Web Design for Beginners
If you’re starting off in web design then the very first language you should look into learning is HTML. HTML is a simple language to learn. The majority of HTML entails putting tags around different parts of your text or document. For instance, when writing a paragraph in HTML you’d place a tag at the beginning and end of each paragraph. The tag before the paragraph would be <p>. At the end of the paragraph you’d place an almost similar tag like this </p>. Notice the only difference in the end tag is the slash before the ‘p’ that tells HTML that it’s the end tag. There are a few more rules for how HTML works, and a few exceptions, but the majority relies on opening and closing tags around elements of the page.
The second language you’ll want to learn is CSS which stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS basically deals with the layout of a website along with colors and fonts. With CSS you can change the width of a page, add extra space around paragraphs or pictures, change the font size or color, and even change the font itself. Its like someone writing up what they want on a plain sheet of paper (HTML) and then you moving stuff around, coloring, etc. to turn it into a creative design (CSS). Most books these days include lessons on both HTML and CSS.
You’d be able to design extremely great looking websites with only these two languages if you stopped learning here. The only thing you would possibly miss out on is the ability to design your own slide shows, maybe some nifty animations, or add working forms to your page among other things. Basically little things that might make the website pop a bit more, or might be fun, but nothing that would hurt you in the long run.
If you do want to start doing things with your web design to make your site more dynamic, such as using animations, putting up slide shows, making forms that will actually work, along with a host of other options then there are at least 3 other languages you’ll want to look at.
MySQL itself is a database. You can picture MySQL as looking like an Excel spreadsheet or a grid with rows and columns. It’s usually used to track and store data, or content on a website. If you’ve ever seen a WordPress website, the layout and what visitors see is HTML and CSS. The files though contain PHP code. As you enter or write in the forms on the website, it sends the information to the file containing PHP and the PHP then sends the data to the MySQL database. It may store a name in one column, maybe a comment or article you’ve written in another column, and so on and so on in an organized fashion. PHP in this case merely works with MySQL to get the information from each column in the MySQL database and then sends it back to the user. The PHP is wrapped around or inside the HTML and CSS when displayed to the user.