KillerSites Blog

Why do web designers need to learn to program?

July 15, 2006 was first made famous about 10 years ago (1996) when it taught web designers to use design principles when building websites.

In those days, dancing mice and ‘under construction’ animated gifs were common …

Years later (2002-2003,) web designers started to become very aware of the importance of good code, separation of styling (CSS) from structure (HTML/XHTML), usability, accessibility etc…

This may be surprising to some (who may be new to web design) but before then, most web designers barely understood HTML!


Today I think the next challenge for web designers, is to learn to program.

I know, I know … many of you are probably have a 1000 reasons why you have no need, and no interest in learning a programming language like PHP or JavaScript.

But consider these few simple points:

  • Learning even a little programming will open you to a whole new world of possibilities with your websites.
  • Learning to program will teach you to think in new ways that can have great benefits in all aspects of life.
  • Learning to program will improve your understanding of web design – it will deepen considerably.

Besides what is listed above (with each being reason enough,) learning to program will give you a very marketable skill … you’ll be worth more!


I’ve been dancing around the whole programming thing for a while with: the occasional article, video or podcast.

I’ve been slowly ‘priming’ you guys for the big move … the move into highest level of nerdom: programming.

My goal is to teach total non-nerd and artsy web designer types, how to write PHP. Not theoretical stuff; useful PHP that you can use in your own web projects.

Don’t worry, I am going to take it slow and do everything in my power to avoid nerd jargon. Or as I like to call it: ‘nerd-speak’.


To get the ball rolling, I’ve created what I call a ‘micro-site’ – a website dedicated to one narrow subject.

In this case, is dedicated to teaching web designers (not programmers) how to create database driven websites with PHP.