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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Member #

    In need of a push in the right direction - beginner with some experience

    Hey everyone,

    This is my first post here. I have been trying really hard to teach myself web design and am getting there slowly, but I have been editing my existing website which I had custom made last year and it is looking really nice, changing the way it looks by replacing images, changing text, changing colors etc. and I have played around with free oscommerce programs installed into the files folder of cpanel but am completely over using other people's stuff and want to build a site from scratch... and not with bootstrap or wordpress, I mean really from scratch.

    I have just found webmonkey, codeacademy and a few others which I can see will be really helpful in the coding side of things, which I am getting pretty good at, but what I am looking for is the structure behind a website...

    So when I create a website what steps do I need to take? I am more interested in what folders do I create, what order do I build it in? HTML, then CSS, then PHP, images folder etc? I have no idea. I have tried to find it online but must not be looking in the right places.

    I have dreamweaver so am able to build a site in that, but am a beginner in that also.

    Any tutorials or videos you can suggest would help me out a lot. I have considered going to uni to learn web design, but apparently the courses here only teach the principles of web design and not how to actually do it.


  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Oklahoma City
    Member #
    959 times
    How you structure a site, to some degree depends on your own preferences. I came across a proposal once upon a time for file folder structure, but I can't seem to find it now. Most people place assets in appropriately named folders (images go in an "images" folder) and leave it at that.

    As far as what order to code it out in, that also depends to a degree on your preferences. You wouldn't likely just go to work writing CSS. Though you could, and it might work for you if you're into the whole "Object-oriented CSS" thing. The reason you wouldn't, though is that it's a lot easier when you know how the HTML will be structured to write CSS for it. Decisions on document flow need to be made before CSS can be properly written.

    So, here's the way I go about it: First off, PHP and HTML go hand-in-hand, especially since HTML is part of PHP...or most (all?) backend languages. For the sake of simplicity, let's go with a static site. I would begin by writing all of the HTML for the site's general structure, plus some simple example content. Then, I begin to work my way through those items, writing CSS and some of the necessary JS for each part. This way, you lay down the basic parts that are applicable to every page on the site. From there, I'd begin creating the pages and adding the necessary CSS/JS for the page-specific content.

    Personally, I try to use images as little as possible. If you see a gradient or simple shape on one of my sites, with the exception of my portfolio site (which was built some time ago and is currently undergoing redesign), it's all CSS. And even then, if I can get away with it, I'll try to use SVG.

    Now, that's a heavily simplified version of my workflow, but it should send you off in the right direction in a way that'll let you build your own work flow.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Member #
    15 times
    Personally, if I'm not using a CMS like WordPress or GetSimple, I'll do the following:
    /css for css
    /images for images
    /js for javascripts

    then i'll do a header.php and footer.php to include. that way editing one navigational item or changing something in the footer takes one edit not a million.

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