Browser Development Tools

Browser developer tools allow us to inspect, edit, debug, log and profile our HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and include an exhaustive range of features and functionality.

You can improve your development workflow by getting to know how these tools work in every browser.

Chrome developer tools have had the fullest feature set for some time now. Each new release tends to add more new and exciting features such as workflows, snippets, canvas inspection and source-mapping support. Read more ›

Naming your ID and Classes

When naming your IDs and classes, it is important that you keep the names as “unpresentational” as possible.

For instance, if you want all of your form notification messages to be red, you could give them a class of red. This is fine as long as there are no other red elements on the page. However, say you wanted to style required form labels red as well. You are now forced to guess to which element that class could refer, and things are already starting to get confusing.

Imagine how confusing the code could become if you used presentational elements across the whole site? Read more ›

WordPress Tip: Setting a Front Page

Not all themes allow you to use the Front page option in WordPress. Manually choosing a Front page in those cases will break the default Home page for the Theme.

Many themes have a unique home page design and often that was a major reason for getting the Theme, but users are sometimes disappointed because they can’t get their home page to look like the original. Read more ›

WordPress Tip: What is a Favicon?

faviconsA favicon is a small image that appears before your blog’s URL in a visitor’s web browser s bookmark listing in their browser bookmarks or favorites  drop-down lists.

Favicons help people who have a lot of saved bookmarks or favorites  easily find your blog in a long list. They also make your blog look a bit more professional.

To add a favicon to your blog, you first need to create your favicon file, which is a 16×16pixel  image. Once you have your favicon file, you need to convert it into .ico format and name it favicon.ico. Fortunately, a number of websites automate the conversion process  for you such as the Dynamic Drive FavIcon Generator.

Once your new favicon.ico file has been created, log in to your web hosting account, s root directory, and upload the file to that directory.

For example, your favicon file should be accessible at after it’s uploaded


WordPress Tip: Tags vs Categories

To put it simply, categories are your table of contents, tags are your index.

Another way to think of it is this: you should have fewer Categories and more Tags.  But when it comes down to it there are no hard and fast rules about any particular Category or  Tag structure. The key is to make the structure useful to your visitors.

For example on a site about Home Care, a Post entitled “Five tips for a greener lawn” could be  in the Category “Lawn Maintenance” with tags such as “grass, fertilizer, weed control, seeding,  nitrogen, clover, aerating, soil test, watering.”

But let’s say the same Post is on a site which deals only with Lawn Care, then Weed Control,  Seeding, Fertilizer, and Watering could be Categories, since you’re likely to have several  detailed Posts on each of those subjects. And your Tags would be even more detailed with brand names of fertilizers, different grass and clover species, etc.

When you’re writing a Post, ask yourself if the Title could be applied to at least one other Post.  For example, a title like “Weed Control” could be applied to any Post that’s going to deal with  controlling weeds.

What you’ve got there is a Category name. The Title of a single Post should  be far more specific, like “Weed control for shaded areas”.

WordPress Tip: SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continually evolving practice of learning how search engines, particularly Google, index and rank web pages and content. By learning SEO techniques and applying them to your WordPress blog, you can increase the amount of traffic that comes to your blog from search engine keyword queries.

Search engines like Google use proprietary algorithms (arithmetical sets of rules that aren’t publicly available) to analyze every page on the web. By crawling through the contents of those pages, they rank the pages in terms of relevance for keyword searches. Sites that rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords related to their sites and content get more traffic from search engines than similar sites that rank lower in the same keyword searches.

Basically, the goal of search engine optimization is to write and publish content using SEO tactics that can push your content higher in relevant keyword searches. Read more ›

Mobile Apps: jQuery Mobile

Mobile web design and development presents new challenges: creating web apps that are more than simple websites; there are too many devices out there with different browser compatibilities; and there are also too many libraries trying to solve the same problem with mixed community and device support.

jQuery Mobile  was created to help designers and developers create mobile web experiences easily, and for those experiences to be multiplatform, customizable, and with unobtrusive code.  jQuery Mobile is a framework that delivers web app experiences to mobile and tablet devices, mainly with touch interfaces, effortlessly, across multiple platforms, and using only HTML5 standard code. Read more ›

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