So, you have decided to become a web designer. A nice choice; web designing gives you the opportunity to be creative and technical at the same time. This is the profession where you get paid for your creativity and aesthetics you provide to the website. As a web designer you are responsible to show the perfect side of the organization so that people become so impressed that they come back again and again.
As is any profession there are some requirements that must be met in order to succeed. The requirements and process for becoming a successful web designer is as follows.
Ways To Become A Web Designer
You should be well equipped and have the necessary equipments to help you in your endeavors. The basics are: a laptop or PC with good monitor, scanner, printer and digital camera. Software for graphics editing, it can be purchased or the free versions can be used; a high speed broadband internet connection; server space for hosting and testing the sites; your own website to showcase and catalogue your work.
A good working relationship with other web designers and visual artists so that when you have extra work you can sub contract them or can take help from them when you get struck in work which you cannot manage yourself.
You are ready and equipped yourself for becoming a web designer but you will only get work when people will know that you design websites; so broadcast yourself. To begin with get yourself a visiting card printed and dish out to every person you know. Advertise yourself on social network sites, join online communities and groups. The more the people know about your work the better.
Listen to your Client
Always visit or talk to your client with an open mind; do not have any pre-conceived notions about the requirements of the clients. Always hear out the client’s requirements and then only give your suggestions. You may know lots of things but that may not required by the client.
You will save yourself from lots of redo just because you had the patience to hear out the client’s requirements. If possible, ask the client to give his requirements in writing, through email or a hard copy.
Having it in writing will give clarity to both, the client and you. If it’s not possible to get in writing, double check his requirements. Even after this you will have to redo some work but it will be miniscule to what if you hadn’t listened to your client.
Domain Name and Hosting
For every website it is necessary to have a domain name and server space where it can be hosted. The client may ask to also book the domain name and server space on his behalf or they might have booked the name and space and your job may be limited to designing the website and handing all control to the client. You have to be accommodating in both the cases.
Only after the client has given you his requirements and you have cross examined him, you will be able to decide which platform will be suitable the website. If the web pages are static: the static web pages are those that will emulate the same image that has been stored and will be same to all the viewers; these pages also do not take any user input.
These types of pages are easier to make you will need a simple word editor or more convenient WYSIWYG editor. Dynamic pages are those pages that can change its contents as per requirements. These types of pages are difficult to make and you may require complex software and server space for doing the same.
The Visual Appeal
After selection of platform, it is advisable that we start thinking of the visual appeal of the website. You are required o make an outline of what a single page will look like, what will be its color combination, where to place the links, to highlight what, etc. Consult your client in this because in this case, his decision will be final. For this you may be required to use graphics software or take help of graphics designer.
Quote your Price
Your price for doing the work will vary according to the complexities of the work involved. The more complex the website, the more money you will get paid but you will also have to work more.
The easiest way of calculating the price of a website is how many work hours will be spent on it for developing the website from scratch without application of any reusable codes. Multiply the work-hours to what you think your one hour is worth; you will get the price of the website but also keep in consideration what the competition is charging.
Before going for full development of website, make a sample website and get it approved by the client. The client may ask for few changes.
After incorporating the changes, if any, get it approved by the client. Only after approving the same start working on real designing of the web site.
Develop the Website
Now when you have frozen all the parameters, you can go ahead and develop the website. Having fixed parameters makes it easier to design the website. Make sure you develop the website within the timeframe agreed with the client. If there is any deviation make to inform the client.
Once you have designed the website and handed to the client your work as a web designer ends. But to be professional and dependable it will be prudent that you also provide them support for maintenance of the website.
This will ensure you further work from the client; when they go for upgrade or any additions; it will be sooner than you expectation, and there will also be referrals from the client for excellent work done. The referrals from the clients will announce you as coming of age as a web designer.