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Thread: Newbie- Am I crazy for hand coding? Am I supposed to be using a CMS template?

  1. #1
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    Newbie- Am I crazy for hand coding? Am I supposed to be using a CMS template?

    I'm new to web design and have been called upon to create and manage websites for a couple small businesses. I've created basic sites by hand coding with HTML5 & CSS3, and also modified an existing responsive site using boilerplate.css template, all in Dreamweaver, just for practice.

    I feel like I'm supposed to be using CMS like Wordpress/Joomla/Drupla and buying a template from someone and modifying it instead.

    • What do GOOD web designers do? Modify existing CMS templates, write templates for a CMS, or write with Dreamweaver (for example) and use FTP?
    • Is my hand coding a site in Dreamweaver "creating a template"? Would the .css files be the "templates"?
    • Can't I just upload my website files via FTP and that be OK (assuming its SEO/MO optimized & compatible cross-browser)? Or is there some greater security risk of sorts I'm not seeing?



    I've been talking to a lot of IT guys who aren't web designers about web design combined with reading HTML + CSS book and w3c schools, and Allison online courses.... and its all left me utterly confused as to a web designer's workflow.

    How do the pros make sites for small businesses?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    You're on the right track dude. I wouldn't discount a CMS out of the gate, as they definitely have their place, but modifying templates doesn't. Stay the course.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    If you code by hand, which is a great thing to be good at, you'll require server-side scripting at some time. That means you'll have learn PHP, Perl, or some other server-side scripting language.

    Add to that, some database experience ... example, MySQLi

    Your learning has just begun.


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    Thanks you both I appreciate the replies! Are there any resources you might recommend on the the big picture of web design, that explains all this in more of a big picture scope? All the reading and everything I've found is very specific to learning one technology, and none really explain the whole picture. For example I didn't realize I needed to learn a server-scripting side language too if I want to do everything by hand..

  6. #5
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    I haven't tried it myself, but the Odin Project is supposed to be exactly that: Learn Web Development for Free Using Ruby on Rails | The Odin Project
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    I read the first paragraph and it's EXACTLY what I needed, thank you so much for that!!!!


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