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Areas for new webmaster to learn?
djriches



 
Msg#: 169 posted 12:14 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have honed my HTML and average CSS skills on my own site and am reasonably happy with how it looks. Now I am wondering what other areas I can improve in so that I can offer a higher level of service to my clients. I do most of my editing in Dreamweaver. I'm not very interested in Flash, just functional sites that look good and are reliable (I got my own to validate eventually!). Some areas I am thinking about learning more about:

- CSS for positioning (no more tables)

- I like using the Dreamweaver templates but find it a pain to upload the pages each time. Is it sensible to code each new page from a template that uses SSI for nav bar, footer etc. so I only need to change and upload the included pages?

If anyone has some advice on the above or what they consider 'essential knowledge' I would appreciate it.

 

Grumpus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 12:45 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use a combination of templates and SSI for my site. The template, made up of SSI calls, is used for creating a new page from scratch and RARELY if at all needs to be changed. The SSI's implement the changes that DO need to be made instantly.

G.

Nick_W

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nick_w us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 12:48 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

PHP
It will solve your templating problem, save you lots of time and allow you to add some neat functionality to your sites.

Also, work on weaning yourself off DW. Coding by hand will afford you a much better understanding of your tools (html/css/php etc).

Welcome to WebmasterWorld ;)

Nick

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 12:49 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sounds like you should start learning a server side scripting language like php or asp. Start getting into database and flat file intagration.

Welcome to WebmasterWorld

BlobFisk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member blobfisk us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 12:51 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi djriches - and a hearty welcome to WebmasterWorld!

Certainly CSS-2 (or CSS-P[ositioning]) is one of the key areas to learn. Abandoning tables in favour of layers has a number of advantages in the areas of speed and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). On the SEO front it allows you to bring your content to the top of the page, yet still positioning it where you want.

Another area you could/should look into is JavaScript with a view to some handy client-side scripting and dHTML. dHTML is a mixture of JavaScript, CSS and DOM (Document Object Model) manipulation.

XHTML is another area you could look at - it has superceded HTML4.01 as the W3C recommended standard for presentational layer scripting.

Some server-side languages (ASP, PHP etc.) is a definite must for building dynamic, eCommerce database driven sites.

HTH

BlobFisk

djriches



 
Msg#: 169 posted 1:41 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks all for your incredibly quick and informative replies and the warm welcome! All food for thought and somewhat daunting for a novice. Looks like PHP could be the next step. Nick_W, I can tweak my code by hand ok, is that a good start? ;)

I want to get my site under control and easier to manage before it grows too large so thanks once again for the tips.

Dino_M

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:13 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been learning ASP.net for the last few weeks, no mention of it here which suprised me.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:18 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

.Net may have a few more pitfalls being a new technology than using asp classic or php. I have been working with it for a while, and I still run into bugs and problems. If you are a go getter and really want to be ahead of the curve I would do it, but right out the gate it may be a little too much to handle not knowing a programming language.

Dino_M is .Net your first web language or are you versed in another language?

I want to get my site under control and easier to manage before it grows too large so thanks once again for the tips.

No matter what language or technology you use server-side scripting should help you accomplish this.

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:20 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

i'd go for the scripting language too, and brush up on that DB normalisation :)

I had a 3meg site reduced by 20% using CSS and another 20% using server side includes for repetitive code...like the doctype,charset and encoding tags at the top of each page for example.

after moving from a shaky setup of asp/access...i reduced the size of the site another 20% after switching to php and mysql which i started picking up.

The site more or less looks and acts the same (its a simple site), but the extra help from PHP and such has made the site more compact.

The W3C is probably an excellent place to start, if a little daunting for beginners (and non-beginners I guess) because of its sheer volume, but to put it mildly - they know their stuff.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:26 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

after moving from a shaky setup of asp/access...i reduced the size of the site another 20% after switching to php and mysql which i started picking up.

BOL was this hand coded asp or was it front page to hand coded php? 20% sounds like a lot. I have not ever really seen asp cause that much bloat. I guess it all depends on what you are doing but usually asp and php are head to head as technologies go. One does some stuff better and the other does something else better.

Dino_M

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:27 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

korus - Apart from HTML it's my first, I'm learning in my lunch hours / before / after work. I have a full time ASP.NET developer sat next to me which is very handy.

I originally was going to use HTML CSS and JavaScript for my site but Developer lad convinced me I may as well learn ASP.NET as it is the way forward.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:29 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Dino_M Has it been frustrating or is it a good transition?

djriches my transition from where you are was to learn javascript. You may find that a little easier transition. Server-side will open up a whole new would but you may find javascript a little more comfortable for your first programming language.

Dino_M

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:42 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

very frustrating, but hopefully worth it.

BlobFisk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member blobfisk us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 2:51 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)


I originally was going to use HTML CSS and JavaScript for my site but Developer lad convinced me I may as well learn ASP.NET as it is the way forward.

However, if you want to do front-end development and client side stuff, you're still going to have to learn html/xhtml, css and JavaScript.

ASP.NET is a server-side development language and you still need to know the front-end stuff to meld you ASP code into the presentational layer.

As for ASP.NET being the way forward, I think it's too early to tell. I'm an avid ASP 3.0 head, however as korkus2000 mentioned, ASP.NET still has it's teething problem.... and you can never discount the power and speed that a PHP SQL/mySQL/PostgreSQL combination has.

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 169 posted 3:09 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

BOL was this hand coded asp or was it front page to hand coded php?

Korkus, yes, FP generated, I should have mentioned. The "shakyness" was my lack of knowledge in ASP....but when I shifted a 2 column table (a dictionary) from an access db to mysql, it was smaller. An access db would also invariably take up about 100k of space before data was entered, and there were 3 db's.

The savings are a rough estimate from switching over. The ASP code was probably a bit 'over' bloated from its automatic generation but most of the saving came from the db. :)

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 3:26 pm on Nov 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't think anyone is going to argue with you about access being a poor database. Changing from access to SQLServer or mysql will improve performance immensely.

mrsadm

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 169 posted 1:50 pm on Nov 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

I admit to not knowing much about asp but I found learning perl for server-side scripting to be the most useful thing I offer our clients. There are thousands of free perl scripts available on the net that you can modify for your own use and they are good to help you learn. I would not start with a big fat PERL book but one of those smaller ones geared just to web development. Best of luck!

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