5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2015 4:08 AM by MurraySummers

    for beginner, better to start from scratch or template? help please

    Clinton Mickle Level 1

      so I have been learning dreamweaver cs4 and fireworks etc. for a couple months now watching tutorials from lynda.com and stuff. I am building a site (or trying to) to sell blenders online. Progress seems slow, would you guys recommend using those templates you can get for free or pay for? if so, is it worth paying for one? thanks!

        • 1. Re: for beginner, better to start from scratch or template? help please
          brightbelt Level 1

          Hi, I have some experience building an e-commerce site as a beginner, but it's not clear whether that's your actual goal or not from what you'e said.

           

          Even for building a regular site without e-commerce (by e-commerce, I mean having a shopping cart and taking credit card orders online through your site etc), things always start for me as if in a fog - and slowly over time the fog clears and I can see what's going on. So hang in there.

           

          Either way, I would recommend using a template but this means different things, depending.  In Dreamweaver you have CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) templates available from which to choose that are a good place to start. I just recently used one in order to change my site into CSS and leave using tables behind.

           

          As a beginner, it would do you well to begin learning construction of websites using CSS right upfront. That would be a huge advantage for you. In DW, at your start Panel under the 'Create New' column, go down to the bottom and click the 'More' Folder. That will take you to all the templates available. There, choose 'Blank Template' and 'Html' and then a specific template.

           

          I would choose a template that is 'Fixed', meaning that the width of the construction is specifically set in pixels, like '2 Column Fixed With Left Sidebar'.

          I've heard it said that fixed CSS templates (vs liquid etc) are easier for beginners to work with.

           

          IF you are going for an e-commerce site, I would recommend using Storefront Software, which provides you with very good templates to use - and their software works as a DW Plugin, meaning it integrates into the DW interface and that makes it easier to use. Their software lets you insert a shopping cart interface and everything that is e-commerce-driven into your site.

           

          It is fairly expensive software, but it's also a very positive alternative for a beginner in e-commerce. Plus their templates are very designer-friendly in that they give the user a lot of design room to customize how their site will look.

           

          As a beginner, I should warn you - to have an e-commerce site online is difficult and it takes a fairly large presence to make it work, meaning a lot of staying power and a good number of products to sell.

           

          Anyways, I hope I've helped....Good Luck,

          Frank B.

          • 2. Re: for beginner, better to start from scratch or template? help please
            Clinton Mickle Level 1

            Frank,

             

            Thanks a lot for the quick response. sorry for being vague. Yes, e-commerce is my goal but at this point it will be pretty simple. I will be a web-affiliate of a blender company and they purchase it through the company, not me. They will just go through a link on my page, which takes them directly to the company's site to purchase it and I get a commission. Therefore, I dont have to deal with the shopping cart and payment. I have dealt quite a bit with the templates given in dreamweaver. I thought it might be beneficial to use a template from the net because it will prob look better than one I just scrounge up.

            • 3. Re: for beginner, better to start from scratch or template? help please
              brightbelt Level 1

              Okay, I understand. Here's what I would recommend - I know from personal experience that "getting" design, both in terms of the technical skills and the art of it itself, can take a lot of time.

               

              I had that time and so I slugged through some awful designs before I got better at it.

               

              I can't really recommend a specific company to go to for templates, but you can google and find plenty. Also, google for reviews of the companies to be safe and also check their forums - you might find many satisfied or (worse) unsatisfied customers that way. But you'd get a bird's-eye view ahead of time.

               

              Do that - get a great-looking template - set it up and then, maybe.....relax, take your time and go to work on developing your own design from scratch.

               

              Just a thought. Good Luck,

              Frank B.

              • 4. Re: for beginner, better to start from scratch or template? help please
                dallascarwreckchiropracto Level 1

                If you do decide to go with a template from a 3rd party, make sure it's a reliable company.  We have found a few templates that we wanted to "try out" for our dallas car wreck chiropractor web site.  Some were free and some VERY cheap.  Lesson learned, you get what you pay for.  We found these templates that were embedded with code that we couldn't decipher.  After researching the information further, it seemed to allow for alterations to the source code of the template through some type of back door.  We do not transmit any type of sensitive information through our web site but it was suggested that these codes could capture any type of sensitive information that my be transmitted.

                • 5. Re: for beginner, better to start from scratch or template? help please
                  MurraySummers Level 8

                  Honestly, I just don't recommend that any beginner build an ecommerce site. The security risks are HUGE, and the complexity is large. For a beginner to surmount the challenge of learning HTML, PHP/.NET, and DATABASE management all in one gulp is daunting.

                   

                  We do not transmit any type of sensitive information through our web site

                   

                  If it's an ecommerce site then you surely do transmit sensitive information.

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