7 Replies - 1045 Views - Last Post: 19 October 2012 - 08:22 PM

#1 Tenderfoot  Icon User is offline

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HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:37 AM

I've been going back and forth on this for a bit now. I've been diving into PHP & MySQL and I really enjoy PHP - but I've never been a big fan of HTML/CSS. I think it's because I'm somewhat impaired when it comes to styling things, but it may also be due to not having put in the proper effort. I've wanted to make a couple of webpages for a while, but I dismissed the idea of using something like WordPress immediately due to lack of creative control. Or to put it differently; I want to have some background knowledge of the features I'm using before I start using them. I want to be able to make a site from scratch before I start using tools to make my life easier. Partly because I want the know-how, but also because I want to understand what I'm doing, and be able to edit the WordPress code where needed.

I'm a little afraid that if I wanted to change the behavior of or replace some functions completely, I wouldn't know the first thing about where to begin. But I still wonder if WordPress could actually be used as a learning tool, if I tried out some layout and altered it a bit. I learn a lot by writing, changing, and seeing how things work. I'm just a little afraid I'll drown in code. But first and foremost, I do want to get my sites up, and I want to know how WordPress could possibly help, and where. I'm given to understand that it's mostly for blogs?

So for the time being I will continue to learn PHP/MySQL, and I will do either way. But I want to pick up on my HTML/CSS/Javascript learning so I can make sites where my PHP knowledge is actually useful. And again I'm really not that good with website appearance, so a CMS does sound like an attractive option. But I want to know what you think.

My thinking was something like this:
1) Get an e-book, gain further understanding of CSS/Javascript.
2) Try the basic WordPress templates, change them, try every part of them. Try to understand how they work.
*Keep learning PHP/MySQL while doing so.

And then finally to set up my own site. Is this a bad way to go?

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Replies To: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

#2 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

Hello Tenderfoot, you have questions that nearly everyone does when thinking about taking the plunge into a CMS system. I will try and provide some answers.

First off, a CMS system is very useful especially if you'll be freelancing since most clients will find it appealing that they can edit their website without your help(you can also charge more for this service :)).

Secondly, out of the major CMS systems companies list as a job requirement or "preferred" such as Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress, WP will be the smallest learning curve of the three. Also, WordPress is very well documented and you won't even need to buy a book to get started.

Quote

I'm given to understand that it's mostly for blogs?


When it first started, yes, it was; but these days it has shifted to an all-around powerful CMS system that a great amount of designers use for other reasons than a blog. It's very flexible as a platform.

In conclusion, continue to learn PHP, MySQL, CSS, Javascript, and start fiddling around with a CMS. It never hurts to have an understanding of a new skill that relates to your field of work.
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#3 Tenderfoot  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for your reply IJET. I just read something that brought up a fresh question though. What I read was a pros and cons list for wordpress.org and wordpress.com. One of the cons listed on the wordpress.org site was this:

"You need a good web host This generally costs $7-12 a month, or thousands of dollars per month for a high traffic site"

Now, I'm aware that they probably do make some/more revenue for wordpress.com sites - and thus I believe there may be some exaggeration. But is this true? And by "high traffic site", how high traffic are they talking?

What I strive/hope for is in fact a high traffic website, but I assumed the hosting price wouldn't be this steep, and that ad revenue (and/or other) would make up for it. But I'm not anywhere close to being in a position to be able to pay a few thousand dollars for hosting. And WordPress, do they take a percentage for, ad revenue for an example?
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#4 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:12 PM

If you go through WordPress.com, you'll be paying all kinds of "premium fees" that are completely unnecessary. You can download everything you need from wordpress.org and upload it to a host of your choice and only pay whatever that host charges you monthly(roughly 7-15$/month) and you'll get the "premium features" that WP.COM would have made you pay for at no cost. It's not hard to set-up, usually 5-10 minutes and there are plenty of detailed walkthroughs to help online.

If you're just starting out, a web hosting package from any of the top reputable hosts will do. I really wouldn't worry too much about "high traffic" right now. Just start learning the skills and building the web sites. If your host company says you're using too much bandwith, they'll notify you and tell you that you need to upgrade. Unless you become wildly huge, paying thousands a month is ludicrous. Besides, if you are that popular on the internet, you can definitely generate the revenue to cover such fees.
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#5 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:44 PM

If you are truly interested in learning Javascript and Web Fundamentals I HIGHLY recommend creating a profile on Codecademy and going through their courses. They are simple, easy to learn, plenty of forum help through the exercises, and a fantastic learning too.

Codecademy

This post has been edited by AnalyticLunatic: 18 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

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#6 Tenderfoot  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

Thanks AL, that actually looks like a pretty fun way to get into CSS/Javascript :)
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#7 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:57 AM

View PostTenderfoot, on 18 October 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

Thanks AL, that actually looks like a pretty fun way to get into CSS/Javascript :)


I love it. Currently I'm working my way through the Javascript courses as a refresher (have had classes with it before, but don't use it enough to retain everything), and once I'm finished with those courses, I'm probably going to try and learn Ruby or JQuery.

Like I said, just create a quick profile (just provide an email and password, no verification required) and start learning!
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#8 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: HTML/CSS from the ground up vs. WordPress/other CMS

Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:22 PM

View PostAnalyticLunatic, on 18 October 2012 - 04:44 PM, said:

If you are truly interested in learning Javascript and Web Fundamentals I HIGHLY recommend creating a profile on Codecademy and going through their courses. They are simple, easy to learn, plenty of forum help through the exercises, and a fantastic learning too.

Codecademy


Nice find.
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