1. Computing

Dowling Web Design

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Joyce Dowling

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My adventure in Web site design started with a request from my husband to make Web pages for our church. He would provide the Internet service (a side business of his), but someone had to create the site. I had only been doing word processing and was still pretty new to using email and the World Wide Web. I thought it was too technical for me.
He gave me an HTML book, which now I see was a bit biased on the Netscape side, and I looked up information on the Internet to help me. Mostly I just fooled around with the Netscape Composer to make the pages. That tool seemed pretty easy and in the version I had four years ago, seemed to create and even publish pretty good pages.
That site now has over 50 pages and needs a re-design badly. I had experimented with many different backgrounds, fonts, and graphics, so there's not much continuity throughout the site. It's relatively easy to use, though, and people think it is informative.
I went on to make sites for other organizations to which I belong and a personal home page, too, of course. I kept most of the first ones pretty simple. Then I got involved in a discussion with colleagues about a resource site for our profession and I got hooked on this after a member of the group got a grant to pay for the work. As a team, we planned a well-thought-out site. Luckily my son is a natural techie and at the age of 14 started the CGI programming for it.
Then my husband had a friend who wanted to give up his Web development business and handed over his best customer to me. I can't believe I get paid so much in comparison to what I've made in child care, religious education, and substitute teaching! I enjoy it and I feel it's an extension of my education work.
The tools I use now have changed since Netscape Composer doesn't meet my needs any more and tends to mess up with publishing. I usually hand edit the HTML in SimpleText and upload with Anarchie since I use a Mac. I've checked out several editors which I wasn't impressed with and Dreamweaver was the best, but it's rather pricey, so I haven't purchased it yet.
Right now About.com with its many guides and forums for web work is my favorite resource. Other resources I use are: For Testing my sites and other tools: http://webxact.watchfire.com/ For Graphics: http://www.barrysclipart.com/, http://www.animationfactory.com/, & http://www.windyweb.com/

I know I have a lot to learn yet, so I'm happy to have all these great, free resources.

If you want to tell your story and have it posted here [mail url=personalweb@aboutguide.com?subject=First Adventure Story&X-Mailer=Baluba]email it to me.[/mail]

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