For the past month now, I’ve been focusing completely on the Skillcrush Break into Tech program. Although I’m already enrolled in this program years ago, I decided to get back into it because of their brand-new Python course. Though I’ve already taken some basic Python courses before both on Udemy and Progate, the Skillcrush Python program also includes Flask, which is a Python framework that would let you allow to build websites and web applications using Python. Who knows, maybe I may end up switching away from WordPress 1 and use a new blogging/CMS platform like Wagtail CMS. 2

But, instead of taking their Python class, I decided to refresh some more on the basics by taking their Phase 1 module first. Phase 1 consists of HTML, basic CSS, Git, and GitHub. I think having these four elements are essential to anyone starting to learn how to code, whether if it’s web design, web development, programming, etc. Most notably, Git and GitHub is now a requirement, so you can backup and store all your code, collaborate with others in making better code for yourself and for everyone else, and everything else. To be honest, because I have been somewhat inactive with coding, I have forgotten how to push all my past code to my GitHub. Good thing I backtracked and finally remembered the best practices 3 in working with Git and GitHub.

How web design/dev was back then

Right now, I’m at Phase 2, which is where Javascript, Python, React courses are under. However, I wanted to further my skills more with building responsive sites. What I meant by this is that I want to learn the newer methods in responsive web development: flexbox. There are also CSS grids and frameworks like Bootstrap right after flexbox, but because Skillcrush doesn’t have a CSS grids section, I’m going to take this course somewhere else. 4 I recently just finished flexbox and now working on building a site from scratch. 5

There’s a lot to building responsive sites than just the viewport tag attributes and media queries. Plenty. Not only that you have to make the entire site layout responsive, but also the images that you’ll be using, and that you have to code your CSS mobile-first before you start working on the desktop view of your site. If you think about it, that is a lot of work.

During the last decade of web design and development, we never thought about how we’re going to have our sites look when we use mobile devices such as a smartphone or a tablet. The default was strictly for the desktop and laptop. I even recalled that on the footer, we had to make note of the exact screen resolution that our sites look best. Even then, it was also hard, especially when not all users have the same or the latest screen resolution size on the computers they’re using from what you’re using.

There were fluid layouts and adaptive layouts for CSS that may solve this issue. There was also the time when we also had to build a separate layout for the same site for mobile viewing. The only disadvantage with doing this method is that whenever you have to update your content, you would have to do the same with your mobile layout too. That’s just extra work and it can be tedious.

I guess because of the points above that many of the hobbyist web designers back in the days quit web designing, even if this was only for a hobby. But there are many others who are willing to learn new technologies and methods to build better sites. 6 Once they get the grasp of building responsive websites, there was no need to have the extra work of building a different layout for mobile devices. Not only that, but we won’t have to make a note on our footers with “Best viewed in (screen res. sizes in px)” anymore.

Years before when I first opened The NINPOJineous, I planned to have a whole series of tutorials about responsive web design/dev methods. But, just as I’m refreshing my skills with Skillcrush’s Responsive Web Design course, this would take an entire course by itself rather than just tutorial sections. Therefore, I’m scrapping this idea and suggest to search for free responsive web design courses on Google instead. 7

Checking the W3 validator for valid HTML/CSS is still a thing today.

A few adjustments with The NINPOJineous

Lately, I’ve noticed that a few of my recent posts were not being posted on the main page of this site. I thought it was some kind of a bug from the theme framework at first, but then I realized that I rebuilt this theme from my previous blue one and imported my custom settings to this new one, so it must have been filtered by category somehow without realizing it.

I checked my standard settings on WP first and learned that I wasn’t using the default post page as my home page, but a custom static “main” page instead. That’s when I realized that some posts under certain categories were filtered. I quickly removed the filters, since all of my tutorial posts were converted into pages and are now in their separate Tutorials section. I’m still going to work on the past posts and re-organize them accordingly.

At the same time, I’m also checking out other theme frameworks too outside the Themify Builder-based themes. I still love the Themify Builder and its themes, but it’s always good to diversify your skills to other things too. I don’t need to be an expert on all of them, but knowing a bit more and gain some experience on the alternative themes and frameworks really helps a lot for your resume.

This is it for today’s updates. I will post more on my progress much later.

Some Extra Notes...

  1. I still want to learn PHP though. I’ve taken the basics, but I still haven’t really gotten the grasp of PHP enough for me to build/modify WordPress themes and plugins…
  2. It’s a Django framework-based platform though. Django is another Python framework that you can use to build websites and applications.
  3. best practices for me anyways…
  4. Maybe Udemy…
  5. Not quite, we’re using HTML5 Boilerplate starter files, so we won’t have to start off with a blank slate. It’s not exactly a framework, it’s more of a basic (?) front-end template.
  6. I’m one of them, obviously.
  7. FreeCodeCamp, Codeacademy, Progate, these are the platforms that offer free responsive courses. There are also some tutorials also written/posted by the more expert web developers you can check out too.