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I've been developing desktop applications for about 4 years, using .NET, C++, C, and a little of Python.

I've covered lots of topics while developing my applications, and even web technologies (cookies, GET/POST methods, when programming some scrapers/crawlers).

I've been always waiting to start developing websites, preferably using PHP + MySQL, although other advises will be welcomed to make this question more useful and generic for others. I know I could use a CMS instead of starting from scratch, but sometimes I don't need an entire CMS to do minor things...

What steps should I follow to create a website?

Let's suppose I have a web designer.

First of all, the designer designs the entire website (CSS, etc) and then I do the programming stuffs, like loading dynamically things from databases, doing some client-side stuffs with javascript, etc? Or how is the best way to do it?

I'm not looking for tools/frameworks/languages suggestions. What I want to know is how a team (or a developer with a designer) starts creating a website. The steps they do, what tasks they do first, how they integrate the work, etc. An example of an answer could be:

1) Design the entire website with good CSS practices, using containers instead of tables in some cases, etc. 2) Use that design and develop the logic or the functionalities of the website.

Of course, that's just an example. I'm looking for a good way to approach it, because I've been wanting to start on it but don't really know how exactly to organize the job :/

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possible duplicate of Best approach to learning web programming –  Anna Lear Feb 4 '11 at 20:51
@Anna He focuses more on the tools and frameworks than the best practices or steps a developer (or a team) should follow when developing a website. I don't need to know good books of PHP/ASP.NET/JavaScript/Databases/HTML/... I just want to know the path to follow to develop a dynamically website. Let's suppose I know every language! –  Oscar Mederos Feb 4 '11 at 21:00
Ah, makes sense. I misunderstood the intent of your question. –  Anna Lear Feb 4 '11 at 21:10
@Anna No problem ;) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 4 '11 at 21:12
I think that what you want to know is a methodology for doing web applications... In that case you might want to try this article as one example. –  Coyote21 Feb 4 '11 at 22:58
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2 Answers

For an easy transition you can just take ASP.NET and start cracking. Then you may expand onto other platforms if you like.

But for Heaven's sake, don't touch ASP.NET WebForms. It's an abstraction nightmare. it will poison your mind and make you a casualty of abstraction. Take ASP.NET MVC and learn how the web really works.

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Hmmm.. ASP MVC sounds great. Is it possible to use a web design designed by somebody and add code functionalities over it? What I don't want is to mix too much design & programming. –  Oscar Mederos Feb 4 '11 at 21:07
It is possible but not before you've practiced a bit and understood how to keep things separated. :) –  user8685 Feb 4 '11 at 21:16
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Personally, doing anything with PHP + MySQL is a nightmare, but that's personal preference. It might be reasonable if you want to do a really small project.

But seeing as how you come from a .NET/C++ background, I'd recommend digging into ASP.NET. It's very easy to get into and it abstracts away a lot of the primitive web stuff like POSTs if you don't want to worry about them. It uses HTML with special ASP tags for the interface, and you can use whatever language you want for the backend (C# is meant to integrate with it very well; it's what I use and I like it). There are tutorials everywhere for it.

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@Andrew Thank you for your answer, but that's not exactly what I'm asking. Sorry if you missunderstood me. Let's suppose I know ASP.NET. Will I create the design of the website? Isn't there a way to create the design and then start developing (with ASP.NET/PHP/Whatever) over it? –  Oscar Mederos Feb 4 '11 at 21:02
I just want to know how teams/developers develop a website. What steps they follow. –  Oscar Mederos Feb 4 '11 at 21:03
@Oscar - Designing a site is like designing any other application. Figure out what kind of program flow is best and write screens based on that. There isn't really any set way to design a site. –  Andrew Arnold Feb 4 '11 at 21:04
@Andrew There are some good practices to design a website (like using <div> and css instead of lots of tables, etc). It would be great (for me) to have a designer to design the site and then (me) add functionalities to the site (either using PHP+MySQL, or ASP.NET+SQLServer)... do you know what I mean? –  Oscar Mederos Feb 4 '11 at 21:09
@Oscar - Not really. If someone else is designing the site, what is it you need to know? How to program the backend? It's just like any other application, just on a slightly different platform. –  Andrew Arnold Feb 4 '11 at 21:14
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