: Web design?


czechsmola
May 6th, 2008, 07:40 AM
Hi everyone I just have a quick question, I have would like to start learning to design web pages, but I am not really sure were to start. Is it possible to use Iweb to design a web page for someone else or is it more for personal use. if its not then what are some good programs and then would there be a way for them to edit them selves from a pc?

guytoronto
May 6th, 2008, 08:42 AM
For coding of webpages, Dreamweaver is king.

For graphics, you might consider Fireworks. Both are available as part of the Adobe Web Design Standard Suite.

It's best to learn HTML, PHP, and CSS for the background coding.

dmpP
May 6th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Webmonkey: The Web Developer's Resource (http://www.webmonkey.com)

a bunch of great free tutorials to help get you started

Tereno
May 6th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Smashing Magazine (http://www.smashingmagazine.com) is a nice site to go to as well.

bgw
May 6th, 2008, 10:44 AM
Books can be a great place to start. Using tools like DreamWeaver (my first choice for creating websites) is great but you really should learn what is going on beneath the surface. Where to start with books:

If you know absolutely nothing the Dummies series of books may help.

If you are already half aware of what is going on, ex know what HTML is but don't know how to code it, possibly the O'Reilly Head First books might be good.

If you are a knowledgeable computer person (you know how to program, or understand IT) the regular O'Reilly books are great.

Ideally you should go down to your local bookstore and check the books out. Find one that appeals to you; it covers the area of interest at your desired starting point.

Lastly you should check out the book reviews on Chapters, Amazon etc. The book that most appeals to you may get bad reviews for a not so obvious reason.

There are some great online resources to, Webmonkey (mentioned earlier) being one of them.

dmpP
May 6th, 2008, 11:28 AM
Do you want to learn how to design or program?

There's a big difference.

If you're thinking of going into the web design world for work down the road, you would be a good asset to a company if you were strong in both categories.

bgw
May 6th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Good observation dmpP.

I come from a coding perspective. I can whip together a great website really quickly. It have a lot of neat features. It will also be as ugly as hell!:(

I can't bridge the gap between programming and design; those that can are rare and valuable. If you can have a foot in both camps you will be that much further ahead.

jeepguy
May 6th, 2008, 12:41 PM
For coding of webpages, Dreamweaver is king.

For graphics, you might consider Fireworks. Both are available as part of the Adobe Web Design Standard Suite.

It's best to learn HTML, PHP, and CSS for the background coding.

I agree, I love it. But I still do a lot of hand coding (tweaking), so I would agree with the learn part as well.

Paddy
May 6th, 2008, 04:51 PM
I started out by teaching myself GoLive and learned the coding as I went along. I now use Dreamweaver and do a fair bit of hand-tweaking of the code. I always have the split view open - everything I do on the design side, I can see in the code.

Along the way, I've used many, many resources online to solve problems and learn new things. Looking at the code of sites you admire is always helpful too.

I would NOT recommend iWeb unless you just want to do a personal site. It doesn't allow you to truly mess around at the code level and has the most ridiculous site structure I've ever seen. (Every page is like a site unto itself) Among other issues...

Dreamweaver has a lot of built-in basic templates to get you started (just layout, not really design) - so you can start to learn the structure of a page with CSS layout by seeing what it does.

As for graphics, I use Photoshop, but Fireworks and Photoshop Elements are also good choices.

The downside of Dreamweaver and Photoshop is the cost of the software - neither are cheap. If you qualify for the student/educator discount, by all means use it as it cuts the cost by almost 2/3. And the web CS3 Suite has everything you'll need.

There are some free and cheaper alternatives depending on what you want to do. KompoZer is the free and most recent outgrowth of Netscape Composer/NVU:

KompoZer - Easy web authoring (http://www.kompozer.net/)

It's not as sophisticated as Dreamweaver of course, but could certainly get you started.

psxp
May 6th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Yes, a good alternative is NVU. I usually put my friends onto that.. saves getting HTML docs that come from MS WOrd ;-)

chas_m
May 6th, 2008, 06:16 PM
As echoed above, there are three "areas" of "web design" now:

1. "I don't want to learn any coding, but I want a nice-looking web page mostly for personal use."

That would be the domain of iWeb, Freeway Lite, RapidWeaver, NVU, Sandvox and suchlike

2. "I want to design -- really design -- web pages, not work from templates, but I'm more of a designer than a programmer type."

Now you're talking Dreamweaver.

3. "I wear a propeller beanie on my head. I want to learn all the code that does the heavy lifting -- leave the design to the sissy boys!" :)

This is more accurately referred to as "web programming" rather than "design," and there really aren't many people out there who can do both stunningly well. Those who can command a lot of money, but the back-end boys do pretty darn well too -- because they have to work with code and databases and boring stuff like that. Pretty sites are one thing, but a smooth secure credit-card handling site that can check inventory against orders -- that's worth it's weight in gold.

If you think you're into that, you want to start by learning languages: PHP, Python, Ruby -- then on to scripting like XML, CSS, XHTML and good old HTML -- and then how to connect it to custom databases and merchant engines (SQL, WebObjects and suchlike). It's a brainset I cannot even begin to comprehend, but my brother in law is a whiz at it.

My advice: try a little of everything and find out what you're good at, because in any of these areas its important to love what you do. The passion and imagination (or LACK THEREOF) shows on every page.

BobbyFett
May 12th, 2008, 07:35 PM
I used to use Dreamweaver, but dropped it when it's tableless HTML support wasn't what it might be (it might've improved since). In my opinion, I wouldn't go near it as a beginner these days, just in case it encourages bad habits.

I use the holy trinity of TextMate + CSS Edit + Transmit.

As well as Photoshop / Illustrator obviously.

You could try Coda also.

TextMate - TextMate — The Missing Editor for Mac OS X (http://macromates.com/)
CSSEdit - MacRabbit - CSSEdit - Web 2.0 in Style (http://macrabbit.com/cssedit/)
Transmit - Panic - Transmit 3 - The next-generation Mac OS X FTP client! (http://www.panic.com/transmit/)

Coda - Panic - Coda - One-Window Web Development for Mac OS X (http://www.panic.com/coda/)

CubaMark
May 12th, 2008, 07:50 PM
Wow - over a dozen posts, and nobody has mentioned BBEdit (http://www.barebones.com/products/bbedit/) yet? :o

Wako
May 13th, 2008, 12:06 AM
I do web development for a living, and have been using TextWrangler to do all my HTML and PHP, CyberDuck for FTP. I had started with Dreamweaver but ended up wasting too much time only to hand-edit the code at the end, so I went back to manual editing.

guytoronto
May 13th, 2008, 12:22 AM
I do web development for a living, and have been using TextWrangler to do all my HTML and PHP, CyberDuck for FTP. I had started with Dreamweaver but ended up wasting too much time only to hand-edit the code at the end, so I went back to manual editing.

Less flash = better web pages.

dmpP
May 13th, 2008, 12:32 AM
I do web development for a living, and have been using TextWrangler to do all my HTML and PHP, CyberDuck for FTP. I had started with Dreamweaver but ended up wasting too much time only to hand-edit the code at the end, so I went back to manual editing.

I do webdev too... I use bbedit and transmit (for sftp, ftp, etc).

Having said that, when dealing with clients and their "uh oh" word files... I export as a web page from word, open up in DW, run the automatic clean word code function, run multiple mass search replaces, clean up the rest by hand, and then go into bbedit (sometimes I work in DW... but in code view.

Anyways... check out my site... let me know what you think... dmpp : David Michael Pisarek Productions [version 6.0] | David Pisarek - Toronto GTA Area Ontario Canada (http://dmpp.net)

honeycomb
May 13th, 2008, 12:50 AM
For coding of webpages, Dreamweaver is king.

For graphics, you might consider Fireworks. Both are available as part of the Adobe Web Design Standard Suite.

It's best to learn HTML, PHP, and CSS for the background coding.

A good question asked above by another poster. "Are you designing or coding?" A lot of designers can do both...

Dreamweaver is pretty sweet, it's earned a name for itself and rightly so! Couple it with Photoshop and you can create some amazing sites.

I've been designing and building sites for 10 years and I would say the same advice I got when I started... "learn to hand code first".

You'll definitely need to learn how to hand code both CSS and HTML. If you like coding sooner or later you'll be wanting to learn server side, client side and Database scripting (PHP, JavaScript and SQL).

I stared out using ASP / MSSQL (Mircosoft), but you'll find out that many opensource scripts are created in PHP and MySQL and they will save you lots of time and money, plus you can help contribute back to the community.

If you use opensource, always give back and always give credit where it's due.

PS. If you want to learn via Video Training checkout Lynda (dot) com for some great vids that teach you photoshop, html, flash etc, etc..

have fun!

mguertin
May 13th, 2008, 04:10 PM
Wow - over a dozen posts, and nobody has mentioned BBEdit (http://www.barebones.com/products/bbedit/) yet? :o

I gave up on BBEdit a while back. They used to be really on top of things, but in the last few years they have really let things slide. FOr example their color syntax engine has some major issues, which I took up with their tech support. Long story short, they basically told me "Too bad, deal with it". I purchased BBEdit at version 3.x and had been upgrading ever since.

I switched to Texwrangler (formerly BBEdit Lite) because the color syntax stuff worked better, but it still had issues. It did everything I needed that BBEdit did, but the upside is that every 8 months I didn't have to buy an upgrade to keep things running with the latest OS releases.

I have since switched to TextMate ... which is fantastic. Hands down it has the best (and most extensible) color syntax engine out there. It is also super customizable, the macro abilities are second to none. Couple this with Expandrive (an app that lets you mount SFTP/ssh shares as volumes on your desktop) and I haven't looked back since.

psxp
May 13th, 2008, 04:44 PM
hey all,

I actually am a backend programmer.. more ASP/ASP.Net and SQL now..
I lack the talent to get the design side of the sites done well.. lol! but I work for corporate systems that do a lot of back end processing from very basic web forms so no big deal.
I use Visual Studio obviously in my environment, and at home for my own sites I have started to use Dreamweaver.

having an understanding of the basic HTML/Script code is essential to doing debugging work.

Its been great to read what others are doing.

cheers

matriculated
May 13th, 2008, 04:52 PM
I see a lot of responses on what tools to use but what about the design part? Besides going back to school ;) I suggest you read this article (and the linked pdf) on grids.
Khoi Vinh & Mark Boulton: Grids are Good (http://www.lifeclever.com/khoi-vinh-mark-boulton-grids-are-good/)

I find that grids are the easiest way to make a nice clean design "if you don't know how to design". They're a great foundation to build upon because it forces you to use some of the most used design principles: alignment, consitency, order, etc. Also, the book, A Non-Designers Design Book is a great intro to graphic design in a easy to read format:
Amazon.ca: The Non-Designer's Design Book: Robin Williams: Books (http://www.amazon.ca/Non-Designers-Design-Book-Robin-Williams/dp/0321193857)

guytoronto
May 13th, 2008, 05:33 PM
The biggest thing to get right?

Easy, intelligent navigation!!!

bgw
May 13th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Come to this forum, learn something new everyday:

Also, the book, A Non-Designers Design Book is a great intro to graphic design in a easy to read format:
Amazon.ca: The Non-Designer's Design Book: Robin Williams: Books (http://www.amazon.ca/Non-Designers-Design-Book-Robin-Williams/dp/0321193857)

I think I'm going to get that book since all the sites I've designed look like crap. My new questions: Will the book help me talk to designers? Will we share a common language such that I can articulate any ideas about design I have?

johnnyspade
May 13th, 2008, 08:32 PM
I think the WYSIWYG tools are great for coding quickly but they don't help much when things go wrong. You have to know the basics of HTML to work through inevitable coding problems. I see HTML forums littered with posts from people who have created something with a Dreamweaver, Contribute or Rapidweaver and now something is not lining up correctly and they're trying to use that same editor to solves the problem which can be really frustrating.

You don't need to be an expert, but a little bit of HTML and CSS knowledge will go a really long way, especially if you have a need to integrate 3rd party applications into your website.

pcronin
Jun 27th, 2009, 05:40 PM
I usually stick with plain text editors, maybe with syntax highlighting (Notepad++ does highlighting), but usually just TextEdit, or vi if I'm on a remote *nix machine.

I personally prefer nice minimalistic designs (like my band's site Out of NoWhere (http://nowheremusic.ca) ). Clean pages, Easy to find/use navigation, info where it should be and not cluttering other pages.

If it's just personal, and you want things to just look good, maybe some all in one solutions like square space would be good. If you're looking to learn design/programing to make a consulting/site building business then the books and sites listed here are good places to start.

Don't forget the "mom test". after you make your site, let your (or a friend's) mom sit down and navigate it. If she has no problems, you're pretty much set :)

bgw
Jun 27th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Don't forget the "mom test". after you make your site, let your (or a friend's) mom sit down and navigate it. If she has no problems, you're pretty much set :)

If you think Steve Jobs would like your site, your also possibly set!

CubaMark
Jun 27th, 2009, 08:12 PM
BBedit? I heard of this software before but I don't think that its the best start off software.

Au contraire, EMKarelia (by the way, how on earth are you navigating ehMac? You seem to have a talent for resurrecting ancient threads!)

BBEdit, like any plain text editor, is a very good way to begin learning web coding, since an understanding of the underlying HTML code is essential to future troubleshooting.

Let me add a +1 to BobbyFett's recommendation of Panic Software's CODA. It's a unique approach that works well with some brain types ;)

macfoto
Jun 27th, 2009, 11:25 PM
I'll just add to this thead by mentioning the tools that are available within browsers to check your web pages, such as the web developer toolbar and Firebug extensions for Firefox. Safari also has a tool built in: enable the developer menu in the preferences.