designing websites questions

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Xiao, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Xiao macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2009
    I just started learning html and css. I want to build website for people to make some money.

    1. When you build a website for a client, do you make your custom template or use an existing template?

    2. If you design a custom template, do you use photoshop to do it?

    I looked around my area and there are web design companies that make beautiful website, not even sure how they do that, I wonder if html and css is too little

    any advice would be appreciated. thanks
  2. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    the most basic sites usually consist of html + css, and in many cases, and in many cases a contact form. a safe contact form either requires some knowledge of a language such as php, or that you have a php script pre-built which you can modify later on to your customer's liking.

    i've never worked off of someone else's template because it's not always easy to deal with someone else's code because not everyone codes the same way. on the flip side, using someone else's template saves you time when coding a site.

    alternatively you can learn how to work with wordpress/joomla/drupal, and make websites out of that, but it might require maintenance since their software and plugins are constantly updated.
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    If you're asking these questions, I hope you're not trying to make a living off of it. The answer to all your questions is, it depends. Templates can be used, but definitely aren't always. Some people only sell templates though. I doubt many people use Photoshop to do templates, and I'll leave that at that.

    I recommend heading over to Smashing Magazine for some reading. They cover many topics relating to this and you'd learn more than you can handle short term. Just knowing HTML/CSS will be very limiting, not only in the tasks you can take on, but the complexity of sites you can create. You'll want to pick up some JavaScript and PHP as well, even a minimal knowledge of those will enhance your capabilities for site development.
  4. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    There are any number of ways to go about creating a website; I know people who really are lousy at design and they make their living doing it but it's by no means the instant-success job that a lot of computer-illiterate folks seem to think.

    Consider it carefully before you jump in because you will spend a long time learning - HTML (XHTML is the current standard), CSS, being familiar with PHP is a big help as well as MySQL, you'll need a good graphics app, etc. and this is only the technical aspect. You also have to wear many hats (if you're working on your own) and be good at design and layout - which in itself is influenced by markup and accessibility. It will take time to because a quality web designer / developer but if you love it and you stick to it you can do it.

    As Angelwatt says, before you go buy anything read, read, read. Then read some more. Know what's involved and where to start.

    That said, all I use is Coda & Photoshop, mostly. Much of web design is knowledge - it's not like certain types of office work where if you're good with certain types of software you're golden.

  5. Xiao thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2009
    Thank you all for your suggestions and opinions.

    I'm only doing this as a part time for my mom's friends
    im only able to create a basic html website right now, im stuck on how to make the website look good, that is creating a template, angelwatt said ppl don't use PS, but Melrose said he does.

    so how do you create a template anyways? looked up on google, not much explaining on templates, only coding.

    I looked at the coda site, the menu looks cool, but what code is it build on? doesn't seem to be flash...thanks

    Also current project is remaking my aunt's restaurant site,, she paid someone but i don't like it, it looks messy and out of place...

    wordpress/joomla/drupal seems complicated and made for posting articles i think...
  6. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Correction, I said not many people use Photoshop for creating templates. It's used for the graphics on the page though. I guess it depends on how you define template. I actually use Gimp for graphics because it's free. I build templates with plain text code. No graphical interface.

    Though I can't say what Coda used for the site you looked at, but it was likely at least CSS and maybe some JavaScript.

    Web apps like Joomla and Drupal are content management systems and they can be made to do just about anything. You can often find pre-made templates to meet your need, but otherwise it does take a bit more knowledge than HTML/CSS to customize and use. You might want to hold off on them for the time being until you're more comfortable with the technologies.

    I actually like that Ichiban site for the most part. It's an elegant layout and color scheme. The gradient in the header could be cleaner though. The code is a little off as it has two DOCTYPEs. If i had to guess the site was made with DreamWeaver.
  7. Xiao thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2009
    Haha thanks, Well I guess I'll just leave the site alone for now, and refine the coding when I'm more familiar and experience with this stuff

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