What if I wanted to learn Website design?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by rte4st8, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. rte4st8

    rte4st8 Member

    Nov 28, 2006
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    What would be the best way to go? I have serched some sights on google and looked at the websites for dummies books. I have not had any formal training but I consider myself pretty decent learner when it comes to computers. I set up the wireless network in the house for example. I want to be able to do it for fun and help out churches or non profits, etc. Looking for feedback and opinions. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jumbopackage

    jumbopackage Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2007
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    Well, there's the "know how it works" people, and then there are the "I know how to use frontpage" people.

    For the former, read up about HTML, CSS, PHP, MYSQL etc. For the later, buy frontpage or dreamweaver and it's dead simple.

    It depends on if you want to be a developer or a designer, I guess.
     
  3. tejasclone

    tejasclone Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    Do you have a program that you want to use? FrontPage, Dreamweaver, or something similar? A lot of times you can find books dedicated to those programs and that also introduce basic ideas about web design, HTML, organization, etc.

    Lots of good books and tutorial websites available out there.
     
  4. tejasclone

    tejasclone Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    W3Schools is a great site to help you get up to speed with a wide range of web technologies, and offers several tips and tutorials.

    W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
     
  5. rte4st8

    rte4st8 Member

    Nov 28, 2006
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    What if I am a good web surfer and I want to learn about web sites but have NO experience or background?
     
  6. SplitIdentity

    SplitIdentity Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
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    I've actually been self-teaching as well. Once you get going, you really start to pick things up.
     
  7. tejasclone

    tejasclone Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    After you get some background in how websites are structured and how the code works, you can view the source for any website to see how each individual website treats different design issues. It's a great way to learn new stuff once you get started. For example, in Firefox, select View >> Page Source. Although, big modern websites are all built around database technologies and content management systems, so looking at the source can be a lot more difficult than it used to be.
     
  8. jumbopackage

    jumbopackage Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2007
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    That's like saying "I'm a good airline passenger and I want to get into Aero E".

    It all depends on what exactly you want to do, as to what skillsets you need to posess. If you want to build stuff from scratch, you really need, at a bare minimum, to know about HTML and CSS. You don't need mastery, just what the tags do and whatnot. If you want to move beyond, into anything serious, you'll need to know a scripting language (i.e. ASP, PHP, Javascript etc), and if you want to do fancy stuff, you'll need something like Flash or Silverlight.

    Beyond basic stuff (HTML and CSS, programming experience is pretty much mandatory . It's still almost mandatory even for just CSS and HTML.

    Now, if you just want to create pretty web pages and have no idea what to do if it doesn't work right, you can probably start with Dreamweaver or Frontpage and design away.
     
  9. jdoggivjc

    jdoggivjc Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2006
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    Good suggestion here.

    First, I would start by actually learning HTML and CSS. It's one of those foundation things - yes, you can learn how to develop websites using a web editor, but it really helps if you know what's going on behind the scenes (especially in certain situations where your web editor isn't exactly cooperating the way you want it to). I mostly use a web editor now, but for certain things (such as widths of tables and some navigation editing) I will actually play with HTML code because my web editor wasn't quite working the way I wanted it to.

    Anyway, when I took my web design class at ISU 5 years ago we were required to buy an earlier version of this book:

    [​IMG]

    I highly recommend not only this book in particular, but this entire series. The book is laid out very well and step-by-step takes you through not only how HTML works, but why it does the things it does.

    After that, I would recommend investing in Dreamweaver if you are serious about web design. It is extremely powerful and will do almost anything you want it to do. At the same time I would recommend getting this book:

    [​IMG]

    Once again, very detailed, very laid out. It's basically the ultimate reference I have when I am not quite sure about how to work something.

    If you are interested in one of the projects that I have done, check out Cornerstone Baptist Church - Eldridge, IA. I did this site with a combination of Dreamweaver 4 (I'm going to be redoing it in the near future now that I have Dreamweaver CS3, which has a LOT more toys than 4 had), HTML, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
     

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