Web Hosting, Design, & Coding forum


Are there any basics in design courses available?

by ZackEvans20 / June 6, 2013 2:39 AM PDT

Hi all,

I've just joined cnet, predominently to source advice and help with my many projects - I am a somewhat basic web designer who feels quite comfortable in the coding world but I don't feel I have the design skills to match. This has, in recent times, led me to rely quite heavily on others by purchasing wordpress themes and html templates. I know, I know, what kind of 'web designer' does that?! Well that's exactly why I am here!

I'm wondering if anyone has any recomendations for any basic design courses that I could do online? I don't want to pay a fortune and I'm not looking for any qualification as I believe most are not worth the paper they are written on! This is just to improve my own skills, or lack thereof! So anything that starts from the bottom e.g. colour matching etc would be great.

I want to show some examples of what I can do to give you an idea of my current skill set but having read the no spamming post before I started to write this I'm concerned I will get banned or something so I'll just post 2 links and hope for the best:

My own, from scratch, work: Ri Web Design

What I aspire to that I have 'stolen' from a wordpress design: Eight Ray Music Book a Band

As you can see the difference is quite huge and in my own work I've only managed to come up with a statement blue colour offset by white and grey Sad

All help and advice would be much appreciated as I really want to take my work up a level (or 2!)

Many thanks,


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Clarification Request
So why from scratch?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2013 2:46 AM PDT

It's fine to do so but today I see some attempt to create from scratch and match what was done by others that built on top of prior works. WordPress is just that. You can attempt to create from scratch but is that your real goal?

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I want to be more original
by ZackEvans20 / June 6, 2013 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: So why from scratch?

Hi Bob,

Many thanks for your reply.

I wish to be better at creating my own designs, I feel that when I design websites my self they are poor and look cheap/low quality because I don't have any design experience and have never been taught.

I am more of a developer trying to do 2 jobs - design and develop and only one of them I do well without stealing others ideas.

I do not want to be seen as a website designer who steals others design ideas or uses templates as I feel it makes me look cheap and like I don't know what I'm doing.



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Read this FIRST!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2013 3:09 AM PDT

-> http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/08/quantity-always-trumps-quality.html

And why not steal good ideas or designs. You have good prior examples of folk that did that and were thought of both in good and bad ways such as Steve Jobs, many at Microsoft, Oracle and the list goes on.

I've encountered engineers that want to create from scratch and more power to them. But I've done more by altering a design to the need than a full on from scratch method.

All Answers

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What you know about the logic(code) is key aspect.
by iminmessaging / June 6, 2013 4:40 PM PDT

I totally agree with you, not a long time ago I was also dealing with same. The logic what you implement to your site is the key aspect, how much secure you are making your site that matters but the world is now tending towards new technologies which in another way providing the new way to design the same in less effort. The basic you'll get for designing may be to start with CSS, Photoshop, Jquery. It would provide you better knowledge as well. With the the help of these you can also create an attractive templates.

Good Luck!

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Again, the issue is not software or coding capabilities
by ZackEvans20 / June 6, 2013 7:53 PM PDT

Thanks everyone for your advice and help, it's all appreciated!!

I don't think I have been that clear with my issue..

I do not have any skills in design - I have no idea what colours should go together or skills in creating nice borders, dividers and backgrounds etc that will suit.

I have the skills in html and css to build them if I'm given something to copy but if I do it myself it just looks poor compared to what else is being designed.

Thanks, Zack

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Break it down.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 7, 2013 2:04 AM PDT

You said you don't know what colors go with that. That's aesthetic and a google on that can get you color palettes to work with. No engineer I know knows these palettes. They do know to go look up such things.

Are you sure you want to know this or will knowing how to find out suffice?

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I take your point
by ZackEvans20 / June 8, 2013 10:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Break it down.

Maybe I am too keen to learn things that are just unnecessary?

I guess if I knew of a resource that could help me with these issues that would suffice?


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Today we have the web.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 10, 2013 1:35 AM PDT
In reply to: I take your point

I can find color palettes on the web. So what's missing? What did you want next?

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Recommended course of action to learn web design
by InMotionHosting / June 10, 2013 2:31 AM PDT

Hello ZackEvans20,

There are steps to learn how to design websites. If you follow through with the steps you will be able to create your own designs in not time. Here are the steps.

Learn the Core Code languages
1. Learn HTML / XHTML
2. Learn CSS
3. Learn JavaScript
4. Learn PHP

Learn Design Software
1. Learn PhotoShop
2. Learn DreamWeaver

Learn Free source code (Code you don't develop but can use for interaactivity)
1. Learn jQuery
2. Learn Mootools

Learn Different Styles of Design.
1. Learn Fluid and Fixed Layout
2. Responsive Templates (for mobile design)

If you can get through those you should be able to get to speed developing your own sites in no time.

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I have a question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 10, 2013 2:36 AM PDT

If you employed a developer, wouldn't you expect them to seek out those on their own?

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