What is web design?
Is there anything I should know in advance?
There are no prerequisites to web design. This makes it a great place to start programming if you're completely new. Websites were the first things I ever learned how to make, and I believe this is where most programmers began, due to the fact that web design is so beginner-friendly.
Where should I start?
Honestly, there seems to be no end to the amount of free online web design tutorials out there. This means that there are both good ones and bad ones. Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Dash is my most highly recommended online tutorial for learning how to build websites. They teach you almost everything that you need to know to get started through five fun and interactive projects.
- If you prefer to do more reading while learning, HTML Dog is a great option for you. They walk you through many of the basic aspects of HTML and CSS through numerous written guides, all of which contain real examples of the tags being used.
- Codecademy is another site that has offers interactive tutorials for learning web design. They go more in-depth than the other two sites, but their tutorials can get bland after awhile.
What should I make?
There are always more websites to make. I suggest starting off by making a website about yourself. Especially if you apply for a web design job someday, having a website is the easiest way to demonstrate your skills. Having a well-made portfolio site can mean the difference between catching someone's attention and getting dismissed as one of many web designers who have nothing to show for their skills.
Another great option if you're looking for work to do is to reach out to local businesses that don't have an online presence. Giving them a website allows them to attract customers who they may not have otherwise found, while providing you with a great opportunity to show off your skills in a real-world scenario.
If all else is lost, just make a website about anything! Making a wiki/reference for your favorite video game, an instructional cooking site, or a really cool, well-formatted version of your chemistry notes would all make great websites. Even if nobody might see your work, any experience that you can get is beneficial. Programming is all about practice.
I've never made websites professionally, but I know enough to answer most basic questions. If you're curious, I've made this site, the AtomHacks site, and my own site, among a few others. If you have any questions about get web design or get stuck on some weird CSS bug, feel free to let me know. Good luck with your next website!