I have been creating basic websites using joomla cms and then customizing the templates with Ps. I want to learn the languages needed to build all of the fancy app's and features that I see on other websites. I just dont know where i start. I like using Joomla and it has allowed me to self teach alot of things. I have worked in internet marketing for a few years now and know that simple details that are overlooked can kill a sites web presence. I have a few q's that I have yet to get a difinitive answer on:

Is it possible to optimize a Flash site for SEO at all? - I have had countless vendors tell me that their are ways to do it. I have yet to see the proof. I would love to dive into learning Flash and the other programming languages so that I can build my own apps but not if I would be better off putting it on the back burner in order to master HTML,CSS etc..

Which programming launguage should I learn first and which one has the most flexibility?

Does using Joomla hinder SEO? I have basically been taking other developers templates and tweaking them using a trial and error strategy. I would like to create my own Joomla templates but again I dont know if I should be focusing elsewhere.

Lastly Is using a PSD to CSS service or Artisteer a better alternative to the method I have been using?

I see experienced developers post all the time that learning this stuff is easier than it looks but for some reason I get that "deer in the headlights look" everytime I open up a CSS or HTML file (I wont even open up anything else anymore!)

I have been able to pick up very easily on the marketing side of web site's (which ironically has alot to do with the way they are built) - but I have no idea on how to learn all of the commands and formats for writing this stuff.

I am a new member to this site and hope that I can contribute as I know that I will be on here ALOT!


4 answers

o.k.w 2355
This was chosen as the best answer

Wow, that's a lot of questions within your post. I will just address few of them.

Is it possible to optimize a Flash site for SEO at all?

I've posted a similar answer in stackoverflow.com (SO).

Much has been done to make SEO a possibility for flash site.

Here's a popular googled article: How to SEO Flash

Related SO Posts:

Flash SEO Url Best Practice?
Factoring in SEO on a Flash Site
and more....

Which programming launguage should I learn first and which one has the most flexibility?

Very subjective question, I'll make some assumptions:

  • your website is hosted on a linux machine
  • the database is likely to mySQL
  • you do not have formal programming training

My suggestion will be PHP as the server-side scripting language, javascript (with jQuery) for the client-side. Actionscript of course if you are dealing with flash. The three mentioned uses C syntax so it's relatively easier to pick up than something totally different. jQuery is my favorite, but you can always use others like prototype, scriptaculous or Ext JS etc etc.

I myself am not a PHP expert but it's easier for me to pick up as I'm a software engineer by profession. For beginners, I reckon the best is to understand the basic and then start doing guided tutorials. Nothing beats seeing your own codes in action. I've not any book on PHP, but there are lots of online resources. To name a few:

Does using Joomla hinder SEO?

I will not say so. Joomla supports friendly Url which itself is a boon for SEO. It gives much flexibilty for you to customize most of the HTML markup so you can tweak them to be more SEO-friendly. Here's one site on Joomla SEO.

Lastly Is using a PSD to CSS service or Artisteer a better alternative to the method I have been using?

I would not say it is better, but I would definitely encourage you to get your hands dirty by trying it yourself and comparing it with the output of these services. You can learn more and perhaps do more subsequently. When you are really comfortable, you can use the services and then improve upon them or tweak/customize further to your needs.

PSD to HTML/CSS is actually a very common practice in the real world. I know a few friends who did this because the designers are well-versed in PS but not comfortable in coding HTML/CSS. PSD is used as the basis for mockups which the clients/users can visualize immediately. Upon go-ahead, the PSDs are then sliced up into pieces for images/backgrounds to be used in HTML and CSS files. I found a few related tutorials via google:

Last but not least, welcome to doctype.com community. You might want to read the unofficial faq for more information on how to use the site more effectively.

Answered almost 7 years ago by o.k.w

For PSD to CSS you should definetly start with Zledman's "Designing with web standards". It's not techy, it teaches you the good practices and the evolution of web development as it is today, from browser wars to HTML5 (3rd edition talks a little bit about it).

Answered almost 7 years ago by Razvan Pavel

Thank you for your quick response! Your assumptions are correct (liniux, mysql,). As far as programming I have not had one bit of formal or informal training....at all.

You stated that PHP is a good start and I appreciate the guidance! Is there any PHP for 5 year olds books out there? I love to dive into learning something new but every time I have taken a few mins at a bookstore to check out a book or two they might as well have blank pages.

Any info on the PSD to CSS? Im sure it isnt an optimal solution but I would like design sites in PS as it is my biggest strength. I have heard that this can create "buggy" sites. But I have also noticed some positive post about it- I guess ill have to give it a try!

Thank you for your much needed help!

Answered almost 7 years ago by Mike Bielaszka
  • I've updated my answer with regards to your question above. :) o.k.w almost 7 years ago

I would build on what you know, and focus on PHP, Smarty and MySQL - so you can roll your own Joomla extensions or improve on ones which don't work quite as you like. You will then have a good grounding in MVC-style coding and could use a framework like codeigniter to develop non-Joomla projects.

Answered almost 7 years ago by Richard Grevers