joined:July 23, 2004
Please discuss how you start building a site.
Oh let me count the ways - FUBAR wasn't something I was too familiar with in '93, (but upon looking back, it seemed the order of the day) but I gave it a go anyway and thought I had the greatest thing since sliced bread.
My curiosity got the better of me when i read "Hello World" and I never looked back from that point -- Ran the gambit - from pushing the directories to the early search engines with what I thought I might have had. Wanted to discover the magic behind all of those twisty-twirliy-shiny-spinny-thingys -- Why did this page do one thing while the other did something else. Animated graphics were a dead end because I didn't feel they would take me where I thought I needed to go -- I dissected and reverse engineered nearly everything I came across. Used a drag and drop prog back in '97 called IXLA - took 18 hours to ftp 10 pages to the server on 56k dialup - that site was heavier than my truck -- My how far we've come since those days.
Ran into some experienced fellows and I learned that coding came in all shapes and sizes and flavors -- Looked at a lot but settled on PHP because at the time, it was the bees knees.
Fiddled with Front Page, *Macromedia Dreamweaver - Went all in with Adobe Photoshop and Flash -- By the time I got really good at building and optimizing pages using Flash, it all went away.
Along about the time I had a good handle on writing tables, frames/framesets and DHTML,,everything started changing again - ever onward, ever forward it appeared.
Java Script was a sweet spot -- I ran a menu on one of my early sites that was beautiful -- it was liquid and the only traffic I really ever got on that site was when folks would come in to play with the menu. At the end of the day I came to realize that toys were fun and all, but they didn't really bring in the bucks -- Just like with all of those twisty-twirliy-shiny-spinny-thingys in the mid-late 90's, my fancy Java Scripted menus went away.
Early 2000's I came to understand that there was a real need for speed, so I quit messing around with things that slowed the load, and started focusing on the basic html (albeit sprinkled a bit here and there with a few minimal server side writes) - Search engines were coming into their own now so there was no time to waste in getting those *Page One Results. Focused more on instructing search via tags. Started to really be serious about getting it right the first time around instead of the second or third time around -- Started to join various groups and forums to pick up the info I might have been lacking along the way - Webmaster World was one of those such forums -- Worked real well for myself and a small but ever present clientele until search abandoned their core.
Static is my ultimate passion - I spend more time looking at the source code it seems these days. As far as moving ever forward, I still have a bit of a problem with apps - To me, they don't really represent the freedom of the web that I've grown accustomed to over the years - Apps remind me of sort of a walled garden, not too unlike Facebook in many ways.
As a new webmaster, per se', back in the day, I did the best I could with following the rules. What to do, and what not to do was extremely important. These days it seems that all of the rules from yesteryear have been thrown out the window. We're back to all of this onload-mouseover-autoplay crap. It's as if we've come full circle. The toys and the games are back these days with a seemingly persistent vengeance
In the beginning I really had no idea what it was I wanted to accomplish - The net was such a big place that had so many distractions that for a while I was all over the board. It took me about 5 years before I really started to focus. I settled in on *presentation, because after all, that's what the net is .... simple unadulterated presentation. If you could write it, front end and back end, and cause it to be seen and acted on accordingly by millions, through your marketing and listings efforts, then you've achieved your goal as it might relate to presentation.
Newbies really should read "webmastering for dummies", or EVERYTHING they can find on that topic and show the grit, determination, ability to change horses in midstream when one pursuit failed and another path becomes obvious.
If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's this.
I think it's a mistake that many make who might be new to the game. My moments of truth came when Flash and DHTML fell from favor -- You can never get too comfortable or rely on totally on one skill set in the world of webmastering - Things change. You could go to bed one night only to wake up in the morning to discover that your current method is obsolete.