Can Visual Designers Create Beautiful Websites? It’s Easier Than You Think!

Last Updated on February 28, 2023 by 25 Comments

Can Visual Designers Create Beautiful Websites? It’s Easier Than You Think!
Blog / Customer Spotlight / Can Visual Designers Create Beautiful Websites? It’s Easier Than You Think!

This post is part of our Customer Spotlight series. If you have an interesting story to tell and would like to share your experience with WordPress and Elegant Themes on our blog, please contact us!

Visual designers are often overwhelmed by the jargons (HTML, CSS, PHP, .htaccess, LAMP, etc.) of web development that many of them would not even think of creating their own websites, not to mention websites for their clients. Realizing the need for a website, many of them would just make use of free or paid hosted portfolio services to create their own portfolio websites. However, they are NOT satisfied with the limitations in layout and design posed by these services. I was one of them. But not more now.

A Little About the Author


I was trained as an Architect by education. But my heart was with visual design. I made an important decision to work as a visual designer after university graduation. In the early days, I specialized in branding and publication design (selection of my design works). But then the World Wide Web caught up, everybody was rushing to build websites. The need for graphic design, in particular publication design, dwindled.

First Few Simple Static Websites

Being a visual designer, I did not limit myself to print design only. Website design was considered a great opportunity for development, so I tried to learn HTML and CSS on my own in order to figure out how to create a website. I would then make use of Dreamweaver or FrontPage template to build my portfolio website (and later Coroflot and Behance).

Those were the days when website design began to flourish with the introduction of tabled design. The first few websites were quite satisfactory at that time. Yet, it was very difficult and time-consuming to add contents to static websites.

Discovering WordPress

WordPress was considered only as a blogging platform in the early days. But with the help of a large community of supporters, WordPress has since become one of the most powerful content management system (CMS) that powers close to 20% of all websites. With each upgrade, WordPress just becomes better and better. I have tried Joomla and Drupal before, but decide to rely only on WordPress for most website projects.

The large selection of WordPress themes is especially important to me as a visual designer. And just like any designers, I am not satisfied with the themes as they are, I would very much want to tweak here and there. So I went on to learn PHP while working on more and more web projects.

Responsive Web Design is Future

In 2010, Ethan Marcotte coined the term responsive web design (RWD). I immediately realized that this would probably be the future of website design. Mobile visits are increasing at an exponential rate and will soon overtake desktop viewing. Dedicated mobile sites do not answer the need very well as much more resources are needed to maintain both versions. RWD seems to be a perfect fit.

After my PMP Certification exam, I created a website on helping others to study and prepare for PMP exam. I used a free responsive theme called Montezuma. I intended to make this website mobile friendly, so RWD is very important. I also want to create some sections with tailored design that can stand out from normal blog post layouts. However, I found myself coding most of the time in PHP templates instead of adding content through Posts or Pages as it was not easy to build responsive website that way.


There was no easy way to build responsive WordPress websites. Not until I found the Divi theme.

How to Create A Website in 2014


The WP Learner is an attempt to summarize the website learning experience I gained throughout the years. By creating this website, I aim to help beginners in web development (graphic designers in particular) to build websites for themselves and their clients. An analogy of raising a dog is used to make the process of creating a website more interesting and welcoming.


The Divi WordPress theme by Elegant Themes fits my purpose perfectly. It offers a graphic interface (with the help of the Page Builder) for graphic designers to compose the layout of the page using columns, a concept pretty familiar to visual designers working on newspaper or editorial design. I do not need to worry about creating divs with the correct row and column classes. I can concentrate on the visual design again like the old days I designed publications and printed matters. I can be a visual designer again.

Though one still have to make changes here and there with the PHP or HTML code (e.g. the footer text and share links), the Divi theme has come a long way to help graphic designers to use the graphic interface they are familiar with to build a webpage or website.

I can envision a future where visual designers will be able to design and create responsive websites in the same way they use Photoshop or Illustrator to create their print design. The Divi theme is, for sure, a very good starting point.

I encourage visual designers to build your own websites now to open the infinite opportunities of a career in website design and development. My next step will be to redesign my own website (again using Divi).

Article thumbnail image by Bloom Design /


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  1. Nice Article Edward,
    It is my 2nd year using WP , when I started back I was always looking for designs and Inspirations (Actually Good Themes), luckily I got some nice themes from Elegant themes and others, website builders made our work easy but sometimes they don’t allow us to use our full potential..but using DIVI i find I could possibly do everything I wanted…another thing…WPLearner is awsome keep it up buddy..

  2. Hey Great post mate! I like it and I started the same way as you! I hope some day I can design my website only using Ai and Ps only haha lol! Up to the moment the new theme with page builder (swift builder, page composer, etc) are helping a lot.

    Please check out my website:

  3. This article ended with something I wish Elegant themes would build into all their themes. The ability to change the footer disclaimer from designed by elegant themes and powered by wordpress to your own custom one. The divi theme is so good, I only create a child theme to change the footer. Please add this function to the ET settings!

  4. Nice write up. I do think responsive is the future, but not for all sites. For example, eCommerce sites should have some elements of a mobile website for more control over what people see on a mobile device vs a desktop because of conversion factors, like call to actions, etc…

    With a blend of a mobile website and responsive is best for an eCommerce site. For example landing pages/home page where you need more control of things that you want to show in a mobile view vs a desktop view, like the CTAs I talked about above and other unique features like click to call should be a a mobile website. AND so you don’t have to duplicate product entry, merchant services, user accounts, this is where responsive comes in handy when it comes to eCommerce.

    Side note, the divi template is godly and I’m excited about divi2. 🙂 TY ET team.

  5. very helpful article 🙂 thanks a lot Edward (^^,)

  6. This story is amazing! I am only a 14 year old from Australia who loves to take photos, but i never could find an outlet to share my photos to the world. WordPress and elegant themes made it super easy to get a website. And now i have dozens of clients and have been asked to make a website for a whole camp site! Technology is so amazing these days!

    • Ben you are awesome, your comment has inspired me this morning. If you can do it, so can I! I’m 37, from Calgary, AB, and I work in the Petroleum Industry. Thanks for sharing, and best of luck. PS don’t be afraid of failing or making mistakes, just keep pushing forward. I can tell you will find great success.

  7. Great Job Edwards 🙂

  8. I was looking for a theme that would be fast and easy to edit and Divi was superb. New corporate website brought me within one week 4 new customers 🙂

  9. I love this article as this is what I am planning to do for my partners. Every day I keep seeing more and more reasons why I have purchased ElgantThemes.

    I started our company on the Salient theme, but Divi has taken the front row seat for me now. I will probably look more deeply into to see if there are any skills that I need to pick up for my company. We’ve been slowly building for a month or so, and it’s starting to look pretty good.

    Thank you for the good read!

    • Hi Joseph,

      DIVI is likely to be the only theme that’s needed as it offers the basic framework in such a flexible way. By the way, your company website is doing great with 15 domains hosted in a month. I would look into your website too to learn something!

      • I’m going to create a DIVI playground just to see what all is possible with it.

        Thank you very much for the comment!

  10. I enjoyed the post Edward and I couldn’t agree more.

    You are probably too young to remember computers before Windows, but in those days you had to learn DOS commands before you could do anything!!
    These days all you need is Windows.

    The same applies to the Divi theme – it allows us all to be creative with a minimal amount of coding know-how.

    I loved Divi so much that I created a dedicated site.
    I used a fair amount of custom CSS but other than that… it was all down to Divi modules and watching those awesome Divi videos.

  11. Just perused your site and its lovely! How did you get the search up into the page, can you tip me? Thanks

      • @Keith, yep, we have a search in-line with menu at the top but the wplearner got the search into a page with nice styling and you peep; to get what I’m saying.

  12. Love the dog-website analogy! This is something I can share with clients and prospective clients.

  13. Edward, the WP learner site is great. I love the concept and the design is one of the best implementations of divi I have seen. I also use divi for my website and a growing number of client sites. It is one of the easiest and best looking themes around. Best of luck Edward!!!

    • Very nice your work! I’m started to work with Divi, and I saw your website, and I would ask you a wondered: how you entered your information above the “condictor”? I mean the gray bar (Tworzenie STRON WWW + 48,506,235,763 [email protected] ETCC …)? Thanks for your help!

    • I can’t agree more that the DIVI theme is a great starting point to build great websites. Best of luck to you too!

  14. Pleasant review Chung. I enjoyed your passion and wit you put in to learning HTML, CSS AND PHP to customize and build a rewarding WordPress site. To be frank with you, I’m on the lane right now and the catalyst is…WordPress!

  15. Great stuff Edward, I especially like your WPLearner idea, that website looks great!

    I’m going to go ahead and follow your WP Learner project on Facebook. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for following WP Learner, Sietse. I have read your story on Memstories website here in Elegant Themes blog and I like the idea behind Memstories very much. Keep working!

  16. Great Job Edward.

    I really love your story and especially what you have been able to do with the Divi theme. I too started out on the visual side of things. And so I can relate to your story in many ways. And then when I saw your WP Learner site, I was stoked because I recently started working on a side project to post all the basic stuff I have learned about building and maintaining a website so that I can point clients, potential clients and anyone else interested. The graphic design on your site is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story and work!

    • Hi Geno,

      Thanks for your nice words! It’s great to know others with similar background as me. Let’s work hard together towards our dreams!

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