Website Design


I have recently acquired the interest to make a website, and I have a few questions.

1) How difficult is it?

2) What programs / language should I use? Aside from knowing HTML obviously, what is a relatively straight forward program that can make good quality sites

3) What kind of time frame am I looking at if I dedicate myself?

I am looking to make a fansite for something, and I would really like to do a good job of it, possibly even with animations and having the website be interactive. However, my current skills are lacking to say the least.


You can quite easily make something decent with Wordpress, and it'll be a lot less hassle if you're just doing a fansite. They sort out the hosting and everything, so you can get up and running within a very short period of time.

If you do want to do it yourself, then you'll need to learn HTML for the structure of your website, CSS for the style of your website, and either Javascript or PHP (although there are other options, these are the most common) for the scripting. It's not too difficult as long as you're not doing anything insanely complex, your timeframe really depends on how much time you have spare, how fast you learn, and how many features you want.

First learn html/css, take the time to learn both of these in a standard text editor.
Then make a few templates and play with that.
Then for animation/fancy looking things learn Javascript, and for getting user data PHP & SQL.

Timeframe depends on your current coding knowledge and how good a graphic designer you are.

Codecademy is a good place to start for absolute beginners. From that list I'd go for HTML/CSS > Javascript > Jquery. After that you should be able to make something that looks nice from scratch.

It really depends what you're looking to make a website for. For starters, HTML and CSS are a must for any kind of website design, it will be the front end of anything you make.

Like DazZ said, for some more complicated stuff like animations, look in to Javascript.

All of that will be good enough for a static website, if you're just planning on having a website with static information, that you would update yourself, that the above is more than enough.

If you're looking at making a Web Application, its a little more complex. A web application is basically a website with more interactivity, like forums, comment sections, messages, that type of thing. All of that requires more in-depth logic and interactions with databases. PHP and MySQL are great for that, but aren't the easiest for beginners to get the hang of.

One that might be easier is Ruby on Rails. Its a programming framework with a lot of built in functionality for you to leverage in making a web application. Creating functionality and interaction is easier, database management is simplified, overall its just more accessible. I would give it a look if that is what you're interested in.

I won't repeat what's already been said but I'll add a few things. Dreamweaver is probably the best program for making sites if you don't know much HTML or CSS...I believe you can download a free 15 or 30 day trial from the Adobe website. It has a cool code/gui split mode that lets you see the HTML and CSS as you make the site which is a good way to learn to do it all manually (which you should do if you plan on making anything half decent, I do it all notepad style's much more versatile). oppan notepad style

As for interactivity, I assume you mean a forum, which would be a fairly big undertaking keeping in mind that you haven't done anything like this before (plus if you're looking for free hosting most websites don't support much more than basic page retrieval). Google 'free forum hosting', you should find a few places that let you just make an account and a forum all fairly easily, then just hyperlink that from your website (I think I used to have one on a website called

As far as hosting, I use myself because the free version doesn't force ads or anything (though your website is limited to I think only 60mb of data, so if you've got a lot of stuff to put on you'll either have to pay a few bucks a month, host things externally, or go somewhere that forces banner ads in exchange for more data). If you want a personal .com or other proper domain (so for example instead of, it'll cost you about $10-$20 a year no matter where you go (you used to be able to get .tk domains for free, not sure about now though, but they had forced ads so bleh).


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