View Full Version : Calling all web designers

03-22-2012, 12:27 AM
I am thinking of becoming a web designer BUT I am a complete newbie to all this. I am thinking of a career change so I just want to find out more about being a web designer so here are my questions.

1) Other than Dreamweaver, what else do I need to learn to design a web page?

2) I would like to work from home. How can I go about doing that - how do I find jobs?

3) What about hosting, how do I do that or do you just design the pages and give the files to the client?

4) What about maintaining the website?

5) I am looking at this as a permanent career change so if you think there is anything else I need to know, please post them here as well.

Many thanks in advance. I don't have any friends who are web designers so I couldn't ask for advice so I am hoping to make some new web designer friend here.

03-22-2012, 07:43 AM
Welcome to the forum, jtan!

There are web designers and there are web developers, but there are people that do both, so my guess is that you want to do both.
As a web designer there are certain principals to keep in mind when designing a website. If you know them it will make it easier for you to create effective websites: http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/31/10-principles-of-effective-web-design/
You can use Photoshop, Fireworks or Illustrator to design your layouts or a combination of these graphic programs, or you can design directly in the browser. The latter might be unorthodox and some say it kills creativity, which is true 'til a certain point. I personally start a rough idea in a graphic program and design further in the browser.
As a web developer you need to know the basics of HTML and CSS. If you understand those you know how elements react to each other once you drop them into a HTML document.
- know the difference between inline and block-level elements
- the normal page flow
- CSS box model

You can use Dreamweaver to develop your pages, but it's just a tool and I'd recommend to start immediately with working in code view, because design view has its limitations and in the end you will be faster with developing.

Don't think about this right now. Just start to learn to become eventually a professional and then you can start thinking of doing client work or working for an agency.

It depends, but if you have to arrange hosting for someone than there are heaps of hosting providers to pick from. Stay away from free hostings.

This also depends on the clients needs. You can maintain it for them or you implement a Content Management System (CMS) so that they can do their updates them self.

Learning the trade takes a lot of time, so the more you have the better.

03-22-2012, 07:50 AM
Welcome to the forum. I think gentleone has summed that all up very nicely. Good luck with your new career.

03-23-2012, 05:06 AM
I would add if you are thinking of developing as part of your arsenal, i would advise php for serverside and as you get accustomed to it learn OOP or at least PDO for re useable code and security
jquery is the favourite javascript framework to make client side easier as som many plugins have been made and many are free.
as Gentleone says Learning the trade takes a lot of time,
actually the goal posts move sometimes quite quickly but this is all possible

03-24-2012, 07:56 AM
Thanks gentleone and edbr. So I should at least start by learning how to use Dreamweaver. Which version should I learn? Sometimes the latest version is not necessarily the most used or most friendly version. I should learn a version which the majority of web designers/developers are using right?

Thanks again for your help!

03-24-2012, 09:02 AM
With web design the landscape can change quite frequently so I'd try and learn the latest version of the software. Just to keep up with web standards.

03-25-2012, 12:56 PM
Yes, Corrosive is right. If you use an old version, you will likely use deprecated tags and learn old way of doing things. To be honest you don't need to know that much of Dreamweaver if you use the code editor. Learn how to setup a site with it, know where the code view button is and that is. Things like using snippets and other handy DW features to speed up your workflow comes later. Web development is all about HTML, CSS and eventually JavaScript and some server side language such as PHP like edbr already mentioned.

So start with learning HTML and CSS (http://htmldog.com/) which are essential for developing websites, use DW as a tool to deploy your 'code' and check your progress in the major browsers instead of in design view.

03-28-2012, 11:50 PM
I am looking at the Dreamweaver site. Dreamweaver CS5.5 is the latest version. Would you recommend that I learn that version? Is there a reliable online tutorial somewhere?


03-29-2012, 12:28 AM
Im not certain but i think cs6 may be immanent