Website Design & Development Syllabus

U48 318—Website Design and Development

Washington University in St. Louis
University College
Dept. of Communications & Journalism

Fall 2015
Saturdays 9:00 a.m.–noon
August 29—December 12, 2015
Eads 14

On this page…

    Instructor: Scott Granneman

    Adjunct Professor
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Webster University
    Professional Education Technology & Leadership Center
    Don’t Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox (O’Reilly: 2005)
    Hacking Knoppix (Wiley & Sons: 2005)
    Linux Phrasebook (Pearson: 2006)
    Podcasting with Audacity: Creating a Podcast with Free Audio Software (Prentice Hall: 2007)
    Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop (Prentice Hall: 2008)
    Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users: Advanced Capabilities and Techniques (Apress: 2010)
    Linux Phrasebook (Second Edition) in development (Pearson: 2015)
    Contributor, Ubuntu Hacks (O’Reilly: 2006) & Microsoft Vista for IT Security Professionals (Syngress: 2007)
    Former columnist for SecurityFocus & Linux Magazine
    Former professional blogger for The Open Source Weblog
    Full list of publications
    Business Owner
    Principal, WebSanity
    Contact Info
    Mobile: 314-780-0489 (feel free to text, but please identify yourself)
    Blog: Chainsaw on a Tire Swing
    Twitter: @scottgranneman

    A full CV is available.

    Course Description

    This course covers Web site development using the three methods that have been used since Web design first began: hand-coding HTML using a text editor; building Web pages using a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver; and using the most modern method, a Content Management System that separates design from content while making it easy for non-technical users to update a site. We will cover design principles, Cascading Style Sheets, server-side vs. client-side technologies, Web browsers, and Web servers. We will conclude the course with a brief overview of the future of Web development: XHTML & XML.

    What You're Going to Learn

    Basically, HTML & CSS & how to put them together correctly to create a website.


    During each class I will take a few minutes & discuss a mini-topic for 15 minutes or so. Some of these mini-topics include:

    • Snippets
    • Regular Expressions (RegEx)
    • Simplenote
    • OpenDNS
    • Backing up
    • Password safes
    • RSS
    • The best help sites
    • Ebooks
    • Markdown
    • Wolfram Alpha
    • Cookies
    • LAMP (& WAMP & MAMP)
    • Git & GitHub
    • Portable Apps
    • Encoding email addresses
    • SEO
    • Finding multimedia
    • AJAX
    • Minimizing code
    • WYSIWYG Web tools
    • Automating my Mac



    There are no required books. Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet. Virtually everything you need can be accessed via my website; however, when it's appropriate I will recommend books useful for further study & reference.

    OK, if you just have to kill a tree, I highly recommend Jon Duckett's HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites. But it's not required.

    Jon Duckett’s JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is also very good if you want to learn JavaScript.

    Wash U's library has many web development books available online, at If you are on-campus, you should be able to simply access the books; if you are off-campus, you will need to log in with your WUSTL Key.


    In order to participate fully in this class, you need to sign up with GranneClass, an email discussion group hosted by Yahoo Groups.

    To subscribe, send an email with a short sentence explaining who you are to To send and receive email, you do NOT need to be a Yahoo member.

    To view archived messages, go to; note, though, that you must be a Yahoo member (which is free and relatively painless) to use the group on the Web.

    Please note that my web development course at Webster University also uses GranneClass. Cross-pollination is a good thing in nature; I think it will be a good thing in this case as well. If a message is meant for students at a particular university, I will preface the subject with either "WASH U" or "WEBSTER" to indicate to whom it is directed.


    Your grade will be based on the following factors:

    Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

    100 A+
    94-99 A
    89-93 A-
    86-88 B+
    83-85 B
    79-82 B-
    76-78 C+
    73-75 C
    69-72 C-
    66-68 D+
    63-65 D
    59-62 D-
    0-58 F


    Accommodation of disabilities

    This university is committed to providing accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. If you have registered as a student with a documented disability and are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform me at the beginning of the course.

    Academic Integrity

    This course will follow Washington University’s policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question & referral to the appropriate individuals, who have discretion to impose a stricter penalty.

    While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else’s work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your work should be your own.

    Any papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.

    If you have any questions about academic integrity, please bring them to me before you do anything that may jeopardize your grades, your education, & your future!


    I have no problem with students using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone during class for academic purposes; in fact, I would do the same thing. However, please do not use your personal device (or the computer on your desk) during class to conduct personal business such as Facebook, email, or IMing. This reduces your concentration & participation and distracts others around you. Repeated distractions will reduce your grade for the course. Please do what you need to do to keep cell phone distractions at a minimum.


    It is paramount that we respect each other online in our email listserv. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it’s OK to say “That’s a bad idea, because …”, and it’s not OK to say “You’re a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …”. If you have an issue with a classmate’s behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at scott at granneman dot com. If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

    Tech Support

    Need my help diagnosing a problem you’re having remotely? Something won’t install, or won’t work?

    1. Download & install the free Jing, which works on both Mac OS X & Windows.
    2. Record what you’re seeing on your computer screen, up to a maximum of 5 minutes.
    3. Upload the resulting video to (also free).
    4. Send me a link to the video.

    In the email you send me, include the following information:

    1. What you did.
    2. What you thought should happen.
    3. What actually happened.
    4. Why that’s a problem.

    If you’re talking about a public webpage, don’t forget to include the URL!

    Tentative Schedule

    Introductions / HTML

    Saturday, 2015-08-29

    Scott: An Introduction

    Topics: Scott. Jans. Lovecraft. An outline. Mobility.

    Web Development: The Absolute Basics

    Topics: History. Browsers. Rendering engines. Simple webpages. Elements, attributes, & values. DTDs. Character encoding. Simple webpages, corrected. Comments. Editing tools. Templates.


    Special Labor Day Course for HTML

    Saturday, 2015-09-05


    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities

    Topics: Categorizing HTML elements. Basic document structure. Metadata. Global attributes. Lines & paragraphs. Outlines & sections. Grouping. CSS hooks. Lists.



    HTML Overview

    Saturday, 2015-09-12


    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities

    Topics: Quotations. Text semantics. Text formatting. Multimedia. Tables. Forms. Frames. Scripting. Foreign characters. Obnoxious & obsolete. Character entities. IE, bringing up the rear. Tools.


    • Brackets
      An open source, free, innovative HTML, CSS, & JavaScript editor
    • Additional Right Click Menu extension for Brackets
      An extension by Deddy Lasmono Putro, for the Windows users who cannot re-train their muscle memory
    • Indent Guides (install via Extension Manager)
      Show lines for each level of indentation
    • Brackets Icons
      Display icons next to all files in your project that identify each kind of file


    HTML: linking with a

    Saturday, 2015-09-19


    • HTML Overview
      • Links ← no video (yet), so read the “Links” section in the slides, especially the part about <a>

    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities




    Saturday, 2015-09-26

    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities



    Saturday, 2015-10-03


    CSS Overview: Selectors, Integration, Inheritance, Cascading

    Basic Selectors. Universal. Type. Class. ID. Grouping. Descendant Combinator. Formatting. <span> & <div>. Integrating CSS.


    CSS Overview

    Saturday, 2015-10-10


    CSS Overview: Selectors, Integration, Inheritance, Cascading

    Inheritance. Importance. Specificity. Order. The Cascade. Tools.


    NO CLASS: Fall Break (& my 30th high school reunion!)

    Saturday, 2015-10-17

    Enjoy your weekend!

    CSS Overview

    Saturday, 2015-10-24

    Work on assignments!

    CSS Typography

    Saturday, 2015-10-31


    CSS Data Types: One of Those Things You Have To Know

    CSS Typography: Typefaces, Fonts, & Formatting


    CSS Typography

    Saturday, 2015-11-07

    CSS Typography: Typefaces, Fonts, & Formatting




    Layout Methods

    Saturday, 2015-11-14

    Webpage Layouts: 4 Methods


    Bonus Materials

    Tables & Lists: Organized Data

    Media-Specific Styles

    Saturday, 2015-11-21

    Media-Specific Styles: Same HTML, Different CSS



    NO CLASS: Thanksgiving

    Saturday, 2015-12-02

    Give thanks! Eat! Sleep!

    Responsive Web Design with Bootstrap

    Saturday, 2015-12-05

    Fixed to Fluid to Responsive: Grids in Design

    Bootstrap: A Quick Introduction



    Goodbyes, Finals, & Evaluations

    Saturday, 2015-12-12

    Final due!

    Follow the instructions at Colostomo Website & hand it in.


    WebSanity Top Secret