I set out to learn html4.01 and 5, css, javascript and perhaps php with a view to developing strong technical web design skills that can be applied to designing websites from scratch. My reasoning is that I'm a bit deficient on the visual creativity side and could perhaps compensate by making use of good power and flexibility in text-editor-based design. I even thought that, if I became very strong on the technical side, I could perhaps even attract casual design partners who do have visual creativity, or even a more committed creative sidekick. I'm not looking to launch myself straight into business in the oversaturated freelance web design field, just create a technically solid personal website that has decent visual appeal as a springboard to anything else I might do in the future.

After having an easy time of it getting the basics of html and css down, but struggling with javascript, however, I'm starting to wonder how realistic my aim is. How much more power and flexibility does text-editor-based from-scratch design offer over the graphical design tools easily available to a creative but technically unskilled person through the average bargain-basement webhost? More importantly, to what extent can from-scratch design proficiency really compensate for weak visual creativity?

I welcome opinions on these issues from anyone, whether your strengths are technical or creative, whether you are a veteran millionaire freelance web designer or someone who has programmed only in binary for the last 30 years. Let's hear from you.


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Are you new to web design? If you are beginner and wants to learn web design then must visit W3Schools to start from scratch. It is a web developer's portal, with tutorials and references relating to web development subjects, including HTML, JavaScript, PHP, XML, CSS.

James_Smith, you need to declare any conflict of interest you may have in your incessant promotion of a third-party website through forum posts. What is your association and/or affiliation with that website and how do you stand to benefit personally, including in any pecunairy and/or remunerative way, from constantly plugging that website?

Proglearner, W3Schools is a really nice place to start learning about web. I started there about 6 years ago.

But let's go to the point... Knowing how to code is the only way to do exactly what you/your client wants.

There's a lot of tools, open-source projects, frameworks that you can use to build a website very fast, maybe in a day or two. But all those tools are limited and are going to limit your project.

If you just have good ideas for design/layout but don't know how to code, you'll always be limited by the available tools that you know how to use.

knowing how to code is to be free to create, don't matter if there's something identical out there or if it is all from your head.

Ale, thanks for bolstering my confidence a bit. Is there a way to make creative people of limited technical skill understand that a guy who can write code from scratch is useful to them?

Just show them a very sofisticated website, like DaniWeb or Google or Facebook, and ask: How would you make this happen? Do you know any good templates for creating something like it?

So DaniWeb, the Google pages and Facebook are written from scratch using a text editor? Thanks for letting me know that.

I got some motivation from reading the page source at www.bmo.com. How would you evaluate that page source from a technical point of view? I understand most of what's going on there, and the only thing in that page that I disagree with right off is commenting out the IE5, 6, and 7 support.

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