This question is often asked by people who are just starting over in the field of creating websites. The answer, however, is not that simple. The end result depends on many factors such as initial skills and background, time which will be spent on learning. Personal abilities and talent matter as well – how fast one will learn a certain language will eventually affect the outcome. In any case, before giving any kind of estimation it is worth defining what ‘professional web designer’ means in the first place. So let’s divide being a pro in web design from where one can easily create a simple website and where one can add lots of bells and whistles to a website and make it look competent.
Basically everyone starts learning with HTML and CSS for general design and normally that doesn’t take very long – a couple of days to know the drill if you have computer science background. Later on extra gadgets will be required, such as HTML5, JS, PHP (for dynamic content), MySQL (for databases), and so on. There are plenty of things to learn, depending on how much you want to be able to do, and it gets easier and faster as you go because you gain more experience in the process. Obviously starting from scratch will take more time than learning with certain coding expertise behind the belt. But generally you can find a sample code and learn how to do it on your own in a few hours or so. In the future, when you are already a pro, you will be doing similar tasks within 15-20 minutes.
For those who are smart enough to understand how programming and the Web really work, and who can add up two things, it may be a useful skill being able to piece different parts of code together in various reference documents. That, on average, may take around 6 months or so, but it will take a much longer period of time to become a very confident programmer whatsoever. What is required here is basic understanding of the protocols and used technology. However, you will learn to create all kinds of websites by this point of time, but they won’t be any good in terms of bug absence, security, the codebase will be all crooked and enormous, and it won’t make any sense. These issues can be solved thanks to a great number of different coding methodologies that, for instance, divide the code (MVC etc.), help to work in larger projects with other specialists which is rather important on a big scale projects – all of this most certainly comes with experience.
Another effective way to learn to become a professional web designer is in fact starting to make a web design project. It will help you to get to know the essentials of how it’s actually done. Finding proper literature is crucial. Many people think that learning web design is a two-phase process: learn and then practice and it’s not. You learn while you practice.
Ultimately, there are many basic steps that make website design fundamentals, and they usually remain the same while others change rather often and probably always will. Learning the basics doesn’t take much – from a couple of hours to a few months. However, it takes a lot more to become a confident expert on every little detail. But the funny thing is with website design you never stop learning!
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Jeremy Keith
Article by Zfort Group
The article is kindly provided by Zfort Group, IT Outsourcing service provider.