Since this will be our last official blog, I will write about how excited I am that I took this class. Before this class began, with the help of wordpress, godaddy, bravenet, and a good buddy of mine, I created a Web-site dedicated 100% to the Chicago Blackhawks and NHL Hockey, http://www.hockeywithharris.com. Unfortunately, after a year of existence, back in January, my site became infected with a virus or spider. My buddy tried looking at all the coding to see what he could do. He was unable to locate the problem and a week ago told me that the best approach would be to start from scratch again. Before this class, I was petrified that I would have to create another site after all the work and content that went into the 1st site I had. Because of this class, I lost my fear, and actually a week ago, discarded all my files from filezilla and my bravenet account, and started fresh. I can’t believe how much easier it has been this go around. It helps so much when I can look at the coding and do whatever I want to make the site look the way I want. I was going to thank Enrique before class, but decided it was best to thank him in my blog. Each day, I am excited to add more content to hockeywithharris just because of the knowledge I have gained from this class.
We just had our 2nd update for our website, mine being deeplakebass.com. I was able to add my table page, finish my home page, and change 1 of my pages from hotels nearby, which really isn’t necessary, since most fishing should be from locals, to a fishing blog report, which seems like a much better page to include for prospective clients. My homepage is working but if we learn a few more tricks about adding calendars or slideshows, I might have to add more to the already working homepage. I have 3 more pages to complete. I being my form page. The other 2 being testimonials and links to other fishing websites, other lakes in the area, other guides in the area, bait shops, and nearby sporting goods stores as well as links to recommended tackle websites. I am ready for some feedback from people outside of my class and close friends.
I can’t justifiably put down on paper how excited I am to be finally working on the coding for our web-sites. I want to constantly work on the site until it is finished. I am trying to be patient because I don’t want to try and do stuff I haven’t learned yet and want to learn more before I started adding more. I obviously have taken a glimpse at what we will be working on over the next few weeks in module 8 and again, I am super excited to see some of the coding we will be learning in class and with our work on the Labs. I was a little disappointed to see that we won’t have a Project Update this Module but that doesn’t mean I will not continue adding to DeepLakeBass.com. My goal is to finish at least 1 more page over the next few weeks.
Late last evening, before I went to bed, I received the email that Enrique had posted the new information for Module 7. I decided to open up BlackBoard and see what we would be working on this week. Even though I knew it couldn’t be far away, I still become super-excited to see Project Update 1. I have no idea what Project Update 1 entails but I know it has something to do with our personal website. I know Enrique is taking us through each necessary process at the pace necessary to grasp each concept but I am ready to start building DeepLakeBass.com. When I first thought of the idea, I couldn’t wait to see the finished product. I had an idea of what the website would look like, and with Enrique’s help, I have begun to bring that visual to life. Also, with what we have learned through the 1st 6 modules while working on the Pacific Trails Resort website, I believe I am ready to start laying the ground work for DeeplakeBass.com. I am probably getting a little ahead of myself because I know I am not close to knowing how to complete my website, but I just want to start. And when I saw the announcement last night, I went to sleep quite giddy knowing we would be starting the game shortly. I am ready to make DeepLakeBass.com.
Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention in class last week when Enrique mentioned that this was a 3 day chapter, because on Sunday I spent 4 hours working on Module 5 Lab and the Project Wire-frame and Site-Map. Not only did I not listen to Enrique, I didn’t look at the calendar provided to see that both assignments weren’t due until next Monday. The Validator worked for both my CSS page and my new Index and Yurts page. Because I didn’t wait for Enrique’s guidance today and Thursday, I had to pretty much walk myself through the new coding and I am actually quite surprised now that I was able to not only figure out the Site-map and Wire-Frame but I did the correct coding for the Pacific Trails Resort page. I am hoping Enrique will let me fix anything I might have done incorrectly because I turned the assignment in so early. Or hopefully I did everything correctly. With the Wire-frame and Site-map it will take me time to become comfortable with using the computer for both of these. I much prefer writing the Wire-frame and Site-map out freehand. Much easier to manipulate right now, but I am sure with more practice using Gliffy, I will find many more advantages that freehand just doesn’t provide.
So far after the 1st month of class, I am thoroughly enjoying learning how to code and all the benefits this class will provide moving forward. Even last night, a friend of mine asked me to help him create a web-site for his photography as a portfolio and as a possible site to sell his photography. I might not be ready for a few more months but am excited about the possibilities. His brother was in the room when I was talking about the photography site and asked if I could help him create a portfolio site for his graphic design and stop motion film. With each passing class, as I work more on coding, and with the knowledge I am receiving from Enrique, I believe I will be able to not only create the 2 websites we will be working on in class, I will be able to create many other types of websites within the immediate future.
I know we will be learning more about colors, backgrounds, graphics, multimedia, and page layout over the next few months, but I am starting to get anxious. I know we are learning the code at a speed to make sure we fully understand what we learning because 1 little mistake and it can make the page look completely wrong. What is nice though is having a validator that shows us where our coding is in error.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up for Web 150, and even though I have an idea of what I will be learning in class, I still don’t think I have a full grasp of the extent of what I will be learning. I was already excited about what I thought I would learn from this class and Enrique, but I am even more excited knowing that there is so much I had no idea that I would be learning. I have created 2 of my own websites using templates from others, 1 of which I bought for $30, as well as the help of a friend who knows coding really well. I also used a trial and error approach with some of the coding as well, but the time it took to change 1 minor detail could take hours. From what I am gathering so far from Enrique and Web 150, is that I will be learning how to reduce the time it takes me to make changes to my web-sites. I am not sure, but am hoping I will learn how to make templates for web-pages as well, so instead of having to rely on others to get the design I want for the web-site, I can create my own. For my http://www.hockeywithharris.com blog web-site I originally started with a template for the page, but wasn’t satisfied with the full look. I spent a good month searching every day for the exact web-template that had the look and feel important to me. It was amazing to me how hard it was to find a 3 column template with a menu incorporated into a rectangular header. I wanted the right and left columns to be side-bars and the middle to be for posts. I am hoping that this class will help me learn how to do some of what I was looking for on my own and without having to spend money. I was even thinking that I would create my own templates for others.
Enrique taught us how to create our 1st code with notepad. He of course walked us through the process step-by-step, teaching us how to correctly save the index file as well as how to get a title for the browser and text to appear on the webpage. Absolutely amazing and so simple, but if you make the simplest mistake it won’t work. It’s like the old Christmas lights that were inter-connected, and when 1 light went out the whole string of lights went out. You had to go light by light to figure out which light went out. Same with the code, if you make 1 little mistake, you have to go step-by-step to see where the coding error occurred.
This assignment was not as easy as I had expected. I thought I would be able to go to Word Press and have a blog within 5 minutes. 20 minutes later and with the help of Enrique twice, I am still trying to figure out what I am doing. I was trying to install a theme but none that I have seen work well for a written only blog. Hopefully what I am doing works and this gets posted