Need Advice on what I should do next?

I finally finished learning XHTML & CSS from the head first book I bought.

Now I know that I need to put all this into practice and I need some advice on what I should be doing.

Currently I have started on my own portfolio website and I will think of other ideas to practice the code side of things.

What I need advice on is what to delve into next, I can’t really put the code into practice without coming up with a process that I will eventually follow when I build sites for clients.

Should I research the process side of things and then that way I’ll have an idea of how to plan my portfolio site and then I can go from there and do what needs done before I start to code it.

Hope this makes sense.
Basically looking advice on what I should be doing to set myself up for practising what I’ve learned from XHTML & CSS.


Hi aaronjunited. Welcome to the forums. :slight_smile:

It’s good idea to keep studying and learning, because there’s a lot to learn. I like to look at sites I admire and study how they were done, by using Inspect Element in Chrome etc.

A good way to go about building a site is to start with the cotent. Work out what needs to be said, then work out a logical arrangement for that content—whether it be one page or multiple pages. As you organize that content logically, a layout starts to appear. Use that as the basis for your layout, then gradually add some decoration to finish it off.

If you don’t have any further projects to work on, then perhaps seu up a portfolio of individual pages, where you experiment with various kinds of design.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:

[FONT=verdana]Hi Aaron,

The most important thing for you at this stage is to actually create a site. It doesn’t have to be a real project for a client. Just think of something that might be moderately useful or interesting for you and your friends, and then start building the site. Experiment with the different techniques you have learned, and get people to evaluate the results for you.

As Ralph says, you also need to keep studying. But your studies will be more meaningful if you have an actual site (or two) where you can put your learning into practice.

Good luck.

I wrote on the subject (well, it addresses the subject) of how new designers can get a foot in the door.

Yeah, yeah, shameless pimping, I know, but the idea behind the articles is legit. Doing pro bono sites for charities and NPOs is a proven way of getting yourself in the marketplace.

If you have no work currently then build a portfolio of template type sites that you can use as you need them, for example, ecommerce, cms, blog, business sites. you may find you have a particular talent for custom Facebook pages. I find it easrier if I have a goal or better still a brief to work to. Maybe head over to and browse the website contests to get some ideas.

Thanks everyone for the help and advice. Much appreciated. I have decided to learn the process of web design, each step so that I can learn how to design from the start as if I had a client.
I’m then going to build my own portfolio website so I have it ready and add any sites I build from there.