June 21, 2008
I’ve been a professional nerd for many years now, and over that time I’ve learned to use many different technologies including 8-9 programming languages, a few operating systems and a whole bunch of frameworks, database programs etc …
… The sad truth
Recently, I was challenged with some tech problem, and to be honest about it, I forgot the specific steps to solve it!!
This always bothers me – when you forget how to do something you once knew so well.
I am now resigned to the fact that I’ve probably forgotten more than I now remember. I guess there is only so much room in your brain ..?
You can’t know it all
This brings me to my larger point: as a professional nerd, it is not realistic to think you will learn everything that is out there. There is simply too much and you have to pick your battles.
That said, that doesn’t mean you should learn one or two things and then just rest on your laurels. No, you have to keep learning otherwise you will fall behind and you won’t stay competitive.
June 21, 2008
The web design magazine is slowly taking off.
… We have our first article from John Beatrice who has given us a sneak-peek at the new IE8:
Internet Explorer 8 is Microsoftâ€™s response to the growing interest in interactive web services and rich online experiences. This is Microsoftâ€™s second attempt to build a browser that follows standard compliant HTML and CSS. So, will designers and developers embrace this new Internet Explorer?
You can read more about the Internet Explorer 8 beta in the magazine section of the website.
I hope you’ll find it interesting.
June 17, 2008
Microsoft recently released Expression Web 2, their new web design program.
Frontpage is old news:
For those of you who donâ€™t know much about it, Expression Web replaces Frontpage and as such, you wonâ€™t be seeing any new versions of Frontpage.
… You can read more about Expression Web 2 in the magazine.
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.
May 1, 2008
When I was working on the redesign of the killersites.com, I found (as a starting point) that the templates that ship with Dreamweaver CS3 useful.
Dreamweaver CS3 starter templates
Dreamweaver has a nice collection of bare-bones web templates. One thing I found cool about these templates, is that they contain a lot of notes that describe why they (the web-nerds at Adobe) have certain things in place – like the specific code they used to deal with a given CSS layout issue.
… This is another good way to learn more about CSS.
April 29, 2008
I can’t stand articles that make you read two pages before getting to the point. With that in mind, let’s look at how I think css code should be organized.
In a nutshell: css code should be divided up into at least 4 separate pages:
How about we call this the ‘killer’ css structure.
Before I go into the details of what each css file contains (if it’s not already obvious), I want to quickly cover WHY you might want to use this basic css structure for all your websites.
April 28, 2008
I’ve been a busy little bee lately.
This past week, I finally got around to re-skinning killersites.com. Yes, after about 5 years of using the same basic layout, I finally decided that an update was needed.
I think when someone said:
“… killersites.com kinda looks … 2000 ish.”
… I was pushed over the edge and began the design work. You can see the new layout on the home page now:
Later on, I will be rolling this out throughout the rest of the web site and on other sites as well:
To build this new look, I spent about 50 hrs and about 15 public revisions. As I went along, I released early drafts of the new look for people to comment on in the forums. You can read the thread and see the progress of the redesign here:
killersites redesign discussion
Now that I’ve got this in place, I can go back to creating new videos.
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
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:
… we could say the same thing about simplicity in web design:
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:
- To make it easy for you to update.
- 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:
February 27, 2008
I’ve released another video tutorial on Dreamweaver CS3 where I look at the three ways Dreamweaver gives you to edit web pages.
Video: Dreamweaver CS3 Editor Views
You can find all the Dreamweaver CS3 videos in the Dreamweaver section of killersites.com:
February 22, 2008
Killersites.com 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 killersites.com 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:
- Building a SENSIBLE website directory structure.
- Using meaningful words in page names and directories.
- Using lower case text for page and directory names.
- Using dashes between words in both page and directory names.
… Let’s go over the details.