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How to best learn web design?

Discussion in 'Graphic & Web Design' started by Toastking, Jan 20, 2014.

  1.  
    Toastking

    Toastking Trainee Lab Tech

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    Anyone thats seen my contribution to the resolutions for 2014 will know that I am looking to get back into web design and now that my needs are more complex, I am a lot more savvy than I was before and I feel it is the right time - I am coming to you guys for advice.

    How would I be best off learning to design websites?

    - get a book, learn a program like dreamweaver - then start making websites for me and others I know
    - as above but with online tutorials
    - learn html coding - from a basic no frills editor, then expand as my needs do
    - find a way to get working with a website designer and learn from them part time till I am useful enough to work for them full time.

    In terms of what I want to achieve, I want to be able to create websites of good quality, to be able to code the odd script etc. that I find online (like PHP add ons etc.), to be able to create graphics myself and to generally just be able to do more of my own stuff without having to take punts on Fiverr or pay decent money.

    I have time to learn and I want to learn to get the job done - either predominantly through a tool like dreamweaver or A N Other way.

    Any good advice is appreciated at this point!
     
  2.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    By the sounds of it you are looking more like a developer rather than designer, by far the best quality services have dedicated people for dedicated work areas, i.e designer for graphical work, developer for LAMP or more advanced.

    Being good at both would enable you to cut costs but in all honesty it would take alot of learning, i know my way around Photoshop but generally use designers to create PSD mockups which works well.

    Some of the things you probably want to read up on for reference are :

    MySQL :: Developer Zone

    PHP: PHP Manual - Manual

    HTML & CSS - W3C

    Welcome to The Apache Software Foundation!

    Welcome to The Apache Software Foundation!

    CSS Introduction

    That should pretty much tell you everything you need to reference to, although normally its best to have a go at it and learn along the way, i could read for days and probably learn more in 30 mins of figuring something out and finding the resolution to problems along the way.
     
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  3.  
    Toastking

    Toastking Trainee Lab Tech

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    Best get reading then thanks for the input. Any other recommendations appreciated.

    Thanks again
     
  4.  
    KevJaques

    KevJaques Senior Lab Tech Premium Member

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    I would steer clear of any programs like DW!
    Use Notepad++ it has syntax highlighting for the main languages you will need.
    This way you are not dependent on a specific coding editor and can do it old school! (and know what to put in and leave out) ;)
    Learn some logic, this is the main part of the equation, the other is easy to pick up.
     
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  5.  
    LordLoveRocket

    LordLoveRocket Guest

    Im not a webdesigner but I do do it as a hobby and I am completely self taught.

    I agree that dreamweaver isnt the best way to learn. WYSIWYG (is that right guys?) wont really teach you anything, and its really best to learn the backing code first.

    I learnt html & css as a foundation. I then got the php manual and just read it. Started by building a very basic CMS. Now I tend to download open source scripts I like and 'fiddle' with them. I dont think it can do any harm to learn some SQL too as it can speed up a lot of tasks.

    I downloaded xampp and developed test stuff locally. Now I simply use notepad although if you are working with long php scripts you may wish to use something a little bit more advanced.

    Speaking as an amateur coder I am of the view that you must get the basics of html & css right (I found that very easy). Php & javascriopt etc is when it starts getting more tricky imo.
     
  6.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    haha :) , WYSIWYG stands for "What You See Is What You Get". Its an internet editor much like used on forums to format text output to the web in the same formatting standards as such programs like Microsoft word.

    I has nothing to do with web design or development as a whole, just a script which you can integrate if it was needed.
     
  7.  
    LordLoveRocket

    LordLoveRocket Guest


    Oh yes know what it stands for, couldn't be bothered to write it out and was checking I got the correct acronym! :p


    The OP was talking about dreamweaver and it does have a WYSIWYG feature, so it has a fair bit to do with the OP and my response specifically to dreamweaver.

    [URLnf="http://www.thesitewizard.com/dreamweaver/dreamweaver-cs6-tutorial-1.shtml"]Dreamweaver Tutorial: How to Design a Website with Dreamweaver CS6 (thesitewizard.com)[/URLnf]
     
  8.  
    Uwe (Invoiceberry)

    Uwe (Invoiceberry) Graduate

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    What about tutorials for actual design work. E.g. not coding, PHP, Apache, etc. but design work.

    Would you personally use Photoshop or GIMP or some other photo editing software?

    I think UI/UX design is becoming increasingly important. That kind of also means that creativity is not as important as it used to be. Clear structures and layouts are becoming more important in recent years...What do you think?

    Best,
    Uwe
     
  9.  
    hostsurfuk

    hostsurfuk Graduate

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    For anyone looking to build a website the first place I would send them here so they can try and understand the basics of code.

    W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
     
  10.  
    RDB1

    RDB1 Guest

    I would say use W3C first and then you can try Treehouse, Lynda.com or Tuts+ Code Tutorials - Any of the tutsplus website are great.
     
  11.  
    UK Business Circle

    UK Business Circle Applicant

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    There are loads of platforms that you can use that are all very good, but some can be very complicated trying to learn how they work, and then you have all the plugins ect, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

    I have just played about with loads of different companies and found one that work for me, I can get a basic website online in a few days, and considering I do them myself and do not pay a web designer I like them, and most importantly they do the job for me.

    Of course you will find some stuff that you will not be able to do, just be careful if you pay someone, I chucked away 7K earlier this year on a project I could not code with a friend, a very hard lesson to learn.

    If you have time, read, watch videos and you will get their.

    Good Luck

    Regards

    Gav
     
  12.  
    Toastking

    Toastking Trainee Lab Tech

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    In short I am looking to create a system whereby I can produce websites fairly easily (but then with the capacity to later modify appearances and not just written word content) so that I can help get businesses online for friends and also the double-whammy of using it to test ideas. Being able to do these things without paying somebody else would just open up some possibilities and make some of the more far fetched experiments simply cost a domain name and web hosting to try.
     
  13.  
    ExpertFlippers

    ExpertFlippers Applicant

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    Dreamweaver is old and outdated, for better coding experience use SublimeText. As for learing, start form base, HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript.
     
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    ISS

    ISS Son of Victor Meldrew Premium Member

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    Pay someone else to do it mate and concentrate on doing what makes you money. That would my tip old friend.
     
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  15.  
    KevJaques

    KevJaques Senior Lab Tech Premium Member

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    Just use Wordpress and the multitude of themes out there, although I shouldn't have said that lol ;)
     
  16.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    Nothing wrong with using a blank canvas, framework or commonly known as skeleton themes especially if your client is on a budget lower than what you would normally want to work with , basically a default wordpress theme with out all the clutter and bloat. Ive yet just to find a designer/developer that starts from scratch everytime they build a site unless the budget is there to do so and everything is completely custom, Build your own framework sure but there are plenty out there already.

    Things like : Underscores | A Starter Theme for WordPress and skeleton theme are designed for developers to use as a base, clean , well organised code which lets face it lot of companies code is beyond poor.

    Throw a base theme together with something like the optiontree framework and you've got all the flexibility you need for basic wordpress development.
     
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  17.  
    KevJaques

    KevJaques Senior Lab Tech Premium Member

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    Yep I notice that a lot lol ;)
     
  18.  
    friendlyfire

    friendlyfire Applicant

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    I believe that learning the coding is the best way rather than using gui wysiwyg software - besides all they do is clog up the code anyway.

    The liked the CSS course at CSS Course - Style with CSS3 - w3university

    For me the positioning topic was the best I have seen online freely anywhere.
     
  19.  
    RDB1

    RDB1 Guest

    If you are looking for a free tool to code html and css you could use Sublime Text, Dreamweaver is good but you have to pay for it. Sublime is great.
     
  20.  
    MASSEY

    MASSEY Trainee Lab Tech

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    I think if a business owner wants to keep costs down, as i did when i set up my main business website, learning html and css is a useful and cost saving thing to do. Who wants to pay a web designer to change the colour of a header tag or a widget backround etc when all you need is the know how of locating the code and replacing the colour code?

    Your average website can get away with installing wordpress, editing one of the million free themes available to look a bit less like a boring blog or the american looking shit you find on premium sites and away you go. A nice header, made by a competent designer, a logo, a few nice pictures and some decent content and you've got a site for less than a grand.
     

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