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hi, i'm new + questions - Web Developer

About hi, i'm new + questions

Previous Entry hi, i'm new + questions Mar. 10th, 2005 @ 07:45 pm Next Entry
Been LJing for several years now and with my web design aspirations increasing, I figured I'd look for some good Web Design related LJ communities to join.

I attempted a CompSci BS degree at the University of N. Florida, which didn't work out well and I left basicly hating programming. "Just because you're good with computers doesn't mean you should be a CS major" was the lesson learned.

What I have interest in is web design. I've been maintaining a homepage for many years (and am working on a bit of redesign to it lately) - http://www.geocities.com/JL_Stinger/ if you're interested, though I don't consider it terribly impressive. Quite frankly, if I had to do it all over again, I would've gone for a web design program of study in the first place, but that's a long story...

Can anyone recommend anywhere good in Florida, or failing that the southeastern US, for a web design degree? There seem to be very few places that offer them, and practically none that offer a BS degree in it. If I was doing it all over again, I'd probably go to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale (or Atlanta or wherever), but that's just too much cost right now.

For that matter, how important is a degree in the web design field, especially a AS vs BS? Do most places only offer a AS because that's all you really need or what?

Can anyone recommend a good free hosting site? GeoCities isn't what it used to be, but I don't know any better place to move my site without paying money (which I'll do eventually, but not yet).

Any particular advice anyone cares to share with someone trying to really get into the web design field?
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Date:March 11th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC)
Advice One: Join webdesign too.

Advice Two: Good WYSIWYG editor and graphics software.

Advice Three: Experience, experience.

Don't know about Florida, I'm in northwest USA. Art Institute are expensive, though I'd love to get a degree from them. Dunno about degrees, some ask for a AS or BS, some just want experience of at least 4 years or so in certain applications, or just a freelance contractor.

Free sites -- not really looked into it. I paid for mine because I wanted more features that free hosts don't offer.

Hope that helps some.
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Date:March 11th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)

I paid for mine because I wanted more features that free hosts don't offer.

Who do you use and how much do they charge?
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Date:March 11th, 2005 02:20 am (UTC)

Re: I paid for mine because I wanted more features that free hosts don't offer.

Registered with GoDaddy for a DNS at $6.95 a year (don't pay more than $10 for your own DNS), host for $3.95 (ranges from free to basic of $2.95 and upward). I've heard Brinkster is good and a couple others as well. I'm sure a lot of others here will give you recommendations. Some developers here also have their own servers.
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Date:March 11th, 2005 09:19 am (UTC)
no, no - don't use a WYSIWYG editor to start. Do simple stuff with Notepad or whatever, and learn how it all fits together.

as for breaking into the business, I don't believe anyone can make a living from web development unless a) they've been doing it a long time, b) they have an impressive portfolio, c) they have a good network of referrers, and d) they can do some sort of active pages - .net, PHP, ColdFusion, whatever.
Date:March 11th, 2005 02:06 am (UTC)
Free hosts aren't really worth the hastle in my opinion. But then, I do run a webhost so take that with a pinch of salt ;) I can hook you up if you'd like: http://xeriom.net

As for the qualifications... most of the webdesigners I see just have an amazing portfolio and a chunk of experience, no qualifications.
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Date:March 11th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
No one offers a web design degree because a degree in web design would be a joke. You either get a computer science degree or an art degree and work from one of those.
You could take a web design class if you really felt the urge, but even that's unnesessary. Web development is a different category, because that implies web applications that involve sql and some sort of scripting language knowledge. You're heading back to a CS degree there.
I'll go ahead and disagree with the first reply and state that wysiwyg editors are generally overrated garbage. Do the world a favor and learn to hand code the stuff. Or, learn at least enough to be able to go back and clean up some of the junk code that those editors generate. A good graphics program is essential though. Photoshop or gimp will do you well.

As far as how to get into it? Get a good html primer and find some websites youl like and study their code. Having an eye for good design helps, but you can figure that out eventually. Developing good coding practices will take you far. It all kind of depends on which side you like more. The design or the building. The extremes in those areas generally call for 2 different types of people. Most shops (with complicated pages) have someone do the design work while a programmer actually builds the site.
Date:March 11th, 2005 02:54 am (UTC)
free webhosting site (no ads): www.atspace.com.

it's ok, no advanced scripting or anything included. also, pretty small bandwidth/storage. but no ads! and a subdomain.

hope that helps with that (even though free hosts are generally not worth the time you put into them).
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