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What should a developer know before building a public web site?

For the last 5 months, I have been familiarizing myself with XHTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, and even some of the more used HTML5 and CSS3 elements. I am still trying to wrap my head around this languages, but I feel confident that I can write the client side of a website. My biggest problem is making a website that looks good, which I suspect mostly requires PhotoShop, which I know at a basic level.

Can anyone recomend me some good books or website resources that help me to learn some of the good techniques in web design?

I would also like to know if I should stay and practice this langauages for a while before moving to learn server-side development using PHP and MySQL.

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You can also try out HTML5 and CSS3 to stylize your website and make it look awesome. HTML5 - w3schools.com/html5/default.asp , developer.mozilla.org/en/HTML/HTML5 // CSS3 - developer.mozilla.org/en/CSS , w3schools.com/css3/default.asp –  nitstorm Sep 16 '11 at 15:32
Good design doesn't require photoshop at all, it requires knowing what good design is. –  thedaian Sep 16 '11 at 17:33
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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp Sep 16 '11 at 15:49

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I highly recommend The Principles of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird. It won't teach you the technical aspects of how to use photoshop, but it does a good job at teaching you how to recognize a good design from a poor one and improve it. In other words, it helps answer the question, "I know this doesn't look right, but why doesn't it look right?"

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