Let me tell you how I became an excellent web developer in just seven months. It all started when I had just begun the fourth year of my bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology. I had a lot of time because our class schedules were happening online. With the extra hours, I looked for opportunities to explore my career. As fate would have it, I enrolled in the Digital4africa web design classes to sharpen my skills. I have always been passionate about building websites, and this course propelled me in the right direction.
By the end of the course, I built my first website, which I’ll be talking about here. With what I learned, let me share some tips to help you. But first, let us define web development.
What is Web Development?
My lecturer shared one of the simplest and easiest ways to understand web development. As she taught, web development is the process of building and designing a website. It’s the equivalent of making a digital home on the internet. It involves creating web pages, adding pictures and text, and making everything work properly when you click on links or buttons. Think of it as building your online clubhouse that people can visit.
How To Learn Web Development: The Two Options You Have
As I began my journey into web development, I found myself surrounded by a multitude of choices and tools, much like a vast store filled with building materials. The options seemed endless, and it was exciting to explore them.
However, amidst this array of possibilities, I discovered two distinct paths for learning web development: writing HTML/ CSS files and using Content Management Software. These options, particularly the latter, offered structured ways to dive into the world of web development, and each had its own advantages and unique approach to helping me build the skills needed for creating impressive websites. Let’s have a deep dive into each of them.
The HTML/ CSS Approach To Web Development
To create a webpage, you combine these two. Your HTML file provides the structure and content, and your CSS file adds the style and presentation.
HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is like the blueprint of a webpage. It’s a language used to structure and organize content on a page. Think of it as the skeleton or the framework that holds everything together. In an HTML file, you use various tags (like <h1> for headings, <p> for paragraphs, and <a> for links) to tell the web browser how to display your content. This creates the basic structure of your webpage.
On the other hand, CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is like the paint and decorations that make your webpage look great. It’s a language that’s used to control the visual style and layout of your web page. In a CSS file, you can specify colors, fonts, spacing, and positioning for the elements on your HTML page. It lets you make your webpage visually appealing and ensure it looks how you want it to.
The web browser reads both files together, following the instructions in your HTML to structure the content and then using your CSS to make it look good. This combination of HTML and CSS gives you a fully-fledged webpage that people can visit and interact with on the internet.
Let’s see a practical example of creating a simple HTML/CSS webpage. We will write a code snippet that creates a webpage with the following elements: a title, “Welcome To My First Webpage,” a sentence: This is how you create a webpage with HTML and CSS and a button that navigates you to a second page. Here we go!
You can type this code here to test how it runs on a free online HTML compiler.
Content Management Software Approach To Web Development
Was that fun? The next approach is more interesting. Content Management Software (CMS) can also build amazing websites. There are a bunch of different software you can use to build your websites. These tools are like different flavours of ice cream, and you can choose the one you like the most. Here is a list of some of the most commonly used web development CMS:
We will focus on WordPress. It is a type of CMS that simplifies website creation. WordPress makes building and managing websites easy, even if you’re not a coding expert. It offers pre-made designs and plugins which can be used for quick and easy webpage building.
To understand WordPress, you may need to get up to speed with themes and plugins. These are key features that make WordPress an easy-to-use tool. Let’s learn what these features are.
Theme: A theme is like the outfit your website wears. It’s a ready-made design that changes how your website looks. Think of it as choosing different clothes for your site to make it stylish and appealing.
Plugin: A plugin is like a special power-up for your website. It’s an add-on that gives your site new abilities. Just like adding new features to your phone with apps, plugins make your website do cool things.
What’s more, WordPress has tons of these plugins that give your website absolute functionality. Whether you want a contact form, a gallery, or even an online store, there’s likely a plugin that can do the job. No need to be a coding wizard for these features.
And the best part? You can drag and drop elements on your webpage to design it just as you want. It’s like arranging furniture in your room – no coding skills are needed. This makes web development easy and enjoyable, even if you’re not a tech expert.
Getting Started With WordPress Web Development
Are you ready to kick-start your web development journey with WordPress? Digital For Africa offers an 8-week hybrid training program to empower you with the skills and knowledge needed to create efficient and relevant websites. The course includes a blend of in-person and virtual sessions, making it accessible to everyone. You can secure your slot by calling our office line at +(254) 701 056 985 or visiting our website for enrollment details.
Our evening classes at 6 p.m. are ideal for busy professionals looking to enhance their skills after a day’s work. The physical sessions, held once a week at our office in Nairobi Garage, Delta Corner Annex, Westlands Rd, provide hands-on experience through practical lessons, projects, and assignments. You’ll learn how to conduct requirements analysis before diving into the design phase and explore powerful tools for optimizing web images, using AI for copywriting, keyword phrasing, and mastering your website’s SEO.
And that’s not all – the training course has a 30-day free mentorship program. As you begin your web development journey, you’ll be guided by an expert web developer from our company. You’ll have a weekly meeting on a day convenient, allowing you to catch up and debunk any obstacles you’ve encountered while building your website.
By the end of the program, you’ll receive a credible certificate and have the expertise to create your own websites, performing professionally as a web developer. Contact our office to book your slot and embark on this exciting web development journey today.
How To Improve Your Web Development Skills
As you’re wrapping up your training with our mentorship program, it’s essential to keep the momentum going and continue sharpening your web development skills. Here are four insightful tips to inspire your ongoing journey:
Take on Personal Web Development Projects
Apply what you’ve learned by working on your own web projects. Practical experience is one of the best teachers, and tackling personal projects allows you to explore and experiment in a real-world setting.
Utilize Online Learning Resources
Don’t stop learning. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses and resources to expand your knowledge. They’re like virtual libraries filled with web development wisdom.
Set SMART-Defined Goals
To keep growing, define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your web development journey. Clear objectives will guide your learning and measure your progress.
As you’ve experienced with our mentorship program, there’s tremendous power in teaching. Sharing your knowledge with beginners helps them and reinforces what you know. It’s a fantastic way to solidify your skills and give back to the web development community.
With these tips, you’ll continue evolving and refining your web development skills, ensuring your journey remains rewarding and enriching.
The Best Way To Learn Web Development.
To learn web development, you must start with a single step. That step could be as simple as booking your slot for our upcoming November class. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by; it’s your chance to explore, learn, and grow in web development. Sign up and be a part of the ever-evolving world of web creation. Your journey begins here.