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Benefits of using a CDN

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are collections of web servers that are distributed across multiple locations around the world in order to deliver content more efficiently to users. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with a high availability and high performance.

When a user makes a request to your website that is hosted in, say, New York, while they are based in Germany, the internet tubes must connect from the user’s location in Germany to the data center in New York. This means your users will need to make a round trip across the world in order to retrieve a file from your server.

Since static files such as images, JavaScript and CSS don’t change very often, there is no reason that they can’t be served to the user by another server that is geographically closer to them. It’s a shorter distance to travel, and this means quicker response times.

The benefit of using a CDN extend far beyond just faster response times; using a CDN additionally reduces the amount of bandwidth that is consumed by your website. It also increases the number of files that a browse can download in parallel. Most browsers only allow you to download three or four files at a time from one domain. Using a CDN will enable the user’s browser to download more files in parallel, increasing response time.

The most popular commercial CDNs are: Amazon Cloudfront, Rackspace (using Akamai network) and Windows Azure.

What is Version Control?

Version Control is the process of keeping track of your creative output as it evolves over the course of a project or product.

Keeping track of that evolution is vital.  A team can use it, or you can use it for your own private projects because remembering what you’ve done and how it was done is a key part of creative success.

  • keeps track of your creative output
  • it tracks what is changed
  • it tracks who makes the changes
  • it tracks why changes were made

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Using WordPress Child Themes

Any WordPress theme can act as a parent theme.

If you’re using a third-party theme, and want to tweak it for your own project, it’s a much better practice to use a child theme than to hack the main theme, which exposes you to the risk of losing your changes when you update the theme to future versions.

To create a child theme, create a new theme, and at the beginning of its style sheet, add:

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JavaScript Tip: async and defer attribute

Two new HTML5 attributes for the <script> element, which are supported by IE10, Chrome, Firefox and Safari, will contribute to improving a web page’s speed:

  • async attribute: Enables developers to indicate that a script file should be loaded asynchronously, run when available, and not block page loading.
  • defer attribute: Allows developers to dictate that a script file is to be run when the DOM is loaded and not to block the page.


What is it to be Agile?

Everyone wants to be Agile these days. Many in the web world have decided that Agile design and development processes  will help them save time and money in their projects, and to  deliver shippable software and websites with an unprecedented  attention to the needs of their users.


Agile means any iterative process that is not a typical waterfall development cycle. You’ll deliver something small, evaluate it, then go back and refine and extend what you’ve just delivered, then evaluate it again.

Note: SCRUM and Agile are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably.  SCRUM is a specific set of rules to follow when practicing agile software development.

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Web Audio API – Sound on the Web

Sound on the web. I know. Historically, these two things haven’t gone together very well. But now, things have changed a bit, since we don’t have to rely on Flash anymore.

With the arrival of the <audio> tag and with more and more browsers implementing the Web Audio API we can produce sound natively in the browser with zero lag and with more control than we’ve ever had before.

We don’t even have to use audio files if we don’t want to. The Web Audio API allows us the create sound on the client, much like we do when creating images from scratch by painting to the canvas element. Read more ›

Importance of Documentation

Documentation is the part of the job that developers like the least, yet it is frequently just as important as the code itself.

If you look at the success of any major open-source software, you can usually draw a straight line between that success and the presence of excellent documentation. jQuery owes much of its success to the excellent documentation that surrounds the library, a large amount contributed by a passionate community.

Furthermore, other jQuery users set up their own blogs with tips and tricks, and tutorials abound. That was even before jQuery books started popping up. These days you can do a quick search for anything related to jQuery and find hundreds of examples and tutorials. Read more ›

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