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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Why would learning both Photoshop and CorelDraw be of benefit? And QuarkXPress is a desktop publisher. It is not exactly the ideal starting point for someone wanting to get into web design, perhaps if he wanted to go into print design it would be useful but not for web development.
    I don't mean both of it, either photoshop or coreldraw.
    I was studied in UNI and our first steps are those programs, then of course we start learning more related programs, such as HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Nadia P's Avatar
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    You may want to have a read of this by our own DT :-)

    As others have already said - learning html/css is the very first step.
    Learn how to use the graphics program of your choice, or if you don't have a clue about design, you can always sub contract this part out.

    Acutally, I know a few people who run successful web design shops who have no clue about any of this but are great at marketing or sale, so they hire exceptional sub-contractors for coding/programming and designing :-)

  3. #28
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy Slackr's Avatar
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    Okay I'd be hassling some of the lecturers at your College/Uni. They will all have different experiences and have the time to help guide your learning. Part of the whole process will be dipping your feet in the water and seeing what you enjoy doing most. Once you get a good base in something you'll be more inspired to branch out.

    If the listed of skills to learn others have suggested look more daunting than fun I'd be searching for the right place to focus on for my career. If you have a design bent mixed with a web bent, focus on the design theory first. Once you understand design theory you can apply it to web, print, visuals etc.

  4. #29
    SitePoint Addict antirem's Avatar
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    I use the firefox addon "web developer" to do my job.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antirem View Post
    I use the firefox addon "web developer" to do my job.
    What was that in relation to? Also add firebug to that tool box obviously.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    I heard that with firebug, people can edit public webpages to get through password protected sites. Not sure how true this is or what kind of protection levels etc.

    I have never used it, I prefer using emeditor, my text/programming editor for everything.

  7. #32
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I very much doubt the validity of that claim, and for the record, firebug is not a general purpose syntax editor, it is a “live” editor so you can fix bugs and issues as seen on the site in question.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    I have apache on my system with a local version of my site for testing and development anyway so I don't really see the point of a live editor.

  9. #34
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    read Html+Css manulas, and then try yourself to make some liitle sites.
    Good luck!

  10. #35
    SitePoint Enthusiast jrai's Avatar
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    I agree with 'Dreamer' on this one. I started coding by hand in 1999 before ever moving on to using a WYSIWYG, like DreamWeaver. Following that, you should definitely get your hands on some educational tools for PHP and MySQL, easily the most common programming language and database (language) on the Internet today (arguably, I'm sure).

    I have a few recommendations for what got me started out with both.

    1. Like he said, get used to the code before (and if) moving on to a WYSIWYG editor. You'll always run into problems, or something, at some point and if you don't know the code, you're pretty much...well...stuck.

    2. Start off building crappy sites. Sorry. Unless you started out as a gifted designer in the first place and are looking for ways integrate that into and HTML environment, your first dozen or so sites will look so bad you probably won't ever want to show them to anyone. Don't ask me to show you my first dozen attempts. Even looking at them anymore makes me depressed. But you *will* get better and these *will* improve. Slowly. Get used to it, and don't rush into being a freelancer or designer until you can at least match the lowest common denominator...it doesn't have to be TemplateMonster style design right off the bat.

    3. Same goes with PHP. The first time you actually get and retrieve info from a database, you're going to want to celebrate with a glass of vino. Eventually, your tricky and complicated subconscious will fit all the pieces together before you know it. But this all requires patience, and practice.

    4. Before launching a freelance or web design career, make sure you can do at least the minimum projects with the least requirements. You *may* just be able to get away with finding a few easy projects to start out with that may help you get started while honing your skill. However, you probably shouldn't expect to find a dozen awesome projects just yet. Do what you can, don't quit your day job this week (if you have one) *just* yet, and build at least a small portfolio before you launch headfirst into deep waters.

    ...or risk it all. There's nuthin' wrong with that, either, now is there.

    These are my suggestions.

    Best places to learn xHTML, CSS? Here's where I started...loooong ago, but it stays updated:

    www*htmlgoodies*com

    Some great video PHP tutorials are here. Try PHP Programming: The Basics (search for it) here:

    www*vtc*com

    The first sections are free, the more advanced require a membership -- but you'll learn plenty from the first and can find your way from there.

    Hope that helps! Good luck in all that you do.

    -J

  11. #36
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    jrai lets hope it's never template monster style, they have some of the worst code in their templates that I have ever seen in premium temps. I agree your 1st attempts maybe discouraging. I do suggest using something like notepad++ which will highlight syntax.

    Focus is key, find what you like doing and don't try to be the jack of all trades, you are worth more if you are an expert at one aspect vs being half decent at several aspects.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Member watkin29's Avatar
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    Yeah you definitely need to learn hard code if you ever want to work in the field, if not just go build a website with a program that will do it for you.

  13. #38
    SitePoint Enthusiast jrai's Avatar
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    Tux, you know I've never honestly had a chance to look at any of the code from TemplateMonster sites. Truth is, I've never bought from them. But I do know they *look* good, from a graphics angle. Many of my old customers in web design used to always compare the designs they wanted to templates found with those guys. But again, funny that I never actually used one... *shrug*

  14. #39
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Understandable, my experience with them has been gained while redesigning sites which used them. Many do look good they just go about it the wrong way and with non standard code, images where CSS could be used, proprietary tags, etc. etc. But they are a template mill so I would expect no less.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    I agree with all the other posts, but, being a bit more specific to yourself, being a student, here is what I have to say.

    Start off with learning HTML, XHTML and CSS, in Microsoft Notepad, with Sitepoint's - Build Your Own Website The Right Way Using HTML & CSS, 2nd Edition.

    As you begin to master the language syntax of XHTML and CSS and can build small, 2-4 page Websites in Notepad that are W3C XHTML 1.0 Strict valid and CSS 2.1 valid code, you can then purchase Sitepoint's - The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks & Techniques - PDF Only for graphic Web design help in Adobe Photoshop. Ofcourse, by this time it would be a good idea to purchase Adobe Web Premium - Student Edition for $549, although, according to Adobe's website, instructors throughout Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) are using Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection software already! So you would just be purchasing that for use at home.

    After learning the basics of building a Website with XHTML and CSS by hand in Microsoft Notepad, and also having some graphic design technique and skills behind you, you could then advanced your CSS skills with Sitepoint's - The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks, 2nd Edition to build more robust and fancier Websites.

    By this time you should be well on your way to becoming a master Website designer :P. We then want to add some functionality and interactivity into our Websites so we can have a look at JavaScript with Sitepoint's - Simply JavaScript which really will help you in the basics to intermediate of JavaScript.

    After doing all of this you should be a moderately good Web Designer both graphically and front-end code wise, but also be able to hand code too. The hand coding will come after around a year or two of studying it. It will come eventually though . Took me 2-3 years, but I know XHTML and CSS off by heart now .

    If by this time you want to carry on with coding then you should look at the PHP Manual and coding PHP and MySQL in either Adobe Dreamweaver or look at PHPDesigner.

    Goodluck with everything!

    Andrew Cooper

  16. #41
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Use something like notepad++ not just notepad, the syntax highlighting is a major plus, no need to switch to dreamweaver for php/mysql no matter what editor you start with.

  17. #42
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuxus View Post
    Use something like notepad++ not just notepad, the syntax highlighting is a major plus, no need to switch to dreamweaver for php/mysql no matter what editor you start with.
    I agree about using Notepad++ for the syntax highlighting because it's easier to read ofcourse. However, I would recommend Microsoft Notepad over Notepad++ at the beginning of learning because it doesn't have auto-completion with it. Something that I sometimes find annoying when coding in Dreamweaver where it auto-completes code for me, making the development faster yes, but when I switch to coding in MS Notepad, I have to remember to not be lazy and actually type the whole code tags and so on. So it does mess with your head slightly if you get too comfortable with auto-completion.

    Besides, not having auto-completion during learning the syntax and language will help you in remembering and drumming it into you and the same goes for after learning it too.

    Back to Notepad++, I agree it should be used and is a great editor.

    And I agree about not having to switch to Dreamweaver or any other editor for PHP / MySQL editing, because it can be done in MS Notepad too or Notepad++, however, although I currently do PHP / MySQL in Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, I am, at this time, looking into PHP IDE's such as Eclipse, Zend Studio with Eclipse and PHP Designer. I believe that if you are going to be a fully fledged coder at any language, you should have the best IDE you can for each.

    For example, I use Dreamweaver for HTML, XHTML and CSS, however, in the future I will code PHP / MySQL in a seperate PHP specific IDE and the same goes for C++ which I sometimes just code in Notepad and same for ActionScript, however, when it comes to compiling and so on, I ofcourse use MS Visual C++ Express Studio 2008 for C and C++ compiling and Flash Pro CS3 for ActionScript compiling. Etcetera.

    Andrew Cooper

  18. #43
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Autocomplete can be turned on or off in most editors including notepad++ (i think it's actually off by default). Depending on which OS I am using I either use VIM or notepad++. I don't feel a need for an IDE for PHP, I have used Eclipse (more for other non-web languages though) as well as Zend Studio, although I found they helped with debugging I didn't find that they were any better than a syntax highlighting text editor as far as proper coding goes.

    notepad just isn't suited to writing code, to me anything without syntax highlighting really wasn't designed to handle doing so, it makes little sense at that point to use notepad when better alternatives exist.

    just my 2 cents.

  19. #44
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    Hmm. See, I agree with what you say when you mention about anything without syntax highlighting wasn't really designed to handle coding, but, try telling that to my college tutors and they'll laugh and say MS Notepad is fine, don't need a free alternative which is better and easier to begin coding in.

    And thats where everything comes to a crossing. One minute the professionals who are writing, blogging and posting about the industry says this and that, then next minute my "professional experienced and qualified" tutors are saying the other. =/ Just gets confusing and frustrating when I try pursuading them to install GIMP or Paint.NET and Notepad++ on the college computers and they say don't bother with it.

    Andrew Cooper

  20. #45
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    When I was in college I experienced the same thing, not to get too far off topic but in many cases the saying is true, "those who can't do, teach". Everyone has a different way of doing things, the key is to find what works best for you. Can you code in notepad, yes, is it the most effective and productive environment to use, no.


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