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Learning web design

What is the best source for learning web design.

I have built websites using photoshop/dreamweaver but want to learn to build a site properly

I've looked at books, but even the ones that I have been advised to get were first published several years ago so don't want to learn old tricks.

Also, when I have designed a site you always see .html in the address bar but I now see that this is no longer there on newer websites. How are these websites produced?

I am a print designer and want to look into producing websites too
Technically building websites is web development, rather than web design.

The .html question is because those sites that don't show it is really because the current page will be 'index.html' which is the default page and is not displayed in the browser address bar, unless you specifically point to it in a link.


Senior Member
Pages without .html either reside in their own directory/folder with index as the page name (like Rich said). Or the urls are rewritten in .htaccess to drop the extension automatically.

I learnt to develop from books that were published 3 years earlier (now 6 years ago) and even today they are still relevant. Not much has changed in standard xhtml and css. And it's probably not a bad idea to start with those, and then move on to the newer HTML5 and CSS3.
I think the best source is to read a book and follow the examples / demos then use this as a foundation.

Take one of the site you have designed in photoshop and hand code it using html/css this is what I did 5 years ago to develop my skills. Also if you see something on a site that you like or can't do, have a look at the code and see how they have done it, then try to do something similar on one of your personal / client projects, which with perseverance you will be able to do if you have the foundation of learning from a book.

Do you have a personal website Matty?
Thanks all

Has anyone used htmldog..

I've started the basic html exercise but when it gets to part two.
'Change your copy to this, save and reload page. It states that the page shouldn't change but my browser displays all the content that has been written, rather than my first page etc.

If I can't get past this bit I'm done for ;)

htmldog has been suggested as a good resource for learning web.


Junior Member
about the .html thing

pretty much the majority of sites made today are dynamic, .html sites are static sites .
most dynamic sites use a backend language like php or java which have the extension .php or .jsp
the basic structure of those sites are made with html


Senior Member
I have just had a look through HTML Dog, which I have never used, but looks
OK. It probably is a good resource.

As you are a print designer, though, I advise you to follow a different path:
produce a website entirely in Jpegs. Then ask a web designer to show you how
to create an HTML site from it. There are always more than just one ways
of doing this job so ask for the simplest one. It will result in a quite creative
and effective experience.

The lack of .html may also depend on the fact that today more and more
customers ask their designer for a dynamic interface, which is a feature that
allows site owners to take control of some areas of their site, without
any knowledge of HTML. For example a shop owner will be able to display
iphotos of new products and add some descriptions to them. The pages of
these type of sites will have .php instead of .html the address field of the


Senior Member
stevey17 said:
about the .html thing

pretty much the majority of sites made today are dynamic, .html sites are static sites .
most dynamic sites use a backend language like php or java which have the extension .php or .jsp
the basic structure of those sites are made with html
You have preceded me! :D
Hey, can't remember who in this forum from the top of my head but they suggested that I look up this book: 'A Brain-Friendly Guide: Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML' by Elisabeth Freeman and Eric Freeman, Published by O'Reilly Media, 2006.

Quite a fun looking book - I'll be using this to help with the world of HTML, CSS etc...

You may buy some useful books or search in the online. There you will find lots of tutorial site that will help you to learn web design. Creative mind and new concept will be required for web design.


The way I learned was through google. Seriously. I'm not saying I'm the most experienced person in the world, but I like to think I'm fairly decent at putting together a website.

My advice to you is to find tutorials and finish them until the very end - even if it's stuff you've recently covered. The more tutorials you complete the more you will learn and if you combine this with reading web development articles that cover theory and best practices on a daily basis then you will easily progress without having to go through the defective public education system. You wont have to worry about debts either!

As with anything that's worth doing, it's not something you can pick up after a couple of weeks and you won't be spoon fed the topics so you will need to do lots of research, lots of reading and lots of practical work to expand your skill sets.
Can you point me in the right direction of these sites squiddy? I am looking into webdesign and development and would love to know where to start to learn the basics....for free for now!