learning how to build websites


does anyone have any good tips hints, books etc on the subject of building good websites.
i used to know how to do this in html but thats all a bit old now innit.

i need something to challenge me a bit and might be beneficial to my cvee plus get me out of this shitty temping crap i'm doing, for no more cash than mcdonalds pays at the mo.

any tips on software, books etc would be very handy please


Dumpy's Rusty Nut
have you used dreamweaver/fireworks (macromedia)? don't know about back end stuff but they are pretty standard for front end.

all the programmers where i used to work just used those 'xxx for dummies' books (!)

Diggedy Derek

Stray Dog
I've used the webmonkey (google it) site loads for learning various web things- javascript, asp, databases. Very useful, and their tutorials are very chatty and easy to understand. You can learn loads on that site for free. Just have a click around, there are several years worth of excellent tutorials.


wow that webmonkey sounds great.
i will have to try and get a copy of dreamweaver somewhere.


Dumpy's Rusty Nut
also you can learn back end stuff with mySQL and PHP - google 'em. although for mroe employability you might do better looking at the MS equivalent, SQL server/ASP.

Ness Rowlah

Norwegian Wood
> used to know how to do this in html but thats all a bit old now innit.

I'ts not. (X)HTML, CSS and DOM is the way forward (look them up).

I don't really know what you want to do? If you want to create crappy, Flashy, unusable and "funky" websites
then go away and learn Flash and tools like Dreamweaver (well, I heard Dreamweaver is getting better).


If you want to actually learn the technologies and how things work: brush up on your HTML and
see how it differs from XHTML and learn CSS (for styling).

XHTML is strict and easy to learn (easier than old HTML)
and you probably need to know less than 20 tags in total (it's leaner than HTML).
CSS is lean as well (but a little bit harder to grasp).

Get Zeldman's "Designing with Web
Standards" book, hang out at <a href=http://www.csszengarden.com/">CSS Zen Garden</a> and read <a href="http://www.zeldman.com">Zeldman</a>,<a href="http://www.alistapart.com/">A List Apart</a>.
Webmonkey as mentioned is a good resource as well. Find sites which link to these resources or follow
Zeldman's links.

Do also read up about usability <a href="http://www.useit.com">useit.com</a>.
I know the site itself is not "funky" - that is not the point.

If you learn these things well + you have an eye for design/graphics your future should be looking better.

There is a lot more to "simple" than you think there is, Kottke's writing might not be
the best anymore, but he has somehow cracked the code of a workable and simple design
which just looks right more than anyone I know of.
See <a href="http://www.kottke.org">kottke.org</a> and <a href="http://www.subtraction.com">subtraction.com</a> for good and "simple" designs.

Coding with web standards is an almost 100% way of making sure your content shows up on
mobile devices. And mobiles will matter more and more.

Once you've got some skills, do some sites for friends or smaller bands/artists to get a portifolio ...

Bands and artists desperatly need it: see this instant classic and the discussion underneath <a href="http://www.43folders.com/2004/12/five_mistakes_b.html">on 5 mistakes band and label sites make</a>.
As well as my own <a href="http://www.halvorsen.org/computers/...velopment/web_usability/recordlabeldesigntips">follow-up</a> and <a href="http://www.zipworld.com.au/~kashum/blog/1101611873">Richard BF's article on Web site design tips and hints for bands</a>.


<a href="http://www.homeofmagnet.com">Magnet's pages</a> is done by a very young designer - and it gets most things right (using HTML and CSS only).

As a special treat for you I have dug up another classic called <a href="http://www.dmc.co.uk/index.php?bz0zOA">Lo-Fi Allstars</a> (I've got an old pdf, but the whole content is now available in glorious HTML). This was written 2003 and preaches beauty and simplicity for web pages. <I>If you only read one article read Lo-Fi Allstars</I>.

"Blogs are functional in nature," says Kottke. "There's so much content flowing through the site that the design is almost a non-factor. If people can read the posts and if the design isn't getting in the way too much, then it's done 95 percent of its job.​

Bling on the web is fun for five minutes. Good, accessible content lasts forever (or at least as long as you
pay your hosting fees).

Good luck.
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Ness Rowlah

Norwegian Wood
case in point to why web standards are important ...


"Designing with web standards is the cost effective option. Obviously they hired the wrong people to write their internal apps (or had nobody to give them proper guidance) and now they're paying the price. It is almost always more cost effective long-term to maximize your future options. Flexibility yields efficiency. In the case of web standards, it's cheaper even in the short term to develop with strict conformance because this methodology gives you a way to test the results. "It looks right in IE" works until something breaks or IE gets updated.

And cut the crap about "zealots." If you don't know what you're talking about, don't even bother posting."