Not sure where to start.

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by TheHouse, Aug 28, 2014.

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  1. TheHouse

    TheHouse New Member

    I'm working on a small business website for Safety Training (Self defense, Family Safety, Interview Articles/Videos) I'm learning HTML and CSS with and without Dreamweaver with some success. But I'm having a hard time finding the right type of tutorial or background help on "big picture" design.

    In my head I see a fairly specific outline for our website. Considering our size and financial capacity, we really can't afford to pay a company to help us build and strategize. So here is my question.

    If I could build a site like Popular Mechanics/Popular Science, where would I start in terms of background terms to learn, tutorials to follow and authors to look into. I enjoy this learning process but feel that I would be able to focus in on certain aspects of design if they have a more direct impact on my final structure. Examples of how little I know, Do I need a database to build and archive articles?
    How do I build a Content Manager for my partners to Contribute their articles/interviews for the site?
    Who would you guys (with much more experience) say to look into?

    I've already worked through some beginning tutorials on building pages, connecting FTP and all the "first day" type stuff but I just don't want to waste time if there is better design formats/architecture available.

    I promise to search/re-search and re-re-search any type of key words you folks come up with.


    Someone in way over their head BUT who realizes it's great to learn how to manage it for the long term.
  2. lionel.web

    lionel.web Member

    The FTP is the last thing that you have to see.
    I would say to look tutorials on webdesign and learn html/css.
    THen you try to design it, step by step.
    Also it would be helpful to check the html code, from sites that you like and you find nice.
  3. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    "big picture" design???

    To be honest the ONLY person who can teach you that kind of foresight is YOU, and it's called 'experience'

    Trying to see "the bigger picture" when you only have half a foot in the door simply ISN'T going to happen, having a "grand plan" is fine, but when you are new to the process that 'grand plan' WILL get in the way of you learning what you need to know because it isn't moving quick enough.

    Sites like your two exemplars did not start out to be what they are now, they simply grew into that. And YOU can only learn what is 'right' for your developing site by getting it wrong on occasions.
  4. Frank

    Frank New Member

    To answer two specific questions first: no, you don't need a database to archive articles, but creating a Content Management System (CMS) is for advanced web developers. And even they very often have problems with it. So you should forget about that, for the time being. Unless you would want to use Wordpress, but that limits the layout options for beginners to a great extent. And learning to work with Wordpress even in its simple form takes time, too.

    I would suggest to just continue with the basics. I'd think this is a learning strategy that will cost you the least time:

    1. Start/continue with proper beginner tutorials, which there are plenty of on the interweb: Google search.
    2. Once you've grasped the beginners' matters, continue with Positioning in/with CSS. That is something you will need so often that it should be regarded as Lesson 2. See my signature for a tutorial on that, which covers all positioning methods.
    3. Learn the rest by means of problem-based learning: start designing, and work your way through the problems that you will encounter. Google will practically always come up with an answer, and if not, my tutorials also cover the most occurring other problems.

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