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Do you need to go to web design school?

August 2, 2008

This is the first of a new series of podcast that I am creating called: a€?Ask a web nerd.a€?

Not the greatest title, but I hope it tells something about this series; I will be answering common questions put to me by people everyday. Questions about anything regarding web design, web programming, getting into the web design game etc a€|

In this podcast, I will answer a common question put to me every so often:

Do you need to go to web design school, or college, to become a professional web designer?

Check out the podcast in the killersites.com web design magazine:

web design school?

If you have any comments or any new questions you would like answered, just post a comment here or on the magazine and I will do my best.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook

www.arawakline.com
www.killerphp.com

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The three steps to creating a killer blog?

July 15, 2008

Creating a ‘killer’ blog is not that hard to understand … but it is hard to do.

As the title of this post suggest, there are three things you need if you want to create a ‘killer’ blog:

  1. Start with a great blog software.
  2. Get a great design.
  3. Produce great content.

The list above is in order of doing, but not the order of importance: content is still king and so you must be able to produce quality content on a regular basis for your blog, otherwise it won’t work.

Let’s look at some details …

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What are gravatars and why you need them.

June 12, 2008

What is a gravatar?

Leta€?s take it from the source:

A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

From a community members point of view, whata€?s cool about gravatars is that you dona€?t have to upload your avatar image on every blog, forum or community that you are a member of. And from the community ownera€?s point of view, you can now add a little pizazz to your blog or forum with your members gravatars.

You can read more about gravatars in the magazine.

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The differences between a blog, CMS and Wiki.

June 11, 2008

What is the difference between a CMS (content management system) and a Wiki?

In a nutshell:

Both are web based applications/software designed to allow many people to contribute content (typically articles … but podcast and videos are becoming more common) to a website.

I would say the basic difference is that a CMS (Ex: Drupal) is a closed system where only certain people can add or edit content to the website/cms.

drupal-logo

On the other hand, a wiki is an open system where anyone can edit and add content. The idea behind a wiki is that the masses will eventually correct any false information – with the help of editors.

My thoughts:

I’m no wiki expert, but I see wiki’s being more suitable to general encyclopedic information. If you need a tighter structure and control over what is being posted on your site, I would be leaning towards a CMS rather than a WIKI.

That said, I am sure that the differences between the two types of software has room for a lot of gray area – I’m sure some CMS software have WIKI like functionality and vice versa.

How about blogs?

Blogs are kinda like a CMS for one person. One other distinction would be that the blog traditionally is date driven – where newer articles are posted to the front page of the blog. As with the WIKI/CMS blurring of the lines, you see the same with blogs and CMS software.

For example: WordPress (a popular blog program) has CMS like features:

  • Multiple users can post articles.
  • You can have static non date affected pages. WordPress call these ‘pages’.

Beyond the CMS-like features built into the core WordPress package, WordPress has a huge number of plug-ins out there that extend it’s capability considerably … bringing it even closer inline with a true CMS.

A few links:

WordPress home page: www.wordpress.org
Drupal home page: http://drupal.org
Another popular CMS – Joomla: joomla.org
Wiki software: Media Wiki

Ciao,

Stefan Mischook

www.arawakline.com

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New WordPress section on Killersites.com

January 8, 2008

Hi,

I decided to create a dedicated WordPress section on killersites.com

Right now, I only a have a few videos (with a bunch more coming) but I am also thinking of maybe some written tutorials etc…

The videos:

wordpress-logo

So far I’ve only added a few videos but have another 40 minutes of video to edit that should be up this week.

Any comments or suggest are welcome.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook

www.arawakline.com
www.killerphp.com

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WordPress Video Tutorial: how to install WordPress

November 23, 2007

Hi,

For the last couple of years I have been preaching that web designers should learn at least one blog or CMS (content management systems) software so that they can then offer blog/CMS installations and customizations to their clients.

wordpress-logo

The use of blogs/cms’ is also one of the reasons why I think web designers should learn PHP, given that most blogs are created with PHP these days.

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Introduction to blogging: a business perspective.

October 9, 2007

In the following article, using a question and answer format, I try to answer some of the common questions about how blogs fit within a business.

1. Can you describe your introduction to blogging, how you became interested how has it impacted you personally?

I first heard about blogging in about 2001 and dismissed it as another tool for people who didn’t want to learn HTML. A year or so later, I realized the significance of blogging and blogging software:

… it was going allow for the original vision of the Web to actually materialize, where anyone could easily get a website on the Web.

Blogs and the blog phenomenon, made me rethink my whole approach to web design as a web professional: blogs, CMS and other similar content formatting tools where the future of web design.

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