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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member Samuel Moren's Avatar
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    Cool Need Help Learning Web Development

    Hello all and thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am in need of some advice.

    I would very much like to learn how to develop web sites, from the ground up with all the features and programming included to make full rich interactive sites (like we see out there every day).

    I have some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and some other bits and pieces. I read a book about ASP.NET and some other misc stuff, but nothing to really get a good handle on things.

    I need some advice on almost a "lesson plan" of sorts. Where to start and where to go from there...

    There are so many choices out there to learn:

    HTML5
    Java
    PHP/SQL
    ASP.NET
    C#/VB#
    MS SQL
    CSS

    and the list goes on forever...

    I know HTML and CSS are the core of any website and are a must, but where do I go from there?

    Also, do I want to use Dreamweaver or Visual Studio or just something like Notepad ++?

    I know there are a lot of schools out there that offer training in these things, but without going into a huge story that no one here wants to hear, I just need to learn this myself.

    I can buy some items, especially books and I can even get a copy of the latest Dreamweaver if needed.

    Any help you all can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Sam

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Hi Samuel Moren. Welcome to the forums.

    The bedrock of the web is HTML and CSS, so I'd advise you to start there. There are many good books, online courses and web resources (blogs, forums etc) for learning these. (I recommend starting with a book, then moving on to the other options to consolidate.)

    Then it's worth getting some programming under your belt. JavaScript is good for making fancy things happen in the browser, but learning JS is a big task, and there are simpler alternatives (at least in the short term) like using jQuery (a ready-made collection of JS functions). There are many free scripts (for doing things like animated galleries) that you can plug straight in to your pages without having to understand how JS works.

    A server side language is also good to have, although again, that's a steep learning curve. You listed a whole bunch of them (like Java, PHP, ASP etc.) but you only need one to get the job done. The most standard route to go is to learn PHP. Then you can build fully functional, dynamic websites. Again, though, there is a massive shortcut: use a content management system (CMS), which is a software package written in something like PHP that has all the functions already written for you. Using a CMS, you can have a very snazzy site up in minutes. Then, over time, as you learn how PHP works, you can modify the functionality, and in the end, create your own CMS if you are so inclined.

    You can offer great web design services with a good grounding in HTML and CSS, and by using jQuery and a CMS. Then, gradually, learning more about JS and PHP, as time permits.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member Samuel Moren's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for your help Ralph!

    Can you suggest a really good book to start with? I have looked at quite a few but they are either way to basic or way to out there.

    Also, should I get either Dreamweaver or Visual studio or learn with a more simple notepad software? There are a lot of opinions out there on this and it seems to depend more on the book authors point of view then anything.

    Thanks again!

    Sam

  4. #4
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Moren View Post
    Can you suggest a really good book to start with? I have looked at quite a few but they are either way to basic or way to out there.
    I've only read a few, of course, as you only need one, but what I find really useful is the reviews that come with each book on Amazon. I find them very helpful in deciding if a book is right for me.

    A few I'd look at would be:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008SLZHKQ
    http://www.amazon.com/Stylin-CSS-Des.../dp/0321858476
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0596159900

    Also, should I get either Dreamweaver or Visual studio or ...
    I would recommend you steer clear of those. They are more attractive to people who don't want to learn web design properly—who just want software to spit out code for them—but you'll end up producing lousy websites that way. You can just use them as a pure code editor, and they have a lot of nice functions for that, but the price tag is not worth it in that case (as you'd be buying a ton of stuff you don't need). There are lots of brilliant code editors for either a vastly smaller price or free, and that's more than enough to do web work. (I've listed some here.)

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member Samuel Moren's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot Ralph for your great input. I am going to read the Head First HTML book and I will use notepad++ to start with.

    Have an awesome day!!

    Sam

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

  6. #6
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Great, Sam. Let us know how you go. And, of course, if you have any questions, this is a great place to get them answered.


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