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Category Archive: Web Development

  1. I remember years ago when I first discovered WordPress, how excited and thrilled I was to be able build fully dynamic websites quickly and easily. Need to setup a site quick? No problem, WordPress is good at that, in fact, many web hosting companies offer a simple one click install for those who don’t desire to get into the MySQL/PHP setup. Need extra functionality? Download one of the thousands of plugin that all do the same thing. Need more help? Ask the community or simply Google for tutorials. Possibilities are endless. And over the years, WordPress has ever evolved into so much more than just a blogging tool. It’s the CMS of choice for many web designers, web developers and bloggers for one simple reason; its simplicity and its focus on ever improving usability and ease of use. Within that simplicity however lies perhaps one of it’s biggest drawbacks, notably for web designers and developers; it makes assumptions, and it makes plenty of them. (more…)

  2. As a web designer and front-end developer having worked on many various projects over the years, I’ve come to accept and understand that no two projects are alike. I should rephrase; no two clients are ever alike is what I should say. It’s the reason I don’t make use of a template system when it comes to custom projects. Because when a client pays for a unique website look and feel, it’s what the client’s going to get (at least when they’ve hired me). Client’s are going to have their own unique expectations based on several different factors. To name a few; expectations can be based on what a client wants or needs, what they’ve seen on the web already and what they know (or at least what they think they know). Just read all the entries on the Clients from Hell website and you’ll start to form a picture of how many clueless clients, bosses and managers there are out there. (more…)

  3. hell

    As the saying goes; “the customer is always right” and I believe that to a certain extent. Obviously in this line of work, we have to aim high in order to make the client happy when it comes to the projects they bestow upon us. I take a lot of pride in the websites that I design and build and when a client’s expectations are surpassed and when whatever they initially had in mind pales in comparison to the end result of my work, I feel a real sense of accomplishment. This week however, I experienced client intervention to an all new extreme! So much so in fact, that the website I had initially designed and built and was so proud of will unfortunately not be finding its way into my portfolio.

    Before I go any further and get into it, I would like to share this link which I got from a Bonobos colleague which pretty much sums up my story, but in a much funnier and more graphical way. Check out How a web design goes straight to hell. (more…)

  4. fonts

    I have to admit, when I design a website, the choice of font, though absolutely crucial, is rarely a difficult one. When I design a logo or some kind of identity however, it’s a different story, but because I’m designing a potential image or vector, the decision to use a unique font isn’t as difficult, because designing a website means my choices are pretty limited because of the tiny list of standard fonts installed on a viewers computer. In any case, I personally am a bigger fan of clean and simple fonts and prefer the use of sans-serifs in my designs, though should a project call for it, serif fonts do have their moments. It’s not always a big deal though; besides the logo or the headers of a website, I don’t find using a unique font for content all that important, or even good practice. Sure there are ways around it like creating an image of the font, but the use of alt tags isn’t very SEO (though I’m told it is improving all the time by our SEO specialist at Bonobos), and since I would usually only use a unique font for headers and titles and such anyway, that would mean leaving out the H tags which is a big SEO no-no. But now I’ve come across a pretty awesome solution called Cufon (sorry that I came across like an infomercial just then). (more…)

  5. IE vs the rest

    I’ve gotten a lot done this week. I got down and dirty in the ActionScript of a Flash application which displays every city and location of every telephone area code in Holland; pretty nifty! I managed to build in functionality that displays every client in every region and whether or not they have an ad in the local phone book and if so, what the size the ad is. I also developed two site designs I’ve been working on in the past week. I should say that one of them is a little out of my style since its main design consists of a screen centered container, something I’m not a fan of because of 1. requiring a center screen container, which is ok depending on the browser you’re working with and 2. it constricts content display possibilities. In any case, the sites were designed and developed fairly quickly… on my Mac that is. This week I’ve discovered just how annoying Internet Explore (IE) really is. Seriously, it really has become a situation of one vs everyone else! I’ve got a lot of experience in cross browser/platform development, but the past few weeks, and especially this past one in particular, have taught me a whole bunch of new things concerning the differences, and frankly, the issues that IE brings forward for a designer/developer such as myself. (more…)

  6. Lately I’ve been pondering what the true value is of having a website’s code validated. I validate all of my projects and since releasing AbsoluteB, I naturally had the site’s XHTML and CSS code checked as well. Having fixed the few errors that there were, I then asked myself was Is it worth it? Was it necessary? And who cares? First of all, one thing I should point out about me is that I absolutely cannot stand showing off my site to someone, a moment when pride should flow over me as I hit the return key after typing the URL, expecting to see the design and layout I have worked on so hard, only to find that something isn’t right. Usually the person viewing my site with me doesn’t even notice, the detail is just that small because it really comes down to me being obsessively pixel perfect, but it’s there, and the fact that I know about it can eat me up inside. It is for this reason that I feel that validating code has it’s benefits. Having solid code gives that 99% chance that it will look the way you intended it on most browsers and platforms… most of the time, but these daysm that just isn’t the case. (more…)