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Looking to get into website design

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    I have got time off after my exams are over and I am looking to get into website design. I need some help though. If anyone could help me out with:

    • Where to start
    • Helpful hints
    • Good learning resources
    • What language to use
    • Any other general information you wish to give me


    Any help would be appreciated, I am planning on doing it as a hobby, not really for profit at the moment.

    Thanks for your time.
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    I found I learned very quickly because my first project was with a professional web developer, and I got the chance to work on the site alongside him which basically meant I skipped straight to the 'advanced class'.

    My advice would be watch this video, and also the CSS and perhaps JavaScript ones which come after it. It is extremely important to get your mindset right before you start learning bad habits, and I found this video invaluable.

    Next I would get myself up a site on a free host (000webhost is one which I know to work, although there are many others). Ask a friend or copy from a site a good structure for you files (so keep images, CSS, and JavaScript in folders separate from your HTML and other files), and then get to work.

    Languages are HTML and CSS to begin with (neither of which are actually programming languages, but they are what you need for the job). When you have mastered those, I'd move on to either PHP or JavaScript. They serve different purposes entirely, but one of them is the next step.
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    (Original post by Fallen)
    I found I learned very quickly because my first project was with a professional web developer, and I got the chance to work on the site alongside him which basically meant I skipped straight to the 'advanced class'.

    My advice would be watch this video, and also the CSS and perhaps JavaScript ones which come after it. It is extremely important to get your mindset right before you start learning bad habits, and I found this video invaluable.

    Next I would get myself up a site on a free host (000webhost is one which I know to work, although there are many others). Ask a friend or copy from a site a good structure for you files (so keep images, CSS, and JavaScript in folders separate from your HTML and other files), and then get to work.

    Languages are HTML and CSS to begin with (neither of which are actually programming languages, but they are what you need for the job). When you have mastered those, I'd move on to either PHP or JavaScript. They serve different purposes entirely, but one of them is the next step.

    Would you recommend purchasing a book on one of these languages, if so which language and which book?
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    (Original post by Nydous)
    Would you recommend purchasing a book on one of these languages, if so which language and which book?
    I generally don't recommend books. Hands on experience with Google helping you I find to be the best way to learn.

    If you haven't already watched them, don't underestimate how good the videos I sent you are. They are made by a bunch of Google engineers.
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    (Original post by Fallen)
    I generally don't recommend books. Hands on experience with Google helping you I find to be the best way to learn.

    If you haven't already watched them, don't underestimate how good the videos I sent you are. They are made by a bunch of Google engineers.
    I'll get round to watching them after my exams are over, thanks a lot for the help.
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    I think part of the question is web "developer" or "designer". A developer with usually deal with more code (PHP, Python, ASP.NET), whilst a designer would do a little more Photoshop related stuff. I wouldn't try and do both.
    I do some web developing, and I'd personally recommend books. They teach you the correct practices from the start, but will allow you to do more advances things after. Most of the code books I find (or have found) have been from O'Reilly, so maybe check them out. I personally use PHP, but if I had never done any web programming before I would use Python because it can be used on other platforms. Saying that, PHP is really nice to work with.
    You could start by making a simple website (a login system for example, teaching you how to properly store and secure passwords, interact with a database and take a users input). Once you have a grasp of it, maybe move onto making plugins or something that can be released (preferably, open-source). A platform for this would be Wordpress.
    This is just my option. I personally learnt the basic from books, then used the PHP Manual to learn about any functions etc I needed.
    One you're a bit more into it and know what you're doing, check out Stack Overflow. It's like a forum for asking help on programming, but don't go on there with "How do I make a variable?", make it something that's easily discovered via Google!
    Good luck!
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    (Original post by JosephDuffy)
    I think part of the question is web "developer" or "designer". A developer with usually deal with more code (PHP, Python, ASP.NET), whilst a designer would do a little more Photoshop related stuff. I wouldn't try and do both.
    I do some web developing, and I'd personally recommend books. They teach you the correct practices from the start, but will allow you to do more advances things after. Most of the code books I find (or have found) have been from O'Reilly, so maybe check them out. I personally use PHP, but if I had never done any web programming before I would use Python because it can be used on other platforms. Saying that, PHP is really nice to work with.
    You could start by making a simple website (a login system for example, teaching you how to properly store and secure passwords, interact with a database and take a users input). Once you have a grasp of it, maybe move onto making plugins or something that can be released (preferably, open-source). A platform for this would be Wordpress.
    This is just my option. I personally learnt the basic from books, then used the PHP Manual to learn about any functions etc I needed.
    One you're a bit more into it and know what you're doing, check out Stack Overflow. It's like a forum for asking help on programming, but don't go on there with "How do I make a variable?", make it something that's easily discovered via Google!
    Good luck!
    Thanks, i meant web developing, more with code than the graphical side. I will look into them tomorrow after my exams and go to the library and pick them up, i have ran out of rep for today but tomorrow you shall receive some.
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    I've learnt the basics of css3/html5; it seems really complex at first but just keep practicing, you'll get the hang of it

    This website is really useful for some tutorials: http://www.w3schools.com/
    Has like an online editor too so you can practice the basics with demos

    if you have any specific questions on css/html don't hesitate to PM me, I'll try my best to help! (I'm no pro but I know most of it )
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    (Original post by JosephDuffy)
    I think part of the question is web "developer" or "designer". A developer with usually deal with more code (PHP, Python, ASP.NET), whilst a designer would do a little more Photoshop related stuff. I wouldn't try and do both.
    I do some web developing, and I'd personally recommend books. They teach you the correct practices from the start, but will allow you to do more advances things after. Most of the code books I find (or have found) have been from O'Reilly, so maybe check them out. I personally use PHP, but if I had never done any web programming before I would use Python because it can be used on other platforms. Saying that, PHP is really nice to work with.
    You could start by making a simple website (a login system for example, teaching you how to properly store and secure passwords, interact with a database and take a users input). Once you have a grasp of it, maybe move onto making plugins or something that can be released (preferably, open-source). A platform for this would be Wordpress.
    This is just my option. I personally learnt the basic from books, then used the PHP Manual to learn about any functions etc I needed.
    One you're a bit more into it and know what you're doing, check out Stack Overflow. It's like a forum for asking help on programming, but don't go on there with "How do I make a variable?", make it something that's easily discovered via Google!
    Good luck!
    I'd argue the opposite. Obviously everyone will have their strengths and weaknesses, but if you don't have intermediate skill across the board then you will struggle to get a good looking and functional website online without help.

    I am definitely the programming type, but I wouldn't be able to function without knowing my way at least around Photoshop.
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    (Original post by Fallen)
    I'd argue the opposite. Obviously everyone will have their strengths and weaknesses, but if you don't have intermediate skill across the board then you will struggle to get a good looking and functional website online without help.

    I am definitely the programming type, but I wouldn't be able to function without knowing my way at least around Photoshop.
    I agree, I would find it useful if I could use Photoshop a little better, but knowing about a couple of resources has helped me out a lot. Since I've started using these, I've not felt the need for PS (I don't even have it installed any more).
    Backgrounds
    Icons 1, 2, 3
    I wish I could make logos easily, but I think I'm hoping that's a little extreme for what skills I would require for a job. If I REALLY need a new icon/image making, I've got a couple of friends who sometimes help me out, or I can follow a basic tutorial.
    However, I still like that I've chosen one specific path, since I don't really like working with designing. Maybe I was a little bias, but it's just my opinion
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    Sorry for the double post, but I just wanted to mention w3schools. A lot of people think they're pretty bad, and personally, I agree. It can be useful for some referencing, but learning from it, in my opinion, is a big mistake. Some examples are available on http://w3fools.com/
    Also, whilst I'm at it, please don't use GoDaddy for hosting or domain registration, there are better alternatives out there! (I know hosting/domains haven't been mentioned, but that is a big part of setting up a website for the first time)
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    (Original post by JosephDuffy)
    Some examples are available on http://w3fools.com/
    Heh, ironic eh?
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    That it is a known bug. The HTML5 validator does not work as well on HTML5 due to the full specification not being released yet (I find it's the same for CSS3, it doesn't pick up -webkit or other browser-specific things, although I might be doing it wrong). So much so that Wordpress are ignoring this error and using in their CMS.
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    One thing I will definitely say is to stay away from W3Schools.

    Check out Google's lessons, Sitepoint and, as someone mentioned, Stack Overflow.
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    (Original post by JosephDuffy)
    That it is a known bug. The HTML5 validator does not work as well on HTML5 due to the full specification not being released yet (I find it's the same for CSS3, it doesn't pick up -webkit or other browser-specific things, although I might be doing it wrong). So much so that Wordpress are ignoring this error and using in their CMS.
    To be fair, per the working draft, pubdate has been removed from the spec.

    But yeh, it's stupid to criticise a site for not conforming to a specification that changes on a daily basis. People have better things to do.
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    (Original post by JosephDuffy)
    That it is a known bug. The HTML5 validator does not work as well on HTML5 due to the full specification not being released yet (I find it's the same for CSS3, it doesn't pick up -webkit or other browser-specific things, although I might be doing it wrong). So much so that Wordpress are ignoring this error and using in their CMS.
    Oh I know, I was making the point! HTML5 has really got W3C pretty messed up as far as I can tell - it isn't a 100% final standard yet, so W3C had to write a validator that 'did its best', but won't work flawlessly. This is why you get errors using tags like <pubdate> and stuff - as you say, Wordpress are sticking two fingers up, just like plenty of other people wanting to use HTML5

    As for -webkit/-moz/etc, they fail validation because they are not recognised in the 'official' CSS specification since they're proprietary tags - by official I mean W3C official though... easily get around that by putting them in a separate stylesheet or whatever if you really needed to.
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    Oh I know, I was making the point! HTML5 has really got W3C pretty messed up as far as I can tell - it isn't a 100% final standard yet, so W3C had to write a validator that 'did its best', but won't work flawlessly. This is why you get errors using tags like <pubdate> and stuff - as you say, Wordpress are sticking two fingers up, just like plenty of other people wanting to use HTML5

    As for -webkit/-moz/etc, they fail validation because they are not recognised in the 'official' CSS specification since they're proprietary tags - by official I mean W3C official though... easily get around that by putting them in a separate stylesheet or whatever if you really needed to.
    I don't think this really counts as "sticking two fingers up" or "getting around it" though. Most web developers simply aren't worried about their site "validating" correctly on W3C's validator. They neither check nor care.
    Far more relevant are the list of elements and the browsers in which they're supported.
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    I think the W3C validator is more for amateur coders who want to check their code and see guidelines. Professionals rarely use it, from what I've seen.
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    (Original post by estel)
    I don't think this really counts as "sticking two fingers up" or "getting around it" though. Most web developers simply aren't worried about their site "validating" correctly on W3C's validator. They neither check nor care.
    Far more relevant are the list of elements and the browsers in which they're supported.
    Fair enough, looks like I've been listening to the wrong people
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    I also recommend setting up server software such as APACHE on your own computer so you can test server-side code such as php without having to constantly upload to your host.

    check out XAMP too.

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