I'm looking to get back into the actual building of websites having been out of the game for around 18 months due to having design responsibilities only nowadays.
My problem is that I'm not sure really where to start again. My previous methods for construction were in Notepad++ where I'd take care of all the HTML, CSS and jQuery by hand. IETester, Web Developer Tools and FileZilla made up the rest of my tool kit more or less.
Now I have to face up to the reality of responsive web design, whilst looking to introduce some HTML5 and CSS3 into the fold. I'm well aware of Wordpress too. Design isn't an issue, it's really just the technology and the tools with which to author it that I'm concerned about.
I'm interested to know from those of you currently working in the web design industry what you'd recommend with regards to 'modern' working practices? Is hand coding still considered a valued skill? Should I be saving myself time with Wordpress?
Any tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
I still think that hard-coded stuff is important. Sure, have your templates and use the equivalent of Zen-coding for your favourite text-editor, and have your set of useful layout, functions and the like, but I still think it's hard to beat a system built out of that, unless time is the more pressing than maintainability, efficiency and elegance (I mean lack of divitis and the like).
I haven't done it myself yet, but I'm going to set up CI for JS for myself eventually, and I also have to condition myself to use Git more, I use it, and know I should use version control, but I'm just lazy sometimes. I do back working versions up all the time, just not as rigidly as I should. I've also yet to set up jsctags with Vim yet.
Other thing I've personally started to do is use Virtual Hosts with my server instead of just folders. Makes for nicer testing on my side I find.
That's what I've found out recently anyway, as I've also come back to web development after a break (I don't do it as a full-time job, but as paid favours for friends and acquaintances.
Great wit and madness are near allied, and fine a line their bounds divide.