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Step-by-step Training Guide On How To Become A Front-end Web Designer

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Ultimate training guide to become a front-end developer and earn 60k-100k annual salary

By Editorial Team on 2017-05-16

There are lots of online resources for folks interested in web design and development. In spite of high volume of training contents, this is a lack of step-by-step guidance for those wish to learn it systematically. In this article, we review essentials steps or skills that one need to possess in order to become a front-end web designer specialist.

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It is important to note that this article is mainly focus on discussing front-end career for web programmers. There are at least the following 5 areas of front-end web design that are not discussed in this article: 1- Those use drag-and-drop or What You See Is What You Get tools like Adobe Dreamweaver to create a website without coding, 2- Those use Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal to build front-end or static sites without coding, 3- Those use content editing tools like graphic designer or video editors to improve a website Look and Feel without coding, 4- Those who do User Interface design like website wireframes, or mobile App mock-up without coding, and 5- Those who do front-end consulting for User Experience, marketing, and branding without knowledge of coding. It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and web design in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

Front-end developers are normally dealing with what a site visitor sees on a computer or Smartphone screen. Also, most site visitors spend a few seconds on a site and decide whether to use it or not. Therefore, it is a front-end web designer job to create interactive, intuitive and responsive web pages. To become a front-end specialist and get six digit salary, you have to follow through the below 7 steps.

  1. HTML and CSS
    The starting point for all web designers is to learn HTML and CSS. Although these two coding languages seem very easy to learn, it takes lots of practice to really master them. For instance, for one design object in a web page, there are different ways to combine HTML and CSS tags.

  2. Learn HTML5
    After you know how to code HTML and CSS, you need to learn HTML5 which is very popular. This is the language that is used for designing both hybrid and native mobile Apps.

  3. Learn CSS3
    Learning HTML5 usually goes hand in hand with learning latest version of CSS (which as of now is CSS3).

  4. Bootstrap framework
    After you go through in depth training for step 1-3, you can design custom websites using Bootstrap framework. You can even change a current Bootstrap template to meet your needs.

  5. Learn JavaScript
    No front-end training will be complete without JavaScript coding especially for folks specialized in User Interface or UI. You need to learn how to code in JavaScript and add rich and interactive features to a web page.

  6. jQuery framework
    After learning and using JavaScript, you can start this step. jQuery has lots of features and functionalities that are great for any eye catching and user friendly website.

  7. Other JavaScript frameworks
    There are lots of other popular yet more advance JavaScript frameworks. The most sought after front-end JavaScript framework are React and Angular. It is important to note that there are lots of concepts and libraries to learn on just one JS framework, so you have to be patience. For instance, to become an Angular specialist, it may take a few months of intense training, project-based exercises, and study.

Summary and Additional Remarks
To become a front-end or UI expert, you need to aim at a journey not a destination as frameworks and libraries change very frequently. You need constantly learn and update your knowledge to stay ahead of the game. Lastly, as we discussed earlier you can pursue a path of front-end web designer without knowing how to code. Therefore, front-end job market and opportunities are open to both programmers and non-programmers. 

Here are a few final remarks. If you wish to become a FullStack developer, you need to learn JavaScript frameworks such as Node and Express or a server-side coding language like PHP  along with a database engine like MongoDB or MySQL on top of your frontend coding languages. FullStack is someone who can perform both frontend and backend tasks. Likewise, to be specialized as only backend developer, you many need to learn PHP, MySQL, Apache, and Linux. Lastly, you can leverage your HTML and CSS coding skills toward digital marketing for designing and developing successful HTML email or newsletter marketing campaigns. Here is a good article if you wish to learn more about HTML email design and newsletter marketing.

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Review of top 5 certifications for open source programming languages like Java or C++
Review of top 5 JS frameworks for mobile App developers and web designers
Ultimate training guide to become a PHP developer and earn 80k-120k annual salary
Ultimate training guide to become a CMS specialist and earn 80k-120k annual salary
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