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Starting out. Any suggestions?

  • # September 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Hi everyone!

    I am pretty new to the web design world and I am looking for some advice and suggestion. I know basic html and css and i am learning more everyday. i also have a test "client" who i will create a site for in order to get better.

    I was wondering if anyone has any suggestion on books or sites which would facilitate my learning? :)
    Also do a lot if you use Adobe Dreamweaver or a Text editor? pros, cons?

    # September 2, 2009 at 8:30 pm
    Quote:
    Adobe Dreamweaver or a Text editor?

    I always suggest that if you are starting out, stick with a basic text editor. It’s tempting to let Dreamweaver do everything for you, but it really helps to understand what every line in your code does. Get a strong handle on handcoding, and then perhaps switch to Dreamweaver if it works for you (I’m personally a fan of Notepad++ or Coda).

    # September 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I actually suggest you use an IDE. You can get very lost, very quickly in the beginning, but by using an IDE to correct your mistakes, you don’t fall into an "I don’t know what just happened, so screw this whole web design thing" that plagues new designers/developers.

    I suggest Netbeans or Aptana.

    # September 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions. :D

    # September 4, 2009 at 1:46 am

    I first used Dreamweaver but after watching the video screen casts here on CSS-Tricks and following tutorials on Nettuts, I found using a program like Coda was better for me. It made me concentrate on hand writing a lot of code over and over before I started using Coda’s "clips" features. Now I am so comfortable in Coda that when I open Dreamweaver at school, I feel a little lost.

    The advice I got when I was just starting out like you, (I have been trying to learn this for about a year now) is stick to simple little projects. Build a bunch of small one or two page sample sites full of Lorem Ipsum, using nothing but CSS and HTML until your totally confident with that.

    Then add some Javascript. Next add that same Javascript but write it in Jquery or Mootools.

    After that move on to PHP and then WordPress.

    Follow along with tutorials on CSS-Tricks and other web development sights. Read a lot, I have my phone out so much reading stuff my wife is starting to point out when I’m not paying attention to her. :roll:

    # September 4, 2009 at 10:04 am

    yeah i have noticed the same. I feel more comfortable hand coding than using a WYSIWYG, especially for writing the mark-up. I guess that s the route i will go.
    I plan to take a Javascript class in October before venturing into jquery. Would you recommend starting jquery without knowing javascript?

    # September 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I really started using a couple of jQuery plugins at first, figuring out how they worked and then changed them to my needs. I really didn’t know anything about javascript before, and I have since bought a book and have been reading it. I think understanding how javascript works first would only help build a strong foundation for jQuery.

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