I am trying to make a website for my college, and the program starts from jan 13 and we get 15 days of time to develop a running site. The best site will become the college site. I am participating, for all these days i used to participate in C and C++ contests and also won a few contests, now i am really into web dev for the last 2 months. I knew HTML long ago recently i brushed up on it and learnt javascript from "javascript and jquery the missing manual"(sorry for not adding the link) and recently bought "PHP and MySQL web development" and I am going on fine with it, but still a lot of pages to cover in that book. After this what do i need to know ajax is one language to concentrate on, what else do i need to do to make this project up and running. Can someone let me know the tricks of this trade and complete information to build a site like this.

Right now i am good with javascript HTML and CSS and thats it, what else I am studying HTML5 and CSS3 its pretty fast and neat.

The info on site is a college website which includes students profiles where the have to register their info with college id number and pretty much thats it. Think of it as a college site + a social networking site for students, where they can upload there pics and videos pdf books etc.

  • Any answers, or atleast any information
    – Siddarth
    Oct 8 '12 at 7:59
  • Sometimes schools have few labs with old browsers: CSS3 and HTML5 are not exactly backward compatible, make sure your school uses browsers that can actually run CSS3 and/or HTML5 before developing core features with that (I would recommend to have a fall-back to more ancient methods anyway - for instance uploading files with drag and drop from HTML 5 it's a nice feature, but you want that to work on old browsers too)
    – milo5b
    Oct 8 '12 at 9:41

What a nice, crowd-sourced way of the college to save money. Well ;-)

Make a list of the requirements and refine it to the absolute needed core minimum.

Look for a Development Framework. Don't invent anything from scratch. Concentrate on the functionality. Take the time to install 1 to 4 frameworks and go through the basic examples offered by their introductions or examples.

Choose one. Look for modules or plugins the frameworks offer for rapid setup of authentication, social plugins, uploads and simple listings with pagination. Use them.

Look for a CSS Framework or free HTML templates. Don't invent anything from scratch.

Update to your comment:

Choose a new IDE/Editor only if you don't have one you're already familiar with. Learning a new one during a tough project schedule might waste some time (if you're already a vim or emacs pro, well, you're fine). But if you like a GUI: Take a look at Zend Studio (for PHP) or PyCharm (for Pyhton). They can speed up your development and notify you of common problems with syntax.

What else? Just start, wrong decisions are part of the game :-)

Good Luck!

  • OK, thats a start, apart from IDE and editors what else do I have to focus on?
    – Siddarth
    Oct 8 '12 at 8:34

If I can also put in my 2 cents, I'd like to say that initall's advice is a great starting point. You really need to know what you're trying to develop before you decide on architecture.

Is this just a "marketing" site? Do you know what the college's vision is for this site (ie. do they want to cater to mobile platforms, as well as your desktop users?)?

Is this going to be updated on a regular basis? If so, what level of expertise do you expect editors to have in order to make those updates? (hint: if updates are expected to be regular, and it's going to be left in the hands of your average office worker, you probably want to implement some form of content management system, such as Django, Drupal, RefineryCMS, etc.)

Your architecture decision should also be informed by knowing what technologies are supported by your college's IT infrastructure. If you design a site in Django, but they don't support Python at the same level that your site requires, you're out of luck.

Keep in mind that site refreshes in a college setting are not always quite as common, unless you have a particularly forward-thinking administration, so what you design, if you want it to win, should be designed with flexibility and maintainability in mind.

HTML5 and CSS3 are good tools to consider, but it is more important is to understand what you're trying to build, so you can choose the tools that will fit the need, rather than just trying for a laundry list of currently-popular techniques.

If I could get every new web app developer to read one thing, it'd probably be 37 Signals' "Getting Real" which is available for free to read: http://gettingreal.37signals.com/index.php


There are many advantages of HTML5. I am giving 10 major points here:

  1. Mutuality
  2. Improved Semantics
  3. Consistency
  4. Fulfill the need of Web application
  5. Client-side database
  6. Geolocation support
  7. Offline Application cache
  8. Improved Accessibility
  9. Elegant forms
  10. Cleaner markup / Improved Code

So it is better to use HTML5 instead of flash.



A framework that I like quite a bit is Twitter Bootstrap. And HTML5 Boilerplate is something I will probably include in every project in the foreseeable future.

I am currently using the 'Roots' WordPress theme which incorporates both.

Included with HTML5BP is Modernizr, which itself includes the HTML5shiv which allows older browsers to properly display HTML5 elements. PrefixFree.js is well worth looking into as well.

So yeah, I use HTML5 (with shiv), CSS3 (with non-CSS3 defaults), JQuery, and Modernizr for polyfills on all current projects...that said, that's a lot of ground to cover in 14 days.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.