How to Become a Website Designer
By Eric Hammer
So you want to become a website designer. Being a website
designer is an often challenging and ever changing job which
requires you to really be on top of your work and to keep your
finger on the pulse of the Internet.
For example, one of the newest things to come up for web site
designers is the issue of the FTC suggesting regulations regarding
tracking. If this new plan is implemented, it could mean that
web site designs will have to be fundamentally changed. Almost
every web site designed today does at least some tracking of
individuals and under the proposed regulation, this would have
to be made voluntary, where people who sign up for a "do
not track" list, similar to the ones for the "do not
call" registry will have their browsing remain untracked.
In addition, web sites today need a tremendous amount of sophistication.
Gone are the days when you can hand code a web site and be proud
of your work. Today's websites are so complicated that, while
you need to understand the code and what it's doing, it's not
realistic to expect to hand code anything but the very simplest
of web sites.
How Much Can You Make?
According to Salary.com, the average website designer earns
anywhere from $32,785-$57,786 per year. However, when you are
just starting out, it's possible you'll earn significantly less,
especially if you plan to freelance. This is simply because there
is so much competition, especially from developing countries
like India. Love it or hate it, in a global world, there are
hundreds of thousands of engineers willing to do the job for
much less than an American can afford to do it for.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Today, any website designer worth his or her salt needs to
know not just about website design but also about SEO. SEO stands
for search engine optimization and it's imperative that you understand
this business in order to design effective web sites. Otherwise,
your client's web sites will never be seen by anyone because
they can't be found.
In addition, understanding how Facebook works and how to write
applications for Facebook has become increasingly important as
well. It's estimated that within the next few years, the sheer
volume of searches on Facebook will actually exceed those of
Google, so it's time to start familiarizing yourself with the
needs of social media programming as well.
Finally, when doing website design work, especially if you
are doing it on a freelance basis, consider doing it as a package
deal where you offer to arrange for professional content to be
written and professional graphics to be designed for the website
as well. You should also arrange for marketing efforts so that
you can offer your clients a turnkey solution to website design
rather than just doing the design work for them.
Qualifications / Requirements
While no formal training is generally required, it is a good
idea to earn at least a bachelor's degree in computer science
in order to work in this field, especially if you want to be
a salaried employee rather than a freelancer. If you want to
work in freelance, then it's really all about results. You don't
need a degree, but you do need some samples of killer web sites
that you've built for other clients so that people can see what
your work looks like.
Start by trying to design your own website. Study some web
sites that you really enjoy and try to make something all your
own that combines the best elements of those sites. Then, if
you plan to go for a salaried job, go and take a degree course
in website design. If you plan to go the freelance route, take
on a few clients who are friends or close relatives and do the
project for them at little or no cost. Let them be your first
customers so that you can show off your work to others. Then,
look for professional opportunities and start offering lower
prices to attract clients. Once you are established, you can
raise your prices.
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about becoming
a website designer:
About.Com: How to Become a Website Designer
- A well written introduction to the world of professional website
design, this should get your started.
53 Steps to Follow if You Want to Become a Freelance
Website Designer - An excellent step by step approach which
shows you what you'll need to know in order to do this on a freelance
- One of the best forums on the Internet for website designers.
This site regularly hits the top of the list for website design
as well as Internet marketing.