The Basic Skills Needed to Become a Web Designer – Simple Programs You Can Teach Yourself

There is no handbook on the skills needed to become a web designer. Nor is there a fixed aptitude or personality test required to qualify as one. All you need to have is the knowledge of a few basic programming languages, a good design sense and the drive to experiment. Signing up for a web design course might be partially useful, but in the end most of what you implement will be self-taught. And since the Internet gives you access to a large number of design portals as well as the latest programs, it does prove to be an added boon. By surfing the Web, checking out design blogs and downloading software you can develop a signature style that is in sync with your personality and creativity.

The first three programming languages that you need to learn are:

HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language is a programming language that is used to present pages and text on the Web. You can start writing these either on NotePad or Windows. It is one of the first languages you will need to start out with on your journey to become a web designer. Various mark up tags are used for each stage of text from the title

, to the start and end of a new paragraph , and even for an image <img>. These are the tags that give the text you see on a website, its format and font. Now this program is essentially a beginner’s tool and also meant for designers who are focusing more on text. If you want to learn more about graphic design then Adobe Photoshop and Flash should be on the top of your list.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets are what you use to convert the HTML code you have written into a web page as you see it on the Internet. CSS can either be downloaded as ready templates or you can create your own template using Macromedia Dreamweaver or BB edit. Once you have created your style sheet, you can implement it either externally, by imbedding it, or by using inline CSS. The method you select depends on how large your website is and how you decide to maintain it.

JavaScript

This is a scripting language which is connected to HTML. It allows the web designer to make his web page dynamic and interactive. By using this coding, you can determine what happens when a user clicks on a link; whether he is shown more text or whether he is taken to a new website.

By learning these three languages, you can acquire the basics needed to become a web designer. Once you have mastered these, you can move on to other programs that help make your website more user-friendly, appealing and more likely to be picked up by search engines.

After mastering the skills needed to become a web designer you should also determine whether you want to work with a design studio or independently. Both are equally good options though the latter gives you more scope to experiment. It’s not too hard getting yourself a domain name and finding a reliable hosting company which will enable you to get more freelance work. These along with a stable internet connection, a computer with a good resolution and the ability to withstand hours in front of the computer screen should stand you in good stead. It is only through constant practice and by working on a variety of projects that you will be able to hone your design sensibilities, which is what will make your work distinct and much sought after.


Author: James Copper