8 Skills to Have as a Web Designer and Web Developer
These days, the distinction between web design and web development is, for all intents and purposes, blurred. The skill sets of these two key web creators seem to be required in everyone who claims to be good at creating websites. Granted, not everyone can have talent in all the skill sets for both a designer and developer. It is, nevertheless, necessary that the skills are cross-cutting.
If you are thinking of getting into web design or web development, it may seem like an overwhelming task knowing what is necessary for you to become a great website creator. Below are some of the relevant skills that you will need to be conversant with if you want to be able to create appealing and functional websites.
Whether you are a web designer or a web developer, learning how to code in HTML is crucial. If you are a web developer, it goes without question that you will need to have a proficiency in HTML. HTML is necessary because it is the main language used to create websites. In other words, HTML is a basic building block for any website.
If you are a web designer, you may think that learning how to code HTML may not be necessary because you could use WYSIWYG editors. You would, however, be wrong. If you understand how HTML works, then you will better understand how the World Wide Web works and this will be crucial for you to understand how to better design a website. Luckily, HTML is not difficult to learn and master. With intense focus, you could learn HTML in a few days.
After HTML, CSS is the other necessary building block in understanding how web pages work. CSS allows you to add design elements to the basic HTML content that is on a web page. Apart from basic design elements, CSS has other powerful features that can allow both designers and developers leverage on key techniques in order to make their websites more efficient.
For example, by utilizing CSS sprites, a web page can be made more efficient and therefore load faster. CSS sprites allow images to be reused in a website so that they are cached and don’t have to be re-loaded each time a HTTP request is made for a web page to load. This simply means that your web pages will be faster without compromising much on the images that you use for your web pages.
CSS is an important skill for a web designer, but a web developer should understand the language as well.
Good Sense of Design
It is crucial to have a good sense of design if you are working on a website as a developer or as a designer. When designing a website, you should at least be aware of the different elements that good web design entails so that you can consider using them. Some of the necessary design elements that constitute having a good sense of design include;
- Website usablility
- Easily accessible
- Well branded
- Have a clear message
A Programming Language and a Database
If you are a web developer, it is fundamental to be a good web programmer in at least one language (the more the better). The popular programming languages used in web development include, PHP, ASP, Java, Ruby, Python Perl etc.
The same is the case for learning how to develop and maintain databases essential to web applications. The important skills here are MySQL, SQL, Access, etc.
If you are a web designer, it may not be crucial to know these programming languages intricately, but learning how to identify them and learning what they are used for may help you with your design work.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization has become a crucial way of thinking for anyone creating a website. Google, which is the most popular search engine, has over the years pushed standards that need to be adhered to for web pages to be recognized through search engine algorithms and ranked according to their content.
Both web designers and web developers can use their core skills in design and programming to get a website highly ranked on search engines.
Web Server Administration
Both web designers and web developers use server environments all the time whether they realize it or not. As a web designer, if you want to test how your design elements will look on the website before you publish it, you will need to use a test server. By the time you are uploading the website for others to experience it, you will need to know how the publishing server works.
Additionally, if you need to have collaborative work between developers and designers, you will need to know how the different web servers work so that you can have seamless work flows between the different members of a team that is creating a website. Therefore having at least some web server administrator skills is essential.
Whether you are a web developer or a web designer, it is crucial that you have project management skills whether you are working in a team environment or a solo environment. Accomplishing a web project entails utilizing resources optimally in order to achieve a goal that is defined at the onset of a project.
This simply means that as a web designer or a web developer, you can communicate, manage time, computers, other people and whatever other resources efficiently and effectively in order to create a website.