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#1 2013-03-03 20:34:06

antiv0rtex
#! Die Hard
From: Earth
Registered: 2012-10-05
Posts: 574

I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

WARNING: LENGTHY BRAIN-DUMP FOLLOWS.

I have been building websites with WordPress since 2008 or so, mainly for my personal enjoyment and learning. A few of them have been paid jobs, but for the most part I have just built sites for the sake of learning how to make WP do thing A, B or C.

I am now in a position where I could probably get some more paid jobs building websites quite easily, but I'm not sure WordPress is the best tool to do the job. I am quite competent at using it, but a significant portion of what I can do relies on others' work - e.g. themes, plugins, etc. The fact that all of these could conceivably be abandoned by its developer(s) and leave someone with a website in which some critical part is no longer functional makes me worried.

The question that I am wondering about here is, should I continue to use WordPress as a framework for websites that I am building, or would it be better to switch to some other system, perhaps non-CMS based (e.g. individual HTML+CSS pages or something)? I'm not good at any of that sort of coding, but I think I could learn if need me.

Thoughts?

Last edited by antiv0rtex (2013-03-03 20:34:50)

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Be excellent to each other!

#2 2013-03-03 21:01:30

brontosaurusrex
#! Red Menace
Registered: 2012-06-15
Posts: 1,643

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2013-03-03 21:04:43)

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#3 2013-03-03 21:13:10

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

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#4 2013-03-03 22:30:14

hq
#! Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2011-11-30
Posts: 52
Website

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

Stick with wordpress and invest in some theme framework for design. I use Headway, but there are others like Catalyst, or Genesis+Dynamik. Canvas from Woo is pretty simple (but requires more coding to get more complicated things done).

Try going for themes and plugins that have a onetime upfront payment model.

If you have more sites, you can use use wpremote.com (easier) or infinitewp.com (requires server install) to manage them (backups, updates and upgrades etc.

The above mentioned themes already have SEO functionality (except canvas) so no plugins required.

Security: better security (plugin)

I manage about 15 websites

I hope that helps


Dell Studio 1555

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#5 2013-03-03 23:55:20

zalew
#! Junkie
From: Warsaw, .PL
Registered: 2012-03-28
Posts: 374

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

you want to be a designer or programmer?

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#6 2013-03-04 07:28:37

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

Currently in the same phase as Debian 7, Drupal 8 will leverage a PHP framework for the first time (Symfony 2), so it might be worth exploring both Drupal and Symfony together, and PHP too if you don't already have that. Symfony has clear, downloadable documentation. Drupal has extensive online documentation.

This will build on your existing skills and round out your knowledge.

Drupal isn't better than WordPress, it's a different tool for doing different jobs but like WordPress it has a large community and thousands of modules. Learning Symfony will also give you more autonomy in the long run.

You might also wish to look at what else is being used in industry and at which skills are more or less in demand. When I last looked, there were far more PHP developers than Python or Ruby developers but then there were more jobs in PHP. Don't forget Java and Microsoft stuff (.NET?).

Responsive web design is now with us as a de facto standard, after being merely trendy for a couple of years. This ties in with Microsoft and Canonical's vision of a device-agnostic operating system.

To what extent do your existing web skills take all this into account?

Looking to the future, what do you see?

I see ever poorer Europeans/Americans, greater and greater technological advances that will be increasingly in the hands of a well-organised global elite, and consequently a two-tier approach to technology.

By this I mean that I think we can see with Dell/Ubuntu in India and Firefox in Latin America an understanding that poorer people use technology too. Yes, the richest will have iPads, iPhones, iWhatevers but for the majority, these will continue to be out of reach.

From the luxury of broadband and a declining West that still has somewhere to decline from, I often forget that there are parts of the world where getting on the internet is a triumph in of itself. Indeed, you see on this forum and on others occasional stories of people who don't have enough access to bandwidth to download a 700MB ISO.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time? Where do you see the internet in 5 years' time? How good are your e-commerce skills?

Last edited by intoCB (2013-03-04 07:30:25)

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#7 2013-03-04 08:29:21

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

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#8 2013-03-04 09:36:45

wuxmedia
wookiee madclaw
From: Back in Blighty
Registered: 2012-03-09
Posts: 1,478
Website

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

^ and they can choose newer/better technology for communication infrastructure.
As Europe is a bit stuck with replacing older wires etc.
i see most sites being dynamic more and more, i'm trying to customize concrete5 (open cms)to adapt an existing website. everytime i have to update something i  have to edit the code, I can't do a plain text copy paste job, ftp it...

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#9 2013-03-09 11:22:32

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

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#10 2013-03-19 01:05:31

mharrison
Member
From: Michigan
Registered: 2013-02-05
Posts: 26

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

I know that for myself,  I took the time to learn PHP, mysql, and working on javascript/jquery and the like. 

I'm not against CMS's....I just would rather have my hands in the code instead of guessing where things are getting pulled from.  I had a hell of a time trying to get the header on a wordpress site to be an imagemap.  The props I'll give CMS's is once you can figure out their inner workings, they are great...and if you are just going to go with the spoon feeing that they server up (more for the beginners and the like) then it is perfect.  I've just always liked control over all aspects.  I know a lot of people hate updating code, but I write my own modules for any website I do so I can form a basic template and if I have to change something like the navigation menu, I update one file and all files on my website are pulling the new version.

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#11 2013-03-19 14:57:58

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

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#12 2013-03-19 15:08:15

mharrison
Member
From: Michigan
Registered: 2013-02-05
Posts: 26

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

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#13 2013-03-19 15:43:16

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

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#14 2013-03-19 18:26:58

brontosaurusrex
#! Red Menace
Registered: 2012-06-15
Posts: 1,643

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

Also wordpress is actually getting better and better, they are actually removing redundant stuff + the default twenty twelve is a nice child-theme producer for a lot of smaller projects. I do understand the other self-scriptable side as well, i'am using my own video player for years now (standalone, not-integrated into anything + a lot less code than your typical wp style.css)...

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2013-03-19 18:32:14)

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#15 2013-03-19 19:26:09

hq
#! Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2011-11-30
Posts: 52
Website

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

@brontosaurusrex

What video player do you use?


Dell Studio 1555

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#16 2013-03-19 19:32:03

brontosaurusrex
#! Red Menace
Registered: 2012-06-15
Posts: 1,643

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

hq; a custom minimal php/js loop around the jw-player (waiting to be replaced with pure html5 player in the future).

features:
- generates pages in 0.03 s
- auto thumbs
- pages with thumbs
- search (persistent filter, so you can send urls like filter=stuff2013)
- repeat one, all / auto-advance (jumps from url to url) < cookie based prefs
- and stuff
- no databases (installs in 3s < if i know what i'am doing that day...)
(mostly targeting intranet video demos)

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2013-03-19 19:39:22)

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#17 2013-03-19 19:37:55

hq
#! Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2011-11-30
Posts: 52
Website

Re: I'm a would-be web designer with no idea what to do next.

^ Thank you smile


Dell Studio 1555

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