How to become a web designer

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These days, the internet has an impact on every aspect of our lives. Whether you want to catch up with old friends, watch your favourite TV show, or check the latest sports scores, you go online to do it.

Businesses of every type and size need to have a web presence, and even most individuals, charities, sports clubs and educational institutions have their own websites. A mind-boggling 150,000 new sites are launched every day, and there are around one and a quarter billion active websites in the world.

If those stats tell you one thing, it is that there is plenty of work out there for web designers. If you are considering a career in web design, what are the points that you need to bear in mind?

Qualifications

Many universities and colleges offer degree courses in web design and multimedia, but the good news is that a university education is certainly not a prerequisite for a career as a web designer. Numerous courses are available that do not require you to sink three years of your life into university studies, from first principle basics to more advanced specialisms. Institutions like The Knowledge Academy can provide a useful way in, allowing you to develop your specialist qualifications as you learn more about the broader aspects of web design.

As with any job, the better your qualifications, the easier it will be to get your foot in the door with a web design company. However, it is just as important to demonstrate what you can really do. Make sure you have a portfolio of work to show potential employers, such as your own blog or sites that you have set up for family or friends.

Designer or developer?

We mentioned specialisation earlier, and this broadly splits the sector into two areas: design and development. Here is a closer look at each sector.

Web design is what you might call the more art-oriented side of the industry. There is often a crossover from the world of graphic design and traditional print-based work. However, while some artistic flair is always useful, you will also need a solid background in technology to be a good web designer. You’ll be expected to know all about how to use programs like Flash and Photoshop, and you will also need a good understanding of UX.

This means being able to see a website from the user’s perspective and creating an interface that will be attractive, easy to use, and on-brand. It must be able to draw in visitors and encourage them to keep coming back for more.

A web developer is more focused on the technological side of website creation. This is where your solid knowledge of coding comes to the fore, using HTML, JavaScript and similar tools. You will also be expected to have a sound understanding of the nuts and bolts of server technology.

Of course, it is not a simple case of either/or, and many of the best designers have a solid grasp of development and vice versa.

Career development

There are countless opportunities for the best web designers, and new companies are sprouting up every day. However, many people in the industry choose to work on a freelance basis, providing their services to private clients and agencies.

Working freelance is the dream solution for many people. It gives you the freedom to pick and choose the projects that take your fancy, to work as many or as few hours as you want to, and to operate from nearly anywhere on the planet. Of course, there are also downsides. If you work for yourself, nobody will deal with your tax returns for you, and if you decide to take a fortnight’s holiday or stay in bed with a cold, you won’t be generating any income while you do so.

What can you earn?

The average web designer earns around £23,000 per year, and this is on an upward trajectory. As a relatively new discipline, there is little to go on when it comes to predicting where you can be with 20+ years of experience.

Experience is key

The most important factor for a successful career in web design is having the right experience. The most successful leaders in the sector started at the bottom and got to where they are by keeping up with the constantly evolving market and adapting in step with it.
Experts share their expertise very freely these days so reading blogs and expert round ups is a good way to keep up with the leaders in your field.

Approach every day with that pioneering spirit and the right attitude, and your success is practically guaranteed. Good luck!


At seodesign we believe that we help designers and developers to find the right inspiration before create their works so If you would like to be kept up to date with our posts and free web design resource.
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