Years ag,o when the internet was a brand-new sensation and businesses were just starting to put up websites, my boss suggested that I learn how to design websites. I knew nothing about website design or creation, but the idea appealed to me. I took the challenge!
My boss referred me to the director of another institute on campus who was the first department to have a website on campus. This was back in the day when HTML was king. Most of the websites being developed at the time were written with HTML coding. This was another subject that I knew absolutely nothing about.
I made an appointment to have training sessions 2-3 afternoons each week with the training director, who I will call Mr. Tom. On my first meeting, we discussed what my department needed in the way of a website and a bit about the layout and design. Mr. Tom told me that he would secure our domain and get everything set up for our training sessions to begin during the next week.
I went away with homework. Mr. Tom asked me to play around with the menu and/or layout by using 3 x 5 index cards for each page and/or subject we needed to include on our website. In order to do this, I needed to meet with the faculty of our department to find out all of their needs and expectations. After I gathered all of the information I needed, I set out organizing my business cards and laying out a design that would be used for our database and website menu.
On my first day of training, Mr. Tom and I viewed the work he had already done. This included a basic layout and background color. The first thing he showed me was how to change the background color. This was done (back in the ancient day) by adding a code. Each color consisted of a letter(s) and number(s) combination. The number of letters and/or numbers produced a different shade of a specific color.
Mr. Tom next introduced me to basic HTML which consisted of learning how to bold text and start and end paragraphs.
We next started working on plugging in a menu and setting up a basic home page.
I left that day excited and was very eager to learn more. My homework was tweaking the menu and learning more HTML. I was sent home with a list of more basic HTML codes.
My progress was slow, but I enjoyed every step of the way. It took a couple of months to get the menu and all of the sub-pages “up,” but I found out that I was learning an enjoyable and rewarding new skill. I liked creating new pages. It was like a new discovery whether I was adding a new page or changing the code and tweaking a page.
Website design ended up taking up a good portion of my day, but I loved it.
Our department website ended up winning some kind of content award for being a highly ranked website in our dedicated field. I don’t remember the name of the award, but I was proud of it!
Fast forward several years and I found myself one of the webmasters for our school. I had pointed out several typos, grammatical errors, design flaws, etc. Only now using HTML was not an option many used 100 percent. Our school website was designed using Adobe Dreamweaver. It took a couple of weeks to master, or semi-master.
If you are looking to put up a website of your own, I would recommend using a software program or a version you can find online such as WordPress. It just makes putting up a new website faster. I also recommend learning basic HTML because all website software uses it to an extent and you will be able to find mistakes looking at the code, when you cannot find the mistake in text or content mode.
If you have a friend or co-worker skilled in website development, ask them to show you the ropes. Sometimes learning by seeing and doing is much easier than reading instructions or trying to learn on your own.