Web Development Q's (super basic, please help)

Hello. I decided, basically yesterday, to pursue graphic design and web development. So I literally just started learning about how it works. In other words, you’re about to read some super basic questions.
I want to make sure I’m understanding things correctly. If someone could help me, I’d appreciate it so much.

To aid in my learning, I created a project for myself. My goal is to create a website that I will use to blog about a hobby of mine. I really didn’t know what to give myself as a deadline to have it up and running… So, I’ll be happy if I can have it online before New Year’s, but I’ll try to have it up sooner if I can.

Yesterday and today, I read about software and hosting companies. So, is this information right?:
-I can write the code for my website and test it in software like Adobe’s Dreamweaver CS5.
-When I’m ready, and I subscribe to a hosting service, I can “upload” my website…??

I also want to ask, is Dreamweaver the best software to use for this?
And I know I’m far ahead of myself, but when it comes to dealing clients, how do you handle getting a hosting service for the site your are making for them? I mean, will they get it themselves? Will you get it for them, but input all their info? How does that work?
And if anyone knows a great place to learn code for free or at a reasonable cost, I would be ever grateful if you’d share them with me.

Thank you very much.

No, you can literally write code in a text editor, and save it with a .html extension and open that in a browser to test it.

Yes, when you’re ready you can host on a server by uploading your files.

I’d suggest you purchase John Ducketts book _ HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites_ it’s the book we used (mostly) in school, and I still refer to it today. If your looking for “free”, www.w3school.com is a good start.

A good and free code editor is brackets dream weaver I believe is discontinued. I think Muse is what Adobe uses now. I can be completely wrong though.

In terms of starting, I’d start by creating a ‘sitemap’ and once you figure out all your pages etc., start sketching various layouts on paper, mocking it up digitally, then start coding.

As for timeline. I have no idea what your personal/work life is like, so before the New Year may or may not be a reasonable timeline. It is definitely a good deadline to start.

You should create a workback schedule in that case, and break up the process in workable chunks. I.e, first week layouts/mockups, second—fourth week coding, fifth week hosting/uploading files.

There are a lot of resources online, sometimes it can be difficult to sort through the teaching of poor markup. But like anything, the best way to get it done is by getting your hands dirty.

Good luck!


@Sparrow I’ll take your recommendation and find a copy of that book.
Thank you so much for all this information and your suggestions. It really helps.

To give more information about my daily schedule, so others who read this will know, 5 days a week I have 8-6 hours of time after work and 2 days of the week I have 3-4 hours. So I have 36-58 hours in a week to learn and practice.

@Sparrow I deleted a post. The link you posted sent me to a site about Christianity. But, I figured out that you left out an “s” by mistake. I just wanted to point that out for any other newbies like me who stumble across this post.
So it’s: www.w3schools.com

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I’d argue there is no “best” software. Good software will help with completing tags and markup. Ultamitly it’s what works best for you.

I’d recommend at this point you not even think about clients, but rather focus on your ability to create a functional webpage and research hosting etc. That said, it depends on your business model and contract. For example, if you maintain everything on the back end as a part of your service, then you could charge a monthly/yearly fee to maintain that. But if your just designing and handing off for the client to host themselves, than you would charge a flat rate, and they would deal with the hosting etc.

You’ll start to figure that all out when you start working with clients. They’ll tell you what they want or need, and you can go from there.

www.codecademy.com is a free/pay for premium site. www.Lynda.com is a great resource, I received a free membership through school, and my login still works, so I continue to use it. Also, Lynda has courses on a range of other subject matters. Which may be well worth investing in as you can watch courses on business, design, etc.

Other than that, I’d search your local area for html/css/jquery workshops. These are great for learning the skill, and also networking with “real” people, not just “online” people.

If you find any/all of that overwhelming, it would be worth it to look at local colleges and take a part-time or full-time course in [insert type of web development]. It’s always nice to learn in a classroom setting where you can ask questions and are paying someone to give you deadlines for projects (there is a hint of sarcasm in that).

Also, thank you for correcting that link.

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I want to second the John Ducket book http://www.htmlandcssbook.com and to tell you to refrain from Dreamweaver at the beginning. You would spend time to learn more about Dreamweaver instead of HTML. If I were you I would start to work through the book until you have your first basic site running on your computer and then look into courses at Lynda or Udemy.


That’s a matter of opinion and also depends on what one is intending to do. I’ve been coding websites since the early '90s and have never used Dreamweaver since I learned to code by hand using a code editor and a browser.

If you really want to learn how to code, Dreamweaver’s WYSIWYG environment might inhibit doing that. Yes, Dreamweaver does have a code editor, but most Dreamweaver users seem to regard it as a secondary backup thing for when the WYSIWYG tools prove inadequate for particular tasks.

If you’re more interested in UI/UX development, coding (as important as coding still is) and learning to code might be viewed as more of a support skill that enables designers to design things that can be economically and efficiently coded — either by themselves or by a dedicated coder.

Web development is different than it was ten or, especially, 20 years ago when there were more generalists who designed and coded websites. Today, it’s become more specialized with different people specializing in different tasks from UI design to backend scripting and database management.

Another thing to consider is that most websites today are not coded from scratch. Instead they’re based on Content Management System (CMS) templates that are used and/or modified to fit the needs of the website owner. Instead of reinventing the wheel each time, developers today tend to take more of a modular approach by using a CMS, a framework, some custom front and backend development/coding and the addition of various commercially obtained add-ons that plug into the CMS. There are still the custom-built-from-the-ground-up sites, but they’re definitely in the minority.

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