I made it a goal (see previous posts) to finish my webpage for my personal website by the end of the semester. I have about 6 weeks to build an entire working website with specifications.

The good thing is, I just found out today that a completed website will also be our final for my Web Developing class. It is a beautiful thing when two goals align.

I’ve built template pages, and some mock index pages for a couple website, but this is quite an undertaking for me. I started the project by designing it in Illustrator. I jotted some notes about what I wanted to represent and spent some time meditating on who I really am and what I can offer than no one else can… which leads me to my first tip:

Tip 1 for the Coding Novice: When it comes to tag lines, there is something special about you that people have probably already said, some offhand remark or something. Use that! Or else, it will come to you. Lists are helpful, but in my case, I didn’t actually use anything from my list. I was racking my brain for a tagline and a name for my blog that I would attach to my site. I have an entire word document full of random silliness. Here is my brainstorming list:

For my Speculative Fiction Blog:

The Suicide Tree

Mundane Henbane

Book Smell

For my Tagline:

Catch your dreams

Curiouser and curiouser

The making of an oddity

A lovely oddity

opening doors… with words

word evocation

power words

word reckoning

manifesting cadence

i sweat concept

if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough

normal is boring

I don’t write with my hand. I write with my mind.

My dreams hold the pen.

because life is fluid and fixed (this is from my novel Water and Stone- unpublished)

Go where you dare not.

profoundly imagined

towering and intrepid

I ended up naming my Speculative Fiction blog, Drythipatica. I spent all this time trying to come up with this super clever and mind-blowing name, but I already had one! Drythipatica is the name of the portal to other worlds in my novel. A very fitting name for sci-fi and the like.

Tip 2 for the Coding Novice: Organize your files! A proper zip drive is a good place to start. Use lower case letters for naming folders and files, and try to avoid changing file names after linking to other pages. It is a major headache trying to catch every link that has to be changed. Keep one folder to start for your html, css, php, and images. I put the images in a folder inside the folder. It helps to keep things separate. That is also where I put my jpgs from Photoshop and my Sprites.

Tip 3 for the Coding Novice: Read as much as you can! Web Design in a Nutshell is a great reference, and a good place to new and seasoned web designers to go for reminders and help. It is FULL of websites to use as well!

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Tip 4 for the Coding Novice: Spend time checking out everything W3C and W3C Schools has to offer! The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. The W3C school has tutorials, examples, and a place to try the code yourself. You can see how elements will change right on the website! It’s a very handy tool, and a great place to learn!

Before:

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After:

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Tip 5 for the Coding Novice: Don’t get discouraged. HTML and CSS will click sooner or later. It’s a different language, so give it time. Learning a new language is never easy, but pat yourself on the back! Not only are you widening your skill set and learning a very valuable tool, but you are also creating new synapses for a healthy brain. Yippee!

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