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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member cipals15's Avatar
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    What to learn next?

    In webpage design, what are the necessary tools that would make us designers a little bit flexible.

    I am currently using html and css for my website. My websites are cool but its a static. No drop-down menus and no account creation or databases. etc.

    I didn't have any formal education. So i wanted to ask what's the next lesson i should take?

  2. #2
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    Probably working with databases and PHP.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebDesignHome's Avatar
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    Agreed, but doing the above is not easy (as I am finding)
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cipals15 View Post
    In webpage design, what are the necessary tools that would make us designers a little bit flexible.

    I am currently using html and css for my website. My websites are cool but its a static. No drop-down menus and no account creation or databases. etc.

    I didn't have any formal education. So i wanted to ask what's the next lesson i should take?
    I'm still trying to lear PHP and C# With Visual Web developer: and it's hell.

    The problem is there are very poor resources out there.

    I recently ranted in this forum.

    I have been looking for a book that teaches you "practicality"
    How to create a Database, How to create Dynamic forms, how to add user log in to your website.

    What you will find are tons of books that will take all chapters explaining
    how to write "Hello World" and massive explanation on what is this and what is that.

    I'm yet to find a book that teaches you "projects."

    It's like going to driving school and reading tons of books and getting lectures on what is a car, who made the Car, what is a car use for, how many people can get in a car.

    But, they never teach you how to actually get in a car and learn to drive it.

    If you do find anything, please let me know, I'm still looking.

    IC

  5. #5
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    Agreed IC, that is also what I'm looking for. My experiences have been almost identical.
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  6. #6
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    I think learning to make a tabless site is the next step or learning to make web 2.0

  7. #7
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    Maybe look into Javascript, as there's a lot you can do with that including handling forms, and DOM manipulation, which can make your pages more dynamic, (so far I've written a text news scroller and an image swapper that fades images in and out and has seperate links and alt tags for each image,) and can lead on to learning AJAX. Javascript is seen as the scripting language of the web and is the only scripting language supported by all browsers afaik. It should be easier to learn than PHP (I'm currently learning Javascript after doing a PHP/MySQL call logging web app,) but many people warn that it has a lot of bad parts. Grab a copy of Javascript: The good parts by Douglas Crockford, but be prepared to put in some time reading and digesting the content.

  8. #8
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    just using pure CSS and XHTML, you can still achieve a simple, good looking site that people will love. Actually people tend to prefer simpler sites in the long run, the ones they visit every day. but for more features you will learn flash DHTML, Javascript and any programming language PHP, ASP or Ajax there many tools and skills that can help you to build a cool and functional website.

  9. #9
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    I'd say the most common path a web developer follows is:

    (X)HTML -> CSS -> JavaScript -> PHP or ASP with SQL

    Then when you've mastered those, you can go on to learn frameworks like jQuery, AJAX, Ruby On Rails etc.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot Acquiesce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iconic_creator View Post
    I'm still trying to lear PHP and C# With Visual Web developer: and it's hell.

    The problem is there are very poor resources out there.

    I recently ranted in this forum.

    I have been looking for a book that teaches you "practicality"
    How to create a Database, How to create Dynamic forms, how to add user log in to your website.

    What you will find are tons of books that will take all chapters explaining
    how to write "Hello World" and massive explanation on what is this and what is that.

    I'm yet to find a book that teaches you "projects."

    It's like going to driving school and reading tons of books and getting lectures on what is a car, who made the Car, what is a car use for, how many people can get in a car.

    But, they never teach you how to actually get in a car and learn to drive it.

    If you do find anything, please let me know, I'm still looking.

    IC
    If you are learning PHP then you could do a lot worse than to purchase Sitepoints very own Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL. The information in this book I found invaluable. It does what your looking for by taking you on a project relating to creating a jokes database, then adding a CMS to update it with web forms etc.

  11. #11
    Non-Member Mark Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cipals15 View Post
    In webpage design, what are the necessary tools that would make us designers a little bit flexible.

    I am currently using html and css for my website. My websites are cool but its a static. No drop-down menus and no account creation or databases. etc.

    I didn't have any formal education. So i wanted to ask what's the next lesson i should take?
    I think as you don't have any formal training or education then, it will be better for you to work on DHTML it will be easy for you and as well as it will give site a Dynamic look.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot Crey_Design's Avatar
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    It would definitely be good to start familiarizing yourself with Javascript, PHP, and databases. You can do a lot with HTML and CSS, but at some point, you'll find yourself needing to use those languages.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebDesignHome's Avatar
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    Is it not quite often the case that good designers find the whole area of development PHP difficult as it's not as creative?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebDesignHome View Post
    Is it not quite often the case that good designers find the whole area of development PHP difficult as it's not as creative?
    I think that depends on whether you think of creative solely in visual terms. Personally I used to be all about the front end and the graphics for my creative fix but now I find coding just as creative, only in a different way.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acquiesce View Post
    If you are learning PHP then you could do a lot worse than to purchase Sitepoints very own Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL. The information in this book I found invaluable. It does what your looking for by taking you on a project relating to creating a jokes database, then adding a CMS to update it with web forms etc.
    I'm having a hard time following what you are saying.
    Can you check the language? Is this book good? Or is it bad?

    I'm confused.

    IC

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict ezwoodz's Avatar
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    Maybe the next step is try to study wordpress as your cms, by using this you can manage to improve your css and you manage to learn a little php also.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot Acquiesce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iconic_creator View Post
    I'm having a hard time following what you are saying.
    Can you check the language? Is this book good? Or is it bad?

    I'm confused.

    IC
    Sorry - I'm saying that the book is good... if you're looking at learning PHP and then looking for a way to integrate that with MySQL to build a Content Management System then this book is very useful.

    It takes you on a journey through creating a "jokes" database where users can submit a joke. It then shows you how to retrieve this information from the database and display it how you wish.

    Later on as you get more familiar with it you then learn how to build a CMS to allow administrators to edit the database.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebDesignHome's Avatar
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    I found installing php, apache etc hard enough work!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebDesignHome View Post
    I found installing php, apache etc hard enough work!
    It's a headache and a "CAVEMAN" method. Just so you know, I'm a professional musician/producer/song writer and I will never, never, never used any software, methods, or equipment that proliferates complication and dampers creativity. I rather used a system that inspires creativity and allow me spend more time completing projects then trying to find what the hell I need to do or what I did wrong.

    In my opinion, if you look at PHP, it is all over the place, because it's an open source, today you do it this way, tomorrow you do it that way.

    If you want to start working with PHP/APACHE/MYSQL then use this link. http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html

    I know XAMPP gets scolded but it's a quick start and once you get things running and know what the hell PHP can do, then you can do the individual installation and the "CAVEMAN STYLE" configuration.

    I don't understand why the process cannot be simple.

    You can learn to fly an airplane faster then you can installing PHP/APACHE/MYSQL and doing configuration.

    IC

  20. #20
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    I saw you didn't mention Javascript so IMHO Javascript would be the next logical step. If you've mastered html and css (can one say i've mastered css?) then Javascript is the next step. backend programming and databases of course but that's another and different world
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