolutionary bicycle made entirely out of cheese. Demand for the new bicycles is so high that Chico’s needs to get a website up as quickly as possible. When we’re finished with these courses, Chico’s site will look like this:

How the site looks at the end of the Advanced Course

You can click on this link to see a live preview. Take a look around the site. We have videos, a registration form, an image carousel, and ways to share our site on social media. Open the navigation menu by clicking on the icon made of three lines (also called a “hamburger menu icon”) in the upper-left corner. Once the menu expands, click on the link “Our Products” to navigate to a list of products. Try sorting the list of products by price and filtering the list of products by product category.

We chose Chico’s site as our model because it offers a collection of features we commonly see on popular websites today. It was built entirely using AMP. Over the course of these lessons, you’re going to build this site from scratch.