Seventh In Series: Top 10 Tips for Getting Started with Website Design

By Jason McClain | June 5, 2016 | 0 Comment

Website design can be a very lucrative business to go into whether you choose an agency or if you are looking to go it on your own as a freelancer. For that reason, you really have your work cut out for you as a potential website developer. If you’re serious though, I have some tips to help you get started in website development to ensure you make it through the process.

1. Dominate or Specialize

Website design is a broad field and you can find yourself overwhelmed quickly trying to learn everything and diversify your skills. You can specialize in one area like WordPress and learn that inside and out. After all, WordPress powers more than 74 million websites across the world and is still growing.

Perhaps you want to be a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to website development. It really depends on your goal.

2. Set Goals

Decide what you want to create, and then set goals accordingly. If you want to sit down at a computer and design whatever you can imagine, then set goals to learn several coding languages as well as design skills. Once you know what you want to create, then you will know where to get started with your learning.

3. Learn The Basics

To begin learning website development strategies, you must learn the basics and that means coding. The first two languages you need to learn for website design are HTML and CSS. Choose website design resources based on how you learn the best whether that is a course, a book, or even a class. Learning these two languages isn’t too big a time investment and you’ll be glad you did. Continued learning depends on your goal. For example, if you choose to develop for WordPress, Javascript and PHP would be helpful languages to know.

4. Work On Your Design Skills

A huge part of website development is the design. You’ll need some robust design knowledge and skills to develop great websites. While Photoshop isn’t the only software available for this purpose, it is the reigning industry standard. Again, get a book, a class, or a course to teach you the required concepts.

5. Seek Motivation

Becoming a website development guru is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes, it will be an outright challenge to stay motivated after a long day of staring at a bunch of gobbledygook in some text editor. Motivation is like fuel. If you keep your tank full, you will be tireless when it comes to website design success. When you need a break, take one, and always be cognizant of the end result you see everyday in your web browser. Creating for the web is no small feat!

6. Get Inspired

Inspiration can be your motivation. All of us have sites online that we like, enjoy, or just think are cool. Make notes about the things that inspire you and learn how to develop them. Let your inspiration make you an innovator. After all, you’re a website developer. You are on the cutting edge of technology that is used all over the world. That’s important!

7. Know How To Google

Google is your best friend when you work with the web because they set the standard. Your website design strategies must align with their guidelines.  They also have the answers to most, if not all, of your website design questions. Even the most learned developer will have questions from time to time on how to accomplish something. Know the guidelines, know how to use the search engine as a power user.

8. Use Frameworks

Many website development platforms have basic frameworks for developers to use as a basis for any site they built on the platform. Using these frameworks can make your life much more time efficient and easier. In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend a platform that didn’t have a few well-known frameworks to build on.

9. Display Your Work

Every great website developer has his or her own little corner of the web where they display their own work. Make sure that your website design portfolio truly showcases your work and conveys you as the great designer you are. Show off all of your best work there and don’t be afraid to share that URL with prospective employers and/or clients.

10. Never Stop Learning

As time goes on, the web will change and web development will change with it. Make sure you stay on top of those changes so you continue to be relevant. The moment you stop learning will be the moment your business begins to fade.

Wrap Up

Web development is a noble profession and I definitely recommend it if you have a knack for coding and design. It can be challenging at times, but it can also be super rewarding. I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you are considering website design as something you’d like to get involved in.

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