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Dear Buzztown, plz help a web design n00b!!

Hey all I know I can count on you all to help me out on this one...

So I've decided to make my move to define myself in the field of Pathology by authoring a website compendium of pathologic entities and the such.

The only problem, is that I'm a total n00b when it comes to making websites! I mean, I coded my myspace but that's about it.

So I was hoping you could help me get started (pretty plz).

What I'm looking to do:
1) create a simple attractive web 2.0-looking site with a searchable and clickable index of diseases.
2) create a super-idiot-proof way for my fellow residents to add content (text and pictures) without having to code anything.

What I've considered so far:
Dreamweaver? ColdFusion? Some kind of wiki interface?? Something free or opensource that's still n00b friendly?

So far I've been making crappy mock-ups in MS Word and Publisher (I know, uber weak) but I'd really like this to be professional and self-standing.

So am I screwed or is my dream do-able? Any help is MUCH appreciated.

Oh also, here are some examples:

thanks again in advance,
-dr. karl

ps of course id credit buzztown somewhere on the page!! Wink

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It's doable... Just one question

In reply to: Dear Buzztown, plz help a web design n00b!!

Are you willing to pay for such a service to develop your dream site or are you just hoping that someone will volunteer their expertise? If it's the later, then either you're dreaming or you haven't been paying attention to your skillsets. If it's the former, then you are posting in the wrong place.

I will be happy to tell you where to go to learn the finer points of using site developing programming languages such as PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, ColdFusion, etc. You just need to supply more specific information.

It's doable, but not for a design nOOb... maybe a advanced developer.

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tough love, eh? Yeah, my web skills are ill, primitive...

In reply to: It's doable... Just one question

tough love, eh? Yeah, my web skills are ill, primitive... All I want to do is have a basic personal webpage for public consumption (a resume' webpage, basically) and link off to any blog sites.

I do have dreams of fascinating webpages, but I'd had to go to school for some web design classes if I want to get it done anytime soon...


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Don't sell yourself short...

In reply to: tough love, eh? Yeah, my web skills are ill, primitive...

If you need want to get the site done, you don't need to go to classes for that... There are ready made version for you. Take what shanatubule (?) wrote, there are Joombola, or something like that that is easy to set up with the template and content management. The learning curve is shorter as compared to starting from scratch. Consider taking this up with the support tech from your web host. They may have online help section for setting up the site.

Hope this helps.

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yay! i can haz my dreamz afterall! ;)

In reply to: Don't sell yourself short...

thanks! I'll have to check out those links...

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Here are some tutorials if you want to learn

In reply to: Dear Buzztown, plz help a web design n00b!!

Here are some great places for tutorials if you want to learn how to make a website.

This site has plenty of tutorials. The main ones I would suggest are XHTML and CSS.

Also, if you want have a sort of "admin panel" so-to-speak, I recommend using Joomla ( It allows you to manage posts and content. Joomla has plenty of extensions and is 100% open source. It also has a user login system so you can let your local residents register and post content as well. You can do a lot with Joomla. You can add forums, create a MySpace clone, or just manage a blog-like website.

Dreamweaver is a great tool, but personally I prefer using a text editor and a web browser (Dreamweaver is just like an integration of the two). If you need a good multipurpose text editor, try Notepad++ ( Dreamweaver is easier, but if you want your site to be more customized, you would probably need a little knowledge of code.

If you need help with the design, I will gladly help you out. Also if you need any Joomla help, I do a little bit of development for the project (bug fixing to be specific) and would gladly be of assistance.

Joomla! is easy to set up as long as you have a web server with a few requirements. Just check with a web provider whether they support PHP and MySQL. Many web hosting providers offer a Fantastico installer, which basically automates the entire Joomla! installation process.

HTH - Shantanu

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In reply to: Here are some tutorials if you want to learn

Also, if you want to make a Wikipedia clone, try MediaWiki (it's the system Wikipedia uses!). However, I will say that MediaWiki is not idiot-proof by any stretch of imagination, and is very complicated. The only benefit of using it is that some of you local residents may be familiar with Wikipedia - if not, I wouldn't really recommend it.

Also, with regards to the design of the site, I would suggest starting with a free template (you can find plenty of them online for Joomla or other systems too). Then, once you have a website up and running using a free template, you can learn coding techniques by tweaking the works of others (as long as you have permission to do so).

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(NT) say, have you ever used any thoughts on it?...

In reply to: Wikis...

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In reply to: Wikis...

that was totally all i was looking for! w3 used to be a fav of mine but i forgot the link. that's super helpful. thanks! Happy

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Some ideas

In reply to: Dear Buzztown, plz help a web design n00b!!

Here are some ideas:

Web Host: If you host a domain at 1&1, GoDaddy, etc., you may have a sufficient, searchable online Web page generator built-in to your site already. Check out your Web host's feature list.

Wikia: If you are comfortable with the Buzz Out Loud wiki and don't mind ads, consider requesting a free wiki at Wikia:

Dreamweaver: I've used it since v. 1.0, but it's sorta old-school now. Better to use text editor like TextWrangler or NotePad and FTP/WebDAV software like CyberDuck.

ColdFusion: Difficult and ancient. Don't bother with it.

Once you get comfortable coding, consider installing content managers like WordPress (intermediate) or Drupal (advanced) on a hosted site running Linux/PHP. Then, pick a good theme/template or roll your own.

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In reply to: Dear Buzztown, plz help a web design n00b!!

I think your best bet would be Wordpress. Wordpress works great as a CMS (Content Management System). A Godaddy hosting account, easily installs wordpress for you. You can then use a free theme that you can configure to your self, or take it a step further with some pretty good premium themes from, or, Just do a search for premium themes. You can use categories, or tags to organize your info.

The same way you change myspace layouts, its going to be easy to get wordpress to do what you want, and need.

I think that would be your best solution.

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