Is It Important To Learn HTML, PHP, CSS For Internet Marketing?

47 replies
Hey guys.

I had a thought today and realized how little I know about the coding side of internet marketing. I've been outsourcing and using programs when ever I need to worry about them.

I never bothered to learn HTML, PHP, CSS, and all the rest of them... Maybe I've done the wrong thing...

With all the programs that make these simple, I never found a good enough reason to devote time to learn them.

Do you know your coding? And how important are they to learn for internet marketers?

- Trevor
#css #html #important #internet #learn #marketing #php
  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Morgan
    Absolutely. I started out as a coder and got into Marketing, so its a bit different than your situation, but I can tell you this:

    It's really, really handy to be able to do your own stuff.

    If you have an idea for something custom or want to save some money, being able to build it yourself is worth every minute of time you spend learning how to do it.

    Plus, when you need to fix something you can do it yourself right then and there rather than waiting for someone.

    If I were you I would head over to W3Schools and start reading up!
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    • Profile picture of the author Trevor M
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Morgan View Post

      Absolutely. I started out as a coder and got into Marketing, so its a bit different than your situation, but I can tell you this:

      It's really, really handy to be able to do your own stuff.

      If you have an idea for something custom or want to save some money, being able to build it yourself is worth every minute of time you spend learning how to do it.

      Plus, when you need to fix something you can do it yourself right then and there rather than waiting for someone.

      If I were you I would head over to W3Schools and start reading up!
      Thanks for the resource Jeremy. Anyone else have any great resources where we can all learn?
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      • Profile picture of the author johnes4th
        Originally Posted by Trevor M View Post

        Thanks for the resource Jeremy. Anyone else have any great resources where we can all learn?
        I had zero coding skills, aside from basic HTML stuff. I don't remember how I found it, but Code Academy has been ideal for me... they send you a weekly course to complete (plus it's free).

        I don't really know why I decided to start... I guess I felt like I *should* have a basic understanding since all of my work in online.

        Homepage (not affiliated with this in any way - aside from using it myself)- http://www.codecademy.com/

        If don't want to feel like you are spending a lot of time learning, this is a good option because it takes 30 min - 1 hour per week. Plus, the modules seem to build well off of each other.

        While I will never be a great coder (probably not even an average one), it is nice to know that I have a foundation to build on as I need it.
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    • Profile picture of the author breex
      Thanks for the link to the w3 school! I've had to teach myself what little I know about coding and I'm glad I was able to learn to and want to learn more. I can't say for sure if it is really needed to be a sucess in IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    When I first started building sites online around 2003, I
    learned the basics of HTML.

    However, back then, there weren't as many easy tools
    like WordPress to get content up on the web quickly.

    Since then, I've learned the very basics of php and how
    to FTP my site etc, so I'm not reliant on anyone to
    control my sites.

    However, if I was to start over again today, I don't
    think that I'd delve too deeply into learning coding.

    Maybe learn the basics, but hire coders for the more
    advanced stuff.

    If you can find outsourcers that are competent at
    coding and you can trust them, then leverage their
    expertise so you can focus more on the marketing
    of your business.

    Coding is low dollar work. Marketing is high dollar
    work with the potential for much higher returns.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author suavewarrior
    Well now these days everything can be outsourced whether your lazy(me) or just wanna create some time for other projects (me again). But i think its good to know the basic. Your job as the entrepreneur is to work on your business and not in your business. They create and you market.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Canlas
    I learned all of HTML when i started IM, but picked up just enough PHP CSS and javascript to tweak sites, scripts, and templates. It does help a bit but I don't think its necessary to fully learn them. All the hard stuff can always be outsourced. Focus on the money making ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasono
    Not necessary but it's a big plus. It's going to be easy if you know them though but if you just use brain then everything's going to be fine. If you don't know it, you can hire people though.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Even if you know wordpress, wordpress is built with code, CSS, html, php...if you want to customize it, then you need to learn some code, at least a little bit.

    You have much more potential starting out if you have some coding knowledge. If you're already pretty well entrenched in this and making decent money, then why not continue to outsource...

    I have a web design company, which of course I need to know my stuff, even if I have people I outsource to. Know what I know, in web design, coding, AND SEO has enabled me to do quite a bit more with internet marketing than I ever would have anticipated being able to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    You don't have to know anything about this stuff to be successful.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say - if you don't already have some technical knowledge - don't bother unless you find a need to.

    You can get people who live and breath this stuff to do anything you need done.

    There are way too many elements and options for you to need to spend your time trying to be an expert in them all - it just dilutes your efforts.

    Think of it like your car - you don't need to be a mechanic to get good use of your car, you just need to know when to take it to an expert to get it looked after.

    Sure it helps if you know some stuff and can help yourself - but you'll never be as good at everything as all the people you could get to do it instead.

    Don't try and do it all - just learn what you need to know to overcome the barriers you have and let other people use their skill and passion in areas that make sense whenever possible.

    Andy
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author Trevor M
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      You don't have to know anything about this stuff to be successful.

      In fact, I'd go so far as to say - if you don't already have some technical knowledge - don't bother unless you find a need to.

      You can get people who live and breath this stuff to do anything you need done.

      There are way too many elements and options for you to need to spend your time trying to be an expert in them all - it just dilutes your efforts.

      Think of it like your car - you don't need to be a mechanic to get good use of your car, you just need to know when to take it to an expert to get it looked after.

      Sure it helps if you know some stuff and can help yourself - but you'll never be as good at everything as all the people you could get to do it instead.

      Don't try and do it all - just learn what you need to know to overcome the barriers you have and let other people use their skill and passion in areas that make sense whenever possible.

      Andy
      Yeah I'm starting to lean to your side of thinking Andy. It looks like it would be a big task to learn and It's not something that particularly interests me.

      Might just leave it to the professionals that know what they're doing
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      • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
        Smart! Very smart.

        Joe Mobley

        Originally Posted by Trevor M View Post

        Yeah I'm starting to lean to your side of thinking Andy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Des Lau
    Hey Trev, good to see another local!

    I'm from a web/design background and I guess I have really taken the skills for granted, and I often wonder how different it could have been if I didn't posses what I have learned in the past. It is DEFINITELY damn useful as you can change things really fast and make things look more professional at a mouse click if need be. Right now as we speak I'm coding a simple html download page just for kicks, and it would have taken a fair bit of explaining and a few dollars to have it created. I guess it saves me the frustration or wrong expectation if an outsourcer did it.

    Though kudos to you and others who have been successful without even knowing much of these skills at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author Severin
      Banned
      I don't think its absolutely necessary, but it certainly helps. If you want to make changes and updates on the fly it will definately save you both time and money.

      I second what another poster said... head over to w3schools for an easy and interactive way to learn.

      Good luck
      Sev
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  • Profile picture of the author louie6925
    Of course its a great knowledge to have but not essential, so many easily outsourced tasks, but that said a good understanding of it goes a long way
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  • Profile picture of the author loi77
    It's good to know the basics and outsource the rest.

    It can take a long time to master these skills. You are the only one who can decide whether it is more profitable to learn them or outsource.

    If you try to do everything yourself, you may not have enough time to focus on your most important task, i.e. marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
      With tools like WordPress you don't really need HTML knowledge anymore.

      The one thing I probably find most useful is to understand hyperlinks.

      Marketers use links a lot, and how well they are implemented is different from site to site. So, being able to check and fix hyperlinks occasionally is good, and easy to learn.

      But you certainly can run an internet business without learning any code.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trevor M
    Thanks everyone for all the great replies

    I've decided to go with the majority and learn the basics, but not fully devote myself to becoming an expert. I'd prefer to outsource it anyway.

    I've never been very technical, and after this thread, would prefer never to be
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  • Profile picture of the author Aviator Joe
    I would say the very basics (CSS/HTML) are A MUST!
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  • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
    However, if you really want to learn how to code, you may want to check Adobe Dreamweaver. .

    Then try to download free html templates and open these html files on Dreamweaver. You can then take it from there. Of course, you may want to check youtube for some html video tutorials.

    You can start from making a simple html squeeze page as well. Just to motivate you!

    And yes, I agree with our fellow Warriors that it's not really that necessary but it's a PLUS. Focus on what you do best.
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  • Profile picture of the author neilward
    Biggest tip to learn the basics is to install the Firefox plugin firebug. Right click on something and click on inspect element. Then have a play. Makes the job a whole lot easier!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    There's a saying that goes something like "Work ON your business, not IN your business". Although you could save some $ by doing some of the stuff yourself, it's better in the long run to leverage your business by outsourcing the technical tasks.

    But as Mike said above, it's important to have an understanding of what each technology is and how it works.

    For example, I learned HTML and CSS from this site, many many years ago: HTML and CSS Tutorials, References, and Articles | HTML Dog - it was recommended to me by some friends who work for Mozilla, so if you want to get a grasp of the basics, you can have a look over there.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMHunter
    It is not necessary but it is good to learn all this stuff. You won't have difficulties doing so many thing. You can code your own apps etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author akmal
    Basic is enough. It is also fun to learn them. You don't have to invest in expensive tools to learn. There are so many open source software out there. Get them and learn from youtube and w3school as mentioned by many members above. Free tools, free knowledge within your free time.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbsts
    I don't think you need to know everything but I do feel one needs a basic understanding of at least html. You can save yourself a lot of money if you can do at least the basics instead of paying someone else!
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  • Profile picture of the author zaco
    I think you need to know it all, this is what I am doing now..I want to create my own idea and be able to build everything by my self, I know I can outsource all of the work but if you really own a business do you want your business to rely on other people?

    If u r site breaks down, do you want to panic and start looking for people u don't even know and you hire them from another source to fix it? if you want to be successful then you need to know what is going on, one glitch can take your business down and you will lose customers..but if you knew what is going on since u built it then you fix it right away..

    Most warriors use wordpress to do the site and post content..nothing complicated..so why would they bother to learn it?
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  • Profile picture of the author gasman
    Is it beneficial? I would say yes in some cases it can be. Is it important or necessarily? I would say absolutely not. In fact I would guess the majority of Internet Marketers have no coding skills at all. With all the programs that allow you to build your websites without knowing these skills and the people you can outsource to, it's not necessary.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattflynn
    Not usually. Knowing even a little bit of code can be helpful, but it's not going to be the make or break for an internet marketing career. Also there are some very easy to use web design programs, like WYSIWYG Web Builder that require zero coding knowledge.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
    Well...

    Some of us may wish we were not multi-talented - that would force us to be resourceful, and to hire people who can do better than us in these areas.

    HOWEVER

    When you look at the biggest IT and IM successes (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and more) they were all started by people who knew this kind of stuff, and started doing it themselves.

    So maybe we should know this stuff...
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  • Profile picture of the author teepee
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    • Profile picture of the author SciAnalyst
      I would say it's mainly a question of your natural affinities and inclinations. Surely there is a big potential benefit to learning these skills. The downside, of course, is that in learning them you will of necessity take time away from other projects.

      In terms of tangible value, the main advantage is that it can be a way of supervising and directing lower-cost outsourcing of the jobs. Specifically, if you know what needs to be done and can break it down into specific sub tasks, you can employ the equivalent of 'sub contractors' at much lower cost than hiring a firm that will complete the entire project without the need for your direction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eyetrap
    No

    It's handy to know how to edit and make changes sometimes.

    If you have an issue just google it.
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  • Profile picture of the author cleanerupper
    My expert HTML and CSS skills have benefitted me greatly when throwing together and modifying the look of WordPress sites. Every IM person should at least know those basic languages. Basic knowledge of PHP and JavaScript has also come in handy for me on several occasions.

    All of the instances for which you pay to outsource such work can really add up over the months and years. Of course, some people simple don't have the time to sit around and fiddle with code and that's understandable as well. It comes down to simple math: is your time worth more than it would cost to outsource this? If so, don't bother learning these languages. In most cases, however, I believe that the cost of outsourcing easily doubles the few minutes it would take you to modify a trivial amount of code to your liking.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
      You don't necessarily need to be a professional programmer, and if you have large jobs its better to hire someone to do the work anyway.

      I have a team I use for programming that charges me $19.00 per hour, and they can do anything. I certainly don't want to spend hours doing tedious work I can outsource for $19.00 per hour.

      When I need a new header or some graphics I outsource.

      When I need something major with my computers, particularly in my office, I call the firm that set up my network.

      However, there are an enormous number of things that come up with computers, programs and websites, both online and offline. So I want to know at least the basics in every area that affects me and my work.

      For instance, I build my own personal computers, and I work with Photoshop, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

      If a fan goes out or I need a new memory chip I install it. If I need new drivers I search them out and install them. I can troubleshoot.

      If I get a new graphics proposal I can launch it in Photoshop and test it with different layouts and colors before sending it back for revision.

      If I want to build a site with Wordpress, fine. But if I want an HTML site I just build an HTML site.

      This gives me a lot of freedom and is an enormous benefit to my work, and it allows me to have better judgment. So I can see what is a major situation and what is not, and I therefore make better use of the people that I hire.

      I recommend choosing one area -- HTML for instance -- and working with it a few minutes each day. (I do this and taught myself to type and play piano and many other things, just by working a few minutes each day.) Before long you will be an expert.
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  • Profile picture of the author geraldsoh
    Originally Posted by Trevor M View Post

    Hey guys.

    I had a thought today and realized how little I know about the coding side of internet marketing. I've been outsourcing and using programs when ever I need to worry about them.

    I never bothered to learn HTML, PHP, CSS, and all the rest of them... Maybe I've done the wrong thing...

    With all the programs that make these simple, I never found a good enough reason to devote time to learn them.

    Do you know your coding? And how important are they to learn for internet marketers?

    - Trevor
    No doubt that we can hire programmers and outsource this work but personally, I think it is better if we know the basic foundation at least.

    Since we are internet marketers, I am sure you have lots of free time. Learn some simple courses, apparently it is quite interesting =)

    Learning is a lifelong experience. No harm to learn more!

    All the best!
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Originally Posted by Trevor M View Post

    Hey guys.

    I had a thought today and realized how little I know about the coding side of internet marketing. I've been outsourcing and using programs when ever I need to worry about them.

    I never bothered to learn HTML, PHP, CSS, and all the rest of them... Maybe I've done the wrong thing...

    With all the programs that make these simple, I never found a good enough reason to devote time to learn them.

    Do you know your coding? And how important are they to learn for internet marketers?

    - Trevor
    HTML and basic CSS, yeah that's kind of important. By knowing these, you can create at least a mock up of the design of a site you want.

    Also if you are into coding, you can create your own sites without needing to pay to outsource them.

    PHP is useful if you want to make an interactive website, but most people generally find that interactivity isn't really necessary to make money online.
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSEO
    Originally Posted by Trevor M View Post

    Is It Important To Learn HTML, PHP, CSS For Internet Marketing?
    It is absolutely important. HTML/JavaScript/CSS and PHP are your main instruments.
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  • Profile picture of the author stingrays06
    You can always choose to outsource if you'd rather spend your time working on things you already know how to. However, if you've got the time to learn it then by all means start reading away...
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  • Profile picture of the author Gerald Arno
    Banned
    There are definitely some basics you need all the time, especially when you are into SEO and/or blogging.

    But in order to become excellent at HTML, etc you will need to have a strong goal in this niche such as providing high quality services, selling information products, coaching, and more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Soul
    Since I learned HTML at school.. I think it is not that much important because most websites nowadays do not require HTML that much in term of building.. Beside, most people are using WP theme which I think do not need HTML knowledge because you can find software that can help you generate many themes in seconds. In addition, to editing your post in the WP, I think there are many free and paid plugins that you can install to your WP that can save your time and effort. However, if you have free time and you want to learn new skills and add to your knowledge.. Yah, you can spend your time in learning these skills its useful in term of saving some cash and gaining new knowledge

    Note:

    From my experience, I learn that to be successful in IM you need to outsource most of your task to focus in your real tasks as entrepreneur.

    Hope that help

    Best Regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    I guess even learning the basic will do, especially when you have to fix some little details on your own website. It's quite time and money consuming if you still have to hired someone to do it for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author John K Glenn
    Basics of HTML , PHP Is all that you should Know for marketing Online. Rest of the task you can outsource it
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  • Profile picture of the author Anjumbhat
    It is always good to know these as having a clean, well structured coding will do well in search engines.This will keep you informed about the coding practices.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    I think it is a good idea to have a WORKING knowledge of everything you need online.

    What you excel at do yourself - what you are not that good at you can outsource.

    But a working knowledge of everything you do and outsource is a good idea.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Without a doubt, learning html and some php has been one of the most important things I have learned for my online business.

    .
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