Course Reflection – Web Technologies

I am so thankful for this term and Professor Akselsen. I have had years of learning, digital experience in manipulating existing HTML within a CMS or email template – but I have never been able to read the matrix until now. This course content and the style of presenting it have given me the basic HTML knowledge to understand what story the code is going to tell instead of scanning for words like image or color to make a small change. I went from having no idea how to start a page – to building a basic layout and manipulating a template to fit my needs of displaying family photos.


There are many skills that I am able to take away from this course. I had some previous knowledge but learned so many new things along the way to help refine my existing skills. We reviewed several important topics extensively. It is amazing how much we have learned in a short about of time. These topics included:

  • Customization
  • Establishing online presence
  • Color palettes, site maps and wire framing
  • Responsive design
  • CMS and FTP
  • Optimization
  • Website traffic
  • Cross browser and compatibility testing
  • Google analytics
  • HTML/CSS templates

Responsive design is the beginning

Whether you are the designer or  “do-it-yourselfer” using a template to create your site, basic understanding of how a site will be built is important. A successful site is the marriage of both design and code, each depending on one another to create a seamless experience. While designing, you have to envision each user experience and how your design/content will be displayed. If you chose to create your site with a template, many hosting sites contain templates which are responsive and easy to use. These pre-programmed templates will help save time and money as you develop your design.

Content is the driver

Content plays an important role in driving traffic to your website. Content has many purposes like describing products on ecommerce sites, educating on sites like Wikipedia, entertaining on sites like YouTube, and socializing on sites like Facebook or Instagram. With millions of sites available today, content creators have to find creative ways to drive traffic to their sites.

Testing can make you unstoppable

There are so many browsers available, which are viewed on all types of devices and on various screen sizes.  It is, therefore, essential that you perform testing on how the user will experience your site in each of these environments. Each browser handles the information it processes from the server in its own unique way. Testing your site on one browser is not enough; you need to view the user experience across several different browsers, devices, and screen sizes. Cross Browser testing involves testing both the client side and server-side behavior of your site, when it is accessed using different browsers. Through this testing you will ensure that your site displays properly regardless of which browser is used.

Cross browser and compatibility testing should be part of the initial site development and be a step that is revisited periodically.

Free tools are at your fingertips

Google Analytics is a free website analytics service offered by Google; it provides data and insight into how users find and use your website. You can also track ROI for your online marketing strategy. This website can help you view your visitors’ behaviors through your account dashboard.

Google Analytics helps you make decisions based on data. You can justify spending more on your advertising; decide where you should be advertising; and what type of content you should be exploring to add to your site. Google Analytics categorizes data into three main buckets Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions.

We are in this together

Designers, coders and savvy internet users will all benefit from the basic understanding of how each phase works together. Both design and code need to build upon each other in order to have a final product that will create a beautifully built user experience. In this new responsive design environment, all sides need to understand each phase of a site’s growth. Together we will create a beautiful internet experience.

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