Playing with Web page design

Forgive my self-aggrandizing but I’ve recently received word that my proposal for the Romance Writers of America Conference was accepted. I’ll be teaching a one hour session entitled “Develop a Free Author Website in 60 Minutes (or Less!).” Along with Jami Gold, a social media maven, I’ll cover creating a free website, setting up a blog, and various hosting options.

I started writing in HTML back in 1997. I worked for a defense firm, taking care of passel of wonderfully geeky mechanical and software engineers. They wanted a website. I had the most free time. The solution was obvious to them: I would learn HTML. I surprised myself by doing just that. Back then the language was rather intuitive, paragraphs were indicated with a p, if you wanted to make something bold, you labeled it ‘bold’, italics were indicated with an I, underline with a u and so on.
The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, the Powers That Be when it comes to the web) ushered in a new changes and rules. HTML expanded to include XML and XHTML. It spun off the sections about format (fonts, color, text size) to a separate language called CSS. Databases driven websites came along, and ASP made them work. But the basic 10 pieces of my HTML vocabulary from that first website still work and I remain convinced that HTML is the simplest language in the world to learn. I’m a bit of an HTML zealot. I firmly believe that just about anyone can create & maintain a website. I’ve taught 63 year old Grandmothers and 40 year old technophobes.

 

I still design web pages in my day job, in fact, it’s the best part of my day. Web design is dependable like math, two plus two always equals four. I like the clean lines of code and how I can know that it will work. I love the intellectual puzzle of making the code do what I want. I can’t wait to introduce a roomful of writers to that fun. Until then, if anyone needs help with a tricky webpage drop me a note. I’m happy to play with it.

 

 

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