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General Discussion

Starting out from scratch

So I'm a CS major, and I've fiddled with websites/was into graphics design in my earlier days. I've always had this kind of "itch" to get back in, especially when I see beautiful websites and web apps. I recently went through the half of the "become a web designer" learning adventure, and although I feel like I've learned a lot... I'm struggling to apply this knowledge to practice.

I started trying to build my own site yesterday... and with the multitude of options to choose for regarding a frameworks or boilerplate, I got completely overwhelmed. I guess I'm just trying to figure out if anyone else struggled with their first site, or were you just able to apply the knowledge you go from the tutorials and voila?

5 Answers

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Hey there,

I was in your shoes couple months ago when I just started, there was so much stuff to begin with that I got really overwhelmed and my advice to you is:

I dont know your skill level but if you are just starting out, dont look now at frameworks, and other stuff ... but start from the beginning!

1.HTML/CSS - once you build your website, everything will be much easier.

This is what best worked out for me.

at the same time I started to learn HTML/CSS/Photoshop - and just build different sites from nothing ;)

Thats the best exercise, good luck!

Aaron Walton
Aaron Walton
3,557 Points

I think one of the biggest problems with web development today is an overload of technology choices. Don't worry, you aren't the only one. Even professional developers have a difficult time keeping up with everything that is coming out. I would advise that you either start coding some simple pages by hand with no framework to learn the basics, or just choose one framework like bootstrap and keep your attention there for a while. Part of it depends on what exactly you want to achieve with your first site.

The biggest problem, I think I have, is that I can read and understand code well enough, but whenever I tried to build something I always get stuck. I don't quite know how to surpass that...

Are you biting off more than you can chew? That's always been my problem, so by working on smaller test projects and putting the hours in practicing, I've found that some of my bigger projects are coming along smoother. I came from CS to front-end as well, and since it's "technically" much simpler its easy to forget the intricacies which lead to roadblocks when building rather than reading. Just keep putting the hours in and perhaps scaling down your projects at first.

Quite possibly true (: I took your advice and started out small. Yesterday, I got Bootstrap, and made myself a website in Coda 2. Today I bought a domain, and I'll be uploading my files there soon enough. The website looks pretty good (in my own humble opinion), but the code could be cleaner, and there's a bunch of things I want to fix... but I decided that if I worry about those things too much, I'll never get started. I have a section on the website called "playground" that I'll use to link to simple one day projects, that will hopefully, eventually turn into larger scale awesomeness (: