I'm a graphic designer (at least I like to call myself that) specializing in illustration and vector graphics. I'm self-tauggt and I work with Photoshop, CorelDraw and Blender. I really want to get into web design but I have no idea where to start. Do I really need to get awesome at PHP/HTML5/CSS/Java/Flash to get anywhere in this field? Any blogs/websites that I can add to my RSS feed, magazines I can check out? Are there any good courses (online, free or paid) or books that would help me on my endeavour? Must-have software? I've tried to google the subject but couldn't really find anything meaningful and the courses I've stumbled upon are always coding-only. I've really been trying to tackle this myself but I guess it's time to admit defeat and seek help from people smarter than me. Thank you to anyone who decided to read this (and answer) and sorry for any language errors.

  • You're asking a lot of questions that are all really broad. This is a huge topic. Can you narrow your question down?
    – DA01
    Jan 26 '16 at 15:20
  • I guess I'm trying to get a nudge in the right direction by finding out the bridge between a guy who knows a little HTML/CSS and can work in Photoshop and full-on, guns blazing, professional website designer. There are scattered pieces of knowledge lying all around me and I can't seem to make any connections between them.
    – MrR
    Jan 26 '16 at 15:35
  • What might help is that there is no one definition of 'web designer'. It's a huge field full of all sorts of job titles and there's plenty of room to find your niche that fits your interests. UX designer, UI developer, Visual designer, Interaction Designer, Usability Testing, Information Architect, etc, etc.
    – DA01
    Jan 26 '16 at 15:54

This Q is not really a good fit for this site, but I will give it a shot.

It is hard to know where to start, so I will just suggest the absolute lowest common denominator for the direction you want. Focus on basic HTML and CSS first. Ignore dynamics and server side for now. Why? Because having a grasp of how the "static" basis of web sites are structured and build is the basis for everything else.

First. Get rid of the idea that you are going to "design" something. First, you must learn to create a web page structure.

Get a text editor. Chances are your machine already has one. There are plenty of free ones, Wrangler being but one. Personally, I use Coda (Mac). This is what you want it to be able to do:

  • autocomplete
  • colour differentiation
  • language support: css, html

There are lots of other fancy stuff, but for now this will do.

I could make a gigantic list of links, but any search for "basic html page" will give you examples.

W3School is often suggested as a place to start: note the "try this yourself"-buttons where you can fiddle with the code.

Mozilla also has examples.

  • Learn to set up a single HTML page with a CSS stylesheet linked in the header

Then... you must just put in the hours, there is no shortcut.

In your mind/on paper make a very very simple webpage layout (classic: header, sidebar, main content, footer) and find out how to do it.

BUT I hear you say; is this really how it is done?? Do web designers sit down with a blank text document and start typing??

<!DOCTYPE html>


No, not anymore. But you need to be able to create the header, sidebar, main content, footer from scratch before anything else will make sense. The logic of HTML and CSS is key.

Then you can look at frameworks. But the code will not make any sense unless you got the basics in. Take a look at for example Bootstrap.

W3School has some Bootstrap tutorials. Search for Bootstrap for beginners and you should be able to find stuff that you can understand.

When you get the principles of HTML and CSS you can start to look at JavaScript. Best of luck.

  • 1
    W3Schools is not a site StackOverflow recommends highly: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/280478/why-not-w3schools-com
    – DA01
    Jan 26 '16 at 15:21
  • I agree and I would never suggest it there, but for this purpose I think it will work fine.
    – benteh
    Jan 26 '16 at 15:40
  • 1
    W3Schools is only to be used as a reminder of certain traits, not as documentation or something to be taken as always true as it is prone to errors and being outdated Jan 26 '16 at 15:56
  • Yes, yes, but this is meant as a reference to basic, basic HTML and for that I think it actually works. Feel free to add a better answer.
    – benteh
    Jan 26 '16 at 16:02

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