How To Start

To start developing website is a hard way to tell people depending on what they are best at. I'd like to describe a few of 'em. I will call them a few names depending on what effect comes out of 'em. And I will describe what developing languages there are out there and are most widely used. Let's start with that for now.

The Languages:

There are a few languages I would like to bring up, from the most popular and descending:

HTML - Stands for Hypertext Markup Language which basically every developer needs to know the basics of to be able to continue in the area.

CSS - Stands for Cascading Style Sheet which works simultaneously with HTML to define how the outcome will be of the HTML. Therefore it's widely used and you will also need to know HTML.

PHP - The recursive acronym for PHP is: Hypertext Preprocessor. And it's mostly used for under the hood work (more later) and it's all open source and constantly updated by "The PHP group".

Javascript - Java... you might ask, is it the same as Java? NO! Java is developed by Sun Microsystems and it's in the same class as C/C++. JavaScript gives dynamics into HTML pages and it's a scripting language which means it needs no compiler for it to execute.

ASP.net - ASP.Net is developed and maintained by Microsoft Corp. ASP stands for Active Server Pages:

  • ASP.NET is a program that runs inside IIS
  • IIS (Internet Information Services) is Microsoft's Internet server
  • IIS comes as a free component with Windows servers
  • IIS is also a part of Windows 2000 and XP Professional

And therefore it can only run on Microsoft Operating Systems.

Under the Hood:

A lot of people call the raw code behind the website "under the hood" which basically tells you that it's the source code behind the site which contains all the functions, classes and databases. So if you are into doing some hardcore coding and not fond of designing, this could be your best bet. Although it's recommended that you learn and know the basics of the designing parts (like HTML, CSS). With that said, if you feel that "under the hood" coding is for you - the safest bet for you is to start out with Javascript and then move on to the more advanced languages such as PHP and/or ASP.Net.

Design:

The design as I like to call it is actually the wide area of the looks of the website. This is where you need knowledge of how to handle Photoshop and similar software. You still need to know HTML/XHTML and CSS since that will be the foundation of your website and you could also implement some Javascript if you'd like.

So basically, if you are creative go for design even if you think under the hood programming seems fun. It's a pain in the ass without a good designer.

How to Start:

Starting is the hardest part. You could just go off to a local library and borrow a book from them. If you ask them if they have any books in the language of your choice, they will be more than happy to help you out. Or you could order one from eBay or Amazon, or buy an e-book. If you don't want to do that and hate reading books, you could just start off with some tutorials.  Here's a few of the better ones you could start out with by reading. Reading is the in my opinion the best way to start, since most of the videos you can find on the web just jump right to the coding part and don't really describe the tags and variables which is the key to learning and developing your very own projects.

Editor Tools:

There are a few editors I've really found useful and simple to use.

Before you start developing websites, there are a lot of editors which can be overkill if you are a beginner and don't have a website out on the Internet and only on localhost. But they still can be very good to use even if they are overkill because then you can know how to use them properly when you get into more advance languages. If you like simplicity you could just use Notepad and save as an .html extension or whatever language you choose.

The best editor I've found for MAC is of course the well known TextMate which has great markup functions, but it is expensive. It's worth the money, which I can tell you without any regrets. Most people use Windows, where you could use Notepad or the more advanced PHPdesigner which also costs a bit but it's worth it for sure. Or you could go with a free editor named Notepad++ which is a non-Microsoft open-source software which is an enhanced version of Notepad with many more functions.

For Linux, I personally use Redcar, which TextMate alternative and supports all TextMate themes.

The best place to start is with HTML, which is easy to learn and there are loads of tutorials out there. Just check out these sites below:

w3schools.com: W3schools got all of the languages stated above! Highly recommended site!

htmlgoodies.com: Mostly HTML and Javascript is covered on htmlgoodies

php.net: Only PHP tutorials on their wikipage and also the official site of PHP

asp.net: Official site of asp.net containing all from how to set up IIS to start developing.

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