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  1. #1
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    Need to build! Not sure where to start. Please read!

    So, 'm staying home with the kids but need to get myself started in what I really want to do. I'm working to acquire the skills to make it! HTML, CSS, JS, Ruby etc.

    I can't get myself to start building my first website. I've taken teamtreehouse.com courses, codecademy and some codeschool courses and also watched some lynda.com. i thought i knew my stuff but haven't been able to practice much to put it to the test. It's hard for me to sit down and start writing! Partly bc of the kids partly bc of ADD! I feel I'm ok with my html and CSS but not so much JavaScript or jquery. Should I learn these first before jumping in? Are there any other languages I should be proficient in? I want to do front end work but would also like to do some back end and some Wordpress. I'm kind of all over. Guidance?? Please.

    Any tips to get started? Any tools I should have in my arsenal as in snippets, templates, or the like? I feel like if I use things like that it a crutch! Is that bad or am I just being nuts?

    It gets a little frustrating! I need to build a portfolio but I don't know what to build. Not sure where to start. I would appreciate any guidance/tips please!

    Thank you so much!

    Dave

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Hi Dave.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbnjzb View Post
    I need to build a portfolio but I don't know what to build. Not sure where to start. I would appreciate any guidance/tips please!
    HTML and CSS are all you need to build a nice website. JS is handy at times, but it's worth learning to do without it at first, so that you realize that you don't need them, and that they are an enhancement only.

    In terms of where to start, focus on the need. Forget all those fancy layouts you could have, or how others are doing everything. Take a break, sit still for a moment and reflect on what your site needs to do with your content. That's the first question to answer: what does your site need to say? What message does it need to convey?

    Good web design starts a long way away from code, image editors etc. It starts with the message. Note the main points on paper first. Then build on them, until a picture starts to form of the whole. When you know what the site needs to say, start to organize that content into a meaningful order that would be appropriate for the web. Soon you will find that a structure emerges, and you'll know what pages you need on the site and what content they need to display.

    Then start to organize that content on the page in a logical way—and hey presto, you have the beginnings of a design/layout—and one that actually serves your content. (Too many people choose some pretty design and then shoehorn their poor content into any nook it will fit, which is crazy.)

    You are then in a good position to start to build your HTML layouts and add a bit of CSS to style them up a bit.

    At all points, let the content guide the process. That way, you have fewer decisions to agonize over, and you'll end up with a site that actually does what it's supposed to.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Hi Dave.



    HTML and CSS are all you need to build a nice website. JS is handy at times, but it's worth learning to do without it at first, so that you realize that you don't need them, and that they are an enhancement only.

    In terms of where to start, focus on the need. Forget all those fancy layouts you could have, or how others are doing everything. Take a break, sit still for a moment and reflect on what your site needs to do with your content. That's the first question to answer: what does your site need to say? What message does it need to convey?

    Good web design starts a long way away from code, image editors etc. It starts with the message. Note the main points on paper first. Then build on them, until a picture starts to form of the whole. When you know what the site needs to say, start to organize that content into a meaningful order that would be appropriate for the web. Soon you will find that a structure emerges, and you'll know what pages you need on the site and what content they need to display.

    Then start to organize that content on the page in a logical way—and hey presto, you have the beginnings of a design/layout—and one that actually serves your content. (Too many people choose some pretty design and then shoehorn their poor content into any nook it will fit, which is crazy.)

    You are then in a good position to start to build your HTML layouts and add a bit of CSS to style them up a bit.

    At all points, let the content guide the process. That way, you have fewer decisions to agonize over, and you'll end up with a site that actually does what it's supposed to.

    Hope that helps.

    Thank you! That's great! I'm gonna start doing!

  4. #4
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    Well I think your problem might be,
    you don't know what kind of web site you want to create right?

    If like that you can create something that you know well.

    Me, my self has created 2 websites. I created my first website with order from my wife.

    She need to has website for her new business , travel and tours, with little budget.

    I read lots of books for html, CSS, Php and self study from Linda.

    and some of Javascript (I don't understand it at all only know how to use it)

    For me, Php is easy to understand, you should try to know it.


    My first website it toke about 2 months to finish.

    My simply suggestion is "JUST Do IT ".

    You will not know how to bike, if you don't go to ride it.

    PS. For website, you should know some in graphic program, such as Photoshop.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot Siick26's Avatar
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    Just start with the basics, no need to get hooked up on coding. I use a package called Serif Webplus, it's probably the easiest software to use, and it's very professional too. You only need very basic knowlegde of site building, don't even need to know much code.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wongsoon View Post

    My simply suggestion is "JUST Do IT ".

    You will not know how to bike, if you don't go to ride it.
    "JUST DO IT". I love that. wongsoon!!

  7. #7
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by kmnzombie843 View Post
    "JUST DO IT". I love that. wongsoon!!
    You should trademark that before someone else gets it.

  8. #8
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    The best way to get started is to work through some examples and tutorials that take you through the design process from start to finish. There are many resources available for free, on SitePoint and elsewhere, but I have had the most success following along with a book.

    I have read (or attempted to read) many books on the subject of HTML, CSS and Web design. Honestly, most of them are impenetrable for the average person; however, I highly recommend the SitePoint book Build Your Own Website the Right Way (http://www.sitepoint.com/books/html3/). Ian Lloyd's approach to the topic is perfect for beginners as well as those of us who might just be a bit rusty.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member kevinkoll's Avatar
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    You must be a very patient person to be able to live the world of designing your websites with codes and all you mentioned to get acquainted with.
    I always advice to ride the easy way with wordpress site building as it has all the plugins that will create all the features you may need your website to have and look like.

  10. #10
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    Hello. I am in a similar position as you, just thought will share my experience with you what I have done, what i have learnt so far.
    I have started with simple tutorials on various sites, honestly there is hundreds of them, some good, some better. At the beginning, while basically I was copying tutorials written code, I was reading descriptions of tabs, what they mean, what they do. Slowly moved forward, to slightly more complex code tutorials. Once I learnt basics of html4 and css2.1, I started follow tutorials from PSD to code. I assume you should now basic quite well - you done couple of courses. These helped me a lot to understand layout, margin, padding, backgrounds etc. The only problem with most of them, that they are quite out of date... Once I realized that, I started to learn HTML5 and CSS3, and tried to do same PSD's but in a new way, employing css3 mainly. I think it helps to start think as a front-end developer, trying to figure out how to code that PSD layout, what to use, how to use..

    The only struggle I have now, is what to do next... As I chosen to learn on my own, avoid courses, it is hard sometimes to get inspiration or guidance where to go next. I would want to start on Javascript, but I dont feel very strong in CSS3 and HTML5, and I'm lost a bit now.

    Probably need to create 2/3 websites, employing as much new CSS3 and HTML5 as possible, and only then moving on Javascript, or any other language ..

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard webcosmo's Avatar
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    Just start doing the website, and if you want to add some nice javascript features, there are always tutorials or ready-made applets that will help you. Everything you need, Google has it So good luck and dive in!

  12. #12
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    I stuck with one designing issue. I am using br tag to give proper space between 2 paragraph, however this br tag is not working and even I tried with other tags also none of them is working.

    Any solution??

    Development team is saying that need to ask from designer. I am not understanding why it is designing team concern?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinson203 View Post
    I stuck with one designing issue. I am using br tag to give proper space between 2 paragraph, however this br tag is not working and even I tried with other tags also none of them is working.

    Any solution??

    Development team is saying that need to ask from designer. I am not understanding why it is designing team concern?


    Why don't you post that piece of code so we could take a look. It could be a simple code problem. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by webcosmo View Post
    Just start doing the website, and if you want to add some nice javascript features, there are always tutorials or ready-made applets that will help you. Everything you need, Google has it So good luck and dive in!
    Thanks! Sorry just saw this!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Hi Dave.



    HTML and CSS are all you need to build a nice website. JS is handy at times, but it's worth learning to do without it at first, so that you realize that you don't need them, and that they are an enhancement only.

    In terms of where to start, focus on the need. Forget all those fancy layouts you could have, or how others are doing everything. Take a break, sit still for a moment and reflect on what your site needs to do with your content. That's the first question to answer: what does your site need to say? What message does it need to convey?

    Good web design starts a long way away from code, image editors etc. It starts with the message. Note the main points on paper first. Then build on them, until a picture starts to form of the whole. When you know what the site needs to say, start to organize that content into a meaningful order that would be appropriate for the web. Soon you will find that a structure emerges, and you'll know what pages you need on the site and what content they need to display.

    Then start to organize that content on the page in a logical way—and hey presto, you have the beginnings of a design/layout—and one that actually serves your content. (Too many people choose some pretty design and then shoehorn their poor content into any nook it will fit, which is crazy.)

    You are then in a good position to start to build your HTML layouts and add a bit of CSS to style them up a bit.

    At all points, let the content guide the process. That way, you have fewer decisions to agonize over, and you'll end up with a site that actually does what it's supposed to.

    Hope that helps.

    This is great! What I was looking for! I haven't gotten any notifications for these posts which is why I'm so late at responding. But Thank You. Are there any specific questions I should ask when trying to focus on the need? Other than the message. This will definitely halp me organize my content better. This is the biggest part of my problem i think. Organizing things doesn't always come easy to me. Thanks.

  16. #16
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbnjzb View Post
    I haven't gotten any notifications for these posts which is why I'm so late at responding.
    You can alter your settings so that you get an email each time there's new activity in your thread.

    Are there any specific questions I should ask when trying to focus on the need? Other than the message.
    Each situation is different, but consider the need of potential visitors, too. For example, if the audience is unlikely to be web savvy, that might influence the way you present and explain things.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard
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    If you think you have enough knowledge to create a web site, but don't know what kind of site to create, why not start with creating a site of your kids? Create different departments, one for each of them, with Q&As on each, gallery, first words, first walk, significant moments, video, audio, etc., and elaborate as your skills develop, such as rounded-corner buttons, drop-downs, responsive web design for mobile, or whatever else you learn about. After all, you are surrounded by inspiration every day! And your wife will be able to see her kids grow up, AND you'll provide a record of their early years.

    In other words, design a web site you are passionate about. If not your kids, a hobby. Combine web design with your own interests.
    Steve Husting


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