Looking under the Hood

HappySimpleton.com Cartoon

Several things seem very clear as I learn more about using Word Press, developing webpages, and taking hold of my domain.

First of all, it’s going to be a never-ending process. There will always be tweaks and improvements and new widgets to include. I can’t imagine ever having enough time to do this blog and website justice, and I wonder how anyone has enough time to actually write the code to come up with these amazing add-ons and widgets- for free! Every cool thing on a webpage is the result of so much time and effort, from the original creator to the webmaster finding it and figuring out how to use it.

But most of all, I’m realizing that I will never look at any website the same again now that I’ve seen all that’s “under the hood.” Looking at different layouts and themes, and all this, you can see how many little decisions go into what the viewer sees. Or how much they personalize and customize it. So, just like I can tell when an Excel graph only uses the default settings, now I think, oh, they just slapped on a theme. In most cases, I actually appreciate many organizations’ websites all the more now, realizing for the first time the time and effort that must go into these interactive, multi-faceted pages.

I’m worried about my own pathetic efforts in spare minutes that the whole world can observe!

3 thoughts on “Looking under the Hood

  1. Jim Groom


    I think it is awesome that you will never look at a website the same way again. When someone just does the default, and no more, you do start to wonder why they didn’t want to dig deeper, though I understand the limits of time, work, and life all too well these days. What’s cool to me, though, is that I had a similar experience in 2004 when I started playing with web hosting and creating my own space online. It’s almost 10 years ago now, and I still feel like I will never truly understand it all, but at the same time that i the moment wherein I realized that much of this stuff is far less complex than I originally thought, and it is even within one’s power to customize, control, and play with this stuff—and for me that is what this initiative is all about. Now when faculty start putting images of the dead energizer bunny in their posts than the idea of having fun, while experimenting with tone, and playing all the while becomes that much more pronounced. I love the whole thing!

  2. jmcclurken

    Don’t worry about “pathetic attempts”. You are already a trailblazer. One thing to remember is that even by trying these things, you are ahead of most faculty in thinking about these issues. I’m always amazed at how far behind I feel in some circles, but then I talk to other faculty and realize that I’m actually farther ahead than most.

    Even just the change in perspective that you talk about in how you view web sites generally is going to be transformative for you and for your students.

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