How to Get Started With Web Design in 2012

Graphical-Design-IconLearning how to design your own website can be extremely advantageous. Besides not having to buy a cheap and overpriced template that you have no idea how to change, web design allows you to add the elements that you want and you don’t have to hire anyone to do it for you, which can be quite expensive. Let’s first go over what you will need.

Tools Needed

The first thing you need to get started in web design is a computer. While this may seem obvious, you can’t be using some old computer from 1999 with 256 MB of RAM. You need something powerful, as you’ll be running powerful computer programs that use a significant amount of memory. I would recommend getting something like an iMac because of its gorgeous screen real estate, lightning fast processor, and large hard drive. If you’re looking for something cheaper in the PC field, buy a desktop computer with at least 2 GB of RAM. Also, while design can be done on a laptop, it’s best to get an actual computer with a large monitor, as this will make your life way easier.

After you have a decent computer, you need some graphics software to start designing web pages. One of the best out there is called Fireworks by Adobe. With Fireworks, interactive web layouts can easily be designed and tested and various templates are available to start working with if you are a beginner. It isn’t necessary, but it’s also a great idea to pick up and get familiar with both Illustrator and Photoshop, as they both have their own set of strengths.

Next up, you should download one of the various FTP programs out there. If you don’t know what an FTP program is; it basically allows you to transfer all of your website’s files between your desktop and your domain. If you don’t have a domain yet, don’t worry. You can still test out and run all of your websites without one.

After this, you should ensure that you have a variety of browsers installed on your computer. These are important in terms of testing your website. The three essentials are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

Now What?

Once you have all the tools listed above, it’s time to get started designing websites! If you have no clue where to even begin, there are tons of books and tutorials that you can look at. The best part about tutorials is that there are thousands of them available for free on the web! Books are best to use if you have no experience at all because they start you with the most basic tasks and work from there. Many places also offer classes that teach web design.

Once you feel like you’re experienced enough and can design amazing websites that will make anyone’s jaw drop, what should you do next? Well, there are tons of options on which route to take. For one, you can become a freelancer and work for clients. This work can be tough but extremely rewarding. By taking on clients, you must design websites according to their exact specifications and may have to go through various design changes in order to ensure that the client is satisfied. The best part about this type of work is that you can set your own hours and can work right from home. The other option is to become hired in as a web designer for a business.

No matter what path you choose to take, by having the right tools and training, you can become a fantastic web designer and create amazing work!