Any fellow web designers out there?

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Any fellow web designers out there?

Postby Laurens » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:42 am

I am starting up my own web design enterprise, my site can be found here http://www.ten-directions.net (its not fully complete yet). Its very early days for me though, I'm starting out by doing some freebies for my friends and family in order to develop a portfolio.

I was just wondering if there was any fellow web designers on Dhamma Wheel. I'm basically just looking for all the advice and tips that I can get about the industry. Any thing that is essential to learn? I am good with Photoshop and I know HTML and CSS, is there anything else that would be an advantage to learn? I plan on looking into Search Engine Optimization at some point also.

Any tips, comments and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes
Laurens
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
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Re: Any fellow web designers out there?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:21 am

Hi, Laurens,
I won't call myself a web designer or the real ones will laugh, but I have done a couple of small sites. Like you, I would like to do more, but unlike you I am not putting much energy into it. :juggling:
Still, a few sites I found useful one way or another:
Site validation: http://validator.w3.org/
What not to do: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/
What to try to emulate: http://www.csszengarden.com/
Fonts: http://www.inspirationbit.com/16-best-loved-font-bits-in-web-design/
Lots more fonts: http://www.fontscape.com/
Intro to php: http://www.php.net/

This last one - php and dynamic pages - is about where I said, 'umm, maybe later' but I've been told it's where I need to go to take my work to the next level.

Good luck!

Kim
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Re: Any fellow web designers out there?

Postby RayfieldNeel » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:43 pm

A little inaccurate to call myself a "web designer", but I am building a new commercial site in a partnership with another fellow. He's more into the "graphic arts" side of thing, and I'm handling the PHP and MySQL stuff for interaction and backend.

I've been a programmer for 20 years, but I'm still new to the PHP/MySQL world; neat stuff, and quite powerful at this point.
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Re: Any fellow web designers out there?

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:49 pm

The other half of "web design" is, as has been mentioned, "web programming". The two go hand-in-hand more often than not these days, but they are very different creatures. If you aren't a programmer, you'll want to find one. Don't expect to be able to learn to code right away -- especially if you want something anywhere in the realm of optimised or secure code.

Perl, PHP, JavaScript are good requirements to have. Experience with database APIs is also a must, though this shouldn't be restricted to relational (e.g., sql) databases. All of these various options have their own pros and cons, so it's important to know when one should use php, or javascript, or perl, or mysql, or postgresql, or a hash database, et cetera.

Install multiple browsers on your computer to check compatibility. What looks great in firefox may look like crap in opera. What looks great in internet explorer... is probably nowhere near html- or css-compliant. *grin*

Flash and Java are optional and mostly unnecessary for anything that isn't fluff (flash) or a "real" application (java).

It all mostly depends on what kind of sites you'll be designing.
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Re: Any fellow web designers out there?

Postby RayfieldNeel » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:28 pm

LOL, I think that you may view Java through a bit of a different lens than I do.

It's been an interesting process getting up to speed with web programming. I have experience going back to the '80's in:

1)Basic (good old TRS-80's)
2)Fortran (engineering school made me do it)
3)Pascal
4)C
5)Visual Basic (my language of choice for quick dev around work)

And now the cocktail of junk that I have to know for webdev. It's not enough to just learn PHP..you have to have a fairly intimate understanding of html, javascript, and of course databases..though, once you've learned the basics of queries and tables, it's all kind of the same.

Thank goodness for online resources. :coffee:
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Re: Any fellow web designers out there?

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:49 pm

RayfieldNeel wrote:LOL, I think that you may view Java through a bit of a different lens than I do.


Possibly. Personally, I think it's a pile of crap.

It's been an interesting process getting up to speed with web programming. I have experience going back to the '80's in:

1)Basic (good old TRS-80's)
2)Fortran (engineering school made me do it)
3)Pascal
4)C
5)Visual Basic (my language of choice for quick dev around work)

And now the cocktail of junk that I have to know for webdev. It's not enough to just learn PHP..you have to have a fairly intimate understanding of html, javascript, and of course databases..though, once you've learned the basics of queries and tables, it's all kind of the same.


I luckily never had to learn fortran. And I've managed to force pascal and vb out of my brain before they caused further damage. I primarily do c and perl. PHP generally only if I'm hacking an existing script. The worst part of learning php is learning all the ways it can be exploited, and how to prevent such things from happening. *sigh* Since the most common relational databases all use SQL, that means (more or less) only one additional language to learn, but there are some (mostly defunct) exceptions. I've seen some web apps, though, that used relational databases when they were entirely unnecessary, or had tables that were so poorly organised that it makes you want to stab your eyes out.
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