Getting into development
Web development can be a fun and challenging field of full time work or an exciting part time income. You do not need to have lots of money to get started, but do of course need to have a computer with an internet connection.
The best place to start is at the beginning.
You will need a few basic tools and skills to get you going, and most of them are free.
Tools: A text editor, image editor/creator, variety of internet browsers for testing and of course an FTP Client.
Skills:A basic knowledge of XHTML and CSS will be a great place to start, get a good foundation and you’ll be moving strength to strength. Soon as you feel comfortable move straight into learning how to leverage the power of PHP, it will save you LOTS of time in the future.
Here’s a list of resources to get you started:
- http://www.gimp.org/ (for editing images to use on your sites)
- http://www.inkscape.org/ (scalable vector creation and editing tool, can also import other formats)
- http://www.blender.org/ (3d designs for really effective headers and buttons)
- http://www.wampserver.com/en/ (a stack for windows of Apache, MySQL, Php for local development)
- http://sourceforge.net/projects/notepad-plus/ (text editor for creating your HTML, CSS and PHP)
- http://www.panic.com/coda/ (text editor for mac)
- http://macromates.com/ (text editor for mac)
- http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/development_tools/ (tools for mac)
- http://www.netbeans.org/ (cross platform IDE, don’t use the WYSIWYG only use the text editor)
- http://www.python.org/ (for advanced cross platform programming)
- http://www.mysql.com/ (open source database engine)
- http://www.postgresql.org/ (opensource database engine)
- http://www.php.net/ (server side scripting language)
- http://www.google.com/webmasters/ (site and keyword analysis tools)
- http://browsershots.org/ (for getting an idea of what your site looks like on different setups)
Browsers: (it’s good to test locally in as many environments as possible)
- http://www.apple.com/safari/ (PC and Mac)
- http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/ (cross platform)
- http://w3schools.com/ (awesome learning centre)
- http://www.tizag.com/ (more learning resources)
- http://www.csszengarden.com/ (info on CSS, will save you tons of time)
- http://www.oswd.org/ (example CSS websites and downloads to use and learn from)
- http://www.w3.org/ (web standards and resources for learning, they set the rules)
Content Management Systems: (either use as is, modified or learn from them they’re opensource)