How Would You Recommend a Novice Get Started Using CSS?

I just finished reading the article How Would You Recommend a Novice Get Started Using CSS? by Chris Coyier on CSS-Tricks. He says:

I get this one a lot and it’s surprisingly difficult to answer. The problem is that the question doesn’t include the persons background, which will in many ways determine the best course of action.

  • Are you literally just getting started in web design? As in, you have never designed a website before?
  • Have you designed web sites before, but never with CSS? As in, you are coming from a table-based mindset?
  • Have you designed sites (graphically) before, but never done the actual coding?

My favorite analogy is that learning web design is like learning to play the guitar.

Read the entire article How Would You Recommend a Novice Get Started Using CSS?

He suggests jumping right in and getting started by going out and get yourself a domain name (from NameCheap or the like) and get yourself some cheap hosting. I would suggest a 1and1 account on their Linux servers. Then you get yourself a template. I offer a number of free ones on Expression Web Tips, Tutorials, and Templates as well as Genealogy Web Creations. You can also Google for CSS Templates. One word of advice is before you start to use the template, make sure it validates. Mine do.

Chris further states: “Now you have the ultimate learning environment. Start poking through that code and making changes and seeing what happens.”

Those of you with genealogy websites that are currently using the free servers on RootsWeb, you can also use the free templates to learn CSS. As you are aware, Rootsweb will add banners to the top of your page. All of my templates are written using an XHTML doctype which will NOT validate on the Rootsweb servers as is. Read RootsWeb FreePages Banners and XHTML Doctype.

Chris ends with: “That is how you learn CSS. Experimentation. THEN, you go buy a book about CSS. That book will make 10x more sense now that you have something to relate it to.”

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