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What now ?



11:44 am on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi guys,
Im new so please be gentle.
I have been learning html and css using just notepad++, never touched any WYSIWYG editors at all, i am pretty confident in these areas now and want to move on to something else.
I want to eventually start a home based career at this so what learning path would you suggest next?
I am thinking either Javascript or Php.
Also any tips for newbies starting out on there own i.e.-

What levels i need to be at before taking the plunge.
What software/hardware needed.
Anything related to this career really.

Cheers in advance



7:29 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Congratulations on learning these new skills. I've been working in web development for a few years now (though not as a home based career) so be prepared for a long road. There's so much to learn it really depends where you see yourself going. Do you mainly want to design sites or do you want to develop them?

If you see yourself going down the designer route, and mainly focus on design and layout, then I would suggest learning javascript. This will allow you to produce some more funky bits of functionality to complement your designs ( though please remember to make them accessible without javascript!).

If you think you're going to be more likely to develop websites ( that is produce code that powers websites and makes database calls ) then I would look at PHP. Of course there is nothing stopping you from doing both, in which case I would recommend at looking at PHP first as I consider javascript being an enhancement to an existing website. You might want to look at something such as xampp which will allow you to install php/mysql and apache on your computer and get used to working with it.

Please be in mind these are just my opinions and I'm sure many others will help you in various forums across this site.

Best of luck in your endeavours!



9:28 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

Welcome to WebmasterWorld :)

I'm glad you have decided to stick to notepad as opposed to wysiwyg. I just feel using editing tools damages the learning curve. By using a simple plain text editor, in you case notepad you will have a good overall understanding of the code you are working with.

If I where you I would look into learning a server side scripting language. Php for example will allow you to do more with your pages. As Tommybs points out database integration can be an important aspect. This allows you to use your existing design skills to develop more dynamic websites. For example reading from a database to display thousands of pages using one template.

Getting to grips with the basics of php or any other scripting language is not entirely difficult. Sometimes the trick is how you implement your solutions within a site. There is a lot you can do with server side scripting that would be virtually impossible with a static website.

Well done with your progress so far.



11:49 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Security, security, security. Take on first what most developers ignore until it's too late. I learned the hard way . . . if there is one thing I can advise before you publish your first line of code . . . .

Learn how to keep every byte as secure as you can, even static HTML pages and the way you transfer files. This site contains a wealth of information in this respect.


4:47 am on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Define your end goal then decide on the methods that bring you there. I do echo rocknbil that security (as in if going database you secure that pony TIGHT) is the major obstacle in database generated sites. I'd also look at how many pages are required to satisfy results... simple scripts might be more appropriate. Or static html. Also need to determine if your home based biz will actually work on the web. Some businesses just don't show a reasonable ROI, whatever that investment might be: server costs, time, advertising, product...

Welcome to Webmasterworld, oujipickle!


12:53 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks everyone,
I think i would rather go the development route, because i find it more interesting and a couple of years ago i gained my MCP status in database development using SQL Servrer 2000, which does not seem to matter that much really !lol, However it should mean that i could possibly fly through Mysql. So i think i will take the php route.

What level of expertise have you guys built up to initially go it alone? Or if you were to go it alone?




1:02 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Nothing like taking the bull by the horns and mushing on. In my view over the last 20 years, if someone can do the job I let 'em do it. Else I do it myself. Pick your side of that equation and go from there. But whatever you do, don't tell a fib about your abilities. Either you have it or you don't. You, your potential clients, and the market will appreciate that. And you can also gain some OJT along the way.


7:40 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for that 'tangor', Yeah it is still a big jump for me yet, but with building a decent portfolio and experimenting on them will build up a lot of confidence, hopefully anyway.

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