Certified Web Designer Associate (CWDSA)

Program Overview

Based on research of industry needs and competencies and skill sets identified as essential for Web technology workers, WebProfessionals.org has designed the following guidelines, learning objectives, and resources as a foundation for those pursuing knowledge, experience, and/or careers as Web Designers or Webmasters. The guidelines, objectives, and resources are designed to make the learning experience comparable to one experienced in college-level courses by providing course descriptions and learning objectives. After completing the CWDSA guidelines and resources, individuals may take the WebProfessionals.org Certified Web Designer Associate Certification Exam.


The WebProfessionals.org Certified Web Designer Associate (CWDSA) examination measures more than just the essential competencies for aspiring or practicing Web Designers. The examinee must demonstrate working knowledge of Internet basics, HTML including HTML5, CSS3 and WYSIWYG editors, Web graphics, Web audio and video, Web site design, Web site management, and basic legal issues at the standard defined by this test specification. The skills and knowledge measured by this examination are derived from an industry-wide and worldwide job task analysis which was validated through a survey of hundreds of designers. The results of the survey were used in weighting the domains and ensuring that the weighting is representative of the relative importance of that content to the job requirements of a WOW Certified Web Designer Associate. The intent is to certify individuals in a body of knowledge that is identified and accepted as the baseline or foundation of any Web Designer.

The exam contains 70 questions. Examinees have 60 minutes to complete the exam. The exam is currently only available in English and available online.

NOTE: is examination blueprint for the WebProfessionals.org CWDSA examination includes the weighting, test objectives, and example content. Example topics and concepts are included to clarify the test topics and should not be construed as a comprehensive listing of all the content of this examination.

The table below lists the domains measured by this examination and the extent to which they are represented in the examination.

Topics of the exam include:

Domain % Of Examination
Internet Basics 7%
Web Audio and Video 5%
HTML including HTML5, CSS3 24%
Editors 6%
Web Graphics 36%
Web Site Design 15%
Web Site Management 5%
Legal Issues 2%
TOTAL 100%

Examination Description

The examinee selects, from four (4) or more response options, the option(s) that best complete(s) the statement or answer(s) the question. Distractors or wrong answers are response options that examinees with incomplete knowledge or skill would likely choose, but are generally plausible responses fitting into the content area. Test item formats used in this examination are:

Multiple-choice: The examinee selects one option that best answers the question or completes a statement.

Multiple-response: The examinee selects more than one option that best answers the question or completes a statement.

Sample Directions: Read the statement or question and, from the response options, select only the option(s) that represent(s) the most correct or best answer(s).

Content may include the following. Below is a list of topics for each course objective followed by a list of recommended textbooks.

Examination Domains and Topics

  1. Internet Basics
    Content may include the following:

    • Important Internet committees
    • Basic workings of the Internet
    • Most common Web browsers
    • FTP and sFTP
    • Basic workings of e-mail
    • Real time and asynchronous communications
    • Web technologies, helper applications and plug-ins (including what they are used for and when their use is appropriate)
    • Anti-virus software
    • Internet searching
  2. Web Multimedia
    Content may include the following:

    • Basics of Web audio and video
    • Basics of streaming audio and video
    • Current standards
  3. HTML & WYSIWYG Editors
    Content may include the following:

    • History of HTML, including at least the latest three versions
    • Basic concepts of HTML coding
    • HTML5 tags
    • Forms
    • Lists
    • iFrames (including the advantages and disadvantages of using them)
    • Hyperlinks and anchors
    • Use of WYSIWYG editors to integrate graphics and multimedia
  4. Web Graphics
    Content may include the following:

    • Basic graphic issues
    • Issues related to background images
    • Basic color issues
    • Issues related to graphic file optimization
    • Digital cameras and scanners to acquire electronic images
    • Graphics software programs for creation and modification of Web graphics
    • Animated GIFs
    • Web design considerations regarding viewing Web pages via assistive devices
  5. Web Site Design
    Content may include the following:

    • Web site planning and design
    • Critical elements of information design
    • Critical elements of site/structure/navigation design
    • Critical elements of page design
    • Browser issues, connection issues, and platform issues
    • Corporate identity and corporate design
  6. Web Site Management
    Content may include the following:

    • File structure/organization of a Web site
    • Proofing a Web site before publishing it
    • Ongoing content management
  7. Legal Issues
    Content may include the following:

    • Basic elements of a contract
    • Copyright issue, fair use, and trademarks

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