Do you need to know code to build websites?

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Email Opt-In Forms | Best Places to Add Email Opt Ins on Your Website

The infamous question!

Do you need to know code to build websites?

Back in the day the answer to this question would have been yes. Web designers and web developers needed to work together to get a website launched start to finish.

But hellooo… we’re in the 21st century! Technology has grown so much that NO, you don’t need to know code to build websites.

Whether you’re looking to build a website for yourself or you’re ready to start your own business, you can do it without needing to know a single line of code.

How to design and build a website without knowing code

WordPress themes and page builders like Divi and Elementor

Website builders like Squarespace and Showit

These are the types of tools that are available to you today to help you go from designs to full blown functioning website. And yep, you guessed it, none of these require you to know any code whatsoever.

All of these platforms, Divi, Elementor, Squarespace, and Showit are drag and drop tools that are ridiculously easy to use. (There may be a bit of a learning curve – like anything new you do – but there are also tons of tutorial videos out there to help ease you into it.)

My biggest recommendation to you is to design your website in a program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva (for a free program) BEFORE you build it using one of those tools. Why? Something we can learn from the old way of doing things (which is still the normal way of doing things for bigger companies) – having a design in place before building a website saves a lot of time and ensures the design is cohesive.

If you don’t have a design in place before you start building, you may find yourself spending hours and hours playing around with different functionalities, that your website ends up looking like a bunch of random pages put together. Take it from me… design first, build second!

How to start a web design business without knowing code

Here’s another infamous question… “Can I start a legit web design business without knowing any code? Will I have enough knowledge and skills to build what my clients want?”

Yes! Yes! And heck yes!

I started my web design business without knowing any code. Over time, I learned a bit of coding here. But if you asked me to code an entire website from scratch, would I be able to? Ha, no way!

Here are a few tips to starting a web design business without knowing any code:

Pick a Platform and Learn the Ins and Outs

Don’t try to learn all the platforms at once. That’s a surefire way to design mediocre websites. Instead, pick one platform and learn the ins and outs of it until you know it like the back of your hand. You don’t need to learn one platform that well before starting your business. You can learn as you go, as you build websites for your clients.

But before you decide to add another platform to your list of platforms conquered, be sure you actually know how to use one before you so-so know how to use two.

Choose Client’s That Make Sense And Don’t Say Yes to Every Project

If you’re approached by a big company that wants something you don’t know how to do, be realistic. I’ve turned down projects because I knew that I would spend more time researching code (or hiring someone to code for me) than I would actually designing the website.

The tools I mentioned above can do A LOT but sometimes coding is a necessity. If a project sounds too advanced for you, be realistic and pass on it. But if the project sounds just a little out of your comfort zone, it might be just what you need to help you take that next step of learning a small bit of code or learning a new plugin or skill.

Design First, Build Second

Like I mentioned above, design first and build the website second. This is the best way to ensure the websites you’re designing are cohesive. Plus, it cuts down on the time you spend rearranging or redesigning things on the backend of the site.

To go one step further, BEFORE you begin designing the mockups using a tool like Adobe Illustrator or Canva, create an outline of the website in a word document.

What content is going to go on each page? In what order? Where will each button link to?

By doing this, you’ll know exactly what content you’re designing around before you begin designing.

Need help figuring out the content? Check out The Ultimate Content Collection for help!

Summary

So there’s the long answer… yes you no longer need to know code to build websites and you can absolutely start a web design business without knowing a single bit of code. You just need to choose a platform that is right for you and start learning!

-Kristen

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Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio

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