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WebRookie -- The Basics You Need To Survive The Web

<Know the basics about computers, take a class. Learn all you can about computers and how they work. Taking a DOS class was helpful to me.>

<Know how to code by hand in html, you will have to fix code this way at some point.>

<Find a specialty skill, coding is not enough nowadays. Study databases, search engines, server logs, programming, you need extra skills to be valuable.>

<Learn to use an html editor. Experiment with many. I would recommend against any editor that adds code automatically, stick to editors you can change code in and have control over.>

<Be comfortable using the Internet and WWW. Practice searching and researching, my first duties in my job were to list company sites with search engines.>

<Learn to download and use an FTP program. Try a variety of them, know about binary and ascii files.>

<Study how to design for different resolutions. Deciding who your audience is helps to define what resolution you will be designing at.>

<Learn how different browsers affect your pages. Use multiple browsers to check your pages before sending them live.>

<Have a portfolio online. Put your resume up so potential employers can quickly access it and see your design skills at the same time. Create sites just for practice.>

<Learn to submit your sites to search engines and how to use META tags. Understand the concept, read up about them at Search Engine Watch.>

<Use alt text for navigational purposes. Remember there are people who choose to turn off their graphics to speed through sites.>

<Optimize your graphics for fast download. People click away quickly from slow-loading sites.>

<Content is vitally important, more than how cool your site design is. Remember, content will keep people at your site and keep them coming back.>

<Provide interactivity at your site whenever possible, through message boards, games, monthly articles and any other way you can create interest. A great example are the daily sitings at Project Cool.>

<Make a storyboard of your site, sketch out how the pages work, the content and basic navigation before you start creating it.>

<Take classes and study tutorials, there is a wealth of free information on the Web.>

<Learn Photoshop, Illustrator and any other graphics program you can learn. Photoshop is one of many good programs for web graphics.>

<Learn about UNIX and vi editors, some companies have you code online. Study up on servers and what they do.>

<Be prepared and organized in managing your own sites. Check your links and update your pages. Respond quickly to visitors who contact you.>

<Always work, create sites for yourself or donate your time but keep working and learning.>

  • Find out about your legal rights
  • Research the web for information
  • Talk to others
  • Risk to create something original, try it and see how it works
  • Trust your abilities and your instincts
  • Learn how to work alone and in a team atmosphere
  • Get familiar with web terminology
  • Find out what tools and style work for you
  • Create your opportunities
  • Contact your local city hall for information and fees when you are ready to work from home
  • Work well with others. In other words, treat people the way you want to be treated
  • The web is fast moving, working in a web department is as well

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Copyright 1998 by D. Goetsch, WebRookie