assignment posts

Lynda.com WordPress Certificate

Our class decided to use Lynda.com to learn more about WordPress and some other topics that will help us with our Stearns project.  Our teacher has an account and was able to set up a limited time and course version for us at a reduced price.  We are doing five courses with a little over a month to complete them in.  I was worried this would be too short, but have been moving along pretty quick thus far.

Just recently, I completed the “Self-Hosting a WordPress Site” course, and they gave me this certificate for my trouble.  This was the most important for the course, so that is why I did it first.  I don’t know what weight these certificates would really have on a portfolio or resumé, but I think I will complete a few courses just for those.

So far, most of the videos I’ve watched have been about stuff I already know somewhat well, but there have been tidbits here and there to fill in some missing knowledge and a few videos about things I in fact know little or nothing about.  Some of the videos seem a little long winded, repetitive, slow moving, or boring at times, but they do seem like they’d be good for complete beginners.

I’ll continue with the other four courses we have available.  I’ll probably not be able to complete them all, but at least a couple more would be good.  We have an SEO one which would be especially helpful, but is also rather long.

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Stearn’s Research: Food for historians

We identified history buffs as one of the probable main visitors to the Stearn’s site.  We want to list local attractions on the site, so I am researching eateries that history buffs might be interested in.

Here is a list of Parma eateries.  I’m not sure if there are any historical places in that list, but I’m sure most of them would be places that a history buff would be happy to eat at.

Possible Restaurants

Unfortunately, it is very hard to find historic restaurants in Parma with a search engine, so that is the best I can do.

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    Questions to ask the client

    In this class, we will be working on updating the site for a historical farm in the area.  We are coming up with questions to ask them about the site we will build for them. We must use these questions to find out their needs effectively. To do se we need to be good communicators.

    Questions should uncover:

    • Target Audience
    • Style
      • Examples: Get examples of 3 sites they like or would be what they are going for
      • Branding: logo, colors, etc that the organization uses to identify itself
    • Content
      • Priorities for content, functionality
      • Objectives
      • who will provide writing, images
    • Technology and hosting
      • Cost
      • Database
      • Scripting
      • other features
    • Target audience
    • Dollars
    • Timeline
    • Peers & Competition
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    Historic Sites

    I am taking a look at some historic sites and deciding what I like and dislike about them.  The sites are:

    Hale Farm

    Hale Farm and Village was the first historic place I thought of.  I’ve been there before and it is fairly nearby where I live.

    The site is a sub-site of the Western Reserve Historical Society.  This makes it more easy to find other historical places in the area, but gives Hale Farm less emphasis.  Some of the content bleeds together.  I think it could have a lot more information about what is at the farm.  The site is kept very up to date.  It has a fair amount of event and news related content.  There is an online donation function, though it doesn’t seem as extensive as many other non-profits:  I’m not sure if this is because they are less dependent on donations or get enough from other methods or what.  There is perhaps what is going to become on online store, but it is not functional currently:  It has a shopping cart, but no way to add anything to it.

    Peninsula Historic Museum

    A single page on the Peninsula Library site discusses the museum.  The museum is relatively small and new, so I suppose this is to be expected.  A basic description, location, hours, and basic exhibit descriptions are all the content.  I like that there are descriptions of the exhibits, though there could certainly be a more in-depth description of the museum itself, including perhaps a history.  A link on the page goes to another site where you can view some of the museums images, but the link only goes to the root URL of that site, and it tells you to search for the images:  it would be nice if they could have a link to their stuff straight off.  It’d also be nice if they actually seemed to have images there.

    There is no dynamic content on this page, though the main site has a lot more happening, such as events, donations, and a good bit of information about the other stuff the library does (including all that book stuff).  The menu is somewhat annoying to use.  It has a top level set of items that don’t go anywhere, but open up a set of other links to click.  The links aren’t actual links, probably flash buttons, so they give no tells of the underlying URL or whether they are to an external site.

    Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

    This site is not a sub-site of others, giving the item of interest a lot of emphasis.  There are advanced data driven features such as event listings, news, a calendar, and even a membership section.  Some of the stuff that is nested in sub-sections of the site can be hard to find perhaps, especially with no search available.

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