You have decided that website design company is the career for you. You are ready to get into the game, but first you will need some education on how to design websites. However, with literally hundreds of schools offering courses in all possible permutations: website design or graphic design with a website focus; Certificates or Full Degrees: How do you decide which program meets your needs?

Skills taught in a web design program

Website designers require a wide range of skills, not all of which are taught (or can be taught!) In the classroom. However, there are certain skills that all web designers should know. The first of these is the HTML (hypertext markup language) code, which comprises the basic components of the Web. All websites, no matter how sophisticated or focused on Flash animation, consist of HTML at their core.

Although most designers now use web editing programs like FrontPage or Dreamweaver to design websites, to understand what really happens when the website loads, you need to know HTML. For entry-level positions, this markup language may suffice, but for more advanced positions, you must learn one or more markup languages, such as XML (Extended Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), as well as one or more more scripting languages, like JavaScript
and ActiveX.

You will also need to learn the basics to make a website look neat and professional. Although it may seem elementary, there is a wide range of techniques involved in creating a well-flowing website. A logical site is designed to allow the user to quickly understand the purpose of the website and easily find the information they need. Although this is obviously more of an art than a science, there are many techniques that help users navigate each page within a site more effectively and quickly. Like a web
Site designer must be fluent in these techniques.

To work on websites, you will also need to understand the basics of how a computer works. These technical skills allow you to configure and modify the website. Being able to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients to add pages and upload changes to the site is essential. Then, you are able to modify the content of the site manually by using a text editing software. Part of this software allows you to instantly see changes, such as the Real-Time HTML Editor, which is available online. Other text editors are included with your
office computer, or can be installed, allowing you to work on site content outside of a site editing program.

Finally, depending on the specific career path you have in mind, you may need to have other skills. If you focus more on the graphic design aspect of web design, you should focus on learning about vector and raster graphics. Raster graphics, made up of small pixel grids, depend on the size and quality of the image; Photographs are raster images, for example, and may appear blurry or sharp, depending on the size and resolution of the image. Vector graphics use geographic points and coordinates
instead of pixels, and can be resized without losing image quality. Typography, or the art of choosing and using fonts and typefaces, is also important. Page layout, or the ability to combine images, text, links, and animated images on a website to create a nice overall layout, is also very important.

However, if you are more interested in the technical aspects of maintaining a website, you should focus more on server administration, i.e. learning how to use web server software (such as Microsoft IIS or Apache) and understanding how to run it. Log analytics so you can track who visits the site and how often you receive unique visitors. There are other specific domains in the field of web design, including site optimization, security, usability, and quality assurance. Each subspecialty in the field of web design requires knowledge of the basic design concepts outlined above, plus additional skills that you can learn in class and on the job.