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Question from a youngling


So, let me explain my situation first, before all the critics come out.

Last year I went to college once a week (not every week, most though), and studied from Dreamweaver level 1 to level 3.

It has taught me a lot, but something struck me this evening. Why didn't they teach responsive design?
It's the norm nowadays isn't it?

One last question, I am currently building a portfolio website, the links work but the contact page doesn't work yet, and the listed items on the left will be linked but I haven't created those pages yet, and my footer is just there so I don't forget about it.

This is just a judge of the home page layout, nothing else.

But I need help with a colour scheme/theme, I used the blue just so I could tell the different "divs" apart (they were all different colours) when I was creating it. Is this a good thing to do or not?

Thanks for your input.

Edit - Site might help

Ok, i'm going to say something but I don't want you to be offended or demoralized. It's bad and there is no design to it. Now keep reading with me. The worse thing you could do now is get a bit annoyed and stop it altogether but what you should do is this: research. Go on this site and start opening loads of tabs and pick 5 designs you really like. Of course, many of these are very advanced and you won't be able to do them at your stage BUT, you can still do many things with 3 core elements (blocks, typography and images) which should all be possible in DW. The point of this process is getting a much better idea of what you really want. Colours, style, content, layout, imagery, copy and so on.

As you said, responsive sites are pretty essential. There are quite a few tutorials online which could help you get this side developed.

I'd personally love to give you feedback on your next updated site - it's always an ongoing process and if you keep at it you'll go far.


Staff member
OK don't take any of this personally etc.

The design of your site is very 'dreamweaver 1.0' it's very simple code without any design being added to it. I can understand why it's like this because I've done a 'beginners' dreamweaver course when I was younger (think high school/a level sort of time frame), actually I did the whole MS office suite too just to get some relevant qualifications (can't remember what they are now though) under my belt. In all honesty none of the courses were really useful, the dreamweaver one in essence taught me how to add hyperlinks and images etc.

When you consider what you can find on free sites, on forums and even youtube the courses are quite simply useless and in many cases you're better off using forums and online courses to teach yourself how to code, note I say code not design - I'll come to that later.

In terms of responsive design, the likelihood is the course hasn't been updated to reflect the changing trends towards responsive designs. Another aspect is that responsive design is still technically evolving, there's no standardised way to do mobile/desktop that's fully supported for example. I will say from a personal perspective responsive is not the easiest thing to get to grips with unless you live in html/css code.

Now when it comes to designing a site so it looks good, a lot of current web designers (not saying all do) will take a template and customise it to suit the requirements of the client. This has become fairly easy these days to do due to the number of frameworks (you used boilerplate by the looks of it) available and back ends like wordpress. If you're marketing yourself as a full web designer/developer then the look and features of your site should showcase your skils etc. You could try looking at bootstrap or foundation over boilerplate as well, they're a little more popular in my opinion. .

It's ALWAYS useful to have a good grasp of the fundamentals of design too, things like colour theory, white space, layout etc so take a look at other websites, if you look carefully you'll notice trends of current sites to help with yours :).

As well as behance I'm going to suggest awwwards for inspiration too, yes many will be above yours (and mine, I'm a 3D designer who knows a little about web design too) current skills but it will give you ideas for layout, design etc.

Don't forget plugins to just make things look prettier, a lightbox to show an enlarged picture versus a new page is just one example.
Thank you both very much for your feedback.

I will do as suggested as take a look at other sites to work towards.

I will keep you updated on my progress if you wish, so you can see how it is going :)

Thank you once again.


Active Member
I would stop using Dreamweaver, from the sounds of things, they have taught you how to use Dreamweaver, what I would do is download some templates offline and reverse engineer the code and workout how and why its been built. it will give you live examples of how things are built and for me it made things make sense. Its good having all the knowledge in the world but with no relevance to why things are done in that way its relatively redundant.

For me Dreamweaver just adds unnecessary code and really restricts you creatively. The only things I use Dreamweaver for is viewing HTML emails, this is a really good tool for that.
If I was you I would set myself a mini project of making a responsive website and scrapping using Dreamweaver or at least just use code and not the wysiwyg editor. A really good piece of software I would look at using something Ultra Edit, it’s a really useful tool.

You basically just answered a question I didn't ask.

I have decided to give Sublime Text 2 a bash, I think it will better teach me the ins and outs as you said and help me understand code better. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea, as I thought it would be "starting over" if you know what I mean. But all seems good so far. I will give Ultra Edit a go and see which one I prefer.

Thanks for that.
Hey again

So I have been learning Bootstrap and taken time to learn about "Less is More" :)

It is in no way complete right now, again the links at the top don't work, and I have just added text the bottom so it looked a bit fuller.

I'm not her for you to judge my homepage as the first post was, it is just so you can see my progress in the meantime. If you wondering how much of the bootstrap in my site was done following a tutorial, I will none, it's part of what I learnt so far, more will be added as I go.
I have also dropped Dreamweaver and all of it is done in Sublime Text 2.

My progress so far --> www.ivanrowe.co.uk

Thank you again for all the helpful input you have given me, it feels like I have been given a new lease of life. I have taken most comments on board and adhered to them :)

Edit- Yes, I have looked at what's trending and which sites have a good layout etc, but I haven't fully copied there sites, it's just a good stepping stone for me.



Staff member
in your css find

.row {
margin-left: -15px;
margin-right: -15px;
and replace with

.row {
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;
or just delete it. This should fix it, it did when I tweaked the css using firebug :)

You've also got a borders on your div, it would be worth looking into border box in css to make your life easier with responsive layouts :)
I cannot seem to edit my posts any more for some reason, but this is an edit for the about post.

Edit - I also made a "I'm new to this so I forgot something" mistake, I forgot to open with a <div class="container-fluid">, but we all learn from mistakes haha.


Well-Known Member
In my experience, the courses available are a sometimes few years behind the industry, and it's up to the individual to take them as a starting point and continue learning independently afterwards. I graduated a design degree in 2005 and we were being taught things like Macromedia Freehand, Director and Quark... even half the students at the time knew to go and get Illustrator instead of bothering with Freehand! As for the other two, I've never seen Director since and only a few places using Quark. Though I do have some Quark in the fridge, nice on a Rivita with some smoke salmon.