handy CSS tools

June 3rd, 2014

I will keep updating this list as I find more tools :)


here you can generate css for  columns , transisitions etc



great list of often forgotten css selectors and properties



This one isn’t a css tool but a worthwhile article on mobile design which css is a big part of

What is a blog or should it be when is “WordPress not a blog?”

May 9th, 2014

first published Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

How much has changed in the last 6 years- but still this explanation of what is blog is still true but WordPress has evolved over this 6 years to be more of a CMS framework. So while the definition below is true WordPress is so much more these days. Maybe the question should “When is WordPress not a blog?”

A blog is a website that can be thought of as an online journal. The posts or journal entries generally appear in reverse chronological order so the oldest will be closest to the bottom and the newest at the top.

Another important aspect about blogs is that blog sites use particular software to run them which allows users to log in and maintain their posts/entries etc. There are many places that you can sign up for your own blog for free and begin such as wordpress and blogger. With many hosting accounts a wordpress blog is available as a free addon that can be installed but this is not something that I would recommend for a typical user or blogger.
So why blog?
Well it’s a really easy way to self publish and self promote. You sign up for an account and follow your nose- don’t be scared you can’t really break your blog on wordpress and blogger.

Another reason is the search engines absolutely love blogs so blogging can be a great way to increase your websites search engine optimization results. It’s not a magic wand but with a bit of a strategy your blog make act like fairy dust for your search engine optimizations rankings.
Strategies for blogs
Well that another post topic altogether so check back soon and we’ll look at some

why adhere to web standards?

May 9th, 2014

First posted in Tuesday, August 4th, 2009- and still just as relevant!!

Ten reasons to learn and use web standards

If you’re a web developer or designer new to the concept of web standards and are undecided on whether you should spend the time to learn all about them or not, here are some of the most important reasons for doing so.

This is also a useful list reason for when you need to validate why you work to web standards even if other don’t.

1. You look more professional

Other web professionals, prospective employers and clients  can look at your work and know that you are a person who likes to keep up with changes in technology and make sure that your knowledge and skills are always current. It will make you look like a real web professional.

2.You’ll make your clients look good

Use web standards combined with best practices for accessibility and give your clients a chance to talk about how they cater to all people, and how they find it important that everybody can use their services or find information about their products. You will also avoid the bad publicity that can be caused by shutting out visitors like disabled people, Mac users, and mobile phone users. Remember when a user has a good experience on your web site they tell one person if they have a bad experience they’ll tell 10!!!

3. your maximising the number of potential visitors

You don’t know which device visitors will use to access your site. You may think you know, but unless you’re building an Intranet for a company that controls what browsers are installed on all machines then you really have no idea what device or technologies your users are using so by adhering to standards you have more chance of ensuring that your web pages look as you expect.

By using web standards properly you make sure that you have done your part in making your site work with the largest possible number of browsing devices.

4. Faster loading and reduced bandwidth usage

Well-structured markup that separates structure and content from presentation is generally much more compact than table-and-spacer-image-based tag soup. Documents will be smaller and faster for visitors to download. Like it or not, there are still many, many people connecting to the Internet through dialup.

5. Provide the foundation for accessibility

Using web standards does not guarantee that all aspects of your site will be accessible to people with disabilities, but it is a very good start. Make sure your documents are valid, well-structured, and semantic, and you’re well on the way towards having an accessible site.

6. Improve search engine rankings

Well-written content delivered through clean, well-structured, and semantic markup is delicious food for search engine spiders and will help your rankings. This, of course, will lead to increased traffic, which is what most website owners want.

7. Make your markup easier to maintain

Would you rather wade through many kilobytes of multiply nested tables and spacer images or just browse through a clean and well-structured document when you need to update your site?

Removing, inserting or editing presentation-free content is much easier and more efficient than having to make sure you get all the presentational cruft right. Using CSS to control layout also makes it much easier to make site-wide design changes.

8. Future-proof content

There is no way anyone can guarantee with 100% certainty that the documents created and stored electronically today will be readable in a hundred years. Or even fifty years. But if you separate content from presentation and use current web standards, you have done the best you can to ensure that your content can still be read even after you’re gone.

9. Good business sense

Why would any business owner say no to more visitors? A faster site? Improved search engine rankings? Potential good publicity? It doesn’t make sense to do so.

10. It’s the right way to do things

The web standards way is the way we should have built the web from the beginning. And now that we can, why not do something the right way and have a really excellent reason to feel good about yourself.

Tags: CSSweb design
Posted in Cert 4 Web DesignCSSMy stuff | No Comments »

Same navigation code on every page –different look

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Most websites highlight the navigation item of the user’s location in the website, to help users orientate themselves. This is a fundamental requirement for basic usability, but can be a pain as you’ll need to tweak the HTML code behind the navigation for each and every page. So is it possible to have the navigation highlighted on every page, without having to tweak the HTML code on each and every page? Of course it is but the answers below require a lot more tweaking than is below if you are using Dreamweaver templates- but that’s for a post next week

But what you need to do is assign a class to each navigation item:

<li><a href=”#” class=”home”>Home</a></li>
<li><a href=”#” class=”about”>About us</a></li>
<li><a href=”#” class=”contact”>Contact us</a></li>

You’ll then need to insert an id into the <body> tag. The id should be representative of where users are in the site and should change when users move to a different site section. When in ‘Home’ it should read <body id=”home”>, in ‘About Us’ it should be <body id=”about”> and in ‘Contact Us’ <body id=”contact”> etc.

Next, you create a new CSS rule:

#home .home, #about .about, #contact .contact
css rules go here

This creates rules that only takes effect when class=”home” is contained within id=”home”, and when class=”about” is in id=”about” and class=”contact” is in id=”contact”. These situations will only occur when the user is on the appropriate page, seamlessly creating our highlighted navigation item. Pretty cool!

More of this type of thing can be found here.


Well I’m back!!

May 9th, 2014

pickyourselfupOk as an IT professional I really should have had a good recent back of my site and everything associated with it- and as you probably can tell by this post iI didn’t:(

Suffice to say I am beginning all over again with my blog’s content and while I can think of a million people to blame and reason/excuses for having to start again I really need to take full ownership and responsibility. Everything that I do diligently for clients I did not do for myself!!! And boy have I learnt the hard way  so no point in crying over what is done time to move forward :)

Some content I have been again to recover and have reposted and it is funny to read some of it after all these years- (yes I was silly enough to loose 6 years of “What I learnt today” which just goes to show you never stop learning :)  Some of the stuff I have recovered was extremely relevant at the time of writing but now not so much as everything in an IT world develops and changes all the time so I am looking at it as a great way for a new clean up. As the saying goes if you only have lemons make lemonade.