Learning Web Design – Is It Difficult? Where Do I Start?

Learning Web Design – Is It Difficult? Where Do I Start?


So, where do you start?

I am guessing that most people will simply go onto Google and search something like ‘learn  web   design ‘ or ‘how to make a website, sound about right? Do that I think you will agree it can be pretty confusing with search results such as “PHP, HTML5, Javascript” and a whole host of other terms that you may or may not recognise. Here I will try to guide you to some of the resources I personally have found interesting – I am NOT trying to sell you anything here, there will not be any links, just advice as to where you could look at for further information that I found of particular use, or are fairly reputable.

If you did ‘Google’ (or whatever search engine you use) as above to find out how to learn about making websites, you will be overwhelmed with a variety of options. Same as if you go to YouTube and search through their countless videos (YouTube is, by the way, my very first recommendation for a great resource. Amazing, and for free )

This article will not go into each subject needed that puts together a website… there are quite a few and each one is very much a subject in itself! This is not to say that you could not (quite!) easily put together a professional-looking website with some effort, with the right mindset it is very possible to learn the skills, teach these skills to yourself with the help of the fantastic world wide web!!

OK, the skills…

In order to put a website together you need to learn HTML – this is Hyper text mark-up language – for now you don’t even need to know what that means in order to get stuck straight in. Here is my second recommendation – search for ‘W3Schools’ – this is a totally free website with loads of excellent tutorials, and not just for HTML but for a whole manner of other things.

As this is aimed at someone who is beginning on this journey I will leave this here about HTML. I will say this though, you may see lots of reference to HTML5 – this is the newest version, with lots of added things. Great to learn, but my personal advice is please look at W3Schools first and get a handle on HTML first. Spend a few hours there and you will see why. And it has a pretty cool function that allows you to try your hand at making a basic website ‘on the go’… the try it yourself tool. Recommended enough?? Check that out, then get back to me for some other cool sites I have found along the way!!

Back now? Good OK the next tool needed in your arsenal, CSS – cascading style sheets. These are the things that add ‘style’ to the webpage that you are viewing (right now too, incidentally!) Confused? OK I have two recommendations here, and I have to hold my head low and give the same recommendation as last time… W3Schools! Simply put the site offers a basic and great introduction to most topics and web languages. Get there and click on the css tutorial on the side. The second one is a special, special site – htmldog.com – check this site out seriously. Amazing tutorials and just one of THE BEST PLACES to learn CSS, from beginner up.

Get HTML and CSS sorted and you will be well on your way to making your masterpiece in the digital world.

There are now other things that you might want to add to your site, interactive items – gallery of pictures, some sort of login form or videos etc. To do this requires various ‘languages’, and are fun to learn. Remember in the first instance that HTML and CSS are needed to make the website, and from there you can learn other languages to enhance things – something that took me quite a while to get my head around. I just heard of all of these languages and that I needed them, and tried to learn them without having the ability to practice them. Get the basics down and then take your pick!

Some great resources for web programming languages (I promise I won’t mention **Schools again )…

php.net – The place for php experts and beginners and anyone interested in this brilliant language. Sold as the ‘most fun’ language to learn, well I have to say I agree. Once you have set your computer up (you have to set up a ‘virtual server’ on your pc – PLEASE don’t be put off at that point. I was for over a year and regret taking an hour or so to understand the concept, it really is a fun language to learn!), you will be instantly addicted with lots of fun tutorials and projects kicking about there, and on the web in general.

Codeacademy.com – hats off to this site, seriously. A FREE set of courses to learn languages, with nice encouraging things like points systems and regular emails to keep you motivated. Definitely one for the toolbox, this site.

One other site I will mention that is not directly related to learning  web   design  but I really should tell you about – smashingmagazine.com – some may say THE BEST  web   design  website on the net. Up for you to decide, but certainly something to be browsing when your friends are losing their lives in the walls of Facebook.

So, now you have armed with you how to set up a basic website – well you should have a fairly good idea of where you need to go and what you need to learn about to get that first snazzy webpage up on the world wide web for all to look at in awe!!

Thanks for reading and I hope that this ‘straight to the point’ guide can help someone on their path to making their very first webpage!



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