Need some guidance as an entry-level Web Designer

Hiya FCC,

Just need some guidance on how to get to the next level of Web Design and Development.

To start, I’ve always been design-first, as a graphic designer. I’ve never learnt programming, and have never made the jump into front-end web development. But I know how to design a website, create a simple custom/child WordPress theme, write HTML/CSS etc. from a somewhat entry-level standpoint, since it was easy to learn. Right now, I’ve currently been designing basic WordPress websites for small businesses over the past year or so.

However, my workflow basically consists of developing locally (WAMP) > uploading and editing on a test site via FTP > finalising and uploading to live site via FTP. This involves a very crude loop of updating files, uploading via FTP, refreshing pages, repeat.

My problem is that it always feels like I’m cowboy coding the ‘old-fashioned way’, if you could even call it proper ‘coding’. It feels like I’m stuck in the early 2010s, using JS and WordPress plugins to fill the void, and something that anybody after two-weeks of training can do.

I want to teach myself proper front-end development with JS Frameworks, Node modules, etc. But I feel they’ll get me nowhere if I don’t know how to implement it in a workflow (especially one involving WordPress).

I’ve also looked at things such as Gulp, Webpack, GitHub/Bitbucket, Heroku, etc. but I don’t know what to learn first, or whether certain things will be worth spending the time to learn. Ultimately, I’m looking to find:

  • A proper, professional front-end workflow
  • Things to learn that will enhance my workflow
  • Things I can use/implement to bring my websites to a slick, 2018 standard.

Very vague post, and has probably been discussed to death before, but any help or suggestions will be much appreciated. Cheers!

I’m not a designer. What I know:

  1. Some webdesigner are using today Adobe XD for better handling responsive layouts.
  2. Some webdesigner don’t design at all but go directly to a CMS and build websites there (some are using ready-backed themes). This does not mean they are programmer. They care about getting the right design and if they need help - they ask a programmer doing the necessary things. I don’t know whether Wordpress can handle responsive layouts, but surely there exists plugins that can handle grid systems.
  3. FCC has a good learning workflow:
    3a) That “Responsive Web Design Certification” is surely useful for you.
    3b) “Javascript Algorithms And Data Structures Certification” is the foundation of javascript. You can checkout whether you like programming. If you don’t have fun doing that (most times) it’s probably not a good idea to force yourself.
  4. Organisation in work can be optimized e.g. by using Kanban or user stories. Here 2 nice FCC-videos:

I don’t see a general webdesign workflow. It’s depending on the tools you are using and whether you are working alone or within a team (project manager, designer, texter, programmer…) I think the workflow will develop by it’s own.

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This guy has immediately come to mind when I read your post, he’s a WordPress developer and has a course specifically on the workflow (it’s not focused on Wordpress I don’t think). It teaches you GitHub, Gulp, Node.js and NPM (that’s what you use for installing node modules, which are simply 3rd party libraries)

Just make sure you’re the target audience and meet the requirements. Each Udemy course has this in the course description.

Other than that:

Barely anyone uses photoshop anymore, so I’ve heard. Switch to Adobe XD.

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