KillerSites Blog

hand coding

Cleaner code is better than faster code

May 11, 2008

I can’t tell you how many times that my programming experience (in Java, PHP etc) has guided me in my web design work … and strangely, even in other aspects of my life not at all related to topics ‘nerd’.

… Ah, nerd wisdom prevails in all aspects of life.


Anyway, here yet again, is another example where programming guides me: this time, it’s all about web design and code.

Over the last few years, the consensus in the web design community has been to streamline code. In real terms, that comes down to:

  • collapsing html
  • collapsing css
  • … and consolidating css code into one file, to minimize the number of server hits.

… The idea is to speed up web page load times and to reduce web server loads.

This is an important goal and something all web designers should be concerned about. The problem is that if you are concentrating on optimizing your CSS or HTML to speed things up, you are concentrating on the wrong parts of your websites.

The fact is, that most of the optimization opportunities is actually found in your images, Flash movies and other multimedia content – not the code.

read more

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.

read more

PHP Video Tutorial: Creating your own Functions

October 8, 2007



In my continued attempts to teach web designers how to program with PHP (now an essential web design skill,) I’ve just released part 1 of 3, of my video series on creating custom functions in PHP.

We cover the very basics and learn about one of the key advantages of creating functions in php versus just write straight PHP code to your pages.

The Video: Custom PHP Functions

Part 2 and 3 will be out soon.



read more

The technologies you need to master to be a complete web designer.

September 18, 2007

Web design has been transformed over the last many years. In many ways, the skills a web designer needed in 1996 are totally different from the skills you need in 2007 … and the foreseeable future.

I won’t go into what you needed in the past, because it matters not. So let’s talk about what you need to know today, to be a complete and competitive web designer.

The Web Designer’s Study Guide:

  1. HTML
  2. CSS
  3. PHP
  4. Javascript

read more