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Web designing studies


SmokingMan
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I've been building web sites as a hobby, but would like to maybe make a little money on the side designing sites for others. Other than the obvious, HTML, XHTML, and JavaScript, what other areas of study would be good as a core of web building subjects to know? For example, would server-side languages and database integration be handy to know? Any suggestions on what would be helpful to know? I don't have the time or money to take classes, so what ever I learn I will be teaching myself at home.

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if you've got a mastery of standard XHTML and CSS, javascript, then the next step (in my opinion) is PHP, and then add MySQL database interactions to PHP.It also helps to have a good understanding of how Apache (or IIS or w/e) work, such as configuration files and modifications and such.then you've got ASP, .NET, ColdFusion, hmm.. what else. I know there are more. That should keep you busy for a while, though.happy learning :)

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Yikes, I've pretty much got CSS, (X)HTML, and I'm learning Javascript. But it looks like I got a long road ahead of me... :s

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...JSP, CGI, etc.If you want to design pages for people (as in graphical design, layout of a page), I would learn Photoshop, and maybe browse through various websites and pick up some recurrences of menu navbars, their position in relation to the content. Flash perhaps. But to make a complete web application (interactive pages), you'd need, like mpoer said, a scripting language like php/asp/coldfusion combined with database SQL/mySQL.

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Jonas touches on an important aspect of your question. That is, understand that the web development "industry" is more or less divided into four sections that you will have to pick from.

  • multimedia/web design
  • web development
  • database administration
  • network administration

Can you do them all - not likely. Can you do three of the four, hmmm maybe but I wouldn't recommend it. Could you do two of the four - absolutely - the most reasonable way to go. Could you do one of the four, sure - but you're not likely to have too much job flexibilty.Please understand that those are huge generalizations. I only make a good living as a web developer because I've owned my own business and have other responsibilities(ie. client and project management) - I'm primarily just a programmer. I, by the way, am 100% self taught - so far that has proven a huge benefit.But knowing two of the areas gives you a better more applicable knowledge base and skill set. But you have to have some forethought as to what you think you will be most confortable doing. Personally, I think a web developer and database administrator go best together. But a network administrator fairs well with web development or database administration. Graphic design really only works well with web development.

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Can you do them all - not likely. Can you do three of the four, hmmm maybe but I wouldn't recommend it. Could you do two of the four - absolutely - the most reasonable way to go. Could you do one of the four, sure - but you're not likely to have too much job flexibilty.
You may not be a master at 3 or 4 but you need to know a little of each. For exaple if you are a web designer/developer you have to understand database admin for your programs...you may not know everything there is but you need a little.I have been a web designer for 6 years now [(X)HTML,CSS,JS], a developer[web,desktop] for nearly 4 years [VB,C#,JAVA,.Net,PERL,] and am learning PHP and C/C++, I have also been playing with databases for 4 years
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have the basic understanding of XHTML and CSS, and I'm currently working on learning JavaScript. The programming end is more of what I'm interested in, although database management and integration is also more along my field of interest. As far as web design, I think that most anyone can learn how to use WYSIWYG editors, but you need to know the workings of the code behind them. That's why I'm more interested in the coding aspects of web development.I can see I've got a ways to go yet, but with a little work, who knows.

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I feel it is necessary to distinguish between web design and web development - they are two totally different things.Design is not limited to the graphical element of a site. It also, technically, involves the planning and layout of the user interface and even, to some extent, the structure of the entire site.Development is really strictly related to the creation of the code that creates the user interface.I just say that cuz it bugs me to hear people say they are web designers when they are just Graphic Designers and they have NO understanding of anything else that makes a website user friendly and expandable.(just more $.02):)

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I feel it is necessary to distinguish between web design and web development - they are two totally different things.Design is not limited to the graphical element of a site.  It also, technically, involves the planning and layout of the user interface and even, to some extent, the structure of the entire site.Development is really strictly related to the creation of the code that creates the user interface.I just say that cuz it bugs me to hear people say they are web designers when they are just Graphic Designers and they have NO understanding of anything else that makes a website user friendly and expandable.(just more $.02):)

Hey that is worth at least $.05 :)
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absolutly guys, there are soo many levels makeing of web sites. I must say, I think it is best to know a bit of everything, though you don't need to be a master. I'm a web designer (XHTML/CSS), web developer (PHP/javascript), database manager (MySQL), and I know some of the basics of TCP/IP and how to install/config Apache (and the OS, too). But hey, I've been doing this for a while, and I consider myself a very devoted computer nerd.If you don't have a teamof designers or developers at your disposal, who is going to put a design to your program, or a script/content for your design?I guess the only thing I feel I don't have is graphic design. I've managed to fair all right so far, but I've definaly had situations where I wish I had a banner, logo, etc for a web site. When I start my computer services company Nerd Herd Computer Services (http://www.fix-computer.tk yes a shamless plug), I'll have to hire out for a logo because I'm just not talented with graphics or drawing.That's my situation and views. Take what you will from them.

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Did I mention that if you are creating your own web site, you ought to know a bit about writing and literature. You want your words to flow and logical and such. Good practice for this is getting a blog and trying to write at least a few posts a week.*hint: always spell check

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I do understand the difference between design and development. I would like to know enough of each to be able to contribute what is needed for the development and design of the site. But, when it comes to graphical talent, I'm afraid there's nothing short of divine intervention that would allow me do design a logo or banner. I know the basics of Paint Shop Pro, and can do some very minor things, but I have no talent in that area. If there is an artisitic gene, I was born without it :) So I'll need to concentrate more on the technical expertise needed to code the site and make it do what the owner of the site wants it to do. I'll depend on others for graphical design.***by the way...if I didn't go over each post two or three times, my spelling would be horrible...where in the heck is the spell check feature anyway :)

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