web master [but actually not]

Is there anything better than the feeling of mastering a new skill? While I've got a long way to go before I'm a pro at anything techie/webby/design-y/etc, I've been learning SO much this week! I shan't reveal it all to you just yet, pretty ones, but rest assured this girl is becoming an internet ninja. [which is obviously not true. ninjas don't tell you they're ninjas. it's the first rule of ninja club.] 

1. Get to know a design program
As a non-mac-er, I stick to my trusty Microsoft Publisher for all of the pretty things I create for online purposes. It's pretty easy to use. Some might point to a loss of picture quality, but I'm discovering that a huge part of that has been my own ineptness at saving my creations as the wrong file type!
2. Admire pretty things online
Not sure that I need to elaborate here. Visit pretty sites that have designs and themes and elements that you love. Like this one or this one or this one. So mine is mostly bloggy but you can see that I've been drawn to clean lines, consistent color schemes, clear fonts, and dramatic emphasis in basic elements of design (or so I like to think. that kind of made me sound design-smart, didn't it?) 
3. Start a blog
I recommend this because it's the way I first learned anything about design on the internet. With ready made templates to choose from, a lot of the hardwork is done for you up front. As you get more comfortable, though, you can start changing little pieces and pictures and borders and such.
4. Begin fiddling w/ html via blog widgets
Once you've added all of the pre-made gadgets to your blog, you're likely to want something that you've seen elsewhere (think step #2) but isn't readily available. Maybe there is a widget that you like, but you want to change the background color or the font. This will take us to step #5.
5. Search Google for hours & come up short
There are SO many resources for design / coding. It can take hours to find what you're looking for, and then even more hours to make it work, and there's always a possibility that you never find it or make it work. Don't be discouraged! This is how we [I] learn! Little bits and pieces of information are stored for later use and you have a much better grasp of at least how to search for what you're searching for next time. [read: vocab words]
6. Create a Wix site
When it came time to develop a website for the dress dare, I am so glad to have stumbled across WIX. It's like starting a blog but better. Pre-made templates, plenty of ways to customize, and free
7. Keep intending to start Code Academy
I keep kicking myself over this one. Code Academy offers daily/weekly coding lessons sent right to my inbox. I always do one or two and then forget all about it. This is silly! If I had started learning these things a year ago, think how much farther along I would be by now! Add this to the list of resolutions in 2013: Learn to code. 
8. Share creations w/ less-techie friends
This is a very important part of the process. Seeing all of the professionally developed web designs in the world is enough to get a girl discouraged. Fortunately, 95% of the people you know will know less about all of this than you do after steps #1-7 (unless you're in school for web design, in which case it's silly of you to be reading this post. duh).
9. Bask in the glow of their awe & approval
Aforementioned non-techie friends will ooo and aah appropriately and make you feel like you've really done something great... and that's because you have! Being able to professionally develop and design is a skill people spend their careers perfecting. Harnessing even a touch of that greatness is an achievement! Be proud!!
10. Keep trying!!
Like mama always says, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." This applies to the web as well! I'm clearly no expert but I've learned SO much. And most of that learning took place when I did something wrong and had to fix it or scrap it or come up with a new plan. 
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Carry on, my plucky piquettes! May the cyber gods smile with favor on your efforts and may you all add a "Dedicated to My Plucky Picaroon" line to each and every creation / design this post encourages and inspires.

Sarah :: Your Plucky Picaroon

Sarah :: Plucky in Love

Sarah, aka "Plucky", blogs on the reg, unless she's on vacation or there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon or she's mulling over the implications of the phrase "on fleek." She can't live without iced coffee, a portable phone charger, or equal pay. Say hello!

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