If you want a career path in web design or as a developer, there will be some skills that you will need to acquire. Developing these basic skills to an advanced level will help you become an attractive employee to companies that are looking to hire for this type of profession.
All web designers should know about HTML, the primary source of how the web works. With HTML you have full control of your website’s structure, and it gives you the power to edit anything. Another code language that you should get familiar with is CSS, known for handling the visual appearance of the website. It allows web designers to set up and configure the interactions between applications and design elements.
In web design terms, coding is the language for programming the web. It depends on what you will be working on, but typically web designers and developers should know other coding or programming methods such as PHP, Java, etc. since HTML is far from universal. Learning two or more coding disciplines will make you a flexible employee and therefore increase your chance of employment.
Of course, another essential skill is creative design. You may want to look at the basic requirements for taking on creative projects without guidance and upgrade this as you go along if you don’t consider yourself a natural. There is more to design than you might think – for instance, you will need to know how to use typography, colour reference, images and more. Normally, this skill is a valuable asset to freelance web designers.
You can check out the job profile of a web designer at National Careers Service to give you a realistic view on why you will need to adapt some skills to be a web designer.
Creating a responsive website is a must. Today there is a variety of technology that people use to view the same sites, including tablets, mobile phones, desktop PCs, laptops and even TVs. Building a website that is responsive on different devices is important, as it allows your website’s content to change shape and adapt for different traffic sources.
SEO helps your site to build up that traffic. Having some knowledge on this is beneficial as creating the website’s content can affect its ranking and traffic. A web designer with no understanding of SEO is likely to harm a website’s chances of success and create a lot of work for someone else later, so don’t expect to get far in the industry without a grasp of optimisation as a concept.