The field of web design has been growing by leaps and bounds. Over the past 2 years we have seen tremendous strides in the realm of CSS3, jQuery, browser support, and HTML5 webpage elements. Most developers are willing to move towards these trends and build a semantic community based around similar goals and ideologies.
The Internet has taken the world by storm and we are not letting up. There are more young web designers joining the ranks every day. I think it is a noble cause and provides a means for quickly distributing information. When people first get into studying web design there are a number of common questions which arise. I hope to address a couple of these and provide some relief with newer web developers getting into frontend coding, too.
One very common trend you will find among designers is to build mockups right within the browser window. A couple popular webapps named jsFiddle along with Codepen are both free for all regular users. Both are an amazing service and I definitely recommend them to any young web designers. It can be great practice for HTML5/CSS3/JS and you do not even need to have software installed on your machine. It doesn’t even need to be done on the same computer!
Cloud-based web development is growing very quickly. There are lots of articles already online getting into the benefits of CDNs, image hosting, open source scripts, and other popular webapps. Overall it will take time and a lot of patience. But now is the best time to be getting into the field of website design & development.
Sources for Inspiration
You also need to consider how you are building your own design skills. People do not just read books and then somehow become outstanding web designers. You will spend months and years practicing different ideas, layouts, headers, navigation bars, and other common UI features. This is the best long-term solution for actually mastering a common skillset.
I think it is worth noting that many techniques first become popular on a series of different websites. Other designers will clone these ideas to fit into their own layout and it continues until thousands of different websites are using various degrees of similarity. You can learn a lot off the professionals by studying what they do. A personal favorite is the Awwwards Gallery which hosts a number of very fancy website designs. Everything is organized and catalogued by tag names which you can search(sidebar, purple, blog, icons, etc).
One other resource which is growing very quickly named Dribbble is a community dedicated to all types of design inspiration, not just websites. You will find some of the most talented designers on this invite-only social network where designers can post shots of their work – sort of like an online portfolio. Try searching for a couple keywords on there and you will be amazed at the high level of detail and image quality.
You can also find dozens of similar examples just by performing a quick Google search with related keywords. Designers all around the world regardless of language barrier can learn from these techniques. Make sure you are always studying and working to advance your own knowledge. After enough practice building websites you can only get better as time goes on.