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How to Become a Website Theme Designer

How to Become a Website Theme Designer

Whether you want to become a website theme designer for a career or just as a side hustle, there are important steps you need to know. Read on to find out.

5th February 2020
Reading Time: 4 minutes

A web theme designer is one of the most crucial people responsible for making sure a website is aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible. The colours, fonts, image sizes, layout and how the information is displayed is all part of their job. At a basic level, most designers understand some coding in order to customise the website perfectly. If you’re thinking starting your own business in this industry, read the article below to get you started.

Choosing a Structure

Before you actually register your new business, you’ll need to choose a structure to operate with. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are unsure, it is recommended to speak to a legal professional who is able to help you.

A sole trader could work for you. It’s the cheapest to register, and less hassle legal and tax wise. However, your tax return is filed under your individual tax return. This means you are personally liable for any debts, and it can be unlimited liability.

A partnership is quite similar to a sole trader, but with two people. There is also unlimited liability, and it can also be joint between the two partners. However, it’s cheap to set up, running costs a low and ideal for those who don’t have much capital. Plus, you can combine the assets and resources of two people instead of just one.

A company structure is the most expensive to set up with higher running costs. It’s heavily regulated by ASIC, but the main advantage is that there is no personal liability. It’s a separate legal entity, so it has it’s own assets and debts.

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The Basics

Are you naturally a more creative person? If so, you will probably understand colour theory easily, or already know it. In this case you’ve got one side of the spectrum, but it’s necessary to know the other. Taking some beginner courses in coding, photoshop tools and HTML basics will help arm you with the knowledge you need. If you intend on freelancing, chances are you won’t have a huge team you can rely on to handle all the fiddly coding aspects. You will most likely need to perform some of it yourself.

If you are a more systematical person who already knows some coding then perhaps the creative side is where you need to improve. It’s important that the website you create not only works properly, but is eye catching and provides users with what they need. It needs to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. This is why learning the colour palette, layout and basic elements of design is so important.

Furthermore, you will probably need to pick an industry to specialise in. At least when you first start out anyway. This allows you to really hone your skills in order to create these websites quick and easy. The more jobs you can get through the better. You can even save some basic templates to have a head start on the next job.


HTML (HyperText Markup Language), is what’s known in the business to code websites giving them the content and structure. Whether you code this yourself from scratch, or use a platform like Shopify that automates it, all websites use it.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), is how we get the content made from HTML to be styled in a particular way. This is where design and colour comes in.

SEO and Digital Marketing

This is not a necessity, but definitely a bonus. Knowing how to best design a website using the most search friendly words will help the website stand out. Nobody really looks past the first page of Google search, so ensuring your customers website comes up first is incredibly important. After all, their success means your success.


Experience is such a key element for being a successful website theme designer. Starting your first few jobs you should probably consider doing for a very small fee. You have no previous experience to prove your work so the first few customers are really taking a chance choosing you. You may even consider doing them for free.

Alternatively, create a few mock website designs just purely for the purpose of your portfolio. Just make up some business names and content examples to show off your potential. After all, the content will be specific to each business, but the style and feel of a website may just win someone over.

Once you have a few jobs up your sleeve, start really showing off your creativity and experience. Businesses will hire you because of your distinct expertise. If you have nothing to prove that sets you apart they are less likely to choose you.

Taking an Online Course

It is ideal to take a proper course that will teach you all of this if you don’t already know it. There are many types of courses available, such as quick intense courses, online, night courses at TAFE or just a community college. Depending on how expert you want to be at the end. Realistically, you don’t need any university level degree for this or degree at all.

Once you can show off previous work, and are confident in your own abilities, securing work will become a piece of cake.


When becoming a website theme designer, the above points are some of the key points to keep in mind. Experience, creativity, coding and understanding aesthetics are all part of it.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Taeisha Dou

Taeisha is a Legal intern at Lawpath. She is a Law student at Macquarie University, previously completing her Commerce degree. She has an interest in Commercial Law.