13 Jun 06
15 Jan 07 3:28 am
It's a really good idea to spend some time looking around and see what sort of sites appeal to you. There are certain standard styles for sites that you'll quickly learn to distinguish. You can even sit down and plan it out on paper before you start building anything... nothing worse than getting halfway through building something and realising that everything is in the wrong place.
Templates are a good place to start, provided they're not too complicated. If they're really image-heavy then it might be hard to change the navigation and stuff like that.
Remember that we've got a couple of templates in the members section (the gnome and pie sites) that you can modify to start off. They're pretty safe in terms of being reasonably tidy HTML so it shouldn't be TOO intimidating to look at.
Both Dreamweaver and XSitePro are very popular in this forum. There are other programs available... basically once you get your head around one, it shouldn't be too hard to switch to another if you find you outgrow it. It's just learning the basics and then finding the relevant function in another program.
But like Adrian says, it's ALWAYS useful to know some HTML. No editor is going to be able to do everything. w3schools is a good place for the official word, but it's a little dry to sit and read for any length of time. Try http://www.yourhtmlsource.com
for slightly more pleasurable reading.
I've got web designers working for me who refuse to use Dreamweaver and taught themselves by looking at other peoples' source code. If you've got the time and motivation, give it a go :)