Web Design: Beginner’s Guide

A good web design is the foundation of any effective website, and it can be one of the most challenging and time-consuming parts of the development process. However, if you know where to start, it doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult as you think! This article covers everything you need to know about web design for beginners, from choosing the right color palette to getting feedback from clients on your design mockups. If you’re looking to get started with web design, this article will help you learn the ins and outs of creating effective websites that visitors will love!


The Internet is home to over 3.5 billion websites, but that doesn’t mean everyone has what it takes to create one. Creating a website isn’t simply as easy as typing up some words and slapping on an image or two. There are plenty of technical requirements behind every page you view online. With that in mind, we’ve created a beginner’s guide for those who want an introduction to web design.

Web design can be broken down into two main sections—static web design and dynamic web design. Static web design, or simple website development, is used for sites that don’t have any functionality aside from displaying information. Dynamic web design adds functionality to your site by creating a database of information that can be updated as needed.

Aside from these two main sections, there are plenty of other elements that make up web design. Fonts and typography, navigation bars, color scheme, interface design and more all fall under web design’s umbrella. It’s important to understand how each of these elements works because they all play a role in how easy it is for people to navigate your site—and some can make or break your website in terms of usability.

How the web works

All of us use websites daily. Whether you’re looking for funny cat videos, news articles, or tutorials to help with your latest DIY project, you’ll find it online. Websites are becoming increasingly popular because they make life so much easier. And these days, website development has become something that everyone can do—without having any web design experience whatsoever.

But how does it all work? What is web design and why is it important? Let’s take a look at what goes into website development and why you should know more about it if you own or run an online business.

The internet is a place where information can be stored and shared instantly. At its most basic level, website development is all about making sure you have access to that information when you need it—without having to do anything except turn on your computer or mobile device. A website’s primary function is acting as a searchable database.

Basic terminology

Before we get started, let’s clarify some terminology. A web designer is responsible for both design and functionality—meaning he or she must know how to use a graphics editing program like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign as well as coding languages like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. If you’re interested in being a web designer, having experience with print design will serve you well.

There are four main types of web designers: graphic designers, front-end developers, back-end developers, and UX designers. A graphic designer’s job is to create clean, beautiful graphics (including color palettes), which can be translated into a website’s HTML coding. A front-end developer creates all of the site’s interactive elements – like buttons, forms, and dropdown menus – that make things happen when users click on them.

A back-end developer builds everything that a user never sees – like databases, payment processing, and email delivery. UX designers are a relatively new breed of web designers who do both usability testing and research to make sure that an interface is not only functional but also intuitive.

They work on a site’s layout, navigation, and overall look-and-feel. They typically possess skills in multiple disciplines across all three main types of web design (front end, graphic design, and back end).

Common software used by designers

Free software is constantly evolving, but these are some of the most common programs used for web design today. Always make sure you have an up-to-date version of your preferred program so that you’re always ready to create in no time. Adobe Photoshop: This program is highly recommended by most graphic designers, whether they’re working with clients or creating personal projects.

Adobe Photoshop is probably one of the most well-known programs used by graphic designers. It’s great for creating mockups and images, including text. This program has a wide range of styles you can use, as well as many more options than you might initially realize. CorelDraw: A less familiar program on our list, CorelDraw is similar to Adobe Illustrator and helps designers make both simple and complex graphics.

If you are new to design, be sure that your software has enough help options and guides built-in. You don’t want to be stuck learning advanced features before you even get a handle on how to use simple ones. Investing time into learning a program is important, so consider checking out some video tutorials that cover common techniques and features or asking a friend or co-worker who knows web design well for advice.

Fonts are a key aspect of web design, so it’s important to understand how font families work. A font family is all of the fonts you can use for a project with similar styles and characteristics. The main typeface (also called regular) is usually accompanied by italic, bold, and bold-italic styles that make designing easier.

Common websites used by designers

Some of these resources will help you when learning how to use InDesign, others may be helpful if you’re using another tool or software. Either way, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these common design tools so that you can create websites without much help from others.

The first is Adobe Dreamweaver, an easy-to-use program that allows you to code HTML5 and CSS3 by clicking. Dreamweaver CC is also helpful if you’re designing a site on top of a WordPress theme because it has built-in WordPress tools. It’s not as robust as other programs, so if you want more control over your design then Photoshop or Fireworks are better options.

For vector graphics, there’s Adobe Illustrator. This program offers a lot of customization and control over how you design. It’s easy enough for beginners and has lots of online tutorials to help you through it.

How to get started with your website

While getting started with your website might seem a bit intimidating, there are plenty of tutorials and resources available that can help you get going. If you’re having trouble developing a specific aspect of your site, 1stPositionRanking’s top-rated web designers would be happy to assist. Even if you decide not to pursue a career in web design, it’s always helpful to know how these types of sites work—it can help you when working on other types of projects.

Once you’ve got a solid foundation in HTML and CSS, it’s time to make sure your website is ready for prime time. The more effort you put into optimizing your design for speed and user experience, the better your chances of attracting visitors.

And once you have them? Well, then we have some tips on that as well…!

Basics of page layout

The first step in creating a website is deciding on what kind of layout you’re going to use. This can be one of two things: fixed or fluid. A fixed layout will ensure that all of your pages are exactly 960 pixels wide (and other measurements besides width, including height and even how many columns). Fluid layouts, on the other hand, will dynamically adjust depending on how large or small your browser window is—and thus can be used for almost any device.

Fixed layouts typically work best if you know what size screen people will be viewing your site on, while fluid designs are good if you don’t have a specific target audience. For most cases, however, it may make sense to just start with a basic set of layout rules and add complexity as time goes on.

A third option is called hybrid layout, which is essentially a combination of fixed and fluid that works best for blogs. It has all of the flexibility of a fluid design but with certain parts locked in place so you know where things are going to be. When creating your site, you must understand what kind of layout you want before getting started so you don’t run into problems later on down the line.

There are three things you’ll need to consider when choosing between fixed and fluid layouts: how complex your site is, how much content you have, and what kind of device your visitors will be using. If you have a lot of multimedia—images, videos, sounds—you might want to go with a fixed layout so that everything can load at once.

Basics of color theory and typography

Before you start designing, you need to understand some fundamental basics of web design. These include color theory and typography. If your color scheme looks terrible on paper, it will look even worse online (and vice versa). Likewise, when setting a type in an online environment, there are special rules that must be followed—or else your text will be unreadable. Be sure you know these rules before moving forward.

In addition, if you’re designing a website for someone else, you’ll need to understand your client. If they’re tech-savvy, you can use modern design trends; if they’re not so tech-savvy, stick with something more familiar. When in doubt, ask them for input—they may have ideas that surprise you!

Responsive vs. non-responsive layouts

Responsive web design is quickly becoming standard. With mobile internet usage skyrocketing, sites that don’t adapt and change their layout based on device size are being left behind. Users want to be able to navigate your site with ease and will abandon it if they can’t get around. A responsive website allows for an optimal experience across all devices by intuitively displaying content, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.

While responsive web design is great for users, non-responsive sites can still work for businesses. Non-responsive websites remain a viable option if you don’t need your site to be mobile-friendly or aren’t concerned with users visiting from smartphones and tablets. The layout of a non-responsive website doesn’t have to change depending on device size, meaning visitors will get more or less of your content based on their device.

Your choice between responsive or non-responsive design will depend on your business goals. You’ll need to weigh both user experience and cost when deciding which layout is right for you. If a significant portion of your website visitors is accessing it from mobile devices, a responsive site might be for you. Non-responsive sites can have great UX as well, but a responsive layout ensures that your site doesn’t penalize users based on their device type.

Resources for becoming an amazing designer

Like any career, design is a skill that can be learned and honed. From improving your eye for layout and color to becoming more comfortable with code, there are many resources available for learning how to become an amazing designer. Here are just a few.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud is an excellent tool for web designers because it has so many options within a single program. You can create responsive designs, templates, and even prototypes of your designs. It’s ideal for learning because it provides instant feedback and you don’t have to download or buy additional software. From branding guides to font libraries, there are also so many resources available online that provide all sorts of design elements.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by design, don’t despair! Don’t forget about your mentor and any resources available. You can find people who specialize in logo design or other skills you need online. By keeping an open mind, understanding that all designers go through a learning curve, and being realistic about what it will take to achieve your vision—you can achieve greatness as a designer.


You’ve read about design theory, history, and implementation. You’ve been introduced to some of your best resources. Now it’s time for you to get started on your website design project! Welcome to the exciting world of web design! We hope you enjoy it—and don’t hesitate to ask questions in our comments section below! Good luck!