Class Report

How to Make a Not-Terrible Website

Teacher: Robert Thomas, web developer wizard (far left, at podium)
Documentarian: Greg Giles
Location: Shaw Neighborhood Library
Date: Jan. 28, 2014

What was the most surprising thing you learned?
Greg: The HTML design for a webpage is separate from the style and aesthetic design of the page. The majority of visual design work is implemented in CSS.

What did you learn that you can put into practice immediately?
Greg: How to make a simple webpage using only a basic text editor on my computer.

What would you like to tell future students of this class?    
Greg: This class is essential for anyone who is trying to deliver content of any kind through a web page. The concepts explored are the bare-bones fundamentals. It’s a great starting point for anyone interested in building websites, and a great opportunity for advanced designers to brush up on the basics.

How did you get interested in this subject?
Rob: There are a lot of really, really, really bad websites out there. Nothing ruins my day like seeing 38 nested div tags cobbled together in Dreamweaver. (You feel the same way, right?) So I’ve decided to fight back by teaching people to make sites that are less dreadful.

What do people tend to wrongly assume about web design?
Rob: If you’ve ever played with Legos, put together a jigsaw puzzle, and/or gotten a passing grade in high school Spanish, you can create a website. Web design is basically those things combined. You don’t need to be a genius. You hardly even need to know how to use a computer.

What can people read for more information?
The great thing about web design is that 95 percent of people who do it professionally learned everything they know from Google searches. Don’t know what to search for? Start simple: for example, “I want to make this paragraph red.” You’ll progress quicker than you’d think.