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So my question is, what do I need to learn in order to become a proficient webmaster and what are the software essentials?
Many thanks in advance.
Don't spend money on top of the range software like Photoshop and Dreamweaver until you are sure you really need more than is provided by free programs such as Irfanview and NVU.
One thing i would suggest is installing something like Xampp . You'll be getting a little ahead of yourself doing it but once you get the basic html and css down you can start exploring php or other server side programming.
The very basics of all three (html, css and programming) are practically essential.
The programming part just makes life a lot easier even if its just using basic includes. :)
Read and learn. Then, when you think you know it all, read some more. There is also a ton of great information on this forum for web programming (separated by language, even). Dive into those forums.
Read, read, practice, read, read, practice, read some more. When you think you know enough, go back and then read some more. :)
After that, I reccomend reading "Learning Web Design [oreilly.com]" by Jennifer Niederst. This book really digs in. It presents excellent material in an easy-to-understand way.
Last but not least I reccomend [w3schools.com ] - it is a great reference for all skill levels. It has PHP tutorials also. It is 100% free.
Hope this helps!
On all the jobs I've worked on as a webmaster, designing the actual site was a task for some specialist who understands the web but also has a gift for design.
My task involved setting up the website, sometimes converting the screendesign into actual templates, sometimes just giving those template to the designer.
I must admit that after about 200hrs of study (approx 20hrs per week) I have become a tad disillusioned. The more I study, the more I realise there is to learn, I can spend a full day studying and at the end of that day feel like I have taken huge leaps backwards.
I am an industrial electrician by trade, my plan is to create a professional website for the construction industry. The primary content will be industry news, regulation updates, reviews on new materials, tools, methods etc.
There will be a forum similar to this one, including a section for those looking for a career in construction with advice about qualifications, nearest colleges etc.
The site will also sell power tools, hi value gas and electric test instruments and relevant books. (my motivation is financial)
Maybe I have been a tad niaive in thinking that I could study for a few months then create this kind of website. I am at a stage now where I can build an OK, amateurish site but am a million miles from where I need to be.
I'm not going to give up, but there's so much to learn! Did anyone else go through this? Would be great to hear you stories.