I need technical direction to take my technical knowledge beyond where I am now. Can you help me? I have described my dilemma below.
I am self employed offering basic web services. (Extremly basic)
I offer webdesign (page layout and graphics design)
web hosting (as a reseller and the hoster services: email,
web space, bandwidth, domain name).
I have found a huge market where companies just want a good ad online. Most of my customers just want a website to get email at their .com and to expand the information they can give to their customers beyond local advertising such as the yellow pages and newspapers. So, most of my websites are basic online ads with email. These customers do not want to learn how to manage these basic sites. So, they are willing to pay me.
My business is growing at a pace of 2 to 4 customers per week.
I have recently found some customers who need a little more than I have to offer. Online database, scripting to add mortgage calculators and etc.
I am lost as a goose in a snow storm when I try to get beyond basic layout. I do not really know html, I have not set up a shopping cart and I don't know basic scripting and programming.
WHERE DO I NEED TO GO TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
Grab a book if you need to. when you make these "very basic sites", always make sure to look at the code so you know how the html is being generated "behind the scenes".
Once you understand how HTML works (and it's very simple), the next steps towards programming are much much easier. And even if you don't learn the programming yourself, you will start to understand how to apply other dynamic elements to your sites.
Outsourcing to another person or company would be the best way to go for you. It will probably take a lot longer for you to learn the languages and implement the scripts for your client yourself. It will save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run.
Well, if you want to to go to the next level of web site development rather writting simple pages in html you should have a look in scripting languages like php
If you want your site to be able to interact with databases a good(and free) solution is MySQL.The compination of php and mysql is very popular and a world wide used.
There are some "pre-build" sites like phpnuke written in php which are very good.Only you have to do is to download one and customize it in your own preferences.Are popular and well used as well.
You will always need ofcourse to install in your system
php, mysql and Apache (web server).
If you want to go to a higher level as well you can change operating system(if u r using windowz) and installe a more serious one like LInux
Hope it helps..