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> Tips for newbies, Where to get started with web design
jokerrules
post Aug 30 2017, 04:42 AM
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Hi guys,

Appreciate any tips you could offer me. I am about to get started on a new venture and looking to create my own website... but I have no idea where to start and I have pretty much no start up funds. Does anyone know of a good place to teach one's self the basics? (Sorry if I am like the fifty millionth person to ask this question!) blush.gif

*runs away in fear*

Gerry
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pandy
post Aug 30 2017, 05:50 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum. tongue.gif

I'm afraid that I haven't kept up with tutorials and such so I don't know what's to recommend today. But I do recommend that you start with HTML, only HTML and don't give a damn about trying to make it look fancy. Concentrate on learning what the HTML elements are for and how to use them correctly (P for paragraphs, UL for lists and so on). Once you have that down pat you move on to CSS and make your drab pages look pretty. wink.gif
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jokerrules
post Sep 5 2017, 02:21 AM
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QUOTE(pandy @ Aug 30 2017, 05:50 PM) *

Hi and welcome to the forum. tongue.gif

I'm afraid that I haven't kept up with tutorials and such so I don't know what's to recommend today. But I do recommend that you start with HTML, only HTML and don't give a damn about trying to make it look fancy. Concentrate on learning what the HTML elements are for and how to use them correctly (P for paragraphs, UL for lists and so on). Once you have that down pat you move on to CSS and make your drab pages look pretty. wink.gif


Thanks so much for your reply! How long have you been working in web design? Did you get properly trained to do it? (Is it even possible to teach one's self?)
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pandy
post Sep 5 2017, 07:31 AM
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I think most if not all regulars around here have thought themselves. From what we see here web design classes aren't always all that either. Not saying they all are bad, but at least some teach old methods and bad habits. Or they want students to use all the latest without knowing much about the foundation.

Just go for it. It isn't that hard if you can pace yourself and take it a little step by step. It's better to fully understand what you are doing with a smaller toolbox than to guess how you use the tools in a bigger box. And when you're comfortable with your small box it's much easier to add new tools.

That's how I see it. Others may think differently. But they are wrong. tongue.gif
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pandy
post Sep 5 2017, 08:07 AM
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QUOTE(jokerrules @ Aug 30 2017, 11:42 AM) *

and I have pretty much no start up funds


About that, you don't need much and you probably already have most of it.

A good text editor, many are free or cheap. I wouldn't go for a "HTML editor". In the long run the person who can use a text editor effectively is faster. There are editors with useful features though.

Browsers - free. All you can run on your computer.

Maybe an image editor - lots of free ones that are good enough for what you want them for.

To start with you can play locally on your computer, but you'll want to put your site on the web pretty soon. Free hosting still exists and all aren't bad. In the long run you may want a paid host, for reliability and maybe access to server side programming languages, even if some free hosts offer that too. But for a small site that doesn't use much space and transfer there are really cheep options.

To sum it up, hosting is really the only thing you may have to pay for. And you can scimp on that too.
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Christian J
post Sep 5 2017, 08:55 AM
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QUOTE(pandy @ Sep 5 2017, 03:07 PM) *

Free hosting still exists and all aren't bad.

If it's for a venture (business?) I'd avoid free hosts, since you usually can't choose your own domain name. Then later on when it's time to move to a paid host you'd have to change your listings in web directories and search engines.
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pandy
post Sep 5 2017, 10:16 AM
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If it's for business I'd choose a paid host too. Not for the domain, nowadays there are free hosts that offer domain hosting, but for reliability. If it's your livelihood you don't want the site to be down for a whole day or more and you don't want them to accidentally fry the hard drive either.

That doesn't mean you can't use a free host for learning purposes. Make a site about a hobby or something just to learn the ropes.

That reminds me - you do have to pay for a domain too eventually. But that's about 10 bucks a year. No biggie.
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jokerrules
post Sep 8 2017, 03:00 AM
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QUOTE(pandy @ Sep 5 2017, 07:31 AM) *

I think most if not all regulars around here have thought themselves. From what we see here web design classes aren't always all that either. Not saying they all are bad, but at least some teach old methods and bad habits. Or they want students to use all the latest without knowing much about the foundation.

Just go for it. It isn't that hard if you can pace yourself and take it a little step by step. It's better to fully understand what you are doing with a smaller toolbox than to guess how you use the tools in a bigger box. And when you're comfortable with your small box it's much easier to add new tools.

That's how I see it. Others may think differently. But they are wrong. tongue.gif


Awww. Thanks for that. So nice of you to take the time! I will see what I can scrounge up to get me started. May check back in here if I start hitting walls. Great that this forum exists! biggrin.gif
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jokerrules
post Sep 8 2017, 03:05 AM
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Thanks for these great tips, pandy and Christian J!
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jokerrules
post Sep 21 2017, 02:28 AM
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Hi again! So far it seems to be slow going with the html... maybe this is not my talent? Just thought I would ask your opinion about this tutorial... does it seem to be a good place to start with the basics?

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Christian J
post Sep 21 2017, 04:56 AM
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Yes that tutorial looks good. But as it says, it's best to avoid MS Word...
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jokerrules
post Sep 22 2017, 02:15 AM
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QUOTE(Christian J @ Sep 21 2017, 04:56 AM) *

Yes that tutorial looks good. But as it says, it's best to avoid MS Word...


I feel this is good general advice. tongue.gif
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Christian J
post Sep 22 2017, 05:42 AM
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Indeed. tongue.gif The HTML code that Word produces is terrible, but even if you only use it as a text editor it seems to insert "curly quotes" instead of regular double quote characters, and the former don't work in HTML code.

If you want to actually learn HTML it's best to avoid all WYSIWYG editors (but if you just want a quick and dirty web site fast you might save time by using one).
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jokerrules
post Oct 4 2017, 04:12 AM
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Good morning, all...

Since I'm avoiding WYSIWYG editors (as advised!) happy.gif is there a good way to preview what I'm working on? A friend of mine tipped me off to this try-it site... is this a good one? Which one do you normally use?
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Christian J
post Oct 4 2017, 05:15 AM
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Good morning!

QUOTE(jokerrules @ Oct 4 2017, 11:12 AM) *

is there a good way to preview what I'm working on?

Real browsers is the only thing that makes sense, IMO. Many people make sites using only a single browser, but then you often need to add lots of complicated fixes afterwards when testing the site in the other browsers. I think it's better to test in as many browsers as possible during the whole design process, then you'll notice poorly supported code features early on, and might be able to choose some other solution. You don't have to test with every single browser that exists though, it's usually enough with the most common version of today's browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox and MSIE (MS Edge still seems very unused, but you might include that one too). If you don't have access to some browser (especially smartphone versions) maybe you could use online emulators, but I don't know how reliable they are.

QUOTE
A friend of mine tipped me off to this try-it site... is this a good one?

That one uses your own browser for previewing. This may work fine as long your own browser supports the feature you're testing, but if it doesn't you'll become greatly confused. Reminds me of when I first tried learning CSS with MSIE4, and almost nothing worked. wacko.gif

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pandy
post Oct 4 2017, 05:04 PM
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I'm with Christian. Text editors geared towards HTML may let you configure shortcuts to open the current page in different browsers, but it really isn't too much trouble doing it manually either.

About you not having a talent for HTML, learning something totally new to you is always slow at first. Seemed like greek or worse to me. You'll get out of that phase. Adding to knowledge you already have will be much easier.
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