Module 11 Search Engine Optimization

SEO is short for search engine optimization which is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to website by yielding a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.  Most internet users do not click through multiple pages of search results, so where a website is listed under the results is crucial for directing more people to a specific site.  Search engine optimization makes sure that a website is accessible to a search engine and increases the chance that the site will be found.  One of the features of a SEO is called a keywords.  From an Info graphic provided from the module, “Keywords. Primary and secondary keywords are selected to focus page content and drive traffic.  Keywords are chosen based on relevance, search volume and competition.”

From what I’ve read on SEO help guides, the content is very important in utilizing a SEO to its full potential.  For my website that is making accessible quality content with internal link architecture.  Another feature I wish to implement is keyword targeting, that is making sure whatever search engine the user is using they can find the content they’re looking for through titles, keywords, alt lags, URLs and phrase selection.   The last way I want my site to utilize SEO is through Link building.  “Incoming links can help promote your site, drive traffic and increase page rank.”  I will link my website to websites through the use of my blog and other forums with similar content to my own.

There are some downfalls to SEO, however they are mostly technical like duplicate content.  From a CIO article on SEOs, “Almost all of the SEO professionals we queried cited duplicate content as a top technical concern. Simply put, duplicate content is any content that is ‘appreciably similar’or exactly the same as content that resides on your site.”  Another problem can be shady link building.  Unnatural, spam-like and irrelevant backlinks can cause your site to take a hit in the rankings.  From the same article, “Backlinks today should be done at a natural pace, should be diverse and varied and look and appear natural.”

Module 10 Web Hosting and Domain Registration

A domain name system, or DNS, is a naming system for giving addresses to web servers and web pages. Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses, the domain name microsoft.com represents around 12 IP addresses.  URLs use domain names to identify specific web pages.  The domain name locates any entity on the internet.  One of the most used domain registrar websites and web hosting is GoDaddy.com.  From their website, “GoDaddy powers the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. With more than 16 million customers worldwide and more than 70 million domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work.”

Since the website I’m creating for class is content based around me, I looked up jacobestes.com on Whois.  Turns out it is already registered under godaddy.com with the name server being Domaincontrol.com, and the experation date is the 4th of October this year.  So, it looks like they bought the domain name simply to keep it under their control and not let anyone use it.  I also looked up jakeestes.com and that domain name is taken as well by tucowsdomains.com.  They are a wholesaler of domain names and other internet services to isps and web hosting companies, they bought the domain name to sell it.

Personally, I would not buy a domain name unless I desperately need it simply because of how expensive the listings I saw on Whois are.  I would also use a free web hosting service similar to the one we use in class because free is all I can afford.

Module 9 Security & Privacy

Everything on the internet is at risk for being hacked and having important information stolen.  With the rise of internet usage over the past decade, everyone is online in some way whether its a simple social media page for one person or the website for a multi-million dollar company.  All of these websites could potentially be hacked without the necessary precautions such as firewalls to defend against attacks, and have vital information stolen.  A firewall, one of the most used defense against hacks, builds a blockade between an internal network that is assumed to be secure and trusted, and another network, usually an external network, such as the Internet.

This threat and invasion of privacy could definitely have an effect on my field and possibly every field. From the module resource What does your Internet Profile say about you, “In the digital, always-connected age there is the real possibility that the things we share or experience will follow us relentlessly throughout our whole lives, with possible implications on the jobs or financial services open to us in years to come. Society has never been in a position before where our thoughts and beliefs are matters of public record, easily found and collated with the most basic search tools. ‘This will be the first generation of humans to have an indelible record’ writes Google chairman Eric Schmidt.”

Privacy is often thought of in two ways—something is either private or public. According to the general rule, if something occurs in a public place, it is not private.  Let’s say an embarrassing moment happened to a person in public and someone recorded it on their smartphone.  If that footage is put in cyberspace,  that person’s embarrassing moment is not forgotten.  The general reaction is to chalk this up to life in the digital age, but we expose personal information in public every day.  Do we want this information to be permanent online for everyone to see?  Many people argue that we have given up some privacy with the advent of the internet and social media already, and with the NSA privacy scandal, we can see that the government is willing to breach the privacy of its citizens in order to gain information from what they see as a threat through emails and phone calls.

Module 8 Online Learning

Over the past 10 years, the amount of online courses for college as well as high school has significantly increased.  You can get a degree from a college now that only offers online courses.  One advantage of taking online classes as apposed to traditional classes is the lower total cost to take the class.  In addition to a cheaper class rate, there are no commuting costs and in some instances there may not be required course materials like textbooks. Another advantage is convenience and flexibility, students can plan their study time around the rest of their day, meaning they can study and work when they are at their peak energy.  It is also a more comfortable learning environment.

Out of the web design training references provided, Treehouse looks like it would be the most helpful for me.  From the reference page, “Treehouse is a video-based service, offering web design training in HTML and CSS, web development (including HTML5 and Javascript), and creating iOS apps (using Objective-C and Xcode), all wrapped up in a clear and easy-to-navigate user interface.”  I’m more of a visual learner and I can follow along instructions pretty easily, that’s why a well produced instructional video would be the best thing for me to learn.  “Not only does Treehouse provide great content but there’s also a game element to the site that tests you on what you’ve learned and rewards you with achievement badges. So if you need extra motivation to learn, this is a great site to use.”

Personally, I prefer traditional classes to online ones and I feel like CA 260 would be worse as an online course at least for me.  I feel, in a traditional class, if my distractions are limited I can really focus on my lessons and work.  I would definitely enjoy the course less especially because of the loss of an actually instructor present.  If I have a question or if I have some sort of error in my html or css code, my questions are answers almost immediately with an instructor there.  In my experience, if you have a question for an instructor that teaches an online course, you will have to wait to get an answer sometimes up to 3 or 4 days.

Module 7 Content Management Systems

A Content Management System (CMS) is used as a way to build a website off of an existing platform, it’s used to create and manage digital content.  From the Content Management System Overview Tutorial video, “Content management systems work by taking data from a database and being able to resolve it into pages.”  CMSes are usually used for enterprise content management (ECM) which is a set of processes that lets a corporation, agency or organization to obtain, organize, store and deliver info crucial to its operation in the most effective way.  Features of a content management system vary among the different types, however the core functions are usually indexing, format management, publishing and search and retrieval. Search and retrieval index for all data for easy access and format management can turn scanned paper documents and legacy electronic documents.

The content management system I would recommend to my company would be Joomla.  It seems to have the best features of both Drupal and WordPress.  The community for Joomla is well supported worldwide with clear communication from the Joomla staff and professionals.  The Joomla website says one of the features for the software is an easy update system so your software is always up to date by using a “One Click Version Update”.  Even though according to the source provided Joomla is the most difficult of the 3 to understand and operate, Joomla has included an integrated help system in their software.  From the Joomla website, “Joomla! has an in-app contextual help system to help every level of user to operate their Joomla. Most pages have a help button in the top right, helping you fully understand all options on that page. There is also a glossary explaining the terms in plain English, a version checker makes sure you’re using the latest version, a system information tool helps you troubleshoot.” For these reasons, I feel that Joomla! is the best content management system out of the 3 provided.

Module 7 Writing and Managing Email

Keeping up with the emails I receive has always been a problem for me.  With the 3 or 4 different email accounts that I use, all of the messages in my inboxes get overwhelming.  In the past I’ve missed important emails addressed to me from school or work simply because I overlooked them while cleaning out my inbox.  I didn’t start categorizing and filtering my emails early enough, and now my inbox is a lot more organized.

In gmail, it’s very easy to create a folder simply by typing in a keyword in the search bar and clicking “Creat a Filter with this Search.”  Then you choose what you want the filter to do then create it.  Gamestop, school, work, spam, and class specific filters are the ones I use in my gmail account.  This keeps the clutter to a minimum, and organizes the emails so that they are easily available under the filters.  The filters are extremely useful.  Since I use multiple accounts, the ability to filter out emails from those other accounts is great.  From the 7 Gmail Filters to Make Email Less of a Chore article, “If you’re using Gmail to consolidate messages from other email accounts then you can easily direct these emails away from your main inbox. In the Gmail search box, pick up messages sent to your secondary address. Open up the drop-down dialog and create a filter from the search, then choose to mark these messages as read as they come in.”

Mr. Willis,

Next Monday I will need to leave class early for a doctor’s appointment.  I could meet with you after class this week to discuss the content I will be missing.  Thank you.

-Jacob Estes J00329147

 

 

Module 6 Creating Video for the Web

Video has a verity  of uses throughout the internet.  Many websites are solely dedicated to producing and sharing videos like YouTube or DailyMotion.  These videos usually are for entertainment purposes but others can be instructional or educational.  The videos featured in this week’s module are educational and show insight into a specific field that people wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to otherwise.

A quick well-done video can explain difficult theories, protocols, procedures etc. to its viewers, especially if they are visual learners.  A video has the advantage of explaining a process and demonstrating it in real time, something that written instructions cannot do.

With my website specifically, I can use a video possibly on my “About” page.  Through a video, I could give an introduction to the website, what my website is about and how visitors can navigate the site to access the content they want.  Since I want my site to have a page to contact me for freelance video camera work,  I could use video footage to showcase my editing and cinematography skills.  From the Creating and Using Web Video Never Easier article:  “Professional videographers can help you produce very high quality, engaging videos, just like a graphic designer can help you produce high quality print materials.”

To make my video’s look more professional I could use some tips from the lighting for film YouTube video.  My personal camera that I use is a Cannon Vixia HF 10 which is pretty good for amateur film making.  I also have a shotgun microphone attachment on the top to record sound at a higher quality.  As for editing software, at the moment I’m using a free version of Wondershare Filmora, however I do plan to invest in a copy of Adobe Premier Elements.