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Web Designer - Help getting started

killabyte

Active Member
Hi, i am trying to get into web design and this will be the first website i create that has been hosted. I need lots of help getting started

basically i need to create a website for a community centre, they want a simple website that has a good design and want me to create it from stratch...they are hardly IT literate so they want me to create it all. They will only have input on how it looks and the information that will be on the website...but createing it and putting it all together will be done by me only...

i would like to know where to start...i know i need to buy a domain and hosting but then what software would you recommend? (the site i intend to build, will be updated probably once a week for events/news, no users/admin loggings are required and things will stay static on the website, and probably a flash banner on the homepage that wont be static)

could anyone please help me getting started? :rolleyes:
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
First teach yourself HTML. There are lots of online resources, and many good books.
You don't really need any specialised software, although there are some expensive products around like Dreamweaver. You can start with a basic text editor to create your web pages. There are also some free web page design apps around like Nvu

If you want to create dynamic web pages you can learn about Javascript and PHP.
There's a great utility called Xampp
which you can use to install Apache web server, PHP and MySql. Install this locally on your laptop/PC and create a test website, then upload it to your web host (when you get one).
 

chrisduggan

Active Member
Have you a template or specific look and feel in mind? look areound for inspirations and go from there, you need to establish exactly what needs to be achieved and what users require. Go from there.

How complex it needs to be.

Static - basic site, text few images.

Dynamic - Users will interact with it. More advanced, forms etc.

Are you going with a Windows environment or Linux? (ASP.NET / PHP)

I provide most of my clients with a Wordpress blog or Joomla content management system, majority of which is open source and completely free. No expensive software required, easy to customise.
That said they can take up alot of space with alot of unwanted modules and plugins.

Sounds like you want to learn from the bottom up, open up notepad and have a play around with some HTML code.

How are you graphic/design skills? Do you have Photoshop?

If I/we can be of more assistance just ask! lots of helpful folk on this forum.
 

killabyte

Active Member
Thanks for the reply guys. I do have a few skills for web design, have studied a module on my ict course back in 2006 but since have developed PhotoShop skills. Not quite sure were to start, its most likely going to be Windows environment but not to sure about php.

Could I design and create the webpages in PhotoShop with the slice tool and convert the psd file into xhtml?
 

killabyte

Active Member
But would this be easy to transfer this to hosting? Also let's say I've uploaded all xhtml pages to the server, and then need to update the news page, I'd have to open the pds, update the news, convert into xhtml and upload back on to the server?
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
Personally I'd go with something like wordpress. It's so easy to update various things, add little plugins for extra features and you could even teach somebody else how to update it as well.

You could use Pages for the main information and then a blog style posting wall for news updates.

How much space and bandwidth are you likely to need? I'm sure I can spare a little space on my reseller account for you.

Let me know if you want to try it out and I can install it for you in a matter of minutes and link you to the site and admin page :)
 

chrisduggan

Active Member
Yeah Wordpress it. Plenty of free themes in every shape and size and huge network of support. They have just released an update actually. Yes transferring host is easy. Make sure everything is backed up and away you go. Remember your email account(s) information of course when transferring.
 
D

Deleted member 30535

Guest
Personally I'd go with something like wordpress. It's so easy to update various things, add little plugins for extra features and you could even teach somebody else how to update it as well.

You could use Pages for the main information and then a blog style posting wall for news updates.

How much space and bandwidth are you likely to need? I'm sure I can spare a little space on my reseller account for you.

Let me know if you want to try it out and I can install it for you in a matter of minutes and link you to the site and admin page :)

I agree. Several years after I wrote a "dbase" based web site for 'er indoors using Adobe ColdFusion, I decided it needed a freshen up. I looked at Wordpress, and although primarily aimed at bloggers, it can be configured quite easily (depending on the activated theme) and made to look and operate as a "normal" site. So as long as you're happy with the usual style of a header, and 1 or 2 or 3 column body, then Wordpress has to be a runner. You'll need to know how to install MySql and get Wordpress to open it up on loading, but other than that, you'll be good to go.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
A lot of hosting these days comes with auto installers for various bits of software and wordpress is usually on the list. I can have a new install setup in about 30 seconds :D
 

chrisduggan

Active Member
Yeah quite easy to replicate, for a quick job use WP or Joomla.

As they are open source you can do what ever you like with them, open the images files in photoshop and amend them to suit your business, add your content. Edit the CSS files to configure the colour and layout. You will be surprised how creative you can be.

We custom Wordpress and Joomla sites all day long for our clients. Content Management Systems are the way forward, saving so much time and money.

That said, get your head around HTML and CSS (easy) and if you can have a look at some basic PHP scripts so you know what to look for. Couple of hours on Google and W3Schools and you will feel more comfortable.
 

killabyte

Active Member
Yeah quite easy to replicate, for a quick job use WP or Joomla.

As they are open source you can do what ever you like with them, open the images files in photoshop and amend them to suit your business, add your content. Edit the CSS files to configure the colour and layout. You will be surprised how creative you can be.

We custom Wordpress and Joomla sites all day long for our clients. Content Management Systems are the way forward, saving so much time and money.

That said, get your head around HTML and CSS (easy) and if you can have a look at some basic PHP scripts so you know what to look for. Couple of hours on Google and W3Schools and you will feel more comfortable.

cheers mate...i'm quite worried about copyright, i know they are open source and available to modify, but can they still sue me for modifying their open source templates? also do i still need to include that this template was designed by wordpress after i've modified it or can i change it to my name? :confused:
 

chrisduggan

Active Member
That all depends on the template you are using, many people do remove Copyright from the footer from free templates downloaded. Some paid templates even give you the option to remove for a fee. There will often be a file within the downloaded content outlining the useage, that being said, many developers ignore this. Once you have hacked the site to bits it will more than likely be un recognisable from the original and no one will be none the wiser. Its easy to overwrite the footer file back to the orignal, worst case. Always create a backup folder of original files to refer back to. Back ups are essential and depending on the content, should be done regularly - often by your host.
 

killabyte

Active Member
That all depends on the template you are using, many people do remove Copyright from the footer from free templates downloaded. Some paid templates even give you the option to remove for a fee. There will often be a file within the downloaded content outlining the useage, that being said, many developers ignore this. Once you have hacked the site to bits it will more than likely be un recognisable from the original and no one will be none the wiser. Its easy to overwrite the footer file back to the orignal, worst case. Always create a backup folder of original files to refer back to. Back ups are essential and depending on the content, should be done regularly - often by your host.

thanks mate, sorry for asking 101 questions but could you point me in right direction of those free templates that remove copyright...also i'm looking at bluehosting.com for my hosting, would you recommend them?
 

chrisduggan

Active Member
WordPress › Free WordPress Themes

Theres several there, search the internet for "free wordpress themes" should bring up more.

Come up with an image in your head. Once your 100% on what you require exactly, go with it. Otherwise you will spend your time searching thousands (literally) of templates, uninstalling, re installing.. All part of the fun but can become a headache.

Ask them what specific colours, do they have a fonts / images they use (corperate branidng)

Do you want to include a text resizer (Accesibility)

Who is your target audience, who will be accessing the site? Do you require a login system, do you want people to interact with the site? Add events, reply to comments etc. WP is a blogging site, each post you add will give the option to comment, unless you choose to diactivate it. The settings are pretty straight forward. There are several YouTube videos on creating and optomiosing the site -
SEO (Search Engine Optomisation) - Google loves wordpress!

The best thing about Wordpress being free, try it, if its not for you, uninstall it and go for something else..

I don't have any experience with that host, are they in America? Blue Host. Go with what you can afford and what fits your requirements, millions of hosting companies out there all offering the same stuff so shop around.

Happy to help, anytime.
 

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