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Need someones view

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by MeMe96, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. #1
    Hi how are you doing? I am doing good. I have been out of college for a year. And I have been trying to find a job. The part I am not sure about. Is am I good enough to have a job in web design. Here is my portfolio site. What do you think I would need to work on. To achieve the dream I have.

    http://bsufan09.aisites.com/portfolio/home.html

    Thanks and I am looking forward to your views and ideas. Not sure what to do.

    Melissa
    SEMrush
     
    MeMe96, Aug 22, 2015 IP
    SEMrush
  2. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #2
    Based on what is on your resume, you know the browser level coding for the most part (do you know JQuery and/or Javascript?). For most multi-tiered sites you will also need to know the database (sql) and a server side language (such as php).

    If you know a CMS program (Content Management System like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal) then you could use your skills to make some templates that could be sold or made for companies.

    A good comparison is look at the sites that are in the market and see if you could make sites like them. A CMS based site (even ones like ESPN, WWE, NBA) are good examples of what can be made, or wikie based ones like (Wikipedia or Discogs) show a different method using a wiki system to make a website. If you can make one that looks elegant and has some actual firepower then you can find an easier time as a web designer.

    If you have a lot of no's as answers with what I presented above, another option would be to work for a company (either a cyber or a real store front business). These are perfect places to see what the base standards are and you might be able to get into a position doing the surface coding or even doing some graphic design if your Photoshop and Illustrator skills are good enough.

    One last note, the "�" symbols on your resume are usually due to a unique character that is not supported by the language template of the site you are using. I would change it as it would be a strike against you by a high end designer that sees it.
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 22, 2015 IP
  3. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #3
    I think you have potential in what I see with the layout, just need to flesh out you skills more. I hope the previous post helped and was constructive.

    :)
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 22, 2015 IP
  4. MeMe96

    MeMe96 Peon

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    #4
    Thanks for the tips. I know I do need to brush up new languages. And I think I can do this.

    It has helped.. I know I need learn more. And I know I can.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2015
    MeMe96, Aug 22, 2015 IP
  5. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #5
    This is not meant as anything but a perspective. Compare your site to mine: www.musiceternal.com

    Keep in mine that mine was made solely by me and is a multi-tiered website. This is actually the 7th incarnation of the site as I had a couple of marketers, labels, and bands give me input in what would make the proud to be affiliated with the site.

    I will say that I am a programmer, but not a true web designer. So it took me much longer than the experts on here to learn how to make it more appealing to the person that would come to it.
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 22, 2015 IP
  6. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #6
    Also, if I can point you in the right direction, please let me know. I know how hard it can be doing it on your own. :)
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 22, 2015 IP
  7. PoPSiCLe

    PoPSiCLe Illustrious Member

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    #7
    Your site looks horribly dated. The colors are not good (you should study a bit of color theory, if you haven't already).
    There are very few indicators that you know the design-bit of web-development.
    The code does also leave a little bit to be desired - there are errors in the head-element (lacking title, double </head> (with the embedded styles outside the first head-element)), and you have a bit of work to do on understanding the REASON certain elements are used - it's not for their default look in most browsers.
    Not the worst start, but I think you have a bit to do yet.
     
    PoPSiCLe, Aug 23, 2015 IP
  8. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #8
    Well to be frank (when am I anything but) your "designs" have accessibility woes, and show a fundamental lack of understanding the grammatical side of HTML. Even though you are using CSS, you are applying it to what is for all intents and purposes presentational markup. Putting the CSS into the served file means you miss an opportunity to cache across pages and pre-cache sub-pages, and the mis-use of numbered headings and horizontal rules makes non-visual navigation a headache.

    Remember the most important rule of HTML -- Markup is there to say what things ARE, NOT what you want them to look like. Generally speaking that's why if you have <style> tag in your markup or use the style="" attribute you are doing something WRONG.

    Let's break down your profile page and discuss what's missing, what should be done, and why so you can learn from it.

    First obvious flub is the invalid doctype -- might sound funny, but in legacy UA's the doctype is case sensitive, so it's <!DOCTYPE html> for HTML 5 if you actually don't want certain older browsers dropping into quirksmode.

    Next problem is the <style> tag. First off you have it BETWEEN </head> and <body> where it is COMPLETELY invalid. If you want to use <style> in a modern document it goes between <head> and </head>... In my documents I often condense certain opening and closing tags, specifically <html><head>, </head><body> and </body></html> as a reminder that NOTHING should EVER be pasted in-between those tags! -- rookie mistake, don't feel bad we've all made it at some point.

    That said, <style> REALLY should obsolete that tag making it invalid as again, that really has NO business in your HTML. It also has no MEDIA attribute meaning that style is sent to "all" - which may not entirely make sense for aural or print. Put that style in an external sheet so it can be shared across pages for things that are the same on all pages, and so that things unique to certain pages can be loaded ahead of time. Something like:

    <link
      rel="stylesheet"
      type="text/css"
      href="screen.css"
      media="screen,projection,tv"
    >
    Code (markup):
    The newest HTML 5 validator (what a joke) will bitch about projector and tv as values, but since we should want legacy support go ahead and ignore that. Valid "media" targets should NOT be part of the HTML specification in the first damned place anyways. IT's important to say MEDIA of at least screen so that you aren't sending style to devices where it may not make sense. (even though IE and FF can be total jackasses sending SCREEN to everything anyways...). Notice I name the file something meaningful like "screen.css" to say what it's for, instead of the uselessly vague "style" or "design" other people would use there. "style.css" really makes me laugh, of course it's style, that's what CSS is! Get on the plane, get on the plane, **** you I'm getting IN the plane. Evel Knievel can get ON the plane.

    Next you don't have a <title> tag inside your head. EVERY page should have a TITLE and it should be unique to that page. As a rule of thumb the best title would be a short one to four word description of the current page, followed by a hyphen, followed by the site title/name. In your case that's easy:

    <title>Portfolio - MB Designs</title>
    Code (markup):
    No real reason to get more complex than that. Some of the SEO scammers out there (search engine optimization) will probably try to tell you to stuff that full of pointless crap -- trust me, when it comes to being stuffed full of it, they're the experts.

    You may also want to add some <meta> for keywords and description, but they aren't necessary. Keywords would actually be hard for that page due to the lack of text content -- <meta name="keywords"> is supposed to be 7 or 8 words that exist inside the body you want to uprank on. The lack of unique terms and flow text often makes this difficult on gallery pages. One meta you SHOULD have for a modern site is the "viewport", which should be declared as follows to tell mobile browsers "we know what the **** we are doing"

    <meta
      name="viewport"
      content="width=device-width; height=device-height; initial-scale=1"
    >
    Code (markup):
    There are other values people will set there, but for the most part those break the ability to zoom and just make matters worse. This is the one I and several others through a few years of testing have settled on, I do not advise varying from it.

    Once we get inside your document <body> that's where things get a bit iffy. Well, more than a bit iffy.

    That logo image seems to be presentational, as such it should be applied as a background from the CSS, and NOT have any business in the markup. You also seem to be resizing those images inside the browser which takes far too long to load, you can see them loading on broadband first-visit, and are a waste of bandwidth if people don't actually visit them. There's a reason you should create thumbnails at the size you want them shown at, instead of using the full size image. Faster page load, usually looks nicer since you can apply far better resize and tweaking than the browser can, etc, etc...

    The H1 seems ok, but the "portfolio" part might not really belong in there. Remember the H1 is the heading under which ALL sections of the page are subsections -- so if you have subsections that are NOT part of the portfolio -- like the footer for example -- that H1 is gibberish. Likewise you have P inside aligned DIV for what are quite obviously the start of subsections... those are H2's job to say "this is the heading for this section". Just as H3 are the start of subsections of the H2 and so forth down the line. You also seem to be mis-using HR since a HR just means a change in topic where a heading is unwanted/unwarranted.

    In general your use of headings and rules says you are thinking appearance. H1...H6 means the start of sections and subsections, NOT "I want this text in different sizes". HR means a new section without a heading, and NOT "I want a line drawn across the screen".

    One BIG "what the" is the presence of a CENTER tag. Say hello to the bleeding edge of 1997 coding practices. Tags like CENTER or FONT, along with attributes like ALIGN have ZERO business on ANY website written after 1998. If you are as new to this as you claim and someone taught you those, track them down and given them a nice swifth kick in the crotch.

    You also seem to have a lot of empty alt text, TRY to avoid doing that. If it's presentational like the heading, put it in the CSS instead of the markup. If it's not presentational like that "QS" page, DESCRIBE IT.

    You are also stating width and height on images -- this used to be good practice to size things before the images finish loading, but really in the age of waiting around for CSS it's a bit of a waste now. Again if they were just that size you could make the page load faster and be easier to maintain without it, and if it comes down to it, size them from the stylesheet, not the markup.

    Even your footer -- you never close it's DIV, that fragment is not a complete though and therein shouldn't qualify as a paragraph...

    It also looks like you have a LOT of files in your root or document directory. It's often easier to separate out things like content images into their own directories... or relative subdirectories. Just a little tip.

    If I were writing that same page with that same basic content, the markup would be something like this:

    <!DOCTYPE html><html><head><meta charset="utf-8">
    
    <meta
    	name="viewport"
    	content="width=device-width; height=device-height; initial-scale=1"
    >
    
    <link
    	rel="stylesheet"
    	type="text/css"
    	href="screen.css"
    	media="screen,projection,tv"
    >
    
    <title>
    	Portfolio - MB Design
    </title>
    
    </head><body>
    
    <div id="top">
    
    	<h1>
    		Melissa Bush Design
    		<span><!-- image sandbag --></span>
    	</h1>
    
    	<ul id="mainMenu">
    		<li><a href="home.html">Home</a></li>
    		<li><a href="about.html">About</a></li>
    		<li><a href="portfolio.html">Portfolio</a></li>
    		<li><a href="resume.html">Resume</a></li>
    		<li><a href="contact.html">Contact</a></li>
    	</ul>
    	
    	<h2>Portfolio</h2>
    
    	<div id="websites" class="gallery">
    		<h3>Websites</h3>
    		<a href="/fnd132/final/home.html">
    			<img
    				src="images/websites/autismawarenesssite.png"
    				alt="Autism Awareness"
    			>
    		</a>
    		<a href="/CyberBully/home.html">
    			<img
    				src="images/websites/cyberbullying.png"
    				alt="CyberBullying"
    			>
    		</a>
    		<a href="/project/home.html">
    			<img
    				src="images/websites/klamathfallsorgeon.png"
    				alt="Klamath Falls, Oregon"
    			>
    			</a>
    		<a href="/qshomepage.html">
    			<img
    				src="images/websites/qs.png"
    				alt="Quiet Storm - The Soul Brothers"
    			>
    		</a>
    	<!-- #websites.gallery --></div>
    
    	<div id="graphics" class="gallery">
    		<h3>Graphics</h3>
    		<img
    			src="images/graphics/1001846_474430465975519_2036946201_n.jpg"
    			alt="Liquor bottle"
    		>
    		<img
    			src="images/graphics/1017481_474430205975545_1325036345_n.jpg"
    			alt="Some sort of USB... thing"
    		>
    		<img
    			src="images/graphics/1011703_474429912642241_1958736005_n.jpg"
    			alt="Designs Logo"
    		>
    		<img
    			src="images/graphics/993020_474417069310192_2041063621_n.jpg"
    			alt="Quilts and Crafts Banner"
    		>
    		<img
    			src="images/graphics/GoodBlessOurTroops.gif"
    			alt="God Bless Our Troops"
    		>
    	<!-- #graphics.gallery --></div>
    
    	<div id="footer">
    		<hr>
    		Copyright MB Designs
    	<!-- #footer --></div>
    
    <!-- #top --></div>
    
    </body></html>
    Code (markup):
    Again putting the tags that NOTHING should go between together on single lines as a reminder that, well, NOTHING should go between them. Viewport META so mobile browsers obey what we tell them, numbered headings indicating the main section and subsections of the page, a horizontal rule to indicate that the content of #footer is not part of "graphics" or "portfolios", no real need for the paragraph, and descriptive alt text on ALL images. I added a empty span as a image sandbag if need be for the logo, the exact implementation of that needs a bit of work... Also notice my closing comments.

    Commenting is a funny thing, some comments are just wasteful nonsense, others are pointless redundancies, and sometimes they can even trip rendering bugs in older browsers. :(

    You'll often see nonsense like this:

    <!-- start content -->
    <div id="content">
    Code (markup):
    That's some serious "No **** Sherlock!"... Opening a div with the ID of #content is the start of the content? WHO'D HAVE GUESSED?!? Pointless wasteful comment if you are using ID's and classes that actually mean anything.

    Then you'll see comments like this:

    </div><!-- end content -->
    Code (markup):
    OF course it's the end, that's what </div> means! Worse, if comments end up between "sibling level" elements, like:
    </div><!-- comment --><div>
    Code (markup):
    It can actually trip rendering bugs in IE and some versions of FF if positioning is applied to either tag. Yes, COMMENTS, the things that browsers are SUPPOSED TO IGNORE, can trip rendering bugs. Stupid, huh?

    I've seen people waste 10k and scripting on hacking around this when all they have to do is remove the comment, or simply move it. You move it before the close, it can't be between elements can it? hence why my closure for that would be:

    <!-- #content --></div>
    Code (markup):
    I use the . or # as per CSS to say what's being closed. It's clear, concise, stands out like a sore thumb -- everything a comment should be/do.

    That might seem like something minor -- it stops being minor four years from now when you can't figure out which DIV is being closed when you're nested six deep, or when someone contacts you going "why is half the content missing in IE8?"

    I added the outer DIV#top as a width restrictor, and many ID's so that they can be targeted via hashes in the URI if desired. Generally speaking you should have some way to stop the page from getting so wide that long lines of text (if any) don't get hard to follow. A single outer DIV is often the easiest way if you aren't doing full width background sections in your layout.

    Apart from that, EVERYTHING else done on that page -- and every other page of that site -- should be done in that screen.css. If you had more content that people might decide to print, it might also be a good idea to make a separate stylesheet for that -- when doing so I like to do things like hiding the menu and any backgrounds/effects so as not to waste ink on things the user doesn't need printed.

    To sum up, you've got a basic grasp of HTML syntax, you just need to better punctuate and learn the grammar of the language. If you are serious about becoming a web developer, I would REALLY suggest that you focus on semantic markup (A sick euphemism for "using HTML properly), CSS layout methods, and accessibility norms. There are ALL sorts of things you need to learn about like semi-fluid layout, elasticism, dynamic fonts and accessibility norms if you're SERIOUS about learning this.

    As such I'd suggest that you NOT dive into things like content management systems (CMS), server-side languages like PHP, or even client side scripting (JavaScript) until you have a much firmer grasp of HTML, CSS and accessibility norms you really have no business touching any of that, and diving for a number of things like CMS, frameworks, etc, can actually prevent you from learning how to do anything properly, learning what you need to determine if said CMS is even worth using or not (most of them are NOT for anything more complex than a blog for grandma), or if the site you are making is going to actually be useful to as many visitors as possible.

    ... since that's really the POINT of a website. To deliver CONTENT to as many PEOPLE as possible; concepts often lost on the people who load down pages with endless pointless scripting for nothing, or wasting time screwing around in photoshop and calling it "design" in complete ignorance of accessibility.
     
    deathshadow, Aug 23, 2015 IP
  9. MeMe96

    MeMe96 Peon

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    #9
    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. I do know that my sites are out of date. And that if I want to do this. I do need to know the latest coding.

    Melissa
     
    MeMe96, Aug 23, 2015 IP
  10. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #10
    Have you seen the episode of "How I met your mother" where Ted dates Honey?
    Basically after everything she says you just want to say "oh honey"

    That's how I felt when I loaded up your site.

    upload_2015-8-24_16-16-34.png

    Designers need to be able to code html and javascript - lets ignore @deathshadow and go so far as to say you should understand how to design and code for bootstrap or WordPress because applying your design is really important. As a backend coder I expect a designer to hand over something that already caters for all the shortcomings of IE and has all the hacks built in.

    But lets ignore the code for a second... and look at the design.

    Assuming you have design training - or even high school art - how did that ever tick your boxes for good design?

    If you want someone to hire you then you have to show why they should pay you and not their 12 year old daughter. It doesn't mean it has to be complicated, but there has to be something that shows you have style.

    While you are upskilling take a look too and usability, accessibility and user heat maps.
     
    sarahk, Aug 23, 2015 IP
  11. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #11
    I agree with you Sarahk, although I would say there are two more vital things to know.

    Know how all the parts of the site will work such as:
    1) Will the site be on a CMS or flat code?
    2) What are the core languages that will be associated with the site and are they compliant with the CMS or coding involved?
    3) Will there be custom parts to the site?
    4) Develop a logical design to the site.
    5) See how the competition have their respective sites.
    6) I would also be open to the input to those involved in the project (marketers, site owner, those involved in that respective industry)
    7) Develop an alpha version of the site that is capable of going live, but where you can fix things (preferably in a non-live environment like a sandbox)

    The criteria above is based on working with a team as a designer. I know two companies that didn't use someone that was specialized in designing the sites, but someone that know what the different layers of coding were able to do and developed the site as an image. Then they presented multiple site layouts to the client for them to choose the direction and give input on the site. In that sense, photoshop can be a valuable tool in developing the sections as layers and where you can make alterations based on the client's needs.

    These are just one perception. Coding is like a spoken language and there is always more than one way to approach a challenge (problem) that you are taking on.

    If I had one piece of advice in this it would be to see how other "popular" sites are laid out and develop a logical approach to how they did their design work. Many sites like NBA, Discogs, ESPN all use a CMS platform with a very dynamic template that is customized to their respective needs.

    I hope this helps. :)
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 23, 2015 IP
  12. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #12
    Interesting choices -- given that two seem like afterthoughts by major corporations going "we need a site, who cares if it's useful", and all three are train wreck laundry lists of how not to build a website that I'd hold up not as examples of what to do, but STUNNING examples of what NOT to do!

    Bloated, slow inaccessible broken train wrecks all three -- to the point it's obvious the owners of said sites are more impressed by flash than substance and could give a flying purple fish about actually being useful to people visiting the sites; as evidenced by the minute plus first-loads, broken layouts, inaccessible font sizes, broken gibberish heading orders.

    Pretty good examples of some sleazy scam artist "designer" or "developer" putting the saddle on a "suit with a checkbook" and taking them for a ride. It's pretty clear the creators of those sites know **** about **** and should do the world a favor and back the **** away from the keyboard.
     
    deathshadow, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  13. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #13
    Funny that you slam the examples, yet never mention the CMS they are using and how they have adapted that CMS to meet their needs with their respective limitations.

    NBA uses vbulletin, which is a forum CMS platform. They developed it to house all the stats, franchisee "websites" (team profiles), their own internal news, and the tied it to ESPN and TNT media sources. For the limitations that vbulletin has, they did a good job considering that the site is old, huge, and any upgrades in their live environment take care to not have parts broken.

    Discogs uses mediawiki (the same as wikipedia, which also owns it). Yet if you look at most of the site it doesn't look even close to mediawiki. The framework uses the internal resources of the wiki CMS extremely well even if the site is limited based on what the framework can do.

    ESPN is a 3rd party CMS platform. What is the truly impressive part with it is how they have set up social medias into a cluster approach for one display, and the fact that they transitioned from the old platform to the new one with only a few minor bugs. The transitioning was the big thing as it required dealing with versioning and also adding the new functionality of the new design without the drawbacks that come with it.

    Do I like the designs listed above? Not really, but I will admit that their traffic, the growing pains they avoided with transitions to new layouts, and that they haven't killed themselves in terms of traffic speak a ton about them. Since we are talking about designs I am not a huge fan of, there is also the WWE. I don't like the new layout or how things are presented in this layout. What I will say though is that the company that designed it have made it where it works with their WWE Network with little issues, their side apps, and now the site is generating more revenue by itself in comparison to the old site. Do I think it could have been done better? Absolutely, but, like the other sites, these are the trendsetters. You can have the most amazing site in the world, but it has to also be within the comfort zone of the viewer. I have seem amazing site that excelled in the US tank in Europe and the same in reverse. The challenge that many of these sites have is creating a dynamic site that can grow and adapt while not alienating the bulk of their traffic in one or more geo-locations in the world.
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  14. MeMe96

    MeMe96 Peon

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    #14
    With all your tips and suggestions. I am thinking where to start at first. I am looking to redo my sites. I feel that would be the first step. I know my designs are not perfect.. But you know this all takes time. And I will get there. The more I do this. The better I will get with things. :) I am very confident that I can do this. :)
     
    MeMe96, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  15. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #15
    I would recommend getting to know designers in the market you want to focus in. If you want to have a diverse framework in layouts I would recommend talking to designers in North America and Europe. Many may think that the standards are the same, but for what makes a "good" layout differs between the two. Learn on what both are and how to make an ideal balance that is dynamic and elegant in presentation. These are things that someone with experience in designing can teach you much more than a class can.
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  16. MeMe96

    MeMe96 Peon

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    #16
    When I was in college I did have classes on JQuery and Javascript. Need brush up on that. With the CMS programs. That is something I need to learn. I know there are things I need to learn and in time I will. :)
     
    MeMe96, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  17. DravenTaylor

    DravenTaylor Active Member

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    #17
    With the CMS programs I would recommend learning server side languages (such as php, python, etc.). Make sure it is a server side language that is the foundation to the CMS program, that way you can customize the framework and widgets and/or modules (if the CMS has them). Also, keep in mind that there are some CMS platforms that are used exclusively in North America and/or Europe. These are ones that are used in one and not the other (granted there are common ones like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress). In choosing the CMS you will learn, determine what kind of sites you want to develop as each CMS has strengths and weaknesses depending on the project.

    With JQuery and js (Javascript) try to keep up to date as HTML5 and CSS3 are the new flavors that have been gradually coming into the market. They provide some new functionality and remove some older ones that will change how to deal with projects and in some cases the roles that JQuery and js will play in these projects.
     
    DravenTaylor, Aug 24, 2015 IP
  18. KewL

    KewL Well-Known Member

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    #18
    Everyones telling you to do way too much. I wouldn't start digging into javascript/server-side languages/bootstrap/wordpress/etc yet. I think before anything you need to get your html/css/design on track.

    You should start by trying to design/code some modern looking html/css static sites. I would listen to all deathshadow's advice as far as html/css goes. When you finish one you can post it here and we can critique it and give you tips on how to improve.

    I definitely wouldn't through anything else into the mix yet. HTML/CSS is the foundation of everything. Once your solid in those you can start throwing special javascript effects and CMS's in the mix. Trying to do everything all at once will be a mess.
     
    KewL, Aug 25, 2015 IP
    sarahk likes this.
  19. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #19
    @KewL that's good feedback, but her portfolio shows she's actively looking for work so it's really important that she has the big picture to work towards otherwise she might do what you suggest and still be left wondering why she's unemployable.
     
    sarahk, Aug 25, 2015 IP
  20. jackburd

    jackburd Active Member

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    #20
    You need to know first where do you want to focus yourself. Like do you want to be a Wordpress master, CMS expert, or you want to master Python programming? There's a lot going on the web development and my advice for beginners is to look at the big picture and focus on to something.
     
    jackburd, Jul 11, 2017 IP