The Value of Your Browser

These days, Firefox and Chrome are both excellent browsers that can greatly aid your Web development efforts. That is thanks to their built-in developer tools. If you use the Inspect Element option (right-click) you can see a great depth of options. Modify CSS to see how changes you want to make will look real-time. Having JavaScript errors? You can track those down. Want to see … [ Read more ]

Text Size Switcher

Update (January 1, 2017): I have now switched to using a modified version of code found in the font resizer WordPress plugin, but the code below is still useful on its own and as a tutorial on the topic.

A useful and common accessibility feature is a text size switcher. This is a tool that allows users to alter the size of the … [ Read more ]

Architecture: Pre-Development Decisions

Update (Jan 1, 2017): Since the time I wrote this back in April 2007, WordPress has continued its march toward CMS dominance and I now run all my sites with it. There may still be some good reasons to consider alternatives, but for most DIYers I think WordPress is the way to go.

In order to develop a web site there are some core decisions … [ Read more ]

Regular Expressions (Regex or Regexp)

Regular expressions (abbreviated as regex or regexp) are used by many text editors, utilities, and programming languages (in our case, PHP) to search and manipulate text based on patterns, most notably the presence of particular characters, words, or patterns of characters. Regular expressions are somewhat archaic in appearance and can be very intimidating to those not experienced in their use, but once you see how … [ Read more ]

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Logos

Do-It-Yourself Logo Design

I haven’t done research recently, but several years ago I was interested in making a logo by myself and I checked out quite a few DIY logo making software programs. In the end I chose The Logo Creator and I have since used it quite successfully many times. It’s not free, but it is inexpensive (US$47) and while I can’t say … [ Read more ]

Useful Image/Graphics Resources

There are quite a few good, free resources out there to help with your webmaster needs. Many are fully web-based. Some of the better ones I have come across include:

  • iconifier.net
    This simple but useful site lets you upload a JPG, PNG or GIF image (up to 500KB) and then have it generate Apple and Favicon icons. This is one of my go-to sites,

[ Read more ]

Character Encoding Issues

If you are working with certain non-English languages, you will invariably have to consider the issue of character encoding. I myself run a website for Japanese language study, so I have dealt with this issue a bit, though I am far from truly knowledgeable about it. Still, maybe some of what I have learned will be of use to you.

Encoding Basics

Note: Most of … [ Read more ]

Useful Code Snippets / Tutorials – PHP

  • Remove or replace a block of text with definable starting and ending pattern.

    $temp = preg_replace(“‘

    ]*?>.*?

    ‘si”, “”, $temp);

  • Modify group of links.
    This could be useful, for example, if you have links to multiple articles on a website that then redesigns and thus all its URLs change.

    $temp = preg_replace(“/(.*)/i”, “3“, $temp);

  • What’s the easiest way to remove characters from the end of a

[ Read more ]

Useful Code Snippets / Tutorials – JavaScript

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Upload Images with PHP

Web developers who are just getting started often ask, “How can I upload images using PHP” The Web Developer How To – Upload Images Using PHP tutorial looks at the basics and shows you how you can install such a script on your website.

CSS Basics for Web Developers: Positioning

HTML elements are positioned the same way they are written in the HTML code, from top to bottom and left to right. Elements displayed this way are called static elements. CSS positioning allows you to position HTML elements anywhere you want on the screen. These can positioned in a fixed location or flow with the screen as the browser window size … [ Read more ]

Everything You Need to Know About Image Compression

Proper use of image compression can make a huge difference in the appearance and size of your website image files. But compression is an often-misunderstood topic, partly because there’s a real lack of understanding on what the different types of compression are good for. If you don’t understand which type of compression to use for different types of images, you’ll … [ Read more ]

Mobile Web Design: Tips and Best Practices

In 2009, more than 63 million people in the United States accessed the Internet from a mobile device. It’s forecast that by 2013 there will be more than 1.7 billion mobile Internet users worldwide. With those kinds of numbers, it’s imperative that web designers and developers learn optimal development and design practices for mobile devices.

For the most part you won’t need to learn any new technologies … [ Read more ]

Color Design Tips and Tools

Here are some useful online tools to help you work on color issues for your site:

  • Color Schemer Online – Enter the RGB or HEX value and it will give you 16 colors to play with.
  • Easy RGB Color Harmonies – Options such as color matching, searching for a tint, a color calculator and monitor calibration add value to this easy to use

[ Read more ]