CA 260

CA 260 has been one of my favorite classes this semester. I have learned a lot in this. I have learned about coding, websites, blogs, and so much more. One of my favorite things that we did this semester was creating websites.

Websites can be very important in the professional word, especially in the world of Strategic Communication. Knowing how to successfully create and operate a website will be a huge help in my future career. It will also help when trying to find that career. My website is a good way to showcase myself as a serious Communication major and show potential employers my abilities.

My website is http://dbwilliamsphotography.weebly.com/ and I love the way that it turned out. We have to present our websites to the class on Monday. I am excited to see how everyone’s websites turned out.

One of the best parts of the website project was the design part. I enjoyed picking out what design I wanted and figuring out how to put my pictures on the site in the best way. I wanted to seem professional and organized.

The tools on Weebly were easy to use and it was fun figuring out what the tools did. There was one time that the site glitched up and I had to contact the help service because a feature that I added to my page wouldn’t go away when I clicked on the “x”. The help service contacted me back immediately and solved the problem.

I loved learning how to use Weebly.

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SEO

This week in lab, we learned about search engine optimization. I had no clue what this meant until I did a little bit of research and found that it is extremely helpful. I always noticed keywords when I searched for things on google and bing. I noticed that it would pull up articles and pages related to the words I typed in the search bar.

After learning about SEO, I knew that I definitely wanted to use it on my page. I will make sure that my titles on my page are specific so that when people search for those terms my page will be one of the many that pop up. Hopefully, people will click on my site and the traffic will increase.

I will also make sure that my site is easy to navigate. According to Google’s SEO starter guide, “Navigation is very important for search engines. The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important (https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf). If my page is confusing then people might leave it without trying to figure it out or even trying. That is definitely not what I want. I want people to be able to find the things that they are looking for with zero trouble.

I will also make sure that my site has quality content and is interesting. The Google SEO starter guide says, “Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it.”

One of the disadvantages to SEO is that your competitors will be able to find your site with ease and step up their game to compete with you. More than just a person’s target audience will see it. This may be good at times, but it can also be problematic.

My Domain

This week in lab we discussed online privacy and the price of free. It was eye opening in a lot of ways. There are just somethings that I hadn’t thought of until that class.  I will now be extremely careful when posting information about myself if it can be used to hurt me. I don’t really care if people know my thoughts and feelings, but my social and bank information is something I would like to keep to myself.

This week we had to read the following:

One of the assignments for the week was to think of a few domain names for my website and then see if they are taken by searching them on WHOIS. The first possible domain name that I thought of was dbwilliamsphotography.com. It is not currently owned. There are other domains that are similar, but this one is available for $12.99. This is the only domain name that I would be interested in purchasing.

I might buy a domain name for myself in the future if my site picks up and I start bringing in business. If it is a failed project then I don’t want to waste money on it. If it is profitable then not having .weebly might make it look more professional. It might then be worth purchasing.

For now I am going to stick to free services because I am a broke college student and have a lot on my plate. After I graduate, if my site is still profitable, then I might pay for hosting. Then I will be able to spend more time working on it and making it a top priority.

Web Design Training

This week in class we continued to code. We have been working on the same code for a few weeks now and just have been adding on to it. It is pretty cool watching things change and improve just by typing out a code. Our professor wasn’t here this week because he had just gotten married (congrats btw Willis). Our sub professor was super cool. She was funny and thought coding in a new way. I like her way better (sorry Willis).

So this week I had to read http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/training-online-resources-812225 and decide which ones would be most useful to me.

One of the most helpful tools I found was the W3Schools. I have actually used this site before when learning how to code. It was super easy to understand and it helped me out tremendously.

I also like the Google Code University. Coding it taught by the actual developers of Google! I think that is so cool because they do a great job. It offers tutorials that walk people through the coding process.

There are a lot of other sites that help with coding and web design on this link. There are 22 sites to be exact. You should go check them out if you are interested in web design.

If CA 260 was taught completely online, it would be a completely different class. I would enjoy it a lot less. I would get a lot less out of it as a student as well. I have a hard time learning from strictly online courses. I need to see things done, be able to ask questions, and see if I’m correct and that’s hard to do when your professor is miles away. I like CA 260 just the way it is.