Why learn how to design web sites?
Designing websites can be challenging, exciting and downright fun. Starting from the ground up can take some time. Learning the ropes and getting comfortable with web design may not be the easiest task, but it can be done with the right tools and guides. However, finding these guides can be hard, too. There are many different solutions for learning how to design web sites out there. You can use books, web tutorials or just dive right into a program to begin tinkering around with codes, layouts and other design elements.
Most beginners start with what is called a What You See is What You Get program, otherwise known as WYSIWYG, like Dreamweaver. This allows them to see what they are designing and edit the code behind it down the line when they learn more. It also gives them templates and many other options for their web site pages. They then use web tutorials or book guides to walk them through other steps and coding. By using both a WYSIWYG program and a guide, learning web design can be done without spending too much to get started.
What type of web site would you build?
Learning how to build your own web site can be very practical in this day and age. For starters, many people are launching their own web sites to stay connected with the world around them. They share pictures, blogs and other events for their day-to-day life with family, friends or others who might share the same interests. In other cases, small business owners may not be able to afford professional web design and begin their own web site by themselves. Even students learn that using a web site for presentations and other school work is beneficial to their learning process especially in the day and age where Internet reins content supreme.
No matter why you want to build a web site, building it does not have to be out of your reach. With a little help, you can find the right guides and tools to get you started. Why not take the time to find what works best for you and give web design a shot today?
Where do you start?
Diving into web design can be difficult for those wanting to make their own web pages. There are different ways to go about learning and finding the best way can take a bit of time. However, by taking the time to map out the right strategy, you will be creating web sites in no time. There are three primary ways to learn web design from scratch on your own: Using WYSIWYG software, using online tutorials or reading web design books. Most web designers learning the basics utilize all three of the above to give them the education they need to make web pages.
Depending on how you learn, one or the other might be better suited for you. In most cases, web designers learn from doing and utilizing the right software can be an important part of the learning process. In other cases, people learn by reading and following tutorials, in which case online guides or books would be the best way to go. One of the best ways to learn web design is a combination of the two. By learning the basics from a book or online tutorial, you can tinker around with web design in the program. No matter what you decide to learn, there are some key elements to finding the right way to go about it.
Finding the right software
Finding the right software is key for a beginning web designer. While there are advanced programs like Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver, these can be too complicated for most beginners. Seeking out low-key WYSIWYG programs is the task at hand. These can be found doing a simple search on the Internet or utilizing a web site such as Download.com or CNET. At both these web sites, you can find freeware downloads for simple WYSIWYG programs that will be best for the beginner.
While you can invest in something a bit more advanced, such as Dreamweaver, it may take longer for you to learn the ins and outs of the program. In such cases, these more advanced programs also let you utilize coding, WYSIWYG design and other forms of design so you can see what is happening overall as you make changes to your pages. This can be a good way to learn how to troubleshoot coding issues that may arise and also how to clean up excessive coding.
There are three primary things to look for in a good, simple WYSISWYG program for beginners: First, make sure you can see what you are doing as well as edit the source HTML code for it. Second, make sure the program is simple enough for you to learn easily. You do not want to have to learn how to use the program and then learn how to design web pages as well. Finally, make sure you feel comfortable with the program. If it seems too difficult or you are unease with the controls, try out different programs until you find one that works for you.
Finding the right online tutorials
Finding the right online tutorials can be difficult. Many would-be web designers post walkthroughs and guides, but they do not offer real steps for learning how to design web pages. For most beginners, they need step-to-step instructions and detailed guides to learn the ins and outs. There are some diamonds in the rough, however. It may take some time to sift through Google and Yahoo! to track them down.
When looking for online tutorials, there are several key factors to keep in mind: First, you want to find the most detailed instructions possible. If the web site utilizes examples, it may be a good start. Next, make sure the instructions walkthrough all the aspects of making a web site as opposed to just part of it. This way you can use the walkthrough from start to finish, and if it works for you, then, it will help keep you guided throughout the process instead of having to jump through different ones to do the things you want to do on your web pages.
It may take some time to find the right online tutorials, but these can be key to learning web design without spending money on hardback or paperback book guides. While they can a good tool as well, in some cases, they may be outdated or relying on older HTML coding structures. Keep that in mind as you begin to look for book tutorials, too.
Finding the right books Finding the right books, as explained above, can be a bit more difficult. Depending on the year the book was published, it may contain code that is excessive or outdated in today’s day and age. Check to make sure the book was published recently, for starters. From there, thumb through it and see how it explains coding. If it is too cumbersome and not easy to understanding, it is not the book for you.
In some cases, you will read reviews on books and decide if those reviews are worth investing in the book. Keep in mind that while reviews on web design books are a good measure of whether or not they should be bought, reviews often neglect to explain just how the book stands up to actually learning web design. People read the book, it offers good explanations, but it fails in practical application. In most reviews, this is not touched upon and it will not be until you get the book will you realize that. So buy web design books with caution, they are not all unpractical, but it may take time to find the right guide for you this route.
If you do find a good book to use, make sure you can use it while utilizing the WYSIWYG software you invested in. This can make learning web design easier, as you code in the program from the book and are able to instantly see what you are doing as well as combat mistakes made. By utilizing both tools in combination with each other, you give yourself the chance to see the practical application of web design as well as gauge how well you understand the overall picture.
Practice makes perfect
When it comes down to it, practice makes perfect. However, perfect practice makes perfect is really the mantra most web designers should adhere to. Practicing daily, however boring as it may be, is paramount to learning web design this way. Once you understand how to teach yourself, the possibilities are endless. The more you practice, the more you take chances and try new web design techniques and codes; you can learn how to make web sites like professionals.
As you practice, work your way through the beginning aspects of web design. Once you have those down, you can begin to freestyle code and design. During freestyle, you can page through books and tutorials to aspects you want to learn and utilize. When you begin to freestyle design, you still want to use the tutorials and guides to help you add new concepts to your sites. You can also begin to search for more advanced techniques and design concepts to your liking.
What do you do after learning the basics?
Once you have the basics down, you can begin to learn how to do even more with your web site. When you find the right tools to use, you can continue to seek out those types of guides that help you learn the rest of what web design has to offer. More advanced coding includes CSS, PHP and various aspects of xHTML. Depending on what you want to do with your web site, the possibilities are endless.
Most users, once they get the basics of HTML down, look towards CSS to make their web site even better. CSS can add flair to a web site by cutting down the amount of coding per actual page. Instead, a single CSS file is used to create the layout on all pages as long as said web pages are linked to load the CSS file upon being opened. While CSS is not as easy to learn as HTML, once you have learned the best way to teach yourself, you can easily begin the same path of learning with CSS.
Finding the best resources and learning method is key to learning any type of web design. If you can afford to take classes, in person or online, perhaps, that might be the best way to learn. Otherwise, relying on web tutorials, books and a WYSIWYG editor will be your best bet to create web sites you are proud to design. Take the time to learn the right way to teach yourself, then indulge in it until you have the basics down. From there, jump into the wide world of web design and see what else it has to offer