ICTWEB302 is a TAFE unit that goes by the title of Build simple websites using commercial programs. Like many TAFE units, it doesn’t take too much reading between the lines to see what the original intent of this unit was: use the proprietary software product Dreamweaver (TM) to build a website.

Except that professional web developers don’t normally use Dreamweaver to build websites, not in the last 10 years anyway. Let’s just say that Dreamweaver isn’t a part of the modern professional web development ecosystem.

So to do the right thing by our students we have to interpret this unit as covering the use of any off-the-shelf package that simplifies the creation, management and deployment of multi-page websites, and thereby enhances the general productivity of the web developer. In other words, where do we go when our website grows beyond the hand-coded single HTML page we created in ICTWEB301, but we’re not yet ready to engage with SQL (Structured Query Language), databases and complex CMSs (Content Management Systems)?

From this perspective, there are several excellent packages available for use in ICTWEB302. They’re all open source, they’re all absolutely free of cost, they’re all freely available to students on or off campus, they’re all cool and they’re all widely used in industry. For example:

Bootstrap: a front end development framework. We’ve used this one with some success at SuniTAFE.

Foundation: another front end development framework.

Hugo: a fast and modern static website system

Grav: a modern flat file CMS

PHP: simple header and footer includes don’t need an SQL database and can greatly simplify multi-page website management. Things don’t get any more industry-standard than PHP.

A tool such as Ansible can be used to automatically deploy one or more web servers enabled with these technologies in a private or public cloud.