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Web Design Fundamentals is a survey of Web design and development techniques and technologies, fundamental concepts, terms, and best practices involved in professional web design. Instructor James Williamson examines popular web development tools, server-side software solutions, content management solutions, and cloud-based software, providing a high-level overview of the world of Web publishing.
Before you spend too much time learning the nuts and bolts of Web Design, you really should ask yourself one question. "Do I want or need to be a professional web designer?" I know that sounds like a strange question coming from me, but it's a valid one. Many times I have spoke with individuals who have full-time professions other than Web design, but nonetheless need to create, edit or manage a website. Those people are unlikely to have the time or inclination to master the ins and outs of Web Design. Other individuals may truly be hobbyists, interested in Web Design or creating Web content, but not interested in pursuing it as a career. Make no mistake.
Being a professional Web designer is not a part-time endeavor. Technical skills and knowledge required by professional web designers takes as much of a commitment, if not more, than other professions. Thankfully, there are alternatives to creating sites from scratch. And there are multitude of ways to get your content online without requiring the technical skills of a professional web designer. First, you could simply hire a web designer or an agency to design your site for you. Now, since you're watching this course, I doubt that's the option you're looking for. You could also try one of the wide array of professional template sites that are available.
A simple search for Web templates will return dozens of sites that offer downloadable templates you can use to build or extend your current site. Using a pre-designed template can assist you in your site's design, organization and possibly allow you to add an advanced degree of functionality to your site that might be beyond your current capabilities. In many ways, they're a great way of learning, as you can deconstruct the template to learn how they were built. Of course, these templates can vary greatly in both quality and price. Some of them are fairly easy to implement and update, while others require an advanced skill set to control, so make sure you research any template carefully before committing to it.
Another way to get your content online quickly is through using blogging and social media sites. Blogs can be set up quickly. They don't require you to host them yourself and they come in a wide variety of themes and features. They are also easy to maintain and update, and many blogs can be customized to add features like e-commerce and forums, and in many ways, blogs can do everything that you need a site to do, without needing to create or even host the site yourself. My own personal site, simpleprimate.com, is a blog. It's easier for me to update and post using blogging software and it saves me a considerable amount of time over creating my site from scratch.
However, you should be aware that blogs can be difficult to customize. And if you're using a free blog, there are often limits on what you can do with your site. To learn more about blogs, explore some of the more popular blog sites, like TypePad, WordPress and Blogger. In addition to blogs, social media sites, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr, allow you to extend your brand and your content to your audience, all without creating any additional sites yourself. Most hobbyists employ a blended approach, using a blog or a template to get online quickly, and then taking more and more of their site over as their knowledge grows and their capabilities improve.
These types of things are the responsibility of the web designer and they underscore the importance of mastering your craft.
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