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The Most Essential Tips and Tools for Beginner Web Developers

The ability to build web applications is a skill that many want to have: not only are such specialists still in demand, but there are also numerous benefits of being a web developer, including remote work. But how do you begin? Making the first steps seems quite hard – here’s your little guide to help you start.

Get the right education

Tools and tips will not be of much help if you don’t know the basics. Before you can actually start coding, you should learn some basic concepts programming, system architecture, or design. If you want to pursue your passion for front end development, you should learn as much as possible about CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. All three cover the basics of web development, so they are essential. As a web developer, you will also take advantage of knowing some prototyping tools that will help you create mock ups of web applications and website layouts, as well as knowledge of Color Theory, which is a real must-know for web devs. There’s a whole variety of online and offline courses that you can take and you should really keep learning. After all, the more you know, the better job you can get.

Can you just skip all that and start working right away? It may be tempting to jump ahead of yourself and start with the projects, but you’ll see that going from HTML body tags to JavaScript is not that easy. You can’t have it all right here, right now, give yourself some time to progress and take in new skills.

Get all the right fonts

When it comes to web design, fonts make the difference. The font you choose can make or break your career – there’s very thin line between what’s professional and what’s merely average. Get yourself a great font collection. Look up what’s in and what’s out, learn the rules of matching different fonts, and use the endless online resources to back up your collection of favorite fonts. This will really come in handy.

Always keep things simple

You know what they say, less is more! Sometimes simplicity wins, and a website is far better off when it’s not excessively complicated. According to different studies, website users don’t appreciate visual complexity. It may sound strange at first, but the more complex a design is, the less appealing it becomes. When designing a website, some of the things you should consider excluding are the sidebars, sliders, carousels, accordions, and tabs. Despite the fact that many website owners like carousels and they are likely to request them, recent researches show that they’re of no use and they’d better be avoided. Choose simplicity and go with standard layouts that people are familiar with.

Communicate effectively

Communication is the key, always. The way you communicate with your clients will directly influence the outcome of any project. You have to be available when they need to discuss some things with you, and you need to be clear and concise about everything. Learn how to present yourself and your work to people, when you do it right, it really makes a difference. You need to learn to communicate in a professional way and define what “professional” means to you exactly.

Communication matters at every stage of the project. It’s important to make a good first impression, and to start cooperation, and it’s crucial during development: you need to be transparent and make sure that everything is well-understood.  Whenever a dispute arises, you need effective communication to be able to solve it.

Be able to sell yourself

It’s also a jungle out there. No matter what business you choose, there are countless competitors, and the IT world has a lot of fans. You should realize that the competition is big – it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to do, it should motivate you to be even better.  It’s like you are competing with the whole world (well, not literally), and that means you have to bring in your A-game. To stand out from the competition, you must have an incredible ability to sell yourself. There are several marketing methods and platforms you can use:  social media marketing, word of mouth, and many more. No matter which one you choose, remember to highlight your portfolio and the relevant advantages.

Always plan before you design

You could imagine that designers have to wait until they feel inspiration before they can start working on a project. However, as much as this might work for some developers, it’s not true for everyone. Planning your work before you begin goes a long way, so do some research, plan everything you need to, and then start working on your project as soon as you can. Some of the things you need to research are the client’s company, related industry trends, and competitors. Make sure that you understand what the client needs because it all comes down to being able to give them what they want and answering their businesses’ needs.

Always make website speed a priority

Speed is extremely important when it comes to website loading time, and it influences many things, including revenue, conversations, bounce rate, and user satisfaction. If you design an app or a website that is slow, users will get frustrated and leave the site. Think about it from the perspective of the user: you want to see the website right away, not just watch it load. If you’re waiting for something to happen for too long, you just quit. The truth is that you should always keep the end user in mind. And nowadays, it’s just a standard for users that they don’t have to wait. What’s more, site speed also affects the ranking of the website on search engines – so the speed really should be a top priority.

Always stay up to date with technology

Technology is evolving at a crazy pace and more and more developers are coming up with new software every day. This means that you need to keep up so you can be in tune with the industry. Find out what’s new on the market or what’s trending, and spare some of your time to learn something new regularly. If you don’t do this, your competition will get ahead of you really fast. Identify your top learning resources – it can be an industry magazine, a company blog, such as Neoteric, or a content hub created by other professionals of your field. It will all help you catch up both with business and tech news.

Gain experience

Most clients looking for webs developers always include experience as a requirement. People will not only want to know your skills or qualifications, but also your past projects, the companies you’ve worked with, and how much you actually know. Given the fact that you are a beginner, you should not wait until you are done with school to start working. Start working on projects even part-time because the more experience you have, the more clients trust you.

Always stay organized

Being organized is very important, regardless of the field you work in. Organize everything you are working with, including your computer. Organize your pictures, videos, graphics, tools, and software so you can have easy access when working. Learn to use project management tools such as Trello to help you manage tasks and spend your time efficiently.

Always update your portfolio

Maintaining a great portfolio will be one of the best things you can do for your career. This is the one place where you get to showcase your abilities, skills, and aesthetics. This is what your potential clients will look at before hiring you, and you need them to have a good impression of you. Make sure that your portfolio contains some of your great pieces and expresses your personal style.

Conclusion

As anything in life, web development can be easy, and it can be very challenging at times. It all depends on how you handle the process – with the right approach, you can learn the needed skills fast and start working with your first projects. Of course, you’ll need determination and patience, but then, good things don’t come easy, do they?

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  • Hi,

    I especially like the section when you’re talking about fonts. In my opinion, a nice and meaningful choice of  fonts and colors are the most important design requirements for a website.

    Thanks for your work.

    Best regards

    Johannes