How to Install Google Fonts to the CSS File

By Susan Metoxen | May 15, 2024

Would you like access to hundreds of fonts for your website? Then you need to learn how to use Google Fonts! Most web developers use Google Fonts on their websites. The article describes in detail how to choose and install Google Fonts into your CSS file. How To Steps for Google Font Installation How to…

Create an E-Commerce Website with WooCommerce

By Susan Metoxen | September 20, 2023

In this lesson will make a WordPress eCommerce website using the WooCommerce plugin and the Storefront theme. This Lesson assumes that you have completed Lessons 8-10 in our WordPress Training Program. If you are already confident working in WordPress and simply need to learn how to make an e-commerce website, you can probably jump right…

WordPress Page Design with the Block Editor

By Susan Metoxen | September 18, 2023

This is our last week on the Gaming with Grandma website.  This week we will be diving into more options in the block editor to design the Home, About, and Contact pages, and learn how to use WordPress columns to make professional page designs. We will learn how to use more advanced blocks in order…

How to Use the WordPress Customizer

By Susan Metoxen | September 17, 2023

In this lesson in our WordPress series we will learn how to use the WordPress Customizer. Customize is where you design the website including the header, footer, and overall design decisions.  In addition, you use Customize to create menus for the website.  Think of Customize as where you work on everything except for the <main>…

Create a New WordPress Website with Softaculous (cPanel)

By Susan Metoxen | September 17, 2023

This slideshow provides step-by-step instructions for creating a new WordPress website. We will be creating a website called, “Gaming with Grandma“, a blogging website that has articles about video games young people can play with the seniors in their life. The material is provided so that you can focus on learning WordPress. All of the website…

WordPress WooCommerce Product Entry

By Susan Metoxen | September 16, 2023

This article will teach you how to add a WooCommerce product. It assumes that you already have a WooCommerce website and simply need to know how to add a product. When I teach my students WordPress, I teach them how to add Posts, Pages, and Products to an existing website before I teach them how…

WordPress Image Management

By Susan Metoxen | September 16, 2023

Are you concerned about the cost of website hosting? This article explains how WordPress handles the images that you upload to the Media Library and how to conserve server space with WordPress images. It includes what you need to know about WordPress Image Management. Why is image size important? Image size is important for two…

Setting Up Your Freelancing Business

By Susan Metoxen | September 14, 2023

I recommend that students of Web Development try to find freelancing gigs in order to learn their trade and make a little money at the same time. This article describes how to set up the business side. (See the separate articles on What to Charge and How to Find Clients.) Choose a Name for your…

Finding Freelance Website Gigs

By Susan Metoxen | September 14, 2023

Are you getting started as a web developer and ready to find a freelancing gig? This article will help you find clients for freelance website gigs. You can add to your experience and portfolio as a web developer through freelancing while you are a student and supplementing your income after you start a career job.…

Shipping Your Website: The Final Checklist

By Susan Metoxen | September 13, 2023

The beauty of working on websites is that they are never “done”.  Unlike print, a website is something that you make continuous quality improvements throughout the life of the website.  Even so, before you announce the completion of your website, there are some steps you should take: We’ll cover each of these in detail. 1.…

A 3-Step Process for Adding Features to WordPress

By Susan Metoxen | September 12, 2023

This scenario happens every day. Your client calls and wants to add a feature to their WordPress website. Here are some technology they may ask for to give you an idea of the types of features they would like added: What Do You Do? Follow this 3-Step Process for Adding Features to WordPress How can…

WordPress Skill Levels (IMO)

By Susan Metoxen | September 12, 2023

I created this break out of the various WordPress skill levels for my Web Design students at Saint Paul College. These levels are my opinion and may differ from the opinions of other WordPress developers. I provide this information to my students so they can put their learning about WordPress into context of where they…

WordPress Page Builders and Beaver Builder

By Susan Metoxen | June 30, 2023

In this lesson we will learn how to create a fully designed web page with a WordPress page builder called Beaver Builder. Beaver Builder is a WordPress page builder used to make beautiful home pages on websites.

Search Engine Optimization with Yoast

By Susan Metoxen | May 21, 2023

In this lesson we will learn how to use Yoast for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of making your website come to the top of search results. When you create a new website, the next step is to get website visitors, and the best way to do that is with SEO copywriting.

How to Add Content with the WordPress Block Editor

By Susan Metoxen | May 19, 2023

In this article we will learn how to add and edit content with a WordPress Post (Article) with the Block Editor.

You need access to a WordPress website in order to go through the steps in this slideshow. In my college courses, I provide access to students to a WordPress website, WebDevPortfolios.com. If you are not in my course, then you will find instructions on how to set up a WordPress website so you can practice the concepts in this article.

WordPress 101: Logging In, the Dashboard, Editing, Themes, Plugins, and Customize

By Susan Metoxen | May 13, 2023

This article provides an overview of some WordPress concepts that you will need to master as you learn WordPress, including how to login and navigate to the dashboard, how to edit a post, how themes and plugins work, and how to edit your overall website design with Customize.

How WordPress Works

By Susan Metoxen | May 13, 2023

If you only know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it can be challenging to wrap your head around how WordPress works. With HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you create and publish files to a hosting server. With WordPress, the website content and settings are not stored in the website files. Instead, the content is stored in database tables. In this article we’ll explain what the database tables are and how the website files interact with them.

Why are most websites made with WordPress?

By Susan Metoxen | May 13, 2023

As of this writing, WordPress powers 43% of the World Wide Web. And, of websites using a content management system, market share is 64%. Why are so many websites made with WordPress? This article explains why WordPress dominates the web development marketplace. A strong understanding of WordPress is critical for students of web development.

The Magic of Publishing Your Website

By Susan Metoxen | May 13, 2023

Linking the Domain Name and Hosting Plan with DNS Does publishing a website really take magic? To publish a website you need to register a domain name from a domain name registrar, and you need to purchase a website hosting plan. Once you have the domain name and hosting connected with the DNS, then you…

“What Should I Charge?”

By Susan Metoxen | April 9, 2023

If you are an aspiring web designer or developer, I recommend that you look for opportunities to work on websites to build your portfolio. Perhaps you find a family friend that needs help with their website. Perhaps you hear about a possible internship. At any rate, you have found a possible client who needs your…

Price Promotion Options with WooCommerce

By Susan Metoxen | April 5, 2023

There are many free price promotion options with WooCommerce, the plugin that is used in combination with WordPress for e-commerce. With WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin you are able to run an e-commerce website at a very low cost. WordPress and WooCommerce are both free. Without adding paid plugins to WooCommerce, you can run the…

Don’t Make Me Think Discussion Questions

By Susan Metoxen | January 22, 2023

In the Web Design course I teach at Saint Paul College we read Don’t Make Me Think, Revised (3rd Edition)*  by Steve Krug. I searched the Internet for existing study questions and failed to find them. Hence, I will be writing my own discussion questions. I hope you find these discussion questions useful. If you…

Getting Started on a New Web Design

By Susan Metoxen | January 9, 2023

When I am working on a new website, it sometimes can be hard to know how to get started on the design. I start by looking at competitor websites and I ask my clients to send me links to websites that they like. While not everything is done exactly in the order below, the process…

Programmer Portfolio Websites

By Susan Metoxen | December 6, 2022

In the Web Fundamentals course I teach at Saint Paul College, I require students to create a final project website. The final website project gives students an opportunity to develop and publish a website demonstrating the skills that they learned in class. Most students choose to make a portfolio website for their final project website.…

Young Web Designer Working on Her Laptop

Ten Simple Design Rules for Web Design

By Susan Metoxen | November 18, 2022

In my Web Fundamentals course (CSCI1450 at Saint Paul College), I primarily teach college students how to use HTML, CSS, and some common frameworks to make websites. The focus is less on design and more on learning how to code. Even so, I created this list of simple design rules for web design so they…

SEO for Infographics

By Susan Metoxen | November 13, 2022

Human readers love infographics. Infographics make it easier to teach your readers by laying out the answers with a combination of text and images. However, there is a bit of a problem with SEO for infographics. Google will be reading the alternative text for the image to decide what is in the image. The image…

What Can You Do With Bootstrap?

By Susan Metoxen | November 10, 2022

Developers know that they can use Bootstrap to make stackable columns on responsive websites. But Bootstrap has prebuilt classes that allow you do so much more. Here is a short list of what you can do with it. So when you want to try something new on your website, check first to see if Bootstrap…

How to Center Web Page Elements Horizontally

By Susan Metoxen | October 22, 2022

Centering HTML elements on a web page is a bit tricky. How you center elements depends on the type of element on the web page. There are three different ways to horizontally center elements on the web page, depending on what you want to center. Is the element you want to center: A text element;…

tool box image showing a box shadow

How to Add Additional CSS in the WordPress Customizer

By Susan Metoxen | October 15, 2022

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that is open source and highly customizable with a knowledge of CSS and how to add it in Customize -> Additional CSS. Many of my clients know WordPress well. A few of my clients know more about WordPress than I know! Since I know how to code and…

Computer screen with e-commerce on it.

Alternatives to Creating an E-Commerce Website

By Susan Metoxen | September 3, 2022

Before you create an E-Commerce Website, Consider these Alternatives If you have a product to sell, you may be considering an e-commerce website. An e-commerce website is a great way to control your branding and make your products available to the world. However, there are alternatives to creating an e-commerce website that you may want…

Computer screen with e-commerce on it.

Planning Your E-Commerce Website

By Susan Metoxen | September 3, 2022

What you need to know before you hire a developer When you decide that you want to make an e-commerce website, there are a lot of decisions to be made. You need to know what you want to sell and be prepared to present your products to the world. In addition, you need to make…

Social Media Post

How to Correctly Prepare a Post or Product for Social Media Sharing

By Susan Metoxen | July 10, 2022

When you are planning to share a new product or post on Facebook or other social media, it is important to prepare your web page before sharing it. If you skip this preparation, then you are less likely to bring users to your website. After all, isn’t the goal to bring people to your website…

How To Start a Website Blog on a Budget

By Susan Metoxen | July 10, 2022

Interested in blogging? You really can make a website on a budget, and this article shows you how to do it. Website blogging is a way to have a voice on the Internet and can be a way to make money. It takes a lot of content to make money from advertising, but if you…

Dollar Sign

How to Make Money Making Websites

By Susan Metoxen | June 25, 2022

While learning web development skills you can make money making websites. In fact, as a student of web development, you have the added benefit that any time you spend making websites not only provides you with monetization opportunities but also adds websites to your portfolio. My Path To Monetizing My Work When I first changed…

The Bootstrap Grid System

By Susan Metoxen | May 26, 2022

Modern websites are made with rows and columns for good reason…we need the columns in a desktop layout to stack on mobile devices. You want your website to look great on a large screen, and that requires that you build a wide design. But, you also need your website to look great on very narrow…

Pixel Art

By Susan Metoxen | October 5, 2021

One class exercise is to create a sprite on piskelapp.com. Animated PNGs and GIFs can be displayed on websites in the <img> tag, like any other image. Here are some examples.

Young Web Designer Working on Her Laptop

A Career in Web Design

By Susan Metoxen | July 14, 2021

What is it like to work as a Web Designer? Web design is a combination of art and problem solving. On the art side, a web designer crafts websites that are a beautiful reflection of the brand and are intuitive to use. On the problem-solving side, a web designer creates a fluid layout that works…

Recommended Website Hosting Plans

By Susan Metoxen | June 4, 2021

As the owner of White Buffalo Websites, I have worked with many website hosting plans. I am hosting over 100 websites for my clients and students. From my experience I recommend two website hosts, Flywheel and SiteGround. In addition, I have worked with the following website hosts: Big Scoots, GoDaddy, Dream Host, WP Engine, Green…

Photographer Scam Targeting Website Owners

By Susan Metoxen | December 14, 2020

When you own a website, you can be a target for scam. The scam described in this email is comes from someone impersonating a photographer, accusing the website owner of using their photos without permission. Have you received an email message that starts like this? Hello there! This is Meleena and I am a certified…

Why I Love Coding

By Susan Metoxen | August 22, 2020

After working 30 years in health care administration, I was bored at my job and wanted to do something completely different. I had opportunities to make job changes within Health Care Administration, but none of those appealed to me.

On on whim, I went on to Amazon.com and looked for a book on programming. The book I picked out was actually for teens, a book on how to learn to program with GameMaker by Yoyogames.com. On a Saturday afternoon, I opened up the book and started to go through the first tutorial. After a few hours, I had followed all of the many steps in the tutorial, and I was ready to push the “Compile” or “Run” button, to see the result.

Purchasing a Domain Name

By Susan Metoxen | June 2, 2020

Ready, Set, Go! Purchasing your domain name is your first step in making a website. Purchasing a domain name is one of the most important and lowest-cost tasks on your to do list in making a website. All you do is go to a website registrar, like Hover.com, and start to type in domain names…

Domain Registry Scam

By Susan Metoxen | May 13, 2020

Don’t be fooled by an official-looking letter from Domain Registry. If you have purchased a domain name and not added privacy services, your personal information, like your email address, home address, and phone number, are available on the World Wide Web. You will receive emails from a variety of Internet scammers who would like to…

Website Files and Folders: Explaining the Magic

By Susan Metoxen | April 25, 2020

A website is a set of files and folders that work together. When I first started making websites, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a website is made up of a host of folders and files that work together to make the app. The files and folders reference each other based on their location in relation to each other.

What should I study after learning HTML and CSS?

By Susan Metoxen | April 25, 2020

After learning HTML and CSS, what’s your next challenge? Well, that likely depends on what you liked most about learning HTML and CSS languages. HTML and CSS may be your first coding languages and are a great introduction to the coding world. At the same time, learning HTML and CSS teaches you to design websites.

Answering this question may help to see your best direction. When you were learning HTML and CSS, which did you enjoy more?

Woman making an elevator pitch to a man in an elevator

Using Your Web Page Meta Description to Increase Traffic

By Susan Metoxen | March 11, 2020

There is more to Search Engine Optimization than being listed in a Google search results. You need your customer to choose your web page from all of the others in the search results. In other words, you need a meta description for your web page.

pinkish axolotl smiling in an aquarium

SEO 1-2-3: A Simple Explanation of how SEO works

By Susan Metoxen | March 11, 2020

Thinking of search engine optimization (SEO) through the eyes of your customer will help you understand how SEO works and improve SEO on your own website. Let’s step into the shoes of your customer. For example, let’s pretend you have a pet store and you sell axolotls. Your typical customer wants to buy an axolotl.…

Worried Corporate Worker

Escaping the Corporate World

By Susan Metoxen | February 2, 2020

Is it better to work as a freelancer or as a corporate employee? Whether you would be happier as a freelancer or in a corporate job depends on many factors. After working in a corporate job for 30 years, I left the corporate world and became a freelancer. I love freelancing and wouldn’t go back…

Compass over a colorful map

Keyword Strategy Tool

By Susan Metoxen | December 19, 2019

The most difficult part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is deciding on the right keywords for your SEO copywriting. Before you begin copywriting, your first task is to find your keywords. Don’t know where to begin? We have created a Free Keyword Strategy Tool that you can use to develop your strategy. Keep reading to…

10 Reasons To Take Web Fundamentals/HTML (CSCI 1450) at Saint Paul College

By Susan Metoxen | December 19, 2019

Read our 10 reasons why you should study web development. Susan Metoxen, owner of White Buffalo LLC, is an instructor in Web Development at Saint Paul College.

Laptop with a shopping cart on it.

Up-Sell, Cross-Sell and Related Products in WooCommerce

By Susan Metoxen | November 10, 2019

Confused about how to use the Up-Sell, Cross-Sell, and Related Products features in WooCommerce? You are not alone. It can be challenging to wade through the differences among the three options and know which is the right one to use for your products. One of the reasons why WooCommerce is the best eCommerce solution is…

Writing for SEO

By Susan Metoxen | September 11, 2019

Quality Writing Helps Your Customers Find You on the Web Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of adapting a website to increase the number of website visitors. Search engines, like Google and Bing, are looking for quality information on a web page in order to decide where to put it in search results. Their…

Shared Hosting vs. WordPress Website Hosting

By Susan Metoxen | September 11, 2019

A website is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for businesses. The cost of shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting varies dramatically from $3 to $45/month. You should understand the pros and cons of these different options when choosing a website server. Shared Hosting For $3-$15/month, a website can be placed on “shared hosting.” At…

Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

By Susan Metoxen | September 11, 2019

“How do I know what is the best theme for my website?” When I first started making WordPress websites, the advice I generally read about choosing a WordPress theme went something like this: When you make a WordPress website you can either start with one of the free themes or purchase a premium theme. There…

Risk Management in WordPress: Techniques to keep your website up and running

By Susan Metoxen | July 29, 2019

Do you love the idea that WordPress is open source? That it comes with a built in CMS (Customer Management System) that allows you to make changes to your website without a developer? That so many additional functionalities are capable in the WordPress community…often for free? We all love WordPress! That is why WordPress powers…

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

By Susan Metoxen | July 26, 2019

Which is the better eCommerce solution? This article compares the two eCommerce systems with which I have had experience, WooCommerce and Shopify. WooCommerce and Shopify are the two biggest players in the eCommerce website market. When I first had the opportunity to make eCommerce websites, I read several articles online to decide on an eCommerce…

Women working on her website

Which type of website is right for you?

By Susan Metoxen | May 1, 2019

 WordPress A WordPress website will give you the ability to modify content on your own. WordPress installations include a Content Management System (CMS) that allows administrators to add or change content without knowing how to code.  You and your staff can add content to the website without engaging a web programmer. WordPress is the most…

How can I make a website with my budget?

By Susan Metoxen | February 1, 2018

You absolutely can make a website on your budget. Start by accepting the fact that unless you are selling encyclopedias door to door, there is no way around your need for a website. You not only need a website, you need a GOOD website! Your website needs to: Work on your customers’ smartphones Be something…

My New Year Resolutions 1 Connect with Customers on the WWW, 2 Reach customers with smartphones 3 Make my website the best in the market

Setting Business Goals

By Susan Metoxen | December 31, 2016

What are your business goals? Increase sales? Increase profitability? Small business owners understand that they are working with limited resources, and this creates pressure to choose goals wisely. What small business owners need to do is to find tactics that have the biggest impact for the smallest cost. They need their goals to have high…