How Do You Become a Web Designer? Do You Have What It Takes?

Web design can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It’s a trade that combines technical skills with creative ability. If you feel comfortable with computer technology and you enjoy creating documents, web design can be a great way to combine the two interests.

That being said, it’s always overwhelming to consider learning a new skill. Before learning how to become a web designer, you should ask yourself, “Should I become a web designer?”

I’ve been learning web design since I was ten years old, in 1994. I now do a lot of web design for myself and for some small business clients. There have been plenty of pleasures, but also plenty of frustrations. If you’re considering becoming a web designer, there are some things you should keep in mind.

If you have a lot of time to devote to learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Photoshop, it’s possible to learn the basics in a couple of months. Be ready to spend some money on manuals, books, and applications.

No matter how you decide to learn web design and how you decide to enter the field, some people have better potential to become web designers than others.
When you’re programming, even if you’re using a simple language like HTML and using a helpful application like Dreamweaver, you’re going to encounter some frustrations. Sometimes, when I create an HTML document, I spend a lot more time making corrections and problem solving than doing fun stuff. Are you prepared to spend a lot of time testing and making little changes? No matter how you approach web design, tedium can’t be completely avoided. If you’re easily frustrated and discouraged, web design might not be for you.

Unless web design is going to be just a hobby for you, you will have clients you have to work with. Sometimes clients have a lot of specific expectations. Some clients have experience with web design themselves, but others may demand things without knowing the technical limitations involved. Before you start any project for clients, it’s best to have a thorough conversation with them about what they want and what they need. That can save you a lot of time. How would you like to spend weeks developing a website, only to discover that your client wants completely different fonts, colors, graphics, site organization and content? If you’re going to get into designing web pages for other people, you’re going to have to be ready to make a lot of compromises and take a lot of criticism. Are you ready for that?

Finally, ask yourself if you have the time and energy to promote yourself. If you want to be hired by a web design firm, in addition to learning skills and possibly obtaining certifications, you’ve also got to be ready to pound the pavement with your resume and portfolio. It might take you over a year to find a job. Be ready to attend a lot of job interviews, and possibly get a lot of rejections.

If you’re going to become a freelancer, like I am, you’ve really got to devote a lot of energy to self-promotion. Set up a website, preferably with your own domain. Be ready to spend some money on advertising. Spend a lot of time promoting your services with social media – Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, and so on. Scan classified ads, particularly online classifieds. Print business cards and distribute them wherever you can. Use your connections and word-of-mouth to your advantage. Tell everyone you know that you’re a web designer, and maybe someone knows someone who could be your first client. Sometimes I spend more time promoting myself than I do actually doing the work itself.

If you’re ready to spend a little bit of money, do a lot of tedious work, take some criticism, and do a lot of self-promotion, then web design may be the field for you.

First, you’ve got to start the learning process. If you enjoy classroom instruction and having teachers, sign up for some web design and graphic design courses through your local community college. If you’d rather start learning on your own, buy some good books, look at the source codes of the web pages you visit, and go through some online tutorials. Even if you’re going to start learning web design in a school setting, be prepared to do a lot of learning in your free time, as well.

It’s important to learn HTML, especially HTML5. Learn Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), up to CSS3. JavaScript, possibly some server side scripting languages, and Flash are very useful, too. Don’t forget to learn how to use Photoshop. If you don’t have the money to buy Photoshop right away, start by downloading some free graphic design programs like Paint.Net and GIMP. You can learn some of the basics of graphic design that way, and possibly be better prepared when you finally buy the most recent version of Photoshop.

These days, people access the web in more ways than were ever possible before. When you’re web designing, you not only want to make your web pages work in multiple browsers, but also on multiple devices. Even basic cell phones can access the web today, not just smart phones such as BlackBerrys and iPhones. Even some video game playing devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DSi have web browsers. Web surfers could be using tiny screens or enormous screens. They could be using a variety of different browsers and versions of browsers. Users may have completely different plug-ins and fonts; Adobe Flash is a browser plug-in, for instance. When you’re learning web design, try surfing the web in as many ways as you can.

There are many helpful resources for learning web design online, and there are many helpful online tools for web designers, many of which I use.

The W3C is an excellent place to start. They’re the non-profit organization founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who started the World Wide Web. The W3C sets standards for HTML, XML and CSS. In addition to information about coding languages and standards, they have handy tools to validate your code.

HTML Goodies has a lot of excellent tutorials and articles.

I’ve learned a lot so far, but I’m always learning more, and I’ll always be a student of web design and media technology. As technology advances, things change. There’ll always be new programming languages and applications. Learning is a constant process.

Web design has been an engaging experience for me, and if you decide to get into it yourself, I hope you take it seriously and have a lot of fun.

Email Marketing (List Building): Starting a Small Business Online

Starting a small business online is not as complicated as most people are meant to believe.

In fact, the internet is an ocean of opportunities for all.

Though your success is not guaranteed, at least there is a high chance of growing your venture if you get a few things right.

The problem with most start-ups is the hunger for overnight success.

Most successful businesses today were started by people who dared to dream and think big.

If you have a passion for business, feel free to pursue it and you will make it.

The ingredients to your success may vary, but it all starts with the nature and future plans of your business.

To get started, build a mailing list for effective email marketing.

No Restrictions

There are no limitations and stringent requirements for starting a small business online.

Under normal circumstances, you will be required to comply with a long list of government regulations, register the business, acquire a permit or license, have the business premise inspected and much more.

This is however not the case with online businesses; you can get started in a few hours from the time you make up your mind that it is something you truly want to do.

You are not restricted to any geographical area because you can target anyone in the world.

In short, anyone is a prospect on the internet; the possibilities for your success are unlimited.

It is upon you to exploit them.

Identify a Niche Or Product You Are Passionate About

Before starting a small business online it is paramount that you identify a niche you are comfortable with.

Ideally, go for something you have some passion for and not just because of the money.

Successful businesses are built on a solid foundation of passion and love for what you do.

Save yourself the hassle and find a product or a service you wouldn’t mind offering twenty years later.

Think about Bill Gates and his passion for computers and software.

See the passion Mark Zuckerberg shows whenever he talks about his toy project that has changed how the world interacts online, Facebook.

How about the late Steve Jobs whose legacy will live with us forever with world-class Apple products.

The Market Availability

One of the most important areas you must consider before starting a small business online is the market availability.

A simple Google search is enough to enable you understand what can really sell.

There are many business ideas, but not all will live to see the following year.

If there is demand for a service or product, seek to fill that gap and you will forever be in business.

Website and Marketing

Your website is your shop or office.

Start by designing a website and filling it with content.

This should be done long before the business is launched.

A small investment is all you need to have a website designed and hosted.

Thereafter, start exploring various internet marketing strategies like email marketing, social media marketing, article marketing and an array of other available avenues to announce your arrival.

Finally, don’t get comfortable when you eventually start recording sales.

The business has just started, have an expansion plan.

Just because you are starting a small business doesn’t mean you have to remain small.

Stay focused and keep growing your business until it can sustain itself with minimal upkeep from you.

With the internet and email marketing you can automate your business and let the system work for you.

Best wishes!

Why Outsource Web Design Service?

Web design service: Web designing is the most popular tool in the world of computers. Today is a world of technologies and everybody wants to use this technology for their betterment. Web designing is used to design and develop websites. These websites can be used in businesses for their publicity or by an individual for their portfolios etc. Web design services are in demand as every one wants a good look for their websites as this is the first impression and first impression should always be good. An impressive look always attracts towards it. It includes designing and developing part simultaneously. It should be done by experienced web designers.

Web designing tools: Web designing services tools include flash, Photoshop, corel draw, illustrator, firework, dream weaver, HTML, and dhtml. The developing tools include php, asp.net, vb.net etc. These tools are used by experienced person for designing and developing a website. Now days either in business or individual every body wants to create a website for their publicity.

Why need of outsourcing web design service?: As time changes, new techniques are developed for everything. Like in old days, the advertisement had been done through news papers, pamphlets etc. But now as new technology becomes vast new ways are come out like websites on internet. Today every active person knows about this. But the question arises what about those people who know what web designing is but don’t know how it works? What are the techniques used? The answer is Outsource web design service. This is a good concept for those who has less or no knowledge about designing that how it works but has a desire to develop a website for their product promotion internationally. Outsourcing is beneficial for those who know how to beat the time. In outsource web designing; there are professional designers who worked out for either an individual or a company according to their requirement. Just explain what your requirements are? and a skilled people will do exactly the same for you. Outsource web design services provide full range of web services like eCommerce website design, flash animation web site design etc. Web development services include shopping carts, online software etc.

Why India? There are many companies which provide outsource web designing services all over the world. These companies provide their services across the world. Some companies provide only designing services, some developing services and some both. These Companies appoints experienced and skilled staff for providing the services. Outsourcing these services to India is always beneficial. India has many experienced and professional web designing companies who have skilled people who are best in their work. It is also cost effective area than other countries. India has many web designing service providers who work at very low cost than others. Also Indians can do their work according to given time span. Indian designers are hard worker and complete their work in time. Indians are very efficient that they can work for 24 hours. So it is always being beneficial to outsource to India for getting cheap and best output.

Creative Web Design

By contracting a creative web design company to design your new website as opposed to a more traditional web company, you give yourself an unmeasurable edge over your competition in the eyes of your potential customers.

Traditional design companies focus on purely getting a site put together with relevant information, that functionally works. Enter Web 2.0 and more traditional marketing avenues venturing into the marketplace, and creative web design companies have come into the game.

By ‘creative web design’, I refer to websites which still have the functionality and relevant information consumers have come to expect, but have a huge focus on the aesthetic aspect, and use traditional marketing ‘wow factor’ to capture the users attention, and last longer in their mind than those of the competitor.

Picture a billboard with great graphic design and immaculate choice of imagery, compared with an ad on the side of the road simply with a name and number. While you may have chosen to look at both, the creative approach will prompt you, the audience, to remember the creative billboard.

Now picture two websites, side by side. One with a flash intro page, immediately showing a montage of images and grabbing y our attention; which leads into a visually beautiful website where every pixel is perfectly crafted into alignment. Next, a bland website showing you purely text and a basic navigation. The difference is so enormous it’s like comparing Black and White TV with a 3d Movie Theatre.

Through the use of the latest and greatest technology, a creative web design company will use Flash, jQuery, and HTML5 to visually engage the user; however this is where the pitfalls of a creative web design can come into play.

Many years ago, around the year 2000, many graphic design companies started to see an emergence in the marketplace for web services. Many of these companies had employees with a little web experience, enough to get by, and as such they began offering web services. What they didn’t understand was functionality, valid mark-up, cross-browser compatibility, or SEO – all things which a more traditional web design company would take into account.

While this would be classed as a creative web design company, often their creative web design’s wouldn’t be successfully converted from a design into code, and having mis-alignments in a design (especially cross-browser) became commonplace. Without experienced developers on-hand, many of these problems became overlooked, and many substandard creatively designed websites are still around today, with more and more being sent live on the world wide web every day.

For this reason, when looking to hire a creative web design company, you should always be sure to look into their operation, most reputable companies won’t mind you asking a few questions. In a creative web design company, the people building your site should be working as a team. The days of all-rounders are over, and when creativity is to be combined with functionality, it is essential to have a ‘designer’ as well as a ‘developer’ work on your project.

A designer is generally artistically minded, and may have worked as a graphic designer in the print world at some capacity. Thei r goal is to create a visually appealing design for your approval. This will be a static image of what your website is going to look like, as it is much faster to edit a graphic than to edit a coded website. Most creative web design agencies work in a similar fashion, as this allows for the complete artistic talent of the designer to be used, and complete use of the imagination of not only the designer, but also the client.

Once a design is approved, a developer steps in to convert this to a web format in standards compliant code. This may include implementation of a Content Management System (CMS), and generally involves some mild Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well as cross-browser compatibility. Once this is done, your brand new creative web design is all ready for the World Wide Web.

You need to choose a creative web design company that can fulfil all of your needs from creating a website which suits your brand image and captivates the user, to something which will navigate easily, rank well on search engines, function the same across your entire user-base, and ultimately lead to more conversions in your market.

The main things to keep in mind when choosing a creative web design company are their design to implementation process, their cost, their portfolio, and ultimately the level of service you can expect. I am an online consultant, and can help you shoul d you have trouble finding an agency, or even if you would like me to help in assessing another agencies ability to meet your needs to come up with a creative web design that will fit your needs and help in squashing your competition.

Success With Starting a Small Business Online

Statistics are showing that there are more people today who are making the decision to run their own business instead of working for someone else. Operating a business without having to depend on a company paycheck, is a great feeling. Doing work for yourself that is not just a clone cubicle job is another rewarding feeling. These things are a big part of why many people choose to open their own businesses, and are what makes self employment so desirable. The pressure of having everything rest on one’s shoulders is usually enough to frighten away the masses though. Making the decision to be in business for yourself, should never be made lightly.

Starting a small business online, is a lot safer and easier than taking the chance and spending a life savings on a brick and mortar business. Running a business from the comfort of your own home or place of choice, and not having to spend time on traveling to work, will make things a lot easier and less time consuming. The time that you save on unnecessary things, can be utilized to enhance your business. The idea is to work smarter, and not harder! Business is not rocket science, but you need to be on top of things and think like a true leader in order to succeed.

There are so many new small businesses starting up online daily. There are many that are doing very well financially but the majority of websites that are online today do not get a lot of viewers. that is because the people who know what they are doing, are getting the lion’s share of the various markets. Making your small business a successful one needs the right type of website and the right type of customers drawn to it. Before starting any business, it is a good idea to plan first what you want to sell and how you want your site to appear to people searching on the web.

The process of market and niche research is very important, and should always be the first step when starting a business online. This would then be closely followed by keyword research, to ensure you were going after the correct and “selling” keywords. The types of words that people in the “buying mood” use when they utilize the search engines such as Google and Bing. I cannot stress this enough, market and keyword research is the most essential step towards success on the web (or in any business for that matter).

The second most important thing is your website; how it looks, and how well it operates. The appearance of your site is so very important, because the look of your site can either turn people away or have them interested in what you want to convey. Whether you have something to sell that is very useful or something that a lot of people are looking for, your site must appeal to the public for your business to become a successful one. Regarding operation, your website should not be hard to navigate and find the important items or information. It should be logical in its layout, and all functions should work as intended. If a potential customer receives a 404 error when trying to buy a product of yours, chances are good that he will not finish the purchase.

If you take care and time to design your product, you should do the same when designing your online business structure and your website. No matter who creates the website, only YOU can properly design how it will operate. If you choose to have developers work on your web design and SEO, make sure that you are able to articulate that design properly before work begins. As long as you follow through on all of your information, and advertise your product correctly, your online business will be a great success!