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It is easier now than ever before to get a website. You can practically throw one up yourself with no training and no web design background. With some popular content management systems on the market – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, et. al. – you can build a site from scratch without knowing any HTML or code. And many web hosts offer sitebuilders for free. Sign up, pay your small monthly hosting fee, and start building. Easy, right?

Yes, easy. But not necessarily a benefit.

There is still search engine optimization to contend with. And just because you can build a site with no knowledge of web design doesn’t mean you should. Surveying websites built by designers and non-designers, even designers who use content management systems, there is still a big difference. And it’s noticeable.

Let’s face it, good web design requires specialized knowledge in the following areas:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Graphic design
  • HTML (hypertext markup language) – Even if you use a content management system to build your website, a working knowledge of HTML is helpful.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – Again, even with a content management system, you might want to make some tweaks to your site sitewide and a working knowledge of CSS will be helpful.
  • JavaScript and PHP – Two more coding languages that can be helpful.
  • Working with images
  • Copywriting
  • Sales – Writing for the web is selling; if you can’t write sales copy then you’ll need to hire someone who can.
  • Web standards
  • Online marketing strategies

As you can see, there is a lot to learn when doing it yourself. You can take the time to learn it and fail by trial and error a few times until you succeed, or you can hire a guide to help you. Web design isn’t going away any time soon. If anything, experts in web design will always be needed.

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