Training Courses Available

The training courses I offer are structured as beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The goal is to help you get a site running with the training needed to keep it running, with as little time and money expended as possible.

These training sessions help you become more independent and save on site management consulting costs.

The training is available for any website, regardless of the hosting company — not just the ones I’ve designed. The training can be custom tailored to fit the unique needs of your site and your skill level.

Costs are based on the current hourly rates. Group rates are available for two or more people training together, or for those willing to train with others. Courses can be offered in one session of three hours, with some additional non-billable time for breaks. Or, courses can be offered in multiple sessions that add up to three hours to cover the topics listed.

Course #1 — Site Setup for Beginners (3 hours)

In this course I cover how to setup a basic website. The information is presented slowly and patiently at a beginner level. The beginning course covers a lot of information to ensure the site is setup correctly, but it is presented in an organized way as to not be overwhelming for beginners.

The following topics will be covered in the order presented here:

  • DOMAIN. Choosing a good domain name.
  • NAME. Discussing the difference between a website address and website name. If you haven’t settled on a name for your organization or business, we can help with finding the right name for that.
  • SITES. Why you may want two or three simple websites.
  • HOSTING. Choosing the right hosting company and deciding which system you would like for designing and maintaining your site, such as web builder software, WIX, Weebly, or WordPress.
  • SETUP. We cover the initial setup of a new site, including the initial settings you will need to set and adjust. We will setup the main pages of the site such as Home, About, Services, Products, Contact, and Posts page.
  • THEMES. We talk about how to choose a simple theme that is fast, reliable, compatible, and likely to be supported in the future.
  • PLUGINS. Deciding what plugins to use and why to avoid having too many of them.
  • PAGES AND POSTS. The difference between pages and posts, including which works best for different purposes.
  • CATEGORIES AND TAGS. How to best use categories and tags to help your site be more organized, discoverable, and easy for visitors to browse.
  • PROPER POST DATES. Usually posts are given a date and time when they are published. There are some occasions when you will want to use a different date.
  • SHORT POST URLS. The default address given to a post will include a lengthy version of the title. You will want to shorten this.

At the completion of Course #1, you should have a simple site with a few pages and know how to update it.

Course #2 — Site Building for Intermediate Users (3 hours)

In this course, we will work with your existing site from Course #1 or an existing site you already have. The following topics will be covered. These are listed in alphabetical order. You can prioritize topics of greatest interest to you.

  • ADVERTISING. Deciding on whether you should allow advertising on your website. How certain ads may be okay if used sparingly. Why to avoid providers of random advertising like Google AdSense. How advertising can introduce malware on your site and infect computers. How an advertising quarantine that relegates affiliate links to a specific store page can create a clean website that is still able to produce some revenue. Disclosures that are required by law.
  • BACKUPS. Creating backups of your site.
  • BLOCKS. For systems like WordPress, text and other elements are placed and moved in blocks. It is important to learn how blocks work.
  • CONTENT WRITING. We will discuss how to write quality content.
  • MOBILE. Learn how to make your site more mobile friendly through responsive or mobilized views.
  • PHOTOS. Learn how to adjust photos for optimal use on websites. Learn about good sources for images that don’t require payment for a license. Learn about plugins that will compress your images for faster loading.
  • VIDEOS. Learn about embedding YouTube and Vimeo videos.
  • PODCASTS. Learn about how to create a podcast and integrate it into your website.
  • POWER THEMES. Most website themes are relatively static in their appearance allowing for only minor customizations. However, a few ‘power themes’ allow you to begin with a blank canvas and design whatever you want, using advanced tools, widgets, and modules with a visual interface. These power themes may come with pre-designed groups of pages. We will explore how to use these advanced themes.
  • PRIVACY STATEMENT. Some countries require a privacy statement. You will want to be compliant with these guidelines to help your site have more visitors.
  • PROMOTION. How to create a site that gets automatically discovered by search engines and organically remains well positioned in search results. What advertising might work well for promoting your site.
  • SEO. We will explore the topic of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to create a site that is organically and naturally respected by search engines and showing up in search results.
  • SPEED. How to test and improve your website loading speed for visitors.

Course #3 — Advanced Website Management (3 hours)

In this course you will learn over a dozen site management practices. These are itemized and described on the services page. [Learn More]

These are advanced site management techniques that should help improve your website’s overall impact and effectiveness.

Gaining these skills will allow you to better manage your site and be less dependent on others, saving time and money.

Local Iowa City Web Design Training Resources

There are a lot of great web-related education resources available in Iowa City. I want to give a shot out to the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College for the excellent courses and training they offer on web design and coding. Some of the web training through the University of Iowa is available with their LinkedIn Learning partnership. Kirkwood offers a traditional method of providing students with an organized and planned curriculum for a career in web design.

In addition to those formal education resources, you can find free public workshops and presentations on a variety of topics in local libraries and senior centers.

I occasionally offer free public workshops, videos, and written training guides through this website. However, the on-demand, personalized, and in person training is a fee-based service as described above.