By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
440,727 Members | 766 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 440,727 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

General recommendation for someone who never built a site before

P: n/a
Hello,

I have been in print publishing since the late 1980's, and I need to build
several web sites. I am familiar with HTML at a very basic level, and
understand its similarities with Quark XTags. Obviously, I come from a
mindset that is much different than that used by those who prepare text and
images for web. I am a Macintosh user, FWIW.

My mental limitations are: I ALWAYS need to know the big picture and I
cannot "just do" something without understanding WHY and how it fits into
the larger context.

What I seek is some sort of guide/book/tutorial that will give me a very
structured, 1-2-3 approach to follow. In other words:

A) overview of the basic differences between raster based images used in
print and web, with some discussion of how to do image slicing and why

B) which text handling tools are the best to work with from a web
development perspective and why

C) EXACTLY what carefully delineated steps (and in the most basic language
possible) do I need to follow to plan a site, build the assets, host the
site if I want to, upload the assets, secure the site and add features
later.

D) A selection of approaches for different situations. Doing something on
the cheap initially, with an eye toward bigger budgets later. How to design
something the right way initially without a database back end so that it
will easily accommodate being driven by a back end DB system later on.

E) overview of java, php and their roles; plus, anything else relevant of
that sort.

What I need to do first, second, third, etc. After that, I'm sure my
approach will become more flexible.

Any suggestions as to these types of resources, along with recommended
software tools, are most appreciated. I am willing to acquire whatever
software will prove useful.

I already have:

FileMaker Pro 7 and 6
Adobe CS (includes ImageReady and GoLive)
Dreamweaver and Flash MX 2004
QuarkXPress
Graphic Converter
BBEdit 7
Some AppleScript knowledge

Thanks!

Bill Planey

Jul 20 '05 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
10 Replies


P: n/a

"BillP" <n3wsr3ad3r_@_sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:BC9329C4.5362C%n3wsr3ad3r_@_sbcglobal.net...
Hello,

I have been in print publishing since the late 1980's, and I need to build
several web sites. I am familiar with HTML at a very basic level, and
understand its similarities with Quark XTags. Obviously, I come from a
mindset that is much different than that used by those who prepare text and images for web. I am a Macintosh user, FWIW.

My mental limitations are: I ALWAYS need to know the big picture and I
cannot "just do" something without understanding WHY and how it fits into
the larger context.

What I seek is some sort of guide/book/tutorial that will give me a very
structured, 1-2-3 approach to follow. In other words:

A) overview of the basic differences between raster based images used in
print and web, with some discussion of how to do image slicing and why

B) which text handling tools are the best to work with from a web
development perspective and why

C) EXACTLY what carefully delineated steps (and in the most basic language
possible) do I need to follow to plan a site, build the assets, host the
site if I want to, upload the assets, secure the site and add features
later.

D) A selection of approaches for different situations. Doing something on
the cheap initially, with an eye toward bigger budgets later. How to design something the right way initially without a database back end so that it
will easily accommodate being driven by a back end DB system later on.

E) overview of java, php and their roles; plus, anything else relevant of
that sort.

What I need to do first, second, third, etc. After that, I'm sure my
approach will become more flexible.

Any suggestions as to these types of resources, along with recommended
software tools, are most appreciated. I am willing to acquire whatever
software will prove useful.

I already have:

FileMaker Pro 7 and 6
Adobe CS (includes ImageReady and GoLive)
Dreamweaver and Flash MX 2004
QuarkXPress
Graphic Converter
BBEdit 7
Some AppleScript knowledge

Thanks!

Bill Planey

Honestly, until you are familiar with the underlying technologies, your task
will be fairly hopeless. I'd start by working your way through HTML & CSS
tutorials, such as those at http://www.w3schools.com/. Once you can code the
basics by hand, you can THEN think about the methodology for designing a web
site. It is VERY different than other forms of media (especially print)
because of the mix of multimedia technologies involved. You need to know
client side scripting (JavaScript), server side scripting (ASP or PHP),
ActionScript (Flash) on top of all the basics (HTML, DHTML, XHTML, XML).
This needs to be complimented with database skills.

If you can bring good design skills to all of the above you should fly. You
kind of find your own methodology for working as you go along. Web design is
a wide field - a pure programmer could find a role, just as well as a pure
graphic artist. Each would have their own way of working, neither being
specifically wrong or right.

My partner and I are both multimedia designers who produce web sites - we
have a real mix between us. I have a lot more programming skills, while my
partner has leanings in traditional art. We have an approach that works for
us and our clients, but I doubt it would work for all designers.

miranda
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 20:31:35 GMT, BillP <n3wsr3ad3r_@_sbcglobal.net> wrote:
My mental limitations are: I ALWAYS need to know the big picture and I
cannot "just do" something without understanding WHY and how it fits into
the larger context.


I've worked in printing before. And yes, it is easier when you can learn
the whole process and get good at the tools as you go. I started on a
Heidelberg press before I knew what I was doing.

But in the case of HTML, you can't see the gears turning and the ink
getting low. It's like training a pressman who has never used an ink pen
or a wheel before.

Essentially, web design is not intuitive.

Spacegirl's advice to look at some tutorials that deal with HTML4.01 is
great. Get familiar with the ingredients before you throw them into a pot,
because it's extremely hard to uncook a soup.

I'd advise lurking in alt.html and similar newsgroups as well, and in time
you will develop a holistic idea of good web design.

One think to keep firmly in mind - the most broadly-accessible sites are
designed in such a way that the layout works regardless of the size of the
viewport. Imagine a graphic layout job where you had to put the same
content on 8 1/2 x 11, on a 3x5 card, on a poster, and for branding
purposes you want to use the same look in each case. In print we modify
the layout for each size, but on the web we create one layout that will
flex to each size. That's a very important distinction.

Print-experienced web designers too often go overboard on graphics. On the
internet each graphic must be downloaded, and even fairly small images
take significant time to download. So do as much as you can of your design
with the colors and borders available in CSS. But to do this, you must
learn how HTML and CSS work, and there's no shortcut, sadly.

A football coach who does not understand the strengths, weaknesses,
personalities and individualism of each of his players cannot lead them to
victory. Similarly, a web designer without knowledge of similar detail of
the HTML tags and the CSS properties cannot make a web page that truly
works.

Don't even worry about images right now. That will be easy once you know
the code.
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
On Fri, 2 Apr 2004, Neal wrote:
I'd advise lurking in alt.html and similar newsgroups as well, and in time
you will develop a holistic idea of good web design.

One think to keep firmly in mind - the most broadly-accessible sites
are designed in such a way that the layout works regardless of the
size of the viewport. Imagine a graphic layout job where you had to
put the same content on 8 1/2 x 11, on a 3x5 card, on a poster, and
for branding purposes you want to use the same look in each case. In
print we modify the layout for each size, but on the web we create
one layout that will flex to each size. That's a very important
distinction.

Print-experienced web designers too often go overboard on graphics. On the
internet each graphic must be downloaded, and even fairly small images
take significant time to download. So do as much as you can of your design
with the colors and borders available in CSS. But to do this, you must
learn how HTML and CSS work, and there's no shortcut, sadly.

A football coach who does not understand the strengths, weaknesses,
personalities and individualism of each of his players cannot lead them to
victory. Similarly, a web designer without knowledge of similar detail of
the HTML tags and the CSS properties cannot make a web page that truly
works.


Despite occasional disagreements with you, I've always suspected that
you basically understood what what you were doing. I hope you won't
mind me saying that the above sentiments deserve to be embroidered and
framed, and pinned up over any web designer's workstation.
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
Quoth the raven named SpaceGirl:
... You need to know client side scripting (JavaScript), server
side scripting (ASP or PHP), ActionScript (Flash) on top of all the
basics (HTML, DHTML, XHTML, XML). This needs to be complimented
with database skills.


It would be good to know all that, but not at the beginner level.

BillP, start with HTML, then look at CSS (which SpaceGirl forgot),
then perhaps PHP if your server supports it. Forget the rest of the
above for now.

To compliment Neal's post:
http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?AnySizeDesign

--
-bts
-This space intentionally left blank.
Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 22:29:08 +0000, Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
Quoth the raven named SpaceGirl:
... You need to know client side scripting (JavaScript), server
side scripting (ASP or PHP), ActionScript (Flash) on top of all the
basics (HTML, DHTML, XHTML, XML). This needs to be complimented
with database skills.


It would be good to know all that, but not at the beginner level.

BillP, start with HTML, then look at CSS (which SpaceGirl forgot),
then perhaps PHP if your server supports it. Forget the rest of the
above for now.

To compliment Neal's post:
http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?AnySizeDesign


A broad familiarity with HTTP itself is immensely helpful. Google will
point you in the direction of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol RFCs, if you
ask it nicely.

--
Some say the Wired doesn't have political borders like the real world,
but there are far too many nonsense-spouting anarchists or idiots who
think that pranks are a revolution.

Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 22:29:08 GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty"
<a.*********@example.invalid> wrote:
Quoth the raven named SpaceGirl:
... You need to know client side scripting (JavaScript), server
side scripting (ASP or PHP), ActionScript (Flash) on top of all the
basics (HTML, DHTML, XHTML, XML). This needs to be complimented
with database skills.

It would be good to know all that, but not at the beginner level.

BillP, start with HTML, then look at CSS (which SpaceGirl forgot),
then perhaps PHP if your server supports it. Forget the rest of the
above for now.


I second Beauregard's comments. (Javascript and Flash for example have
their uses, but are both overused on the Web. You can build good sites
without either.)

Following up to your original request and expanding on Neal's post:
image slicing is another example of a technique which is overused and
can best be left until later. All too often sites which use it are
rigidly laid out, and look good only in windows of the same size that
the author originally used.

I'll just mention an HTML tutorial by Mark Tranchant which has been
fairly thoroughly gone through on Usenet and which pays more attention
to good practices than most tutorials:

http://tranchant.plus.com/web/authoring

(And I see Mark's CSS tutorial is starting to come along as well.)

--
Stephen Poley

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 22:31:59 +0100, Alan J. Flavell <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk>
wrote:
Despite occasional disagreements with you, I've always suspected that
you basically understood what what you were doing. I hope you won't
mind me saying that the above sentiments deserve to be embroidered and
framed, and pinned up over any web designer's workstation.

And that, Alan, is the greatest honor you could pay.

Thank you. I'm fucking humbled.
Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
In article <qk********************************@4ax.com>,
sb******************@xs4all.nl says...
I second Beauregard's comments. (Javascript and Flash for example have
their uses, but are both overused on the Web. You can build good sites
without either.)


But you can not build all sites without it.

--
Whitecrest Entertainment
www.whitecrestent.com
Jul 20 '05 #9

P: n/a
I think you need to first identify the purpose of your site. Is it to give
info (articles, etc.) or are you selling products?

Your very first step is learning HTML. Take a class at a community college
or simply get a book or look online for a tutorial. I think once you've
designed your first site with plain HTML, you'll get ideas for what it is
you want your site to do for your guests.

You can always hire a company to do everything for you if you want something
up ASAP. :o) http://www.websitepros.com is the company I work for. They do
simple sites to stores and custom sites. It's a start until you learn enough
to do your own.
"BillP" <n3wsr3ad3r_@_sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:BC9329C4.5362C%n3wsr3ad3r_@_sbcglobal.net...
Hello,

I have been in print publishing since the late 1980's, and I need to build
several web sites. I am familiar with HTML at a very basic level, and
understand its similarities with Quark XTags. Obviously, I come from a
mindset that is much different than that used by those who prepare text and images for web. I am a Macintosh user, FWIW.

My mental limitations are: I ALWAYS need to know the big picture and I
cannot "just do" something without understanding WHY and how it fits into
the larger context.

What I seek is some sort of guide/book/tutorial that will give me a very
structured, 1-2-3 approach to follow. In other words:

A) overview of the basic differences between raster based images used in
print and web, with some discussion of how to do image slicing and why

B) which text handling tools are the best to work with from a web
development perspective and why

C) EXACTLY what carefully delineated steps (and in the most basic language
possible) do I need to follow to plan a site, build the assets, host the
site if I want to, upload the assets, secure the site and add features
later.

D) A selection of approaches for different situations. Doing something on
the cheap initially, with an eye toward bigger budgets later. How to design something the right way initially without a database back end so that it
will easily accommodate being driven by a back end DB system later on.

E) overview of java, php and their roles; plus, anything else relevant of
that sort.

What I need to do first, second, third, etc. After that, I'm sure my
approach will become more flexible.

Any suggestions as to these types of resources, along with recommended
software tools, are most appreciated. I am willing to acquire whatever
software will prove useful.

I already have:

FileMaker Pro 7 and 6
Adobe CS (includes ImageReady and GoLive)
Dreamweaver and Flash MX 2004
QuarkXPress
Graphic Converter
BBEdit 7
Some AppleScript knowledge

Thanks!

Bill Planey

Jul 20 '05 #10

P: n/a
On Sat, 3 Apr 2004 04:18:24 -0500, Whitecrest
<wh********@whitecrestziopzap.com> wrote:
In article <qk********************************@4ax.com>,
sb******************@xs4all.nl says...
I second Beauregard's comments. (Javascript and Flash for example have
their uses, but are both overused on the Web. You can build good sites
without either.)


But you can not build all sites without it.


And every time you use it, you're slamming the door in somebody's face,
unless you're very careful to make it non-essential.
Jul 20 '05 #11

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.