Most people who want to learn web designing not have the faintest idea where to start – nowadays web is so full of different technologies that even professionals need to have specializations. In this article I will give you some hints what you should learn to have easier start into world of web design.
First of all you should think what exactly do you want to do? This will determine which programming languages you should learn. Do you want to become simple blogger, or maybe you have this great idea for amazon-like site, which is gonna bring you millions of pounds (per day of course)? I may sound like I am having a laugh, but this is important and may save you huge amounts of time. If you are into blogging, all you need is HTML, CSS and knowledge how to use blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger. But if you are gonna be proper site developer, you need better tools: a side server language like PHP or Ruby and some database knowledge. Of course HTML and CSS as well.
Let’s explain some common web standards and languages worth considering when making decision what web design language to learn:
HTML is language of browsers – you feed browser HTML page and it displays it. HTML “program” is just some text file with .html extension, using some additional tags put into < > brackets. If you press right mouse button on this page and select “View source file” (if you have Firefox browser) you will see page html markup. HTML is a MUST if you want to learn web designing – it’s a starting point for everything else. You don’t need to know everything about HTML, but you should have good understanding of it. At this moment standard is HTML4, while HTML5 is kind of novelty, but it may change in the future. If I were you, I would start my web designing adventure with HTML4.
Another server-side language. Although considered general-purpose language, Ruby got into web development thank to Ruby On Rails – web development framework for Ruby. I don’t recommend learning Ruby as first language – the main reason is that it’s syntax is different from common programming languages (C-like), while PHP and Java are somewhat similar, making it easier to switch between them later.
When server-side programs talk to databases, they use SQL to ask for data. This means that you shouldn’t bother with SQL initially – once you learn PHP and have need to use database from within PHP, then it’s the time to find good book about SQL.
If you are complete beginner wanting to learn web designing, I recommend that you learn basics of HTML, take a good look at CSS and then install WordPress on your local machine using WAMPServer. This shouldn’t cost you anything at all, unless you buy some books to help with the learning – you can use web resources but from my experience good book can speed up learning process substantially.
Once you know HTML and CSS then it’s time to learn PHP and maybe SQL for database connectivity. This is complete basic set of skills for any web designer. At this point you will be able to make your own decisions what to learn next.
Have fun learning web designing!