Top 6 skills to become an effective web designer

website-project, effective-web-designer, skills-to-become-an-effective-web-designer

Nadj Villaver |

More and more business nowadays are using websites to promote their products and services. That’s why if you’re planning to start a career in web design, this is the right time. To become an effective web designer, there are some essential skills that you need to master, especially if you’re a newbie in the industry.

1)      Web Page Production using HTML & CSS

One of the most important things a web designer should learn is HTML (hypertext markup language). HTML is the very foundation of how websites are built. Knowing HTML will give you an understanding of how the Web works and give you so much more control on your work and ensure that if you do need to work outside of those editors, you have the ability to do so.

Aside from HTML which dictates the structure of sites, another imperative skill for web designers is CSS, which handles the visual appearance. Through CSS, the application interacts more effectively with the design.

2)      Programming Language

Programming Web pages starts with the language you use. According to Jennifer Kyrnin, Web Design & HTML Expert, JavaScript is the first interactive element of a website; and Web developers should be comfortable in JavaScript before they learn any other languages, especially how it interacts with HTML and CSS to create the 3 layers of web design.

There are many more options such as PHP, ASP, Java, Perl, or C++.  Web developers must learn at least one and the more you know the more employable and flexible you will be.

3)      Graphic Design

Design is an important factor in web design, especially if you’ll be working as a freelancer wherein you’ll be responsible for all aspects of the site’s creation (meaning they are not working with a separate designer).

According to Ben Hunt from Web Design from Scratch, the core basics include spacing, proportion and balance, grouping, contrast and color, flow, and managing the eye. You can also combine this basic set of design skills with typography, 3D effects, and custom imagery.

4)      SEO

Optimizing your pages for search engines is a vital element in web design. Kyrnin believes there are a number of factors that affect a site’s ranking in search engines – from that site’s content, to its inbound links, to its download speed and performance, and also it’s mobile-friendliness. Thus, knowing the basics of search engine optimization, or SEO will be useful for anyone building websites.

5)      Web Server Administration

Your job as a web designer doesn’t end once you’re done designing the website. Knowing at least a little about the Web server your website is running on can help you solve problems and make your sites run better.

6)      Project Management & Customer Service Skills

Managing a project can help you kick it off right, keep it on track and ensure all project needs are met. Moreover, having great custom service skills is a key ingredient in a successful web design career; whether you work for an agency, as a freelancer, or as an in-house resource for an organization.


These skills aren’t learned overnight.

“Generally, after 4–5 months of training you will have an adequate understanding of the design process (of course, providing that during that time you will self-educate, study theory and train hard),” says Brian Jens, designer and blogger of Web Design Contest.

After you grasped these essentials skills to become an effective web designer, you’re now ready to find potential clients.

Jens suggests two ways to find a customer:

1)      Register in all popular freelance exchanges and present your page there with a description of services and examples of works. You may find a customer there, but it’s likely you will have to wait a lot, since customers are first turning to top freelancers.

2)      Search on SEO forums. These guys are always in need of Landing Pages and feeds. Therefore, they are very interested in design services. Carefully read design section, see what works are presented there and for what price.

While looking for potential clients, Jens recommends web designers to prepare these two things ahead:

  • get online account for making funds for payment of your services
  •  find a place to present your portfolio online. It should be made properly. If you have not completed projects yet, perform a design and present it in your portfolio.

Jens reminds web designers, “once you develop basic skills in the creation of designs, try to gradually expand your technical arsenal. Try to keep up with all the innovations in the industry of web design and quickly implement new chips into your designs.”