Trying to learn web design from scratch

Hi every one, let me introduce myself, my name is paul I am 28 years old and looking to start a new career in web design.
I graduated from university in 2012, with a degree in digital animation.
Since then, for one reason or another I have been working in the care industry, but now fancy a change. I’ve always Been quite technical in mind and previously work as a first line support technician back in the early 00’s.
Now, I have read on the forum that most courses are not with there weight, and the best way to learn is just get stuck in with a good book and online tutorials.
At this time I have no practical knowledge of web design, but do have some skills in photoshop from my uni days.

Would I be able to get some peoples opinions on a good place to start and avenues I could take. Also what are the job opportunity’s available to self taught web designers.

Many thanks.

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Welcome to the Forum.
My best advice - which applies to anything in life - is “Just Do It” (forgive me Nike).
There is no better way to learn anything than continuous practice.

The Internet is a rich resource for reference, inspiration, encouragement.

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Check these online tutorials which may be useful:

Multimedia looks interesting.

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Welcome to the forums, @justgettingstarted.

If you’ve never done any web-related design before, the place to start is with learning HTML and CSS. These are the fundamental “building blocks” of any web page. There are many books and courses available on-line, including those offered by SitePoint Premium. There are also various sites offering free tutorials or varying quality. I haven’t used this one myself, but a number of folk have recommended it here over the years.

If you take a look around the forums, you may find other suggestions; you’re not the first person to ask this kind of question.

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I second your advise… On the same line, I have always loved learning on w3 schools.

I’m not sure if I can share website links here, so I just put w3 schools.

Secondly, I would stress on learning HTML 5 so that you can build all device compatible pages.


Yep, Just do it :slight_smile: I think this forum is a good place to start seeking for knowledge. Also, try some of many freelance communities like:,,,,, and many many more. There might be some job even for unexperienced ones.


Self taught is no problem. Most of what I know of HTML was all self taught. The site that I like to use for learning coding or software is I have found it to be incredibly helpful.

Good luck!

Personally I’ve always found that I learn better from well written books, more so than from either video, or blog post form. I think the reason is, that they can be structured in a logical sequence that allows information and understanding to build up as they’re worked through. I tend to feel that other media forms are almost obliged to go into things at a lower level of depth. On the downside, books can (and do) lose their currency over time, as newer features appear and techniques develop.

That said, the books I’ve learned a lot from over the last couple of years are these:

HTML5 Foundations

CSS3 Foundations

And if you want to move onto JavaScript at some point, this book gets good ratings - I’m working through that one at the moment

JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-end Web Development

There’s also a companion book for that covering both HTML5 and CSS3, though I’ve not looked at that one myself.

HTML5 and CSS3: Design and Build Web-sites

Whatever you do though, don’t just read a book, or copy and paste the code - you need to get used to actually writing the code yourself. Not only will it become ingrained in your head, you will inevitably make mistakes and be forced to analyse what went wrong, and them debug it.

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Its a great Tutorials for the beginners but My opinion is that to do what you can do then take some extra things in it. Do you practice regularly what you learn from the uni.

I would suggest looking at the local community college courses, take note of the books they use and buy them from amazon. This is the second best idea after going to college for web development. =) HTH

The HTML section is reasonable as that hasn’t changed that much since the site was created. Many of the other sections are way out of date though as the site has way too many different things on it for the two guys who set it up to keep everything up to date.

I’d particularly recommend against using the site to learn JavaScript. Even with their recent updates I’d say it is still about 10 years behind the times with that topic.

I’m not a hard core coder but each time I have to code something and when I have forgotten even the basic syntax like echo in php, w3schools comes hand and is the best with examples and everything. w3schools works like a helping hand and remains my favourite.

I would agree that w3schools presents information in a way that is very easy for beginners to understand.

The problem is that a lot of the information is out-of-date and / or incomplete and / or wrong.

IMHO if there is any “best” it would be w3c

The problem being the pages are not “beginner friendly”.

My “go to” site is usually MDN

Even that’s not perfect - but it is certainly a million times better than w3schools - but then they have a big company behind the site where w3schools just has two guys who got lucky with the domain name they chose.

When it come to needing PHP reference, the PHP Manual is my first port of call.


I’ll drink to second that.


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