View Full Version : 15 year old, would like to become web designer? Advice?

09-02-2011, 01:35 PM

Grab yourself a coffee and maybe have a read through my countless number of questions!

As the title suggests, im 15, in the UK and am in education.
I'm hoping to become a web designer or graphic designer or maybe both, but have no idea where to start.

First ill go though what i know.
I am very fluent with computers (although who isn't in this generation)
I have designed many sites using wysiwyg editors
I use Photoshop, not to its full extent though
I know NO code, well apart from basic (really) HTML code, actually you could even say i don't, i know so little its easier to say i don't.

My goals

I would like to be able to design nice friendly websites, AND know the code behind them.
I would like to be able to write a website using basic tools with just code.
To be able to use Dreamweaver

Codes i would like to learn:

And the cool animated sites, that don't use flash? i think its html5

Anyway if you could give me a few pointers and where i could go from here.
I am currently still at school, or should be if i didn't have a illness. I wont go into that because this is a coding forum but im still hoping to get something out of my last 13 years of school life.

Ideally i would like to work for myself, not sure how hard this would be, again a few tips.

Secondly, easiest way to learn the above mentioned? I would prefer a book (s) since i can slowly learn them when im not at the computer. People have suggested w3schools site tutorials, i have had a quick look over them, but not sure really :/

Talking of w3schools, would it be worth getting there certificates? Do clients understand what they are? Thought i'd as since its 60 a pop.

Hopefully i have mentioned everything i could think!

Many Thanks


09-10-2011, 02:11 PM
Hello George,

Nice to see a fellow UK member here.

Have you looked online for tutorials? I believe it is HTML.net that have some very nice tutorials. A couple of months ago I knew nothing about web design but now I'm capable of creating some relatively nice templates (in my opinion) - and I learnt most things online.


09-10-2011, 02:26 PM
I feel it would benefit you when the time comes to get your degree in computer science. In my opinion it is good to know the basics of how it all works from the beginning inside and out.

Not only will this teach you common logic but it will also help you in learning new languages easier.

Yes you can take online courses for html and php and others and that is all well and good. But if that is all you do, you will most likely not rise above the millions of others that only know limited html and php.

So when the time comes get yourself into college for computer science.

09-10-2011, 02:45 PM
I suggest learning languages in this order.


Javascript is more for adding fancy things to website, it's like Ajax except that JS is client side. I don't recommend it for one of your first languages.

Everything I know is self taught by reading, and playing with scripts. I only have a GED but I handle programming quite well in my opinion, as I can write full scripts without needing to copy and paste or google for help.

09-12-2011, 11:48 AM
basics of any field need very strong background.

visit tizag.com or w3schools.com for beginners tutorial .. (very easy to understand)

XHTML & CSS is a good point to start.

Plus, go for a field related degree and keep your focus on goals .. good luck and all the best.

09-15-2011, 09:27 AM
Its very nice to know that at the age of 15 someone want to get expertise on web designing. There are lot of measures through which one can be a master of designing. Search Engines are the best place to resolve issues of knowledge and more over one can take professional help also or can get into a University or college.

11-23-2011, 07:57 AM
That is good for a very young age you prefer to engage to web designing which is cool and enjoying. As a starter it would be a lot difficult for your to handle projects but as long as you continue you will eventually learn. The best way to learn is to start with the basic like Html then when you know a lot of it you can go to other languages that you want to learn and I think CSS will be great.

12-08-2011, 03:39 PM
You're starting at the perfect age. I started when I was in the 4th grade.

What you should do is create a website TODAY for yourself. What is your passion in life atm? Is it video games, movies, sports, music, etc etc. Whatever holds your interest the most, build a website for it. There you can teach yourself new things by improving your website. That's the best route you can go especially considering as a job you prefer to work for yourself.

That is what I did when I was a kid. Sometimes the best learning is self learning.

I also recommend even though you're only 15, maybe allowing your parents to have a PayPal account and you taking on small web design jobs. Get paid a little while your at it. I was making a good amount of money for a kid when I started out.

It's great to see young people take a interest in their career at such a young age. Also myfat had the perfect suggesting for the order to learn things.

When you learn all of that maybe we could work together lol.

**If you're a web developer who is skilled with PHP, I am seeking a business partner. No finances have to be put up, I am simply looking for someone who would like to create a profitable website together. I have some great, unique ideas. Contact me if you're seriously interested and have the time to work together as a team on a project. You do not have to work full-time on project.**

12-09-2011, 02:59 AM
nettuts.com (http://net.tutsplus.com/) is a great resource for learning. I subscribed for $9/mo (I think its now $19/mo since they are so popular now-a-days). Honestly the best investment I've ever made.

I went to college for Economics then learned I wanted to go in a more tech direction. Wish I majored in Computer Science instead.

Nettuts is actually a network of resources. Some others are wptuts (wordpress), vectortuts (Illustrator). Jefferey Way does amazing video tutorials.

I use w3schools as a reference sometimes, CSS Mastery (book) is great also.

HTML / CSS / PHP / Javascript is a good order.

Good Luck kid

12-10-2011, 12:51 AM
I started learning basic HTML when I was around your age. It's definitely doable to learn the programs and to start making your own code straight away.

I'd recommend going to your local bookstore and browsing through the computer programming section for books on HTML and CSS. There are a lot of great online resources, but in my experience a well-written book is really the best and most coherent resource available.

Don't buy the first one you pick up. Read through several and find one that has a tone and approach that work well with your personal learning style.

If you have the means, buy a domain and build a website from scratch (or find a site that offers free hosting and build your site there). Armed with your personal choice of literature and a lot of great online tutorials, you'll be able to start actually working with code and doing what you want to do. There's no better way to learn how something works than by actually doing it. Get in there, get your hands dirty and have fun!

Regardless of what your ultimate goal is, it doesn't matter if anyone actually visits your site. This is for you, and your development. Showing your work to your family and friends to get honest feedback about what they like or dislike can be helpful, too.

It's never too early to start thinking about university (which I know you'll hear a lot at your age). Do some research, and start thinking about where you'd like to go to school. Make sure you take an required courses in school that you might need as pre-reqs to get into your preferred university and program.

Good luck! I hope it all works out for you brilliantly!

12-13-2011, 06:52 PM
Hi George,
How fantastic that you are getting started with what you like to do at such a young age!

I highly recommend Lynda.com. True, it's $25 a month, but WELL worth it's weight in everything. There are thousands of tutorials on the site, and hundreds having to do with web design. I've learned a ton from there.


You also might check out if any colleges in the area will let you take a class as a high school extension. I know I did that when I was in high school, and it was a great learning experience. My grades were good, but not great so they might let you in just from your ambition.

Good luck!

12-15-2011, 08:55 AM
I think you got most replies to your questions except w3school certs. Its a very good site that teaches you lots of stuff, the best selling point of it (in my opinion) being the fact that you can edit the code right on the spot and see the results for yourself.

However, getting certificates to show your clients is not something i would recommend. They care about what their end product looks like and if its working the way they want it, they dont care much about how you do it or if you possess a certificate from XYZ.

I am twice your age but i have only started thinking that i want to work for myself around 1 year ago lol. Cant really give you much useful advice on it since i am still in the process, but i would say to do something you love and see if any people needs any help related to your interest. By "do something you love" i mean stuff that you can do for long hours without realizing it, and even though you just missed your meals for it you still feel energetic.

12-18-2011, 05:37 PM
your point holds lot of wight but i suggest start with blogging and then shift to Web designing

12-19-2011, 10:38 PM
I was on the same boat as you currently are, when I was 15. What I did, as mentioned, was create a website. I then had a solid base for learning and testing my code. I could test my code on the main page, if it didn't work, then I'd tweak it until did(work). Also at that time, I spent a good few hours on W3schools everyday. They have everything you need to know, when you're beginning web development.

02-01-2012, 04:43 AM
I am also 15 and very interested in this!

Like most others said, just keep practicing! Make websites for the fun of it, try to keep improving!

I do this more and more every day, and get to love it more and more every day :)

Good luck!