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Newbie next steps, site from scratch or wordpress

HollyJ24

New Coder
Hi im new here and this is my first post. Im hoping for a bit of advice. I have been learning web develoment on codecadamy. I now know the basics of html and css and can build a website that looks okay and have elements on it like forms etc ... I want to continue building and learning mock websites whilst continuing to learn, my husband has actually asked me to re design a website of his. My question is what is better to do, build it from scratch or do it on wordpress?

Wordpress is something I want to learn but I havent learnt php yet and I really dont know where to start it took me ages just to install it! I've spent more than a day trying to install it and make a start which I haven't and I know if i started building a simple website from scratch on my code software on my computer it wouldn't take me very long!

Do people still build from scratch? It seems everything I read online is wordpress wordpress wordpress!

I just don't know what my next steps are!
 

Krusty the Senile

Active Coder
I think if you're moving past creating static web pages and sites (ie. the content doesn't change often or at all) and you want to be able to manage content that changes (blog entries, posts) then Wordpress is a good place to start. Yeah, the PHP side of things can be daunting and I think now that you've got a basic setup going, you should be able to play with the layout and content without having to worry too much about the coding side of things (at least at the beginning). The template stuff and look and feel control is the next hurdle. This is something that I would like to learn. I think there are some beginner tutorials on creating templates online but they're usually something to give you an idea of a basic structure - you'll need to dive deep if you want to customise the look and feel exactly the way you'd want it.
 
I don't call myself a web expert, but if I was a web designer (impossible task for me), considering my programming background:
  • For smaller static sites I'd choose composing HTML from scratch. Downside is if I wanted to extend site by, say, shopping cart to sell something, I'd have to dive into programming it myself in Javascript, and that means reading a lot of, say, credit card javascript implementation tutorials over the web.
  • On the other side, tools like WP have a very valuable ready made plugins like booking calendars (and similar). That would make WP a very good candidate if I wanted to simply and fancy extend my site once in the future.
At the end, it really depends on your interest:
  • If you are after end result, and you don't enjoy programming much, take ready made tool like WP or something less powerful, but simpler. After initial installation, your life would be much easier.
  • But if programming hypnotizes you like it does some of us, HTML + Javascript + server-side-scripting could be your choice which you won't regret. It gives you complete control, and you become a master of your own little Universe. You may later return to WP, but this time as a guru. But be warned, computer could easily become a demanding part of your family if you pick up programming.
To summarize:
 

HollyJ24

New Coder
I don't call myself a web expert, but if I was a web designer (impossible task for me), considering my programming background:
  • For smaller static sites I'd choose composing HTML from scratch. Downside is if I wanted to extend site by, say, shopping cart to sell something, I'd have to dive into programming it myself in Javascript, and that means reading a lot of, say, credit card javascript implementation tutorials over the web.
  • On the other side, tools like WP have a very valuable ready made plugins like booking calendars (and similar). That would make WP a very good candidate if I wanted to simply and fancy extend my site once in the future.
At the end, it really depends on your interest:
  • If you are after end result, and you don't enjoy programming much, take ready made tool like WP or something less powerful, but simpler. After initial installation, your life would be much easier.
  • But if programming hypnotizes you like it does some of us, HTML + Javascript + server-side-scripting could be your choice which you won't regret. It gives you complete control, and you become a master of your own little Universe. You may later return to WP, but this time as a guru. But be warned, computer could easily become a demanding part of your family if you pick up programming.
To summarize:
Haha I love the image! Thank you for the advice, I think I will continue learning and dive deeper into javascript .. I will also keep trying to figure out wordpress in the mean time
 

HollyJ24

New Coder
I think if you're moving past creating static web pages and sites (ie. the content doesn't change often or at all) and you want to be able to manage content that changes (blog entries, posts) then Wordpress is a good place to start. Yeah, the PHP side of things can be daunting and I think now that you've got a basic setup going, you should be able to play with the layout and content without having to worry too much about the coding side of things (at least at the beginning). The template stuff and look and feel control is the next hurdle. This is something that I would like to learn. I think there are some beginner tutorials on creating templates online but they're usually something to give you an idea of a basic structure - you'll need to dive deep if you want to customise the look and feel exactly the way you'd want it.
Thank you. Can you still code without creating your own theme? All I see is the drag and drop sort of stuff which I don't want to do .. wordpress for me seems really complicated to get going on!
 

Krusty the Senile

Active Coder
Thank you. Can you still code without creating your own theme? All I see is the drag and drop sort of stuff which I don't want to do .. wordpress for me seems really complicated to get going on!
I guess you could say that Wordpress is more tailored to creating a website almost without the need for coding. I think their primary focus is to give people the ability to create web site pages and content without the need to code, so yes there's drag and drop (I gotta look into this to see, I can't remember any drag and drop), and posts/page content is (I think) using markdown - so no (or few) HTML tags and so forth.

Wordpress comes with a default theme, and I believe that there are many free themes to choose from, so you won't need to code a theme. In terms of coding: the basic operation of Wordpress shouldn't require it once you're set up.

I'm just reviewing your questions again. I think your main focus should be determining the requirements for your husband's web site, and see if you can complete it with your current skill set. I would suggest learning Wordpress as a task separate to creating your husband's web site so you get a better understanding of what it provides. When you get a better idea of how Wordpress works, you can decide if it works for your husband's web site requirements.

You actually reminded me: there's a web site I've subscribed to (fanatical dot com) which currently has a book bundle about working with Wordpress. I should buy that.

Yes, people definitely use other technoligies and platforms to create web sites, but that's usually based on specific use cases (I think more often than not it will have something to do with the manipulation of data in some form).

Maybe you'd like to share your web site project here somehow and we could give you guidance and ideas on how to proceed. I think a majority of web site design is based on user experience and not so much on the coding - I mean, there is coding, but the focus is usually on user experience.
 

HollyJ24

New Coder
I guess you could say that Wordpress is more tailored to creating a website almost without the need for coding. I think their primary focus is to give people the ability to create web site pages and content without the need to code, so yes there's drag and drop (I gotta look into this to see, I can't remember any drag and drop), and posts/page content is (I think) using markdown - so no (or few) HTML tags and so forth.

Wordpress comes with a default theme, and I believe that there are many free themes to choose from, so you won't need to code a theme. In terms of coding: the basic operation of Wordpress shouldn't require it once you're set up.

I'm just reviewing your questions again. I think your main focus should be determining the requirements for your husband's web site, and see if you can complete it with your current skill set. I would suggest learning Wordpress as a task separate to creating your husband's web site so you get a better understanding of what it provides. When you get a better idea of how Wordpress works, you can decide if it works for your husband's web site requirements.

You actually reminded me: there's a web site I've subscribed to (fanatical dot com) which currently has a book bundle about working with Wordpress. I should buy that.

Yes, people definitely use other technoligies and platforms to create web sites, but that's usually based on specific use cases (I think more often than not it will have something to do with the manipulation of data in some form).

Maybe you'd like to share your web site project here somehow and we could give you guidance and ideas on how to proceed. I think a majority of web site design is based on user experience and not so much on the coding - I mean, there is coding, but the focus is usually on user experience.
Thank you, I think your probably right about doing the website now with the skills i have at the moment and then learn wordpress as a separate thing.

It will be a static site it just needs to have a contact form.

I'm not really a fan of wordpress after spending the last 2 days just trying to figure out I just get the feeling online that's it where everybody is and it's something you need to know?!

I think I will forget wordpress for now, carry on learning and start this site from scratch for practise.

Thank you for your help!
 
A bit late to the party but hey :D so I'm a website designer and you guessed it I build websites from scratch in WordPress. It's not for the faint-hearted trust me, you spend hours building the dam thing for a plugin to screw it up but saying that if your just looking to drag and drop the site WordPress is the way to go, simply find a theme then download elementor and wola you can move and edit the site really really easy if you want I can send you over one of my themes, I found seeing someone who isn't trying to sell there a theme to half of the nation that their code is a lot easier to read. Also, don't be put off my PHP with WordPress all you really need is the theme to run bootstrap and its menu bar and the code to load a post but I do have all of that also.

If you ever need any help just ask, I've been doing this for years and I'm pretty sure ill have that snippet of code of the answer you need :D

P.S When you master wordpress you will be able to build websites quicker then with HTML trust me :)
 

HollyJ24

New Coder
A bit late to the party but hey :D so I'm a website designer and you guessed it I build websites from scratch in WordPress. It's not for the faint-hearted trust me, you spend hours building the dam thing for a plugin to screw it up but saying that if your just looking to drag and drop the site WordPress is the way to go, simply find a theme then download elementor and wola you can move and edit the site really really easy if you want I can send you over one of my themes, I found seeing someone who isn't trying to sell there a theme to half of the nation that their code is a lot easier to read. Also, don't be put off my PHP with WordPress all you really need is the theme to run bootstrap and its menu bar and the code to load a post but I do have all of that also.

If you ever need any help just ask, I've been doing this for years and I'm pretty sure ill have that snippet of code of the answer you need :D

P.S When you master wordpress you will be able to build websites quicker then with HTML trust me :)
Thank you .. the one thing that confuses me is you get taught how to build sites from scratch but then no one seems to do it like that anymore! My end goal is to hopefully be a web developer and if wordpress is the way to go about it then I'll learn it. It took me so long to even figure out downloading and getting it set up I feel so dumb! I don't want to just drag and drop things as I guess anyone could do that so why would pay someone to? I want to be able to code and use the skills I have learnt but all the guides and tutorials I have come across are so confusing .. I also want to practice making sites locally without a domain .. i have tried setting up a folder and then accessing it on the browser but it's just not working so i think I'm doing something wrong! I think i have a lot of learning ahead of me still!
 
Thank you .. the one thing that confuses me is you get taught how to build sites from scratch but then no one seems to do it like that anymore! My end goal is to hopefully be a web developer and if wordpress is the way to go about it then I'll learn it. It took me so long to even figure out downloading and getting it set up I feel so dumb! I don't want to just drag and drop things as I guess anyone could do that so why would pay someone to? I want to be able to code and use the skills I have learnt but all the guides and tutorials I have come across are so confusing .. I also want to practice making sites locally without a domain .. i have tried setting up a folder and then accessing it on the browser but it's just not working so i think I'm doing something wrong! I think i have a lot of learning ahead of me still!
Always ask, first we need to get WordPress to work on localhost for you, how far have you got?

You will be amazed at how many clients won't drag and drop and ill be honest if the client doesn't want to pay much, I get them to buy a theme they like and I set it up for them but I also offer the one of a kind website built from scratch, we do what the customers want. We where all at your stage once, when i started we didn't even have WordPress. If it helps I don't mind connecting to your PC and showing you how to setup WordPress on localhost but whatever you do, don't stop, don't get discouraged and remember if anyone says your code is crap well there code is crap to someone else too ~:D
 

HollyJ24

New Coder
Always ask, first we need to get WordPress to work on localhost for you, how far have you got?

You will be amazed at how many clients won't drag and drop and ill be honest if the client doesn't want to pay much, I get them to buy a theme they like and I set it up for them but I also offer the one of a kind website built from scratch, we do what the customers want. We where all at your stage once, when i started we didn't even have WordPress. If it helps I don't mind connecting to your PC and showing you how to setup WordPress on localhost but whatever you do, don't stop, don't get discouraged and remember if anyone says your code is crap well there code is crap to someone else too ~:D
I've only learnt the basics of HTML and CSS so far and I'm moving onto javascript .. I don't really know how to put it into practise!

As far as wordpress goes I'm in the process of buying a new laptop because I have one currently that is about 10 years old and so slow! Once I get my new one sorted I am going to get back on with installing it on the new one.

I managed to install it .. then create the database and that's about it! I got xampp and did the database with php my admin.

I got a bit confused with the file structures .. do you unzip the wordpress folder inside the database folder you create? I had trouble accessing it on the browser because I think my files weren't set up right!
 
Basics is all you need, then you will move to bootstrap and go "Um why did I learn HTML or CSS lol" If memory serves me right, create the database, unzip the file, put the file into the HTDoc of Xamp load localhost/<Folder>/index.php and then it should take you through your installation process :)
 
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