WTF Project: Account of Learning Phase/Reflective Piece

Before I began installing my plugin, I did a little bit more research about what exactly SEO is. I learned that SEO is a way to improve one’s website so that when a subject is entered into a search engine, their portfolio has the best chance of being one of the first options that appears. I am aware that my WRA 410 Portfolio may never be #1 on Google, but the skills that I acquire from implementing SEO into this portfolio will help me in the future when trying to optimize a company’s website.

 

I read two articles on the subject: What is Search Engine Optimization and The Ultimate List of Reasons Why You Need SEO. Both articles shared the same type of information (though one was far lengthier than the other): SEO will help people find your site, is cost effective, will make your website more profitable (if you’re a business), and, overall, is never a bad idea.

 

In order to implement my SEO plugin, I first found the “SEO” plugin by Yoast. I downloaded and then activated the plugin. As soon as I had the program activated, it immediately began fixing my site. Right away, I received a notification that the tagline of my website had not been changed from the original WordPress template tagline, so I was advised to edit it. I did so immediately.


After my tagline was fixed, I had to give the program a bit of information about myself and my site. I had to disclose whether I was a business or an individual as well as add my social media links and choose a display for my website’s title when it was seen on social media.

The program wanted me to connect it to my gmail account. When I attempted to activate this feature, it did not work, so I continued on without it. I was worried that this connection issue would impact the effectiveness of my plugin, but this seems to not be the case.

 

Once the plugin was installed, the real work began. I chose to test my new technology on my reflection on the Module 4 Resizing App…. There were a lot of problems. The SEO is divided into two sections: SEO and Readability. I have found that the Readability tab attempts to improve my writing style and the ease with which my audience will be able to consume my information. The SEO tab helps me improve my site’s findability by utilizing key words, headings, and titles. I had received reds in almost every category.

Each element has a circle by it. If the circle is red, the requirement has not been met. If the circle is yellow, the requirement is halfway met. If the circle is green, the program is satisfied with your attempt to meet the requirement. These criteria range from the number of words in your sentence to the length of the metadescription that appears beneath your website title in a search engine. I slowly went through and made every change (except for one) on my site. Everything was easy to improve, but the issues in question were ones that I would have never even considered changing. It was strange having a computer point out to me the science behind my sentences.

After quite some time and revision, I finally received greens in both SEO and Readability. I hope that my blogs status has improved in relation to other blogs/portfolios on the world wide web. The fixes that my writing required were not time consuming, but it is evident that they were incredible important to the success of my site.

All in all, I reached my original goals of the WTF project quite well. I learned more about SEO, installed a plugin that implements SEO, and utilized my new technology into my portfolio.

It is my sincere opinion that everyone in WRA 410 should download this plugin because, as the articles above mention, it can only help your site improve. This project has taught me that SEO is incredibly important to the popularity of a website on any search engine, and it is necessary that any website trying to receive a lot of traffic should implement this technology. I am grateful that I have learned more about SEO and I am looking forward to implementing my knowledge on the subject in future scenarios.

 

WTF Project Pre-Reflection

For my Web Technology Fun project, I would like to learn more about Search Engine Optimization. I don’t think that, in the future, I will be doing a lot of HTML and CSS coding in my career. However, given that I would like to go into marketing, SEO is something that I must know; This project will give me the chance to explore something that is incredibly important to the success of a marketing campaign.

As I begin this project, I must admit that I know absolutely nothing about SEO. I have been thinking about taking a class in the subject, so this project will provide me with a basis of knowledge on which to continue learning.

I have decided that to utilize SEO in my WordPress portfolio, I would like to upload a Plugin that helps with the matter. After much research, I came across a Plugin called “SEO” by Yoast. This plugin seems fairly simple to use and will provide an easy method to begin my journey with SEO.

My goals for this project include:

1. Learn more about what SEO is and how it works

2. Successfully install a plugin that allows me to implement SEO in my WordPress portfolio

3. Utilize my new SEO skills on my past/future posts on my porfolio

Resizing Module

I worked on the resizing of the About Me page of the portfolio that I had made in WRA 210. When I was in the class, I had wanted to make my website mobile-friendly, but I was not experienced enough to get it to work in the way that I wanted. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to practice.

Mockups

I remade my mockup for the desktop version of my website.Mockup of desktop view of portfolio for resizing module

Afterwards, I transformed these designs into something I would expect to see on a mobile device. Mockup of mobile version of portfolio for resizing module

Resizing through coding

I then coded my design into a desktop version:
Desktop version of Alexandria Drzazgowski's website for resizing module

The challenge came with transforming this desktop version into a mobile version. I needed to fix the widths of my photo/paragraphs so that they no longer shared the screen. Additionally, the size of my header and the height of the div box that was holding my navbar items needed fixing. I expected to simply be able to copy Professor Davidson’s CSS coding, but I actually had to change a lot to be successful. In the end, however, I was able to transform my web page into a mobile site! Coded mobile version part one for resizing moduleCoded mobile version part two for resizing module

If This, Then That

For my “If This, Then That” module, I decided to do something I had been meaning to do for a while… create a professional Twitter account! I think that it is important to have social media pages created specifically for professional use, where other professionals can see my thoughts on recent innovations in my field.

I chose to connect my IFTTT module to a professional Twitter instead of a personal one because I only wanted certain tweets to be shown on my portfolio site. Though I could have done this through hashtags, I also thought it would be better to have a professional Twitter anyways, so that is why I went with this option.

Once I made my professional Twitter, I used the If This, Then That website to connect this Twitter to my blog. Now, whenever I post a tweet from this Twitter account, it will also show up as a blog post on my portfolio.

Hopefully, this will inspire others to begin following my social media accounts once they visit my webpage. I tried it out, and tweeted a post that said, “Welcome to my portfolio!” As you can see, the most recent post before this is that tweet being transferred to my portfolio! Success!

View applet here.

Unit 2 Reflection

Unit 2 was definitely a lot more difficult for me to complete than I had anticipated. I began the Unit thinking that manipulating the WordPress sites would be fairly easy in comparison to some of the coding that I had to learn in the past. Though parts of it were definitely much easier, I had a bit of a hard time manipulating my .php files. I also wanted to begin designing my portfolio, but nothing that I tried seemed to work out the way that I wanted it to. The implementation of a new theme is definitely to come!

The main objective of this unit was to begin planning for my portfolio so that I could build upon my plans later. The first thing that I started with were my views. The views were a bit easier for me to plan out than anything else because I had already thought extensively about them for my portfolio in WRA 210. My list view and detailed views are fairly similar to the ones that I had in my 210 portfolio, mainly because when I did user testing last semester, I received very positive feedback on the way that they were laid out. Conveniently, the portfolios that I liked the best also happened to be designed in a way that I had originally planned to design mine. I very much enjoyed Olivia Asiala’s list view, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t read about her projects on her website. Because of this, I decided to combine her list view with Joe Curell’s detailed view, because his page offered more insight to the process behind his products.

The object model and reuse map proved to be a bit of trouble, but in the end I’m glad I completed them. After completing the reuse map, it was comforting to know that I already had a lot of my elements completed from past projects. I am someone that likes to be very organized, so planning out my object model before I began working on the portfolio was something that I definitely appreciated. I like that I now know exactly what is going to be connected/placed where when it comes time to design the pages.

Unlike the object model, the view, and the portfolio research, I had never done user stories before. Though I had thought about my audience in the past, I had never quite put myself in my audience’s shoes and thought from their mindset about what they would like to see. It was nice to see that a lot of the elements overlapped! However, I also found that there were elements that I should put in my portfolio that I hadn’t considered yet, such as my social media pages (I had decided last year I did not want to include them).

The dissection was definitely the element of this unit that I struggled with the most, but I was finally able to figure out how to complete the exercise.
1. Editing the .php file: I remove the social media icon that was in my footer
2. Removing a .php file: I deleted the .php file related to posts
3. Making changes in the customize panel of your website: I changed the color of the selected text
4. Editing the CSS in your editor window: I changed the size of the title of the blog
5. Deleting content that is stored in the db: I deleted the content of the landing page post… the page did not contain any text, but when I deleted them from the db the space-holders were deleted too, which is why the layout of the page changed
6. Editing content that is stored in the db: I added another post in the db, which can be seen in the “Recent Posts” section. The post title I added is “Title of Fake Post”
Though this unit frustrated me, it definitely taught me a lot! I still have a lot of work to complete and there is A LOT more learning to be done, but I definitely know a bit more now than I did before. Now that I have all of my plans for my portfolio, I will need to begin working on actually changing the theme and working on the layout! I cannot wait to see where my portfolio goes from here.

Unit 1 Reflection

Module one contained some exercises that will be necessary to my success in my WRA 410 class. I did not do any coding over break, so I needed a bit of a refresher before jumping into anything new. Before class began I tried to jog my memory of HTML and CSS with re-completing a few lessons on Codecademy, but nothing works as well as actually creating web pages. Fortunately, everything came back to me quicker than was expected.

Of course, I am no expert in coding and there are many elements in my portfolio that need quite a bit of work. However, I am particularly proud of my Module 4 (two column) layout. This is the first web page that I was able to code that I felt looked slightly professional. In addition, it took me all semester to be able to create webpages similar to this last semester in 210, but this module took me two hours on a Saturday morning! I am proud of my progress already, and know that if I continue to practice I will get even better.

I am proud of Module 4, but I think that my index, in particular, needs a lot of work. I tried to do some new work with buttons (I have never used buttons before), so I was having some trouble making the entire background of the button one solid color. In addition, I generally have trouble understanding padding, margins, the difference between them, and how to utilize these elements when designing pages. I will be doing research on these elements, as well as asking questions in class, and when I figure out the difference, I will be playing around with the buttons on my web page (and how to center them).

I am enjoying this class so far, and I am looking forward to continued learning experiences and successes in the future.

What is Advanced Web Authoring?

To me, all coding is advanced. Considering where I am with coding at the moment, anything that I can do, even the easy stuff, is still advanced. My coding capabilities have yet to become second nature. It will take a while before I feel as though the “basics” are just basics and that I am on a higher level than beginners. However, I am confident that this class will help me get to that point. From an objective viewpoint, an advanced web author is someone that is able to create websites that look professional without requiring TOO much assistance.

Advanced web authors know how to use HTML, CSS, and Javascript (at least). They most likely also know how to use C++, as this is a form that is used very commonly in business (I think). Advanced web authors also probably know how to think objectively and problem-solve. They have a level head and are disciplined and focused enough to spend hours trying to fix one issue. They know how to think in a way that connects all of the smaller pieces of a problem to make sense of the larger product as a whole.

Professional writers spend a lot of time figuring out how to engage and influence an audience. Although web authoring does not fit into the typical description of “writing”, web authors still need to know how to catch the attention of an audience; They need to make a complete product that will appeal with the widest audience possible. Although web authors utilize coding more than writing, they utilize their strengths in the same way that traditional professional writers do.

I hope that this class will teach me how to utilize my strengths as a professional writer to become a great web author as well. There is a lot to learn, but I am excited to see how much I learn from this class.