Is this realistic? Need advice please

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Thread Starter
Oct 7, 2008
Hello all,

I have a question for all of you, web experts here; I am volunteering right now in a non-profit local group in Montreal. They do have a very old and awful looking web site that would need a complete overhaul (it looks pathetic, the links don’t work etc.). The original designer of the site is long gone and I would like to volunteer for revamping their site. However I have no experience in web design or creation. I am a programmer by trade, but for midrange and ERP systems. I do have a (very) basic knowledge of HTML, but I’m fairly at ease with SQL, C and C++, although I’m not sure the last two are that relevant.

So that being said, is it realistic for me to tackle a project like this? Are there enough informational content out there to get answers for my questions when the need arises? The basic idea would be to start of with something like Microsoft FrontPage or Dream Weaver. Which one would you recommend for a beginner? The web site itself I feel would be fairly straightforward. It would be a basic informational site with little or no transactional processes.

I would very much like to hear your opinions, before I commit myself I’d like to be reasonably sure that I can deliver.

Thanks in advance,


Sep 5, 2007
Forget about Frontpage

Dreamweaver is excellent but expensive and takes a bit of learning.

Microsoft's Expression Web is supposed to be good BUT I have no experience of it.

Komposer is a free wysiwyg editor.

Create in a straight forward text editor like Notepad++.

IMHO you would be best at looking for a free template that you like (search the forums here for links) and then load that up in the editor of your choice and play with it so you understand how it works and what to change to get it the way that you want it.

There are lots of good tutorials on HTML and CSS on the web and YouTube as well as the ones.

As it is for a not for profit group start off small with a couple of simple pages and as your knowledge and experience grow update and change the pages.

If you have specific questions about your code or any problems come back and you will get lots of help and advice here.
Apr 7, 2007
There is plenty of information available, the things you really want to concentrate on is HTML and CSS. CSS is the best way & the standard for adding style to a webpage. - is pretty useful, especially at the basics.

As you're already a programmer, once you've got HTML and CSS under your wing, checkout PHP and Javascript. PHP (server-side) requires it to be installed, so you'd need to check that the website host supports this (has in installed on your package). Javascript (browser-side) is very good at manipulating instant on screen results.

For a basic site, all you really need is HTML and CSS.

I agree with colinsp, that Dreamweaver is excellent; although expensive.
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