How To Gain Basic Knowledge of Web Development

Let's assume that you are already familiar with basic computer operating systems and you are comfortable at browsing the web, and maybe you've heard of terms such as URL (the website address), HTML, CSS, Javascript, and the like. If you want to take the next step in learning how to create your own website (perhaps in a professional capacity, or perhaps you just want to take it up for fun), just remember that this skill will take more than a few hours of mild research. You have to allot some time for developing this skill, much like learning a new language. That being said, how does one start to gain basic knowledge of web development?

  • Identify the specific skills you're planning on learning.

Web development has many facets. You may choose to specialize in just one or you may dabble in most of the skills required for it. For example, are you more inclined towards web design? That in fact arguably comprises the bulk of web development. It involves layout, graphics, typefaces, CSS, and HTML, among others. Let's look at this in more detail later on. What about web management? There's also search engine optimization (to make sure that your site comes up whenever a net surfer types in the proper key words), directing traffic to your site, and web content development. The key here is to be specific and to try to learn specific skills one at a time, so you'd have more a more organized search.

  • Search the net for free tutorials.

Thankfully, there's an abundance of these free tutorials. For web design, for example, you may opt to key in terms such as HTML and CSS - these are codes that would let you program (although some computer programmers would say these are not programs; let's just use this word loosely) how each web page would look. Remember, designing each page is not like a word document where you just paste in the pictures that you would like your readers to see. You have to speak in codes that the computer would understand.

You may also learn about JavaScript, although admittedly this is a little advanced, especially if you're a newbie to web development. You may opt to gain background knowledge first on the easier skills before embarking on solid programming. Find out about GIF versus JPEG and other advice as to what colors to use on your website, to ensure not just its aesthetics but also its readability and appeal to the common reader.

  • Subscribe to relevant e-zines, newsletters and magazines.

Invest time and effort into learning about your craft. Take advantage of each opportunity to do this. Find out new techniques and strategies that enable you to further hone your web development skills; it pays to always be updated and in the know. You may also choose to join online forums so you can widen your network of connections; remember, these are people with the same interest as, and presumably, a higher level of experience than you, who would be more than happy to give you their insights for free.

  • Enroll in short courses.  

It doesn't hurt to look into courses that your local college might offer. If you think the investment in your education would pay off, definitely it's a boost to your resume, then go ahead and enroll in the particular course that appeals to you.

  • Be more exposed to the net and be observant.

Don't be a passive net surfer; closely look at professional websites with a students' eye. Look at the headers, how the content is arranged, the animation, if it has any, and the download speed. The key here is to be observant so you get to study final products and see if you get your own ideas from them.

As with learning any skill, perseverance, determination and good old common sense go a long, long way. Good luck!


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