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By Chris Converse | Saturday, July 26, 2014

Optimize Graphics for the Mobile Web

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When creating graphics for the web, we walk a delicate line between file size and image quality. We want smaller files for faster performing sites, especially on mobile, but we also want beautiful imagery on today/s high-quality screens.

With nearly 20% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s important to consider the file size of your graphics. The irony of this trend is that mobile devices have higher quality displays and, typically, a slower internet connection. This challenges web designers to create high-quality graphics with smaller file sizes.

This is a pretty tough order, but I have some techniques that can help reduce sizes and optimize graphics for web delivery.

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen | Thursday, July 24, 2014

Create Responsive Featured Images in WordPress

Create Responsive Featured Images in WordPress

Responsive layouts have become commonplace in today’s web experiences, but the current HTML <img> element still has a fundamental flaw when used with responsive designs: It assumes uniformity in the screens it’s displayed upon, a uniformity that doesn’t exist in today’s mobile-saturated world.

Consider an image on a web page from the viewer’s perspective. Although it appears to be part of the page, it’s actually a replaced element: The code of the page cuts a hole in the page big enough to contain the image, and then retrieves it from its remote location to fill that hole. In some cases the hole has a specified width and height; in others the hole is built to be flexible and scale to a percentage, or proportion, of the screen size.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Optimize Web Content for Mobile

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Your site’s performance can make as much of an impression as its content. When considering the many ways users will be accessing your site, it’s also important to consider what content you show, based on screen size. The two techniques discussed below will allow you to tailor content, animation, and overall user experience.

By David Powers | Saturday, July 19, 2014

Send Email from a Web Form with PHP

Use PHP to send the contents of a web form via email

Sending the contents of an online form to an email address is one of the most useful applications of PHP. It’s not difficult; but it’s easy to make a mistake. In this article, I’ll show you how to avoid common pitfalls that arise when sending the contents of a form with PHP.

By David Powers | Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Do I Learn PHP?

How do I learn PHP?

One piece of advice sticks in my mind from the days when I started learning PHP: “Just read the PHP online documentation. You don’t need anything else.” PHP’s online manual is excellent, and contains lots of practical examples. But it was like throwing me a Chinese dictionary and telling me it contained all I needed to learn the language. I had no idea where to start.

By Scott Fegette | Monday, June 30, 2014

GitHub for the Rest of Us

GitHub_Logo

Designers often work alongside coders on technical projects ranging from traditional web design to interactive documents and books, HTML5 web applications, and more. This not only means that we’re having to learn a little code ourselves these days, but also to integrate with code-centric workflows. And increasingly, the interaction between creative and technical professionals is happening on GitHub.

Although sharing and collaboration are popular reasons to use a GitHub repository to manage project assets, backup and recovery are even more fundamental reasons to “git” with the program and start using version control yourself. GitHub helps manage (and back up) text-based design assets like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, and it can also help track graphic and binary files as well. Once you get started, you’ll find a lot of reasons to keep GitHub looking over your project assets.

By Scott Fegette | Sunday, June 29, 2014

How To Use Web Fonts

How to use web fonts

Fonts used to be limited in number and flexibility for web designers. Those days are over. Although web typography still isn’t perfect, support for rich browser-based typography is comprehensive enough to stop waiting. It’s time to make your site’s text as beautiful as its layout and design by learning how to use web fonts in your designs.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Create a jQuery Carousel for Images

Displaying a series of photographs and images within a small area of a site can be challenging. The goal is to give folks a sense of the image while providing a navigation scheme to get a sense of the other images. Though this technique may be referred to as a carousel, or slider, the effect is the same.

A more literal navigation system for an image carousel is to align a series of images in a circle. This gives the user an interesting navigation experience in addition to getting a glimpse of the total number of images available.

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