Basic Steps Involved in Teaching Yourself to Become a Web Developer

If you’re a young person finishing high school, you had good grades, you’re sharp, you love computers, and you have financial backing…you might just be headed off to college to master the art of higher learning. However…let’s say you’re not. Let’s say that the college opportunity door opened, then closed, and you’re still standing where you were without having gone through it. SURE, you can go to college now, but do you want to?

Let’s say instead that there were a way to earn very good money in the real world, but without having to spend the next 3 or 4 years of your time (to say nothing of your money) learning a trade that may or may not pay off for you. Let’s say that you could simply apply yourself to being your own teacher, and still come out on top. That is precisely what is possible in our day and age, and precisely what you’ll need to do to make yourself a Web developer without going to college.

Okay, it’s time to talk details. Let’s start with basic computer skills. If you’re not computer literate at this point, then you’re not necessarily in the wrong place (i.e., wanting to become a Web developer), but it might just be that you’re here at the wrong time. First, become computer literate. There are other classes that are built for that. Go do that, then come back here. However, if you are computer literate, take the first step toward becoming a Web developer…and this will involve a trip to Borders, or Barnes & Noble, or whatever bookstore is close by.

#1 – Buy yourself a coffee, then go look at the Computer Programming section of the bookstore. When I first took this step, it was recommended to me that I buy Sam’s Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 days. I bought it. It’s a great book, but nobody told me that page one of that book is still like Greek to a true beginner. Thus, first pick up the newest teach yourself ASP.NET for true beginners and you’ll be off on the right track. Then find Sam’s Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 Days, or some such “instructor’s manual”.

#2 – Now, organize your schedule. You’ll be needing the next few months to BEGIN to teach yourself this trade. Decide on a truly reasonable schedule that you can live with over a relatively long period of time. It’s much better to study for one to two hours daily than for 12 hours straight on the weekend. Find the time…then sit down in front of your computer, open the first book to page one, and begin to read.

#3 – Be a kind teacher. The really cool teachers that we remember from school were the ones that were kind, but at the same time, could really teach us something. Be that way with yourself. When you’ve been studying for a few days and you shut your book, drop your head into your hands, and say, “I’ll NEVER get this!”, then be kind to yourself. Recognize that nobody got it in the first couple of days, weeks, or even months. It takes time, but you have to keep moving forward. When you get worn down, depressed, or just feel like giving up, take a break! Go make a coffee, take a nap, or whatever relaxes you. Then come back and before opening the book again, stop and ask yourself this one, simple question: What do I know right now about this subject that I did not know when I started? Chances are very, very good that you will answer that question with quite a few things that you’ve learned. Thus, you ARE INDEED learning.

#4 – Find a way to enjoy what you are learning. When we actually enjoy something, we will keep doing it. Thus, when teaching yourself to become a Web developer, don’t forget to isolate what it is that you enjoy most about the tasks that the books/manuals give you, and then capitalize on those! Share them with your family and/or friends. Live it up. Enjoy yourself.

#5 – Once you have worked hard for months at this “project”, chances are that you’ll be wanting to start to earn money at it.

Stay tuned for the following article about how to take your training to the next level…and actually earn some money!

Small Business Web Development

Small business web development is something which unfortunately even to this day is rarely understood. There are two main schools of thought which surround it – those small business owners who look for the designer who has created the most attractive and professional websites in the past and those who want a website to get results.

I would suggest that as a small business owner you should be looking for a web developer who possesses the second skill. I don’t necessarily mean to find a developer who makes *ugly* sites, but it is important that you consider how you are going to benefit from your website before you start building it.

In other words you need ot start with the end in mind. Too many small business owners and web developers themselves focus firstly on making an attractive website with a real “wow” factor. Then they sit down to try and figure out how to market it effectively so that you actually get the end result you’re looking for – more customers or clients for your business without having to spend an arm and a leg to get them.

As I’m sure you can imagine, not only is this backwards but can also lead to frustration. So for best results, start out with the end in mind.

You need to find a professional in the realm of small business web development who specializes in building websites that get results – rather than just look nice. Find someone who knows how to design a site so that it will draw potential customers from the search engines each day and it won’t be too long before you start to notice some significant improvements in your profits as a result.

Finding Professional Web Development Services

Every new and small business owner is at least generally aware of the need to have an Internet site for their business. Creating the site without professional web development services can work if the skills are present, but with the professional support the site can quickly become a time consuming nightmare when the business should be the focus of the owner. There are several things to consider when looking for a professional.

The first issue is cost. Many companies are prone to hiring a family member to create the site to save money. While this seems like a good idea in the beginning, very quickly the family member will grow tired of having to constantly make changes to satisfy the owner’s needs and the frustration with an incomplete site begins to emerge.

Looking for a professional includes asking for references and portfolios. The true professional will have a series of sites and examples that can be viewed and even used to see what features the designer is able to make. Without the portfolio the type of site may be left up in the air, again causing frustration.

Many designers will also agree to setup the domain and hosting services needed. The domain is the actual address that begins with www. The hosting provides a place for the domain to reside. This is required in order for a site to be found on the Internet.

Many designers also have the ability to create the needed graphics for the website. If they do not, they usually have a relationship with someone who can provide these for the owner. In many cases, a photo of the retail location, logo, or other graphics are needed to provide a great presence for the company.

When the site is created, the job does not end. Part of the initial conversation should include what is available regarding site maintenance when completed. Many companies need to have a photo gallery to show their wares, or a shopping cart for sales. These will need to be continually updated after the initial site goes live. Setting a price for ongoing maintenance is best done prior to signing a contract.

When the site is live it is time to begin combining the traditional advertising with the site. Include the domain name in all advertisements, business cards, stationary, and any signs on the building or company vehicles. Just making the site does not guarantee people will visit. But, if people know the site is available, they will check out the products and services long before they ever visit the actual retail location.

Having a website available for people to view before they visit the retail location helps make the sales easier when they do. The customer who has already reviewed the products and services is visiting or calling because they want to purchase. Making sure the web development services are professional and the site is completed on a timely basis is important to get the company online and functioning in the Internet as efficiently as possible. Without a presence on the Internet, a business can be missed because people use the Internet to find what they are looking for more than any other method.