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  1. #1
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    Education in Web Design
    Hello. I am in college and want to become a web designer and make a living in affiliate marketing. What I don't understand is what particular classes should I be taking to know everything I will need in order to be successful in this field? Do I need to be taking a lot of programming classes? If so, which ones should I be concentrating on? I want to be able to build dynamic websites that are datafeed driven. How much coding do I need to know? Any areas of emphasis I should be looking in to? Java? Are there classes that teach mysql or cold fusion? Thanks so much for anybody who can give me some tips. I don't want to spend time and money taking classes that wont relate to what I want to do, but if a certain degree of programming will help me, then I want to learn whatever I need to! Thanks.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Talk to the dean of the computer science department where you go to school. They should be able to answer all of your questions.

    Take courses in website design.

    You don't need Jave. Most dynamic sites are built using php.

  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Don't forget to get some marketing in there. It makes up half of affiliate MARKETING after all. And then some.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the helpful advice. Any one want to share the route they took when learning to become a web designer? I've read that some people don't recommend going to college to learn web design because its always outdated, and that the better route is to get a book and learn it online through blogs, forums, websites etc..... If you were me, what is the best place to start? For the spring semester I am taking the basics. Computer applications (excel, access, word, and powerpoint), and e-commerce. What would the next step up in the progression be? html? P.S. I also have dreamweaver 8. I just don't know how to use it worth a darn yet. lol.

  5. #5
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Sadly.... I'm a little far removed from college. Web design wasn't an option back then. Srsly.

    Wish I could help more
    Kevin Webster
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  6. #6
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    I didn't bother to learn all of that. I use Expression Web 3. It does all the coding for you and will code in asp, php, .net and etc. It will do everything DW will do and more.

    Microsoft Expression Web 3 gives you the tools you need to produce high-quality, standards-based Web sites
    Flexible support for PHP, HTML/XHTML, XML/XSLT, CSS, JavaScript, ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, Flash, Photoshop files, and video/audio for webcasting
    Generate elegant, modern CSS layouts with a state-of-the-art design surface
    Compare your pages in multiple browsers on your development PC with SuperPreview
    Easily add Silverlight, Flash, Deep Zoom or Windows Media files with drag-and-drop controls.

    http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Expr...1013932&sr=8-3

    Some people use WordPress to build sites. On some web hosts you can install it free with just a couple of clicks.

    http://wordpress.org/

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info burgerboy. I am far removed from college as well. I'm going back at 36. I'm getting laid off on Friday (for three months) so I'm scrambling to earn extra income. I make monthly income from commission junction, but I use a prehistoric "pagebuilder" html editor on yahoo webhosting. Its what I used ten years ago and they used to get good rankings in google, but dropped like a rock (just like the extra income). I figured google "frowned" on the old static website builders. I haven't messed around with it too much in years because I was so busy with my "job" I will check out "microsoft expression web 3" program. Thanks.

    P.S. I thought wordpress was a blog generator or something? I guess I've been out of the loop for a little too long. It's time to catch up. lol.

  8. #8
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    I don't use WP so I can't help you with that. Maybe someone else here can talk to you about WP.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    "I figured google "frowned" on the old static website builders."\

    Nah, because what you use to build your sites has nothing to do with how relevant the pages you make are to users. Plus, I had an idea for a site that I started working on a few months ago and somebody had the same idea, years ago, and they always have top spots in Bing, Google and Yahoo and they're using - http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting/ to build their pages.

    "P.S. I thought wordpress was a blog generator or something?"

    That's what it's known for but you can use that and make more traditional looking websites as well. I just started using that a few months ago and for one site, I'm making it more like a website than a blog. It also just won the Overall Best Open Source CMS Award - http://wordpress.org/development/200...ins-cms-award/

  10. #10
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Here's more information on datafeeds: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=86606

  11. #11
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    burgerboy is that "microsoft web expression 3 upgrade" the entire program or do I need something else. I noticed that the link you gave me the software only cost around 79 dollars, where as the studio version costs a lot more.

  12. #12
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    They used to let you buy the upgrade if you had Microsoft office on your computer. It looks like they don't any more though.

    You would have to buy this version and it is the full program.

    http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-UCQ-...1017257&sr=8-1

  13. #13
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    Ok, thanks!

  14. #14
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    I went back to college several times through the years, and started out in the dark ages with computer programming. Learning the logic and being able to "get around" in php and other programming languages is a big plus *if* you are able to take those courses. You may find that you have a knack for it and instead of being an affiliate marketer, you can build tools for affiliate marketers and make money as a programmer. Just a thought

    Also taking some classes that will teach you how to use the common applications will get you past the learning curve that most of us went through with "learning by doing". As Kevin said, I started online way back when and there were very few classes that were available, and I just learned what I needed as I needed it because I happen to be a good researcher and found programs that did what I needed.

    Your college may not have affiliate marketing specific courses, but anything that teaches you how people buy things, and how to use your computer and the internet, will be of benefit to you.

    Hang around here through your journey and you just might go "to the head of the class".
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    I am surprised nobody has talked about the difference between design and development. Your opening sentence says you want to get good in design, but then you start mentioning thing (like programming languages) that have more to do with development.

    Which one do you want to be better at - making a site pretty or making it work? They require very different skill sets. I can make a computer dance with any programming language out there, but I am a terrible designer. I leave that to the creatives.
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  16. #16
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    As of right now I have enjoyed making very basic" websites and earning income from affiliate sales, but the thought of someday being able to construct a more advanced site or possibly even be an online merchant in the future is very intriguing. It might be WAYYYYY over my head because after reading some of the threads here, I am just totally confused! Haha. I guess there is only one way to find out. Thanks for all the input so far. After tomorrow I will have 2 1/2 months layoff so hopefully I will gain a greater understanding on what I can and want to do. Thanks.

  17. #17
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    I value the self study tutorials at: http://w3schools.com/

  18. #18
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Patrick is right, you need a whole lot of skill sets and there is a difference between functionality and design. A college probably will not know what is needed or have classes put together for such purposes. If you go the college route which is a good route, you'll have to pick the classes yourself and take what you can from each.

    On the coding side, even if you use software to help you out, you should learn to code for yourself in these areas:
    HTML - Its not really a programming language, but learn it, in general the WYSIWYG should build an outline of what you want the site to be and be used for the easy stuff, but sometimes you have to do it yourself, especially when your intergrating various non-html 'objects' or coding in PHP
    PHP - for this I mean any server based coding languages, there are a few, I prefer PHP, but you have to know one, you can't manipulate databases or make certain dynamic websites
    Javascript - for this I mean any client based coding languages. You can use these to simulate flash, sometimes its better to use these b/c they give you complete control and you can add SEO elements
    CSS - Not a language, but sometimes there is no other way to make a site look and act the way you want it too. This is by far the most frustrating part of coding since what looks good on ie doesn't work on firefox and vice versa.

    You will need a class on basic database design. If they have one them uses mysql over slq go for it, but you might have to buy a book on mysql after.

    That is just the coding. You have to get yourself some graphic software with alot of its own clip art. You should have both vector bases and paint software. Even though the web is 'all' paint software, its sometimes easier to start with the vector based, get t how you want it and then convert it to paint. I personaly use the corel draw suite.

    Now you have tools to make a good site, next take classes in both marketing, graphics and design. There probably won't be a course on on-line design marketing, but marketing is marketing and what held true 50 years ago still does, the same with design.

    There will also be stuff that you will need to know that you can't learn at a college, such as SEO and maybe SEM, linkbaiting, .htaccess and other things that'll come up.

    You don't need to know everything all at once, but as you learn things, you can add them to your sites as you learn them. There is always a learning curve and not everything you try will be successful. You have to remember that there are professionals out there doing the same thing and you might not be able to break into every market b/c people know more than you or have been doing it longer than you have. It'll take a while, how long will it be for you to be 'successful' is unknown and just because u do everything right doesn't always mean riches or even serious profits.

    There is so much to know, don't get overwhelmed by it and don't let yourself get frustrated. Very few are successful in a day, week, month, year :-)
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

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