When designing websites, start by using proven website design and proven website layout concepts. Stay away from trying wild ideas to solve simple design problems. Basic web design layout concepts like F & Z layout, visual hierarchy, effective navigation all work and will help you design high quality websites faster.
Balance the use of tools such as: Photoshop brushes, flash plugins, stock photography, pre-designed custom fonts and buttons. Of course these tools and others like them are very important for helping designers complete task quickly but remember becoming too dependent on them can also distract you from learning how to design your own custom features. Try not to be obsessed with using tools to the degree in which they become your crutch. Make time to practice designing your own custom elements.
Don’t start every job from scratch. Build a library of Common Design Solutions that you can re-use. Web design is repetitive, so start new projects using the same building blocks, then just simply customize your solutions to fit the current project. By using common design solutions early in your career, you’ll speed up the learning process. Also try making notes when you save codes. So later when using the saved code, you’re not just copying and pasting but actually understanding what the code is doing.
Use social networks to gain access to web design resources. Websites offering instructions or tutorials all have Twitter accounts or Facebook profiles. Follow enough websites associated with web design and you’ll create yourself a constant stream of design updates.
Don’t be discouraged not knowing what advanced designers know. All designers basically start from the same place, the key is to start small, build and keep building.