How to Make a Website: Guide to Web Creation, Design & Styling

I am a textual thinker, not a visual thinker. The resources I create for my own students focus on my own strengths and needs as a college English teacher:  the writing, basic conventions, and genres such as instructions and emails, and user-focused areas I’ve picked up out of necessity after watching my students learn to write for the web (there’s nothing in a typical composition class that will help them understand the importance of site navigation or usability testing).

While I have tried my hand at creating graphics to help me teach various concepts (such as the difference between revising and editing, or the difference between active and passive verbs), I have no training in graphic design, so my online resources don’t address that part of new media.

Fortunately, there are good resources that fill the gap, such as Matt Banner’s How to Make a Website: Guide to Web Creation, Design & Styling

Assuming that you already have well-written content and you want to know how to present it, Banner’s page offers tips on choosing a platform (with an emphasis on WordPress), “The Four Pillars of Web Design” (Size, Color/Spacing, Layout/Navigation, and Style), user experience, and a collection of general tips.

While I’ve seen more detailed resources elsewhere, each section in this site contains helpful links to more detailed resources. Total beginners who have never set up a web domain, edited a CSS page, or installed a WordPress theme will likely need more detailed step-by-step instructions (or a patient in-person mentor) to go from zero to webmaster, but the site does boil down some complex issues into an accessible framework.

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