Whether you want a change of career and are interested in becoming a web designer, or you just want to learn some of the basics about web design in your free time, it’s never been easier to learn web design online.
With some free or low-cost online resources and web design courses, you can learn the basics in your spare time – and start taking your next steps toward a new career, or building websites for fun. If you’d like to learn web design online and aren’t sure where to start, here’s what you need to do.
Start By Learning About The Basic Principles Of Good Design
As you start learning about web design, it’s important to learn about the basic principles of good design – not just in web design, but about design in general. There are a wide range of resources online that can help you learn the basics.
Coursera has a lot of design classes discussing UX design and UI design, as well as graphic design and responsive design. Udemy and Lynda also have a wide variety of resources. Most online design courses are available for a reasonable fee, and some services offer free trials.
Once you understand a little bit about the concepts related to web design, and user experience design, it’s time to start dive into the nitty-gritty – and learn the technical skills you’ll need to begin designing websites.
Understand What Programming Languages You Need To Learn
Web designers are not always also front-end developers, but are usually expected to have at least some coding skills.
However, that’s not all that’s involved in website development. If you’re more interested in the technical parts of how websites work – databases, servers, and website administration – you may also need to learn languages like PHP, Perl, or Ruby on Rails.
Find Online Courses & Classes To Learn The Basics Of Web Design & Development
If you’d prefer to start with a free course, you can take the Codecademy HTML course for free – and in just a few hours, you can learn the basics about using this language, and move on to learning about CSS.
There are a lot of free web design tutorials and coding courses out there – so if you need more resources, just do a bit of Googling. You’re sure to find everything that you need to start building your knowledge and coding your own websites!
Learn About Design And UX Tools Like Photoshop & Invision
Graphic design tools like Photoshop are useful for editing and modifying images. Photoshop, along with its Creative Cloud cousin Illustrator, is commonly used by graphic designers and web designers alike.
If you plan on building and designing websites on your own – without hiring a graphic designer – you’re going to need to know how to use these programs. Adobe offers tutorials both for Photoshop and Illustrator, so these are good places to start. YouTube also has a lot of great, high quality video tutorials for Adobe Creative Cloud programs.
UX prototype platforms like InVision Studio or Sketch are also good to know if you want to be a web designer. These tools let you make completely interactive website mockups without coding – so they can be very useful when you’re creating the initial design, style, and functionality of a website.
Build Your Own Website With WordPress Or Another CMS
You can take all the web design classes you want – but the best way to learn web design is by doing it! As you build web pages yourself, you’ll be able to turn your knowledge into action, and use the skills that you’ve developed throughout your weeks and months of studying.
You can start by building web pages from scratch – and this is a common exercise when you’re learning front-end programming languages like HTML and CSS.
But once you have a handle on the basics, it’s time to graduate – and build an entire website! The best way to do this is to use WordPress or another CMS (Content Management System) like Drupal.
You can think of a CMS as the “skeleton” that supports a website. A CMS contains basic features – like a blog, the ability to create and post content, upload images, and other such functions – and you can build onto these basic features to make just about any kind of website.
This is how most websites are built – more than 1/3 of all websites are powered by WordPress. It’s free to get started with WordPress and familiarize yourself with the platform, so head to its website to sign up now, and get started.
Educate Yourself About SEO & Digital Marketing
These topics are not directly applicable to web design, but they are important to understand if you want to work as a freelance web designer.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is primarily concerned with making changes to website content and architecture to rank more highly in search engines like Google.
This includes technical work – like building web pages that load quickly, and use proper HTML formatting to be understandable to search engine “crawlers” – as well as work that does not directly involve technical skills, such as keyword research and SEO content writing.
You may also want to learn more about social media marketing and PPC (pay per click) marketing. Again, these are not directly related to web design – but the skills you learn can help inform your future design projects.
In addition, if you decide to become a freelance web designer, you’ll need to know the basics of SEO, social media marketing, and digital marketing to advertise your services effectively – otherwise, you may have a hard time getting clients.
Again, there are plenty of free resources about SEO and digital marketing online. HubSpot is one of the best options – it has hundreds of free courses about SEO, social media marketing, and digital marketing that are full of helpful information, and can help you get a handle on the basics.
Follow These Steps To Gain The Knowledge You Need As A Web Designer
If you follow the steps in this guide, you’ll gain a well-rounded knowledge of web design and development – as well as related concepts that will be helpful if you decide to work as a web designer for a living.
Want to build a website for your business? Not ready to commit to learning web design yourself? Australian Internet Advertising is here to help. We offer a full range of web design and development services in Australia. To learn more about what we do, contact us now for a no-commitment consultation with our team.