I am a novice at building websites and considering to make one. But I'm very confused right now. I guess every beginner faces issues getting started. Some questions that have come up are:

  1. I have an idea and a need a website. That's all I know right now. But how do I start ? HTML is for sure the basic language but there are a lot of other technologies too. What are ASP, PHP, Ruby, etc? How do I choose the right one from them? Other than ASP and PHP, there is JavaScript and other languages under the same belt. What are they used for?

  2. Hosting. When I am choosing the host, what considerations do I have to keep in mind? What support do I need from them (other than getting some important space obviously)?

  3. I am considering of making the website in Ruby on Rails. I don't know about PHP and what effect it would have if I choose Ruby over PHP. I thought about Ruby just because its new and I don't want to learn some thing "not new"! Moreover, what is a framework and how does a framework effect my development process?

These three questions are just to explain my "confusion" better. There is obviously a lot more to it. Just to try to answer how the flow of website development goes keeping in mind my questions!

  • I think you have to read more about the basics. An argument like "I thought about ruby just because its new and I don't want to learn some thing "not new"" is really bad. If you choose one over the other because you think is better, that's OK. Plus, PHP is right now, the most widespread server language, after Perl which is ubiquitous, but more complex to master. – PatomaS Oct 22 '12 at 7:12
  • I know my argument is bad but if u think from the perspective of someone who is new to web development the argument "i guess" fits right in! And may be that's why i need to know the basics but some how i am not sure where i do start from. To be frank my frequent google searches are " how to make a website" :P and all i get is wordpress or something like wix. Unfortunately no technicality that sums up the process! And thats why i asked it here – Chandeep Oct 22 '12 at 7:16
  • Welcome to Webmasters. You've asked 3 different questions, all of which can't be answered specifically. If you do some research on this site you can answer the first and second, and the third can be answered on stackoverflow.com. We want specific questions with specific answers on this site so I'm closing it. – paulmorriss Oct 22 '12 at 8:32
  • You realize any programming language you build the site will require the HTML. Ruby, RoR, PHP, or ASP those are all fine. But using them means you're building a dynamic site and if you are new to development you're better off starting with an HTML static website If you need a website I'd suggest starting with a template from themeforest. If you plan to learn a language because it's new that's stupid. PHP is old, very old yet extremely popular. If you don't want to learn an old language why are you considering learning HTML it's been around since the 80's. – Anagio Oct 22 '12 at 8:34
  • @Anagio: i guess because there's nothing more new to html! :P Kiddin ;) – Chandeep Oct 22 '12 at 12:13

You should start with html 4.01. Don't discard it because it's old, Is is the core language for all the websites in the world. But of course, the specs by itself could be hard to understand, so you need sites like html dog or w3 schools, or any other site with HTML tutorials.

Once you are familiar with it, you should practice with CSS, again don't discar that version because is not the latest, that is the version that works right now and for long time. You can use again more resources like w3schools or any other tutorial about CSS.

Once you are familiar with that, you can start with server side technologies, like PHP, or if you prefer ruby, then so be it, but I'd say PHP is your best bet.

Once you are familiar with that, you may pass to other things, like JavaScript, or any other thing you like. Avoid AJAX and Jquery fr a long time, they are very attractive, but not easy. And the attractiveness they have most of the times blur the fact that you may do things without them easier.

Don't start with complex things, don't try to start with things like Zend, Wordpress, Joomla, etc, those thing won't make you any good. Practice basics, integrate them and improve.

Sites like a list apart may give you many ideas, examples, tips, and much much more. Is an advanced place, but the writing style is usually simple enough for everyone.

Install something like XAMPP in your machine and start working there, is simple but with all the options you need and more.

Frequent forums like webmasterworld, there you will find a lot of information plus a large community to help you. Of course you may use this site, just ask specific questions and you will get answers, also try to describe what you have tried.

With all that, you have more than enough for a few months of practice.

And a final tip, don't think that you have learned everything there is about any of those things I mentioned before, specially basics like HTML, there is always something new to learn and practice.

  • @PastomaS : I was looking for answer like this! Thanks a lot dude! i knw my question doesn't fir for forums like stackexchange but i was helpless! trust me! Thanks for your advice.. I will be asking more better and "Specific" questions. Keep answering ;) Thanks! :) – Chandeep Oct 22 '12 at 12:19
  • and vote up requires 15 reputation ;) – Chandeep Oct 22 '12 at 12:20

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