!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Online Intermediate-Level Course in Website Design

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Online Intermediate-Level Course in Website Design

The online courses Hewlett-Packard offers at its Learning Center are a mixed bag. I have by no means checked them all out, but the few I looked at several months ago did not inspire enough immediate interest to delve more deeply.

Now, however, I have worked my way through a newly posted course in "Intermediate Website Design" and found it quite useful. You can look investigate the course yourself by going to the home page of the Learning Center and registering.

To give you an idea of what the course covers, here's an outline of its four lessons:
  1. HTML tables and web design — How to create a table, incorporate text and images, specify cell padding and cell spacing, define border color and width, and set a background color or image.

    Learn how to use the following tags: <table>, <tbody>, <tr> (table row), <td> (table cell), <caption> (table caption), <tfoot> (table footer), <th> (column or row header), and <thead> (table title).

    Learn how to use the following attributes: border, bordercolor, bgcolor (background color), height, width, cellpadding, cellspacing, align (horizontal alignment), valign (vertical alignment), and colspan (cell merge).

  2. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) tutorial — How to use CSS to separate coding of your content from the content's appearance. Font styles, text effects for hyperlinks (change in link color when the mouse is hovering over the link, change in link color after the user has visited a link, presence or absence of an underscore, change in border color of a linked image when the mouse is hovering over the image), positioning of graphics (absolute or relative), inserting comments.

    Learn how to use the following tags: <div> (to define divisions of content in your web page) and <span> (to define the style of a relatively small section of text).

    Learn how to use the following font attributes: font-family (e.g., arial, serif), font-size, font-style (normal, italic, or oblique), font-variant (normal, small caps), font-weight (e.g., bold), and color. There is also one example of the use of the class attribute to define different types of text (e.g., introductory paragraph, body text, etc.).

  3. Search engine optimization for your website — How search engines work (crawling, indexing, serving search results), use of paid search listings, best practices for improving your website's search engine ranking. Topics include adding keywords to your website, use of meta tags, Google Webmasters Tools, how links drive traffic to your website, basics of creating compelling content, choice of keyword phrases to embed in your content, the Google Keyword Tool, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to keep a webpage from being searched.

  4. Website development and maintenance — How to control whether clicking on a link opens a new browser window (or, if you're using frames, whether clicking takes the user to another frame in the current window), adding tooltips, using a named anchor to link to a specific location on a web page, nesting lists, nesting tables, and using hexadecimal color values.
Each lesson is accompanied by a straightforward assignment that requires hands-on practice of the points covered in the lesson. There is also a 4- or 5-question quiz for each lesson, which provides a quick indication of whether you've retained key points.


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