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In Practice: Web Development Vol. I

I’m deep-diving into web development months ahead of schedule! My original intention was to begin with writing, establish a solid income stream there, and then branch out into design. But, the stars have aligned and I’m now moving to Norway to help a couple gentlemen start up a business.
 
An expert in web design I am not, considering this is In Practice: Web Development Vol. I. However, I’m no longer a complete rookie. Up to this point, I’ve completed the website you’re reading this on, and I’ve got the basis for my second site close to the point of completion. 

How did I get to this point from scratch?

A ton of research. Page after page of reading. My methods are pretty simple in finding out how to attack research. First, I Google the most basic question, in this case, “How to make a website”. I read through the most relevant 3-4 articles, noting terms and topics that I’m unfamiliar with. I also create a Google doc with a link to each useful page I find, with a small summation of the advice they touch on. In this case, I have a document called Web Design: Links and Outlines, that has almost 4 pages filled with links, alongside the general outline I have for how I’ll lay out the Web Design part of my site.
 
After learning the basics, I bought my first domain name, rented my first server from a web host, and just started building.
 
At first, the idea was to program a site from scratch. I have no background in coding aside from a computer science course I took in grade eight. Codeacademy offers free courses on programming, and I managed to pull myself through the first round of HTML, then CSS, and finally Java. I tried putting it all together into a coherent site, and it was terrible. Boxes were constantly shifting when I changed small portions of the code, I’d change one line and the whole page would fall apart. Inserting pictures? An absolute nightmare. Building a drop-down menu? Good luck.
 
It wasn’t going to happen. I needed to find another approach.
 
Thankfully, there are a considerable number of people that are much more versed in the world of programming, and some of them went out of their way to create WordPress. It saved my ass. I went from taking 6-12 months to make a decent site, to getting a pretty nice one done in less than a week.
 
Thank you, WordPress.
 
WordPress isn’t quite as simple as website building sites like Wix or Foursquare, but it is considerably more versatile. Being an open-source platform, WordPress, gives you the ability to access and fully customize the code to your liking.  Admittedly, the learning curve is quite a bit steeper, so check out the other two if you’d like to simplify. 
 
I watched a few tutorials that held my hand through the process, then I went back and customized my site to my liking.

What’s next for me?

I have two days left before I can start spending 24/7 working, and then another five days after that before I move to Norway. In Norway, I’m going to need to show some chops in graphic design and website creation, so without further ado, here is my…
 
List of Objectives for the next update:
 
  • Publish wherethewifisweak.com after cleaning out the old travel-based articles.
  • Publish my second website
  • Come up with one more website idea that is different in style from both of the above. Potentially could be a web design website.
  • Create 3 unique logo designs on the Affinity Designer software for each of Where the Wifi’s Weak, and my second website. 
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Robert

Robert works part of the year as an international tour guide in Asia with Life Before Work Travel . When he's not getting paid to travel the world he's out in the field taking photos, on his laptop creating new sites, or sitting in the gutter petting stray dogs.