Web Designing Business

<p>I'm really interested in designing web pages for local businesses in southern Mississippi, but I don't know where to start. What should I do to obtain the knowledge and fundamentals necessary to begin making my own websites. I am buying some books on those topics, but what books do you recommend?</p>

<p>I learned everything online. There are lots of tutorials and guides on HTML, CSS, Javascript, and JQuery out there for free. Once I had gone through a bunch of those, I just started trying to make my own simple pages. I looked at existing websites for ideas, and if I wanted to figure out how to do something specific (like a dropdown menu), Google became my friend.</p>

<p>Do you have any previous programming experience? This would be most helpful if you want to do interactive/dynamic websites that use JavaScript.</p>

<p>Check out Codecademy and Coursera (websites). Codecademy is easier to learn from imo because they’re just a bunch of tutorials you can do in your spare time, but Coursera is great if you want a more structured, hardcore, and “school-like” approach (professors teach them).</p>

<p>Both are great for starting out and learning the languages! To become really good, though, you just need a lot of practice with coding and time playing around with layouts. Since you’re looking to do web design, you should also be familiar with Photoshop. Don’t waste your money on books for Photoshop, there are plenty of great online resources and tutorials you can find with a simple search.</p>

<p>Hope it works out for you! (: Be patient and don’t expect to be able to become really good at this stuff in a couple months - it’ll take a year at minimum to master, but it’s well worth it in the end (speaking from experience).</p>

<p>(I also agree with nanotech above - you should really be familiar with Java if you want your websites to be more interactive. A lot of these languages are dependent, so it’s worth the time to learn them. There’s also a lot of overlap especially between C++/Java/VB/etc., so if you become really familiar in a couple, you “pretty much” can work with all of them.)</p>

<p>If you don’t want to invest in photoshop (especially when you’re just starting out), check out the open source alternatives. Gimp is equivalent to Photoshop, and Inkscape is equivalent to Illustrator. They do pretty much all the same stuff, with the added bonus of being free! They’ve completely served my web graphic design needs.</p>

<p>Try to learn / teach yourself Wordpress. It’s an amazing program that can help make building a website easier and more professional. There are a lot of videos about it in youtube.</p>

<p>I disagree with some of these replies.</p>

<p>If you really want to become a freelance web designer (which I wouldn’t really recommend, clients are a pain in the ___ ), you really only need to know the basic markup languages (HTML + CSS), some simple Javascript libraries (jquery, ajax), and maybe Bootstrap (a framework that’ll speed up alot of the early design process).</p>

<p>As a high school student, most of your clients are going to be small businesses, and as such, you shouldn’t be doing much (if any) backend work. You should learn PHP and Rails eventually, but it’s not required for what you’re going to be doing.</p>

<p>If you want to be a legitimate web designer, you are going to want to invest in Photoshop, however in the early stages, you can do what @nanotechnology said, and use some of the open source software available.</p>

<p>There’s no reason to learn Java or Flash for web design. They’re good for what they were designed for, not anything else. This isn’t 2005, whatever Java or Flash can do, HTML5 can do better and faster (for websites, obv.).</p>

<p>Also, if you decide to go the easy route and sell “Wordpress Web Design”, keep in mind to severely lower your prices (~$80-$150) range. Any higher and you risk angering your clients (leading to reduced business, or worse, a lawsuit).</p>

<p>Good luck. Don’t take advice from someone that they themselves have not succeeded at.</p>

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