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January 28, 2014 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend tutorials or books about web development that don't focus on the tiny details of JS/CSS/HTML?

Basically what I'm looking for is something that will teach me how to take this piece of javascript that I wrote and actually stick it on a website that can be accessed. I pick up scripting languages pretty quickly, so I am not looking for a javascript or HTML tutorial- rather how all the pieces fit together.
posted by dilaudid to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Have you played through the more "interdisciplinary" sections on code academy? Maybe that would be helpful.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:03 PM on January 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

This Udacity Build a Blog course seems about right, but they seem to have made it a paid course recently. You could also check out this Ruby on Rails course, which will also walk you through setting up a website runnning RoR. More online web courses (some free, some paid) can be found here.

It does depend a little on what you want to achieve exactly - if you just have some existing pages that you want to put on the web instead of view on your own machine, that doesn't require a whole framework like RoR or Django, just a hosting provider. But if you are interested in learning web dev in general, then one of these will probably be useful.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:12 PM on January 28, 2014

What kind of setup are you working with right now? Are you trying to figure out how to go from a dev environment on a single machine to an environment open to the world, or are you trying to figure out how to set up a dev environment in the first place?

If it's the former, the term you want is "deployment". This rundown of deployment options is a good starting point; at the least it'll give you an idea of the kinds of things you should be looking for. If it's the latter, you might start with the Django book; the first chapter walks you through the process a request to the webserver goes through to result in a page rendered in your browser.
posted by asterix at 6:13 PM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have JavaScript you just want to put on the web, one near-instantaneous option is to go to jsbin, click JavaScript, paste in your code, and click Share to get a link to a page that will execute the code when the page loads.'s tutorial Your First Look at JavaScript explains how to manually embed JavaScript in HTML. And NeoCities provides free hosting for HTML+JavaScript, as well as an online editor that's about as easy as jsbin. So that's just a slightly more complicated option.

More traditional web hosting providers typically assume you have access to an FTP/SFTP client to upload your files.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:16 PM on January 28, 2014

Is this more of a philosophical question or a practical question?

If, practically speaking, you literally just want to share little bits of javascript with someone, you can't do better than CodePen (click "New Pen"), which has three little sections for HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and then an output pane. E.g. here's a view of the "pen" that you'd work on, and if you click "Share" it gives you a link like this to a full page version of just the output.

I'm a web developer and among my colleagues and friends, CodePen and JSFiddle (a similar alternative) are used a fair amount.

Otherwise, it sounds like maybe you're asking more about setting up a web server and deployment in general. Avenues of exploration in that direction are possibly a server on Digital Ocean for $5/month.

Alternatively, a very popular option these days is Ruby on Rails hosting on Heroku, which is actually free at small scales. There's a phenomenal free book that walks you through the Rails + Heroku combo.

Edit: Ah, yes! 2nding NeoCities. Forgot about that one. It's a great middle ground between putting something on jsbin/jsfiddle/codepen, and setting up a full-blown web server.
posted by losvedir at 6:20 PM on January 28, 2014

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