Paths of a Web Designer

A web designer resting his chin in his hand and watching a desktop computer.
Kohei Hara/Digital Vision/Getty Images

From Beginning to Advanced and Everything in Between:

There is so much within the realm of Web Design.

  • HTML
  • Design
  • Layout
  • Programming
  • Administration
  • XML
  • Graphics
  • and much, much more...

No matter where you are along the path of Web design, there is sure to be something more for you to learn and grow. But how do you decide where to go next? Luckily, there are many different paths you can take and review, whether you are brand new to HTML and Web design or have been writing programs and DHTML for years.

Beginning HTML:

If you're just starting out on the Web design path, this is your stop. The beginning HTML resources cover the basics of HTML and building a Web page. The classes and tutorials will help you get started. The glossary will explain new terms. Plus you can learn more about the basic software you need to create a Web page.

Advanced HTML:

Once you've got the basics of HTML down, you can move down the path to Advanced HTML. Advanced HTML includes tables and frames, DHTML, and Cascading Style Sheets. There are more advanced scripting tools available to the advanced HTML programmer. Plus, you might want to learn more about cookies and updating your site with multimedia.

Once you're an expert of basic HTML and advanced HTML, you'll have a lot of the skills you need to move into Web development as a career. But there the path forks. You can choose design or programming. It's also possible to do both.

Professional Web Designers:

Professional Web Designers focus a lot on the look and feel of Web pages. Many, if not most Web designers work as contractors or for contract design firms. This means that a lot of their focus needs to be on contracts, legal issues, and what to charge. But in order to get contracts, designers need to know how to create good layouts, write or manage excellent content, and then promote and market both themselves and the sites they create.

Professional Web Programmers:

Professional Web Programmers focus on the unseen part of Web pages. Things like the CGI, scripts, and programs that make Web sites work. Plus programmers work on the servers and keep them up and running. They manage the security of Web sites and Web pages. Web programmers often implement and manage content management systems and e-commerce portals. Being a Web programmer is often less glamorous than a Designer, but it is just as important a role.

Professional Web Programmers

XML Developers:

XML is the next step in Web design and development. Many Web programmers move from standard Web programming into XML programming, and there are a lot of directions you can take within XML. Whether you want to focus more on multimedia and SMIL or you want to post documents for wireless devices with WML or XHTML Basic, XML is where that programming starts.

Know Where You Are on the Path:

Knowing where you are on the path of Web design is the first step to getting the information and resources you need to keep learning and growing in your choice.

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