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#1 snapperpb   User is offline

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What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 21 August 2015 - 06:10 PM

So. I have a project/idea that needs a website, which will be a responsive design, and will have some forms for the users to fill out. I will need to capture that data and have it accessible.

I am a novice programmer, but have been consuming a lot of free online resources - I've gotten myself to a basic level in HTML / CSS, Javascript, and a crappier level in python. I've built basic stuff with all of them, nothing crazy. I'm pretty decent at logic and learning new STUFF so if I need something else as part of the answer, please don't hesitate to say so, I'm willing!

So the question(s):

1 Will I be able to build a responsive website as a novice? Should I use a framework? Any pointers?

2 The website will have forms / textfields to fill in and I need to capture that data - how do I do this? Do I use a back-end language like Python - or should I learn something like PHP? Which one is recommended? Where do I store the data? (do domain providers have storage usually, or do I put it on my computer, or have to buy server space? - It won't be a ton of data)

3 For a basic website with a few pages, and maybe 4 pages of forms to fill out, how long does this sound like it will take for a newbie?

I know I could pay someone, but I'm using this as a learning experience for coding on top of the project itself, so I don't mind if it takes a bit longer.

Thanks for any help / advice!

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Replies To: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

#2 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 21 August 2015 - 08:18 PM

1) Yes you can build a responsive website as a novice. Take a look into CSS and the use of "media queries". These are the heart of responsive design. You can use a framework too if you like. If Python is your thing, then look at Django as a framework.

2) The data is usually captured by the form submitting to some sort of server-side script. If you go Python and Django, then Django will have methods and helper functions for handling the submission of data as well as how to then store that data into a database. Pretty much 99.9% of all web hosting provides database storage. It is a staple and don't get a host without some sort of database. Most have MySQL. As for disk storage for files, that can very widely and depends on how much you are willing to pay. I wouldn't get any plan under 5 GB of storage. Also don't be cheap, pay for a host and expect to pay $10-$25 a month.

3) This could take a newbie a few days. Once you build one form, the others will get easier to do. The longest part is building your website template and choosing colors, graphics and font styles. Especially if you are a bit of a perfectionist.

Good luck! :)
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#3 snapperpb   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 31 August 2015 - 01:26 PM

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks for pointing me in the right direction Martyr2!
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#4 ndc85430   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 01 September 2015 - 12:20 AM

Also, if you find Django daunting, you might want to take a look at Flask, which is a smaller framework for Python web apps.
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#5 bluemarmalade   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:57 AM

The solution to use Django and python sounds overly complicated to me. Maybe it isn't. I really have no ides. But if all you need is to capture some small amount of data from a form, and that the website should be responsive, THen using bootstrap is very simple.
Bootstrap has alot of templates you can use and build on. All you have to do is to pretty much copy and paste them into your html file. They have a lot of classes you can just insert into your code, like if you want to make a picture responsive.

Furthermore, if you want to capture data that is written into textboxes, this is possible to do by applying javascript, fire up some events in relation to that submit-button*, use and store it wherever you want(like put it in variables and store the info in a text file).

I know html5 has built in forms using the <input type="..."> symtax. it has it's own submitbuttons also, like <input type="submit" />. I'm interested too in how this works, how the date is sent and captured.

*maybe don't use the <input type="submit"/> for this, just use a regular button like <button type="button">Submit</button>
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#6 ndc85430   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:00 AM

You still need something on the backend though. If not Python and Django, there are many other choices of language and framework. Edit: also, as far as I know, with Javascript on the client, you don't have any access to the machine's filesystem..

This post has been edited by ndc85430: 02 September 2015 - 02:03 AM

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#7 bluemarmalade   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:47 AM

View Postndc85430, on 02 September 2015 - 02:00 AM, said:

You still need something on the backend though. If not Python and Django, there are many other choices of language and framework. Edit: also, as far as I know, with Javascript on the client, you don't have any access to the machine's filesystem..


ah, of course. access to the file system just like that would probably be a big security issue. but how does the serverside handle data like from a form like this? i really want to know how this works.
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#8 ndc85430   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:58 AM

You want to study how HTTP works and in particular, GET and POST requests.

This post has been edited by ndc85430: 02 September 2015 - 03:40 AM

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#9 kiasta   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 23 September 2015 - 12:57 PM

I'm probably going to get some hate for this... but you could learn ASP.NET MVC5, it's pretty powerful. My first (and current) programming job this is what I was required to learn and learn quick. It's not as difficult as people say it is, the controller/model/view logic becomes easy to understand once you become familiar with it. Routing can get tricky as can areas. VS2015 Community Edition is pretty cool, it's the professional edition for individuals and small companies. They even allow you to have a free TFS for 5 or less users. As for web development we use this for all our applications so I guess I'm a bit biased. But check it out, you might like it, figured I would give you an alternative.

http://www.asp.net/m...getting-started
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#10 Atli   User is offline

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Re: What skills do I need to build a website with some back-end output

Posted 23 September 2015 - 06:10 PM

One big downside for ASP.NET is that good servers can get very pricey. Microsoft tech comes at a premium. Expect to be paying more if you go that route. At least if you want a decent service.

It's also a "heavier" tech, more aimed at enterprise usage than small-scale sites. There's a little more overhead in setting it up and learning it. (Although, I'll admit I'm not very familiar with the later revisions of Microsoft's MVC stuff.)


I generally advice novices to stay away from both .NET and Java as a first language. Something along the lines of Python, Rails, PHP, or even Node.js would be my suggestions.
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