Ultra Beginner Questions for a first time web designer
I am just about to start my very first web design, but before I do, I would like to know what programs I will need to purchase to make sure I have the tools (not skills yet mind you) to make a top notch web design.
I figure that if I can ever hope to improve, I should probably find the courage and will to use most of the main programs used by professional web designers. My first guess would be Illustrator and Photoshop, but I am sure there are more programs I should own as a web designer and work and improve on my knowledge with them.
I would first suggest picking up some books from SitePoint. Along with that I would suggest either downloading the trial versions of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 or even paying for the subscription for either Dreamweaver, Photoshop or the complete suite ($80.00/mo).
The most important tool you'll be needing is a solid text editor for writing code.
What platform are you on?
For OS X (Mac), I can recommend Panic's Coda, TextMate, and Espresso.
For other platforms (Linux, Windows), have a look at some of these threads.
Some universal code editors/IDEs are vim (free), Komodo Edit (free), and Sublime Text 2.
It'll take some time to find the tool you're most comfortable with, but all the commercial offerings do have a trial version that allow you to thoroughly test the application before committing to any of them.
As for graphic design tools, that's a bit tricky. Photoshop (raster) is very bloated, but it is seen as the standard. Other options would be Fireworks (vector), InkScape (vector), Illustrator (vector), Paint.net (raster), and the Gimp (raster). There are plenty more, but these are the ones I know.
I wouldn't spend a dime just yet. Text editors such as Notepad++ and TextMate are free, as are a wealth of Net-based tutorials and resources. Beginning books are good, such as SP's own Build your Own Website the Right Way, Alex Dawson's Getting Started Building Websites, and O'Reilly's Head First HTML with CSS, but not an absolute necessity
Echoing others here. Don't spend money just yet. Dreamweaver and Photoshop are fantastic tools, but when you're just starting out you should test the waters with some free - but still excellent - alternatives.
Gimp or Paint.net instead of Photoshop
A text editor and FTP program (Notepad ++ and Filezilla perhaps) instead of Dreamweaver
Inkscape instead of Illustrator
You can also get trial versions of the Dreamweaver, et al from Adobe's site.
Online Video tutorial are the best way to learn the web designing as you can see how the code work. There are lot's of online tutorial and books online but it's for those who know already how to code the design and looking for advanced level experience. But for those who are really new to web designing must go with Video tutorial.