What is web design? What is a web designer? A web designer is a person who is knowledgeable in the art of designing web sites. This is different than a graphic designer although one can play both roles. A graphic designer creates images and pictures for a wide range of applications.
A web designer uses a wide range of tools to create a website. A web designer can use simple tools such as word pad or complex and expensive design programs like adobe Dreamweaver. Although being able to create a website from scratch with nothing more than a text document is a sign of web design experience, most experienced web designers use programs like Dreamweaver simply to save time.
What is a website? A website is rather simple. A website is a text document that links to other text documents in the World Wide Web. Codes like HTML are used to instruct web browsers to display pictures, text, or links. When you look at a website, you are being deceived. The actual website is simply a string of HTML or other code. The browser simply uses the code to display the images and other items. The actual images, videos, and audio are stored in separate files.
HTML is an acronym for hypertext markup language. I could go into the nerdy definitions and other jargon, but my goal is to be able to teach web design to anyone. HTML is a language that your web browser reads. Just as an architect uses specific symbols and terms in blueprints to allow builders to create the buildings from a few sheets of paper, web designers use HTML as a blueprint that web browsers can use to build a website.
CSS is not as much a language as it is a way to use HTML in a way to make it possible to affect different documents at the same time. CSS stands for cascading style sheet. A style sheet can be attached to one or several documents. A CSS document defines text colors, background properties, image and text positioning, and the layout of the site. If you wanted to change the background color of a hundred page website that did not use CSS, you would have to open every document separately and change the codes individually. This souls be time consuming and as a web designer, would cut into your per hour rate if you charge a flat fee. Using CSS you would only have to have one document attached to the 100 pages, and you could change the background or other properties of every page with just a few code changes.
Becoming a web designer requires allot of practice and trial and error. If you choose to learn it yourself, it is a good idea to wait until you are proficient in the coding and style aspects before you start charging customers. You should build a substantial portfolio. The most important thing to remember is that you will never know everything there is to know about web design. Therefore, you should always be searching out resources to continue your education.