Resources for Web Design
Resources for Web Design
If you had to produce a cake for a party as soon as possible, how would you do it? Would you go and buy all the ingredients then spend a few hours baking? Or would you go to a cake shop and buy one already made? You would do the later, of course. We have resources at our disposal for almost everything in life – just like the cake shop. Those resources mean we can do things faster and better by utilizing the skills of others. Creating websites is no different, so here are some resources for web design.
Tutorials and courses
You can learn everything you need to know from the comfort of your own computer, providing you have the time. This includes everything from at-a-glance guides, forums, online tutorials and courses.
Here are some you should check out:
- Learn WordPress with WordPress.org for free
- The iPage infographics are a great free source of information you can read quickly and easily. They cover a range of web design topics.
- Learn to code for free but in a more structured way with Code Academy
Resources like this have allowed web designers to learn as they work, and also to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments.
The quickest way to get your website design process moving is to start with a template. Templates are available on all platforms including WordPress, Joomla and site builder tools.
Some templates cost money but you can get others that are free.
- Get WordPress themes from WordPress.org
- Free Joomla templates are available from the Joomla resource directory
- The iPage drag and drop site builder has a range of professional templates
- Free Responsive HTML templates from iPage
You can also get widgets, plugins and extensions for your website to improve functionality. As with themes you don’t have to create these from scratch, and many are available for free.
Getting the colors to work
Getting colors to work together is one of the biggest challenges for a web designer. It can mean the difference between a nice website and one that isn't. Two websites that you should check out are COLOURlovers and 0 to 255.
Images and icons
Images are an important part of any website. The best images to use are those that you take yourself, providing they are of a high enough quality. If that is not possible then you do have several options for finding free images:
- Start with a Creative Commons search to find images labeled for reuse.
- Pixabay is one of the most popular sources of free images. They have thousands to choose from, but the quality depends on the topic.
- Flickr is another good source for free images. Make sure you check the copyright label, though, and contact the image owner if you are in any doubt.
Browser tools are typically used for two purposes. First, they allow you to debug your website if it has a problem. Second, they allow you to see how other websites work.
There are good tools for all the major browsers. Here are some popular examples:
- Chrome Developer Tools is for the Chrome browser. If you are using Chrome it is possibly already installed.
- Firebug is for the Firefox browser, although there is a light version for other browsers.
- IE Developer Tools is for the Internet Explorer browsers. If you have IE8 or above it is probably included as standard.
If we go back to our cake analogy – a cake is not the only thing you need for a party. Instead it’s one part, albeit a crucial one. The same applies to the resources in this article – they will not build your website for you, but they will help you.