New Position at LearnKey

A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a new position at work. LearnKey‘s website administrator is leaving the company, so they asked if I would like to take over his job. My official title is Online Content and Social Media Manager.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working with the former website admin to learn all the little eccentricities of LearnKey’s website and on Monday I go solo. We’re in the middle of a major site-wide redesign, so I will have plenty of time to become intimately familiar with our website and processes.

I’m still going to be responsible for creating mobile content for LearnKey, but along with the website I am also now partially responsible for LearnKey’s social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

I’m really excited about this new opportunity and the chance to work with some people who have been little more than names and faces to me up until now.


eLearningPlanner.com Website

For about a month now, I have been designing and building a website for LearnKey. The site is eLearningPlanner.com, and it just went live last week. The site is a “free online career pathway and leadership trait assessment that matches your talents with customized ‘job ready’ video-based training programs.” I was in charge of the design and the HTML for the site, but another company was contracted to do all the heavy-lifting on the backend. They ended up changing some of the HTML, so it turned out a little different from the original design. Here are some screen shots of the original design:
Landing-Page Results-Page-2


Web Sites and 3d Models

A couple more sites are online which I helped create. I can’t take credit for any of the designs on either of these sites, but I did some of the back-end coding for them. I wrote the HTML and CSS for www.sinceritybathandbody.com, and I created the Flash menu for www.loopdeloop.net.

The last couple of weeks, I have been neglectful of my posts. I have been doing a lot of thinking and come up with a few ideas. I have also been working on a new set of house plans in Microsoft Visio which I have been turning into a 3d model using Google SketchUp. Here is a screenshot of the in-progress model:

3d house model


Some Freelance Work Now Online

Three Web sites for some of the freelance work I’ve been doing over the last couple of months are now online. I’m not sure how long they’ve been online, but I just became aware that they are.

One of the sites I worked on was www.poojakumar.com. It’s been modified a little bit since I did the work, but I wrote the initial HTML and CSS for the site.

I also did some work on www.workingbug.com. Each item in the Web site’s menu has a mouse rollover state, and I wrote the JavaScript to create the rollover states.

Another site I worked on was www.davidaarnold.com. I wrote the JavaScript to change the movie clips on the Stand-Up, Vlogs, and Television Appearances pages.


Creating a Basic Web Page

This tutorial is designed for Web design newbies, to instruct in the creation of a simple Web page. The file created in this tutorial will be used in future tutorials.

The first thing to know about Web site creation is that every Web page requires four things. These four things are an opening <html> tag, an opening <body> tag, a closing </body> tag, and a closing </html> tag. Actually, a web page will open just fine in a browser without any of these elements, but these are the four basic tags a Web page should have. The markup for a basic Web page looks like this:

<html>
<body>

</body>
</html>

Earlier, I mentioned the word ‘tag’. A tag is an HTML formatting element used to tell the browser how to format and display the information contained in the Web page. Most tags come in pairs, hence the need for an opening <html> tag AND a closing </html> tag. Exceptions to this rule include the line break tag, <br />, and the image tag, <image src=”someImage.jpg” />. Information that you wish to be formatted with a certain tag is placed between the opening and closing tags.

Let’s begin by creating the basic Web page mentioned earlier. To create the file, you will need an HTML or text editor. Notepad (Windows) works well, or you can also get software designed specifically for Web site creation. I prefer Adobe Dreamweaver, but if you want an inexpensive program the free tool HTML-Kit works well also. Many applications will automatically added things like the tags mentioned earlier, but in the interest of being thorough we’ll add everything manually.

Start with a blank document and save it as “index.html”. When a browser visits a Web address, the file it looks for is the file named index. If it is unable to find this file, the browser will display a file tree of the files in the directory on the Web server related to that Web address. Since you usually will not want users to be able to access your file tree, it is a good idea to place a file named index.html in every folder that will be visible to the Web. There are also other methods to prevent the file tree from showing, but this tutorial isn’t meant to be that exhaustive.

Now that your document is saved, we’re going to start adding things. The first thing we want to add to the blank page is the Document Type Definition (DTD) or doctype. Strictly speaking, the doctype is not required to create a Web page, but it IS required to create a well-formed Web page. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines several doctypes, but the one we will use for this example is XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Using the Transitional doctype allows us to not be as strict in our markup.

So now that we’ve added the doctype, our document should look just like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN”
“http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”>

Next, we add the opening <html> tag and a new tag called the <head> tag. The document head is a place where information is stored that will not be displayed on the actual Web page. There are a lot of different things that can go in the head, but the only thing we want to put for now is the Web page’s title. So we add an opening <title> tag, then the page title. We’ll call this page “My First Web Page.” Then we add a closing </title> tag, a closing </head> tag, and an opening <body> tag. Our markup should now look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN”
“http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”>
<html>
<head>

<title>My First Web Page</title>

</head>
<body>

Once we have that, we just need to add some content to our page and close the <head> and <body> tags. Let’s add a paragraph that reads “I am learning to build Web sites and this is my first Web page.” To add a paragraph, we use another special tag, the <p> tag. So now we type: <p>I am learning to build Web sites and this is my first Web page.</p>, then type a closing </body> tag and a closing </html> tag. Your page should now look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN”
“http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”>
<html>
<head>

<title>My First Web Page</title>

</head>
<body>

<p>I am learning to build Web sites and this is my first Web page.</p>

</body>
</head>

Now, just save your document and open it in a Web browser. Congratulations! You now know how to build a basic Web page.