Having some web design education can be extremely valuable. When you know how to build your own site, you won't have to pay someone else to do it for you.
With that said, learning web design isn't always easy. Keep these simple tips in mind if you want to improve your design skills.
1. Educate Yourself
Above all else, you should continually work to educate yourself. Take advantage of the many tools and resources available to you, and work to learn as much about web design as you possibly can.
You don't have to master web design all at once. In fact, it's better to learn a little bit at a time. With that said, you should always be looking for opportunities to improve your skills. Whether you read an e-book or participate in an online class, you should constantly be working to improve your design skills.
2. Build Up A Library Of Fonts
Creating a great-looking site is much easier when you have plenty of appealing fonts to work with. Every week, take the time to check out some of the new free fonts available. Add a few new fonts to your collection.
If you come across a paid font that is especially appealing, you may want to add that to your collection as well. If you have a large assortment of fonts to work with, you will always be able to create the kind of site you are looking for.
3. Add New Brushes To Your Collection
While Photoshop is a powerful tool on its own, it's a lot more impressive if you expand on the base software. Downloading brushes will allow you to give your sites a much more interesting look.
There are all kinds of Photoshop brushes out there, and most of them can be downloaded for free. There are a number of other Photoshop tools, like actions and shapes, that can also be downloaded at little to no charge.
4. Invest In A Good Framework
Building a site is a lot easier if you don't have to start from scratch. Instead of creating everything from the ground up, you should invest in a high-quality framework.
There are a number of frameworks available for purchase. A lot of these frameworks are very easy to work with. Many of them were created with specific content management systems, like WordPress, in mind.
Take a look at some of the frameworks out there. The Genesis framework is highly recommended by a lot of web design experts, but there are a number of other excellent frameworks as well. You should be able to find a quality framework that is well within your budget.
5. Test Your Sites On Numerous Browsers
Even if your design is responsive, it may not look great on every type of browser. Thankfully, there are a number of tools that will let you test your site on dozens of browsers.
One of the best site-testing tools is Screenfly. It will allow you to preview your site on several different displays. Another excellent option is Browsershots. It will let you see a sample rendering of your site on a number of popular browsers. These tools will allow you to identify issues before they become a problem. You can make sure that your site looks great for everyone.
6. Look For Sources Of Inspiration
Don't be afraid to look at other web designers when you need some inspiration. There are all kinds of talented designers out there, and some of them have created some truly beautiful sites. Take a look at some of your favorite sites and try to think about what you like about them.
You may want to start a gallery of sites that you love. If you're ever having a hard time coming up with an idea for a site, take a look at some of those designs. You should be able to come up with a great idea that's completely original.
Learning web design can be challenging, but it isn't as impossible as a lot of people assume it is. What it will really take is a lot of time and effort on your part. If you're willing to learn, you'll eventually be able to master it.