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Best way to learn web design?

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by Prince Bert, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Prince Bert

    Prince Bert Banned Banned

    What's the best way? I used to have a book which I didn't find particularly exciting and never stuck with. That was an idiot's guide and was about HTML ten years ago. I have read that some of the online lessons are out of date in the way they teach despite being popular websites. So what is the best way? Are there cellphone apps that teach you to. Just asking as I found that was a good way to learn other things in when travelling around.

    Also, when you are learning the code is it best to do little projects to try and remember everything, or by doing the online fiddling about with bits of code to see what happens. I want to design me own site at some point and have it look professional with the ability to add videos and shit.
  2. editor

    editor Like an ultra left hatboy on heat

    To be honest, if I was starting now I'd look to becoming experienced in Wordpress or another CMS rather than trying to learn general web design.

    As for the graphics, there's of load good design books and sites worth looking at.
    Meltingpot likes this.
  3. Prince Bert

    Prince Bert Banned Banned

    This comes from advice I got in another thread. I looked at loads of wordpress sites, and none of them appealed to me as the type of site I would want to design. Someone then recommended learning as an alternative to paying to have a site designed. CSS was mentioned, and if that would allow me to design a site the way I want then I'd be happy with it.

    Like I say if I had seen Wordpress sites that I liked the look of I would want to go that way, but with adding videos I just didn't see many good examples in the links I went to from the wordpress site.
  4. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    Nowadays asking how you design sites is a bit like asking how you would build a car.

    it's not like it impossible but it's probably going to take more than a haynes manual and a spare garage.

    the best advice it just to read up various tutorials and buy a few books and get started. your first few site will be a bit shit but just keep going.
    fractionMan likes this.
  5. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    Ok, what EXACTLY do you want to build, as the answer changes depending.
  6. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    http://www.w3schools.com/

    Its free, and its really really good as a reference and learning point

    Nothing can be better than practice though. Also, try learning to code in a plain text editor (no syntax highlighting) as it enables you to go back an re read your code when its not working to find out why instead of just having it pointed out for you.
  7. c01642

    c01642 Well-Known Member

    codecademy have several tutorials on web development and programming with javascript, I have started the code year program but don't have the time to put into it at the moment.

    http://www.codecademy.com/learn
  8. editor

    editor Like an ultra left hatboy on heat

    Thing is, Wordpress can provide the kind of functionality that clients really want for a fraction of the effort.

    And some Wordpress sites can be made to look rather good.
  9. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    errr are you mistaking w3schools for the w3c?

    not the same thing
  10. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    I just assumed they were connected as I didn't think they could of used the "w3" name otherwise. My mistake.

    Still a good resource though.
  11. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    it is a good resource but yeah not related and apparently asked to put up a disclaimer by the w3c.
  12. Mr Smin

    Mr Smin Registered Luser

    They've come in for a bit of stick for allowing that misconception, along with technical criticisms. As long as you don't make any one site your sole resource then it shouldn't be a problem.
  13. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    don't know what the pros opinions are, but we use Joomla for our sites, and once you get used to the quirks and work out how everything works on it, it's pretty damn good with lots of plugin options available if you want that sort of thing.

    We've got a front end WYSIWYG text editor on our site that means even our least technical staff can log in and change the spelling on something if they notice it's wrong.

    Compare that to my experience with hand written sites / dreamweaver etc that needed you to be able to actually edit the html code, then upload it via FTP, and basically lose the site entirely if the web designer gave up on it... it wins hands down IMO.

    There are a few coding glitches with it, and it's probably a bit javascript heavy for google etc. but nothing particularly to worry about IMO.

    eta - I knocked up a basic 4 page site myself last night in a night for a new project we've got going on. Can't see that having happened if I was having to code it from scratch.
    TheHermit likes this.
  14. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Best way to learn web design?

    Learn by doing. Make some sites and make each better than the previous one.
  15. Prince Bert

    Prince Bert Banned Banned

    OK. This wordpress template looks interesting. I suppose I want something along these lines, but maybe without the flash part. I like the dark colours of the main page with the links lower down.

    As for the videos on the site. I would like something like this where it is hosted on the site, and doesn't need to go through Youtube. The quality of that video looks crap, but it is more the way the video is hosted that is interesting.

    Oh, and on the web design front, does Joomla give you as much freedom as Dreamweaver in placing things on the page exactly where you would like them?
  16. Fiended***

    Fiended*** Well-Known Member

    Get a booked called the non-designer's design book - learn what makes a design good.

    Then read Don't make me think - what makes good user experience design.

    Then get a 3rd book - Css the missing manual.

    Find lots of blogs on web design - subscribe and read them.

    Practice lots.
  17. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    There isn't any Flash on that page. And if you get a good understanding of CSS you could use the default Twenty Eleven WordPress theme and modify it to look like that.
  18. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    It doesn't take that long, amount of pages are really irrelevant if you have already got the text etc and you use includes etc.
  19. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    CSS does that :p
  20. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    The "exactly where you would like them" part rings alarm bells.
  21. Prince Bert

    Prince Bert Banned Banned

    Oh, the question was about Joomla. I was making the comparison to Dreamweaver and wondering if you can manipulate a page in the same way.

    Also, I seen an article a couple of weeks back that said some of the online lessons like w3 (might have been others) were not up to date in the code they teach.
  22. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    it's not the same thing.

    even if the code isn't up to date (perhaps xhtml oriented instead of html5) leaning any HTML will help

    to be honest unless you doing frame based sites using table/font tag based design along with marquees and blink text your not that out of date
  23. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I used to love frames based sites with all index architecture, they were well wicked... :)
  24. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    :facepalm: DONT point someone starting out to w3schools, its one of the worst resources for information. I wont bother ranting too much I'll just point you to someone else who details why.

    http://w3fools.com/
  25. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    Yeah I only realised that after Shippou-Sensei pointed it out. I just did a quick search and assumed they were part of the w3c so thought it was reputable, which I now know its not :facepalm:.
  26. stuff_it

    stuff_it Nerd burglar

    Never underestimate the power of looking at bad examples and making sure never to follow them.

    I know someone who does some very good web design, including some good optimisation, etc. Unfortunately they also have a penchant for that really bright 'all the blue pixels turned right up' shade of royal blue that right does your head in and they include it in every site to this day. Was probably the first hex# for a colour they ever memorised or something, one day I ought to ask them....
  27. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    Problem is, when you are starting out you have no idea how to judge whats good and whats bad.
  28. J Scone

    J Scone Active Member

    I learnt PHP first, and sort of picked up the HTML and CSS as I went along. The PHP book by Welling and Thomson is pretty comprehensive. If you install a LAMP server on your own machine you can write the code and see it working as you go.

    You'll probably also want JavaScript/JQuery and then you're pretty much done. Took me about 3 months from beginning to professional looking site. And you'll also probably want some graphics expertise, either Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop if you're going down the paid route or GIMP and Inkscape if you're going free.

    You could of course skip almost all of the coding and still use WordPress, but you'll have way more flexibility if you can program.
  29. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    PHP gets a lot of stick, but its a nice language to start with. The syntax is simple and its easy to run and test the code.
  30. J Scone

    J Scone Active Member

    Absolutely. And then you can earn £25K as a junior web developer rising to £60K as you get experience. What are you waiting for?

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