KillerSites Blog

Web Design

Software used in Learning Web Design and Building Websites

January 5, 2012

Hello Everyone!!

Once in a while I use an email conversation as a blog post – I get good questions from people all the time. So, in this email, someone wanted to know about software used in building web sites – check it out:

… This is the 60 thousand dollar question that no one I ask seems to be able to answer. What programs do you need to be a functioning professional web designer? (Adobe, Dreamweaver,etc.)

And do you know price ranges? I want to have the programs before I get the program so I can hit the ground running.


My answer:

Hi Steve,

The answer to the $60 000 question: You don’t need any!!!

Yep, once you start learning (video #1) you will see that you can build websites with a simple text editor like notepad!! Programs like Dreamweaver can speed up the process … but these days, they are far, far less important than they used to be.

In the first course of the Complete Web Designer package, I demonstrate building a site using notepad and textedit (for Mac people) … and I also include a free web design program that does a lot of what Dreamweaver does.

… You have many options.

Image Editors

In terms of editing images, there are cheap and free alternatives to Photoshop that will do everything you need – web image editing isn’t that complex. The Gimp and Aviary come to mind.

That said, we teach the techniques with Dreamweaver and Photoshop since they are the industry leaders. But the skills you learn there are 100% transferable to the free alternatives I mentioned.

… For the purpose of learning, just download the FREE 30 day trials of Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop … more than enough time to learn. Once you have the know how, you can jump to any of the free alternatives or go for the Adobe products.

I hope that helps,


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How to Easily Password Protect a Web Page?

May 10, 2011

question about web design


From a recent email sent to me:

Hi I am subscribed to Killersites University. I need to add a section on my website that members only can access with a password. Can you tell me where to look to learn how to do this?

Many thanks

There are a few ways to approach this and the way you choose depends on how complex this needs to be. Your options are:

– use php
– use htaccess
– use wordpress or another cms/blog engine .. it can do this for you.

In video library, you can look at:

Htaccess & Mod_Rewrite (4 Videos):


The WordPress section.


Learn basic PHP … The video section in the library is: Beginners PHP (16 Videos):

Another thing you should do is to post the question on the forum so others can jump in.

I hope that helps,


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Evolution of Web Design – Part 1

February 10, 2010


In the following video, I get into what web designers need to learn these days and how advances in web technology controls this.

Let me know what think .. is it too long, boring or just right?



Stefan Mischook

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CSS Page Layout Strategies

September 13, 2008

If you’ve been struggling with CSS based page layouts (as apposed to using tables) and you’ve been smacking your head against the wall to get things to work … believe me, you’re not the only one!

No, you’re not stupid … CSS for page layout is.

What?! CSS is flawed?

Indeed. CSS for page layout sucks hard because the logic behind CSS page layout is weak at best, and perhaps, even flawed. I can say this with experience in other languages like Java and even VB. Not that I am saying CSS is a programming language.

Anyway …

For web designers used to the craziness of CSS layouts, they would be flabbergasted at how easy creating layouts/views/screens are in VB or even Java when compared to CSS.

What’s the main problem with CSS?

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Web Designers are Not Icon Designers!

August 20, 2008

I recently got a call from someone wanting to know what I thought about various image editing programs in terms of their abilities to make buttons:


“Stef, what program do you think I should use to create buttons for my websites? One buddy tells me he likes Corel Draw and another guy is big on Adobe Fireworks. What do you use?”

My answer to this question is simple:

Web designers should not be making buttons.

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What is an organic website?

August 5, 2008


I just released another episode for the ‘Ask a Web Nerd’ show/podcast. This time around I explain what an organic website is, and how to create one.

Let me know what you think.


Stefan Mischook

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Do you need to go to web design school?

August 2, 2008

This is the first of a new series of podcast that I am creating called: ‘Ask a web nerd.’

Not the greatest title, but I hope it tells something about this series; I will be answering common questions put to me by people everyday. Questions about anything regarding web design, web programming, getting into the web design game etc …

In this podcast, I will answer a common question put to me every so often:

Do you need to go to web design school, or college, to become a professional web designer?

Check out the podcast in the web design magazine:

web design school?

If you have any comments or any new questions you would like answered, just post a comment here or on the magazine and I will do my best.


Stefan Mischook

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The Three Critical Aspects of a Web Site

July 2, 2008


I just released a 10 minute video blog talking about the three critical aspects of a web site.

So what are the three critical aspects of a web site?

  1. Content
  2. Ease of use
  3. Design aesthetics

I go over what each mean and I also give you a few hints and examples that you can use in your own web design work.


Stefan Mischook

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What are IE8 WebSlices?

June 23, 2008

From the magazine:

In a nutshell, webslices are an IE8 specific feature that allows the web designer to tag part of a webpage as a ‘webslice’. By tagging sections of a web page, users of IE8 can then subscribe to it, much in the same way that they can subscribe to an RSS feed.

Read the full article about webslices.

Thanks for reading,

Stefan Mischook

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