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Web Design From Scratch: how to get started for beginners

Any person can create websites. More nearly, any person can learn to create websites. However, you need to understand: in order to design websites at a high level, you need to combine a variety of different knowledge and skills. Generally, it gives a web-designer an opportunity to create high-quality web products.

If you study web design from scratch, it can become a daunting task if you do not know where to start and what exactly you need. New technologies and tools that constantly emerge can confuse even a skilled professional, quite apart from beginners.

However, you should not worry. In this article, we will help you to choose the ways and methods of learning web design. Thus, it will make this process really exciting.

A huge number of options!

Let’s skip the question of the reason to learn web design. Probably, if you are reading this article, you already have an answer to this question. You may want to create websites as a hobby or in the future to turn them into the business. Or you probably have decided that web design is the perfect profession and creating custom sites will be your main occupation in the next few years? We believe that any reason is quite good.

A huge number of options!

 

 

Around the web, there are many approaches to learning web design. Some of them are paid, such as online/offline courses, but others are free. Moreover, the number of studying approaches has greatly increased. The matter is the increasing interactivity around the web – YouTube videos, online courses and so on.

I believe that the best way to learn web design is to spend much time on personal practice. Online courses can only be an option of receiving the theoretical information if you have not managed to master that data yourself. Finally, practice again and again.

Therefore, you can receive the required data with the help of books, videos, step-by-step guidelines, online platforms, etc. In the following chapters, we are going to discuss each of these options.

The best books to study web design

Firstly, you need to understand that the fundamental technologies that you need to master to solve the related tasks creating a site are HTML and CSS. This knowledge will be of utmost importance. Also, it would be nice to study JavaScript and PHP, but this is already the second step. Alongside, in case you get acquainted with the first two web development tools, it will be much easier in the future.

It’s important to state that there are tons of books on web design around the web. However, if you make your first steps and want to get the most fundamental information, we can emphasize some of the best ones. Now, let’s discuss those top books that will help you master web design and get systematic and fundamental information properly.

Jeremy Keith “HTML5 for web designers” 

 

Jeremy Keith "HTML5 for web designers"

 

 

Thisbook for those who want to master the standards of the latest version of HTML, while understanding the features of this language as a whole. Semantic design and creation of accessible interfaces are two directions for the future. And this book will allow you to learn this to the fullest. And it should be noted that “Mann, Ivanov and Ferber” – one of the most authoritative publishing houses in the CIS. Therefore, their books should definitely be recommended.

Dan Cederholm. CSS3 for Web Designers 

 

Dan Cederholm. CSS3 for Web Designers

 

 

The second crucial component of modern web design is CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). With the help of this feature, you have an opportunity to manage the appearance of the pages. Moreover, you can stop losing the ease and speed of download. With the help of examples, you have the ability to learn how to use all the powerful features released with the new CSS3 standard.

The book author is Dan Cederholm, a practising web designer. He was a freelancer and then became an owner of a small programming studio. Finally, he is an experienced developer in the state of such world-famous companies as Google and Yahoo.

Jenifer Robbins. Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

 

Jenifer Robbins. Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

 

 

Despite the sound name, the book is written for a beginner with all the advantages and drawbacks. With the help of this manual, you will have an opportunity to start learning web design from scratch. The lessons provided as the examples allow you to systematize and structure future knowledge.

This book will be a nice start as the quality illustrations and a disk with the various files will help you master the web design fundamentals.

Steve Krug. Don’t Make Me Think 

 

Steve Krug. Don't Make Me Think

 

Here is one of the most popular books by Steve Krug, which survived numerous republishes. In web design, not only technologies are important, but also for the general convenience of using a website, known as usability. The author covers the topic of web design with a focus on website accessibility and usability.

The book will become interesting not only for beginners. Experienced developers who want to understand how to further improve existing projects will also find this reading exciting. You may think that the book describes the obvious topics, but nothing succeeds like simplicity.

Tim Kadlec. Implementing Responsive Design: Building sites for an anywhere, everywhere web.

 

Tim Kadlec. Implementing Responsive Design: Building sites for an anywhere, everywhere web.

 

 

Even 5 years ago, desktop computers dominated over the others. Currently, everything has changed dramatically. The share of mobile users has increased significantly within the majority of the spheres, and commercial websites are no exception.

The adaptive layout has become a requirement. Its implementation can significantly increase the revenue of such websites like online stores.

How to properly and effectively create a website with an adaptive layout, taking into account the variety of available devices, what to look at the beginning and what standards should you follow? You will get the answers to all of those questions reading this book.

It is worth noting that in this list, I listed exactly those books that will allow you to quickly master the very practical side of web design, without going into the superfluous theory. It is worthwhile moving on to more fundamental works if you think that you are already ready for this. With just five of these books, a novice web designer will be able to get a solid foundation for further professional growth.

Platforms for online lerning

Online platforms are more than just a website. They are much more interesting because they provide some interactive experience. Most commonly, the interaction is performed in the form of online tutorials. A teacher tells you about some things related to the topic, and then shows how it works in practice.

Here, you can find a selection of the most popular online platforms. 

Treehouse

 

Treehouse

 

 

Treehouse is one of the world’s leading online education platforms. It charges a monthly payment scheme for those studying the courses onboard. The main fields of study are markup and web development (HTML, CSS, Javascript). Also, it is quite popular there to study the creation of iOS applications, in particular on the basis of the popular Swift language.

Despite the fact that is a paid option with a monthly subscription, all the video content is provided with high quality. Many courses cover all aspects of web design and development.

Additionally, the subscriber receives the following interesting features:

  • Writing code in the browser 

  • Accessing conference and masterclass entries 

  • Interactive checking of knowledge and lessons, and so on.

Codeacademy

 

Codeacademy

 

 

Codeacademy stands for an online service with courses, but it has certain differences from the previous one. However, the platform is free which allows you to avoid monthly subscriptions. Instead of concentrating on video manuals, platform developers have focused on providing interactive examples. This option allows you to perform watch & code style, which significantly improves your practical experience.

Each example shows the different sides of a particular web development language – HTML, CSS, or PHP. With the help of these examples, you can learn the language structure. When you finish the course lessons, the code is processed immediately in the browser and then you get a deep explanation for any action.

Actually, you may see that there are not so many courses available on the platform. However, most of them give you an opportunity to learn a specific direction completely. Additionally, you can find several courses dedicated to how to build a website from scratch, without a single line of code. Generally, if you prefer combining the study process with the actual practice, this platform will be a perfect option for you.

Other ways to note

Finally, one of the most accessible ways is video tutorials and direction channel on YouTube. It is the second most visited platform after Google, with integrated functionality similar to social networks. It will become a good option for you because you can start practising immediately watching the tutorials online. Additionally, we believe you know such a good phrase: a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Everything you need to start is just to enter the desired request. Thus, you will be provided with a large number of video guidelines and manuals on a wide variety of topics. 

Another good method is to monitor and study existing websites. To accomplish this, you need to click the right mouse button and choose either the “Browse Page Code” context menu item or any other relevant one, depending on the browser you are using.

The main benefit of this approach is the opportunity to understand how does it work and look at interesting blocks of code for future implementation. However, there is a also a disadvantage. In this case, you will see the unstructured data, so you will need to spend some time to understand the website logic and code provided.

All in all, there is always an option called classic offline courses. It means that you attend offline IT courses, training programs and so on. Honestly, you should understand that this way will be the longest one. Moreover, it may not pay off in the end. Considering the rapid technologies’ development, most of the materials like books become irrelevant and outdated.

To conclude, the choice is always up to you. The main requirement to start and master a particular technology is your desire, perseverance and constant practice. These terms are equally crucial to both the beginner and the experienced developer in any field.


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