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I considered taking university courses, but I think it would be cheaper and more time-efficient to watch the tutorials on a website since I don't need a degree, just knowledge.
My problem with the website is they have an extensive list of tutorials and I have no idea where to start.
Obviously I'm particularly interested in the Web Development section and imagine I should start with HTML, but what's next? ASP? PHP? Java? CSS? ColdFusion? Perl? In what order should I watch these, and are they all even necessary? And do I need to watch all these before I start the tutorials for Dreamweaver?
Can anyone recommend the order in which I should study these programs/languages?
Thanks a lot!
[edited by: jatar_k at 10:39 pm (utc) on June 21, 2008]
[edited by: engine at 8:04 am (utc) on June 23, 2008]
[edit reason] no urls thanks [/edit]
it depends what you want to do though. if your site doesn't need a database, and you're not going to be 'remembering' any users on it, then you might be able to do away with PHP/ASP completely.
That's a good idea about getting a static site up. I can use that to practice what I'm learning.
Thanks, everyone for the help and encouragement!
I suggest heading over to w3schools and copy/pasting/editing some code into your own files and learning how it works rather than watching videos. Hands on is better than watching.
Make sure you mark up your content as headings, paragraphs, lists, tables and forms, and style those using CSS, not font tags. Don't space out content using line breaks, use the previously mentioned block elements instead.
*** then you might be able to do away with PHP/ASP completely. ***
PHP, or similar, is vital; even on a static site. Use PHP "includes" to include common headers, navigation and footers for starters. Move on to having some small dynamic features within the code. You'll very soon think of a number of time-saving features that you might need.
Get yourself a good colour coded text editor you are comfortable with. Preferably hand code everything to help understand how things work. It will get frustrating, but its fun once you see things coming together.
Find yourself a little project to work on. Maybe you know someone who has a website that needs a redesign. Ask them if you can re-design their site. Its easier to learn if you have something to accomplish.
The visual side you do all in CSS these days. There are a lot of tutorials out there, as well as the official specifications, as well as bucketfuls of help on this forum.
While learning HTML and CSS you should also get your head round site structure, folder (with trailing "/" on end) and filename naming conventions (no spaces or underscores), usage of breadcrumb navigation, as well as usability and accessibility features.
As before, PHP will be handy for "include" files, which will save you a lot of work doing repetitive editing of pages, but I would also at that point make sure you learn all about using Mod_Rewrite features in .htaccess (assuming you use an Apache webserver) so that you can fix common problems like canonicalisation issues, as well as block hotlinkers, deny bad bots and scrapers, and have much more control over your site.
In fact, at this point you have to make a choice as to whether you go for Apache, PHP, mySQL, or you go the Microsoft route with IIS and ASP or dot-NET. I went the "free" route, with Apache, PHP, etc.
There IS a lot to learn, and you will never stop learning.