KillerSites Blog

Transitioning to Web Design and Web Development.

August 9, 2010

question about web design


Some of my best posts (at least IMHO) are derived from questions put to me by students and visitors to one of our ‘killer’ sites.


So, this time around, I have a great question from an old school Oracle developer who wants to get into the web game:

Hi Stefan,

Speaking for myself, I’m a former Oracle application and database developer (10 yrs exp) who’s looking to transition to freelance web design/development, and will likely become a subscriber to KillerSites University in short order.

My question for you is this: would I need to shell out for Dreamweaver in order to derive maximum benefit from the site’s video tutorials (HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP/mySQL)? Or, could I get by using a combination of free tools, such as Amaya w/TopStyle Lite?

Also, how crucial is the graphics component of web design for someone who wishes to become a web developer (ultimate emphasis on the programming side)? My artistic and spatial skills are rather limited, to put it mildly (thought modality is decidedly more verbal than visual)?

Thank you for your help.


The answer:

Hi Nick,

Dreamweaver is just an option. We use Dreamweaver to teach web design software, because it is the most widely used commercial package out there … and besides, the concepts carry forward to most other web design programs.

… But keep in mind and as you are probably aware, many web designers will use a simple text editor for much of their work.


How about designer/graphics skills?

Graphics are not necessarily important because you can leverage the many templates that are out there. Besides, if you follow a few basic design principles, you can make a simple page look good.

The truth of the matter is that still today, it is the coder/programmer who makes the big money and gets many more jobs than the average designer. The exception of course, is if you are a talented designer – then you’ll do very well too.

These two training packages are probably what you are looking for:

Complete Web Designer.

Complete Web Programmer.

This recent blog post might be interesting for you as well:


PS: do you mind if I use part of your email in a blog post? The questions are good ..