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How to learn full we design and programming

I have been offered a project and I really need to learn how to create websites. This is what the person wants:

Status: open  
Budget:  
Created: 5/16/2006 01:06  
Delivery Date: 5/21/2006 01:06 (5 days left)  
Project Creator: dvprod
Rating: (No Feedback Yet)  
Description: We have multiple site that need programming, shipping modules installed, ebooks uploaded, etc. Need it yesterday. Please help!  
Job Type: HTML, PHP, PERL/CGI, Javascript, XML, Flash, Website Design, Graphic Design, Script Installation, Marketing, Other Programming, Operating  
Attachment: No Attachment Uploaded.
Database System: MySQL  
Operating System: (I don't know)  


Can I do all of this in frontpage? or what all do I need? Please help asap. Thanks
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godvalinchi
Asked:
godvalinchi
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1 Solution
 
dopyiiiCommented:
Yeah, FrontPage isn't going to be the tool for you.  I'd recommend Dreamweaver or the open source version, Nvu (http://www.nvu.com/).

As far as really learning how to create websites (and learning it in a hurry), here's a couple of links to get you going:
http://build-website.com/
http://www.thesitewizard.com/gettingstarted/ (this has Nvu-specific tutorials and some other good information)
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godvalinchiAuthor Commented:
I have dreamweaver software also. I just haven't learned it yet. What about linux and asp? wich is the best of the two. I always here people working with ASP or Linux.
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dopyiiiCommented:
Well to summarize the difference, ASP runs on a windows server and PHP runs on a linux server (you didn't say PHP, but I knew what you meant).  ASP and PHP are used for one very specific purpose: dynamic websites.  The average web designer doesn't use (or really need) to use PHP/ASP.  The most common use of these two languages is database interactivity, so if you never need to interact with a database, I'd say that PHP/ASP is overkill.  Besides, if you don't have a firm grasp on HTML (and probably CSS), you'll really struggle learning PHP/ASP.  Not a good plan if you're in a hurry.

Here's a couple of links that go into PHP/ASP in more detail:
http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/hull_asp.html
http://www.pageresource.com/asp/index.html

If you're going to use Dreamweaver, you'll have the advantage of a lot of tutorials from Adobe: http://www.adobe.com/support/dreamweaver/tutorial_index.html

Web design is a very visual thing (you should have an advantage there as an artist).  There are a few questions that you can ask yourself that can get the ball rolling with website design:

1. What is my target audience?  Is it the average person?  A techno-geek?  Someone who likes to read?  The answer to this question can help you tailor your website to your audience.  Remember though, there are two audiences: those to whom you're focusing the site (e.g. an artist's site is geared towards artists) and those who visit your site (e.g. "normal" people who like your art).

2. What is the purpose of the site?  Is it to provide information?  To sell something?  To be used as a reference?  To persuade?  The answer to this question can help you provide the right kind of content.  If you're trying to sell something, don't overload the audience with too much information, just give them glittery pictures and they'll buy anything (overgeneralized, but you get the idea).

3. What is the mood of your site?  Is it to make visitors enthusiastic about your content?  Is it to make them remeniss?  Do you want them to stay and look around or just get in, get what they need and get out?  This is where colors and icons come in.  As an artist, you no doubt understand the importance of mood-setting colors.  Just remember, you'll want to use web-safe colors as a general rule of thumb (https://www.lynda.com/hex.asp).

Further, here's a couple of tips (rules of thumb) for designing good websites:

1. Don't be wordy.  Get to the point or your visitors will leave.  
2. Don't make the user scroll.  If you can't get it on one page, maybe you need to break it up.  There are sites (such as blogs and news sites) when this is appropriate though.
3. Don't use flashing, scrolling, marquee'd text or anything like that.  If you irritate your target audience, they won't stay.
4. Use harmonious colors.  A blue background with bold red text just isn't a good idea.
5. Don't make the user hunt for information.  Make sure they can get to where they need to go within 2 or 3 clicks.
6. Make is easy to start over.  A nice button on top of the page (or a link in your ever-present navba) that takes your "home" will do.
7. Let the user know where they are in the navigational structure.  If I click on a button in the navbar, how will I know that I'm there _without_ reading anything on the page.  Remember, people recognize icons/glyphs/pictures faster than words.
8. Never (upon penalty of death by red-hot pokers) use background music.
9. Don't go all abstract.  If I look at something on your website and I don't know what it means, it doesn't belong there.  There are exceptions, of course (think http://www.slashdot.org).

That should give you a good start.
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godvalinchiAuthor Commented:
Ok. I will go do some studying. I will check out the links you gave me. I will let you know how this helped. Thanks
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dopyiiiCommented:
I feel like I gave godvalinchi a good starting point with some good design advice.  He said that he'd check out the links and report back.  I'd be interested to know how he's doing and if he needs any further guidance on how to learn website design.
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godvalinchiAuthor Commented:
Sorry about getting back to you. Yes you helped me. Thanks
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dopyiiiCommented:
You're welcome!
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