Tag Archives: HTML

Digital Fluencies / Web Design / SEO workshops at Weigle this month!

This month is packed full of workshop goodness at Weigle!  To help you build your web presence and take control of your digital footprint, graduate interns Chava Spivak-Birndorf and Jaime Marie Estrada are teaching a series of complementary workshops on social media, digital fluencies, and web design.

Here’s are some quick tips to give you a small preview of the topics we’ll discuss:

1. Use consistent branding.
Name and image recognition is very important online when you’re competing with so many millions of other people and brands for milliseconds of attention.  For personal branding, pick a variation of your name and stick with it across your social media accounts and/or personal website.  If you’re building a web presence for a professional brand, create a recognizable logo and choose one name to use across platforms.  Learn more about how to do this in Jaime’s series of Digital Literacy workshops, which starts on April 8th with personal websites and LinkedIn.

2. Keep things up-to-date.
Nothing gives away that you’re not committed to your brand or that you don’t have time to maintain it like an old copyright date or an “updated date” that’s months or years old.

3. If you have a blog, keep it active.
If you’re going to have your blog showing up on your personal website, it will immediately alienate your visitors if they see your blog is not regularly updated.  It’s better to have a more static personal website with no blog than a static personal website and a static, old blog that’s not kept up.

4. Watch out for broken links.
Broken links kill your credibility and drive your visitors to set out in search of better resources, which can hurt your ranking in Google and other search engines.  Search engines want to deliver relevant results to their users, and when people don’t stick around on your site, it looks like your site isn’t one of them.  Chava will teach you how to keep your “bounce rate” low in her web design and search engine optimization (SEO) workshops.

5. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
You don’t need to establish active profiles across every platform immediately.  Pick the platform you feel most comfortable with (e.g. Instagram, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc.) and develop your skills and quality content there.  You can always broaden your reach after you get going.

Ready to get started?  Register at the links below!


Feature image: “The Art of Social Media” (CC BY 2.0) by  mkhmarketing

Request Training at WIC

Curious about creating a video in iMovie but don’t know where to start? Want to make a website for yourself or a class but don’t feel comfortable with HTML or CSS?  Looking for assistance in teaching your students how to use a tech tool for a class project? Fear not: WIC can help you with these interests.  We have a new Training by Request page where you can ask us for help with a wide variety of topics in new media and visual design.  We ask that you gather a small group together – ideally five or more – with interest in attending the training, and let us know some dates and times that work for the group.  Feel free to browse our public workshops, online tutorials, and courses we’ve helped with in the past to get some ideas of the kinds of sessions we provide.  We’re also happy to meet with you to organize the process.

Web Design with HTML

At this point, most people I encounter in the lab who are working on a website are using WordPress or Google Sites or Blogger or Tumblr or even just Facebook to create their webpages.  But some of us still want to get our hands dirty with good old HTML, the programming language used to create web pages. It’s not difficult, but it does take some time and practice to learn it well.  If you’re going to create an entire website, though, and you want total control over what your site looks like and how it behaves, and you don’t want to be the slave to somebody else’s templates, it’s really worth the effort.

Lynda.com has a new course which introduces you to the nuts and bolts of HTML.  Author Bill Weinman explains what HTML is, how it’s structured, and presents the major tags and features of the language. Discover how to format text and lists, add images and flow text around them, link to other pages and sites, embed audio and video, and create HTML forms. Additional tutorials cover the new elements in HTML5, the latest version of HTML, and prepare you to start working with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Topics include:

  • What is HTML?
  • Using HTML tags and containers
  • Understanding block vs. inline tags
  • Controlling line breaks and spaces in text
  • Aligning images
  • Linking within a page
  • Using relative links
  • Working with tables
  • Creating progress indicators with HTML5
  • Adding buttons and check boxes to forms
  • Applying CSS
  • Optimizing your pages for search engines
  • Building document outlines

Check out the contents at http://www.lynda.com/HTML-tutorials/HTML-Essential-Training-2012/99326-2.html.  Let any staff person in the Media Lab or the front part of the WIC know if you’d like us to log you in to one of our computers so you can watch the training videos. And of course we’re here in the Vitale Digital Media Lab if you get stuck at any step along the way.

Also, be sure to check out the post I wrote back in June about a good site called “Don’t Fear the Internet,” aimed at non web-designers interested in building websites.

Don’t Fear the Internet

Don’t Fear the Internet” is a work in progress created to teach you basic HTML and CSS, and should be awesome for non web-designers interested in building websites–or even just customizing their WordPress blogs–for their projects.

I’ve been designing websites for a long time, and I was surprised to find myself spending much more time than I’d expected watching the videos on the site.  It covers everything from the EXTREME basics (“The internet is not a series of tubes.”) to the nitty gritty of actually writing the code for a webpage. It uses good examples and analogies to help you along the way.  As the creators of the site put it, “We’re not trying to turn you into a web designer.  Just make you feel less powerless about your online presence.

Don’t Fear the Internet is done by Jessica Hische–a Philly native and Tyler alum who recently did the typography for Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”–and Russ Maschmeyer (aka @StrangeNative).

Thanks to lab alum Sarah Jacoby for recommending this great site!

Ruani Ribe – Hoesley Reflection

I’m Ruani Ribe, a member of the first cohort of the Hoesley program. Initially, I joined the program in order to sharpen my skills with various software programs, and to learn more about design and online collaboration tools. I was also interested in being able to work with and learn from a small group of other students who shared similar interests. I like that the Hoesley Program allowed me to get my feet wet. Microsoft Excel and website-building, for example, both seemed fairly daunting, but introductions to the basics of each of these things and their capabilities gave me working knowledge of both and a level of comfort that I was able to use as a jumping off point to explore each further.

I was most excited to have the opportunity to build my own professional website, a chance to apply and showcase my interests and skills that I learned throughout the program, and with the information we were given on various design elements and website hosts, I was finally able to create a website that I feel successfully conveys who I am. Before the program I had been familiar with HTML and CSS, and with the resources that we were provided, I was finally able to put them to use.

The skills I have picked up and sharpened over the course of the Hoesley program can now be displayed confidently on my resume, and in the future, I know where to look for resources if any of my skills need brushing  up. Further, my professional website will be a great resource in my upcoming job search, and I plan to continue to develop it as time progresses.

To see my completed website, follow the url below!


Dreamweaver CS3 for Dummies

Today’s featured book is Dreamweaver CS3 for Dummies by Janine Warner. We’re big fans of the Dummies books here at the Vitale Digital Media Lab. They’re great for beginners, as well as for more experienced users who need a refresher, or who need a complicated topic explained in a simple manner. Our books don’t circulate outside the lab, but you can use them while you’re here.

Do you want to create a sophisticated Web site that’s easy to develop and maintain? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Web developer, this friendly guide shows you how to utilize Dreamweaver’s newest enhancements to build and manage state-of-the-art, professional Web sites quickly and easily.

  • Set up your site and create new pages
  • Work with text, graphics, and links
  • Define and apply styles using CSS
  • Add audio, video, and Flash® files to your site
  • Use Dreamweaver’sdatabase features