KillerSites Blog

Web Designers MUST learn web programming!

May 3, 2010

Maybe I’m beating a dead horse, or maybe I can’t overstate how important it is these days, that web designers should learn (at least) a little web programming. For me, that means Javascript and PHP.

The modern website demands a little behavior!

When you look at creating a website, you can break it down to three basic tasks:

  1. Adding Structure – the HTML
  2. Adding Style – the CSS
  3. Adding Behavior – Javascript/DOM scripting

All web designers recognize #1 and #2 and so they learn HTML and CSS. But few want to admit that the third element in the trinity, is staring them right in the face.

… Boy, web designers can really fear learning Javascript or PHP! The problem is, that if they don’t learn how to program, they will find themselves at a great disadvantage.

Modern websites …

Modern websites almost always require some behavior – functionality that only web programming can provide. Think about it, how many websites these day, DON’T have some dynamic behavior, whether it be a simple contact form, the use of ‘includes’ to make updating the site easier, a shopping cart, a blog, a forum, a CMS, form validation, RSS feeds and on and on …

Does that mean that I have to become a full-fledged web-nerd programmer?

No. But you should be comfortable reading Javascript and PHP code and you should feel comfortable editing script. This way, adding pre-packaged PHP and Javascript will be relatively easy. Installing and modifying a blog, CMS or shopping cart will not be an impossible task.

For all these reasons I’ve created beginners video courses on Javascript and PHP specifically targeting web designers – I’ve designed the courses to ‘speak to’ designers rather than programmers.

Departing words from a libertarian nerd …

Do what thou wilt … but the wise nerd knows, that the more you learn, the more you earn.

Stefan Mischook