Tag Archives: clark college

Clark College is a community college in Vancouver, WA.

What Happened to HTML5 and Accessibility

HTML5 has improved greatly over the years. One of its biggest successes was trying to make the World Wide Web more accessible by moving in a more semantic direction. It introduced several new semantic elements such as: <section>, <article>, <aside>, <hgroup>, <header>, <h1> through <h6> level headings, <footer>, and <address>. While these new elements are great, they don’t actually do anything.

They crack the door open slightly to provide value to assistive technologies that can expand upon the elements through programming. These new elements have been made standards by W3’s Consortium. While these are made standards, not everyone is required by law to follow them. The biggest problem with HTML5 and its accessibility features is the compatibility of the browsers that interpret the markup. Most development companies follow these standards but they are free to take their own direction when building a browser.

Accessibility and Compatibility

HTML5 has great accessibility features but there are still some issues. Because HTML5 is constantly evolving, it makes it difficult in the development stages. Here are some of the current issues:

  • Competing video formats are making HTML5 based video playback almost impossible to implement
  • Inconsistencies between web browsers
  • The heading structure is not useful in assistive devices
  • Interpretation and support among technology products

One of the top browsers that has kept current with the evolution of HTML5 is Mozilla’s Firefox. This screen shot shows which major browsers support HTML5 accessibility attribute features:

A screen shot of web browser that support HTML5 attributes

The ARIA

Every developer and designer should ensure their website covers as many disabilities as possible to provide users with a rich accessible experience. That’s where ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) or WAI-ARIA comes into play. ARIA defines the roles, names, descriptions, values, and states of objects to help assistive technologies, such as screen readers to better understand the information laid out on the page.

ARIA When and How

ARIA has a wide range of accessibility elements. For that reason we will only be covering a few examples in this section. The elements that will be explained are better known as the “Landmark Roles.”

The document Role

The document role helps assistive technologies switch from normal browsing mode into a mode more suitable for interacting with web documents. Most webpages are considered a document because you often read them, while a document role still supports users to have interactions. This is often inserted into the body element.

<body role="document">...</body>

The banner Role

The banner role should only be used once within the html markup. It is usually used within the top of the page in the <header> or any element that contains the prime heading or in-page title of the site.

<header role="banner">...</header>

The complementary Role

The complementary role is generally used in the <aside> or sidebar section of the HTML document. The complementary role element lets assistive technologies know that whatever is inside this area, it is complementary to the main content.

<aside role="complementary">...</aside>

The contentinfo Role

The contentinfo role is used within the area that contains copyrights and links to privacy statement information. It is generally used in the <footer> element of your markup.

<footer role="complementary">...</footer>

The form Role

The form role is used by a screen reader to let users know that they can fill out a form. On some screen readers, users have quick keys to direct them to this sections of the page quickly. There is a lot more that goes into forms and it is recommended that you read the help documentation provided by W3.

<form role="form">...</form>

The main Role

The main role in ARIA is better explained as the most important element for screen readers and users alike. It is essentially used a link to “Skip to the main content”. It helps users know that this is what they are essentially looking for on a page.

<section role="main">...</section>

The navigation Role

The navigation role element is used in the navigation or <nav> element. The most important thing for any website is to be able to clearly navigate it. The navigation role tells screen readers that this is your navigational links.

<nav role="navigation">...</nav>

The search Role

The search role tells assistive technologies that users can search the website through this section. It is often used in a text input field labeled with role search.

<input type="text" name="search" role="search">

For More Information

WordPress Words: WordPress Roles – Editor

Has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and links.
WordPress Support

Example: WordPress has six pre-defined roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Each role is allowed to perform a set of tasks called Capabilities. An Editor will have the third highest set of capabilities that includes the ability to: delete, edit, manage, publish, read, and upload.

About the Word

An Editor can create, edit, publish, and delete any post or page (not just their own), as well as moderate comments and manage categories, tags, and links. It is the Site Administrators job to monitor and add roles accordingly.  Be mindful of the roles that you give users on your blog. For example, if you add a user as an Editor and then they delete all the posts on your blog, they have not “hacked” your site or done anything they were not permitted to do. For this reason, it is recommend to only adding users whom you trust to your site.

When you have decided it is time to add more Users to your site you can access this form via the Users button and Invite New on the drop down menu as site Administrator. Once a new User has been you added, you will also have the ability to edit a User’s role via the All Users button seen in the drop down menu below.

This is a screen shot of the Users button being highlighted in the wp-admin role.

You may also wish to try out different User Role Editor Plugins in order to maximize the efficiency when managing a site’s pages, posts, comments and more.

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WordPress Words: HTML Element

An HTML Element is an individual component of an HTML document or web page. HTML is composed of a tree of HTML elements and other nodes, such as text nodes. Each element can have HTML attributes specified. Elements can also have content, including other elements and text. Many HTML elements represent semantics, or meaning.
Wikipedia.org.

Example: The paragraph element <p></p> is made up of the opening <p> and the closing </p> tags.

About HTML Elements

HTML is a markup language which means that it is written with codes that can be read by a person, without needing to be compiled.

An HTML element is the opening tag that kicks off and tells the browser that everything between that and the closing tag in an HTML document.

For the full list of HTML elements use this index.

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WordPress Words: Slug

A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page.
WordPress Codex.

Example: When a user is looking to increase their overall site traffic, they will customize their individual slugs to contain precise keywords to increase search engine optimization.

About the Word

Slugs are used in the permalink structure and are created by default in WordPress. If you do not choose to define the slug, it will be automatically generated using the title of the page or post, separating each word using hyphens. While the auto-generated permalink may contain some key words, WordPress has given the user the ability to set the slug to contain the most optimized key words.

You can edit the slug when you are editing a page or post as seen in the highlighted area below.

This is a screenshot from WordPress featuring where to change the slug.

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WordPress Words: Trackbacks

A trackback is one of four types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents.
Wikipedia.

Example: If I’m writing about a subject, and I find an article that I think makes a bunch of good points about the issue, I can link to their page as usual. But if both my site and the owner of the linked site are trackback-enabled, then my link automatically creates a notification that will inform the linked site of the new connection. This notification also provides links back and forth between the two pages, allowing readers to easily follow related streams of information

About The Word

Trackbacks have been in use since 2002, and there are currently efforts to make it’s usage an internet standard through the IETF. Though trackbacks can be very helpful, many bloggers have stopped using them. This is mostly due to some companies who have abused the feature, linking to spam sites. Though spam filters exist, the headache of having to sift through spam has led to a decline of trackback usage. On WordPress, trackbacks must be created manually, this process is explained by the first “More Information” link below.

Here’s what a trackback looks like on a site:

A trackback displayed on a website.

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WordPress Words: Jetpack

Jetpack is a single plugin that gives you the most powerful WordPress.com features, hooking your self-hosted WordPress site to WordPress.com’s infrastructure to take advantage of robust stats, easy social sharing, customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools. These powerful features were previously only available to WordPress.com users.

The Jetpack team is made up of employees of Automattic, the makers of WordPress.com. Years ago WordPress.com blogs had easy access to a lot of features that really weren’t available to self-hosted WordPress sites unless you wanted to install and maintain many individual plugins. After enough interest from self-hosted sites to have access to the same features with only a click of the mouse, the great developers of Automattic created Jetpack. Self-hosted WordPress users can install over two dozen popular plugins with only one click. And of course it’s that easy to update them as well.

Continue reading WordPress Words: Jetpack

Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

The SEO of the HTML Anchor Text

You finally finished your website and uploaded it to the Internet. Maybe it is a blog, a personal website, or an e-commerce website that sells products. In all of these cases, you now wait to see how many visitors come to the website or read your blog article.

Continue reading The SEO of the HTML Anchor Text

How to Create and Use Abbreviations in HTML

Our friend the <acronym> tag has been deprecated with the release of HTML5, so how does this affect the use of acronyms generated with HTML? Well, we have a new friend! The <abbr> tag joins the HTML element list with HTML5. Continue reading How to Create and Use Abbreviations in HTML

WordPress 3.9 Released

The latest version of WordPress, WordPress 3.9, has been released. It is named in honor of jazz organist Jimmy Smith, continuing the tradition of naming major WordPress releases after jazz musicians.

WordPress 3.8 was released in December 2013, and this push to WordPress 3.9 is part of the new faster release schedule.

As of July 2013, Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress now powers 18.9% of the web with more than 46 million downloads in ten years. WordPress is also being used by mobile users more than ever before according to a WordPress Community survey that found 31% were using it on their iOS devices, 30% on Android, and 18% on Android tablets. A survey by WP Engine on WordPress adoption and name recognition found 30% of those surveys on the Internet have heard of WordPress.

With so many people embracing WordPress and incorporating it into their lives and businesses as a content management and web publishing system, the improvements the development teams worked on for this new version reflect the growing reliance on WordPress across multiple user types and needs. Continue reading WordPress 3.9 Released

Interview with Troy Uyan: Developer in the Making

Troy Uyan profile picBrowsing ClarkWP Magazine you have surely ran across a good few articles by Troy Uyan, but do you know Troy past his profile pic and awesome articles? A student here at Clark Collage, he is studying web development, but leaves in his wake much more than required assignments.

A primary example of Troy’s contributions to the web is his work helping develop Shulnak Village, a project that supports education and literacy in rural Tibet. Though his is contributions alone make a grand statement, you would be amazed to discover that this site boasts many hidden features supplied by Troy. These features include not only a fully responsive layout but also use of WordPress as a CMS. He accomplished all of his work for Shulnak Village before even finishing his classes on responsive design or WordPress.

Front page of website for Shulnak Village School Project.

Troy finished those classes on responsive design and WordPress and put his new found skills to work immediately. He created his own personal site, Troy Uyan, and had this to say about the process: Continue reading Interview with Troy Uyan: Developer in the Making

Interview with Chris Martin: Professor and Web Developer

Portrait of Chris MartinChris Martin has been a web developer since 1997. Chris is also a documentary film maker, writer, speaker and professor here at Clark College. Chris started teaching about a year and a half ago, which has inspired him to learn even more about the subjects he teaches: Web Design, Web Multimedia Content, and Web Video Production.

Chris loves people. He loves listening to people talking about their passions. Chris believes first and foremost that stories matter. Because of that his mission is to tell stories about people, businesses and organizations that are positively impacting others throughout their communities and around the world.

“In Internet years, I am ancient and have had to redefine my skills and abilities several times based upon changing technologies and amazingly smart people who have developed open source projects such as WordPress.”

Here are a few sites that Chris created with the use of WordPress:

Continue reading Interview with Chris Martin: Professor and Web Developer

Interview with Clark Students: Using WordPress

By LaRhea Phillips

The world's first full-credit college course dedicated solely to WordPress at Clark College, Winter Quarter 2012, led by Lorelle VanFossen.
The world’s first full-credit college course dedicated solely to WordPress at Clark College, Winter Quarter 2012, led by Lorelle VanFossen.

Here at Clark Community college we have several classes focusing on using WordPress as well as learning about behind the scenes of WordPress sites. I thought it would be very interesting to see what the Clark students were planning on doing with their new found knowledge of WordPress and whether they would put it into real world experiences. Please feel free to take the survey and let all of us know your thoughts on WordPress. Please select all that apply!





Thank you for taking the time to answer these few questions!