Your particular starting point will no doubt depend on your background and goals. However, a good first step for everyone is to get a basic understanding of how the Web and web pages work. This book will give you that foundation. Once you learn the fundamentals, there are plenty of resources on the Web and in bookstores for you to further your learning in specific areas. There are many levels of involvement in web design, from building a small site for yourself to making it a full-blown career. You may enjoy being a full service website developer or just specializing in one skill.
There are a lot of ways you can go. If your involvement in web design is purely at the hobbyist level, or if you have just one or two web projects you’d like to publish, you may find that a combination of personal research (like reading this book), taking advantage of available templates, and perhaps even investing in a visual web design tool such as Adobe Dreamweaver may be all you need to accomplish the task at hand. Many Continuing Education programs offer introductory courses to web design and production. If you are interested in pursuing web design or production as a career, you’ll need to bring your skills up to a professional level.
Employers may not require a web design degree, but they will expect to see working sample sites that demonstrate your skills and experience. These sites can be the result of class assignments, personal projects, or a simple site for a small business or organization. What’s important is that they look professional and have well written, clean HTML, style sheets, and possibly scripts behind the scenes. Getting an entry-level job and working as part of a team is a great way to learn how larger sites are constructed and can help you decide which aspects of web design you would like to pursue.