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WebProfessionals.org Announces Director of Education and Training

WebProfessionals.org Announces Director of Education and Training

Steve Waddell to lead the Web Professional Association’s education and training efforts into a bold new future, increasing access to education and training around the globe

WebProfessionals.org, a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting the development of innovative, affordable and high quality web jobs and career training, has named Steve Waddell as Director of Education and Training.

Steve Waddell the office dog

In this new role, Waddell will use his 30 years of curriculum development, entrepreneurial and market experience to strategically expand the organization’s education initiatives and global influence. Building on the success of the WebProfessionals.org “SchoolofWeb.org” training program Waddell will seek out and cultivate strategic alliances and partnerships that acknowledge the tremendous contribution WebProfessionals.org has on advancing access to quality education and training on behalf of the millions of aspiring and practicing web workers everywhere.

“We are delighted to welcome Steve,” said Mark DuBois, Executive Director of the Web Professionals Association. “His experience and skills match up perfectly with our goals for the next phase of WebProfessionals.org work. Beyond a track record of building global coalitions and championing innovative solutions that improve lives, Steve brings an authentic and inspiring leadership style. His infectious energy, sense of humor and passion for making a positive social impact will propel us while creating a global movement that recognizes, supports, and promotes the vital and complementary role of individually-owned social enterprises.”

Waddell’s entire career has been dedicated to creating innovative solutions and building authentic relationships that result in positive outcomes for all. 

“Over the past decade, I have come to know the WebProfessionals.org team and their total commitment to their mission of supporting Web professionals and those that teach. It is hard not to be attracted to working with such a fantastic group of professionals. It is an honor to be joining the WebProfessionals.org team and championing the work of engaging and upskilling the next generation,” said Waddell. “I would not have accepted this opportunity if I had not already seen how WebProfessionals.org has always done the right thing to help existing professionals and professionals on a global scale. They are the international organization with an inclusive vision for all.

About WebProfessionals.org

Established in 1997, WebProfessionals.org is a non-profit professional association dedicated to the support of individuals and organizations who create, manage and market websites, apps and web technologies. The organization provides education and training resources as well as certifications for those who work and teach in web technologies as well as those aspiring to enter this growing career field.

WebProfessionals.org Certifies U.S. Rural High School Students

WebProfessionals.org Certifies U.S. Rural High School Students

First in Nation to Earn STEM/STEAM Stackable International Industry-Recognized Certifications developed by Webprofessionals.org

Haven, Kansas May 6, 2019 – Three Haven High School Students are the first in the U.S. to earn Associate Level Web Developer WebProfessionals.org stacking certifications from two separate courses at Haven High School. Additionally, nine more students earned Web and Mobile Application Industry Certifications also offered by WebProfessionals.org and three others earned Web Designer certification.

Graduating with WebProfessionals.org Certifications

All of these students will be graduating high school with industry-recognized WebProfessionals.org certifications, which is quite an accomplishment.

Haven High School is in its fifth year teaching these courses and providing students the opportunity to earn credentials. This continued success is led by the Haven Business Education Department, and the business educator responsible for this program is Jessica Wilson.

Steve Waddell—founder of CTeLearning and WebProfessionals.org curriculum development partner—was asked to visit Haven HS and present a banner on behalf of the WebProfessionals.org to recognize it as the most credentialed school in KS. Haven students have earned more industry-recognized certifications than any other school in Kansas.

Haven High School currently runs both the Web and Mobile Application Development and Web Development for Business courses by CTeLearning.com. These courses are stackable and enable students to earn a Webprofessionals.org International Industry-Recognized Certification (IIRC). These exams are proctored at the school site to maintain exam integrity and ensure each participant has met all of the minimal requirements to sit for the credential.

Power of Rural STEM and Business Education

Steve Waddell said, “Never underestimate education in the rural parts of the U.S. or the dedicated educators, administrators and students who thrive there. These students here today are gaining world-class credentials from an international professionals association like the WebProfessioanals.org. This is not just another test delivered by a testing company. These students have received an international industry-recognized certification. This shows that high tech, high-demand career education can happen and should happen everywhere. We love being a part of rural STEAM/STEM and business education.”

Industry Recognized Certification Kansas High School Award

“Wherever a student calls home should not restrict their opportunity to discover their passions and talents for these high-demand STEM careers. Only a few short years ago the wisdom of the day was that to work in these types of technology careers you had to leave the rural community and move to suburban or urban spaces. Times have changed, those days are gone, and Jessica’s students are proving that.”

The Path to WebProfessionals.org Certifications

In addition to the Web Development for Business and the Web and Mobile Application Development courses, Ms. Wilson teaches other career and technical education courses, including Business Entrepreneurship and Coding and 3D Video Game Design. This recent success is demonstrating that Haven High is a regional STEM/STEAM/CTE powerhouse.

In these courses, students learned web and app coding, created sites and apps, and built a future-ready portfolio with real-world projects. As of today, they get to add industry credentials they can show college recruiters or future employers.

“As educators we thrive in reaching for what seems to be impossible, especially when it comes to doing what is best for our students and helping them be successful. It is always appreciated to have an administration that helps to support you in these kinds of endeavors. I am very lucky here at Haven and I just want to extend a thank you to Principal Travis Moore, Curriculum Director Marty Niensteadt and our Superintendent Clark Wedel for their ongoing support of this fantastic opportunity. It is with their help and the determination and hard work of my students that we are able to continue the tradition of excellence here at Haven High. As much as I appreciate the recognition, as their teacher none of this would be possible without the work my students put into their learning and their support of one another,” said Jessica Wilson.

Business Education Industry Recognized Certification

The certification earned by the Haven HS students is delivered by WebProfessionals.org, Executive Director Mark DuBois and educational team were key in creating and maintaining the international industry-recognized certifications.

“Many students take the course only for high school credit. Those who want to gain the coveted WebProfessionals.org industry-recognized credential must receive a minimum course grade, meet all project performance requirements, exhibit professionalism in all class activities and receive a recommendation to sit for the exam by their course instructor. Ms. Wilson’s students took the proctored exam at Haven High” said Steve Waddell.

“We welcome the Haven students to the exciting world of web technologies. We are very proud of Ms. Wilson’s students. Haven has an incredibly strong program and we continue to see students succeeding at Haven and earning industry certifications year after year. All of us here at WebProfessionals.org love seeing students take these first important steps towards high-demand STEAM/STEM careers in web and app development,” said Mark DuBois, Executive Director of the WebPrfessionals.org

Congratulations Kansas High School Stackable Industry Recognized Certifications
Courtesy of Haven High School Yearbook

Congratulations for Earning Stackable WebProfessionals.org Certifications

The three Haven High School Students who are the first in the nation to earn their Associate Level Web Developer by stacking certifications from two separate CTeLearning.com courses at Haven HS are:

  • Kelton DeBord: Junior
  • Caleb Fredrickson : Senior
  • Ronnie Voss: Sophomore

The nine newly minted Mobile Application Industry Certification recipients are:

  • Joshua Clodfeldter: Freshman
  • Ethan Earls: Freshman
  • Dakota Fox: Sophomore
  • Z’Hakari Huffman: Sophomore
  • Maverick Lane: Freshman
  • Cole Long: Freshman
  • Nathan Schmidt: Sophomore
  • Holden Schneider: Freshman
  • Cole Zongker: Freshman
Students Receive International Industry Certifications

Congratulations to Jessica Wilson’s 2019 class of industry-recognized certification recipients. We can’t wait to see the class of 2020.

Interview with David Braun from TemplateMonster

Interview with David Braun from TemplateMonster

We had the opportunity to communicate with David Braun (co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com) recently. TemplateMonster is a marketplace featuring 46,000 templates for many different types of websites.

Why should Web Professionals care about this?

  • TemplateMonster can save you time
  • Templates exist for major platforms (WordPress, Drupal, and much more)
  • This means you can speed your workflow

David Braun is a co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com. This company is the oldest and the most experienced on the market in this area. We invited David to talk and provided some questions for our discussion.

David Braun, co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com

David Braun, co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com

What is TemplateMonster.com from your point of view?

TemplateMonster has become a marketplace now. It features 46,000 pre-designed templates crafted for different types of sites, business niches, and engines including the most popular platforms: WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, PrestaShop, and Moto CMS. Our aim is to meet the requirements of as many customers as possible. We offer plenty of cool stuff apart from the ready-made templates. For instance, landing pages, plugins, email templates and many other products. 100k people are visiting the site every day. A team of 427 geeks is working for TemplateMonster. Their joint efforts let TemplateMonster reach $15M in revenue.

Template Monster landing page

Why should web professionals care about companies like TemplateMonster?

Because it’s beneficial for them. Cooperating with TemplateMonster frees their time, speeds their workflow, and lets them earn much more money.

Today all business owners understand how important it is to promote their services/products online. But not every entrepreneur is ready to pay for custom design, hire a developer, and create their online presentation from scratch.

They want to get their website within a reasonable budget, they want it to be quality, to look good, work flawlessly, and don’t wait for ages before their project will go live.

Web design agencies can cater to all these needs if they use our templates.

Tell me about the history of the company and how it was launched.

TemplateMonster was founded in 2002. Can you imagine that: people around the globe used our products when you knew nothing about Facebook and YouTube. We watched the evolution of the web and were proud to contribute into it. Hundreds of thousands websites you see today were built on the basis of our templates.

How everything started… I had been working at a custom design studio then. We tried our best to deliver top-quality products, but, unfortunately, most of our potential customers considered our services too expensive for them.

One day, I saw a designer who used a ready-made template to simplify and speed up his job. That was the moment when an idea to launch TemplateMonster crossed my mind. Eventually, this idea started to turn into a successful business.

Our company has held a leading position in the market for almost 15 years. Of course not all days were fine for us. We survived the rainy ones when something went totally wrong with our products. We got negative testimonials. And the bitter truth is that some of them were true. However, most of them referred to our outdated templates. What did we do? We just removed them from our marketplace.

They say “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. And even negative feedback can be useful. We thoroughly analyzed it and took the right turn. We got deeper understanding of what our customers need, and gave it to them.

Example of a templateMonster template

Thanks for sharing your history. Why should one rely on a template?

Both entrepreneurs with little to no development skills and professional developers use our templates. All our customers get their benefits from our products.

The best thing about templates is that TemplateMonster’s customers see the final result, a ready-made product before paying any money for it.

Templates save time, money, efforts, nerves, whatever, and guarantee satisfaction with the future website.

What are the advantages of this approach instead of coding all by hand (or using Foundation or Bootstrap or other frameworks)?

Entrepreneurs get independence from designers, coders, and other professionals who sometimes overrate their work and don’t meet the deadlines. They don’t need to spend hours and hours searching for a responsible, skillful freelancers who may design something that they may be disappointed with in the end. As I have mentioned above, at TemplateMonster you see the final result at once. In other words, you see a ready-made product you are paying for. All you need to do is just replace the default content with your own.

Suppose you are just getting started and have no idea how to install the template, add your logo and other content, change colors, etc. You think only about the ways to generate more revenues and have no desire to mess with all those things.

So, you want to skip installation, customization or, say, integration with Google Analytics. Then, contact our Service Center. Our trained professionals will take care of everything and deliver you a ready-to-use site within 24 hours. Some tasks are completed even faster, i.e.: we install the template and plugins within 3 hours. There’s no issue members of our Service Center can’t cope with.

As to the coders knowing Bootstrap and other frameworks. Developers who are able to build sites themselves pay money for our products because it is advantageous for them.

With the help of our templates, developers considerably speed up their working process. They deliver more projects and earn more money respectively. We have a vast choice of templates in stock, which means that anyone can find the theme that meets the requirements even of the most picky customers. Creating something from scratch simply makes no sense if our marketplace offers so many ready-made designs. It’s like reinventing the wheel. Smart developers prefer to customize something here and there and deliver the website to the customer as quickly as possible.

I would like to tell you about the project we have launched not so long ago. It gives developers from all over the world an opportunity to get an official certificate from TemplateMonster that proves their skills. They just need to complete a course and then pass a final test (or pass the quiz at once) at our Certification Center. Having a certificate from a globally recognized web design company is a great way to improve your online image and look more credible for the customers.

Besides, having the certificate from TemplateMonster lets you get into Web Studios Catalogue, which gives a heap of additional opportunities.

You raise good points about certification. That is why Web Professionals has been certifying web designers, developers and more for so nearly 20 years.

What are the disadvantages of using a template?

Ok, you caught me;). It’s a tricky question, but I will answer it.

There is an opinion that using a template you fall under the risk to be unoriginal. If you’re going to use a template, then the chances are that you’re not alone, that’s the truth. But what is your chance of seeing a similar website on the Internet among millions of websites if you have bought your template from a marketplace like TemplateMonster with its terrific choice especially after customization? To my mind they are next to nothing. However, if it is crucial for you to be the one and only owner of the design, you can buy it out.

The quality of available templates varies, but in some cases, you might find the choices are rather basic. Some templates rely on you to fill in most of the gaps, and may have a poor set of graphics or visual elements. Frankly speaking I don’t see a big problem here as filling the template with your own content makes your website unique.

Using a template is unchallenging. Relying on templates to put together your projects, means you don’t get the benefits of learning the ins and outs of the software you’re using. But don’t you think that this is the essence of the template – to speed up and simplify the process of website launch? Not all entrepreneurs want to learn to code, design, and so on. They just want to get their benefit from the brand new website asap. A template gives them this possibility. In case they want to study everything that was left behind the scenes, they can sign up for one of our free educational projects (like “Your web studio in 61 days marathon“) and make up leeway.

61 days marathon

Templates are naturally designed to help you get the results as quickly and easily as possible, but in many cases the customization options can be limited, restricting what you can do with your files. That’s why it is important to read the template’s documentation carefully before the purchase. Don’t want to read? Watch the short video from our playlist on YouTube. Don’t want to watch the video or can’t find the relevant one, ask the support manager. They are always available to answer all your questions and help to choose the right template for your purchase. Don’t worry, the guys will work until you are 100% satisfied.

What other products/services do you offer?

2016 became the year when our team focused on developing flagship templates. They are much more multi-faceted compared to our regular products. Let me explain the things with using flagships on the example of WordPress templates. Of course I can’t help mentioning the recent release of Monstroid2 – Multipurpose WordPress Theme. It’s not an ordinary template, it’s a whole toolkit to build an online magazine, business site, personal portfolio, web store, whatever. You can create a complex portal combining several types of sites into one as well. Supposing you want the impossible from a single template: to present your company, plus share some interesting info with clients and sell products at the same time. It’s hard to believe, but using Monstroid2, you can build a business site, add blog and store functionalities to it. Monstroid2 is a one size fits all solution for all the needs you may have.

Here’s how it was. At first we created a flagship for WordPress because it’s the most popular CMS in the world. But then we decided to develop flagships for all popular engines: Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop, etc.

But that’s not all, we didn’t forget about the guys who don’t use any CMS at all. You can find new flagships among HTML5 templates. You already know that it’s one of our goals to meet the needs of everyone who comes to TemplateMonster marketplace.

Please note that we don’t charge more for flagship products. You can get any of them for the price of a regular template. Considering professional 24/7 support that we provide for a lifetime, our flagships are the best deals you can find on the market today.

It also should be mentioned that the users can figure out everything by themselves, without professional help. Every template comes well documented. The instructions guide the users through all ins and outs of using it. There are also numerous detailed tutorials at our Help Center and Startup Hub for those of you who are just at the start or want to learn how to handle their template by themselves. What’s more, we run a blog to share a lot of educational content with our audience, particularly, free eBooks, webinars, tips, tools to become more productive, and much more. At TemplateMonster, you won’t just learn how to build beautiful and functional websites lightning-fast, you’ll learn to enjoy the job.

What differentiates you from the competition?

The cost and value of our products comes to my mind first. Our prices are not higher than the ones of our competitors. If you want to save, just search Google and you will always find promo codes to reduce the price by 10%-40%. We always offer great discounts on Christmas, Independence Day, and other public holidays.

Sometimes you find out that the price for this or that template is a bit higher, but, remember about the value we provide. All our customers get more goodies as bonuses to their templates. For example, all our products, except for GPL WordPress themes, are delivered with HD images shown in the demo. It’s a good opportunity to save, as there’s no need to buy stock photos. At TemplateMonster, you can also benefit from free professional technical support.

How long are your templates supported?

TemplateMonster is the only website developer that provides this service for a lifetime without charging any extra payment now. Our competitors provide it for free only for a limited period.

I don’t think it’s fair. Some people don’t use the template straight away. It’s your right to decide when to use the product you paid for. But with a time limit on free support, you’ll have to pay extra money to get consultation, say, in half a year or stay on your own with your issues.

This is not our method. We are ready to help our customers any time at TemplateMonster (the same day, in a week, in a month, in a year, and so on). What’s even more important, our team of experts works until it’s over. Every customer should be absolutely satisfied.

Though, words are not a weighty argument. Thanks to our unsurpassed customer service, we entered the top three of web design companies per the TrustPilot rating. Do you believe this bullet-proof resource with verified customers reviews? So many people can’t be under a delusion.

Here is a video to prove my words.

David, what happens with a purchased template as web technologies continue to evolve?

It’s a good question. You need to update your site regularly and redesign it from time to time if you don’t want to look outdated. Trends are changeable, you’d better not miss the moment when your site starts looking rusty. Customers never take your seriously if your corporate web presentation looks outmoded.

I also recommend you to check how user-friendly your site is in terms of navigation, readability, and other essential aspects. It’s very important to test how it works on smartphones and tablets all of us use to browse the web on the go. Your site must adjust to all modern mobile devices, otherwise you will lose clients. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you can forget about high SEO rankings. Google doesn’t like such kind of sites.
BTW, flagships owners may not worry about the matter. Their websites will serve them for many years to come as regular updates are included into templates packages prices.

Thank you very much, David. You provided lots of thought provoking information for both practicing and aspiring web professionals. Have any more questions for David? Ask them in the comment section below.