Home >> S43: Building a Web Presence

S43: Building a Web Presence

Tuesday, May 27, 10 – 12 AM
Location: VIC 607A

DRAFT: Presentation Slides (pdf file)

Published Description

You too can have your very own website. This session will help you take the first steps in that direction. A kind of web presence is possible on existing sites such as Facebook. But if you are motivated to post more than a few photos or an occasional comment, you can do better than trying to fit everything on a Facebook page. This session will explore the main options for a personal website. We'll talk about obtaining an address for your website and about hosting options for your site. Mostly, we'll be talking about how to build and maintain the pages that populate your website. Raw HTML code will be mentioned, but the focus will be on WYSIWYG tools for web page editing. At the end of this session, you should have a better idea of your website options and what those options would cost in time and dollars.

Topics To Be Covered

Assume: You want to go beyond Twitter, Dropbox, and Facebook. All three are reasonable cloud services, with multiple competitors. All three offer “free” service to individual users. But all three are limited.

Assume: You want someone else to look after tech support. There will be an on-going need for tech support. Hackers are too clever; security vulnerabilities must be patched. You could do it. This assumes you want someone else to do it.

Need: You need a web server located at a web address that will “serve” the public with the web pages which you create.

Web Page: It's “easy” to build a (simple) web page – any word processor will do. But web pages are different. What the user will see is only under your partial control. You provide the web page, and often the style sheet. The user selects the device and can set her own over-riding style sheet. 

Full Site: Except for dedicated geeks, most of us need a Content Management System (CMS) to build a maintainable website. The CMS looks after the background content management stuff, e.g. one change changes the copyright date on all pages. Typically, actual web pages are generated on the fly, using the content and style sheet you specify.

3 Content Management Systems: We'll review what you can do with: WordPress, Weebly, and DrupalGardens. All three offer “free” introductory websites for individuals. They have different strengths, ... and weaknesses.

Cost: Getting started doesn't cost anything beyond the blood, sweat, tears, and frustration of dealing with a complex piece of technology. Removing the restrictions which come with a “free” website will set you back $100+ (depending on your needs).

Examples: We'll examine how a website gets built using each of the three, free website building tools. You should learn enough to determine if one of them would make sense for you.

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May 6 – June 10 (6 sessions) Time: Wednesdays, 10:10 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Location