KillerSites Blog

learning web design

Nerds – you can’t know it all.

June 21, 2008

I’ve been a professional nerd for many years now, and over that time I’ve learned to use many different technologies including 8-9 programming languages, a few operating systems and a whole bunch of frameworks, database programs etc …

… The sad truth

Recently, I was challenged with some tech problem, and to be honest about it, I forgot the specific steps to solve it!!

??

This always bothers me – when you forget how to do something you once knew so well.

I am now resigned to the fact that I’ve probably forgotten more than I now remember. I guess there is only so much room in your brain ..?

You can’t know it all

This brings me to my larger point: as a professional nerd, it is not realistic to think you will learn everything that is out there. There is simply too much and you have to pick your battles.

That said, that doesn’t mean you should learn one or two things and then just rest on your laurels. No, you have to keep learning otherwise you will fall behind and you won’t stay competitive.

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Use Dreamweaver CS3 templates to save time

May 1, 2008

Hi,

When I was working on the redesign of the killersites.com, I found (as a starting point) that the templates that ship with Dreamweaver CS3 useful.

Dreamweaver CS3 starter templates

Dreamweaver has a nice collection of bare-bones web templates. One thing I found cool about these templates, is that they contain a lot of notes that describe why they (the web-nerds at Adobe) have certain things in place – like the specific code they used to deal with a given CSS layout issue.

… This is another good way to learn more about CSS.

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Intelligent Paths Make Websites Friendlier.

February 22, 2008

ie7 screen shot

Killersites.com is an old site, nearly 12 years old now!

Over that time (as we added more articles and tutorials), our directory structures and file naming styles changed as conventions changed. So now I have a huge mess to clean up.

… There is a lot of information buried in killersites.com that people just don’t find.

??

Fortunately, over the last 12-13 years of building websites and web applications, I’ve been able to figure out the best way to organize a website:

In this article, I discuss how to create an easier to maintain, more user friendly website by way of using intelligent paths.

So what are ‘intelligent paths’?

I’m talking about URL structures of course! So that means a few things:

  1. Building a SENSIBLE website directory structure.
  2. Using meaningful words in page names and directories.
  3. Using lower case text for page and directory names.
  4. Using dashes between words in both page and directory names.

… Let’s go over the details.

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FREE Dreamweaver CS3 Video Tutorial

February 20, 2008

Hi,

dreamweaver cs3 box shot

I just released a new video tutorial on Dreamweaver CS3. In this video (part 1 of 3) I walk you through the process of building your first web page with Dreamweaver CS3.

This video targets people new to Dreamweaver and people new to web design.

The video: Build a web page with Dreamweaver

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook

www.arawakline.com

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Free Dreamweaver CS3 Video Tutorials

February 8, 2008

After a few years of (I must admit) pure laziness, I finally started to work on a new set of Dreamweaver CS3 video tutorials.

… But, to be fair to myself, I wasn’t in a hurry to upgrade my Dreamweaver MX videos since the differences between CS3 and MX are really minimal … most of the changes are ‘under the hood’.

dreamweaver cs3 box shot

What is new about Dreamweaver CS3?

Dreamweaver CS3 is Adobe’s first official release of the software (Adobe just bought Macromedia) and so Dreamweaver CS3 now has the Adobe look and feel that is consistent across all their products including, Photoshop CS3, Illustrator CS3 etc …

Beyond that, the following things stand out:

  • Better CSS support.
  • Better FTP and site management tools.
  • Ajax support with the Spry framework.

… There’s more for sure, but those are the things that stand out for me.

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College to Learn Web Design?

January 14, 2008

A common question I get from people, is whether it makes sense to go to college to learn web design?

I’ve talked about the web design profession in other articles. Yet, as you will see in the following email I recently got, I haven’t dealt with all the issues regarding web design and education:

Hi Stefan,

Anyway, I am interested in web design. I am in the middle of trying to figure out whether I should go to my local community colleges for courses in HTML, photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc … or an actual art school for graphic art/ web design. Of course cost is a factor.

I am a mother of two, and my work schedule needs to be flexible. I am very creative and have a great eye for design.

My question is, which course of action you recommend? How much education is necessary? Is a degree necessary, if so, what type? associate, bachelors, certificate?

What are the salary potentials in web design working for yourself and for outside companies (I have research outside company positions advertising 40k – 50k, is that realistic?)

I’m not young, (a youthful 44) and I really need to do something in the form of a career for myself, other than taking care of everyone else.

Thank you so much for your time-

Sandy

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