More Web Design Tutorials

Understanding code is just the beginning of learning web design or programming.

January 20, 2014

html code icon

Learning to code has all kinds of benefits … even for those who don’t necessarily plan on becoming full time nerds:

  • Builds analytical skills
  • Trains your brain to think in a logical way
  • Teaches organizational skills

That said, when it comes to actual web design or programming, the recent awareness of the importance of code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP) I believe has muddled the picture a little when it comes to the actual process of building websites. Read on and learn why!

Web design is about much more than code.

Coding is the foundation of web design but it is really a small part of the process and a small part of what you have to learn. Here is a list of just some of things that web designers should know:

– Servers, client tools, domains and hosting
– Image prep for web sites, Photoshop
– Usability principles and standards
– How to structure websites
– SEO and web marketing considerations
– Design principles – the sites have to look good!

… And yes, the code: HTML, CSS, some JavaScript and a touch of PHP!

Programming only starts with knowing how to code:

– Know thy language – there are many programming languages to choose from! Know it’s strengths, weaknesses and best practices.
– Understanding the servers: web servers, SSH, databases, FTP etc …
– Design patterns, frameworks, refactoring, architectures … and more!

The misconception of learning to code

Learning code is great but learning only code and thinking you know what you’re doing in the real world, is like thinking that because you passed the theory part of the drivers ed course, that you can now drive in an F1 race – you will crash and burn!


The list above may seem daunting … but try not to feel overwhelmed. The trick to learning this stuff is to be patient, take your time and actually build websites as you learn the details of code and everything else I mentioned above.

Hope that helps!

Stefan Mischook