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Heads drop whenever I hold conversations with close relatives and friends about the steps they need to take to design a website. A common response, “I don’t know the first thing about designing a website, this is never going to work. My business is going to fail in the online space”. My encouraging reply, “If you have access to the internet, you can learn how to design your website without breaking the bank.” It starts with gaining the knowledge and developing an understanding of how you need to start, the plan you need to put in place and ensuring you put that plan into action.

A bachelor of arts in design and digital media would look good on your LinkedIn Profile or CV but be honest with yourself, do you have the time? Do you have the means to juggle a startup and enroll in a tertiary institution? If you answered no, then you have to make do with what’s in front of you – the outcome is not going to change because you have limited resources. You are saving money, creating a beautiful responsive website for your business and learning a few new things along the way. You are now killing “Three birds with one stone.” If you don’t have a personal computer (PC) in front of you, ask yourself, how can I get access to one? This ties strongly into intent. Any obstacle will seem minor if your intentions prevail over your fear of failure.

My intention before starting this blog was to give people a better understanding of how they can take their web design projects into their own hands. These are the questions people are asking on Google right now. If none of the below questions are the ones you are asking, comment with your question below, and I will get back to you.

What does a web designer do?

Usually, a web designer possesses two skills they are either creative or technically inclined. My mentor has encouraged me to enhance both these skills every day. Creativity exists within all of us, it just needs to be ignited. Success.com lists six ideas you can start practicing today to unlock your creativity:

  1. Keep a journal
  2. Draw
  3. Spend time outside
  4. Get moving
  5. Remember to play
  6. Be a lifelong learner

As for the technical side of web design, you don’t need to learn how to code. It’s 2020, and there’s plenty of tools that will allow you to build a customisable website in less than 10 minutes.

How can I learn to design a website?

Naturally, you will start to understand the basics once you start experimenting with your chosen website builder tool. Once you have familiarised yourself with the platform, take a step back, grab a sheet of paper, a pencil and begin to sketch a basic overview of how you would like each web page to be structured, to help you, pay attention to how other websites are structured. Try not to complicate things at the beginning of your web design project by setting the bar too high. You are not a web designer, you are learning how to think like one. Most website builders have customisable templates integrated into the platform, meaning all you need to do is adjust the colour scheme, fonts, images, and user navigation. Yes, it is that easy.

What do you mean by web design?

There is no need to complicate ‘web design’, it is exactly what it appears to be, designing your website. There are aspects to consider when designing your website to avoid it looking like a Sunday trifle because most times when you eat this dessert you never know what you’re looking at or what exact ingredients you are tasting. It just seems like a bowl of mush that tends to confuse my taste buds.

Is web design hard?

This would depend on the route you decide to take.

 Are you going to code and build it yourself?

Estimated time: Minimum 14 weeks

Are you going to use an easy-to-use website editor?

Estimated time: Under 10 minutes 

Are you going to hire an expert to design your website? (You definitely won’t break the bank with this one)

Estimated time: You will wait 3-5 days 

 

Which elements should your website contain?

  1. A high-quality, captivating homepage with clear call to action.
  2. Well-designed and written headlines and copy. Check those typos.
  3. Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
  4. Keep it simple. Always.
  5. Optimize your page speed. Slow websites are penalized by Google.