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  1. #1

    How to Become a professional Web Designer??

    Can anyone give me some advice on how to become a well known web designer. I want to design really good looking sites and can anyone tell me how to become a designer maybe a step by step and finally do i have to use something like adobe /paintshop pro to give the site a good look.

    Last edited by mufc; 10-11-2002 at 02:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Although there is not yet a magic book on becoming a web designer overnight, there are several resources available to you on the web and in your local bookstore.

    Step One:
    Write out an actual plan for your business. It doesn't have to be long but you should have timeline goals for yourself on what you are going to achieve for each month of the year. You can revise this plan any time so don't worry if you are not sure what to write at first.

    Step Two:
    Run the plan by someone you look up to or trust.

    Step Three:
    Get Photoshop,
    There are several less expensive programs like Paint Shop Pro that may be just as good but you will find the majority of professionals use Photoshop. Higher end clients will expect you to be using professional tools.

    Step Four:
    Get a wysiwig html editor.
    There are several on the market but I have found Dreamweaver MX to have the greatest variety of tools. They have a 30 day fully functioning demo available on their site.

    Step Five:
    Spend a lot of time looking at other sites. Download them with "Save As" in internet explorer to your hard drive. Open them with Dreamweaver and learn how they were put together. This will give you an idea of how tables work for you in the placement of graphics on your page. A good collection of sites to look at can be found at

    Step Six:
    Learning how to be a designer is not the only thing to do. If you want to become "well known" you have to develop business skills as well. Learn management, at first you will be managing yourself but this is something that needs to be learned. You can easily get pulled in too many directions at once and loose track of the goal. Stay focused.

    Step Seven:
    Learn how to do sales and marketing. I can not stress this enough. Go to your local library and check out a few sales seminars on CD. Listen to them over and over. This will help you with the customers who live to talk you down in price.

    Step Eight:
    Do not start selling anything until it is top notch. If it doesn't jump up and say wow, then don't bother to offer it. This will help you gain a good reputation and attract the better customers. Find a free server and post your completed works online, there are several forums including this one that allow you to ask people to criticize your work. Learn how to use their insight to improve your work.

    Step Nine:
    Get a copy of
    Professor Teaches How to Create Web Pages
    You can buy it now for $9.99 including shipping at their outlet store
    I purchased several copies for my sales staff. There is about 60 hours of narrated tutorials on CDs, teaching HTML, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Frontpage, etc. from basic to advanced.

    Just a couple more important things:

    I also need to mention Flash, this is another topic altogether. But still a program that you should consider adding to your toolbox.

    If you plan to do anything but static sites you will need to learn a scripting language, I would recommend learning PHP. You can find information and free downloadable programs, php and several other languages at

    Here are a few links that may help you as well.

    For Images:

    Oh, I forgot another step. You may be tempted to give away free graphics or templates to get your name out there. Do not do it! Time = Money. If you feel you really want to give away your time, then find one (1) charity or non profit organization that you can help each year and donate your new found graphic expertise to them.

    Good luck with your new business venture.

    *Edited for Spelling*
    Last edited by EasySite; 10-12-2002 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    New York City
    just learn frontpage and get a paypal account and your set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Screw all the facy shmacy html crap get this then go here get yourself a domain for $8.95 then go here and setup an account..

    There are some helpful FP communities like:

    And do a search on yahoo for Photoshop tutorials.. There are millions of sites out there to help you get started..

  5. #5
    Easy Site had some good advice,

    BUT - I think what he was trying to say, when he suggested you click on file > save as - was to see how they were put together.. etc.. NOT to take it into your frontpage, dreamweaver, or what have you, edit it - and put it back on the web as your own original work.

    In my opinion, it's easier to resell hosting than it is to successfully sell web design. So know that you'll have your work cut out for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Learn to spell too.... Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    speling... wat da hek is dat?

  8. #8
    ummm. perhaps get yourself a copy of photoshop, maybe psp but i dont liek it.

    start experimenting with it.

    get yourself a html editor, i use homesite, but notepad is already a good choice.

    learn html!@

    thats all u ned to start up. once u got there you just keep imporving learning new languages, getting beter with graphics, maybe look into some 3d. Cinema 4d xl seems to be popular with the ne00bs these days... I much prefer 3ds max, so i recommend starting with it and just using it forever and not changing.... flash is good too

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Westbury, LI NY
    Yes, get FrontPage and than you can learn to make webpages that looks just like what everyone else who doesnt know how to actually write code...

    Not to mention if someone comes to you and asks for a simple shopping cart, you wont be able to help them. Nor if they ask for a small content management script-set wth a few add-ons such as weekly emails and an image gallery managememnt script intergrated with the articles. Nor if someone wants a forum and doesnt want to look like cookie-cutter vBull/phpBB/ikon/etc. Nor if an insuracne company wants all claims information available to the entire intranet through a web interface to the oracle database that is also accessible (given the authorization of course) remotly via the web.

    Sure you can do small basic "about me and my cat" sites with FrontPage, but that will be far from a professional designer.

    Learn HTML 4, xHTML 1, CSS, PHP, Perl, ANSI SQL, and maybe Python. Get together a portfolio of 3-6 sites, each showing one or two specific examples of something you have to offer prospective clients.

  10. #10
    also its professional. not whatveer way u spelled it

  11. #11
    thanks for all the advice and please forgive my spelling i was in a rush

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    New York

    Talking professional design

    First of all you must have very good understanding of HTML. So start learning HTML from the begining.

    Use only simple editors like Notepad or CuteHTML and etc. to create your web pages. I think you don't need to use programs like Frontpage or even Dreamweaver. If you're going to use then you'll never work with page code and won't know it.

    Browse the web for the new design sites regularly. So you'll be in time with design development.


  13. #13
    If you are just starting, give youself a head start on everyone else. Learn CSS.

    From above:
    "give you an idea of how tables work"

    No No No.

    Sorry, forget the word tables. Especially if you are just starting.

    If you don't know why you want to learn proper CSS, find out. Take a look at Wired

    Learn XHTML and CSS. Use Google.

    Read ALA.

    You also need to remember the buisiness side of things, but it makes life hard selling skills before you have them...


  14. #14
    First, I found that learning on Frontpage was helpful. I played around with it for a month to learn some basic things and then got rid of it. Almost no "well known web designer" (none that I know of at least) use WYSIWYG programs, most hand code.

    Focus on learning HTML, XHTML, and CSS. And ignore Doug's advice to "forget the word tables." Don't. They still have valid uses.

    Learn about W3C standards, code with them, it'll make your life so much easier. It's easy to code a single page that works well in both IE and NS (6+ at least).

  15. #15
    Originally posted by Dogma
    They still have valid uses.
    Yep, just not for general page layout.

    Learning tables for layout would probably just add something extra to learn but which sooner or later you would (should) give up. (Tables can be usefull, but as I said before, as you're just starting you shouldn't use them as your "default" technology)

    About Frontpage: play with the free version probably already installed on your computer. You could use it together with something like crimson to start putting "real" pages together.

    Last edited by DougBTX; 10-12-2002 at 09:43 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Melbourne Downunder
    EasySite has good advice there, I'd also add that you should check your spelling

    doesn't really inspire coinfidence

  17. #17
    Originally posted by DougBTX
    Yep, just not for layout.
    But they do. Use, I'm all for standards, but I'm a realist. There are some layouts that you cannot make using CSS, in those situations you can use a table.

    You can still be standards compliant and use tables for layouts. It's compliant to the spirit, but it is to the letter. (I personally use mostly CSS, unfortunately, there are some times when I have to use tables. It's because not all browsers fully support CSS2, or even CSS1).

    The above is not only my opinion, but the opinion of several "well-known web designers" who fully advocate standards.

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