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Completely new to coding. Want website to look good. Help a newb?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'd like to make a professional looking website offering custom computer builds and services locally. The problem is, I have no experiance with anything but Weebly.
I'd like to put a customer reviews section up, similar to Neweggs design. Maybe even a system builder (I may be able to just use weebly's shopping cart feature if this is too involved).

I don't know if someone can quickly pump this out for a teenager trying to make a name for himself tongue.gif
Or where I would even learn something this specific.

Anything you guys have to say will be taken in, thanks!
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post #2 of 13
got a library card? books are still good ya know.

there is W3Schools that will help you with some basics and has some tuts. not to put a damper on your goal but the learning curve to "pump out" something "professional" is rather high. whats important is a site that has who you are, what services you provide and how to contact you. having a feedback section and all the other bells and whistles are not so important unless you already have a client base that will leave feedback. - why have it if it won't be used right now?

from experience there is nothing more frustrating than to spend hours pulling out your hair trying to figure out why a div isn't behaving properly that could be spent social networking. so get a few books and go through a few tuts to get the basics to put up something that looks decent but simple. then go get some work!
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post #3 of 13
code academy might be worth checking out!
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post #4 of 13
I can do a site for you, but not for free tongue.gif

There are tons of resources you should be looking into in order to get started. W3Schools is alright, but it often doesn't stay current enough. Use it to learn about the basics of web design, and then branch out to other sites.

A few things to mention:
  • If you're using a table tag, it sure as hell better be for tabular data.
  • Load styles and scripts from external files whenever possible.
  • Use semantic HTML5 tags, making sure to use the proper doctype.
  • Only use img tags for images that are a part of the content. Decorative elements should usually be handled by CSS.
  • Don't use deprecated HTML elements for styling---HTML is for structure, CSS is for presentation, and Javascript is for advanced functionality. Stick to this.
    
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TehOnlyMITTENS View Post

I'd like to make a professional looking website offering custom computer builds and services locally. The problem is, I have no experiance with anything but Weebly.
I'd like to put a customer reviews section up, similar to Neweggs design. Maybe even a system builder (I may be able to just use weebly's shopping cart feature if this is too involved).

I don't know if someone can quickly pump this out for a teenager trying to make a name for himself tongue.gif
Or where I would even learn something this specific.

Anything you guys have to say will be taken in, thanks!

If you build me a decent new PC for free, then I'll build you a website for free wink.gif

There's plenty of decent online tutorials. Just a word of warning, take w3schools with a massive pinch of salt. While it's a great site for quick reference; they do frequently make mistakes. So if in doubt, then cross reference (Google is your friend in that regard).
post #6 of 13
As someone who programs, designs, hosts websites, web applications etc for a living on the side of a full time job doing the same thing basically (software development) it's crucial to not go about a website "quickly" via "pumping out".

You definitely want to put some good time in this project planning it out - not a full blown agile process or anything but at least story board it or sometimes it's good enough to just draw out the various pages of your site to get the look and feel done before you even begin coding... this alone will save tons of time tweaking css or completely redoing it later on down the road because you added/forgot something.

Also since you're putting in all the effort to build the site in the first place, build it to last (just like you would a house) and use current technologies - not experimental crap that won't last till next week - solid tried and true stuff.

One thing that doesn't seem to be making the splash it used to but is still very important for web designers is responsive web design or "RWD" as you'll see it some places - this saves TONS of time when developing the mobile version of your site (which is a MUST).

Another thing is why develop something that already exists unless you plan on beating it? PCPartPicker.com already does a helluva job with pc builds and as was mentioned before the review section could probably wait a bit until you get some clients.

For a storefront have a look at magento, it's a very capable online hosted cart solution with css templates and extensions are available as well to reduce coding effort if you're not comfortable with that.

Building a custom cart solution isn't that difficult either but there is more to it than just that as you've got tax, shipping and payment processing to think about as well. If you need help in this space let me know as I have all of resources on all of this to help fast track your project.

For a start I'd work up a very nice professional looking front page so you've got a url to throw on a business card and start going to local events and whoring your name out there; have a contact form on your site for prospective clients to send requests for quotes and perhaps view a nice gallery of past work.

Some generic questions I should save for threads like these:
Have you looked into hosting providers yet?
What's your budget?
How do you plan on driving traffic to your site (ads/word of mouth/seo)?
What language (design/functionality/data) do you plan to develop in?

Best of luck to you in this journey.
Edited by xyexz - 3/18/13 at 4:51pm
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Alright guys, thanks for the help. It seems like this will be quite and involved process for me, and it's going to take a bit of learning o.o

And my ace in the whole is now gone, Weebly's HTML function is very limited in terms of what coding actually works and what comes up as errors >.<<br />
+Reps ^^
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

If you build me a decent new PC for free, then I'll build you a website for free wink.gif

There's plenty of decent online tutorials. Just a word of warning, take w3schools with a massive pinch of salt. While it's a great site for quick reference; they do frequently make mistakes. So if in doubt, then cross reference (Google is your friend in that regard).

Depends, I can do free labor, but the parts and shipping would be on you xD
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Triennial
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooksy View Post

code academy might be worth checking out!

I have been learning to code for about a month now as a side hobby and I would definitely recommend code academy as suggested. It does a great job of incorporating the commands you use throughout a lesson while still introducing new things to you so you will retain what you learn. I do sometimes have problems with a command line actually turning up a result but it is easily fixed by just rewriting the line.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TehOnlyMITTENS View Post

Depends, I can do free labor, but the parts and shipping would be on you xD
labor i can do myself. My point was my source code is my resellable product. Just like the computers that you build are yours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TehOnlyMITTENS View Post


And my ace in the whole is now gone, Weebly's HTML function is very limited in terms of what coding actually works and what comes up as errors >.<</div>
That's HTML though. HTML doesn't error, it just degrades.

If you want to find errors in your HTML then you need to run it through w3c's HTML validator (i don't know the URL off hand, but google that phrase and it will pop up)

Edited by Plan9 - 3/23/13 at 3:20am
post #10 of 13
I will stress that HTML is not really "coding" in the sense that you can create an online web application, you'll need server side programming for that or at the very least a mound of javascript with static xml data sources.
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