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I'm new here and need help. I'm new to everything in here. Is there a shortcut to learning programming. I have just become unemployed from the fish reception where I worked and have plenty of time to spare. I was therefore in the store today and bought myself two books to make myself a website. I will make this to search for a new job. This one says about xhtml 5 and css which is supposedly one language for creating websites. This book also said about the programming language php, but it only says that it can be used. Nothing about how to do it, it does not say anything about what it is. That's how I came across this forum. I'm trying to figure out what I've been up to. What is the difference between coding and programming? Are there any programs that can help me create a website? Can anyone tell me what I do? What should I do to learn this? It seems complicated. The books I bought are in English and are called HTML 5 and css 3 all in one for dummies and beginning html 5 and CSS 3 for dummies. She who works in the store said these were good books I wanted to learn from because there are lots of examples on the internet and on CD rooms. Do not understand anything of what I do yet. Can anyone explain this to me in a simple English way? My English is not very good. Therefore, I have to use google translate to write English. Hope for your understanding of this.

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11 minutes ago, PeterBubresko said:

Is there a shortcut to learning programming

I wish.

I have been programming since 1968 and I'm still learning.

If you want to produce web pages, learn the basics of HTML/CSS first. PHP is mainly used to create web pages dynamically and you'll have problems if you don't know how the correct output should look. When you start with PHP, familiarize yourself with php.net - the online manual there is an essential resource.

Beware of tutorials and videos out there on the net - a lot of them are poor quality and outdated. One of the better ones is phpdelusions.net. And, of course, if get stuck, there's always PHPFreaks.

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I been programming since the early 1980s, but I really didn't get started with website design and development until 2009 or 2010.  Like you, I was let go from a job were I spent almost 20 years working in the automotive paint business. Decided to change field and went back to college as I was collecting severance that helped. I earned a degree in Computer Graphics when I learned design first (HTML/CSS) and then started back end development PHP by teaching myself. I agree with Barand learn HTML/CSS and maybe a little JavaScript (Vanilla...no libraries like jQuery at least at first). It shouldn't take too long to learn HTML/CSS and I would advice staying away from Bootstrap until you get a firm grasp of HTML/CSS as in my opinion knowing CSS good leads to less headaches later on. Once you get a firm grasp of HTML/CSS then start tackling PHP. I recommend pure PHP and no Frameworks at first as that is just leads to taking shortcuts then when you run into a problem you might never really understanding the solution. One thing I learn the hard way is never try to write your own security code in PHP just use PHP's builtin security functions and/or use a trusted third party's application (PHPMailer or Swiftmailer comes to mind). Be very careful of tutorials on the internet and even the good ones are outdated somewhat as the programming world changes fast. That's where these types of forums come in handy. One thing over the years that I have learn first hand is designers and developers have big egos that can lead to some healthy "heated" debates. 😂 After awhile every programmer gets his or her own coding style and there's nothing wrong in that as long as it isn't fundamentally wrong.  

Edited by Strider64
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There were many words and expressions I do not understand. Think this needs to be studied. I have read a bit in the books, but do not understand anything. Maybe you can help me understand the expressions and sentences you come up with? What does framework mean, and what is it used for? What is it to write a security code? What is the difference between programming and coding? Can I create a good website with just one of html, xhtml, css and php? And what are javascript and jqerry.

It probably says more about this in my books what you two above say to me. It is also easier for me if you to write it here so I can copy the text directly into google translate. It is a lot of work for me to write the text in the books into word and copy it from there and paste it into google translate. You answer me and I understand what you are writing to me so it is possible to communicate in this way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Websites have these fundamental parts:

  • html 
    • (this is the actual code of the page that is delivered from the server to a browser.  The browser takes the html and uses it to assemble the web page you see.  There is an amazing tool built into most every browser, and that is the "view source" or "developer tools| Inspect".  This will reveal the actual html source code of the page.
    • You will be coding and using the HTML5 version of html, as it is now the undisputed standard for HTML page syntax.
  • css
    • Cascading style sheets control the visual aspect of a web page.  By applying different styles to a webpage, you can achieve the look and feel of the page you desire.
    • CSS has come a long way in terms of using it to layout pages, as browsers have adopted support for 2 important page layout syntaxes.  CSS Grid and CSS flexbox.  When you learn css, these may be set up as separate courses, but just understand that they both offer ways to layout your pages into tables or grids, where in the olden days of the web, it was not easy, and often required confusing code and obscure css tricks.

To start out with, you simply want to learn how to author  html pages using a source code editor.  Install an editor, and apply either inline css, or a separate css style sheet to your html page(s).

Resources you need:

The editor you will learn to use:  Visual Studio Code

Some very good free learn to code sites:



These sites offer entirely free interactive html/css courses.  The important thing to understand, is that they have environments that isolate you from actually creating your own html and css files to a degree.  You can for the most part, take the code you create as part of the courses (scrimba especially) and put them in local files on your computer, and open them in your local browser.  With that said, the scrimba course by Kevin Powell will do a lot to get you jump started with HTML and CSS.


    To understand this, you need to understand the basics of how websites and the internet in general works.  Here is a video that does a decent job explaining some of these fundamental concepts:  


    You might be able to find a similar video in your native language.  You want to search for "What is HTTP" or "HTTP explained" or something similar.  



    What is a framework?
    A framework is a library of code that provides structure and functionality for you when developing a web application.  There are different types of frameworks, but the one you will find discussed often is a "Model - View - Controller (MVC) framework.  There are multiple frameworks in the PHP world, but this is an advanced concept that you are not ready for.


    There are 2 different types of programming for the web:

    • Clientside (browser) aka Front end programming  (javascript and javascript frameworks like vue, react etc.)
    • Serverside programming (languages like PHP, NodeJS, Java, C#, Python) and in PHP with MVC frameworks like Symfony and Laravel.

    When you learn more about HTTP you will learn about the request/response nature of the web.  Your browser sends requests, and the server returns html.  What is not clear to many people, is that most of the time, there is no communication happening, but your browser may still be running code on your computer.  The way to have code that runs inside your browser is to use javascript.   

    So once you have learned about HTML and CSS, the next topic, where you will actually learn "Programming" or "coding" is to learn javascript.  Unfortunately, javascript is a highly specialized and somewhat unusual language, with non-typical features that can make it pretty hard to learn for a beginner.  Nonetheless, you will need to learn a modicum of javascript to provide the type of basic interactivity that people expect in a website.

    JQuery is a javascript library that was highly popular for a long time, in making javascript easier for developers to use.  It is not as popular since javascript frameworks have come along to provide structure to front end development.  

    You will also find a "css" framework called "Bootstrap" that many people use, to jump start their projects.  Bootstrap has ties to JQuery and you will find many courses and tutorials on using it to get yourself going with building a modern looking website, without having to know every detail.

    There are now some complicated "javascript frameworks" that are commonly used to help create the interactive functionality that runs in the browser.  This is because most websites get around the somewhat limited request/response design of HTTP by using Ajax and/or websockets.  These are largely built upon and extend the basic HTTP protocol, but I mention them because you will fairly quickly see them used (ajax in particular) in most javascript frontend programming you need to learn.

    Persisting Data

    This is an entire area of web development that comes into play when you need to store and retrieve data.  Websites need to be able to store and retrieve data, and that often involves databases.  There is an entire course of study that goes into these different types of data stores.   It is usually a good idea to learn a serverside programming language like PHP along with learning about a relational database like MySQL or Postgresql.  The commonality of relational databases is that they share relational design concepts and are manipulated using the SQL language.  

    I hope this helps you.  Start with html and css, and when you have the basics of those down, come back and perhaps we can help you on your journey, if that involves a desire to learn about PHP, which is as of 2021 still an excellent choice for website development.

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