Web Design/Programming

I am really looking to get into Web Design, I only know basic old HTML, depreciated tags used for styling the webpage, but now Im looking to get back into it.

I'm wondering on what the best path of progression should be to be really good at this, and what you guys think based on experience.

I was thinking something like this:
HTML 5/XHTML--->CSS--->Javascript--->PHP----->MYSQL---->????

I only language I have under my belt is C++, which has nothing to do with web design.

Please advise on a logical path for learning thanks :)
Who is Participating?
Dave BaldwinConnect With a Mentor Fixer of ProblemsCommented:
I use HTML 4.01 Transitional for new work, it seems to be the most 'universal' version.  'Strict' introduces some small oddities in Firefox that I haven't been able to work around.  Unless you are using the unique HTML 5 features, it will still be the same elements from HTML 4 (and before).

Realize that if you put a valid DOCTYPE in your page, it does affect the way the page is rendered.  Choose your rules and design by them.  I have plenty of pages in XHTML 1.0 Transitional that validate perfectly.  But that does mean that there are some things I don't put on those pages.  

And if you get a job maintaining a page that already exists, it is not a good idea to immediately change the DOCTYPE.  There may be a lot of cleanup to do that the site owner doesn't want to pay for.

As an educational exercise, it is worth doing some pages with version in several DOCTYPEs and validating them to see what the differences are.

Google's home page has "<!doctype html>" which is not official yet.  Note also that browsers are designed to try to render some kind of page from whatever you give them.  They will use the DOCTYPE that you put in your page but the browsers haven't "obsoleted'' much of anything yet.  The oldest page you can find on the internet will probably still render in the newest browser.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
That sounds about right to me though I would concentrate on HTML 4 because a lot of the pieces of HTML 5 are not that well supported yet.  Though HTML 5 drops some things from HTML 4, it is still mostly based on it.  Note that these things are not independent, CSS works on HTML elements and javascript can be used to affect both of them and PHP can write to any of those things and it can get that info from MySQL (if you put it there to begin with).
steve07xAuthor Commented:
So which would be best for writing my web-pages in?

HTML 4.01 Strict or XHTML?

Ultimately once HTML 5 is finalized it will be cutting edge and I would use that, so from the above two which is better in terms of converting code to HTML 5 once it's finalized?

I noticed facebook's homepage is in XHTML 1.0 strict, and google's used to to specify the same thing in the doctype.

Pro's and con's?

steve07xAuthor Commented:
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Thanks for the points.
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