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Web design, and self-training therein

JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
I imagine that most of us have, at some point, gone and looked through HTML, moving onto CSS - there's lots of places to look to learn the basics, and those basics are fundamental to understanding how to design a good webpage, but after the first introductory portion, there's so many areas that can be branched into that it often seems daunting. In my free time, I've gone to try to teach myself some aspects of the next tier mutliple times, but I can never seemt o find the proper route, always ending up at a point where I skipped a step and have to retrace, looking for specific software or guides to fill in the gaps of what I presume I needed to know.

Beyhond that, there's much mroe to web design than simply knowing the languages and being able to write pages with them - it's as much an art as a technical skill at being able to determine how pages should flow, what is logical, how to make proper looking icons, and what have you.

So, I'd like to toss it out to those of you who have much more experience in this area - for people who would be interested in dabbling as a hobby, what would be your recommended route of progression, what software would be required (and for server-side scripting what webspace companies would you recommend for testing and experimentation), and do you have any recommendations for the more organizational, layout-oriented perspective?

Jragghen on


  • .kbf?.kbf? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Let me start by saying that I have almost no experience with web design. I do however have quite a bit of experience with programming, mostly c++ (yes I know HTML, XML, etc are languages).

    Anyways, I had a similar experience when I was trying to learn some of the more advanced genres that exist within c++. (I'm still learning really. It's very much a continuous project.)

    Anyways, I've always found that the best way to learn something on your own, especially a subject with such a vast amount of material to cover, is to pick the specific subject (In my case... direct3d for instance. Maybe JavaScript or something in your case.), and go and make a program with it. The first time you'll spend 99% of the time looking at the help files or tutorials online but by the end you'll have at least a mild understanding of how things work.

    Then go back and do it again. You can probably see where I'm going with this. In my experience practice honestly is the best way to hone your skills. Simply reading tutorials and books is just the first step.

    .kbf? on
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, I've done programming before as well - had a very similar experience to what you described when I first started working in Java. I suppose that I should not be as broad-based when bringing up my question.

    I've written pages in html, both in notepad and in WYSIWYG editors. I've also delved into CSS a bit to where I understand all the theory and a lot fo the language, but have not applied it much. But when getting beyond the "here's a pretty page to look at" aspect and getting into the server-side levels, where you're dealing with databases, registration, etc , it becomes a matter of having a number of toolsets which I can't seem to find cataloged anywhere, having options of a number of different languages which may be easier or harder to learn, and in general a lack of quality tutorials that I can find. For example, while PHP would ultimately be the direction I want to go in, would ASP be easier as an introductory language to server-side programming? Is there a decent, free, website where I can make an account to be able to set things up and test with a server? If not, how do I go about setting up my own computer as both server and client to test things out? (I almost figured this one out before, but it didnt' seem to be working properly at finding the website files that I had, nor at making accounts so I could access what I had done)

    And then the issue of aesthetics is something else altogether. I know it's something that you can largely only learn via experimentation and feedback, but if there's any general place to find details, it would be vastly appreciated - most anything I've done in the past was functional, but very....rigid, for lack of a better term. If there's any general "design" suggestions that I could read up on, that'd be great.

    And I do have a direction I'm going with this - I'd like to create a database and tracking site for a browser based game that I play. I'd offer what I've made already, but the majority of the tools/equations are contained within excel spreadsheets, so it's not much to look at, and the majority of any pages that I've made were, as mentioned, functional but nothing to look at, so there's nothing which can be provided from feedback on them - I know what's wrong, I just don't know how to improve upon it. :P

    Also, some others from this forum play the game and I've deconstructed in-game equations which haven't been revealed to the public by admin, so it'd be for the best if I don't post up links. ;-)

    Jragghen on
  • .kbf?.kbf? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    If PhP is where you want to go I don't think you'll have any trouble learning it. I spent a week looking into it and it's not to bad to learn.

    Look into installing Apache for your server.

    look here



    The documentation for both are extremely extensive and immensely helpful

    .kbf? on
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