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Web Designing & Development - Kindly Explain in Layman's Term?

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  1. #1
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    Web Designing & Development - Kindly Explain in Layman's Term?

    For beginners without any background in web designing and development, they think that those are for programmers and geniuses only. For them, it is like learning engineering with lots of horrifying formulas and unfolded calculations, or may be like studying in a medical school with tons of precise steps and lengthy procedures. Or may be for them also, this is like about dealing with countless codes and algorithms with lots of scary terminologies and confusing figures - it is like a highly intellectual task or idea!

    With a bunch of information and learning materials available about web designing and development, studying for it is like colossal tasks. "Where should I start?", "How to start?", "I am not an IT!", "What is Word Press?", "Does it requires a lot of money?", "Do I need to sign up somewhere?", "My mind is blowing!"... and countless questions and comments. Without someone who will give them support or guidance, they will end up giving up.

    Now, my concern is to help our friends gain their interests about web designing and development, and show to them how easy it is. For our valuable contributors out there, could someone elaborate the steps and procedures on how to create a website in LAYMAN's TERM?

  2. #2
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    Great question many times these topics are used interchangeably , and there is a big difference between a web designer and a web developer.

    Lets start with the absolute basics.

    A web designer does exactly as the name implies, they design the appearance of web pages and websites. They normally come up with a color palette, unless you are working with an established business who will normally have standards colors in use for the business. Sometimes, actually most times, very specific colors if the business is long established and has registered trademarks. A good web designer will have a good understanding of what types of sites are trending on the web and how user engagement is measured on a web site to unsure their design is meeting the expectations of the customer. Normally a trained web designer will have a background in art, computer graphics, color palettes and how marketing trends can be used in design. A good career but the pay is based on the artistic value of the designer. This can be very subjective and large fluctuations is compensation are noted in this industry. Very few good web designers become good web developers as they are two very different personalities and completely different skills sets. A good web designer will have a very basic understanding as to how web pages are laid out to keep their designs realistic and achievable and will collaborate with web developers to understand the newest changes in the programming technologies to better incorporate those changes in their designs.

    A web developer will take the models and mock ups created by the web designer and make them functional. All the images, page layouts, styling and interaction will become the responsibility of the web developer. He, or she, will know and understand the scripting and programming languages needed to make the web designers ideas a reality. Web Developers are very detail orientated and tend to be A-Type personalities that work well on their own and are meticulous in attention to detail. They are normally college educated in computer science or computer programming although many good web developers are self taught and have been very successful without achieving a college degree. I know many personally and have employed quite a few self taught web developers over the years. The basic skills needed to be a good web developer in today's environment are HTML, CSS, a serve side programming language, such as PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Python, etc. The most popular server side language being PHP. This allows the developer to create dynamic sites that are data driven. With that a knowledge of a database language is also required, the most popular being MySQL, but their are many that are growing in popularity, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Access, Oracle to name a few. By far MySQL is still the most popular and the most widely used.

    So in a nutshell, what do you need to know be a web developer in the basic sense....

    1. HTML
    2. CSS
    3. PHP - (or some server side programming language) - PHP is the most popular
    4. JavaScript - allows user interactivity with your site.
    5. Database language - MySQL - (or some other DB language) - MySQL is the most popular
    6. An Understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    This in no way this is all that is needed to be on the upper end of the pay scales. Most of us, myself included, are constantly adding to our skill sets and learning new technologies all the time. This is a very dynamic field, with updates occurring constantly as technology changes. One thing to keep in mind is that once you learn one programming language and learn it well, most all languages are very similar, so it is not like learning all over again as you pick up new skills. As an example all programming languages, use Arrays, Variables, Conditional Statements, Functions, error handling, etc. Once you understand how these work in one language you understand how they work in all languages. The only difference is that they may be structured slightly different. They will work the same.

    One of the biggest difference between web developers and web designers is that web developers can be taught. All the skills necessary can be learned. That is not necessarily true for web designers. Web designers will have a knack or built in ability to understand art, to be appreciative of color, to mix images and text in such a way as to be visually appealing. In my opinion those are not learned traits, some people are just born with artistic abilities that most of us do not have.

    One other thing to be aware of web developers can design web sites, they may not be the most visually appealing, and the colors may not be perfect, they may not look as good as they could or should but I see it all the time. My personal sites and my training sites I have designed myself and believe me I am not a web designer by any stretch. They are functional and serve their purpose. But when I am working on customer sites, I always employ a professional web designer. They are well worth their cost when it comes to designing professional sites.

    As you decide to make your decision as to what direction you want to take in this field, stay away from plug and play web site developers like WordPress, Joomla, Dreamweaver, or any of the out of the box build a website in 30 minute kits. These will do nothing to add to your skills other than teach you very bad habits in web development, and also show a complete lack of understanding on your part of site security and SEO to any future employers. As none of these tools, and I will prove that to anyone that challenges this statement, follows Best Practices, site security measures, or proper SEO. It is not the fault of the tools, like WordPress, Joomla, Dreamweaver, etc, as in some ways these tools can be quite useful for people developing their own sites for personal use that do not have a concern for security, Best Practices of SEO, it is not possible with the size and scope of these tools to keep up with the changes in the technology. The changes happen to quickly.

    Sorry this is long but you asked a complex question and I wanted to give you a well thought out response and not a flippant response to a complex question.

    This is a very lucrative field both in monetary terms and job satisfaction. I have been writing code since the 1980's and I love it. It can be challenging and frustrating at times but finding that solution to that tiny bit of code that has been driving you crazy for a week has a feeling that is hard to describe.

    Where do I get these opinions from, I teach both web developers and web designers at a University level and I have been doing it for about the last 6 years as I have wound down my web development business and no longer recruit new customers I just support my existing customer base. I also running a training site on-line to teach web development languages.

    I hope this helps you understand the differences in the two fields and helps you decide what direction you would like to take. Good luck it is a hell of a journey but what a ride it has been. The changes you will see in the technologies over the next 20 years will far exceed what I have seen in the past 40.

    again sorry for the length of the reply, but you asked.....

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Mike001 For This Useful Post:
    macfais (11-10-2017)

  4. #3
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    Wow Sir Mike001! This is really an amazing response. The explanation is very clear and it is literally in layman's term.
    Base on the outline you have provided, I decided to go in the direction of web development. I just realized how broad my question was but just understand it sir as I am a beginner and trying to catch up with the bunch of interesting topics here in the forum. Thus, in order to be a web developer, I need to learn HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, Database language, and understanding of SEO. It seems I have to study at least six-volume books. Before to start, I want to raise my follow up questions as follows:
    1. Are HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, Database language, and SEO computer languages?
    I am a civil engineer and the only computer program they have taught me is C++, and they called it a language. I know how to use C++. Does this help me understand above enumerated topics? At least some comparison please. Thanks.

  5. #4
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    Thank you for the kind words, I was trying to be descriptive in my response to you and it looks like I hit the mark.

    Great decision, I have been a web developer most of my adult life and truly enjoy it. To answer your questions.

    Focus on HTML and CSS first, do not buy large volume books on the subjects first that will probably confuse you and honestly with the changes that have occurred over the last couple of years they are probably out of date. Visit my site, it is in my signature link, I have a few hundred hours of free videos that you can watch and work along with. That will get you started and you will see if you truly want to pursue this career before you make any financial investment. My guess is you will really enjoy it but try before you buy, this way you lose nothing if it is not for you. If you have any questions, just ask. I dedicate a lot of my time to helping people move into this industry. Once you see how HTML and CSS work together, all the other languages will fall into place as you learn them.

    HTML and CSS are scripting languages, HTML is used to structure web pages, CSS is used to style web pages. They technically are not programming languages, but they are the backbone of the web. Every web page in the world has HTML, without it, it would not exist on the web. 99.9999% of all web pages have some type of CSS to style them.

    PHP, JavaScript - are programming languages. They are programming languages, PHP is a server side language and JavaScript is focused mainly on the client side, although with some of the new changes in JavaScript that line is becoming blurred as additions to JavaScript are allowing both server and client side development. they both allow communication between HTML and CSS and the web server. They also allow communication with external site additions, like databases.

    MySQL is a query language that allows for the manipulation of data in a database to be used on the website. PHP and many other languages can communicate directly with MySQL and in turn bring that information into the website. This is not as complicated as it may sound once you understand how they work together.

    SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not a language, it is a way of formatting your content and structure on the web page so that search engines, like Google, but there are many more other than Google, can find and index your site for visitors. Extremely important if you are running a business on the web.

    Your background in C++ is a big plus. Again as I said in the earlier response, all programming languages have more in common than differences. It will definitely be to your benefit as you learn the new languages.

    Visit my site, watch some of the videos, they are in order starting at the bottom of the lists, but the title should make that clear, and work through the exercises and if you have any questions ask me. I will be glad to help.

    Stay active on this site. There is a ton of good information here and many people that will be more than happy to help you on your journey.

    I hope this helps.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Mike001 For This Useful Post:
    macfais (11-14-2017)

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