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General Discussion

Approach to first own website projects

Hello everyone, So, after a couple of weeks of gaining experience on treehouse and also codecademy I decided that it was time to start my own little project from scratch. Following along in the videos I found was relatively easy but I wanted to actually use the stuff. But I found that doing something from scratch is a lot more difficult. And I'm not sure if this just due to lacking coding practice or possibly also because I'm lacking the design skills. I found that just starting to code without a specific plan about layout and design is probably also a bad idea. I decided therefore to copy interesting and simple websites I find online (without looking at the code).

So here comes the question(s):

How did you start? What were your first projects? Did you already have a specific idea/design in mind?

Inspire me!!



2 Answers

Acie Slade
Acie Slade
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 10,895 Points

The accomplished professionals that I read and follow say to pick a public site and clone as much of it as you can.

To me, Yahoo looks easy compared to most sites, so maybe start there. That's my plan. Fool.com looks to be a "gentle" step up in difficulty, so maybe give that a try after something on the level of Yahoo.

Hope this helps!

Kristopher Van Sant
Kristopher Van Sant
Courses Plus Student 18,830 Points

Starting a project from scratch is tough! Especially as a beginner. It takes practice to build a good work flow that works for YOU. But that's nothing that should scare us away from jumping in and breaking things! :)

Like you and Acie Slade mentioned, trying to rebuild a simple website is a great idea. You mentioned, however, doing this without looking at a code. Reading code others have written, specifically from well made sites and apps, is a great way to not only learn but to become more familiar with code, and make sure you understand what the code says and is doing. If you are building something for a personal project, don't be scared to copy a bit of the code from somewhere else. Tear it apart, play with it and change it up! I would also recommend maybe find some sites that might not look so pretty, think "what would I do to improve this site and make it better" and then do it!

For me, when I first started, I could never think of a personal project idea, I felt like I lacked creativity. BUT creativity comes from constant practice and putting skills into use. Once you start working with code more often and start really doing your own research and exploring the internet world, new ideas will come to you!

For me, I love viewing the websites on http://www.awwwards.com/ Pretty much some of the most inspiring and amazing sites I've ever seen. It's basically my dream to make something worthy of submission to awwwards.

This turned out to be a novel. Oops. Keep up the awesome work!!!!

Thanks for your answers, guys. I do read code, although HTML and CSS it is sometimes quite complicated even for simple websites, with many nested divs. I try to first copy a site and then look it was actually built. Improving/changing sites is actually a good idea. I will try that, too. And you can do that in the browser.

Thanks again, Martin