Getting started

For each application project, there are specific requirements to meet. There are also a number of good practices to uphold while building each website. We’ve put together this guide, to review before starting each project and to follow when working through your projects.

Publishing your website

All your code should be hosted on GitHub and your website should be live, deployed with GitHub Pages.

Deploy your site early on, you don’t need to have completed it before you can publish it. To deploy a site, all you need is an index.html file, with a little content inside of it. For each of your projects, create this, push it to GitHub and then deploy the website.

Include the link to your live site on the GitHub repo, in the description on the right hand side. When you’re linking between different sites, it’s much better to link to a live site than its codebase on GitHub. For example, in your Project Gallery you might include links to all of the projects you’ve made as part of your application.

Commiting your code

Once you have a repository set up and you’ve deployed the site, you can make further changes to your codebase and websites. You do this by changing files, staging them, and then commiting those changes. You can learn more about these steps in our introduction to Git.

Commit regularly while you build your site, and write meaningful commit messages. In VS Code and in your terminal you can customise your commit messages. Your commit message should summarise the work you’ve just completed, then your commit history will tell a story of how you built your website.

Writing code

Building the projects is going to be challenging, and a lot of this material might be new to you. It’s okay to struggle, it’s just part of being a developer.

Using tutorials and resources to help you is absolutely the right thing to do when learning to code. However, relying heavily on the code written in a tutorial, or copying and pasting code from external sources, will limit your learning. When following a tutorial, try first to code along with the video, and then build the sit again from memory with less reference to the tutorial you’ve looked at.

When you’re building a website, it’s important that you understand what the code you write is doing. Interact with it, and change things to see what effect that has. Break down problems into smaller steps and tackle each step one at a time.

We’re looking for interesting and engaging websites that fit our project requirements. Put your own spin on the project, be creative, and don’t be afraid to go beyond the requirements.