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New to web design, tips?

I'm a CS major, junior, working in QA, getting ready to get married, which obviously means I'm looking at a large financial burden in the very near future.

Much to my relief one of the web page contractors approached me today, liked some of the designs I had done for our company (all internal stuff though, nothing big) & wanted to set me up with a small web design offer he didn't have time to take. Having enjoyed my previous forays into web design, & needing the money, after a bit of thought I said yes.

I am of course, terrified. Little pages for internal use at our company is one thing, but a corporate contract is something else. I've never even posted online, or connected with a database. & GUI's weren't really the focus of our CS education.

So as I jump into this new and exciting field, what tips do you experienced guys have? What should I be reading up on, what do you wish you had known? What should I read? What are the useful resources out there? Oh and in advance, thanks


Ooh, really? Don't use Dreamweave? That is what I used in the past, but I have to admit the code itself was rather sloppy, and left some artifacts.

But the idea of using ONLY textpad is more than a little intimidating. Anyone else agree with that advice, stick to the text editors? (that is what they always had us use in school)

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    My tips, with 30 years experience in programming, and web coding since it was born...

    1. DON'T use any WYSIWYG editor (such as Dreamweaver).

    Too long to explain why here.

    2. DO use a standard editor for your code (Notepad, Notepad++ are very good).

    3. DON'T get involved with any off-the-shelf scripts, such as osCommerce, Miva, Joomla, Drupal etc: it is a waste of time and you will get headaches just trying to adapt the code to your needs.

    4. DO Learn HTML, a bit of Javascript, PhP and MySQL. Just write simple stuff to start with. You learn as you go along.

    5. DO use, and mysql for samples, lessons and trials.

    6. DON'T buy or read books on the subject: the web evolves faster than the books are printed!

    7. BE TWO persons: a Designer and a Coder: they are different people! The designer makes nice static pages. The Coder (behind the screen and not often rewarded for his hard work) makes the site WORK interactively.

    8. DO check/debug your site on IE6, IE7, Firefox at least: they make 91.5% of users.

    9. Do check/debug on Opera, Netscape and Safari ONLY if it is a request from your client. (I can't give a *** for the 8.5% other users who are probably computer illiterate anyway...)

    10. DO call back here: there are pros that can help!

    Good luck.

    Source(s): Pro - Coder
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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Highly recommend you to read full details of Brian Kelly's "Top Ten Tips For Building Web Sites In The 21st Century" 1. HTML Is Dead! 2. XML Is The Future 3. XHTML - A Migration Strategy 4. A Useful XML Application: RSS 5. Accessibility Is Important 6. Have a URL Naming Policy 7. You Will Need A Browser Policy 8. Think Hard About Standards 9. You'll Probably Need A CMS 10. Have The Open Source Debate

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  • 1 decade ago

    Before you start the project, you and the people you will be working for need to decide what you want the website to be able to do. Then I would do research to see what you need to know to get it done.

    PHP is a very powerful programming language and is easy to learn, there are a lot of things you can do with PHP. It's server side, so their server will have to have it enabled.

    I also recommend learning CSS, but keep in mind to test in multiple browsers because not every browser renders the same, (Internet Explorer can be a real pain)

    You can also look into downloading CMS scripts. Joomla and SiteX are free downloads, and relatively simple to set up.

    Well, that's a start anyway, good luck on your project!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, you're expecting a lot from a simple answer here.

    Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete the project since you will be learning on the job.

    Be confident both you yourself and in front of the customer.

    Make sure your project is interative. Make sure you ask for feedback every step of the way. This way, you won't go too deep in the wrong direction.

    You don't mention what's all involved, so I can't help you on design details except to tell you to try to keep your first few projects simple. You'll find this works best even later on.

    Good luck.

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  • 6 years ago

    Use a fixed-position navigation format for easy navigation for your users. This allows you to lock the panel for navigation in place while users scroll. Not only do visitors find this convenient, but so do internet marketers who have calls to action they want in place.

    Before you publish any web page, check it carefully for broken links. Nothing is more frustrating to a visitor than clicking on a link and being taken to an error page. You can check your links manually, or there are programs that will scan your site for you and report any broken links.

    Break up long text blocks. Having a huge wave of text is unnecessary for any site, especially when you can break it up by using images, or even separating it into different pages. Boring your viewers will only make them leave, so keep things as simple and fresh as possible.

    Whoever your target audience may be, loading time ought to be under ten seconds. A site that is designed well will only take a few seconds to load. If it takes too long, a visitor is simply going to become frustrated and go elsewhere.

    The best web sites communicate a lot of information in a small amount of words. If you are long-winded, people will easily get bored and find another site that is more concise. Make sure any content is relevant and easy to understand – newspapers use an eighth grade reading level, which is the most common literacy level.

    Organize your links and avoid putting too many links in one area of your site. Doing this can confuse visitors and make them leave your site. If you do have many low- to mid-importance links, emulate the “blogrolls” seen in many blogs and tuck them away in a column on the right side of the page.

    Designing a website is possible if you are willing to acquire a few skills. There are some fundamental principles involved with web design that, once learned, help you to figure out the entire genre.


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  • 1 decade ago

    i am very new to computers and a self proclaimed (computer dummy) however yahoo has a great step by step site builder that was very simple easy to understand with lots of great support and allows you to add anything !!! i have created a very nice site that i thought would be out of my reach ! also u can download and (practice) ur site til ready to publish!! tell them i sent you ?

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