If you are interested in learning the basics of web design skills – whether as a hobby, to manage your website more effectively, or to build a career in the future – you may not know where to start.
After all, there are a ton of online courses, web design books, and other learning resources that promise to help you learn what you need to know about website design. Where do you start? Here are our recommendations – if you can learn the basics about the following topics, you’ll be able to learn web development effectively and build your skills.
You might also be interested in WHAT IS A CMS? HOW IS IT USED IN WEB DESIGN?
The Basic Principles Of Good Web Design
Before you even touch a line of code or a computer program, you should start by learning about the basics principles of good web design – such as UX design, the website design process and iteration process, and other visual design topics.
Think of this as the foundation of your education and future learning. You need to establish a baseline understanding of both how web design works – and how to do it well. Only when you’ve done this can you proceed to actually learn how to use these tools.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug is one of the most popular books that outlines the basics of good web design – and a little bit of Googling can lead you to a lot more books and resources, so start reading and learning right away. There are also lots of free (and paid) online design course providers,
A good way to get started is with a website like Codecademy, which offers interactive tutorials on HTML and CSS, with structured lesson plans that help you learn the basics. Once you’ve got a handle on things, you can do further reading, try building your own websites, and stretch your skills even further.
How To Use Image Editing Software
Most web designers aren’t graphic designers, but there is a decent amount of overlap, and knowing how to create your own icons, images, text, and other design elements will be very helpful – particularly if you’re working on websites on your own, and can’t turn to an outside party for design work.
Prototyping With Tools Like Invision & Sketch
Invision, Sketch, and similar prototyping tools help you quickly design a web page and mock it up for reference when coding the website. Knowing how to use these tools is critical for any web designer – you can quickly iterate on a design, collaborate, and get feedback from a client without having to touch a single line of code.
This also allows you to quickly refine the user experience of a prototype – with clickable prototypes that function just like a real website, you can see how a user will interact with the page before you take the time to code the page and build it out in HTML/CSS.
Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Rules & Best Practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website, social media pages, and other related internet-based assets to move up in search engine rankings – including Google, Bing, and other search engine providers.
The process of SEO often involves a lot of writing and content strategy – but to be the most effective, individual websites must also be optimized for SEO as they’re built.
Basically, the website has to be easy for a search engine “crawler” or “spider” to understand. If Google can understand your website and what it has to offer, you’ll rank more highly on search engine results.
There are tens of thousands of guides out there on how to optimize websites from SEO. This guide from Neil Patel is a good outline of the basics. If you want to dig deeper (and you should), The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization will take you through a history of search engines, the basics of how they work, how to build an SEO-friendly website, and everything else you need to know.
How To Use & Manage WordPress Or Another CMS (Content Management Platform)
Most websites today are not built from scratch – but are built on a CMS (Content Management Platform), such as WordPress, which is estimated to power more than a third of all websites in existence.
WordPress is specialized for blogging – but can be modified to host just about any website, including eCommerce websites. Drupal is similar, but is free and open-source. There are other platforms that are specifically built for eCommerce, too, like Magento and BigCommerce.
If you have to pick just one, though, you should learn WordPress. It’s the most popular CMS for a reason – it’s easy to learn, offers a lot of out-of-the-box functionality, and is completely modifiable and customizable if you have the technical skills to write your own code.
There are also many online learning courses and tutorials about using WordPress, since it’s so commonly-used – with a little Googling, you can easily learn about any topic and overcome any bug or other issue.
Learning Web Design Isn’t Easy – But It Can Be Done!
Whether you want to make a career out of web design, or you’re just interested in learning the basics in your spare time as a fun diversion, following the tips in this guide will help you understand the basics, and get started on your web design journey.
However, the process of learning is a long one. If you want immediate help to design, launch, or redesign a website, Australian Internet Advertising is here to help. As experts in web design in Sydney and Australia, we are here to assist you through every step of designing, implementing, and launching your website. Contact us now for a consultation, and get the assistance you need.