Author Topic: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!  (Read 3309 times)

Sebastian

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Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« on: February 24, 2014, 10:42:01 AM »
Hello All!

Basically, I've been learning how to do web design as I'd like to pick this up as a side job to begin with to get a portfolio going. Then I'd eventually like to be an independent contractor and just do jobs that come and go.

I've been dabbling with HTML and CSS for awhile now, and my buddy, who is a programmer, opted to help me out with really learning this stuff. The thing is though he basically told me I need to learn PHP.

So I'm still struggling with CSS and how to place divs next to other divs, getting stuff to line up and all the little tiny formatting mess ups(I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I'll go over one little div for hours to get it just right). I don't feel like I'm learning this stuff very efficiently, and now my buddy wants me to learn PHP to develop the site..

He's got me using web matrix which seems like a cool tool, and I understand that learning PHP will be great for the future! However, I feel like it's messing me up because I don't know what to put on my index.php page sometimes... Should I just put html code here or just PHP etc etc.

So how should I do this web developers? Should I just keep chomping at the bit and learning CSS by tweaking little attributes then refreshing the page and just keep doing it till I get it, and further, should I be learning how to do this all with PHP right now or should I scrap that and learn it for later?

Thanks!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 11:52:30 AM »
If you're just looking for a static web page (one that shows the same content forever and ever until you change it manually), then you'll be fine sticking with HTML/CSS.  Once you want to have a dynamic web page (which almost every major site is nowadays, including this one), you'll need to learn a programming language of some sort.

I work for a startup, and we have basically three people working on the website.  Generally speaking, one guy designs the pages (in photoshop), one guy builds the HTML/CSS and user interface, and one guy (me) handles the backend--the server, the databases, etc.  The designer overlaps with the HTML/CSS guy to some extent, the HTML/CSS guys overlaps with my work somewhat, and I overlap with the HTML/CSS guy on some things.  (as an aside, our web site is built in Java, but I also do a fair bit of PHP and a while back I *shudder* had to do some Visual Basic)

My advice?  Give the HTML/CSS a bit more time, so your knowledge is a bit broader.  Then go ahead and start learning some PHP.  When you're building a php page, you can think of it kind of like a plain HTML page, with PHP determining some of the content.

warfreak2

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 12:30:12 PM »
If you want to learn PHP, I advise you to get plenty of practice before you write PHP commercially. Code written by a beginner will hurt your business's reputation.

Sebastian

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 07:21:59 AM »
Sounds good! Thanks! I actually came across that Treehouse group for web design and I started their 14 day trial. The first bits have been review(which isn't a bad thing) but I feel like they are explaining things a lot better than the other stuff I've come across.

I think I'll just stick with this for awhile and keep at HTML CSS and then dive into PHP when I'm comfortable enough.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 09:51:01 AM »
I would not pay for any sort of training courses in web design (or at least the technical part of it)--there is SOOOOOO much free stuff out there, there's no need to pay.

jpo

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 10:01:12 AM »
I would start out learning:
  • HTML
  • Twitter Bootstrap
  • jQuery

I would learn Javascript, and in particular jQuery, in lieu of php.

Sebastian

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 11:08:34 AM »
I would not pay for any sort of training courses in web design (or at least the technical part of it)--there is SOOOOOO much free stuff out there, there's no need to pay.

Yes you are right. There is a ton of free stuff out there that is completely unorganized. The nice thing about this is it's in order and actually is making sense instead of "best practice X" then click over to another website "no this is the best practice of X". So frustrating. I need something that lays it out for me and isn't all over the place, but still has a lot of depth to it. So far that is this Treehouse thingy.

Besides I can cancel in 13 days if I'm not getting any value out of it.

tfordon

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Re: Calling all web designers! Need some advice please!
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 02:33:19 PM »
I would start out learning:
  • HTML
  • Twitter Bootstrap
  • jQuery

I would learn Javascript, and in particular jQuery, in lieu of php.

+1.  Javascript & JQuery are more in demand than PHP (at least in my market).  I haven't used Treehouse before, but it looks like they have javascript/jquery classes.