Much of what we encounter on the internet—including written works, photos, audio files, videos and other creative material—is protected by copyright laws. Although ideas and operational methods cannot be copyrighted, almost all other perceivable materials produced from creative thought are automatically protected by copyright laws. There is a common misconception that creative works must be legally registered for copyright protections to apply. This is simply not true in the United States and many other countries; formal registration is recommended, but it is not required in order to sue for copyright infringement. Legally speaking, it is important to receive permission from the owner before using her or his work, and it is expected that you cite your sources. This also ensures that you can trace your own trail of information, if needed.


Public domain photo from Yahoo! images.

There are, however, exceptions to copyright restrictions. Public domain materials are those that no longer belong or have never belonged to a specific party. Rather, public domain works are owned by the public and may not be owned by anyone in its original form. There are four reasons creative work falls into this category: 1) the copyright has expired; 2) the owner did not comply with copyright rules, specifically those related to copyright renewal ; 3) the owner allows the material to be public domain; or 4) copyright protection does not apply to that specific work. The middle ground between copyrighted material and material belonging to the public is material placed under a Creative Commons license. This type of copyright license allows owners to be more flexible with respect to “lending” their works. For example, someone with a Creative Commons license can choose to let others use her work without explicit permission, but she may limit this sharing to non-commercial use. It is also worth noting that there are general “fair use” policies that include educational use, news reporting, parody, commentary and criticism, among other uses.

Ultimately, it’s beneficial as a secondary source to cite the original source—it builds your credibility and protects you from expensive litigation.

For additional context, view this video found on YouTube.


Neither this website nor any other could function the way it does without Hypertext Markup Language and most would not look the way they do without Cascading Style Sheets. WordPress, Adobe Dreamweaver and other applications supply users with text editors, and understanding the basic elements of Hypertext Markup Language and Cascading Style Sheets can optimize your use of those text editors. (WordPress support explains more here.)

Hypertext Markup Language, commonly abbreviated HTML, is the plain-text language used to select the structure and layout of a website. HTML relies on special tags to communicate structural demands about the webpages. There are more than 120 markup tags, each indicated by angle brackets. For example, you would use the tag <b> if you wanted to add bold text.


An example of Hypertext Markup Language. Picture by Natasha Vos. All rights reserved.

Cascading Style Sheets, shortened to CSS, describe the specific designs for markup language like HTML. CSS adds additional visual elements to websites. A website created without using CSS will default to white backgrounds with black text. CSS is what makes a site more visually stimulating. For example, you would use CSS to add a colorful border and to adjust the margins.

You can see HTML and CSS on any webpage by pressing a couple of buttons. If you’re on a Windows computer, hit Ctrl+U. If you’re using a Mac, hit Command+U (or Command+Option+U). When you do so, the page will be transformed to reveal the hidden language with which it was created.

Visit this YouTube channel for more videos about HTML and web development!



Adobe Dreamweaver


First website

A screenshot of my first website created using Adobe Dreamweaver. Photo by Natasha Vos. All rights reserved.

Adobe Dreamweaver is an application that helps simplify website development, a process that incorporates Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets. Users with varying degrees of knowledge about website development can create website prototypes that feature text, images and responsive designs, all which can be accessed on computers and mobile devices. Heavily praised for its user-friendly features,  Adobe Dreamweaver is capable of appeasing users no matter where they fall on the experience spectrum. That is, highly experienced web designers and developers can appreciate the advanced options offered, while newbies like me are gently guided along by coding assistance. This is significant as we move away from traditional modes of communication and self-expression, and continue integrating the internet into our self-identities. With Adobe Dreamweaver, the once small group of people that comprised web developers is becoming more inclusive. Using web development software like Adobe Dreamweaver and standalone text editors like TextWrangler (which allow users to edit computer text files), creating a website is more possible for the self-taught than it was several years ago.

For an idea of how Adobe Dreamweaver functions, please see the YouTube video below (posted by YouTube channel “Greg Davis”). If you’re interested in learning more about Adobe Dreamweaver or are considering purchasing the program, visit Adobe’s  official site.




You may be surprised to learn that more than 25% of all websites currently use WordPress. Statistically speaking, if you visit four websites, there’s a chance at least one of those sites is affiliated with WordPress. Such popularity is a testament to the growing appeal of Content Management Systems. A Content Management System (CMS) is a computer program (also referred to as an application) that allows users to create, edit and delete content on a website without proficiency in Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML. This is important because many people are not familiar with HTML and would be unable to fully contribute online without a head start. Offering templates through CMSs therefore increases the number of people who can share ideas in cyberspace, for better or for worse.

WordPress comes in two forms: and The latter affords users more control, which in turn requires more responsibility. Unlike its commercial counterpart, gives its users the opportunity (or the burden, depending on your perspective) to self-host. This requires more technical knowledge and special software. Users do not have to register for; however, registration is mandatory for Luckily, registration is simple, quick and a good indicator of the experience to come using WordPress.

Registration begins by registering a domain. Those registering can select a WordPress domain for free or a standalone domain for a monthly fee.

Registering at Source: Screenshot of

Registering at Source: Screenshot of

Next, select the plan befitting your preference.

Registering at Source: Screenshot of

Registering at Source: Screenshot of

Finally, input your email address, pick a username, and create a password.

Registering at Source: Screenshot of

Registering at Source: Screenshot of

Once registered, you’re able to choose a theme, customize as desired and share your story with the cyber world.

Check out the step-by-step video, found on YouTube.