What is Web Design? An Overview of the Profession

what is web design?

As a creative person, I have always wondered how I could take my inventive nature and turn it into a profession. The internet is the central vein of life, and new websites are built every day. As an artist, have you ever asked yourself, what is web design and how can I get into that? If so read on.

Web Design

In short, this is a profession where you design websites for clients. With services that offer free design templates, it may seem like the need for designers would lessen but, web design careers have a 15 percent projected growth from the year 2016 to 2026. That’s higher than average.

As for salary, there are mixed reports, but it seems, on average, a web designer can expect to make anywhere from $49,236 to $69,430 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It seems that web design is a prosperous venture.

Where Do I Start?

Student with computer library

Image via Pixabay

Like anything else you want to achieve in life, there are steps you need to take to get there. The good news is, when it comes to web design, every stride is rewarding in itself. It’s best to start at the beginning, just like Dorothy did when she began her journey down the yellow brick road.

With that ideology in mind, we’ve put together a list of steps that will take you from start to finish. Except, in our scenario, you will be the magician pulling the levers behind the curtain, and earning a living while doing what you enjoy.

Step One—Know Yourself

Not everyone was meant to be a surgeon because specific attributes are required, like steady hands. Every profession has a set of standards and, while designing websites might not save someone’s life, every cog in this machine we call life is essential.

That said, not everyone has what it takes to design websites. Here are a few qualities you should have before moving on.


While you might draw a realistic replication of your favorite superhero free hand, that is one type of creativity. According to the Houston Chronicle, there are several types of way where creativity comes into play when setting out to be a web designer.

  • Artistic Skill: An underlying sense of art, design, and colors is needed when embarking on an artistic career. While web design has a lot to do with computers, at its core, design in art-driven.
  • Creativity in Technology: While you will be working in the same code or language as other web designers layouts are entirely in your hands, and come from your mind.
  • Broad Creativity: From landing new clients or that perfect job, from the moment you decide to become a web designer you have to think creatively. Whether it’s to ensure you have repeat customers but thinking of exclusive deals or standing out in the firm to get that promotion, every step of the way requires creativity.
  • Critical Thinking Creatively: Obstacles pop up in every area of life, and it is imperative we know how to deal with them. Projects are subject to change with a moment’s notice, and you need to go with the flow.
  • Original Creativity: It isn’t creative to copy other people’s ideas. You can look at them and come up with designs inspired by others. Originality goes a long way in any artistic career.

Don’t get us wrong. Not everyone is born an expert but, if you even have an interest in any of the creative areas we spoke about above, then you have what it takes to move onto the next step.

Step Two—Do the Research

School isn’t free, at least not in many areas of the world, and most of us can’t afford to throw money at an education goal that only leads us to a career we don’t enjoy. Web design might sound perfect to you now, but you don’t know the daily ins and outs of what it takes to make this a viable career for you.

Learning Web Design

Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics 5th Edition

  • Build HTML pages with text, links, images, tables, and forms
  • Use style sheets (CSS) for colors, backgrounds, formatting text, page layout, and even simple animation effects
  • Learn how JavaScript works and why the language is so important in web design
  • Create and optimize web images so they’ll download as quickly as possible
  • NEW! Use CSS Flexbox and Grid for sophisticated and flexible page layout
  • NEW! Learn the ins and outs of Responsive Web Design to make web pages look great on all devices
  • NEW! Become familiar with the command line, Git, and other tools in the modern web developer’s toolkit
  • NEW! Get to know the super-powers of SVG graphics

There are ways you can find out more about this career without signing up for any classes just yet.

Scan the Web

You’ve already passed this step because you are reading this article. You can go farther in your research.

Get a Book

There is nothing more satisfying than the feel of a book and turning the pages. Studies show that students who used print books learned more effectively than those taught via ebooks.

Step Three—Take Notes


HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

  • Introduces HTML and CSS in a way that makes them accessible to everyone—hobbyists, students, and professionals—and it’s full-color throughout
  • Utilizes information graphics and lifestyle photography to explain the topics in a simple way that is engaging
  • Boasts a unique structure that allows you to progress through the chapters from beginning to end or just dip into topics of particular interest at your leisure

If you are reading a print book all you have to do is grab a pencil and write in the margin or underline when you want to remember something. Of course, digital books also offer those options, but this is the time to start writing stuff down.

Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop - Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket

Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop – Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket

  • DURABLE HARDCOVER JOURNAL – Touched comfortably, sturdy hard cover protects your art for years. The elastic pen loop is always available for your pen and kept well.
  • LAY-FLAT 180° LARGE RULED NOTEBOOK – Let you reading more easy and note-taking efficiency. The tight band of journal keeps it securely closed. And firm binding ensures pages don’t get peeled away from the cover. Enjoy your writing by hand with no distractions.
  • COME WITH 180 PAGES HIGH QUALITY PAPER – Thicker paper resistant to passionate artist (bleeding, rough erasing, and shading). Perfect as travel notebook, business notebook, teen journals, back to school gift. Let your creation more freedom on the wide ruled journal to write in.
  • GREAT JOURNAL WITH EXPANABLE POCKET – Can hold business cards, notes, receipts and other small paper treasures. Awesome dividers presented help you mark important milestones and events. Come with Lemome exquisite package, a perfect Birthday gift, Halloween gift, Christmas gift for yourself, families and friends. Great journals for men.

You can also keep a log of ideas and jot down ideas in a separate notebook that you can go back to as you move through the rest of these steps, even when you’ve graduated out of your first beginner’s book.

Step Four—Know What You Are Getting Into

I have an associate degree in visual communications and took beginners classes in both Dreamweaver and Flash, but that was many years ago, and there have been incredible advances in web design since then.

One thing I recall is that many of my fellow students learned how to work in these programs via tutorials online. There are so many books out there anyone dedicated to learning can teach themselves.

Step Five—Check Out Schools

It might seem contradictory from the autodidactic approach we talked about in step three, but there is no denying that a degree from an institution of higher education will open more doors than not.

Unlike other careers, web design degrees can be earned online from some of the best universities around the United States.

student with tea searching design

Image via Pixabay

Step Six—Plan it Out

Now that you have a handle on the different avenues you can take to become a web developer it’s time to make a plan. I don’t know about you, but if I plan something out to the last detail, I find reaching my goal more reachable. Of course, you don’t have to over plan and should leave room for bumps in the road, which always seem to appear.

While we love the calendars that come with our phones, there is something about having it all written down somewhere that makes it official. Planners come in handy during times like these and, if you ever lose your mobile devices, it’s nice to have a hard copy of valuable information.

Dated planners can help you achieve specific goals. Let’s say you’ve decided to learn what you can via online tutorials before you make any financial commitments toward school. You can set daily, weekly, and monthly objectives to track your progress. Forbes reported that setting goals are essential for success, which includes planning.

Step Seven – Stick To It

As you move along with your research and independent learning you might find that it isn’t as simple as you thought or some of the programs are proving to be complicated. If that happens, don’t sweat it. Just continue to practice, and you’ll learn what you need to know. Very few people are great at something the moment they try it. Excellence takes practice and patience.

You can reward yourself with a small gift when you reach goals like a bag of candy or a new sketchbook. The fact that you accomplished a goal might be reward enough, but incentives are always helpful.

Step Eight—Stay Current

web design vector

Image via Pixabay

Once you’ve reached your goal and are working as a web designer, it is vital that you stay up to date on anything new with languages and technology. When I was learning web Flash was everywhere, and now it’s barely used anymore. Programs upgrade all the time, and in the tech world, most things are obsolete the moment they leave the shelf.

It’s not convenient to work in this type of industry with things constantly changing and being improved upon, but it’s exciting. If you want to be successful in this business, then be on top of trends and changes in the industry to secure clients.

One Last Thought

Web design is a rewarding profession and can be quite lucrative. In the world we live in you can’t succeed without a website and not everyone has the time or patience to do it themselves. People who know what they are doing are in high demand in all kinds of industry. When you create websites, you’ve opened your life to a world of possibilities.

Can you think of one business that doesn’t have a website? There are openings for this type of work in the fields of medicine, science, computer technology, art, sports, television, movies and even the kind of thing you might not consider like home improvement. Everyone needs a website. Do you want to build it for them?

Featured Image: Pixabay