Several people have asked me how I do web development. I understand they are looking to find easier ways of doing it, and I want to help. The truth is: I'm about to disappoint you. I do it the hard way (but there are some awesome advantages).
For starters, here is a list of software categories and the specific tools I like.
- Text Editor
- Web Browser
- Chrome - this category might seem unnecessary, but Chrome's development tools are second to none. Take a little time to play with them, look up some tutorials, it will cut down on troubleshooting (sorry Firefox--I used to love you).
- Local Web Server
- FTP Client
- Filezilla - I'm tempted to look for something new because it's hosted on Sourceforge. Take care to uncheck all the crap ware when installing. While writing this I found a download san Sourceforge (linked). I cannot vouch for being up to date or lacking crap ware.
- Revision Control
That's it. Install them and mash the keyboard until a beautiful website comes out.
You want more?
First things first. What are we doing? If there is no database or backend, you can skip Xampp. It's only needed for PHP and MySQL. Almost always you use PHP to get to the crud in the database (CRUD: Create, Read, Update, Delete I didn't just make that up). There are a ton of tutorials out there to help with that, but this PDO tutorial is a useful one.
I start with an empty folder (if you got this far please tell me you can make a new folder). Then I put an index.html file in there. Then I open it with Sublime, sometimes Atom. I start by typing:
Yes I type it. I don't know why, that's just how I do it. You can do it pretty quick with line duplication features all the mentioned text editors offer. There is an added bonus of looking really cool when you do in front of someone else.
|How lazy is this guy? He didn't even indent the body contents.|
At this point you should be able to open the index.html file in Chrome and see things. In Chrome on real computers, you can hit F12 to open the development tools. On a Mac I guess you have to use that single button mouse you're all so gaga about and open the tools with the menu. I have no idea how to do it on a Mac because I'm a poor college student.
|Okay, so I didn't know how to make a new folder :(|
I apologize if this seems patronizing and easy. It is not my intent to show off how I do things the hard way. The advantage of this method is when development gets more complex (and it will if you want it to get prettier than my "wut!" example).
That covers just about everything. Make some files. Throw in some libraries if you want. Use Git as you go--especially if working in a group. Test on your local machine with Xampp if you need it. Then put it on your webhost with an FTP client.
No doubt there are better ways. This is my way.