Want to learn HTML and CSS in order to become a great Web Designer or Web Developer?
Nah, that’s a very boring, ineffective AND time-consuming learning method! We have a better tool for you, something that will make you learn HTML, CSS, and even PHP at the same time, slash your learning time!
This article will answer two questions:
- What can you do with your current web design or web development skills?
- What is the best way to succeed as a web designer or web developer?
Table of Contents
- What Tool is right for You?
- Qualities that will Help You with your Career
- Solid Evidence that Our Recommended Tool will Help You as:
- a learner
- a web designer
- a web developer
- Why we Recommend this Tool
- Common Misconceptions
- Things that You will soon Create
- Learn Web Design for Free and become an Expert!
Imagine this scenario: you’ve just arrived in a country you’ve never been to and everything’s a mess to you. You don’t know where the nearest coffee shop is, where the nearest train is or what schedule they have, heck, you don’t even have friends yet!
You have an advantage. You speak their language.
And that’s a great thing because you’ll soon find your way around by just asking people.
The question now is: are you asking the right people?
Knowing who to ask will speed things up. That is where we enter. Consider us, 1WD, the locals of that new country you are in. We’ve been here for some time now and we know the places you can go, shortcuts to take, safe and dangerous areas and a great deal of things that will be beneficial to you.
I’ll end the analogy at that, since I’m pretty sure that you’ve made the connection already.
So, what can you do with your current skill set?
Ever wondered how freelance web designers (including smart beginners) manage to take on large projects all the time, or never run out of projects to work on? Even the average web designer or web developer earns hundreds of dollars per project or several thousands of dollars a month. How about you?
If you are thinking, “well, how do I do the same?” then you are asking the right question!
Well, you see, we’ve worked with wonderful people whose focus is on WordPress – and mind you, they did not become successful without a reason!
Learn HTML with what, exactly?
Remember, always remember, that it’s not about you, but your client. Everything should revolve around your client. Even during your first pitch, ask, or tell, them about the benefit they’ll gain from using your service, be honest and be precise. You are the Moon and them, the Earth.
Before answering why you should focus on WordPress, let us first lay out the points that make potential clients go for your service, what are they looking for:
- Speedy service - why would anyone want a slow turnaround time? Everyone wants to get the job done as soon as possible…without sacrificing.
- Quality solutions – clients will pay good money to fix their problems, or for their needs to be addressed, and they will always go for the quality solution. True, there are easy fixes like add-ons and free plugins or scripts or themes that can be found online, but having a solid foundation of design and codes created by someone – a real person – is much better.
- Future proof - technology is changing rapidly, but your future clients don’t need to change their site every three or six months, that is impractical. This is where WordPress comes in, it has become too big to fall – supported and used by everyone, from hobbyists to large corporations, because they know it is future proof. And here you are, someone who knows how to design and develop for WordPress.
- Solution flexibility – clients will not keep you for as long as their website is running, harsh but that is reality and it’s practical. Now, do not be surprised if clients ask you to make it easier for them to make adjustments on their websites, in fact you should offer this as an extended service.
- Technical support – in case the above point can no longer accommodate your clients growing needs, needs that are complex enough that they will need to touch the entirety of the design or code, then you should always be there to help and provide your service once more. After-sales is very important, you need to work on that, on keeping your connections open even after they paid you for your services. This opens new paths to more projects, it’s proven and tested.
For the unordained, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is software that makes it easy for people that are non-technical to manage content such as text, images, videos, music, social media, and almost every aspect of a website without touching a single line of code. While there are CMS’s that are specifically crafted for web developers, WordPress is one of the most user-friendly CMS’s and was made primarily for blogging.
With WordPress you can easily create blogposts. Over ten years ago people blogged by editing their website’s HTML – or even adding more HTML files. With WordPress those hassles are eliminated because they are automatically done for you, all you need to do is provide your content.
Qualities of WordPress
- Speedy service - WordPress is an open source software that you can develop from straight out of the box. It’s basically a pre-made website, no need to reinvent the wheel. You can straight out jump to designing and coding extra elements and features that your clients will ask from you.
- Quality solutions – there are thousands of plugins and themes freely available at WordPress.org and anyone can improve them anytime they want. There are also big groups whose focus is to create quality plugins and themes with support.
- Future proof - there are thousands of developers constantly improving WordPress. You will learn how future proof WordPress is just after this section.
- Solution flexibility – WordPress is easy to use, I even taught my cats how to use it! On a serious note, minor changes on a WordPress website can easily be done with just a few clicks by your clients, whether it’s a change on the navigation menu or even colors and font size. Which means your clients won’t be bothering you every other hour.
- Technical support – there is a wide selection of WordPress support groups out there, one of which is WordPress.org’s support forums. Whether you’re new to WordPress or have been using it for several years now there will always be people to ask and help.
WordPress and Numbers
It’s easy to learn, it’s continuously growing, and repeat the numbers above – present in a different way. Then include the benefits of using WordPress, like many serious news websites are using it now, many websites have made the shift to WordPress, etc.
There is an estimate of 70,000,000 (yes, millions) of WordPress blogs out there, which is equivalent to 20% of all the websites on the internet.
Since May of 2012 there have been 123,510 WordPress jobs posted under WordPress Designers on Elance.com and the trend shows a continuous demand.
At WordPress.org’s forums, there are 385,000 topics so far and thousands are being added to it daily – and it’s worth noting that this is just under one category. That is the number of people actively looking for help with their WordPress websites.
How Can WordPress Benefit You
As a Learner
If you’re new to everything web design related, do not fret. We’re here to help you get started! All we ask from you is that you actually set aside time for yourself and go through our materials. Give it a week and you will be rocking your world with Photoshop, HTML and CSS. Add another three days and you’ll be rocking it with PHP and soon you’ll be on your way to becoming either a web designer or web developer. This works, we know, because we’ve had readers and members tell us of how well the program worked for them!
Ok…couldn’t wait to get home and post this. I got my first $600 check today (installment 1 of 2) for a site and it was from using the SIMPLE steps in the bootcamp!!!! BOOYAH. I think this is going to be a simple project with a nice turn around time and I can’t wait to have the client tell her friends and customers how easy it is to work with me. Keep you all posted. Thanks again.
– Leon Clinch
As a Web Designer
Just take a look at the numbers above and think, “how many of those will want a redesign? Or how many of the new people are coming in looking for new WordPress themes to use? Everyday thousands of people both old and new to WordPress blogging are looking for themes that they can use, be it free or premium. And daily there are hundreds, if not thousands, of new designs..and unfortunately not all of them are great ones!
So, there you go, millions of bloggers looking for WordPress themes that would fit their websites perfectly; millions of people looking for a custom design that is built just for their own brand – need I say more?
As a Web Developer
Web developers are notorious. They bite at every opportunity and they have discovered WordPress very early. Many of them have partnered with web designers (designer designs, developer develops design) and are earning several thousands of dollars monthly, some even daily. But there are those who simply do “patch up” works, fixing small problems here and there or adding new features for WordPress users.
Why Do We Recommend WordPress?
Imagine this: there are over 70 million WordPress websites in existence (fact), which makes up 20% of all the websites on the internet (another fact), and then there’s you – a web designer or web developer looking for extra money. And yet many people still think and say that WordPress is just for blogs and it’s a cheap market to hop on to.
I’m telling you right now, WordPress can drive you to riches. Whether you’re designing or developing an e-commerce, corporate, personal, or just a simple landing website, WordPress can handle all of those.
WordPress has long stopped being just a blogging platform. WordPress has evolved to take on just about anything you want to throw at it. It has become a framework that you can design and develop for.
Joomla? Are we still in the 90s?
Ready to Jump?
Ready to jump but you don’t know where to start? First you’ll need to install WordPress on your server or your local machine.
Here’s a quick guide on how to host your own WordPress site.
We recommend Bluehost!
WordPress is often related to blogging, and rightly so because it was made for blogging. But it only took a few months before people discovered that it can do more than what it was originally intended for. Right now, WordPress can be used to create e-commerce sites and other forms of websites, not just for blogging. And it’s much easier to manage.
Again, WordPress isn’t just for blogging anymore.
But perhaps I was wrong, maybe it’s not confusion at all but people just don’t know it yet. And my goal for this article is to make people udnerstand the beauty of WordPress, what it really is and what it can do.
True, the use of WordPress right now is mainly for blogging, news and entertainment websites, but over the years many big corporations have converted to WordPress as a solution to their online presence.
What WordPress Can Create
Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? There are many blogs in different niches: web design, entertainment, news and personal blogs. Millions of people choose WordPress over other CMS’s because of its flexibility, scalability, and simplicity.
Social networking site
Crazy, right? How can you even do that? Well, as I’ve mentioned earlier, you can transform WordPress sites into what you want depending on the themes and plugins you use. You can either create an entire forum site where people of same interests just huddle around and spent countless hours discussing stuff, or
With WordPress, you can even create a photo gallery for photographers and artists.
The perfect theme for this is Photocrati. It’s a specialized theme solely for displaying works of art. Of course you can customize your own theme with plugins and some hacks.
With the right plugins and theme you can build your own membership website, either for selling premium content or just for a closed group website. See? It’s not just for blogs!
Here’s an example:
There are service providers for this kind of WordPress website, and one thing we can recommend is LabVidz. In just a few minutes you can create your client their own membership website, complete from the theme up to bill management.
New York Jewish Jobs
You can even turn WordPress into a fully functional online store like eBay or Amazon.
A landing page is a single web page that aims to capture a visitor’s attention and and ultimately lead them to action. It’s a marketing tool that many people use to create interest in their products and services before they fully launch their business.
A perfect, and 100% customizable, WordPress theme is Launch Effect which is specifically for landing pages. Check out their demo page to give yourself an idea of what WordPress can do.
Learn WordPress for Free and be an Expert!
All in all, you can start learning HTML/CSS within one week and head straight on with WordPress.
But don’t jump straight to WordPress especially when you still don’t know how to fiddle HTML and CSS, but basics will do!
Here are some important tutorials that you need to study hard.
Step 1: Photoshop, HTML, and CSS
- Wireframing, Photoshop Tools & Panels, and Designing [Part 1]
- Create a Responsive Website Using HTML5 and CSS3 – Video Tutorial
Step 2: WordPress
Check out these videos once you’re ready to jump into WordPress.
But the truth is, you can just spend 10 minutes reading about HTML codes and not learn HTML to mastery at all, then jump on to WordPress to expose yourself to what it can do. Sounds challenging? Yep!
In fact, James Richman and I learned HTML, CSS, and PHP this way! We just familiarized ourselves with the usual HTML tags and jumped straight to editing WordPress themes, making them bend to our will!
Can you do that?
I bet you can! Below are two video tutorials that deals with exactly that!
So, learn HTML with WordPress!
1WDnotes.com Site Design Process Part 1
1WDnotes.com Site Design Process Part 2
So, that’s about it!
We are on a mission to help people realize that the road to riches – for web designers and web developers – is WordPress.
It is fairly easy to learn, it has a massive userbase, stable, and there’s no signs of it stopping soon.
Obviously, prospective clients don’t care about this, but if you are going to build something from the ground up, this is the best way to go. We highly recommend WordPress!
So, do you have any stories that you want to share regarding this tool?
Rean concurrently served as the Head of Operations and Editor-in-Chief of 1stwebdesigner from 2011 up until Aug 2014. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development with a little touch of internet marketing here and there.