Web design tips for beginner

64 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
  • |
Hi everyone I'm looking to learn web design.
Iv searched google and come across many websites and also websites saying that some of them are teaching out of date.
So thought I'd come and see if you guys have any helpful tips and advice

How did you first start learning,what did you use.
Any techniques I could try which help get the information to sink in??

Thanks
Ian
#beginner #design #tips #web
  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Read, practice, try and start again. Try again. Check it in every browser and OS. Try again.
    Read more. Watch well-made sites' source code. Learn. Try it again.

    In a few years - provided God gave you some talent - you will be an excellent designer. Without the help from above... you still will be a good craftsman

    W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
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    • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
      Hi Istvan great advice and tip about trying in every browser didn't even think of that
      Thankyou for the link to w3

      Cheers everyone for you advice every bit will be usefull
      Hopefully will be able to post some attempts soon
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      • Profile picture of the author robinhoodtech
        If you are just learning. I would suggest getting comfortable with a CMS. Whether is WordPress or Joomla, or something more specialized, like the one we offer, if you can design on a CMS, you'll do yourself and your clients a huge favor.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobKonrad
    Hey Ian,

    can't add much to what Istvan said except:

    Don't worry to much about your knowledge being "outdated". There's always some stuff that will change, but most important - GET STARTED. Learn the basics of html, and the fancy stuff that might come and go, you'll learn in the process.

    Cheers,
    Rob
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    This blog is awesome: http://www.robkonrad.com/blog. Read it.
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    • Profile picture of the author DGFletcher
      Here's my big tipping point uh, tip: get a hosting company that will give you support on your website. Then try learning HTML yourself. When you get stuck--on anything!--check your hosting company support and they'll answer your questions.

      I finally got un-stuck on my site when I started doing that. I can do a lot of things on my own, but having good support to back me up is awesome!
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  • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
    How about Lynda.com is it any good anyone ever used it??
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    • Profile picture of the author blogfreakz
      Originally Posted by bloggerd View Post

      How about Lynda.com is it any good anyone ever used it??
      I tried the tutorials in Lynda.com, it's very helpful and easy to learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author hanakuza
    If you're trying to be a website designer, go and search for good website designs. Then try to emulate their look but changing some parts, using your own skills, in dreamweaver or other web design software. Once you get the hang of making good looking sites you might get the idea of how to make your own good ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gaumnitz5
    Hey there, all great advice here. I initially tried Lynda.com and found the site to be excellent. At the time I was out of work so after the free trial I didn't keep it. But I learned enough of the basics to progress from there. In the world of computers there really isn't anything new. Just better or faster ways to do something. With the exception of programming languages that require a specific version support, if you learn something that was good 4 years ago, it will be fine now. There are tons of sites and tutorials available. The best way is to try something and when you get stuck Google the answer. I learned css and javascript that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
    hi yes i have been having a good look at lynda.com too, iv also started on w3schools
    im just repeating the first few lessons help the information sink in then moving on to next few and repeating them an so on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chensinhui
    thanks that was great advice...thanks so much
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    • Profile picture of the author Dialady
      This is a question I've toyed with in teaching my son (and others) webdesign.

      A good book or site on the basics of HTML and CSS is important to start. You want to get a grasp on the basics and especially on the terminology. It can be like learning a new language literally

      The best way to learn web design is on-the-job training. Ask around. I'm sure a friend, business associate, or non-profit would love you to GIVE your time to them and design a website for them. My son has designed and kept up a few sites for volunteer organizations. It has helped him learn a lot (especially interaction with clients).

      Find websites you like and learn HOW they were designed. Whether it is the graphics or HTML, you can see virtually any website simply by going to PAGE SOURCE on your browser (usually under tools). This was how I learned 15 years ago, but today, it's a little more complicated with Wordpress and Joomla added into the mix. I still ask my clients to find me a few sites they like the look of, even if it just one thing on the site. It helps me stay creative and let's my clients focus on what their heart's desire is, too.

      If you want to design using HTML, spend the money for quality tools. Adobe Dreamweaver is the Bible for most webdesigners. It may take some time to learn, but will save you so much in the long run. If you want to learn Wordpress or Joomla, take time to learn PHP.

      As the others have said, this is not a quick or immediate process. It takes time. Things change in this business constantly. However, if you're willing to constantly be learning new things (and actually enjoy that process), you're in for a wonderful adventure!

      Theresa 8-)
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      • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
        First of all, if you are just learning there is no need to get a website the two big players for web design tools Microsoft and Adobe Dreamweaver both have built in test servers so you can see how your design displays in a browser. In short Visual Web Developer or Dreamweaver both have everything you need to get started designing. Really there are just a handful of tags you are going to need to learn right away like the <p> and the <h1> h2 h3 tags, the <div> tag. Then do some googling on these tags and that should have you dabbling enough to start getting your feet wet and getting a feel for how things work. After that start learning more CSS
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        • Profile picture of the author neveralone
          Hello i need a bit of information on where i can down load a free HTML editor that supports,a 64 bit. Kompzer say they have one but there is no download link that i can find . I, currently waiting on a reply from trellian on this issue ,but pass experience shows i usually get a faster reply in the forum so here i am .

          Thank You
          Neveralone
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          neveralone

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          • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
            VWD Is an excellent editor It is by far my favorite. It's one major shortcoming is that it doesn't have native support for PHP or in fact any support for PHP. everything else is great Javascript etc. etc. HTML and CSS are unsurpassed The video Ilinked to in my previous post shows VWD in action it's what I used making the video so you can see it being used.
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      • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
        Originally Posted by Dialady View Post

        This is a question I've toyed with in teaching my son (and others) webdesign.

        A good book or site on the basics of HTML and CSS is important to start. You want to get a grasp on the basics and especially on the terminology. It can be like learning a new language literally

        The best way to learn web design is on-the-job training. Ask around. I'm sure a friend, business associate, or non-profit would love you to GIVE your time to them and design a website for them. My son has designed and kept up a few sites for volunteer organizations. It has helped him learn a lot (especially interaction with clients).

        Find websites you like and learn HOW they were designed. Whether it is the graphics or HTML, you can see virtually any website simply by going to PAGE SOURCE on your browser (usually under tools). This was how I learned 15 years ago, but today, it's a little more complicated with Wordpress and Joomla added into the mix. I still ask my clients to find me a few sites they like the look of, even if it just one thing on the site. It helps me stay creative and let's my clients focus on what their heart's desire is, too.

        If you want to design using HTML, spend the money for quality tools. Adobe Dreamweaver is the Bible for most webdesigners. It may take some time to learn, but will save you so much in the long run. If you want to learn Wordpress or Joomla, take time to learn PHP.

        As the others have said, this is not a quick or immediate process. It takes time. Things change in this business constantly. However, if you're willing to constantly be learning new things (and actually enjoy that process), you're in for a wonderful adventure!

        Theresa 8-)
        Thankyou vety much for your great advice its is much appreciated having read a few replys regarding dreamweaver i think il give that ago.
        Yes i v heard it changes all the time but im sure once i get the hang of it it shouldnt be to hard to adapt to the new ways that pop up in time.
        but for now its basic,basic,basic Haha.
        thankyou once agin for your help and advice which i can see i may be posting here for some along my journey
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  • Profile picture of the author nethead01
    Make sure you have the right programs, then head over to youtube for some tutorials. You will find some very good info on youtube!
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelcook2003
    The most important tip is making your website easy for your visitors to find the information they need when they need it.
    Use Site maps: site maps are a relatively new website feature that improves web page navigation and also search engine optimization.
    Don't design graphic elements that looks like a button, but is not.
    Don't Use Extensive Graphics: abusive use of design elements and graphics are always bad for a website, they just mislead the site's visitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author jeanne9
    I think I can learn more in this site
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  • If you are a beginner then better you do some research about website designing. moreover you choose some really good software, I would recommend Dreamweaver, learn CSS templates, also find design template, learn FTP.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sitiohost9
    Hi,
    there are numerous amount of web design tutorials available online. For every software we use separate tutorials available.
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  • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
    Thankyou Everyone for your help and advice im just about to get going with dreamweaver and also using the page view source idea alot of you have suggested

    thanks agin
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  • Profile picture of the author mgreener
    Hi,

    You will also want to study sales and browsing behaviors as most designers leave this out and end up with nice designs that don't do much to sell the good or service.
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    • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
      Originally Posted by mgreener View Post

      Hi,

      You will also want to study sales and browsing behaviors as most designers leave this out and end up with nice designs that don't do much to sell the good or service.
      intresting Thankyou for informing me about this like you say theres not much point spending all the time on learning to have it sit there making no sales etc..
      thankyou
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  • Profile picture of the author vogancotner
    Using appropriate and high-quality meta tags on your website is essential to appropriate web design and gaining more traffic. Excellent meta tags will help google index and present your website to their users.
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    elearning localization for the target locale
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  • Profile picture of the author tzupy
    Trial and error is the key to learning almost everything
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    • Profile picture of the author madelinekim
      Well, Planning is the main thing while designing. Try to make blueprint of the web site design. You should know what will easily attract the visitors. What is the main aim of your site? What are the information visitor will get from your site? Make all the question in paper and then design.
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  • Profile picture of the author slc4us
    My Dear there are many sites to learn web designing online but I think you should use youtube to get the complete tutorial training of wp or any kind of web designing online.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve2129
    Personally I would ignore web design software or Wordpress and Joomla - but only for now. The reason is - yes they would give you a great looking website pretty quickly but would have no idea how it all works..

    As the post is titled 'web design for beginners' I think some replies give a little too much info. To get started you need to learn HTML and CSS - Ignore everything else - you will learn that later down the line. I bought an HTML and CSS for Dummies Book.

    Download Notepad++ to use - wish I knew about that years ago....
    And I use FileZilla for FTP

    Good Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve2129
    oh - and the W3 schools is great - I can't use it to learn but use it for reference when building and forget a code!
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  • Profile picture of the author Flippmate
    Hey Bloggerd, it depends how fast you want to learn it and what you want to learn it for. By that I mean if you want to build a site like now then look for a good free template for WP for example that you like, install it and change the pics in the images file. There are loads of free design programs such as GIMP that will allow you to make new graphics. Making awesome graphics is really easy, simply look up gimp tutorials in the search engine and you'll have plenty to choose from. That would be the fastest way to build your own site from scratch. As for learning HTML and CSS, it's easier to take other sites apart and understand what controls what. So you can simply get a better understanding and learn quite a few things try installing firebug it's a firefox plugin. When you point at different elements on a webpage it shows you the code and you can change it and see what happens. It's great for "Live Learning" so to say.
    Hope that helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Kristen8
    You can follow up the tips given below before you actually start designing a website:

    1.Decide what type of website you want
    2.Decide what you want your website to be built on i.e which technology you want to use.
    3.Define your target audience
    4.Chose your content which should be unique and well researched.
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  • Profile picture of the author awoo23
    One thing I'd suggest you learn is about usability. Its not only important to make a site look pretty, its gotta be able to achieve its objective (i.e. get the user to sign up, buy something etc.)

    Buy the book 'Don't make me think'.

    Also check out Smashing Magazine for good blog posts about design in general.
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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Potts
      Hi Iain, Id strongly advise HTML Dog

      That'll give you rock solid foundations to build upon

      if a book or site is recommending the use of tables for page layout its about 10 years out of date

      There are free limited versions of the following software
      Note tab Topstyle

      you don't need to spend a fortune on software
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      • Profile picture of the author webdesigenusa
        These are best web design tips for beginner use ideally background for dark font. You make youe website logo attrective. You never put any kind of image in background. You must avoid to se flash video. You must use original and meaningful content.
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  • Profile picture of the author diklon
    According to my suggestion begin before designer . You learn the html,Xhtml and Css.
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  • Profile picture of the author matt5409
    the best thing you can do is get some books. read a bit, then try it yourself. you'll experience any revelations.

    some good resources are:

    Smashing Magazine
    W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
    Free tutorials on HTML, CSS and PHP - Build your own website - HTML.net

    don't bother with about.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Simple2Web
    Check out the blog for Expand2Web and checkout Wordpress self hosted sites.

    Also check out WPsites both the guys above have lots to share.

    Then, do sites for free or cost to learn the basics and figure out what niche you want to do.

    I would NOT buy every package that Adobe sells, rather start small with just WordPress and online graphic editors. Once you get the basics of site color, theme, and content going then you're on your way to learning more.

    My recent favorite is SmallBiz theme and while it can cost you can get the Small Biz theme free and hosting thru Bluehost. They are awesome and the theme can be tried out and expanded - actually it is great in the free version as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author striker77
    Lots of free css templates out there. Download the one's you like and play around with them. I think thats the best way to learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author juanricardo144
    I think i can learn more in this site. The most important tip is making your website easy for your visitors to find the information.
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  • Profile picture of the author Niks24
    Being a beginner you must go through the basics strongly then proceed with the new design templates.
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    Served Over 100 customers and there needs with Web and Mobile Apps Development, if you are looking for one please connect with me with good turnaround.
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  • Profile picture of the author Horacioplus
    I took 4 years of web design in high school but i didnt learn anything. My second year i started working on my own. Then i started working on mini projects for companies. All i learned was practicing,practicing by my self without any curse. What you need to learn is just the basic and then you can make our own way.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
      Originally Posted by HoracioR View Post

      I took 4 years of web design in high school but i didnt learn anything. My second year i started working on my own. Then i started working on mini projects for companies. All i learned was practicing,practicing by my self without any curse. What you need to learn is just the basic and then you can make our own way.

      This is probably the best advice I've seen here. Learn enough to put up a basic page i.e. a header, sidebar, main content, footer etc. Basically get your basic tags like <div> <p> <h1> and from there just Google particular things you want to do like a horizontal menu or positioning or background image etc As you learn how to do all these other things you'll find that you have also learned a great deal about building web pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author crissie
    When I first started, Macromedia (the makers of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, etc) had some great tutoring videos. I learned all the basics and it helped me greatly. Since being purchased by Adobe, the tutoring element has weakened a little but the user forums are great and you'll find people are generally more than willing to help. From thereon, your best learning exercise is to try it yourself. I always find videos are best. Do a quick search on youtube and i'm sure you'll find tons of resources to get you started.

    Hope I helped a little.
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  • Profile picture of the author TonySmith4218
    I took a class this past summer that taught me the basics of HTML and CSS. Working through the text book was very helpful. The book I'd recommend is Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. Admittedly, the book is a bit dated, but the coding rules are solid and it explains why HTML is for content and CSS is for style really well.
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    Tony Smith
    Graphic Designer & Writer
    TonySmithCreates.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Simple2Web
    Start with WordPress and a simple theme with power, free themes just don't do all that is needed to be done and as a newbie it just leads to frustration. My recent favorite is SmallBiz theme and while it can cost you can get the Small Biz theme free and hosting thru Bluehost. They are awesome and the theme can be tried out and expanded - actually it is great in the free version as well.

    So for something like $7 a month hosting you have a free domain and a powerful theme to learn WordPress and making sites. From there you'll find tons of support and can grow a bit each day. Also the theme has lots of tutorials built into it and so learn as you go.

    If you have questions, just message me.

    Enjoy!

    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author sumit1
    Banned
    Read and Practices makes you perfect in designing field .Be practical when you learn any new concept .there are number of resources over web that enables you to practiced with code .
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  • Profile picture of the author BOBTYLOR
    Hello ...Everyone i am beginner in web design world and try to learn about web design but still i wants some tips for it...
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    • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
      I just started making some videos on making webpages I have the first one up on my .me website I'm getting ready to do the next one and I think its focus is going to be more on the CSS of the whole process even though the whole process involves a lot of CSS right from the start I think the first video that I have up now gives more attention to the design and sight layout process.

      RonCHome

      Another note about this is that I decided to use Amazon S3 to host the video and to embed the video on my site so it should stream and thus it should load pretty fast. The goal of the video is as a response to the question that is asked here Another note about the site I have an oDesk link on the site which as it happens I haven't even been checking up on nI started taking of the link but it occurred to me that I have the thing advertised on oDesk which would make that a dead link so just ignore the oDesk link because I will likely never see any response to it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
      I just uploaded a second tutorial on building webpage's to one of my sites I have this site that I basically put up as a portfolio for Odesk Which I have completely stopped checking with. But I have put up two pages now with video of building a webpage The first one...


      code up a webpage


      focuses mostly on site structure and layout though it does cover coding up the page and using CSS and the second page...

      More CSS


      focuses more on the CSS and I am doing another page next that shows how to build a horizontal menu using the HTML list tags I'll also show some detail on styling the list / menu items. I was going to do that today but in stead I got in a fight with My FTP and my files on the server. My God what a nightmare.



      I'm hoping this is going to help a lot of people . I know It helped me a lot to actually watch someone writing /coding up a page. It shows you that writing code doesn't have to be some kind of mystery. It can actually be pretty easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author eculligan
    I personally think you would enjoy using Wordpress much better. Very east to use and many apps. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author jaasmit
    If you do not have any idea at all about web design then you can start with learning some basic web development programming languages like php, mysql, javascript etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaasmit
    Do you provide those videos by which i will be able to learn php and mysql efficiently???
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  • Profile picture of the author firmelkot
    First learn basic html and next you can do coding things by using Dreamweaver.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGraphicsGuy
    I'd suggest:

    - deciding if you want to be a "designer" or a "coder".
    A super awesome designer can never be a coder too.. and vice versa. They'r both different ball games.

    - once decided, get yourself a mentor to teach you the way I was taught.
    I started with learning photoshop and logo/brand designing exactly an year ago and I've already served more than 100 happy clients.

    Its all easy if you have a guy to tell you what NOT to do and exactly what to do to make it all work like the big ben.. tick tock.

    Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author siyajoshi
    Hello..
    I think this will help you..

    Keep your focus on fast pages.
    Keep your pages short, but not too short.
    Good navigation on your websites is critical(sitemap).
    Keep images small and use sprites whenever possible.
    Use appropriate colors.
    Write as globally as you can.
    Check your content it should be unique and understandable.
    Put contact information on your pages.

    Thnx...
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  • Profile picture of the author musumeci1
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author designfantasy
    Lynda is very good for beginners(and advanced also) try searching on forums tutorials but most important thing is that you must be determined to succeed
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    • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
      Just a quick career path tip to guarantee job security and a rich and fruitful future you should learn the programming side of things all about building web applications and how to tie it all up to a database for the backend. This is the sort of stuff the multinational companies will always pay the big money for and there will always be work for you.

      As for the design stuff here's the dirty little secret everybody and their dog thinks they're an artist. Everyone on the planet has a daughter or sister or son in law , whatever who's an artist. or who is artistically inclined Because there are sooooo many of them the end result is that hundreds , thousands of them go into the only field currently open to them which is web design and they learn photoshop and other graphics software Viola, I'm an Artist and a web designer. WooHooo.!!!


      This dynamic absolutely does not apply to programming simply because it takes discipline to learn programming whereas every human being at the age of 3 starts drawing pictures it takes no discipline to develop ones artistic abilities. Thus everyone does it.
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      • Profile picture of the author tonyla
        Great post, also programming is objective, you cannot b.s your way through it.
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      • Profile picture of the author tonyla
        On a second reading , i come off as a know it all. i assure you i am not.
        I am very patient and have gone way out of my way to help students that wanted to learn. I am offering the same service for free to those that really want to learn.
        I am 50 years old and I should know by now if I am good or not.

        I have been evaluated as one of the top computer science teachers at University of illinois and Depaul. You want to learn the basics of coding websites and programming
        I have over 12yrs experience doing this. if i come accross as cocky , so what, I will never be little you and I can make sure you have a strong foundation to explore more advanced topics.

        In fact, sign up and you,learn nothing the first 2 or 3 tutorils , op out and return here and tell everyone i am full of cr--

        I want to teach intenet marketers and Musicians that can use internet marketing techniques to write using html, css, blogs to alternate promote themselves.

        Cheers,
        Midnight tony la
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyla
    I have been raising this issue for about 2 weeks, each of my posts deleted.
    Web design is a relatie term , relative to the area you are desigming 4.

    Here is my recommendation, forgetb saboutdesign for now.
    Learn html and css, the word press.
    Practise good coding standards and read my tutorials word for word.

    Go to
    Tek Teach dot com, web design, html, css and Internet Marketing tutorials.
    selct the tutorial html and css for the internet marketer. Fill out form, then wait for 2 responses a complete outline of what you will learn and your first tutorial.
    Chers,
    Anthony Larrain
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyla
    Also i am pretty thick skinned so if someone disagrees or sees something way out of line , please discuss it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeye
    I started with Dreamweaver and Frontpage. When it comes to Internet marketing, there are many other specially designed software which you can use to build websites much faster and easier, without having to learn any HTML. Foe blogs, WordPress is the choice.
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