A Beginner’s Guide to Web Design

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Designing and developing is one of the creative professions that you can choose today. The demand for highly unique and attractive, at the same time usable websites, has created a great demand for this with the skills and knowledge of designing and developing websites. If you are a lay person with no idea of web design, and want to know how to design and create a website, this article is for you. Right from obtaining a domain name for the website to launching the website, this article explains all that you need to know.

Getting Started

If you have always wanted to design and create websites, this guide will help you. The good news is that you don’t need any experience or specialized technical knowledge to design websites.

The first step to web design is to register a domain name. Every website has an address, which is called the domain name or the URL. The domain could be anything relevant to the content on your site. To register a name, you need to make sure it is unique and has not been registered before. Then, register with a website hosting service and create an account. A web host is necessary to connect your site to the internet. A web host is like an office that you hire for your website. Then, you can point your domain name to the web host and your website will be ready to go live on the internet.

The First Step: Learning

A majority of the web designers in the market have had no formal education. So even if you haven’t gone to college to learn about web design, fret not! You can do it just as the rest of them did. That said, you will have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort to learn what is necessary for web design.

HTML and CSS are the most important coding languages you should learn before you get started. You can choose to get formal education or you can even learn them on your own. The internet is a vast repository of resources and learning materials that you can use to master any subject.

In addition to HTML and CSS, familiarize yourself with CMSs like Drupal and WordPress. Learn the basics of web design on the internet. Learning about JavaScript/jQuery will also be helpful in web design. Other skills and tools you should learn include Photoshop, web design basics and coding.

One Page At a Time

Whatever your website you design should be relevant to the theme or topic of your choice. Start working with a WYSIWYG website editor, which is an easy to use tool to design a website of your choice. The WYSIWYG editor will allow you to see the end-result/ the final web page as you create it. Start focusing on creating one page at a time, and don’t worry about the final product.

Create a diagram or a rough draft of the pages you want in your website and start in a logical order. Ensure that you follow the plan - that way you will not end up with blank pages or empty links on the website.

Color and Text

Another important thing to consider for web design is the color scheme that you wish to use for the site. While you are free to use any color for the site, the best thing to do is pick colors that match your website theme or topic. Don’t pick colors that are too bright or too dull, as they can make it hard for eth user to read. Choose contrasting colors fro text and background.

The typography or the font of the text on the web pages should be appealing and at the same time easy to read. Cursive fonts may be very attractive to look at but they aren’t as easy to read as other, simpler texts. Whether you are choosing the color and the font for the website, keep in mind the purpose of the website and its usability.

Usability of a website determines how easy or difficult it is to use a particular site. So if you are creating a blogging site, you want people to read your blogs. So pick a font that makes reading your blogs easier, not difficult. Selecting the right font for reading on the computer screen can be tricky, considering the many color and font options there are. Ideally, avoid choosing something fancy. Pick what is practical instead.

Layout

The layout of the website determines what appears where on the web page. This goes for texts as well as images. For this, simply follow the thumb rule - what is important comes first, on top. For instance, if you are creating a website layout for a photography site, you would want text first. Instead, you will welcome your audience with an impressive collection of picture slide show or reel. In case of a blog, you have the blog on the first page, followed by your information on another secondary web page.

Similarly, if you are adding a comments section for the blog, you place it after the blog and not before. These things are easier to figure out if you simply follow logic. In addition to that, consistency is another important factor you should remember. Whether it is in terms of colors or font or the layout, consistency should be maintained. For instance, if you are placing the links to the left in one page, make sure you place links on all other pages also on the left. That way, your users will find it easier to find what they want and go where they want to on the site.

Continue the Learning Process 

Once you are comfortable with web design basics, it is important that you continue to learn more advanced techniques of web design if you are serious about a career in web design. Once you are familiar with the processes involved in designing websites, you should move on to responsive web designs, which is about creating flexible, scalable websites that can be accessed via computers and mobile devices too. 

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