Question by homer742: Is there a difference between learning HTML (XML, CSS) and learning “Web design”?
I am real comfortable with basic HTML code, and I’ve been reading books and doing exercises, but I still have little insight about how to create a cool looking site. Even Front Page creates sites that are nicer looking than the ones I create by hand, although they don’t work right because of the junk that Front Page puts in there.
Should I just learn Dreamweaver? Are there books that assume you know some code and approach from a layout perspective more?
Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by dbuitt22
All you really need is Frontpage and FTP and a editing photos program and you can make a website.

You may have to pay for hosting about 6 or 7 bucks a month.

Give your answer to this question below!

7 thoughts on “Q&A: Is there a difference between learning HTML (XML, CSS) and learning “Web design”?”

  1. It good to know HTML cos it makes you gain more control over the sites you create softwares such dreamweaver and frontpage.dont learn only dreamweaver add fireworks and you will be cool

  2. As you have already surmised the difference between HTML and web design is the front end or the graphic interface. Designing a really cool front end is more the work of a graphic designer than a programmer. That said, if you don’t think you have the chops to design the graphics use a template and adjust the code to make it your own. There are literally millions of redesigned templates to be had for heap cheap. Check on e-bay under design templates. My guess is that even the most sophisticated professional web designers use a template to one degree or another.

  3. The answer to your first question is that there is a huge difference. HTML, XML, CSS and the like are all just tools used to create a website. Whether your site is functional and aesthetically pleasing goes much more into the art of design. There are books and classes that you can take but the principles of design and layout are going to be very similar to the principles used in any type of marketing, magazine layout and the like. It has a lot to do with knowing color schemes that work well. Creating a common look and feel to your graphics. Choosing appropriate font types and sizes.

    The things that really go into making a website cannot be found in any software. The software are simply tools. Like any tool, the software in a masters hand can do amazing things. The same software in an amateurs hands can turn out to be down right ugly.

    The best website designs are designed by artsy, marketing type people. The design is then given to the HTML coders to create the digital equivalent.

  4. Knowing XHTML and CSS without the fancy editors is a very good thing. Go to W3 online schools to take you to the next level. Yes, Dreamweaver and Front Page do a lot of the dirty work for you, but your knowledge of the code CAN take you to a whole new level beyond that.

    Flash is also a cool application that can produce wonderful pages…but it costs. If you are a student (or know one), you can get Studio 8 from Adobe for a couple hundred – which is a heck of a deal.

    Remember – content in HTML and presentation in CSS. If you haven’t learned that yet, keep going!

  5. Hi Homer.

    Knowing HTML and Web Design are two different things altogether.

    Think about this, if you know how to mix and pour concrete, does that make you an architect and constructor? Of course not.

    Web Design as a field and a process should be considered from the initial stages that consider strategy:

    -why are we building this site?
    -who is the site for?
    -what are the needs of these people?
    -how will we fulfill these needs?

    This design process, along with the organization of the contents (information, text) and functionalities (tools) that will make part of your project, is called Information Architecture.

    The product of Information Architecture are site blueprints, called wireframes, which tell the producers what each page will contain, how these are laid out, and how they will be connected (navigation).

    Then you take this design, top it off with Visual Design, and only after all this you are ready to start producing the HTML.

    As you can see, HTML is for BUILDING, not for DESINGING web pages and websites.

    You say how front page makes better looking pages than the ones you make. Have you ever researched about Visual Design? It’s a whole field that has decades of history behind, just because you can build a page does not make you a designer.

    I would recommend you to research a bit about Visual Design to get the basic skills on how to make appealing designs. You need to learn some Information Architecture and Usability in order to learn how to lay out your site and pages.

    And before building, learn some of the fundamental principles of HTML and CSS in order to write proper, valid code. Which makes a world of difference.

    Use some of these kewyords on Yahoo! Search to find some online resources and book recommendations:
    Visual Design
    Typography
    Information Architecture
    Usability
    Findability
    Accesibility

    Some useful sites are
    evolt.org
    ala.org
    iainstitute.org
    alistapart.com

    good luck!

  6. As it said before HTML, CSS are tools for building web site. In order to make a nice one you need to know how to make thing look beautiful and convenient to use at the same time. and this is the art of web design.
    The real good web desiner may not know a single HTML tag or CSS property – he just draw the page in photoshop (or any other graphical designer) and then gives it to html coder and they cut it images to html files.
    So my advise to you concentrate on coding if you can’t draw or go to art school 😉
    Check this recourse http://www.artlebedev.com/
    and the web disegner bible http://www.artlebedev.com/mandership/
    And don’t worry if you can’t make a design, web programmers (as I’m) make more money

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