Join James Williamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Is web design right for you?, part of Introduction to Web Design and Development.
- 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 even need to be a "professional web designer." Now I know that probably sounds like a strange question coming from me but, I promise you, it's a valid one. Many times I've spoken with individuals who have full-time professions other than web design, but nonetheless need to create, edit or manage a website. Now those people are unlikely to have the time or inclination to master all of the ins and outs of designing websites.
Other individuals may truly be hobbyists, interested in creating web content but not really interested in pursuing it as a career. Make no mistake, being a web professional is not a part-time endeavor. The technical skills and knowledge required by professional web designers takes as much of a commitment, if not more, than other professions. Now thankfully there are alternatives to creating sites from scratch, and there a multitude of ways to get your content online without requiring extensive technical skills.
First, you could simply hire a web designer or an agency to design your site for you. Since you're watching this course, I really doubt that option is what you're looking for. You could also try one of the wide array of professional template sites that are available. 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 skillset 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. In many ways, blogs can do everything that you need a site to do, without needing to create or even host the site yourself.
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. In addition to blogs, social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, allow you to extend your brand and your content to your audience, all without creating any additional sites yourself. Most hobbyists employ what's known as a blended approach, using a blog or a template to get online quickly and then taking over more and more of their site as their knowledge grows and their capabilities improve.
Those types of things are the responsibility of the web designer, and they underscore the importance of mastering your craft.
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- What is web design?
- What is a web designer?
- Learning to code
- Choosing a web host
- Working with a CMS
- Exploring how websites are structured
- Choosing your framework or software
- Designing with standards and accessibility in mind