Help With Web Design

Alright, I have zero experience with designing web pages. I’m just interested. Plus our team could use some help to create our “Coming Soon” page. It’s been “Coming Soon” for about 2 years now.

I’m looking for some guidance where do I start? What are the basics? What are some good resources? et cetera… I know this is a huge undertaking, but why not?

If there is already thread like this, please let me know.

Welcome to the wide world of web development! As an accomplished web developer working as a virtual assistant for my fantastic boss, I hope I can give you some pointers. If you want to chat with me on skype, msn, or gmail hit me a PM.

First of all, there’s a main choice, are you going to go the WYSIWYG (What You see if what you get) editor route where you use software such as Dreamweaver to create pages in a graphical manner. Or you can hand code things with HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc… Luckily each route is easy (and fun!) to learn and create with.

Here’s some truly excellent resources that I use daily:
http://w3schools.com
http://webmonkey.com
http://visibone.com
http://tutorial9.net
http://www.webresourcesdepot.com/

And if you want things such as forums, photo galleries, email newsletters, etc… you dont even have to code them! There’s a lot of open source/freeware software you can install on your server to use! Or if you have the money, more professional choices for online software (like vBulletin which Chief Delphi uses here!).

Again, talk to me on msn, gmail or whatever and I can help you in a more detailed manner. hope i was of help!

To build on Andy’s post, I’d say to choose one way of doing your website, but then learn the other as a secondary. I work on my team’s website primarily on Dreamweaver, but it tends to generate code that isn’t standards compliant, so I fix it using Programmer’s Notepad.
Also, if you decide to do forums, I’d recommend vBulletin, like what we’re on now, if you have the funding. Unfortunately, it costs upwards of $100 to use, and has yearly fees attached depending on how you do it. If you don’t have the funding for vBulletin, I’d recommend phpBB. It’s plenty functional, though not as much as vBulletin, but it’s open source as well, so if you have coding experience you can change it as you please. Best of all, though, it’s free, so if you’re like my team and don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around, it’s more than plenty.
Oh, and if you’re storing a copy of the site offline, don’t put it in a school directory. Our coach is getting emails about Scottie (my superior in the web development team) because he’s taking up something like 80Gb of storage on the school data server and they’re freaking out about it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have experience in some of the other things Andy’s mentioned, like the newsletters and photo galleries, but feel free to contact me as well. I’d be glad to help with what I can, though I’m probably not as knowledgeable as Andy here

Oh and you can always use CMS’s or blogging software like Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla

Wordpress is my fav

For your situation I suggest taking the HTML tutorial at http://www.w3schools.com/ . This certainly helped my out when I first started building the website for my team, and is easy to catch on to. After that, open up Notepad and let your imagination go wild. If seriously considering a website award, I suggest reviewing the website rubric and build a concept map of how you want your website organized. I’m assuming you have a place that will host your website considering you have a “coming soon” page, but if not that’s something you must do. Ask your school if you can use their directory, we do, and the best thing is that its free! It’s okay to do that, and shouldn’t take up 80GB, more like 2GB, not for a basic HTML website anyway.

Once you start adding video, picture, pdf, etc… media it can start taking up some serious space. Plus it’s amazing how big MySQL databases can grow to (if you’re using one for some sort of data storage)

What kind of “data storage” are you talking about? I hope you aren’t talking about things like base64 encoding in image and using the database to store that.

A balance of web page source, gratuitous use of Flickr and Vimeo (just for the API) you really shouldn’t exceed 1 GB of data.

By data storage I mean content stored in a MySQL table that is dynamically editable by those who are allowed to :yikes:

In regard to the original message of this post, I find that dissecting already made websites is the best way to learn. HTML is just markup so there is not a whole lot to learn here. Mostly just comes from experience on the use of appropriate tags and best practices of markup languages.

CSS is what defines the page in one form. This is where a lot of things get confusing. Find a site you really like and take firefox or Safari/Webkit and use the debugger included in them (Firebug or Web Inspector) and just see why things are where they are.

I always seem to find a site to model after and do my web design that way. I learn a lot for next time and eventually, I’ll be able to do that all on my own. For example, my robotics team website I’m developing right now, I’m working out the kinks and you can see it here http://beta.teamrobot.org

Just take it slow and ask us specific questions!

This is a good tactic. It would be good to change the values for these items too and see how that affects the view of the page. I really wanted to mention the design of your beta site Keehun. Its really good. The gradients and the menu at the top make it very Web 2.0. Just wanted to comment on that.

Thank you very much!

I just wanted to let you know on one thing: Web 2.0 has nothing to do with how websites look. :slight_smile:

My bad. Anyways. The design looks great