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Where To Start When Becoming A Web Designer

September 27, 2018

In this article, you will get a broad overview of what it takes to become a web designer. This will give you an agenda of what you need to learn and steps you need to take.

1) Learn Basic Code

THIS IS CRITICAL and it is very commonly missed. I don’t recommend jumping straight into using a web builder like WordPress, Wix or Joomla because you won’t develop a good understanding of how websites work. This will greatly hinder your ability to:

  • Incorporate more complex functions
  • Diagnose problems in the website
  • Customize the website beyond the builder tools
  • Make a truly unique and powerful website

If you don’t know code, you cannot be a great designer and you will struggle so make sure you are capable of building simple websites using code.

Code you need to know:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript (At least the basics)

Check out W3schools.com, they have everything you need to know about every major web coding language. You can get a great kickstart learning code by watching this video.

2) Choose a Content Management System (CMS)

There are many different Content Management Systems to choose from but I recommend using WordPress because it is incredibly versatile and reliable, which is why it has about 60% market share in the CMS industry.

Once you get a content management system, choose a web builder to use with it. If you are using WordPress, I recommend using Elementor. This will allow you to quickly edit content such images, text, menus, and much more while still being able to use code. You can get started using a CMS by watching this video.

3) Practice Your Design Skills

This is often the most time-consuming part of building a website. It is difficult to constantly come up with new ideas on how a website should look. Make sure to consider the following:

Colors and Fonts

Fonts and colors will set the “vibe” of the website. If you are building a site for a company that sells trees or gardening tools, it would be smart to use greens whereas if you were making a site for a home services company, you may want to use yellow. You can make great color schemees using Adobe Color.

As for the fonts, you may want to use a script font for an artsy site like a photographer vs a bold blocky font that you would incorporate into a construction website. 

Pictures

One of the most important parts of what makes a website look good are the pictures so make sure they look professional. Keep in mind that they should fit with the color scheme of your website. You can get free use high definition pictures from websites such as Pexels or Unsplash. If you are looking for a larger library with more variety, you can pay for a membership on sites such as iStock.

Layout

Search the web for different websites that look good and take inspiration from them. It is common to make a library of these websites that you can easily refer to by taking a full-page screenshot of pages that you want to take inspiration from. You can get a Full-Page Screen Capture Addon for google chrome for free.

Tools to walk away with:

Conclusion

If you use these three steps as a starting point, you will be on the right path to becoming a great web designer. Remember to always be learning more! Think of it like this – If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

For detail and recommendations on developing your skillset or recommendations on improving your company designs, you can subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.

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