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Learn CSS for Award Winning Website Design

I started to learn website design somewhere around 2003. I was determined to learn how to put up a website if it meant buying every book on website design there was! I really wanted to be an award winning website designer. I kept hearing the word Dreamweaver and had no idea what that meant!

At that time there weren’t a whole lot of online tutorials for building a website and webpages, so I went off the the local Barnes and Noble to find a book on website design. I must have purchased 10 books on website design.

My next decision was to purchase Dreamweaver. Frontpage was available at the time but I thought it would be wise in investing in software that I thought was the best and would be around for a while. I had never created a webpage before and when I first opened up Dreamweaver I almost ended my  not yet begun career of designing and building websites! Everything was so foreign to me, and learning html seemed so difficult. Yet all my research let me to believing that Dreamweaver would be the tool of choice for creating award winning website designs. I should add that I was forced to purchased Xsitepro for a long time web development and maintenance project. I really had no desire to learn how to use Xsitepro or to purchase it. However, once  I invested to the time to learn Xsitepro….. I became very found of the program. In fact, I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn how to start building websites and developing and maintaining their own websites……yes, I would encourage the purchase of Xsitepro over Dreamweaver for the newbie. However, if you want to learn html and css coding then Dreamweaver would be second to none!

A lot has happened since those early years of website design. I’ve whipped up a lot of websites but haven’t come anywhere near mastering the complete power of Dreamweaver. However, by using Adobe Photoshop to create templates and then importing the pieces into Dreamweaver I think I’ve been able to create some websites that are getting pretty close to being award winning!

Nonetheless, I continue the journey of website design by exploring new techniques and methods of website development. Worpdress has come on the scene in the last couple of years and is rapidly becoming one of the easiest and most flexible methods of developing on online presence. Many top designers are using wordpress to develop award winning website design. I found a great online guide that covers how to edit wordpress theme and how to create WordPress Themes called How to Be a Rockstar WordPress Designer….. don’t waste any time, get it if you have an interest creating wordpress themes!

If you do anything with web development then you know that CSS or cascading style sheets is rapidly becoming the standard method of putting pages on the web. Dreamweaver has great css functionality and wordpress is basically a object of css programing or coding. If you plan on doing any wordpess hacking you better know and understand css code!

I’ve been on a journey of Worpress hacking for the last year and have learned the basics of css. I can’t tell you how many css tutorials I’ve started and never completed :) My goal is to start creating wordpress themes from photoshop files and I just don’t know and understand css well enough to start creating award winning website designs!

Anyway, as I sit here tonight thinking about all the css frustrated website designers I thought I’d offer a few rays of hope!. For the first time in my life I went through a complete css tutorial, start to finish and didn’t skip any steps :) It wasn’t really a basic css tutorial, but I figured I better start someplace close to the beginning so I could properly understand the basics of building websites or blog themes with css. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, and I’ve made it a goal to be able to write a css site blindfolded by the end of this year….and hopefully have a better understanding of hacking away at wordpress blogs by that time also.

If you want to brush up on your css or just start learning it so you can began a career of building award winning website design …..then, check out the css tutorial I just finished. Nothing to promote here, just a decent tutorial on using css to create a simple webpage with a navigation tree across the top and in the footer. The author breaks up the tutorial as follows:

1.  Introduction
2. The Design
3. Default HTML Template
4. Setting the canvas
5. The major elements
6. Floats
7. Additional Structure
8. Some basic text styles
9. The Header
10. Footer
11. The Navigation (arg!)
12. Getting it right in IE

Let me give you some encouragement if you’re trying to learn web design. Trust me on this, you can do it! Just don’t quit. Remember that people learn differently. You might come to understand a concept by reading it once. Another person might have to read it 100 times….but they will get it. That same concept might not be understood by the next guy unless they actually do it….for some people they can do it once and understand…..again, others might have to (in this cas) write the basic code of an html page 50 times before they see the pattern. The important idea is, if you don’t quit, you’ll never fail. Your success might come in degrees rather than in one moment!

Good Luck….let me know if you give it a shot! Since I’m somewhat of a book hound so I picked a few of my favorite CSS Books that you might find helpful.

Whats new in Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

Some upgrades are rip-offs, some are bug-ridden, some are too minor to worry about, but some are usually must-haves. Dreamweaver upgrades tend to fall into this last category.

Dreamweaver is used in web-development and, because the web is constantly evolving, each new Dreamweaver release usually offers features which reflect the rapidly changing environment in which the program is used. Adobe recently acquired Macromedia, the company who created Dreamweaver. So what have Adobe come up with in this their first upgrade since inheriting everybody’s favourite web development tool?

Since the release of Dreamweaver 8, way back in 2005, the use of cascading style sheets (CSS) in web page layout has become widely recognised as the way forward. However, CSS page layout coding can be a little daunting for new web designers. Dreamweaver CS3 includes a wide range of customisable CSS layouts which include useful comments for inexperienced developers explaining how the designs function. The layouts may be used not only to create individual pages but also Dreamweaver templates.

Dreamweaver CS3 has useful new features for transferring CSS code from one location to another. You can move an internal CSS definition from inside an individual page to an external style sheet. It is also possible to take inline CSS (located next to the item it described) and transfer to an external style


Dreamweaver CS4

sheet.

One of Dreamweaver CS3’s nicest new CSS features is the ability to move CSS code form one place to another. This is particularly useful for updating pages created before CSS was used for page layout. CSS code can now be easily transferred from inside a page, both embedded style sheets and inline styles, to an external style sheet.

Dreamweaver has long had great features for integrating content with Fireworks. This new version extends a similar level of integration with the more widely-used Adobe Photoshop. Documents, slices or selections can be copied from Photoshop and pasted straight into Dreamweaver. An Image Preview window then appears in which compression and optimisation settings may be specified before the image is saved.

Dreamweaver now has support for Ajax, a programming model which uses various technologies, including JavaScript, to create fast, interactive web applications that respond to user actions by sending and receiving data to and from a server and refreshing elements of a web page without first having to reload that page. The Spry Framework, included in Dreamweaver CS3 is a collection of JavaScript code which offers developers a painless way of adding simple Ajax content to their pages.

Dreamweaver’ Spry content is divided into three categories called widgets, special effects and data sets. The widgets offer several different interface elements such as tabbed panels which allow designers to display content in a given part of the page which changes when the user clicks a particular tab. Other widgets include form validation utilities which check data entered into elements on a form and menus and sub-menus for navigation.

Spry effects can be applied to wide range of HTML components and include the ability to fade, highlight, zoom and shrink page elements in response to user interaction.

Spry data sets will bring in data from an external XML data source and display it on the page. Data sets offer a drill-down facility whereby users can click on information already displayed to bring up more detailed information on that particular item somewhere else on the page.

Adobe has not forgotten Mac users in this upgrade either. Dreamweaver CS3 now has Intel-based Mac Compatibility. This makes CS3 the first version of Dreamweaver to run natively on Intel-based Macs (as well as PowerPCs).

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