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Don't feel overwhelmed - we only teach what's really important to understand web design

We believe in effective training and tangible results which is why we based our web design course on a highly refined and refreshingly practical syllabus. The world-renowned authors, Wendy Willard and Lisa Lopuck, have constructed this syllabus from only the most essential web design disciplines so as to be of use to those with little or no web design experience - see bottom of this page.

Watch our video to the right to gain a better understanding of our unique training method.

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Our 18-Unit Web Design Syllabus

Units 1-9

1.  Anatomy of a Website

A short history of the web and its browsers right through to modern day browser standards. Choosing a domain, understanding servers and the role they play as part of the internet. Links, URLs, pages and sites - how they all work together. Web publishing languages and W3C standards.

2.  Hosting and Domains

Choosing a domain name, explanation of the components including domain extensions. Selecting a hosting company - business vs. personal use and the questions you should ask yourself before making a decision. Blog hosting services and how they could work for your website. Using hosting management tools through the browser such as cPanel.

3.  Web Design Tools

Popular web design software and the best ways to utilise the functionality they provide. Working with wireframes and visual site maps in order to develop ideas. Using graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop to create mockup compositions of exactly how you want your site to look.

4.  Web Development Tools

An overview of some of the more popular software used to build websites. Using Adobe Dreamweaver and the benefits of doing so. Creating and editing a basic web page plus a breakdown of each individual component and the process behind it. Using browser plugins (Inspectors) to better understand the composition of a web page.

5.  HTML

What to be aware of before beginning with HTML. Understanding the syntax and basic page setup - an introduction to tags, elements and attributes. Structuring content with HTML using natural divisions, paragraphs, headings, lists, tables and forms. Adding links and images. Our HTML emulator.

Bonus Unit: Empowering Code with HTML5

The latest buzzword in web design circles and with good reason. HTML5 brings together features that were previously difficult or time consuming to achieve and puts them right at your fingertips in a few simple and easy to use elements.

6.  Introduction to CSS

The purpose of Cascading Style Sheets and how they work. Understanding the syntax and an explanation of the different kinds of selectors that enable formatting elements on a web page with properties and respective values. Inline, internal and external CSS. Colours, fonts, margins and borders.

Bonus Unit: The Power of CSS3

With the new properties that have been standardised in CSS3 it's now possible to create beautiful website without the use of images. We're covering borders, gradients, text effects and even animation in this unit.

7.  Designing for Screens

Understanding the differences between the web and more traditional media. The possibilities the web provides and potential problems too. An overview of modern platforms including mobile devices. Building websites with accessibility in mind in order to broaden your potential audience and user satisfaction.

8.  Information Architecture

What Information Architecture means and why it is such an important part of building a website. Designing meaningful and useful user flow diagrams. Sitemap development and a selection of tools used to create them. Lots of downloadable content.

9.  User Interface Design

How to design a website that conveys the information you need it to while remaining user-friendly. Interaction Design and Interface Design - what, how and why? Advanced wireframe design and defining page templates. Visual design's role in usability - making things look like their functions and providing visual feedback.

     Units 10-18

10.  Presentation Layer Design

Explantion of the Presentation Layer. Advanced techniques for weaving HTML and CSS together. Visual and interactive effects. Considerations for touch screen support. Advanced interface features and functions utilising Javascript (including jQuery and AJAX) and DHTML.

11.  Image Formats & Optimisation

Choosing the best file for the job. The pros and cons of popular web image formats such as JPEG, GIF and PNG. Isolating elements for export from mockup composition or other existing media assets. Efficient use of Adobe Photoshop's Save-For-Web Feature in order to produce optimised web content.

12.  Publishing (FTP & Testing)

Preparing to publish including adding meta tags to pages and general testing. Different types of FTP tools, using desktop software or browser based solutions. Connecting to your host and transferring files effectively. Setting permissions on certain files to assist with security on your site.

13.  WordPress I

Brief history of Wordpress and its transition from a simple tool for bloggers to a fully featured content management system with limitless possibilities. Installation via your web host's 1-Click install or manually, setting up database and file settings.  How Wordpress organises information with posts, pages, categories and tags and how to do it.

14.  WordPress II

Customising Wordpress and steps you can take to convert it from blogging software to content management software. Installing new themes to customise the look and feel of the site and using plugins to achieve extra functionality. Organising information with categories and taxonomies.

Bonus Unit: Wordpress Custom Page Templates

If you’re using WordPress for your website you will have already considered how to change the layout of your content. Custom page templates allow you to define a layout for a page that can be re-used dynamically with your existing and future content.

15.  HTML Email Design & Deployment

The benefits of email marketing. How to measure the response from your mailing list. Email design and layout best practices and understanding the technical limitations over a traditional web page. Permissions and opt-out guidelines. Our top 10 email clients and bulk email sending services.

16.  eCommerce

Making money by actually selling products and services on your website. Do-It-Yourself solutions such as PayPal and third-party plugins and considering SSL certificates and overall site security. eCommerce design best practices, registered vs. guest checkout options. Capturing personally identifiable information and related considerations.

17.  Social Media Integration

Extending your website with popular APIs. Using Facebook's social plugins on your site such as Facebook Connect and the Like button. Incorporating Twitter into your website. Adding Disqus social commentary and embedding YouTube videos.

18.  Search Engine Optimisation

What is Search Engine Optimisation? Natural vs. paid search and a look at how Google and other search engines work. Maximising natural search with page titles, meta tags and page content. The importance of inbound links in search rankings. Search engine marketing.