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Which Versions to Learn?

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by HX2Design, May 12, 2011.

  1. HX2Design

    HX2Design New Member

    Hi everybody

    I am a photographer moving into graphic and web design as I have always been keenly interested. I am able to hand code reasonable HTML & CSS sites for my own purposes and use Dreamweaver and the other Adobe programmes as part of the design process in some of my photography projects. I now want to advance my web design skills further and maybe use them as a sideline to support my photography income.

    I don't ever see me building massive 1000 page sites just sites for local businesses. I would also like to be able to do Word Press designs and E-Commerce sites. My question is do I get some advanced Dreamweaver training or do I need to learn CSS3/HTML5/Javascript/PHP etc and where should I start? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

  2. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Jen

    My advice would be;

    >>Get the basics down (HTML/CSS) really well and include how to mark a page up with understandable semantics

    >>Delve a little way into PHP and Javscript (in my case based on the JQuery Framework). I don't believe you have to know the ins and outs of a ducks ar*e with either but just enough so that making a simple change to either won't freak you the hell out!

    >> Then learn both a reliable CMS platform (wordpress is OK but not my favourite) and an e-commerce platform. There are loads of open source platforms out there. I'd suggest you choose one and stick to learning it (made the mistake of switching a few times myself). This gives customers the functionality they want (e-comm, text and image updates, search facilities, contact forms etc.) without me having to code from scratch. That keeps costs reasonable so you don't blow 99% of people's budgets in the first face-to-face meeting.

    The other skills needed are soft ones such as customer service, sales, interpreting a customer's ideas about how they'd like their site to look/operate etc

    I happily make a living from doing exactly what you are planning to do with these skills :icon_biggrin:

    As for HTML5 and CSS3, yeah, absolutely, dive in. Neither are exactly mind-blowingly different to their predecessors. There are just more goodies to play with and easier ways of doing things. Such as the CSS3 pseudo classes that allow you to pick an element out of a list meaning you don't have to generate 'active' classes any more. Also the box shadows, rotations, rounded corners etc save you hours of time in Photoshop (or other) and pages download more quickly when it is just CSS and not a load of images. That's one of the lovely things about CSS3. It will kill the 'SiteGrinders and Freeway Pros' of this world because the quickest pages will be built by coders and not hack and export merchants with images and tags all over the place. :icon_tongue_smilie:
  3. HX2Design

    HX2Design New Member


    Hi and thanks for such a comprehensive and informative reply, will definitely take your ideas on.

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