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

I gotten interested in web-development lately. I am still a student. I learnt basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Then I thought I should improve my server side scripting. So I am learning Struts2 and I am doing better there. Now I have decided I should finally put my skill to some use.

So my friend and I have decided to come up with a fun website for our class. But now I am realizing that, though I know server-side scripting to a good extent (not great, just good considering I am a beginner), I am nowhere near good in the basic elements viz. HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I mean, I can't do cool stuff with it.

I am aware of w3schools, but it would be great if you can point out a more intuitive place where I can learn to do all the cool stuff in a short time.

Some of the problems I am facing are:

1) How should I design the basic layout of my website?

2) How can I use 3rd party APIs like that of Facebook graph?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp Jul 20 '11 at 10:16

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4 Answers 4

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Depends what you mean by "mastering", learning all the nitty gritty details is one thing and getting up a site is another.

If you're into the nitty gritty implementation...

You can get the basics down using the other posts but eventually you'll have to deal with cross-browser compatibility. I reference quirksmode on a very frequent basis. Which is particularly useful when you have to deal with wondering why something doesn't look write in certain browsers.

There are a wealth of sites that you'll have to reference to figure out why/what something renders the way it does. It's usually a little more involved, but is where you tend to lean towards when developing a web application (especially where security is a concern).

Personally, this is where I spend most of my time and use tools like Google Web Toolkit.

If you're into it just for the design...

You might want to check out from frameworks, this will get you over the technical humps and get you to design. Here are a few that come to mind that I like to use/used for simple sites: CSS frameworks:

JavaScript frameworks:

You can set up your own mini web development server by using a fully fledged development environment using an all-in-one kit such as BitNami stacks or LAMP/WAMP down to simple web servers like TinyWeb.

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Well,first things first, There's no single source of mastery and no tutorial is good enough for mastering any technology. It's only through working on live projects and continous series of error, recovery and result analysis in different situations that you gain sucessive experience and expertise.

now what remains is learning the language syntax and for that w3schools is a very good site for html and css. it explains almost all the tags in a very presentable manner. For javascript and related techs like ajax and jquery google is the best book you'll ever have. becoz no single book will ever answer all your javascript queries in a single volume. gook luck.

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Have look on Head First Web Design.

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How should I design the basic layout of my website?

Consider using a CSS template like the ones here to build your website. You can always take the template apart to see how it works.

How can I use 3rd party APIs like that of Facebook graph?

Facebook Graph is a REST API. You hand it a prefabricated URL, and it returns a result to you in JSON. There is a JavaScript SDK for Facebook that you can use to access Facebook data using the Facebook Graph API.

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