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TwoCats

Returning to Web Design... Lost on where to pick up...

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Hi all,
First-time poster and probable buyer of one of Stephan's courses here in the next couple days.

Anyway, as the subject says, I'm returning to Web Design. My focus will be on front-end - so HTML, CSS, Javascript. Though I might dig into PHP and such as well, but that's getting ahead of myself.

Just some history to put things a bit in context:
I started in web design back during the HTML 1.0  days, when tables were the go-to layout tool, and spacer.gif was all you needed for pixel-perfect positioning. All my work was done in notepad, even after the fancy editors started coming out. I always found Dreamweaver or NetObjects Fusion wrote ugly, bloated HTML.

Anyway, around 2000, a lot of people realized dumping 10s of millions into pie-in-the-sky ideas wasn't a good idea, and the Internet bubble burst. Suddenly, being hired as a Web Designer meant doing front-end design AND back-end Development - and for less pay! I was released, along with 500+ others, from what was supposed to be a temp-to-perm position, because the company's investors lost interest and decided to put their money elsewhere. I did some freelancing work after that. After the 3rd or 4th client tried to screw me over, delayed or tried refusing payment (after approving and signing off on everything I'd done), I got fed up, gave up on web design completely and went back into regular retail work.

Lately, I've found myself interested in picking it up again. I've been building a site using Wordpress and, while it's neat to work with.. It's just too much for what I need. I'm having to install plugins for special modules to do things I know could probably be done far more easily and "lightly" if coded myself. Problem is, I don't know how to do that stuff yet. And this is what got me excited about returning to the field. Seems it pays pretty nicely these days as well, so that's a bonus. Anything that opens a door to move away from where I'm living now is alright by me.

Anyway, to the point... Is being strictly a front-end person a viable path these days? Do Employers still expect you to be able to do all the front-end and back-end stuff? Is HTML+CSS+Javascript sufficient, or are there other things you *must* know how to do as well? Do you still have to chase after clients for payment when freelancing, or has the industry "grown up" enough to where businesses take it more seriously and don't try to rip you off or avoid paying you?

And finally, what course or courses are recommended here to get back up and running? I'm still pretty familiar with HTML, at least the basics. Some things, like semantics and more advanced CSS stuff are a bit alien to me, so I'll need to learn about that. 

Anyway, longer read than I was expecting to write so I'll stop here lol.

Thanks!

Edited by TwoCats

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On 8/5/2019 at 5:35 PM, TwoCats said:

HTML 1.0  days, when tables were the go-to layout tool, and spacer.gif was all you needed for pixel-perfect positioning.

Nice ... you're an old-timer like me! Things are much better.

 

On 8/5/2019 at 5:35 PM, TwoCats said:

Anyway, to the point... Is being strictly a front-end person a viable path these days?

Yes, if you combine that with other skills like social media marketing, wordpress setup, hosting setup. But if you get into PHP you expand you possibilities. 

 

On 8/5/2019 at 5:35 PM, TwoCats said:

And finally, what course or courses are recommended here to get back up and running? I'm still pretty familiar with HTML, at least the basics. Some things, like semantics and more advanced CSS stuff are a bit alien to me, so I'll need to learn about that. 

Take my full stack course ... it will give you what you need:

https://shop.killervideostore.com/

My freelance course will help a lot as well:

https://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/complete-freelancer.php

Stef

 

 

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@TwoCats - Hello and welcome , i was also into action script and games development but as flash was discontinued first by apple and then by every one else every thing kind of collasped, i now want to start in web development, i was a member of one other forum and they do talk about knowing  backend stuff as well, every one seems to agree that HTML+CSS+JavaScript and PHP/mySql is really very much in demand and everyone is raving about nodejs as well ....

I am a subscriber to the IWD(interactive web developer course)

I have completed the HTML course and about 30% of CSS course and i can say that it is a great course, stefan has chosen to call them introductory but believe me he goes very deep in to what he called "nerd" topics but not in a rush ...

I will surely say for some one who has been there and done that , this will not be very difficult ... 

 

Wish you good luck which ever way you decide ....

 

Amit

 

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On 8/9/2019 at 1:05 AM, AmitKumar said:

I have completed the HTML course and about 30% of CSS course and i can say that it is a great course, stefan has chosen to call them introductory but believe me he goes very deep in to what he called "nerd" topics but not in a rush ...

Thanks!

Good luck! I'm sure you will do well. 

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Hello TwoCats :)

All my experience went down the pan years ago — silly mail job. Anyway, like you, I've paid for one of Stefan's courses hoping to resurrect my passion of web page building. When I first started, I did it not for a job, but for wanting to show everyone how great my Real Basic programming skills were. Er, which were pretty awful. I realised I wanted to get further into framesets, tables and other cool things which are far from cool these days. LOL

I reckon you've got the same passion as I once had. Only it's got more revs than mine ever had. Good luck with whatever comes your way. ;)

 

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On 8/8/2019 at 9:19 PM, administrator said:

Nice ... you're an old-timer like me! Things are much better.

 

Yes, if you combine that with other skills like social media marketing, wordpress setup, hosting setup. But if you get into PHP you expand you possibilities. 

 

Take my full stack course ... it will give you what you need:

https://shop.killervideostore.com/

My freelance course will help a lot as well:

https://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/complete-freelancer.php

Stef

 

Hi, Stef, thanks!
 

Yep, I'm an old geezer in the world of Web Design heh.  That old hands-on approach is still in me. Not a bad thing.

Since I posted that message, I've been working on site design ideas, and learning CSS Grid and Flex (Tables on steroids! I'm loving it so far. Grid Areas are genius.), and getting back into the swing of things. 

I've set up specific challenges for myself which will include learning Javascript (necessary as a front-end Dev anyway) and PHP, for some dynamic page generation and navigation stuff, without having to go full CMS.

Thank you for the suggestions. I'll take a look into those and see about getting rolling.

Thanks again!

 

Edited by TwoCats

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On 8/9/2019 at 1:05 AM, AmitKumar said:

@TwoCats - Hello and welcome , i was also into action script and games development but as flash was discontinued first by apple and then by every one else every thing kind of collasped, i now want to start in web development, i was a member of one other forum and they do talk about knowing  backend stuff as well, every one seems to agree that HTML+CSS+JavaScript and PHP/mySql is really very much in demand and everyone is raving about nodejs as well ....

I am a subscriber to the IWD(interactive web developer course)

I have completed the HTML course and about 30% of CSS course and i can say that it is a great course, stefan has chosen to call them introductory but believe me he goes very deep in to what he called "nerd" topics but not in a rush ...

I will surely say for some one who has been there and done that , this will not be very difficult ... 

 

Wish you good luck which ever way you decide ....

 

Amit

 

Hi, Amit,

That's cool. I'm interested in learning some PHP and DB stuff. Maybe even working with flat files. DBs are a bit spooky to me, but I'm sure very useful to know.

I'm very into game design - I'm more on the creative side, though. I never looked into flash game creation, though. I've looked more at stuff like Unreal Engine, or Unity, or even Godot whose language is based on Python.

I'll probably get going with one of the courses next week, when payday comes around.

Thanks!

 

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On 8/13/2019 at 4:08 PM, MacRankinZ said:

Hello TwoCats :)

All my experience went down the pan years ago — silly mail job. Anyway, like you, I've paid for one of Stefan's courses hoping to resurrect my passion of web page building. When I first started, I did it not for a job, but for wanting to show everyone how great my Real Basic programming skills were. Er, which were pretty awful. I realised I wanted to get further into framesets, tables and other cool things which are far from cool these days. LOL

I reckon you've got the same passion as I once had. Only it's got more revs than mine ever had. Good luck with whatever comes your way. ;)

 

Framesets! Wow I forgot about those. 2+ html pages displayed at once! Fancy stuff. 

Getting nostalgic here lol.

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Hi there, TwoCats — Framesets, eh? Yeah, they were a thing once, so much so I decided to tackle them before moving on to tables. I've still got something like an 'internal frameset' on my old and knackered website, but I've forgotten what they're called. LOL

I really believe you should one day aim for Python, as it's the thing for game development, robotics and well, mostly everything. Though, it probably doesn't compare with the likes of Java, of which I know next to nothing about.

Erm, it's going to take me a long whiles to get back into this stuff as I'm still in full-time employment. I'm thinking of hanging up me old mailbag (as I'm a postie) sometime next year, so I should maybe have a good amount of time to devote to all aspects / concepts concerning web page building. ;)

I love the idea of grids and flexbox for layouts and whatever. I've often dreamed of getting back into this stuff. I know I can do it, as I once did from framesets to table-based layouts and onto float-based layouts. I've just got to do it the next time with a little more deeper understanding than just say, dipping in and out of stuff when I need to implement it like, a bit of PHP, Flash and God knows what else. LOL

Having said that, if I can leave my job with no more health issues, I'm thinking of learning another trade like carpentry and joinery. Though, I'm not sure which is more fanciful wishful thinking; getting back into web page building or getting into building stuff. LOL

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Grid/Flex is one of the things that made me decide to pick it up again. 

The whole <div> and floating and position and all that drove me nuts. Was so convoluted and weird to work with. I know you can still use floats and position and such, but they don't seem so mission critical anymore to get the layout you want. I'm gonna have to use positioning with a Z-Index for the way my logo is going to be placed on the site, so there's that lol.

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Hello there TwoCats :)

I'm not sure I've ever used z-indexes before for anything other than a sort of make believe website. I used to try to mimic other peeps's websites using my own markup and trying to dip in and out of resources online and offline to match what was in my mind as to how to do this without pinching the actual code for it. LOL

I only ever created 2 meaningful websites — one for me and one for a friend. Though, I had to put their one to sleep a few years ago. LOL

I was quite lucky with floats, as long as I didn't use a footer. I used to like nesting divs and creating 'dummy' divs to pad out my floats within those nested divs. It kind of worked most of the time, but I never really understood why. LOL

Funny thing about floats is that those of us who played around with them to create layouts were, on the one hand poo-pooing the use of table-based layouts, while not realising that floats weren't meant for building layouts either. Erm, I think they were originally meant to format simple things like the flow of text (?).

Anyway, these grids & flexboxes for building layouts are genuinely intriguing. I can't waits to one day dive into a few more boxes. People often say, "You gotta think outside the box". But there's no better way than working within a defined area — like a box. ;)

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Nice to come across another Web Phoenix from the nineties trying to raise from his or her ashes. Ah the nostalgia of table designs and even spacer gifs... As for more powerful HTML editors than plain text editors, I really liked HomeSite (with tag completion and powerful linting) and Symantec Visual Page (WYSIWYG with fairly clean code and awesome table creation)... And not to forget framesets (abolished over SEO issues, apparently)... And the Internet was still an information highway letting anyone publish free speech, as opposed to a commercial market... Ah, the golden age... Anyway...


___Flat Files___
Flat files with PHP may not be recommendable. I experimented with that some 10 years ago (hobbywise, my career had been ended by the dot com debacle)... with PHP 4, me thinks, and I discovered that I could only append to it but not edit records except by doing it all in memory and ovewriting the whole file. And then there were file privilege issues possibly giving hackers more access than my own PHP scripts. *sigh* So, cumbersome as dealing with a MySQL database or similar is, it seems the better choice for me unless PHP's file management has improved a lot (which I rather doubt). But other community members with more recent experience may be able to correct me.


___Grids and Flexbox___
They are modern CSS features I have so far avoided in direct website design (despite liking them) because I worry that there might still be too many browsers out there that can't handle them. (I have also avoided floating because of problems it can cause.) And so far I have been able to do pretty well with inline-block designs. But maybe I am really too overcautious here?


Well, let's hope we get to resurrect. 😉

:-) Dirk

 

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