Web designers and developers are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for web professionals is expected to grow 8% between 2019 and 2029. That percentage may not sound like much, but it's significantly faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. The increase in demand is most likely due to the steady surge in mobile browsing and ecommerce.
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In addition to growing demand for their skills, web designers and developers enjoy other perks, such as a comfortable salary. In 2019, the median annual salary for web developers was around $70,000 in the U.S. Since web design is a digital skill, it can be done remotely from anywhere in the world. Web design can also be a highly lucrative career for freelancers, who can earn cushy six-figure incomes while enjoying all the benefits of being their own boss.
Curious to learn about how web design salaries compare between agency, in-house, and freelance work? Check out Ran Segall's video below.
If you want to become a well-rounded, pro web designer, whether in-house or freelance, there are a few important skills you'll need to master. Before we look at the best sites for learning web design, let's break down the essential web design skills.
The very first set of skills you'll need to master to succeed in web design is visual design fundamentals. Visual design is essentially a cross between graphic design and UI (User Interface) design. An adept visual designer is capable of creating designs that are both aesthetically appealing and that help solve problems for a brand. The essential visual design principles you'll need to master include color, layout, and typography.
UX, or User Experience, is a skill that revolves around how users interact with a product. It involves both research and design. Having a solid understanding of UX principles helps web designers craft engaging and user-friendly experiences for website visitors. UX is important for creating websites that solve problems for clients.
In order to design and develop websites, there are a few different tools and software web designers need to master. For one, designers need to use some kind of design software to create the actual designs. If you're a fan of Adobe, XD is a great tool for wireframing and prototyping. It's also helpful to have a handle on Photoshop and Illustrator in order to create custom graphics. Popular alternatives to XD include Figma, Sketch, and InVision. Many designers have strong preferences for particular tools, but any of the software mentioned here would work.
Wondering how to get started with web design? Check out the video below to get Ran's take on learning design, no matter which stage you're currently at.
There are a wealth of options, both free and paid, for learning web design online. Although it's possible to learn everything you need to know about web design for free, there's value in structured and vetted course curricula. Enrolling in an online course can save you a significant amount of time that you'd otherwise spend browsing free tutorials, trying to fill elusive gaps in your knowledge.
To save you the hassle of perusing hundreds of different course platforms, we've curated a list of our top 7 recommended sites for learning web design. Each of these sites offers high quality and affordable material that can help you kickstart your web design career.
FreeCodeCamp.org is a popular resource for self-taught developers. With over 6,000 tutorials, 40,000 graduates, and 10 certifications, freeCodeCamp is a great option for anyone looking to kickstart a new career in development. Their Responsive Web Design course covers all the basics of designing and developing response websites using HTML and CSS.
Topics covered in this free course include:
In addition to the above lessons, you'll also be tasked with creating a few practical projects in order to earn your certification.
Codecademy is an online platform that offers courses on various tech skills, including web design and development. On Codecademy, you can choose to focus on front-end, back-end, or full-stack web development. Courses are offered for both beginners and intermediate level students. Codecademy's Web Design course is a solid option for aspiring web designers. Some of the course content is free, but most of it requires a Pro subscription.
The Codecademy Web Design course covers the following topics:
Pricing for a Pro Codecademy account starts at $19.99/month. College students are eligible for a 35% discount.
Udemy is a global online course marketplace with over 40 million students and 155,000 courses. If you're looking to improve your web or graphic design skills, you'll find plenty of options on Udemy. Unlike similar course marketplaces that are subscription-based, courses on Udemy are purchased individually. Since there are so many options to choose from, Udemy has a pretty robust search system; you can filter courses by average rating, video duration, subcategory, level, price, and more.
Course topics for web designers on Udemy include:
The majority of Udemy courses are paid, but there are a variety of free courses you can get started with to dip your toes into web design.
Coursera is an online educational platform that offers courses created in collaboration with leading universities and companies, like Stanford and Google. Coursera's main selling point is offering top-quality instruction at the fraction of the price of standard tuition. In addition to on-demand courses, Coursera even offers university-issued certifications, as well as bachelor's and master's degrees. As far as web design training goes, there are over 800 options available.
Coursera web design courses cover the following topics:
Coursera is a good option for beginners who are interested in earning a certificate from a reputable university in order to boost their resume.
P.S. Wondering if it's worthwhile to pursue an online web design degree? Check out this related post to find out.
LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda.com, is another popular online course marketplace that covers a range of topics. The platform has many high quality courses that can help you become a better web designer. There are over 700 courses on web development and another 700+ courses on design. With a paid subscription, you receive unlimited access to whichever courses interest you. Overwhelmed by all the options? Instead of enrolling in individual courses, you can subscribe to a Learning Path, which includes curated courses on niche subjects, like web design.
The Lynda.com "Become a Web Designer" Learning Path includes the following courses:
Pricing for LinkedIn Learning starts at $19.99/month. You can get started right away with a generous 1-month free trial.
Treehouse is a tech-centered online course platform. They offer training in all the top in-demand tech skills, including web design and development. Treehouse also offers Tracks, which are curated course bundles on specific topics. In addition to comprehensive course material, Treehouse has an active community forum, where students can interact and ask questions. For students who value a structured curriculum and certificate of completion, Treehouse offers Techdegrees, which are essentially online bootcamps, starting at $199/month.
The Treehouse Front End Web Development Track includes the following material:
Pricing for Treehouse course access starts at $25/month.
When reviewing the best sites for learning web design, we'd be remiss not to mention our very own course platform, Flux Academy. Ran Segall's mission in creating Flux Academy was to help web designers across the globe create profitable and fulfilling careers doing creative work they're passionate about. Flux courses are accessible to students of all levels, whether they're just starting out or have been in the industry for many years and are looking to level up.
Here at Flux Academy, we currently offer three different courses that cover web design, web development, and freelancing:
All three courses are complementary to each other. Depending on where you're at, you could benefit greatly from just one of the courses. Or, you could go all-in and invest in all three in order to learn design, development, and freelancing. Our courses meet you where you're at.
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