So your company needs an aesthetically-pleasing and dynamic website and you have no idea where to start. You’ve been assigned to oversee the creation of the website, but you don’t have the luxury of time or resources.
No worries, we’ve done all the research for you.
What Exactly Does Web Development Entail?
Web development is so much more than just crunching code all day. It encompasses everything that has to deal with the creation, design, and management of a website.
This means a web developer is by all means a jack of all trades—and master of all—when it comes to web-making. Not only do they know about the technical side of web development like coding, but they also know how to best design your website to suit your purposes.
How Do I Go About Learning Web Development If I Know Virtually Nothing About It?
Everyone has to start somewhere. Let’s break down the essential web development terms and the steps to becoming a web developer.
1. Learn HTML
If web development were a house, HTML would be its foundation and structure. When building a website, you first need to write the HTML code to create the layout of what you want your website to eventually look like.
W3Schools.com provides a very in-depth online course on everything you need to know about HTML.
2. Design Your Website with CSS
After building the physical structure of your house, now you need to do some interior designing. This is where CSS comes in.
With CSS, you get to specify certain properties for your website and customize each HTML element to your liking. Adding in CSS is, essentially, painting the walls of your future home.
Lynda.com offers a one-month free tutorial all about CSS.
If you’re aiming for a simple website, however, HTML and CSS would suffice.
But Why Is Learning Good Web Design So Important?
You might be asking yourself: Why bother going to all this trouble? After all, as long as your website works, then it must be fine, right?
Most businesses, perhaps also yours, rely on user traffic and online marketing to make a profit, so a well-designed website is absolutely essential.
If people visit your website and see underwhelming graphics and content, slow-loading pages, and an overall poorly designed site, then that’s a lost sale.
A good website will attract potential consumers and make them want to stay and explore. This eventually leads to sales, conversions, and, most importantly, revenue for your company.
Codeburst makes fantastic points as to why good web design is essential to generating revenue.
Take Your Pick of Online Courses
Now, if you’re raring to begin your web development journey, we’ve listed down the best places to start. These websites offer online courses that will take you step by step through the entire process. We mentioned a few courses earlier, but if you’re looking for something more intensive and long-term, you’re in the right place.
These courses may take anywhere between two weeks to even a year, depending on how fast you want to go and how much you want to learn. And the best part is that you can set your own pace.
1. HTML Dog
Codeacademy offers a variety of free and paid courses all about learning how to code. Some courses can take as short as 11 hours and include quizzes to help you familiarize yourself with the language.
HackDesign is a free online resource that is open to anyone and everyone. There are hundreds of lessons to help you really understand the nitty-gritty of web development and design. HackDesign also sends its subscribers weekly design lessons crafted by actual design professionals.
4. Mozilla Developer Network
Mozilla Developer Network is described as a resource for developers, by developers. It offers courses on the three basic coding languages, as well as HTTP, APIs, MathML, and more.
5. Google Developers Training
Why not learn from the best? Google Developers Training is a rigorous online course that will make you an expert in no time. And once you’ve finished the course, you’re even awarded a Google Developer Certificate, which you can brag about on your resume!
Web Development Beyond HTML
As mentioned earlier, web development goes beyond merely learning the coding languages. You also need a good eye for design and deliver good content. Here are some helpful resources to help you with those:
1. Learn UI Design
Learn UI Design is an online video course that will teach you all you need to know about designing the perfect user interface. It features topics on typography, color, presentation, elements, and more. This course is an absolute must for anyone who wants to design an aesthetically-pleasing website.
Designmodo is a website dedicated to posting helpful articles and lessons on everything related to web design. If you’re looking to improve your web design skills, this is the place to go.
3. Web Design Beyond HTML
If you’ve already learned the basics of HTML and still want more, Web Design Beyond HTML is a 7-week email course that will teach you concepts that other courses probably haven’t taught you yet. This course includes topics such as how to best utilize white space and avoid dreaded walls of text.
You’ve probably heard the term SEO before, but for those who haven’t, SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the practice of using certain keywords in articles and URLs to boost a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google and Bing.
If you want people to actually see your website, utilizing SEO is the best way to drive more organic traffic to it. Here, you can find our in-depth guide that explains more about SEO and how it can bring in more customers.
5. Good Content
Even if you have the most beautiful website on the World Wide Web, no user will feel compelled to check it out if your content isn’t enticing or relevant.
Here, we talk about generating original and unique content for your website. After all, no one wants content that’s already been repeated time and time again.
Website Builders Are Here to Save the Day
If you don’t think you have the time or energy to learn the ins and outs of web development, don’t worry, there’s still hope.
There are free sites that you can use to create gorgeous websites without having to go to all the trouble of learning how.
Wix is an online website maker that offers thousands of templates and customizable elements to create a stunning website in just a few hours. It’s free to use, but if you want to transfer your Wix site to your current domain, it still requires the usual website domain fee.
SquareSpace is another well-known website builder as they have the likes of Keanu Reeves making websites using their service. The site provides beautiful templates to help you build websites that are simple yet pleasing to the eyes.
BigCommerce was created specifically to help people set up their online stores. If you’re running an e-commerce business, you definitely want to try BigCommerce.
There’s no “right” way to learn web development, and that’s what makes learning web development so great. It’s a continuous learning process, and you’re free to explore and experiment any way you want.
The Internet is packed with free resources to help you get started on creating your very own website. It may take some time, but the experience will be incredibly rewarding.