Using web design software is not difficult and the basics can be learnt within a few hours. While simple, free programs can be used to create websites, this requires that the user is familiar with html coding.
Web design software is often preferred because it is more intuitive and visually oriented, however it is important to keep some basic tips and steps in mind:
- Assemble the content: web design software is useless without content to put on the website. Therefore begin the web design process by compiling the text and graphics you think you will need to put onto the website.
- Choose the website’s complexity: if you are starting out as a web designer you should stick to a very basic design and use one of the templates often accompanying web design software. More experienced designers can start thinking about using more sophisticated software, custom templates and adding in extra design features and functions. As most templates use a basic cut and paste method of adding text, make sure you use a word processing program (such as MS Word) to check for any errors.
- Save your progress often: most web design software allows users to return to some previously saved state of their work in case of a major glitch which wipes out a day’s work. It is very frustrating to lose a large portion of the progress you have made, so make sure you save your content regularly and consistently.
- Test the site: most web design software allow users to test the website in real time using a browser. This allows you to check the development of the site and check for any errors. Make sure you use more than one type of browser when checking your work.
- Find a web hosting service: this is required to upload the website you have designed onto the internet. You can use file transfer protocol (FTP) to register a domain name and add your website to the internet from your home PC. This will post the webpage and its associated files directly to the internet, and can often be done within an hour.
These are some of the basics of using web design software. As you gain experience as a web designer you can start experimenting with more sophisticated software and more difficult design tools. However to be a good web designer never forget to check out these basics!