KillerSites Blog

Web Design

Talk on Optimizing a Website’s Performance

June 9, 2018

For database driven websites (web apps,) typically the biggest bottleneck is the database. So be sure your database is optimized. With SQL based databases, that starts with proper table design and smart indexing. That will handle 98% of websites performance needs.

In terms of client side code (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript,) it comes down to lazy loading strategies, the use of CDNs, and being sure you don’t have boatloads of JavaScript slowing everything down.

How about image optimization?

Back when I started building websites, in the day of the dinosaurs (1990’s)we used to be concerned about image size, and how ‘big’ the webpages were in terms of kilobytes … but we live in the YouTube generation now, with high speed mobile internet, HD and 4k video being watched on smartphones. That means that a data limitation is typically NOT the bottleneck anymore … it’s processing (of code) on both the client and server.

If you are reading this, you probably want to learn modern web design and development, or you may already know how to build websites, but you want to become really confident in your web skills … just like all my students who took my unique web design and programming training course.

After you take my course, you will be amazed at how much you know! Below, you will find a few student quotes, screen captured from YouTube comments.

Thanks!
Stefan

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Will Wix Kill Web Design?

June 1, 2018

Evil, evil, evil Wix!! That is the cry of many web designers. Will Wix kill web design? Short answer: nope.

Why won’t Wix just kill web design?

Simple answer: Wix doesn’t do it all, and frankly, professional web designers should just embrace Wix as an optional tool. Yes, some small business will opt for Wix (or some other web builder,) but many will realize sooner or later, that it does have its’ limits. When small business owners figure this out, in comes the modern web designer of 2018 and beyond!

Consider this:

There has always been an evolution in the software field. What I have seen over and over again in the last 23 years, is the promise of amazing leaps forward, where we ONLY end up with gradual improvement.

These days we can produce web apps and websites in a fraction of the time it used to take us, but the work for well trained web developers is still there, because the bar for modern websites is just simply higher today. The tools, push the bar up. Which is good!

So yes, some older practices/jobs go, but they are just replaced with new specializations in the field. To point, Wix. Yes, a non developer / amateur can put out a basic site with Wix, but they will often lack good UI, and especially UX skills, that make sites successful.

… Wix cannot account for good UX. Yes, Wix can make a site look good. But any experienced designer knows that UX is far, far more important than UI.

In terms of extended functionality, Wix now has a programmatic JavaScript layer for more advanced website customization. But you have to know JavaScript. So here is an example of how a good JavaScript coder who has UX skills, can work (and bill) in the Wix world.

For me, Wix is just another tool of the trade that smart web designers embrace.

If you want to learn web design and programming in record time, take my IWD course! It will make working with Wix, WordPress and vanilla web design, as easy as slicing an apple pie.

Stef

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3 Yuugly Powerful Programming Hacks

February 19, 2018

Someone asked me, if I had to pick the most important things you can do to improve your programming, what would it be?

  1. Have a consistent self describing naming convention. This saves you yuuge time because you will make less mistakes and be able to code more quickly.
  2. Keep your code fine-grained. This means you write functions and methods that do only 1 thing … Not five. This will keep your code easy to understand, to debug and expand.
  3. The first thing to do when starting a new project, is to see what others have done. Perhaps there will be libraries to leverage, perhaps even entire open-source software you can use as a starting point. This is yuuge!

Check out the video for details:

Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/
Learn web development: https://shop.killervideostore.com/

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook/?hl=en

Thanks!

Stefan

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Does Webflow Spell the End of Web Designers?

November 13, 2017

I got this question recently:

Love the YouTube channel, I just wondered what your thoughts on Webflow are? Will it spell the end of web development as we know it (coding) or will developers have to adopt a more visual approach to building a website with such as platforms like Webflow? I realise that the system is built for designers, however without the need for a developer on a platform such as this, the code is seminally marked up, they keep increasing the features capability and complexity, I ask the question where do we fit in if platforms like this become very popular?

My answer:

I don’t see it as a threat – it is a tool.

A big part of modern web design and development goes WAY beyond code:

  1. Site aesthetic design – pre code design if you will
  2. UX – making the site EASY to use
  3. Information design / architecture, if you will. WHAT to place on the site
  4. Setting up the domain, hosting … the basic mechanics of it
  5. Tweaking – I’ve always found that no matter how good the tool, you will need to know code to tweak it
  6. Then there is consulting on social media strategy, content marketing strategy
  7. Finally, the websites function: do they need an e-commerce setup, wordpress, etc …

So Webflow, if it works as perfectly, can help automate the process and perhaps shift your time allocation (meaning you’ll write less code,) but you will still have plenty of work to do as a web designer/developer.

This is nothing new. In the early 2000’s, we did lots of stuff as web designer / developers that we no longer have to do because of better tools … and it’s a good thing!

Regardless of the tools that come out, it’s still good to know the code behind the pages and to learn how to put things together, because it will make you life easier as a web professional and even as a small business owner.

Stef

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Professional Development in Teaching Code

May 27, 2017

It is well known that code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python) is now an essential subject for students of all ages. Many US states and countries around the world, are making code a core part of their curriculum.

… The challenge many schools are facing though, is finding teachers to teach the coding classes.

StudioWeb’s Professional Development in Teaching Code

After working with many schools in the US and abroad, StudioWeb has developed an effective and engaging professional development program for teachers who have never written a single line of code!

Learn to teach code as you learn the course material for your classes

Teacher’s are super busy, and so it makes sense for them to learn to teach code, with the course material that they will be using to teach their students with. It’s a two for one!! The StudioWeb program has proven to fit that role perfectly.

How does it work?

  1. Teachers do the StudioWeb courses on the subjects they will be teaching … like HTML, JavaScript, Python.
  2. As teachers learn to code, they will also be learning the structure of the lessons, quizzes, projects and the code challenges!
  3. Now teachers know how to code, and they know the courses they will be teaching with!

So rather than learning the coding languages, then having to find or develop a curriculum … professional development with StudioWeb means you get both at the same time.

… Needless to say, teachers love it!

If you are interested in learning how to teach code with our teacher approved (and proven!) curriculum, you are invited to contact us.

Thank you!
Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb

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The entrepreneur grind and learning to code

May 15, 2017

You have to like what you do, because you will face the dreaded business grind. Same thing applies with learning to code.

… They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so my video has 30 pictures/second, and it is over 8 minutes long … imagine the word count!

Because my courses make learning to code fun, you should pick up my web development course training package: https://shop.killervideostore.com/

Stefan Mischook

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How to Learn a New Programming Language

March 24, 2017

Let me start with the conclusion:

When learning a programming language, you are going to make many mistakes – it’s normal that your code won’t work the first few times. That said, the key to learning code, is to write code as soon as possible, and as often as possible.

… Even if the code you are writing, does not make sense to you at the time.

The anxiety when learning something new

I was recently reminded of the anxiety most people experience when learning something new. Case in point, though I’ve been creating videos for many years, I always just used the camera’s automatic settings. I didn’t really know much about my equipment.

A little while ago, I decided that I wanted to do more, and so I ventured into more advanced functions like:

  • aperture-priority
  • shutter priority
  • manual mode

… I wanted more control over the video I was shooting.

At first, understanding these basic concepts was confusing, and I was wondering when it would all sink in … therein lies the anxiety. The not knowing if you will ever get it.

In the end, as it is with learning to write code, I just had to use the camera … you have to jump into it and start practicing.

What is the best way to learn to code?

Over the years (since 1994,) I’ve learned 9 programming languages. That may sound impressive, but it isn’t really. Like learning to drive a car, once you understand one programming language, you pretty much understand the basics of all programming languages!

So having done this many times, I can tell you that if you want to learn to code, you have to dive in and write code.

It comes down to these steps:

  1. Do a little theory.
  2. Write code that was taught in the theory.
  3. Repeat

… It’s about bite-size morsels of delicious little code bits! You have to write lots of code, make mistakes and write more code. Repetition goes a long way.

This is a method that is proven to work btw, and we’ve used it for 7 years with StudioWeb. StudioWeb’s courses include: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Python, SQL and PHP.

Stefan Mischook
Killersites.com

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The Problem with Web Development in 2017

March 20, 2017

Hey!

I’ve been in the web development business for over 20yrs now, and one consistent problem for many well meaning nerds, is the over engineering of web apps. This extends to all development as well, not just the web developers.

… The old KISS acronym “Keep it simple, stupid”, seems to be forgotten with every new generation of developers.

So today we have once again, new and overly complex frameworks and apps being thrust upon us. I vlogged about this recently in this video:

Shameless self promotion:

If you like web development and you like things simple and easy, then you will probably like my Interactive Web Developer course package – it’s the best I’ve ever made and people love it.

I am writing just to say how happy I am with the courses. Although, I am a member of Lynda and Udemi, your courses are way better. For me you are the HIDDEN GEM, the YODA of web design. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Samantha

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook
Killersites.com

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Tips in Starting a Web Development Business in 2017

March 16, 2017

Hi!

Web development is a moving target as technology changes. So what are the skills you need to start a web development business in 2017? It comes down to a few things:

  1. Developing the skills of a modern web developer.
  2. Figuring out what your local market is demanding.
  3. Understand what KIND of development work you want to do.

You can watch my video that talks you through it:

Learn web development from a pro: https://shop.killervideostore.com/

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook

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