web design and development
Design & Development

Essential skills to start your web design and development work

If you are beginner in learning web design and development, then you may be thinking what to learn? And where to start? In this article, I am going to tell you what skills you need to learn to start your web design and development work. It is important because, if you don’t know these essential skills, then you may end up wasting your time and energy in learning something less important or more advanced.

Before knowing about essential skills, let’s understand what is web design and development? And which people are involved in complete web design and development process. Web design and development includes the task of building websites and web application by designing the front end and developing website functions by writing codes.

Front-end designers are responsible to design the looks of the websites and web application to make it more user friendly and responsive. Back-end developers are responsible to write codes for the functionality of website or web application. For example if you want a website where people can buy your products then it’s back-end developers task to write code to make the website database driven.

Beside front-end designer and back-end developers, database designers also play important role in designing the database of websites and web application if the project is very large and complex. Other people including SEO Expert, Content writers, social media and marketing also plays important role but they are not part of our discussion.

Common Skills

Common skills are those skills which are basic and necessary for both web designers and developers.

HTML/HTML5

HTML is the backbone of the World Wide Web. You must learn HTML if you want to get into web design and development job or business. Without learning HTML don’t even consider learning anything else in the list. Because you will need to be familiar with HTML whenever you need to design a webpage and write a code to add functionality to a website. You can think of HML as Steel or iron rods making the basic structure of building.

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS will let you add design to pages that you have made earlier using HTML. With CSS you can apply one design to all elements of your webpage or you can add different types of design to specific elements of your page. CSS will make the designing task much simpler and managed.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a client side script, which means it runs on your browser. JS adds interactivity functions to your HTML pages. For example if you want add an alert box to notify user about something, then JS is what you need. In short to JS is very important and basic requirement to learn front end and back end skills.

Front End Designers

web design and development
IMAGE SOURCE: Linkedin

AJAX

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. With AJAX you can send and receive data from server and update a section of your page, without refreshing the whole page. This is very important technique to make user very interactive and dynamic web pages.

Adobe Photoshop

Front end designers use Photoshop to design the layout of website and then convert it to web page. This is known as PSD to HTML conversion.

Back End Developers

web design and development
IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr/nyuhuhuu

PHP

PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is a server side script which means it run on the server. Among other server side scripts like ASP.NET, ASP and CFML, PHP is one of the most popular and widely used web programming language. PHP enables website and web application to interact with database and make your website dynamic.

PHP Framework

A framework helps to build websites and web applications with PHP without writing complex and lengthy codes. Its write less do more. With framework you don’t need to write everything from scratch. Therefore it reduces complexity and development time. It is not recommended to learn if you are beginner. But if you are planning to do a web design and development job then learning framework is necessary. There are many frameworks with different advantages and disadvantages. We recommend you to learn CodeIgnitor. It is very simple framework and provides a great documentation for beginners.

CMS

CMS Stands for Content Management System. CMS helps to build dynamic and responsive websites without getting into coding and design process. With CMS you can build websites in very less time. And it is very easy for the user or owner of the website to update the contents of the website. CMS comes with readymade features and themes that you can add to your website according to your needs. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are very popular CMS. Many popular websites were built using these CMS. For beginners I high recommend to learn WordPress due to its simplicity and good support.

Conclusion

The list discussed above only contains essentials skills that you need to learn to get a job in web design and development or start your own business. There are a lot of other advanced skills and techniques you need to learn both as front end designer and back end developer. You will learn those advanced skills only when you are good enough in basic skills.

Zeeshan Haider
A computer engineer with deep passion for Technology, R&D and Aerospace. He has a great knack of solving problems and loves software design and development. Currently doing MS Computer Engineering from Bahria University Islamabad.

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