How hard to build a site?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Dal123, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Dal123 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2008
    How hard is it to build your own website from scratch. Done a 2 year graphics course and learnt nothing so I'm a real beginner really. Work in the construction game so I'm no brain of britain lol.
    I have Flash MX2004 pro, Dreamweaver, Quark, Illustrator and Photoshop. I think I have the programs to do the job. I'm trying to do a photo sequence in flash to email possible clients to get work and I just can't do it. Dunno what to do? Ideally I would hire someone but I just can't afford it.
    Really starting to get me down now, Its coming up to midnight and I've been working on this photo transition effect in flash since 8am. Just don't know how to do it; I have another post with this problem if anyone thinks they can help would be much appreciated.
    I always think hard work will get you places but maybe without the technical know how you could work as hard as you want; still won't get there. Should I check for prices to hire someone or keep going?
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I wouldn't give up just yet. There's decent tutorials out there for what you're wanting to do. Sometimes it just takes the right search terms to use to find them. I'm not a Flash person so can't help with any specifics, but there are some here so hopefully they'll chime in when they come around.

    You should also consider just putting a simple web page together showing off whatever work you're wanting to show off. There's some nice JavaScript scripts out there to make it look nice as well. Flash files can get kind of large, especially if you start pumping them full of images, so it doesn't make a great delivery through email. Just something to consider. Basic web design is pretty easy as long as you aren't doing anything too fancy. DreamWeaver will work nicely for this, and there's plenty of tutorials out there for using DW.
  3. Dal123 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2008
    Cheers mate,
    Was running low on steam last night. That's great advice on the email; people could get bored waiting for it to load and discard it. They might not even have flash so not able load it. Might change my tactics.
    Thanks again buddy.
  4. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    Here is my experience:

    I work for a non-profit organization here in Hong Kong helping the poor villages in China after graduating from college last May. My dad bought me a MBP as a graduation present(best gift ever!), so I decided to use iWeb from iLife 08. It was very easy to use, and I built an okay site hosted by Mobileme. However I felt very limited to what it can do, and it didn't look the way I wanted to. Had that amateur feel to it. So I decided to learn Dreamweaver, along with Fireworks and Flash last September hoping to build a better site. I didn't know HTML, or CSS, I spent countless hours on watching tutorials(w3schools, Lynda's free trial), have two "dummies" books are DW and FW, but nothing helped. I pretty much was designing the entire site on Fireworks, along with the headers and footers(the nav bar on top(header), and bottom(footer).

    I quickly realized this wouldn't work, because linking all the buttons on EACH page would be pain in the butt. So I sort of gave up. Come in November, a fellow Canadian came on a trip to China with us, and he does web design and internet marketing part time. He taught me how to use CSS, and server side includes, which were CRUCIAL and the answer I've been searching for. Server Side Includes is basically a template for each page, which I never realized I needed to make a template to solve the linking issues.

    If it wasn't for that guy, I would have NEVER figured it out, unless I took a course which I was about to. Now I have a very good understanding of the workings of CSS, DW, and FW. Of course I can't build a full website just with code, but in time I believe I can if I keep it up. The website is

    Now maybe you are super smart and can catch on quick, but with my experience, if I never met the guy who taught me how to make a template with CSS and SSI, I'd still be with my shotty iWeb site. See if there is a community college course that teaches DW, I was about to sign up for a course that'd cost $500USD here in HK, I'm so glad I didn't!

    I still don't know anything really about web design, but I'll try to answer any additional question you may have. There are some GREAT people who'll take their time in answering your questions, one I can remember on the top of my head is SRdeveloper(I think that is his forum name), he posted long messages on every thread I started.
  5. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Put down those application for a while, you can thank me later.

    Building a website from the uses of commercial applications isn't technically "building". Knowing how to use those applications is a bonus but it won't help you debug if there's error in the script. Building a beautiful site using iWeb isn't really great either! All you really need is a good and solid text editor such as BBEdit and a few hours of your time for studying, perhaps a couple hours a day?

    The internet holds lots of sites that offer 'free to use' scripts but you don't need them right now. What I think you need is to learn the very basics. Start with basic HTML, later then move on to CSS. Perhaps visit csszengarden and download the sample? Take a long hard look at the code and tags. If you need help, pop open dreamweaver and check out it's reference section. It'll be somewhat confusing for the frst few days but don't despair, it'll get easier.

    If you prefer hardcopy books (like me) visit the a book store and check out the O'Reily series of web books, they have books covering every single part of the web... Just get the basic one for now cause as soon as your comfortable you can move on to the more advance stuff later.

    Have fun!

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