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General Discussion

Lee Cockcroft
Lee Cockcroft
5,147 Points

Building a website

Hi All,

Need some advise.

I have learnt HTML,and CSS, I am currently learning Javascript.

As I don't want to forget what i have already learnt i wanted to build my own website, however, I really don't know where to start! I don't know what to put, how to lay the site out, I've just copied website in the past, but feel creating my own site will help me.

Is there any courses on here that teach how to actually build a website, I mean, the layout, color etc! I really want to concentrate on Javascript, but I also want to show off my skills.


4 Answers

Hi Lee,

The Web Design track does show how to build a website, check the courses that are included I am sure some are related to design.

Kind regards

John O'Connor
John O'Connor
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 14,113 Points

If you haven't done so already I would recommend completing the "How to Make a Website" course which is in the "Web Design" track. This course takes you through every step of building and styling a website all the way through buying a domain name, hosting and going live with the site. This course helped me see the process through to the end and I was able to follow along in the course and tweak the styling, images and layout to make a site of my own.

If you've taken courses here (or pretty much anywhere) for HTML/CSS, then you will probably have a few basic websites laying around already. Most of them probably won't be much to look at, but a great starting place nonetheless. If you don't like any of those as a starting place, then find a simple-looking website that you do like and try to mimic some of what you like while stretching your creative limbs a bit with colors, layouts, and fonts. Make the content about something relevant to you, or about you, and check out some websites that talk briefly about color schemes and theory. When first getting into programming, web-dev, and other various forms of well-established art, copying other's work and trying to think about how and why some things were done the way they were, while still giving yourself a bit of room for creativity is pretty much the norm. There's no shame in finding a YouTube tutorial, completing it, and building it into something of your own. At least then you're making something, practicing, learning, and moving forward. Embrace the status quo and then walk all over it. Break it. Pull it apart and reconfigure it. Then see if you can put it all back together with some of the new skills you've learned in JavaScript. The only real advice I can give you, aside from that, would be to use a version control system like git. You don't even need to link to a remote online repository, though having offsite copies is always a good thing and make sure sharing easier. If you choose a git hosting service, you can't go wrong with bitbucket simply for the free private repositories while you're learning and maybe don't want to show the whole world your code. Either way, getting into version control early will make your life easier and save headaches and heartache later on, especially when experimenting with code. Just keep at it and have fun with it. One day you'll suddenly realize that you're no longer just learning stuff and you're actually doing it. Man, what a feeling that is, lemme tell ya. Good luck!

Lee Cockcroft
Lee Cockcroft
5,147 Points

Many thanks for your answers, much appreciated.

Just one question in regards to git. I've recently learnt the basics, which was adding a new repo, uploading my work via the command prompt.

Im just trying to understand the huge hype about git, am i right in saying, for example, myself using git, this will benefit me, as every change I make this will be listed online in which if I mess my code up it will be easier to determine where the mistake was made?

Am I correct in saying that?

I am currently doing the font end dev course, which does involves git further down the line. Everyone I speak to seems to bring git up, but i'm struggling to see why this is such a great tool.


Lee Cockcroft - Yes, it will make it easier for you to keep a functional copy of your work, as it will (when used reasonably well) keep track of your various revisions. Essentially, you would have one "Master/Origin" copy that would hold the most advanced and complete version of your project. This will store data about all the changes you make each time you commit and push to it. Then you would have a working copy (usually a local copy, or possibly a branch/fork) of the Master with which you would do your changes, test new stuff out on and so on. If at any time you break your working copy, you can just roll back or pull down the most recent working copy from your Master and you're back in business. With most of my web dev projects, I have a remote repository on Bitbucket, which serves as my offsite copy for backup purposes, a local working repository on my development environment, and then a production branch for web-ready content (which pulls from the master when I finalize updates) that almost never gets edited on it's own (unless it's a quick typo that I can change more easily by hand than by using my normal workflow). Just remember with a remotely hosted repository (even if it's marked as private) it's a bad idea to leave things like passwords for servers or anything else in the files that you sync.