Web Design For Beginners - 1. What You Will Need And Why

So you want to take your first steps towards Web Design. A good starting point is to understand what you will need and why.


  • Average Computer (Desktop or Laptop)


  • Operating System
  • Web Browser
  • Text Editor
  • Image Manipulation Program

Trying to learn web design should not cost you more than it has to. So I will try to only suggest only open source or free software and hardware that will get the job done without being too expensive.

The Hardware:

Obviously, you will need a computer. Nothing with impressive specifications, to begin with. An average computer should get the job done just fine. 
Screen size and resolution are important so I would not suggest a netbook. Try to go for a 14" - 15" laptop or a desktop with a 15" display or higher.

I suggest a laptop on desktop you can buy without an operating system. You can install a free Linux operating system like Linux Mint.

The Software:

  • Operating System
For the purpose of this tutorial I will suggest Linux Mint. You can download a free copy from the Linux Mint homepage.

  • Web Browser
You will need a web browser in order to view your work. Linux Mint has Firefox preinstalled and I also suggest installing Google Chrome so that you can verify cross browser compatibility of your work.

  • Text Editor
In order to create the HTLM files you will need a decent text editor. Again I suggest a free software: Aptana Studio.
You can download Aptana from the Aptana Studio homepage.

  • Image Manipulation Program
You will need to edit images and create graphics for your websites so you will need an image manipulation program.
As a free alternative to Photoshop, the most popular image manipulation software out there, is GIMP.
GIMP, of course is open source and completely free. You can install GIMP through the Linux Mint Software Manager or download a copy from the GIPM homepage.

This is it for now. Check out Part two of  of the Web Design For Beginners series: Installing Linux Mint


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