Building Effective News & Information Websites: jQuery & WordPress (July 2015)

Course Overview

Building Effective News & Information Websites: jQuery & WordPress (July 2015)
Online Group Seminar
Time Estimate:
The weekly time commitment for this course is about 4 hours.

About Online Group Seminars

In an online group seminar, you will gather with other participants in a virtual space, logging in from anywhere, day or night, over the course of several weeks. A faculty member guides the group through new material, moderates discussions and provides individual feedback.

This archived Online Group Seminar was originally available on:
July 13 to July 31, 2015

Learn to build engaging websites in this three-week group seminar focused on making websites interactive (with jQuery) and dynamic (with WordPress).

This seminar will introduce you to a range of tools and techniques, from jQuery plugins to WordPress themes and everything in between. You’ll learn how to take a static website and make it come alive with free but powerful tools.

You can participate in this training experience when and where you want, and you’ll gain a comprehensive skill set focused on the principles and techniques needed to build polished, professional sites.

It may take up to four hours each week to complete the work.

Please note: This is the second in our two-part series on Building Effective News & Information Websites. If you’ve already taken part one, this a great follow-up to expand your skill set. If you haven’t taken the first course, you should have experience working with client-side Web technologies, especially HTML and CSS, prior to taking this seminar.

Week 1: Web Development Principles & Technologies

In this week, you’ll learn what we can do with web development techniques, how progressive enhancement and graceful degradation work, JavaScript essentials, jQuery basics, noteworthy jQuery plugins and more.

Lesson 1: Getting Started
Lesson 2: Setting Up Your Site
Lesson 3: Installing jQuery
Lesson 4: Working with jQuery Plugins
Chat 1: Welcome & Goals
Video 1: Your Plugins & jQuery Questions
Assignment 1: Install and customize a jQuery plugin on your class website.

Week 2: Content Management Systems & WordPress Basics

In this week, you’ll learn how content management systems work and WordPress basics.

Lesson 5: Installing WordPress
Lesson 6: Configuring Your Site
Lesson 7: Adding Your Design
Lesson 8: Adding jQuery
Chat 2: Top Tips for WordPress Success
Video 2: Review of Common WordPress Tweaks
Assignment 2: Install and Customize WordPress

Week 3: Advanced WordPress & Beyond

In this week, you’ll learn how to make WordPress a CMS, how to move a site from XHTML/CSS to WordPress, how to leverage APIs and more.

Lesson 9: Installing & Working with WordPress Plugins
Lesson 10: Working with WP-Types
Lesson 11: Working with WP-Bootstrap
Lesson 12: Intro the the Instagram API
Chat 3: From Blog to Site: Getting More From WordPress
Video 3: Advanced WordPress Customization Questions & Problems
Assignment 3: Add Custom Content and an External API to Your Site

In addition to the course materials, we will hold a live text chat on Tuesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. and a live session with video on Fridays from 2 to 3 p.m.

What Will I Learn:
  • jQuery and related Web technologies
  • How to use WordPress and other content management systems to deploy dynamic, large-scale sites
  • How to use APIs to enhance your sites
  • How to integrate social media for maximum benefit
Who should take this course:
  • Entrepreneurs, freelancers and others who want to create their own websites, whether portfolio sites, product sites or a news and information sites
  • Anyone working on a website who needs a firmer understanding of how all the parts fit together
  • Anyone who’s dabbled in HTML and wants to take their skills to the next level
  • Teachers looking for a crash course in modern web technologies to share with their students
  • WordPress users who want to learn more about how to customize their sites
Course Instructor:

Casey Frechette

Casey Frechette is an assistant professor in the journalism and media studies department at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg where he teaches digital media and researches technology, journalism and education.