Web design may be something you want to learn for building your own website or as a service you want to sell to other business owners. If you have never built a website, how would you get started in web design? Well in this article we will look at how you can learn to design your own website from home, for free.
If budget is an issue or you are not fully invested in becoming a full-time web designer you may want to minimise the cost of courses, domain purchases and hosting. If your goal is just to learn web design and you want to be able to practice by building your own websites, there is no reason to pay for things like domain names and hosting. Luckily, with website builders like Wix you can get free website hosting, which is perfect for someone looking to practice web design. You won’t be able to connect your own domain name for free, but since you just want to practice designing, that shouldn’t be a problem!
- Start Off by Giving Yourself a Project.
Becoming good at anything starts with Day 1. This requires a project for you to start with. See if you have any friends that need a website for their business and take them on as a project. Start with something simple, like one landing page. With practice you will get better and better, but you always need to start from somewhere.
- No Longer do you Need to Know How to Code.
In the past, creating any website had to involve coding. Websites had to be built by PHP, CSS or Java programmers. However, that is no longer the case because we have have so many drag and drop website builders that offer customizable templates, and even someone with zero coding knowledge can use them to create stunning sites.
These website builders allow you to import your own images or use their stock images, layouts and optimisation tools. All the heavy lifting is taken out of the programming and design and you are able to create a great looking website in hours, all by yourself. The nature of templates means that your website may end up looking a little generic but if you customize the template to your liking, it will look much more unique.
This is your chance to start small, learn about the back-end and front-end elements and also look at the code as you go, so you can start to understand what code makes what work.
- Community and Mentor Support.
An often-overlooked free resource is the knowledge and experience of others. If you join a forum of web designers, you can dial into that community for support and tips. Often these members have gone through the same learning curve you are about to embark on and can cut your learning time down.
A free community that can help you correct and edit code is CodePen. Their interface allows you to write your code directly in the browser and see what it creates and when you get stuck you can tap the community for help.
Getting an expert in the field of web design to mentor you directly would be an even greater resource. Many experts are willing to share their knowledge and help newbies, as long as you approach them authentically and humbly or already know some friends in the industry, this is a great free resource to tap into.
- Online Resources.
The most abundant resources will be found online. We will brush over the books and materials you can find in print form because you can find most things online even if it’s a kindle book download.
Start following designers that you like in order to see their portfolios and design concepts. Start snipping and collecting designs and layouts that you like as you browse the web.
Sign up for an online course, use education hubs like Masterclass, Udemy and Lynda to find free and paid courses for every level. Many of them offer money-back assurances too if you are not happy with the course, and the course instructor becomes a resource you can ask advice from.
You can start with HTML, but Codeacademy is a great way to start learning any programming language at home including Python, Ruby and more. Some courses are paid but you can start with the free tools that help you learn to code through games and interactive lessons.
No amount of courses and material can substitute hands-on web design. By trying out various ideas, constructing some wireframes and live pages and getting feedback, you will learn a whole lot more than from teachers. Website builders like Wix have free hosting so you can practice and create live sites without any costs involved.