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HTML/deciphering the source code


I would like to hire a freelancer to develop a website for me. One page will be content only and the other will be ecommerce to sell T-shirts.

For both the content page and the ecommerce one I have two websites in mind to guide the developer with what I want. The problem is when I am contacting developers to ask price they are using coding terms that I don’t understand and quoting high prices probably because of it.

So, I would like some help understanding the source code for the two specific websites I have in mind so when I ask a developer to quote me I can say “please develop my website with HTML, PHP, CSS and please add so-and-so ecommerce plug-in”

I found a great website called in which I can search any website and it will give me the coding used for it but again I don’t understand most of it. Where can I find help?

When you say you need help to understand the source code, I am not sure what you're wanting to know.  Do you want to take a complete course in web development?  Source code is the code that powers a website, and may not in fact be what you want to know.

In the end, if the freelancer is qualified to do the work, it may not matter what systems they use.  If you don't understand something, I'd ask the person to explain it to you, and explain why they want to use it - and if you are uncomfortable with this person, don't move forward with the work.

If a contractor is building a house, you may not know all the words they give you either.  Do you know all the materials, pieces and terms that went into building your car?

I do a lot of this kind of work for my clients - helping them spec their projects, figure out what technology they need to use to build it, and then help source the appropriate contractors.  You might be well served to find someone in your area like a senior web developer who could help with the same type of work.


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Dan Stephenson


I am a professional Web Designer & Developer. I work with HTML, XHTML and CSS every day, and would be glad to help with your problems, and answer your questions.


Experience in the area I have been a web designer/developer since 1997. I started developing websites with HTML 3.2 and using tables for layout. In 2006 I received my degree in Computational Media, and now work full time as a Webmaster and Interactive Media Author, as well as teaching continuing education courses on HTML, CSS and ActionScripting at my local college. Currently I design with XHTML and CSS - no tables and much cleaner and more accessible code and allows the designer more freedom and flexibility than tables.

New Media Production & Design Degree - SAIT Polytechnic

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