Web Design Class
5 Things You Won’t Learn in web design Class
While a good web design class will teach you the “how to” of designing a website, there are some aspects of design that you won’t learn while taking a course. We’ve put together a brief list of features that can make or break a website, especially if the site depends on sales or ad clicks for revenue. Read these five revealed steps below so you can not only design a visually pleasing website, but one that works for your business and your design clients!
1. SEO for HTML Code
When adding content to your website, be sure it can be read within your page’s main body HTML code. This is the content between the “<body> </body>” tags. Search engines give a lot of clout to the content within this area of your page. They consider the keywords within your product descriptions or presentations to be very important, and also any key phrases that are included in your headings.
If all your major keywords are embedded in some graphic image or in your main logo, the search engine robots will likely never see the keywords. So give some thought to how your HTML code looks and reads to those “very sensitive” little robots!
2. Web Graphic Placement and Sizing
Web graphics can either enhance or hinder your goals for any given web page. Use graphics or photos to enhance your written content. Customers tend to read below the logo or banner at the top of the page. They will also read near an image, such as wrap around text that looks similar to a newspaper or magazine write-up. Give some thought to image placement, and make the image size as small as possible to increase page loading time. This will give your page a professional look and feel without slowing it down for your users.
3. Above the Fold
Try to design each page with the most important features “above the fold” on the visitor’s computer screen. Being above the fold means the customer won’t have to scroll down on the page to see the feature or content. Depending on the type of website and business, you’ll want to place important links, images, written content and videos above the fold. If you can’t get everything on the page within this limited space, take time to prioritize so you can maximize each page’s potential.
4. Text Links for SEO
When building a navigation menu, use text links when possible and be sure to include popular keywords in your text links. HTML links do get noticed by Google and other search engines. The text links on every page can differ a little to include various keywords or key phrases that go along with that page’s theme.
5. Ultimate Shopping Experience
A site designed to sell needs to provide visitors with the ultimate shopping experience. The products or services should be easy to find and easy to purchase or sign up for the user.
There shouldn’t be any roadblocks along the path of a purchase, such as broken links, page errors, products that can’t ship right away, etc. Find a web design class that teaches this aspect of design so you can design it correctly the first time. Design your shopping area or sign up forms so that a fifth grader could buy it if he wanted!
These are only five website “musts” that you might not hear or read about when taking a web design class. A great way to make sure your site is geared for results is to study design with a marketing approach, or study both aspects of web design in separate courses. You’ll be able to implement the SEO and customer friendly methods in your own site and the sites of your clients to help them get better results as well!
Paid Training or Not: Web Design Class Choices
If you’ve been contemplating taking a web design course, then you’ll notice right away that there are thousands of resources online to do so. Just a simple search for “web design training” will render millions of results, some being free while others are paid courses.
And if you’re completely new to learning design, all the choices that are available can be a little overwhelming. Let’s look at some of the differences between paid courses vs. the other options so you’ll be able to find training that fits your needs.
Benefits of Both
Some web design classes are available online at no charge, typically as web page tutorials that have ads to sponsor the learning sites. Some are very informative and can equip you with knowledge to move forward in web design. These types of online designing tutorials can give you a head start with just about any type of design, but especially with basic HTML.
Just make sure the tutorial offers up-to-date web design lessons with the most modern form of HTML. The HTML 4.0 version is most popular with 5.0 just coming on the scene!
One advantage of spending a bit is that a paid web design course will usually offer a more in-depth study of web development with images, examples, screen shots, interactive lessons and/or videos to make learning easier.
Online paid courses often come in print, video, private access sites or in e-book format, and you can study at your own pace. Most offer support so you can get one-on-one help when you need it. You can also take a paid web design class at a local career school or college. With these courses, you’ll need to attend the classes on the school’s schedule.
Disadvantages of Paid and Non-Paid Courses
When taking a free web course, there’s always the risk of the course being out of date. If you’re a beginner you won’t even realize it’s out of date until it’s too late.
You’ll waste time and energy learning techniques and design codes that no longer work with modern day design. The no-charge tutorials and classes could have been added online for 10 years or more, so you’ll need to find out if it’s an up-to-date course.
Also, as with some of the non-paid web design class lessons, you might find the course to be too difficult and have no one to help with support. Some of these classes don’t include support or have a one-on-one instructor for you to seek guidance from when you come to a difficult lesson.
Okay – A Web Design Class You Buy
With paid website design courses, you’ll have to pay (of course) and you might have to purchase software such as Dreamweaver or other web editor programs. E-books may also be outdated even if you pay for them, so read the description carefully before ordering.
Also, keep in mind that paid courses aren’t always easy to follow. Look for a course that provides a sneak peek into the lessons if possible so you’ll know if it’s truly a beginner course or not!
With a paid or f.ree web design class, it’s important to study the design language you plan to use the most. Learn basic HTML code and then move forward to hone your skills.