Fall 2013: Web Site Design and Development Syllabus

U48 318—Web Site Design and Development

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

Fall 2013
Saturdays 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
7 September—14 December 2013
Eads 14

On this page…

    Instructor: Scott Granneman

    You can also read my full CV.

    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.

    Wash U's library has many web development books available online, at http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.libproxy.wustl.edu. 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 granneclass-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. To send and receive email, you do NOT need to be a Yahoo member.

    To view archived messages, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/granneclass; 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 screencast.com (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 & Beginnings / HTML

    Saturday, 7 September 2013



    Readings for next class (you will NEVER be quizzed over the contents of these readings):


    Saturday, 14 September 2013


    Things you should know

    Code & coding

    Assignment: Basic Formatting

    • Basic formatting
      Without viewing the source code, re-create this webpage in HTML 4.01 Transitional

    URLs: Images & Links

    Assignment: Pictures & Colors

    • PIctures & colors
      Without viewing the source code, re-create this webpage in HTML 4.01 Transitional


    Saturday, 21 September 2013

    Slides: URLs & Paths


    Assignment: Stooges


    Saturday, 28 September 2013

    Snippet Storage

    Slides: Never Use Word to Make Webpages

    Slides: Finding Multimedia


    Saturday, 5 October 2013

    Slides: Markdown

    Sublime Text

    Design / Middleware / XHTML, XML, & HTML5

    Saturday, 12 October 2013

    Middleware Slides

    XHTML & XML Slides

    HTML5 Slides

    Assignment: Empty Nest

    • Right-click to download this code, open it in Sublime Text, & reformat it correctly: Empty Nest

    CSS Intro

    Saturday, 19 October 2013

    Where to host your static sites

    CSS Slides

    Assignment: Basic Formatting + CSS

    • Basic formatting
      Without viewing the source code, re-create this webpage in HTML 5 with CSS

    CSS Selectors

    Saturday, 26 October 2013

    Assignment: Colostomo Home Page

    • Colostomo Home Page
      Without viewing the source code, re-create this webpage in HTML 5 with CSS

    CSS Fonts & Formatting

    Saturday, 2 November 2013

    Assignment: Boor-ing Email

    Voting (a special talk because it’s election time)

    CSS formatting practice

    Saturday, 9 November 2013



    Saturday, 16 November 2013

    Assignment: Fred Flintstone’s Resumé

    Simple uses of <div> & float

    Assignment: RFID Chips Are Here

    Harder uses of <div>, pseudo-classes, & HTML5


    Saturday, 23 November 2013


    Thanksgiving: No class!

    Saturday, 30 November 2013


    CMS (Content Management Systems)

    Saturday, 7 December 2013

    CMS Slides

    Goodbyes, Finals, & Evaluations

    Saturday, 14 December 2013


    WebSanity Top Secret