Main page :: Design :: First steps

The first steps

First of all, there is the choice of tools. As I wished to learn as much as possible about the whole process, I choose for the hard way: a text editor. As I am working on Mac OS X, Notepad is not an option. After a few trials, I stick with Sublime Text. Its makers claim it is "the text editor you'll fall in love with", and I have to say, they are doing a pretty good job. Especially the extensive autocomplete, for HTML as well as CSS, is very convenient. As you see from the occasional error, it lacks the direct spell control that, for example, my secondary editor Smultron has.

I also briefly considered using vim, but although I am convinced of it power, I have my doubts about its usability for a project like this, where content and form are already a large effort, and the learning effort for vim is considerable. Also, I would need to find out if it has autocompletion to match that Sublime Text. It is likely, however, that I will at least partially switch to it later on.

Second, I am not an experienced web designer or developer, so I had to begin without too much background knowledge. That meant that I could make a clean start, and choose the best possible means. Currently, that means preparing for HTML5 and CSS3 and hoping that the browsers will be up to speed with the standards. That also means that I will not make much effort to provide browser-specific support: if I write standards-compliant code, and your browser doesn't understand it, is it then my fault? I am, of course, aware that HTML5 and CSS3 are not finished yet, and implementation takes some time.

However, then I need to study a bit. One way is to learn something is a hands-on approach: just start working, and look up what you need to know to get things done. But, since HTML is a structured language, and CSS has its "you need to know that" moments, I started out by having a look at a few tutorials on both subjects.

Then there were such issues as hosting (I will use my ULYSSIS account), but also simple things as: which file structure, how to split content and css over different files, if any, and the like. These issues will be solved during write, evolving with how the work goes.

Before continuing, I have to express some gratitude to the builder of this website. For a start, don't forget to read the Top 13 Things Not to Do When Designing a Website and the Top 13 Things Not to Do When Designing a Website Anno 2014. For the broad set-up of the side, I must say I will just copy his concept. And here and there, I will borrow an idea about how to do something.