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Web Design Tool Kit: The Manifesto


As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.

-Al Franken

We are entering a new golden age of the internet. It is an age in which the price of hosting your own website has come down significantly, and meanwhile, web design technologies have advanced to the point where it has literally never been easier to construct your own website with zero knowledge of coding languages.  Essentially, it is now possible for what Al Franken is saying here to actually happen: personal bloggers have access to the same technology, and therefore, have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.

This is very exciting.  And as someone who has blogged and worked on websites for 10+ years with virtually no knowledge of coding languages, I have decided to found the Web Design Tool Kit as a resource for other people who are trying to get into Web Design and feel like they might not have the experience to do so.

My Experience Building Websites

When I was 18 I had my first endeavor in blogging and website design when I was selected to run our Church League basketball’s tripod web site.  After every weekend, I would post weekly scores and a round-up of all the game action.  I was also the moderator of the church league forum.  I nearly went to professional school in Chicago for Web Design, but my passion for baseball got the best of me and I went to a school where I could play ball.  My passion for building websites never died, however.  In 2009 I was named one of Illinois’ top 50 technology students in Education.  Since then:

– I founded my college’s blog that document the annual trip it makes to the Navajo Reservation.

-I kept two blogs during my two years in the Peace Corps (one with wordpress and one with blogspot).

-I started my own podcast, The Recovering Expat, which interviews returned Peace Corps Volunteers about their experiences abroad.

-I built a Photo-Showcase website for my for my sister, who is a talented photographer and needed a website.

These days, I build websites and work on SEO (search engine optimization) in my spare time.


Why You Should Consider Building a Website

During mankind’s entire documented human history of around 10,000+ years, we have never had the ability to connect with as many people as we do in modern times, and in such a meaningful way.   Even up to the early 1990s, if you wanted to find something out, there were no search engines  You couldn’t just type in a query and be overwhelmed with solutions.  You had to ask a friend, write a letter, or go look it up in the library. Or, you know, just figure it out by trial and error.

Chances are that your passion or calling provides a solution that someone else is looking for.  And if you put enough of your time and effort into building your solution for people, you want to give everyone in the world the chance to use you to find the answer to their problem.  When you build a website, you provide an easy way for people to find you: good ol’ google.  And as I have already stated, today technology makes it easy to do so easily, with no coding knowledge, and for about the same price you would pay going out to eat for a night.

If you are ready to get started, I invite you to dive in and start building your own website, sooner rather than later. All of the resources on this site are free for you to use and will always be.  Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me on the inquiries page with any question you might have.  And if you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to share it.

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