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RAtkerson

Wordpress vs. Dreamweaver

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Hello Ladies!

I would like to offer website design, re-design, SEO, etc. in the future when I get my business up and going. The problem is, I have no idea how to design a website. Sooooo...I have to teach myself. I have an entire course I can take in Dreamweaver, but I read so many posts about Wordpress that I don't know which is worth taking the time to learn and master. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. I know I will still need to learn CSS, HTML, and PHP no matter what.

 

Thanks & have a great day!

Robin

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Hi Robin!

 

Do not offer anything as a service you don't already know how to do. If you want to offer that in the future, great. Wordpress vs. Dreamweaver isn't what you need to be worrying about. Although both can be used to build a web site, they are pretty different creatures. You definitely need to know HTML before you even THINK about moving on to CSS & PHP. You can know how to use Dreamweaver, but if you don't know HTML before you start poking around in Dreamweaver, well, to put it bluntly, you're kinda screwed.

 

Start with these web sites to see if you want to take your learning further.

http://www.w3schools.com/ <-one of my favorite reference sites

http://www.w3.org/

http://www.goodellgroup.com/tutorial/ <-geared toward kids, but might be a good place to start to not get overwhelmed if you don't know anything about HTML

 

There are TONS of other sites out there to help you learn HTML, CSS, etc. Once you know the basics, then you can worry about moving on to Wordpress, Dreamweaver, etc. FYI, there are other HTML editors out there besides Dreamweaver - it's just the most widely used. If you need something to use before you're ready to spend the big bucks for Dreamweaver, try CoffeeCup. I've been very happy with all the things I've used from them. http://www.coffeecup.com/

 

I know HTML & am relatively comfortable with CSS and some PHP, but I do not offer web design. I prefer to leave the "design" aspect to the people who live and breathe web design. I DO, however, offer my clients maintenance, updates, etc. to their sites ("HTML", Wordpress, and other CMS [content management sites]). You'll also need to know HTML if you intend to offer your clients assistance with their e-mail newsletters/ezines.

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I know HTML & am relatively comfortable with CSS and some PHP, but I do not offer web design. I prefer to leave the "design" aspect to the people who live and breathe web design. I DO, however, offer my clients maintenance, updates, etc. to their sites ("HTML", Wordpress, and other CMS [content management sites]). You'll also need to know HTML if you intend to offer your clients assistance with their e-mail newsletters/ezines.

 

Good words of wisdom there Sherra! I also leave design up to the experts but have done maintenance from time to time.

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I learned that web design is something you truly have to LOVE. I did my own site, my daughter's PTA site and one site for a paying client...NEVER AGAIN for a paying client! :damnputer: I love playing around with it, but it's not something I want to do all the time! :bash:

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Hi Robin!

 

Do not offer anything as a service you don't already know how to do. If you want to offer that in the future, great. Wordpress vs. Dreamweaver isn't what you need to be worrying about. Although both can be used to build a web site, they are pretty different creatures. You definitely need to know HTML before you even THINK about moving on to CSS & PHP. You can know how to use Dreamweaver, but if you don't know HTML before you start poking around in Dreamweaver, well, to put it bluntly, you're kinda screwed.

 

Start with these web sites to see if you want to take your learning further.

http://www.w3schools.com/ <-one of my favorite reference sites

http://www.w3.org/

http://www.goodellgroup.com/tutorial/ <-geared toward kids, but might be a good place to start to not get overwhelmed if you don't know anything about HTML

 

There are TONS of other sites out there to help you learn HTML, CSS, etc. Once you know the basics, then you can worry about moving on to Wordpress, Dreamweaver, etc. FYI, there are other HTML editors out there besides Dreamweaver - it's just the most widely used. If you need something to use before you're ready to spend the big bucks for Dreamweaver, try CoffeeCup. I've been very happy with all the things I've used from them. http://www.coffeecup.com/

 

I know HTML & am relatively comfortable with CSS and some PHP, but I do not offer web design. I prefer to leave the "design" aspect to the people who live and breathe web design. I DO, however, offer my clients maintenance, updates, etc. to their sites ("HTML", Wordpress, and other CMS [content management sites]). You'll also need to know HTML if you intend to offer your clients assistance with their e-mail newsletters/ezines.

 

Thanks sooooo much for all the great info! This is definitely something I want to offer in the future, but now I have a place to begin. I really appreciate your help and input! I'll be checking out those sites later this evening. Basic html is where I will start.

 

Thanks ladies--once again, you have proven to be the best resource out there for a newbie VA.

:thumbup:

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I would actually suggest that you learn html and css together. That way you won't have to unlearn a bunch of bad habits :) I'd strongly recommend that you study usability, accessibility, web standards and search engine optimization as well. Good web site design is much more than knowing how to write some code. A good book for beginners is this one from Sitepoint: Build Your Own Web Site The Right Way Using HTML & CSS (Actually, with very few exceptions, you won't go wrong with any of the books from them. They have a very good quality web publishing house).

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I would actually suggest that you learn html and css together. That way you won't have to unlearn a bunch of bad habits :)

And that's why I leave the real design to the "pros"! I know just enough to be dangerous but not quite enough to get myself out of trouble! :P

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Robin, if you think you would love to do web design, work with your own site all you want too. Build sites for friends and clients who would die for you.

 

But, if you don't know an AWESOME lot about the guts of websites, don't offer web design as a service until you do. It won't be fun after 10 minutes of working with a client who wants something 'code-ish' changed and you haven't the foggiest idea how to do it.

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P.S. I know I will still need to learn CSS, HTML, and PHP no matter what.

 

Regardless of what you decide to do, you will have to learn coding if you want to design websites...starting with your own website!

 

Now, with this being said, I would suggest you find a free WordPress template that you like (or more), downloading them, and then ripping it apart.

 

I have suggested this before, and for a good reason. Go backwards, see what other designers have done by looking at 'their' codes and the results. If you are 'visual' it will be very easy to learn and understand the process.

 

When I started 3 years ago, I knew NOTHING about codes and what not. Learning a foreign language would have been easier! But I stuck to it, and to be honest, if I could only do that for a living, I would be in heaven!

 

As for WordPress...Its the best in town!

 

 

Elenora

 

p.s.:

 

PHP is easier than it looks. Get your HTML first, then CSS. PHP will be a breeze by then. Im still learning PHP, and like I said before, just wish I had more time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have been dabbling in web design on and off for 15 years and you absolutely MUST learn HTML before you use Dreamweaver. Yes, Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG program but you still need to know how to tweak the HTML code. If you can't do this, you could end up with a much less than perfect looking website. Also, learning HTML in Windows Notepad is the way to go. To try to design a site in Dreamweaver and hope to learn HTML at the same time is merely adding an unnecessary complex layer to learning basic HTML.

 

After learning HTML, move on to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and then on to JavaScript. After that, you can tackle PHP if you want to do so.

 

WordPress can get you up and running with a basic site very quickly but once your business develops and you want to put additional features on it, it's possible you could get in over your head if you don't know HTML and CSS - and even the WordPress themes usually need some code tweaking to get them the way you want them, at least that has been my experience. In fact, no matter what you start out with, unless you hire a web designer to do the site for you and to maintain it regularly on your behalf, you will have to know HTML sooner or later if you want the site to look just the way you want it.

Edited by windsong

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I would actually suggest that you learn html and css together. That way you won't have to unlearn a bunch of bad habits <img src="http://www.vanetworking.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> I'd strongly recommend that you study usability, accessibility, web standards and search engine optimization as well. Good web site design is much more than knowing how to write some code. A good book for beginners is this one from Sitepoint: <a href="http://www.sitepoint.com/books/html2/" target="_blank">Build Your Own Web Site The Right Way Using HTML & CSS</a> (Actually, with very few exceptions, you won't go wrong with any of the books from them. They have a very good quality web publishing house).

 

I must agree with this. Sitepoint offers some of the best books published on designing web sites and this one is no exception.

 

I would also recommend one by Peachpit Press. It's a Visual Quickstart Guide by Elizabeth Castro. The name is something like "XHTML and HTML with CSS" or something very close.

 

O'Reilly also publishes reference guides for both CSS and HTML which are invaluable and will give you everything you need to know about HTML and CSS but they are not learning guides; they are for reference only.

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