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This course focuses on two elements of web development: accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO), demonstrating why they are important and how they work. Author Morten Rand-Hendriksen also shows how good coding practices and modern web standards can make a site accessible and more visible to search engines and social networks.
When building websites, it's important to have the right tools handy and know how to use them. For the grunt work of the building process, the standard developer tools found in all modern web browsers will do just fine, but when it comes to accessibility and SEO, it could be good to have some extra help. There are some great developer tools available for some web browsers that can be used to assist in accessibility testing, so before we go any further, let's install them. In this course I'll be using Firefox as my main browser, because I've found that this browser and its available tools work the best for this particular process.
Several of the modern browsers, in particular Firefox and Chrome, have the ability to add on Add-ons or plug-ins. For Firefox, you find Add-ons by going to addons.mozilla.org, and this is where we'll start. For accessibility testing, I want to install two tools, one that's called the Developer Toolbar, and one that's called Firebug. To install them I open Firefox, I go to addons.mozilla.org, and from here, I can search for the tools I want. First, I'm going to install the Web Developer toolbar, so I'll simply search for Web Developer, and it'll appear here at the top.
To install it, I simply have to click this big green button that says Add to Firefox. Now, just a note, if you like this tool, I suggest that you give some money to the guy that built it, because this is done for free, it's an open-source tool. So if you want to contribute to the developer, you simply click the Contribute button down here and you can give him a donation for his work, but in this case we want to just install it, so I'll click Add to Firefox. The tool is downloaded, and then I get the question if I want to install it into Firefox, so I'll simply click Install Now, and then the tool gets installed.
Now because this is a tool that plugs into Firefox as a program, I need to restart the browser to see it take effect. So I'll click Restart Now. The browser shuts down and opens up again, and now I have a new toolbar inside Firefox. This is what I just installed, the Web Developer toolbar. The reason why I installed this toolbar is because now I have the ability to turn things on and off. For instance, I can go in here under CSS and say Disable All Styles, and I see the page without any styles.
I'll turn it back on again, and then I can do the same for images. I can disable all images and then I see what the page would look like with no images. This becomes important as we start working with the accessibility tools because we want to see what the page looks like without images, without styles, and without other content. The next tool I want to install is called Firebug. So I'll go back to addons.mozilla.org and search for Firebug.
Just like with the Web Developer tools, I'll simply click the Add to Firefox button, and once it's downloaded, I can install it. Again, I have to restart my browser to make it take effect. And with Firebug installed, you see I now have a new button up here in the right corner with a little bug on it. If I click on that button, I launch Firebug down at the bottom here.
Now if you're familiar with the Chrome Developer tools, you'll notice that the Firebug tools are pretty much the same thing. You see the HTML output on the left and you see the CSS that affects that output on the right. With the Web Developer toolbar and Firebug installed, we now have the ability to do deep down testing of our code and view the page in different formats as we move forward with our pages, to make sure that all our code content makes sense, even if people see it without CSS activated, without images activated, and so on.
As a bonus, these two tools make Firefox a very powerful code development and debugging tool.
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