Web Design 101

If you're brand new to web design, you need to bookmark this page

This page is your complete guide to understanding the basics of creating websites.  It includes beginner web design concepts, products that you should have and posts specifically created for beginners like you.

Basic Web Design Concepts

Below is a list of essential concepts that you need to understand to begin creating website (either for yourself or as a service that you sell to others).  We'll be creating resources for each section soon, but in the meantime just do a Google search for these topics and find other resources.

Building Blocks

In order for a website to be "live" on the Internet, basically three things need to connect together. A Domain Name needs to point to Web Hosting, and WordPress is used to design the actual site.

Domain Names

A domain name is like a phone number, it's what people use to get in contact with you.  The best place to buy a domain is GoDaddy.  Once bought, you need to point your domain name at a web server.

Web Hosting

There are lots of different types of web hosting and depending on why you are making the website will determine which type of hosting you should buy. You should start with a basic web hosting package.

WordPress

Just like there are multiple ways to get to where you want to go, there are multiple ways to build a website. However the best way is to use WordPress. It's 100% free and is the most popular website platform.

Have a SandBox

Being able to experiment and learn new web design skills without messing with a live website is key improving your craft.  Setup your own domain name with a bunch of sandbox WP installs so you can play around.

Install & Configure WordPress

Once your domain name has been pointed to your web hosting now you need to install and configure WordPress.  We recommend you don't use a script installer that comes with your hosting package but instead install it manually.  This will give you a better understanding of how it works and will give you the confidence you need to install WordPress anywhere.

Start by installing the default WordPress theme and playing around with the settings in the Customizer.

3 Things You Need Right Now

Since you are just starting out you only need the very basic building blocks of a website.  Clicking a button below will take you to the website to get the resource.

Domain Name

It all starts with a domain name.  We recommend you start by buying a domain name for your SandBox (your own personal place to experiment and learn).  Buy a generic domain name for yourself, something like robertsandbox.com or mysamplesite.com

Web Hosting

Once you have a domain name now you need web hosting to setup your first website.  HostGator has a hosting plan specifically for WordPress sites that includes automatic updates, malware removal, CDN (more on this later) and more.

WordPress

WordPress is the foundation on which tons of websites are built upon.  Think of WordPress like an engine that powers a website. It makes managing pages and posts super-easy and tons of places have products and training materials specifically for WordPress.

Beginner WDA Posts You'll Find Most Helpful

We categorize every post according to skill level.  Below are the posts that beginners will find most helpful.  When you are comfortable buying a domain name, getting web hosting and setting up a basic WordPress website... move onto the Web Design 102 guide for the next steps in your learning.

This is the absolute best article I’ve ever read (in 35 years)

When the rest of your family lives in a cold, wintery wonderland (Massachusetts) and you live in a sunny, palmtree filled paradise (Florida)… your house becomes the inexpensive vacation destination for the family. And I’m OK with that. It’s currently summer time and our latest visitors, who were fresh out of grade school for the year…

What is the difference between padding and margin?

This is a beginner tutorial, if you’re familiar with margin and padding you might want to skip this one. We love getting emails from you guys with all sorts of interesting questions and ideas and one recurring question that we’ve received many times is “what is the difference between margin and padding”? This guide will…

How To Get Really Good At Web Design

Take the next 5 minutes and watch this video. Please. After watching it I was inspired to tell you guys a little bit more of our story. If you would have asked me 15 years ago if I would be in a position where I would be helping web designers all over the world improve…

5 Steps to Picking a Great Domain Name (#3 is clever)

Back in the day (OK like a few months ago), when we made the decision to combine BestDynamikSkins.com, WPTriggers.com, IWillTeachYouCatalyst.com and a few other domains we needed to create a new name. A new name that would inspire others to pay attention. A new name that would be the one unified place for all the…