Here’s the latest installment in our Building A Beach Body Website series. Take a look at the introduction here, Part 2 on identifying problem areas here, Part 3 on measuring site performance here, Part 4 on site speed here, Part 5 on optimizing images here, and part 6 on accessibility here.
It’s not easy to stay fit. Your personal exercise habits are your own little secret, and there’s no one to keep you accountable when you eat a bowl of ice cream instead of running on the treadmill after the end of a long day. While you might ask a friend or loved one to help keep you motivated, if they nag you too much they might not be your friend or loved one for long. Instead of risking your personal relationships to keep fit, you consider alternatives.
You join a gym, where everyone around you is exercising. If a gym doesn’t give you enough accountability, you go to the next stage—you take a class, where your attendance is noted, where you can work on your technique, and you can move to the next level. If you’re trying to make your website better, a class can give you the skills and motivation you need to move to the next level. While they won’t take attendance, they will track your learning and make it easy for you to determine what you’re learning, and what you need to know next.
Here are a few places you can go to develop new skills.
WebDesign Tuts+ For free and paid web tutorials, WebDesign Tuts+ is a great resource for designers and developers. Each class lets you know how long it will take to complete, and what skill level is required, so you don’t get overwhelmed. They also offer a premium service, if you need even more detailed, and narrowly focused, advice.
Developer Drive If you want to keep up your web skills, but don’t have particular pressing needs for your site, Developer Drive is a nice, regularly updated series of tutorials that teach you introductory and advanced techniques to make your website better. From jQuery plugins to capitalizing on social media APIS, Developer Drive gives you ideas about how to make your site better. Lynda This membership-based tutorial site is a great way to catch up on a new content-management system, programming language, or design technique in a hurry. While some of the classes are one-time deals, most require a significant time investment, making the membership fee well worth it.
Treehouse If you’re starting some scratch—say, you have a WordPress-in-a-box site and want to move to a fully customized one—you probably need more help than a single class can provide. With Treehouse, you get the whole package, so you can start as a true newbie and, after a series of classes, have the expertise you need to do even advance web design and development. Treehouse will even give you badges after you complete certain courses, so you can show an employer or client that you have the background necessary to do the work.