KillerSites Blog

Month: May 2010

CSS Layouts Video Tutorial Series – Introduction

May 29, 2010


I just wanted to announced that I have just released our new video course on CSS layouts. It is a 13 part series where you will learn both fixed layout and liquid layout using modern CSS techniques.

As an added bonus, you will also be learning a little about Dreamweaver CS5 since all the demos are done in the new Dreamweaver.

Check out the intro video (watch it in 720p and fullscreen):

I will be releasing more samples from the course on my blogs but you can get the whole course through our video tutorial subscription service.

Thanks for reading.

Stefan Mischook

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When can you use HTML5 and CSS3?

May 25, 2010


I wrote an article about this recently but I figured that since a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth 30 million words!

When can web designers use HTML 5 and CSS3 in your average web site?


Stefan Mischook

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An introduction to iPhone and iPad development.

May 20, 2010


Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere on the moon, you know that iPhone and now the iPad have a lot of users and are effectively a market that web developers and designers have to pay attention to – you might be asked to build or design something for these popular devices some day.

To help get you going, I got my nerd brother Richard to put together an article that introduces iPad and iPhone programming – this is a view from 10 000 feet …. so even web designers might learn something as well.

A quick quote from the article to entice you:

The introduction of the iPhone by Apple a few years back caused a lot of excitement among both consumers and developers. The iPhone was arguably the first mobile device that made both mobile computing and web surfing practical. The iPad (which runs on iPhone OS) has been met with skepticism in some quarters. But so far it appears to be selling well and attracting a lot of interest from content creators.

Apple originally intended that the main source of third-party applications for the iPhone would be web applications, and there are of course many of these. But something funny happened when Apple released the iPhone SDK and an App Store to go with it – people came. Developers developed and consumers consumed.

Read the rest of this article on iPhone and iPad development.

Thanks for reading,

Stefan Mischook

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Google’s Android kicks iPhone’s Flashless Ass.

May 11, 2010

Google Android logo

According to recent reports, Android based smart phones are out selling iPhone in the US:

Android vs iPhone: Android takes the Lead with 28% on US Market – Apple has now found its match Android Manufacturers have proven that they can go head to head with Apple iPhone, In googles operating system Android have just supremacy over the Apple iPhone in the US market share. In the First few months of 2010 Android jumped to 28%, Apple had their 21% , while BlackBerry stood firm with 36% given their Business style.

Now Apple disputed that study with this statement:

This is a very limited report on 150,000 US consumers responding to an online survey and does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide … IDC figures show that iPhone has 16.1 percent of the smartphone market and growing, far outselling Android on a worldwide basis. We had a record quarter with iPhone sales growing by 131 percent and with our new iPhone OS 4.0 software coming this summer, we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon

So what does this have to do with web design and web programming?

Ah … good question young nerdling! Web professionals need to keep up to date regarding technology trends, so they (you) can position yourself (in terms of your skills) in a juicy spot, so you can land the jobs and get paid more.

Android means more freedom

Another cool thing about Android gaining ground on iPhone so quickly, is that Android supports Flash and HTML5 … I’d rather that the most popular phone out there support Flash and HTML5 than otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I like Apple products, in fact I am blogging on my Macbook Pro now … But nonetheless, I should have the choice what software I want to run on a device I bought.

Another interesting thing about Android, is that it too (along side with iPhone OS on the iPad) will be ported to a tablet. With the growing market share of Android on smartphones and soon (I suspect) on tablets, Flash and HTML5 developers will have a great home for their apps.

… Since there are millions of Flash developers out there (many more than iPhone developers) I am waiting to see what Google will come out with (in terms of a tablet) before I even consider the iPad.

That’s all for now.

Stefan Mischook

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New Screencast on PHP CRUD!

May 11, 2010


In our ongoing effort to provide top quality screencasts authored by working web designers and web programmers (that means practical training) … we just released a new set of videos on PHP CRUD.

The official summary:

This is a six part series that covers how to create a basic application that creates, reads, updates and deletes records (often called CRUD) from a MySQL database using MySQLi. MySQLi helps prevent SQL injection, a common security issue. Understanding how to use a MySQL database and work with database records is an essential skill for beginning web developers.

You can find these videos in our growing collection of video training tutorials at Killersites University. I will be releasing several free samples from this (and other series) as soon as I can find the time – busy these days watching TV.


Stefan Mischook

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The WordPress Web Design Strategy

May 8, 2010

In the last couple of years, a new type of web designer has emerged: the WordPress web designer.

What is a WordPress web designer?

In a nutshell: smart, forward thinking web designers that base most if not all of their web design work off of WordPress. That means the entire web site is built using WordPress.

Why build all your sites using WordPress?

For the very same reason you don’t go the woods to kill a turkey for Thanksgiving (you go to the grocery store) … is why WordPress web designers don’t build static HTML websites – why would you not take advantages of all the things that WordPress does for you for free!

… Some nerd details:

When basing your web site off of WordPress, you get all this functionality for free:

  1. Advanced templating for easy site wide updates.
  2. Built-in SEO
  3. Automatic search and categorizing of your content.
  4. Built-in image upload and insertion.
  5. Built-in text editor and the ability for non-nerds to add, edit delete pages.

… And that is just scratching the surface!

The economic advantages of using WordPress

If you haven’t guessed it already, using WordPress in your day-to-day web work WILL have major economic advantages – in a nutshell, you will be able to provide a lot more for your clients for a lot less work! This will lead to you landing more web design contracts and making more cash because the extra WordPress skills will allow you to charge more for your time.

I’m such a big believer, I’ve even created a few video courses on WordPress.

Until next time nerds!

Stefan Mischook

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Web Designers MUST learn web programming!

May 3, 2010

Maybe I’m beating a dead horse, or maybe I can’t overstate how important it is these days, that web designers should learn (at least) a little web programming. For me, that means Javascript and PHP.

The modern website demands a little behavior!

When you look at creating a website, you can break it down to three basic tasks:

  1. Adding Structure – the HTML
  2. Adding Style – the CSS
  3. Adding Behavior – Javascript/DOM scripting

All web designers recognize #1 and #2 and so they learn HTML and CSS. But few want to admit that the third element in the trinity, is staring them right in the face.

… Boy, web designers can really fear learning Javascript or PHP! The problem is, that if they don’t learn how to program, they will find themselves at a great disadvantage.

Modern websites …

Modern websites almost always require some behavior – functionality that only web programming can provide. Think about it, how many websites these day, DON’T have some dynamic behavior, whether it be a simple contact form, the use of ‘includes’ to make updating the site easier, a shopping cart, a blog, a forum, a CMS, form validation, RSS feeds and on and on …

Does that mean that I have to become a full-fledged web-nerd programmer?

No. But you should be comfortable reading Javascript and PHP code and you should feel comfortable editing script. This way, adding pre-packaged PHP and Javascript will be relatively easy. Installing and modifying a blog, CMS or shopping cart will not be an impossible task.

For all these reasons I’ve created beginners video courses on Javascript and PHP specifically targeting web designers – I’ve designed the courses to ‘speak to’ designers rather than programmers.

Departing words from a libertarian nerd …

Do what thou wilt … but the wise nerd knows, that the more you learn, the more you earn.

Stefan Mischook

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