No matter what web design programming language you want to become an expert in, if you consider pursuing a career in this domain, you should know that you need to be able to do more than planning the aesthetics of a website. A professional web designer should be proficient in programming, beside being creative and having a good taste. Creativity is innate and needs to be cultivated as well, while coding is a technical skill which needs practice to be gained. The web design industry is so diverse nowadays and various programming languages have been developed. You don’t need to learn them all, but you can start by mastering HTML and the style sheet language of CSS. The first concern of someone who wants to become a professional HTML web designer and, subsequently, a CSS coding expert, is how much time and effort are necessary to attain his/her objective.
HTML is one of the oldest programming languages and it stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Of course, the code is not visible to the user (you can actually see it by using the View Source option), but the browser interprets this code and transforms it into text, images, sounds or other elements. One of the main advantages of the HTML coding is that it is easy to learn. If you manage to understand a few basic things, you can design a simple web page. From there, sky is the limit. The more proficient you become, the more complex web pages you will be able to build.
On the other hand, an increasing development of the automated software tools can be noticed. This means that users not at all familiar with HTML coding are able to design web pages with the help of WYSIWYG programs. The abbreviation stands for “What you see is what you get”; this encourages beginners, but experts consider that these software tools produce results inferior to manual coding. All kind of errors and bugs can occur and they can compromise the functionality of the website. The codes obtained through WYSIWYG programs may also be redundant or semantically incorrect.
These “Cascading style sheets” are not for rookies; they are dedicated to professionals; CSS coding allows them to find a better expression of their ideas and a better control of details. It is suitable for contents which are viewed on different devices using various browsers. The style sheets option makes it possible to automatically modify the rest of the page depending on just a simple editing action you take. Content accessibility is improved in CSS because it is separated from elements such as color, font and layout. Another advantage is that the structure can be kept simpler and multiple pages can be formatted together.
It may look like HTML has become outdated and that professional HTML web designers will lose their job. This is not the case. HTML is still widely used and ensures the basics of coding, while CSS takes you a step further and adds new features and possibilities, such as making the website more visually attractive. Using CSS has also proved to be a time-saving option and to offer you more time to focus on the aesthetics. CSS style sheets are very similar to the Microsoft ones.
Web designing skills can be learned in computer science classes and with the help of tutorials. The fundaments of design are available to anyone who is interested, for free. You need perseverance and focus on freelance projects, and, after becoming an expert, you can turn your attention even to large corporations.