KillerSites Blog

Month: February 2008

The 3 Master Principles of Web Design

February 27, 2008


Floating around the universe, are certain universal principles that transcend disciplines. I would like to explore a few of them here, and talk about how they can be applied to web design.

The Three Master Principles

#1 Simplicity

This is such an important principle, that it can easily be made into the top three web design principles, just as location is to real estate:

– location
– location
– location

… we could say the same thing about simplicity in web design:

– simplicity
– simplicity
– simplicity

The important thing to take to heart, is that your web sites should be designed to be as simple as possible. You want to keep it simple for two main reasons:

  1. To make it easy for you to update.
  2. To make it easy for visitors to navigate the web site.

The simplicity principle applies to design, structure and the code.

What do I mean by ‘structure’ of the web site?

I am simply referring to the URL structure. So we are talking about directory structures, page names etc. I’ve detailed this in my article on intelligent paths in websites.

I think the other two (design and code) are self evident.

… Now let’s look at principle number two:

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Intelligent Paths Make Websites Friendlier.

February 22, 2008

ie7 screen shot is an old site, nearly 12 years old now!

Over that time (as we added more articles and tutorials), our directory structures and file naming styles changed as conventions changed. So now I have a huge mess to clean up.

… There is a lot of information buried in that people just don’t find.


Fortunately, over the last 12-13 years of building websites and web applications, I’ve been able to figure out the best way to organize a website:

In this article, I discuss how to create an easier to maintain, more user friendly website by way of using intelligent paths.

So what are ‘intelligent paths’?

I’m talking about URL structures of course! So that means a few things:

  1. Building a SENSIBLE website directory structure.
  2. Using meaningful words in page names and directories.
  3. Using lower case text for page and directory names.
  4. Using dashes between words in both page and directory names.

… Let’s go over the details.

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FREE Dreamweaver CS3 Video Tutorial

February 20, 2008


dreamweaver cs3 box shot

I just released a new video tutorial on Dreamweaver CS3. In this video (part 1 of 3) I walk you through the process of building your first web page with Dreamweaver CS3.

This video targets people new to Dreamweaver and people new to web design.

The video: Build a web page with Dreamweaver


Stefan Mischook

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PHP Video Tutorials for iPods

February 20, 2008

PHP Logo

Because of recent demand, I decided to release my PHP video tutorials in iPod format – that means they play on your iPod.


… OK, you guys guessed that one.

These video were originally intended for viewing on a computer monitor, so some of the code examples will be harder to read since iPod screens are smaller.

Nonetheless, the discussions may be useful to watch on your iPod as you’re … say, on your way to work or school.

A small note: I’ve added some brief comments (in text) about each video, to give you a better idea of what you will find in the video before downloading it.

You can find the videos on the new iPod video page.


Stefan Mischook

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PHP Sessions Video Tutorials – Part 1

February 13, 2008


I’ve just released a new beginners video tutorial that introduces people to PHP sessions:

PHP Sessions Video Tutorial

PHP sessions are one of the most important mechanisms in PHP because they solve a fundamental issue in web application development: keeping state on a user.


If what I just says confuses you, no worries, it’s explained in the video.

This is video 1 of 3 on sessions.


Stefan Mischook

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Free Dreamweaver CS3 Video Tutorials

February 8, 2008

After a few years of (I must admit) pure laziness, I finally started to work on a new set of Dreamweaver CS3 video tutorials.

… But, to be fair to myself, I wasn’t in a hurry to upgrade my Dreamweaver MX videos since the differences between CS3 and MX are really minimal … most of the changes are ‘under the hood’.

dreamweaver cs3 box shot

What is new about Dreamweaver CS3?

Dreamweaver CS3 is Adobe’s first official release of the software (Adobe just bought Macromedia) and so Dreamweaver CS3 now has the Adobe look and feel that is consistent across all their products including, Photoshop CS3, Illustrator CS3 etc …

Beyond that, the following things stand out:

  • Better CSS support.
  • Better FTP and site management tools.
  • Ajax support with the Spry framework.

… There’s more for sure, but those are the things that stand out for me.

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