Hi, I’m looking for suggestions on training for our web content managers. Those who manage the content on our websites have little to no experience with HTML or CSS, always desire to push just a little past what any rich text editor can do, and are easily intimidated by the thought of editing markup directly. As a result, IT frequently assists with basic styling & layout.
I have pointed them at the w3schools HTML & CSS tutorials & have created several basic reference sheets, but they are in need of an even more basic primer. Do any of you have any thoughts on simple introductions for training non-technical content managers? Thanks, all!
This is a difficult challenge. I tend to do the necessary customization and then explain to them how I did it…then let them decide whether it is something they are comfortable doing in the future or if they prefer just to hand off to me. I find the interest and willingness to experiment with tech varies from individual to individual significantly.
That said, if you have someone who is interested I’d suggest using some of the interactive materials on codecademy.com. I think w3schools, etc. is great and have used / shared them frequently, but the interactive stuff is just a whole step above, imho.
So, I’ve recently run into a similar situation personally. I realized I need to update my HTML knowledge, as it’s nowhere HTML5, CSS, etc. ready. At the same time, I have young kids who want to learn more about websites.
We started using the tutorial at internetingishard.com and have loved it. It’s approachable enough that my 10yr old and 7yr old can follow along and participate, and I’m learning what I need. So, I’d add that to your list. It may be more ‘basic’ so as to help wet the appetite and creativity for your designer types.
We also have web content managers in a similar situation where they aren’t comfortable using anything besides WYSYWIG. We’ve also been unable to find a CMS that meets all the requirements we have and has a great WYSYWIG. So far, they’ve enjoyed the little bit they’ve tried with internetingishard.com
I’ve generally had good luck in the past with “XXXX for Dummies” books as they’re very good with giving specific examples of how to write the code.
For HTML, (and DHTML and XML and any other XML) it’s all about memorizing the tags and understanding how to visualize nesting. Once you get those building blocks down, the rest is about using a reference site or book to know which tag to use for a specific purpose.
Re: CSS, it’s really only necessary for multi-page sites where you want a consistent look and feel without having to re-code every page individually. The way I try to explain it to novices who’ve never done CSS before is with a basic explanation of pre-loading. i.e. I have a simple file that I’m going to pre-load into your page that has all the style information already defined.
If you’re still looking for suggestions, you can try Lynda.com. It’s a great training site for all kinds of IT issues. One course I found is “HTML Essentials Training”. Another is “CSS Essentials Training” (it looks like they have 2 parts to this course). These are both beginner level training courses. I think the site requires a fee, but I also think they have a 30 day free trial period. I have found their courses to be excellent.