Learning Web Design

Learning to design your own web pages is not as difficult as you may think, at least not when it comes to basic websites with text and photos. It can also be a lot of fun. Many website creation programs claim that you need no knowledge of HTML or programming whatsoever. However, I have yet to come across a software program, content management system, or even blog system whose use is not somewhat simplified by a knowledge of basic HTML. I’m not saying you need to take a college course. Just a quick lesson would help tremendously, so that you can recognize the most common HTML tags and make minor changes to your web page.

Beyond that, I’d like to recommend specific books, programs or websites within a number of different categories that you may find useful.

1. Best Web Design Books for Beginners

  • Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, Graphics, and Beyond
    Jennifer Niederst is one of the pioneers of web design, and is one of the best known web designers in the world. Her book covers all the basic concepts of web design in a clear and easy to understand way, including HTML, graphic design, links and web hosting. I strongly recommend this book.
  • HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition (Visual Quickstart Guide)
    I really appreciate the excellent Visual Quickstart Guides put out by Peachpit Press, and this one is no exception. They are easy to read, well designed and cover an excellent range of material, starting at the very beginning but also including carefully selected advanced material as well. Library Journal says, “Peachpit’s “Visual Quickstart” guides are real meat-and-potatoes works for beginners.”

In future posts I’ll be recommending specific resources within the following categories:

2. Best Web Design Software for Beginners, Marketers and Affiliate Sites

  • XSitePro by Intellimon Limited
    I highly recommend this program. I have used many different web design programs, including PageMill back in the old days, Frontpage, Dreamweaver, GoLive and others. Recently I purchased Intellimon’s XSitePro and gave it a whirl. I was amazed at its ease of use and efficiency. Of course XSitePro doesn’t have the full-bored power of Dreamweaver, but if you know nothing about HTML and you want to quickly create a search-engine friendly website, XSitePro makes it a snap. It comes with an excellent tutorial that will quickly have you laying out your page and plugging in your ad or affiliate links if you have them. It automatically creates a site map as you go, and analyzes your site to make sure it’s search engine friendly.

3. Best Web Design Software, Intermediate to Advanced
3. Best Image Design Software
4. Best Software for Marketing or Affiliate Websites
5. Best Blogging Programs
6. Best Content Management System

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