How to become a web developer or web designer?

web developmentI’ve been seeing a lot of this question over the online forums. Even me, tried searching the prerequisites of becoming a “webmaster” as others used to call it. But if you’ll really dig down deep, you’ll discover that it’s not really that simple to be regarded as one. It will cost you a lot of blood, sweat, and hardship, which means that you have to include PATIENCE and PERSEVERANCE into your virtue!

First, we have to understand what a web developer means as well as a web designer. Most often, these term are considered the same where in fact they are distinctively different.

A web developer is responsible for programming the functionality of a web site. Usually the web developer figures out how it is going to do it and then writes the necessary programming code. Much of this programming code is behind the scenes and not visible to the user. However, a web developer may also be responsible for the code that the user sees. This is the HTML/DHTML and JavaScript that make up most of the web pages you interact with in your web browser.

A web designer is similar to a graphic designer. In fact, many graphic designers are web designers and vice versa. They are responsible for layout, color palettes, and sometimes usability. Web designers often develop some programming skills to enable them to include certain features in the interface such as roll-overs or dynamic menus.

According to what I’ve read, a college degree isn’t necessary to become a web developer or a web designer. Many web developer and web designers are self-taught. However, since the field is constantly changing, taking classes to learn the latest methods and reading to brush up on your current skills may be necessary to keep up with this growing career field.

Here are some of the tips:

PREREQUISITES TO BECOME A WEB DEVELOPER

  1. Learn coding, scripting and programming, such as HTML, DHTML, XML, JavaScript, PHP and ASP.Net. Free online tutorials can be found at the W3 Schools website.
  2. Experiment and learn various website building packages, such as Dreamweaver, FrontPage, PhotoShop, Flash and Fireworks this is if you can afford to buy licenses. You can also download free software package such as PHP, MySQL, Drupal, etc. and learn it on your own.
  3. Learn your way around a personal computer as well as a Macintosh.
  4. Build your own website, and use it as not only a marketing tool for your services, but as an example of your work. Make sure it is bug free and that all your links are working.
  5. Develop other websites. Perhaps you could develop one for friends or a family member. This will help build your portfolio. The more examples you have, the more you have to show your prospective clients.
  6. Keep up with the ever-changing world or technology. Subscribe to publications, participate in seminars and know the latest design fads. Joining a professional organization for web developers could also keep you updated and give you a venue for networking with others in your field.

WEB DESIGNING

Great Tips for Web Designing!
More and more people are getting fond of web design whether for work related purposes or for personal-use purposes. Some people get short courses to study web designing and some rely on e-learning and get web designing tutorials on-line. For people who work as a web designer, they know the do’s and dont’s of web designing, for most of them at least. For those who don’t, especially those who are new in the field, here are some basic tips that would help in enhancing your web designing skills.

  1. Keep your index page short
  2. For the convenience of your visitor, don’t place all your content on the index page. Remember that you can use several pages on making a web site. Having a single-page site with all the contents there will make a visitor dizzy and confused.

  3. Create a toolbar or menus easy navigation
  4. This will make your visitors stay in your site longer. After reading the content of your page, it is more likely that your visitor will look for other pages on your site that would interest him. Using short, clear and precise words will also help the visitor know the content of the page where your link is going. I suggest placing the navigation menu on top and the other main links on the right hand side menu. You can also use a drop-down menu if you have many links.

  5. Neat and Easy Navigation
  6. Navigation of links on your site plays a big role in determining the stickiness of your site (how long your visitor stays and explores your site). Ask yourself this, what do visitors do as soon as they open your site? They would probably read the content of the present page and then look around to find any other page that interests them.

  7. Clean Layout Design
  8. A clean layout that uses a lot of white space enhances a site’s looks. Try to keep the focus on your content, use a template for this. Use fonts that will be available on all computers to prevent your site looking messed up.

  9. Optimum Load Time: Make sure your load time is low. For this you must:
  10. Minimize Graphics, Flash and scripts: They hugely increase your file size.
    Optimize your HTML & script code: Make sure that your site doesn’t have any unwanted tags or unused scripts.

  11. Use Server Side Include (SSI) files where ever possible. SSI files once called from the web server reside in its cache so on subsequent requests they load faster.
  12. Cross browser compatible
  13. Keep in mind that there are other internet browsers other than what you are using. At least make sure that your codes and design are compatible to the major browsers like Internet Explorer 5+, Mozilla Firefox 1.0 and Opera 7.0.

These are just basic tips and suggestions on web designing but are guaranteed useful. These can be used as guide on building your own site but still the overall design is in your hands.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Cathy,
    My name is Christine Saleh. I recently posted a job on odesk that you applied for. You were on my top three and unfortunately, rejected your application a few days ago. I may be having second thoughts…….

    I have forwarded an email to your yahoo address with some indepth briefs attached.

    Questions:
    1. You don’t seem to have many website examples, have you done any specific jobs in joomla.

    I’ve read through your blog and this is the kind of attention to detail I’m looking for. Nevertheless, you will be disappointed that the design of the website I’ve done does not have lots of whitespace as recommended, the client wanted lots of color….didn’t know what to do about that.

    Finally, I would like to reconsider hiring you for the job, not sure how to reactivate your name in odesk. Will ask some of the odesk support staff how to do that.

    Please contact me with your response ASAP. Also, when you read the brief, advise how long this job will take and how I can submit psd files to you.

    Christine Saleh

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