Being a web designer can be an exciting and fulfilling job. You do not need a formal college qualification to be a good web designer, and some of the best designers started out studying fine arts and taught themselves how to use graphic design software. Another benefit is that many designers work as freelancers, meaning that they work for themselves.

Follow these basic tips to beginning your journey as a web designer:

  • Learn coding: coding, scripting and programming such as html, dhtml, xml and JavaScript are all valuable tools to a web designer. There are many free tutorials available on the web where you can learn these skills.
  • Experiment: once you have a grip on these basic skills, you need to experiment with as many different programs as you can to gain experience. Experiment with programs such as Dreamweaver, FrontPage, PhotoShop and Flash.
  • PC vs. Mac: you need to learn your way around a personal computer (PC) as well as an Apple Mac. You should also make sure you’re familiar with mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets (like the iPad) as these are often used to access the web as well.
  • Marketing and design: try and take a marketing or design course to learn about how fonts, colours and graphics affect consumers. This should help to maximize the impact of your web design.
  • Build your own website: this is to serve not only as practice but also as a marketing tool for your web design services. As this site is an example of the work you are capable of, make sure it is well designed, free of any errors and that all the links work.
  • Build a portfolio: try and design as many other websites as possible. Start by designing sites for friends or family members. This portfolio is what you show to prospective clients to prove the quality of your work. The more examples you have, the more you can show to prospective clients.

The world of technology is an ever changing one. Therefore the demands on a web designer are forever changing. While these are the basics to becoming a designer, it is essential that you keep up to date on all the changes in the industry as well as the technology used to develop and view web content. This can be done by joining forums, periodicals and online communities focused on web design and keeping your eyes and ears open on the web!