Starting Your Own Web Design Business
First, you need to be able to publish a web site to the Internet. To do this you have to use Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which is a relative easy programming language. For the day to day design work you probably will buy and learn to use one of the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editors. However, learning the basics of HTML is still a prerequisite to starting a successful web design shop even if you use one of the canned HTML editors. Buy yourself a HTML reference book and a good find one is at the Dummies web site.
There are several very good WYSIWYG HTML editors for sale such as Microsoft's FrontPage 2003 or Macromedia's - DreamWeaver 8. FrontPage is probably the best choice for a beginner while DreamWeaver is a bit more sophisticated it is also more difficult to learn. In addition to these two HTML editors there are many more available and a search for 'HTML editors' on Google returns over seven million web sites.
Next you will need a hosting company to display your web site and there are hundreds to choose from. You may want to start cheap and the domain name registrar GoDaddy.com has server space for rent that will host a small web site for a very reasonable price. Or looking ahead you may even choose one of the companies offering reseller hosting plans so that you will be able to host the web site that you design thereby creating a built in source of reoccurring income. After trying almost a dozen different hosting companies BlackGyr now uses midPhase and recommends their service without reservation for their support, reliability and price.
So now you need to practice. Start on your own web site and work to create a site that YOU are proud to send any prospective client to for an example of the work you do. When you have reached this level of competence you are ready for the next step, pricing the work that you offer and that will be my next article and I will address web design prices which is the basis for a competitive business. Now affordable web design is not rocket science but a cost estimate for web design that makes sense to your clients is a must.
Published March 18th, 2007