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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    California, Utah, and Washington
    Posts
    3,030

    I need to update my webpaging skills. What would work best for <i>me</i>?

    Let's start with a story.

    A long while back my brother gave me space on his domain for my own webpage. I had fun throwing up garbage onto teh internetz. Since I had little else to do, I began actually working it and developing it.
    I learned how to use HTML so I could build it and had fun and learned a bit as well. It was an enjoyable creative outlet and I wrote a number of articles according to my interests.

    Flash forward a number of years. I eventually stopped updating it regularly. I'd host a Christmas wishlist on it, post a new article once or twice a year, but that's about it. I once used it as source to post information about projects I was working on and games I was playing, but now I'd rather work on those projects and play those games. Every now and then I look at it, reflect upon the fact that I do post links to it in my signatures, and think about updating it to make it nicer. Then I don't.

    But today is different. I'm going to be launching a new YouTube series in a couple months, and since I like to be professional in my dealings I ought to have a page that supports that series.
    I haven't tried to build a webpage in a while, and not on this computer, and so (going off of suggestions made seven months ago) I install KompoZer and start playing with it to see if I like it.
    As I build my page, I look at the source and realize that it is using some formats and things that I am unaccustomed to. It's using "Div" and "style" and the first line mentions a doctype and a specific version of HTML, and when I try to type in <center> the editor doesn't change its color like its a real fuction.

    Now I could grumble and complain and figure out how to get the editor to work with the terms I am used to, or I could learn how it is working and improve my ability with creating webpages. So I try to work with it, but still stumble into a few issues with things that I don't understand. And so I think, well, maybe I ought to actually study and learn how to work with this stuff.

    But then I think about it, and the editor is capable of so much more than I ever worked with before. XHTML and CSS, HTML with numbers after the L... Well, if I am going to expand myself, perhaps I ought to reevaluate where I want to start expanding.

    But then I wonder, what do I really want to learn?
    I'm not a professional web-designer, nor do I aspire to be. I honestly don't expect to see my personal website get popular enough to really make it something special. I'm just a guy making his own website because I enjoy sharing a few things with the few people who might take a look. I don't really need to focus on complex tools and cross-platform mobility and whatnot.
    But I do want to make my site look nice. I do want to go beyond something that rivals a geocities page. (Do those still exist anymore?) I do want to feel more capable and not like a dumfart because my editor uses terms and styles I don't know.

    With that in mind, what should I focus on being better acquainted with?
    There's so many options out there, I really don't know how to get a handle on what is useful for simple things and what is focused more on professional design, what is a simple addition to what I already know and what is something one should take a class in order to understand, what is a powerful tool for even simple pages and what is just a complicated tool designed for functionality I don't implement...
    Read my Webcomic:
    maytiacomic.com
    Check up on my progress at:
    marscaleb.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    421

    Suggestions

    Try wordpress + how to make my wordpress secure google search. Actually the 3 most preferred CMS are Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress.

    Suggest you use <em> instead of <i> and <strong> instead of bold when writing articles. I don't know if they (the standard html board) dislike the i and b in html but have the impression that the em and strong are preferred.

    ------------------------------------------
    http://www.opensourcecms.com/

    The above site gives you the ability to demo out cms without installing them on your computer.

    The cms above (Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress) are -I think- connecting to a database. If you want to test them on your computer you have to install Xampp (Apache, php and mysql) or Wamp.

    If you want you can search for a flatbased cms (not connecting to a database). They are maybe simpler the the above and be more close to what you are doing now. However, for your purpose, I would go with wordpress.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    The Couve
    Posts
    122
    I like Drupal 7 and use it for both localhost and websites. a good way to start is with the http://www.acquia.com/products-services/acquia-drupal Stack on localhost.
    But I am resolved and I Know Vision Sharpens with FOCUS...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,821
    First off, welcome back to the wonderful world that is web design!

    I can't say I've heard of KompoZer so I'll have to leave that alone but by you looking at the source you're already learning what you don't know at this point. That's a good start. Basically, you're probably looking at CSS (div/style) and some things that come automatically in most web design/develop programs (such as Dreamweaver, etc. - doctype, etc.). Not sure what you meant by when you typed <center> that the editor didn't change the color, but regardless, beginning to learn some updated HTML and CSS might be your best first place to start.

    I like your attitude with dealing with this 'opportunity'! I would recommend watching the videos that 3DBuzz does on web design [you can quickly find them here!]. They offer a great place to start designing and building your website from the very beginning and looks like it would be a good free place for you to start! I could probably just as easily direct you to other resources, but why not utilize the videos that 3DBuzz puts together? With these videos, they use software that you might not have access to but the idea and learning is the same for pretty much any software you decide to use (or have access to). Gaining the basic understanding of the coding is where you'll want to spend most of your time right now to fully understand it.

    I've also took a quick look at your current site (which you link to in your signature) and think that you might want to also spend some time researching "good website design" or similar searches. I applaud your efforts for taking the step to learn but you'll have to learn that some of what you have on your website is considered "outdated" in today's standards.

    What you have already done on that website is a good basic start. Learning some more coding and design "pros and cons" will help you push it further. I'm not sure what you plan to do with your YouTube series (so I'm not sure if it's relevant to you having a great looking/functioning site) but searching around the web how to "do things" will probably give you what you need to know to set yourself up.

    Oh, I would suggest registering a domain/hosting regardless of what you do (will help look more professional!) and is very reasonably priced for what you would get.

    Hope that helped!
    - Rik

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    California, Utah, and Washington
    Posts
    3,030
    florem and Matroblend-
    I looked those up, and looked up what a CMS is. I don't think a CMS is really what I need, is it? I'm just talking about creating my own personal webpage, and implementing a tool that is designed to, as wikipedia says, "manage work flow in a collaborative environment." That just sounds like something that would complicate the issue for a website being handled by just one guy.
    I welcome a counter-argument if you think I am mistaken about that; you should know better than me.

    florem-
    If em and strong produce the same result as i and b, why would I use the longer versions? One character is more efficient. Just seems pointless to me to not use shorthand when nothing but a machine is going to see it.

    hrjansen-
    Thank you for the frank opinion of my site. Then only feedback I had received in a while was from family members, which seemed a little too positive.
    So would you say that CSS would be smarter to learn than say XHTML or otherwise a different form of HTML?

    Register a domain? Hmm, maybe someday. I would rather rework my website into something that looks better first. Don't want to put the cart before the horse and all that.
    I was going to buy a domain a little while back... well, that's a different story.
    Read my Webcomic:
    maytiacomic.com
    Check up on my progress at:
    marscaleb.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,141
    Buy a template, wordpress template or something else. Buy a domain name and some hosting then upload it. Bam done.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,821
    Quote Originally Posted by Marscaleb View Post
    hrjansen-
    Thank you for the frank opinion of my site. Then only feedback I had received in a while was from family members, which seemed a little too positive.
    You're welcome. I believe in "Constructive Criticism" even if it means letting the person know they "can work on" something to help improve. Always giving positive feedback doesn't quite help, especially if that same person actually does think something is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marscaleb View Post
    So would you say that CSS would be smarter to learn than say XHTML or otherwise a different form of HTML?
    CSS compliments HTML/XHTML so learning both would be beneficial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marscaleb View Post
    Register a domain? Hmm, maybe someday. I would rather rework my website into something that looks better first. Don't want to put the cart before the horse and all that.
    I say this for:
    1. You have a professional looking domain name as opposed to sub-domains as the "main url" of your site.
    2. You have an area of space that you own (not your brother) for hosting.
    3. You can easily purchase the domain/hosting later once you've become comfortable with your website/design/developing skills.


    Quote Originally Posted by Toastage View Post
    Buy a template, wordpress template or something else. Buy a domain name and some hosting then upload it. Bam done.
    Or do this.
    - Rik

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    California, Utah, and Washington
    Posts
    3,030
    Quote Originally Posted by Toastage View Post
    Buy a template, wordpress template or something else. Buy a domain name and some hosting then upload it. Bam done.
    That's kind of like going to the supermarket and buying fish-sticks when you want to get in a boat at sunrise to go fishing.

    I'll be happier with a second-rate website I built myself than any nice-looking template I bought.
    If I had real content on my site and was trying collect revenue, sure, nice template would be smart. But this website is more for myself than anything else.
    Read my Webcomic:
    maytiacomic.com
    Check up on my progress at:
    marscaleb.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    59
    Caleb,

    I would really suggest reviewing html and use css.
    Frankly, your site is using very old techniques and is inconsistent. This makes it hard to update.

    Even making basic pages, like your site, it's important to recognize your page structure, information, and the design. Using both html and css will allow you to separate these and then make your pages simpler and reduce maintenance.
    The web vtm's here on 3dbuzz.com are great.

    I would also suggest the Tutsplus Web Design From Scratch Series
    Last edited by dstew; 03-10-2012 at 05:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,141
    Quote Originally Posted by Marscaleb View Post
    That's kind of like going to the supermarket and buying fish-sticks when you want to get in a boat at sunrise to go fishing.
    Well that's fine, I prefer to pay a professional fisherman who knows what they're doing and actually get some good fish. You said you wanted it to be professional, and unless you're a professional developer, that's the closest you'll get.

    In the time it took you to respond you could've had the whole thing done by now and it'd look infinitely more professional than something you put together yourself.

    If you're doing it for personal enjoyment that's fair enough but if you're trying to do something professional, I'd suggest you spend some money and get it done properly
    Last edited by Toastage; 03-10-2012 at 06:46 PM.

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