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HellBound Hackers | Computer General | Webmasters Lounge

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Wanting To Go Further

NotMyFault
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Posted on 04-02-10 15:35
I've been learning web languages for the last 6-9 months.
I know HTML, CSS, XHTML, Javascript and PHP comprehensively. I know some MySQL.
I'm only 14 but I want to start developing websites for people, as I want some extra money to buy my own laptop.
I have got some questions for people:
Who would let a 14 year old make their website?
Do I know enough / the right languages?
Do I need something like Dreamweaver? (I've been using Notepad...)

What I think I'll do is make a couple of websites for clubs/groups that I'm involved in for free and then if someone asks to see what I can do, I can show them those websites.
How many of these free websites should I make or should I go a different way altogether?
Thanks,
Conor


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RE: Wanting To Go Further


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Posted on 04-02-10 15:58
Get a 'professional' domain name (for example, www.yourlastname.org). Build a showcase of websites you've made and/or sold. You don't need to tell people your age, you can sell websites through paypal.

One thing that is important to note; you have to tell people what they can expect when they buy a website. Can you provide support? (Probably not). What guarantees can you make? (Security, stability, etc). It's important to make a proper binding legal contract. This might be tricky, depending on where you live.

It's hard to tell whether whatever you build will sell without knowing the quality of your websites. If I were you, focus on building a CV (résumé), in your case, a website filled with a (short) bio and a showcase of your work will be fine. Perhaps some statements from previous customers (even if you gave them a website for free).


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

NotMyFault
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Posted on 04-02-10 16:03
I could manage that.
What do you mean by a binding contract? This kind of stuff would never cross my mind...


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RE: Wanting To Go Further


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Posted on 04-02-10 16:15
NotMyFault wrote:
I could manage that.
What do you mean by a binding contract? This kind of stuff would never cross my mind...


If you never let your customers know what they are buying, they can start claiming things you never wanted them to claim. A legal binding document is basically a sheet of paper with some rules they have to agree to if they want to purchase a website.

Such rules can include the fact that you won't provide support, or that you aren't responsible for any possible security flaws that might be present in the product(s) that you are selling.

A contract is _VERY_ important, without it you can be screwed over by customers.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

NotMyFault
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Posted on 04-02-10 16:18
Contracts = Needed + Important-If-I-Don't-Want-People-Getting-Pissed,
Got it!!!
I heard Ruby/Rails was good to learn? Any thoughts?


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

reaper4334
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Posted on 04-02-10 16:28
http://www.ehow.c. . .nline.html

As far as the Ruby thing goes, you're better off having your own "way of doing things" if you're going to be selling websites, otherwise you're less likely to be able to match the exact requirements as easily or in time.
You basically need:

Markup (HTML/XHTML/etc)
Some way of style setting (inline/templates/CSS/etc)
Some kind of browser scripting (JavaScript/VBA/etc)
Some kind of server-side (PHP/ASP/some kind of CGI/etc)
and some kind of databasing (MySQL/SQL/etc)
I'd also reccomend looking into AJAX (not sure what cetegory that comes under)

But I seriously reccomend choosing only one from each, that way you can perfect them in your own way.

You will probably often find clients don't choose their own hosting/domain registry, so you should also have a good look into these so you can choose a good, reliable one for them if they need.
Then there's the bit that I find most difficult and doing the website style, layout and images.

Apart from that I think spy said it nicely.



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RE: Wanting To Go Further

NotMyFault
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Posted on 04-02-10 16:36
Thanks for the article.
Woops! I forgot to include that I know XML and I'm working on Ajax at the minute.
I see on a lot of sites little Flashey things, Learning Flash an idea?


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RE: Wanting To Go Further


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Posted on 04-02-10 16:41
NotMyFault wrote:
I see on a lot of sites little Flashey things, Learning Flash an idea?


Only if you want to open your market to ignorant idiot art-studying fake-poeting morons. Learning Flash is _fun_, having flash on your website is _stupid_.

The good thing about Flash though, if done right, it'll sell like fucking the length of your actionscript in gold. It's a pricy, bitchy resource.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

NotMyFault
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Posted on 04-02-10 16:49
Some mixed messages there! I'll leave it for the minute...
Is there any way I could find if I was ready for developing websites for people? Like a test or something??

By the way, a website that I'm making as a trial to assess my abilities is here: http://NotMyFault. . .


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RE: Wanting To Go Further


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Posted on 04-02-10 17:03
NotMyFault wrote:
By the way, a website that I'm making as a trial to assess my abilities is here: http://NotMyFault. . .


I'll give you a bit of time to prepare for some seemingly hard criticisms...


Alright, lets go.

1) No valid HTML
2) You use tables instead of DIVs
3) You aren't using CSS
4) You seem to favor an image-heavy layout instead of styling and relying on simple text. The power of font online is high, CSS is mighty.
5) Your color scheme is... boring. It lacks creativity and is simply unimaginative and ... again, boring.
6) The website you showed us as demo doesn't contain anything interesting. No (dynamic) content, no nothing. It looks like something you threw together in (in total) thirty minutes.

Depending on your ability to learn and adapt, you might be selling websites in a few months if you keep working on your web developing skills.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

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Posted on 04-02-10 17:16
Let me redeem myself!
1)Invalid due to ad code by host. I checked my Html and it passed.
2) It was thrown together pretty fast... about an hour.
3) I should use divs, no denying that!
4) I had just found a site that made all my buttons for me, overkill, yes!
5) yes, it's boring and isn't dynamic but what can I put in apart from image rollovers to make it more dynamic?
I'll change the stuff you outlined over the weekend.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

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Posted on 04-02-10 17:57
NotMyFault wrote:
Let me redeem myself!
1)Invalid due to ad code by host. I checked my Html and it passed.
2) It was thrown together pretty fast... about an hour.
3) I should use divs, no denying that!
4) I had just found a site that made all my buttons for me, overkill, yes!
5) yes, it's boring and isn't dynamic but what can I put in apart from image rollovers to make it more dynamic?
I'll change the stuff you outlined over the weekend.


You need to give examples of the kind of things people would want on their sites, instead of saying "Yes, I can do that." you'd say "Yes, I have an example that's a little bit like that.."
So show some tables (not for style, some actual tables with information), some kind of login/post/something like that may be good, something that the user can change and dynamically updates.. etc..

[edit] and it may sound silly, but you might want to ensure you spell everything properly, use [reasonably] good grammar and other such things in your examples, although it may not be relevant to your actual job in making someone a website, it helps give a better impression of professionalism Smile



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Edited by reaper4334 on 04-02-10 17:59
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RE: Wanting To Go Further


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Posted on 04-02-10 20:33
There is no need for the person buying to know you're 14, if you are mature enough that he can't tell from your work then what does it matter how old you are.

Make as many free websites as you can, they help you improve you skills in way reading alone cannot and they are advertising, of course at some point you might want to charge, maybe do free websites for charities/ societys charge for companys etc...

More importantly, from what I have seen on this forum you are still leanring, fast I should add but with a long way to go, I would wait untill you're better to start making websites for other people. When you start you want to start with a bang.

Maybe make your own web site on that WAMP server you have.


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Posted on 05-02-10 00:23
You might also try something like scriptlance.com. There people post what they'd like to see done, you can browse through and pick one that you know you can do and bid on it. in the beginning you'll end up doing a lot of work for little, but as you build your rep you can start charging reasonable prices.

This is nice because they handle most of the business end. They do escrow (the customer's money is held in their hands until they validate your product works, so you are sure to get it) and as it's free-lance you dont need to worry too much about support unless they explicitly say so.

I used this when i was only a couple years older than you and made enough money to pay for my shared host and domain registration.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

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Posted on 05-02-10 17:44
Ok, All ideas taken on board and I'm going to completly redo my website.
Going to have a little page about me somewhere on it as well and I'll just make it into some sort of personal website...

Going to use Divs.
Not going to rely on images.
Not going to use tables.
Going to do all styling with CSS.

I have seen the error of my ways Pfft


[edit]How can I make my website more dynamic? Apart from rollovers...
Also, I have a feeling I'll need some content, any thoughts on where I could get some? [/edit]




Edited by NotMyFault on 05-02-10 17:55
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Posted on 05-02-10 19:47
Nothign wrong with tables, but some jobs are for div's some jobs are for tables and Some were born to sing the blues.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

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Posted on 06-02-10 07:28
I've designed websites for a few people, and I'm only 15. If your looking for people to make websites for, start with people you know who wouldn't mind a free website. They would have to pay for the hosting, but tell them you would design it for free. Then after you have 2 or 3 websites to show your experience, go around town and find the website URLS's of local businesses.

If the business has a shitty website, offer to be the one who creates them a new one. Obviously you would have to show them it would be better to go with you than some big shot developer, offer them slightly lower prices (which shouldn't be hard, the local web developer company to a area is usually crazy expensive) and be sure to show your examples. Talk yourself up.

That's what I've been doing and I've designed about 12 websites so far, for a total of a pretty decent (and steady) profit.


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

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Posted on 06-02-10 21:59
The new website will probarbly take longer than I thought to make because I've forgotten just about all the css I knew a few months ago! I should have a new (and hopefully improved!) website by next Saturday. The new website should be a lot brighter and more original Wink

Also, is there any good css tutorials apart from w3chools because all the other ones I've looked at are useless and I want to see another perspective on it.

WampServer is being awkward and my host doesn't support databases so I need a new host that does, any reccomendations on a host that does?

Thanks again!


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RE: Wanting To Go Further

cubix
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Posted on 06-02-10 23:29
@OP

Make sure your syntax is nicely formatted. Use tab indention to structure the flow of your website. Also, check out some popular web design/development websites:

www.nettuts.com
www.smashingmagazine.com
www.noupe.com
http://line25.com/

Also, look at the quality of different web design galleries, such as:

http://www.divinecss.com/
http://www.unmatchedstyle.com/
http://wowcss.com/


Do not resort to Dreamweaver if you plan on doing professional stuff. I know some people may disagree, but I have seen so many developers and designers get sucked into Dreamweaver to where they forget how to hand-code XHTML.

For dynamic web pages, learn a javascript framework like jQuery or MooTools. In fact, you should play with different frameworks for any type of language you program in (Javascript, PHP, etc).


i47.tinypic.com/de7klf.png

Edited by cubix on 07-02-10 03:57
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RE: Wanting To Go Further

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Posted on 10-02-10 21:13
I realise now more than ever that I'm one of the most uncreative people ever! I finally decided on a color scheme and the layout for the site but it's still proberbly very boring... Ah well, there's only so much time I can waste on picking colours!
Layout in css is so much more difficult than tables but I'm starting to get the hang of them. Should I position everything with css or should I use plain whitespace for somethings? Also, Should I style everything I possibly can like the size of the font, the background color etc, or should I leave most things the way they are?



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