3 Tips To Become a Self-Taught Site Builder

Many of us dream of working less hours and making more money, desire site-building skills or simply want an edge up in the modern world. Teaching yourself website building skills is not only an intriguing way to stretch your brain, but has many fringe benefits. Users of the tech-titan site Skillcrush report that learning the trade has allowed them to:

  • Have the freedom to make their own schedule
  • Earn more, work less and say “no” to unappealing jobs
  • Experience offers coming to them, not the other way around
  • Say sayonara to the application process
  • Work remotely while pursuing other interests
  • Feel like an important part of the tech community.

Coding and programming may seem daunting to many, but like many unique skill sets, once you take the first step, the journey becomes less daunting every day. If you’re ready to begin or even explore the topic, follow these simple steps to get started, and soon you’ll be well on your way.

1. Start With the “Why”

Experts at both Lifehacker and PCMag suggest you hone in on the precise reasons they want to learn to build. This will dictate which languages you want to start with, how to find the best tutorials and which interactive, gaming or test sites you should spend your time on.

If you want to be a professional programmer, starting college courses is a good, but pricey start. If you’re looking to develop iOS apps, for example, you’ll need to know Swift, or if you want a high level understanding of the whole coding hemisphere, C is a good place to start. Or, perhaps you’re looking to gain the skills it takes to simply create and attractive and functional website without becoming a foremost expert in mobile coding languages. Whatever the case, the next step will be to:

2. Explore Tutorials And More

When you’ve honed in on the right code or language, it’s time to soak in all the many resources available to you. The internet is bursting with free resources and tips of the trade, however without a solid path or personal “blueprint” you may be in for a wild stab in the dark. Designer/ programmer Nick Scheule advises novice site builders that “The Web is full of forums and communities that will help you validate your learning path. You can even contact [many local experts]. A lot of people do [contact]  and ask me if the resources they gathered for learning are good enough.”

As you explore, Scheule points out the web is also full of gimmicky tutorials that novices should “run the other way from.” Tips to help you weed out the wastes-of-time and hone in on the helpful include:

  • Watch out for eBooks that seem too good to be true– they’ll claim to each you complex programming languages in “a few easy steps.”
  • In order to build anything worth building, you should always start with a blueprint. Companies like Wix or Squarespace can provide a good jumping-board to help direct you. Using a site builder like Websitebuilder.com, Weebly, or Squarespace allows you to get the initial idea of building a website down so you can understand that blueprint before you delve into code.
  • Read reviews, compare. Reading a website builder review, for example, can help you decide on which type of website builder would work best for you to get your feet wet. Do you want ultra simple and stylish? Go with something like Squarespace. Do you want the ability to highly customize your templated design with your own custom coding? Go with something like Websitebuilder.com, as it has more advanced options if users want to take advantage of them.
  • Local resources: college courses are expensive, and often don’t give you the hands on feel and personal support or myriad services. Learning communities like AcademyX, however, offer both online resources and local in-person courses. Finding a local source of mentorship and growth is a bona fide way to seal your new skill-set and/or expand.

3. Be Patient, Start Small

Patience is a virtue in almost every field, however it may be even more important to keep in mind when starting out learning programming and site building. No matter which style, code or learning path you choose to take, always remember to start at the beginning and that Rome wasn’t built in a day– and some aspects are arguably much more complicated than even building the Colosseum.

Programming teacher David Sinsky (who taught himself in eight weeks — not typical), advises that after you complete your beginner tutorial, that you tear the code down and start from scratch. Take each project and divide it into steps. Start with the basics and make a checklist you can tick off during each phase.  And always remember the beauty of programming is this: no matter what you hope to accomplish, or which avenue you take– if you get stuck or feel burnt out, there’s always another method to explore to reach your goals.

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