I have only been working with web design and development for a little over two years now. My very first project was this website (s1lentechoes.com) although it was drastically different then. When I first built it I had barely more experience than just reading a few books.
In the Beginning...
After that first foray, I took quite a bit of time to go and learn more. Reading well written books is always the tried and true method to learning more about a subject and I spent plenty of time doing that.
Reading can only take you so far though and the tutorial sites help take it a step further and actually get your hands dirty working with code. The internet is wonderful resource and there are countless tutorial and educational sites out there for those willing to take the time and learn.
My First Real Project
After taking some time off to go and learn more, I came upon the opportunity to build a website for some friends and family (theheritgae.church). It wasn't a paying job, in fact I asked if I could make it, but it gave me an incredible opportunity to build a real website for someone.
The challenges didn't end there though, as this was a church website so it afforded me the chance to add some social elements to it. It has a member sign up process, friend/block feature, profile page, notifications, prayer request section, and member conversations. I built it all entirely from scratch meaning no frameworks were used.
The site made heavy use of PHP and MySQL which are the most popular server side programming languages in use today. Facebook is built primarly on PHP, although they customize it heavily.
While this website was not extremely complex, it did require writing a lot of code and writing in a language that I didn't have much experience in. Because of that the entire site took me upwards of six months to complete, but it gave me some great experience with those languages.
Designing is not my strong suit though, and while I think it has a good design it is not going to blow you away either. Also, with it being my first real project the code is quite messy. By "messy" I mean it is inefficient and verbose. The site does need to be made responsive though, and I am in the process of doing that so I plan on cleaning up the code at that time.
If you would like to contact me regarding this site you can email me here - email@example.com
My only other real project at this time is this website - s1lentechoes.com. As I mentioned in the intro, I started this site early into my development and it was substantially different than it is now. I even took it down for a long time because I knew that it was nowhere near where it needed to be if it was going to be taken differently. I only recently relaunched it as it is now.
Considering that design is not my strong suit, I can say that I am quite pleased with how this website turned out. I tried to keep it clean and uncluttered with lots of white space. The design stays close to Google's new Material Design styleguides, although not too strictly.
If you would like to contact me regarding this site, please email me here - firstname.lastname@example.org