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Article Archives

New Poll: When Do Jobs Get Done?

There is a new poll up in the sidebar. This time regarding when jobs that include completion dates actually get done.

There are reasons on both sides of the client/designer relationship that affect when jobs actually get done. How quick …

September 30, 200938 comments

Poll Results: How Do You Email?

The runaway winner was Pure Cloud, with 53% of people that exclusively use an online mail service, through a browser, like GMail or Yahoo or Hotmail or whatever else.
September 29, 200921 comments

Envato Marketplace Redesign

As I'm posting this, the marketplace websites that Envato runs (ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, etc) have been redesigned. It's a pretty big overhaul... new logos, loads of new features for both buyers and sellers, the iconic "switcher" to change …

September 28, 2009137 comments

Giving Snippets “Add to” Coda & TextMate Buttons

I think this is the coolest thing since Kayne carved cult symbols onto his head: each snippet in the Snippets area now has little links when you roll over them for adding the snippet to Coda or TextMate. I realize …

September 23, 200926 comments

You Know You Should Use JavaScript When…

You know you should use JavaScript when the task cannot be accomplished with any other technology.

That's what Doug suggested when I asked him for a nicer spin on a something that was going through my head:

JavaScript: If it …

September 21, 200964 comments

New Snippets Feed & How-To

There is a new snippets-only feed! This will always remain it's own separate feed I think, and not be a part of the main feed. Mostly because I hope that the snippets will grow and grow and there will hopefully …

September 18, 200924 comments

Unobtrusive Dropdown Page Changer

Using a <select> dropdown menu to create navigation isn't as common as it once was, but it's still around. It got ripped on pretty good for being an inaccessible / obtrusive. Indeed a lot of the scripts you'll find out …

September 15, 200930 comments

Add (+/-) Button Number Incrementers

Text inputs on forms can be used to submit numbers. A common use would be a "quantity" input on an eCommerce site. Changing the quantity value, from the user's perspective entails tabbing or clicking to the input, deleting it's current …

September 14, 200936 comments

Design Refresh (Version 5)

The new design has been rolled out. Nothing to shockingly different I hope, just a refresher. It's kind of hard to say, but I think this is the 5th significant iteration of the design at this point. The lines are …

September 8, 2009152 comments

Style a List with One Pixel

A one-pixel background image can be a pretty versatile thing. With repeat-x it can be a horizontal line, repeat-y makes a vertical line, and repeat makes it a fill color. Just as a little fun proof of concept, we can …

September 7, 200947 comments

Make a Select’s Options Printable

When printing a web page with <select> elements on it, the select dropdown prints just like it looks.

This is of course borderline useless on a printed page. It may even be hiding important details vital to understanding what the …

September 4, 200925 comments

Beta: New Snippets Area!

Hey ya'll - I'll let you in on a little secret here, there is a design update coming out soon here on CSS-Tricks. As usual, just a little realign / refresh / spit shine kinda thing. There are several reasons …

September 3, 200966 comments

New Poll: How Do You Email?

I just tossed out a new poll. I've been wanting to do this one for a while, and the short-but-global GMail outage yesterday confirmed now is a good time. The question is:

How Do You Email?

There are people that …

September 2, 2009134 comments

Five Questions with Vitaly Friedman

You probably recognize his name, but if you don't, you certainly recognize his work. Smashing Magazine is a juggernaut in the design and development web publishing world, and soon to cross over into traditional publishing as well. Vitaly is the …

September 1, 200927 comments

Poll Results: Taking a Job You Think is a Stupid Business Idea

  • Yes, I'd take it. - 68%  
  • No, I'd turn it down. - 32%  

The people who say they would take the job outnumber the people who would not by two to one.

There was a large and interesting …

August 31, 200937 comments

Preventing Widows in Post Titles

Widows, typographically speaking, are single words that awkwardly break down onto their own line. It looks uncomfortable, and it reads uncomfortable. Article titles are especially prone to this because of the large type / short line length, and look exceptionally …

August 28, 200944 comments

Inappropriate Uses

Database is forcontent HTML is fordescribing and displaying content CSS is fordesign JavaScript is forfunctionality

 

Those are the appropriate uses for these technologies. Inappropriate use is when you cross those lines and create a mismatch.…

August 24, 200969 comments

CSS Sprites with Inline Images

CSS Sprites is a technique where you use a background-image, a set width and height, and adjust the background-position to display only the portion you need to show. This way you can use a single image and display lots of …

August 19, 200960 comments

AnythingSlider jQuery Plugin

Just what the world needs, another jQuery slider. YAWN. I know, check this one out though, it's got lots of cool features.

Here on CSS-Tricks, I've created a number of different sliders. Three, in fact. A "featured content" …

August 17, 2009208 comments

2009 .net Magazine Awards

The voting is now open for the 2009 .net Magazine Awards. I'm stoked this year to be nominated in both the Best Blog category and Best Vodcast category.

Voting is quick and easy and if you feel so inclined, go

August 14, 200934 comments

Results from Anniversary Survey

I collected a bunch of data from you guys when you filled out that form to enter the 2-Year Anniversary Giveaway. I figured I'd aggregate it into some graphs, courtesy of Wufoo.

How much do you care that the…
August 11, 200919 comments

The Heating Company Analogy

What helps a design business stay healthy and successful over time is having regular clients with regular monthly billable work. The one-off jobs might be more glamorous and more fun, but in the long run it's probably your regulars that …

August 10, 200934 comments

Front-End Design Conference ’09 Wrap-up

The Front-End Design Conference was made from a lot of "firsts". Many of us speakers were speaking in front of an audience of peers for the first time since college Speech. For Dan Denney, it was his first time …

August 6, 200929 comments

So You’ve Already Decided, Eh?

It's funny how fast people can decide on things. People can see a website redesign and love it or hate it right away. It might take someone 15 seconds of seeing it before they are furiously writing up a comment …

August 4, 200974 comments

Banner Code Displayer Thing

Authentic Jobs is a long-running, respected, and successful web design/development job board. I'm sure a lot of that success is due to the beautiful, minimal, and thoughtful design by owner and proprietor Cameron Moll. There is also a generous …

August 3, 200922 comments

Date Display Technique with Sprites

LearningjQuery.com has a pretty cool presentation of the dates of their blog posts. Check it:

The typeface and the year being vertical should tip you off right away that images are being used to accomplish this. But also note that …

July 28, 200998 comments

Text Blocks Over Image

Someone recently asked me about this technique and my first reaction was that it was probably a little too mundane to cover as a tutorial. But then I got to thinking that there is actually a few interesting things happening …

July 27, 200967 comments

eCommerce Considerations

Building an eCommerce site? There are a zillion options. In a recent group interview about eCommerce, I talked a bit how I think it's weird that all these eCommerce software solutions are also CMSs. At the root of things what …

July 23, 200947 comments

Combining Hand-Drawn and Digital Illustration Techniques

The following is a guest post by the first-rate illustrator Joe Lifrieri. Joe walks through his own process showing us not only how he does things but why. You can see Joe's portfolio and blog at Hugs for Monsters

July 22, 200927 comments

AnythingZoomer jQuery Plugin

You have a small area. You mouse over it. An area pops up giving you a zoomed in closer look. This is a jQuery plugin that does it. I'm not going to tell you what you should use it for …

July 20, 200966 comments

Anniversary Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to all the winners of the two-year anniversary giveaway! They were chosen completely at random from my cheezy random number generator I made for the last contest. Extra special thanks to all the sponsors who donated the gifts. …

July 17, 200931 comments

Different Ways To Format CSS

This post will focus on the different ways to format CSS, which differs from the different ways to organize CSS. Definitely related concepts, but I think organization has more to do with how things are grouped and ordered while …

July 13, 2009164 comments

Better Password Inputs, iPhone Style

Recently renowned usability expert Jakob Nielsen wrote an article Stop Password Masking in which he claims that hiding users passwords as they input them is bad practice. What he is referring to is the default browser behavior of <input type=password …

July 9, 200977 comments

All About Floats

What is "Float"?

Float is a CSS positioning property. To understand its purpose and origin, we can look to print design. In a print layout, images may be set into the page such that text wraps around them as needed. …

July 8, 2009130 comments

2-Year Anniversary GIVEAWAY

Happy Fourth of July all! A lovely day filled with fireworks and usually a day off of work (in the US, anyway). It's also the anniversary of CSS-Tricks. It's been two years now. It actually feels like it's been longer …

July 3, 200983 comments

New Poll: Would You Work on a Website You Thought Was a Stupid Business Idea?

I've mused about this before, but I thought it would be good to put it to a poll this time. The discussion before was absolutely fascinating. Many folks saying that it's our ethical duty to inform clients of our true …

July 1, 2009125 comments

Poll Results: Browser Choice Sans Developer Tools

Yes, all the major browsers have development tools now, but I think most people are in agreement that you just can't beat Firebug and the slew of other development-specific addons for Firefox. Outside of these tools, I often hear people …

June 30, 200935 comments

The “Light” CMS Trend

CMSs are beautiful things. Just as CSS allows us to abstract the design away from the markup, a CMS allows us to use a database to abstract the content away from the markup. There are a zillion of them, each …

June 29, 200994 comments

Web Nerd Terminology (Explained)

As happens with any weird niche societal group, us web nerds have developed some language of our own. Some of this language is perfectly acceptable English, but still sounds weird to an outsider. I thought I'd throw together a list …

June 26, 200986 comments

404 Best Practices

A 404 error on the web is what a web server responds with when it is tasked with serving up a resource that it can't find.

1. It should still look like your website

If you don't specifically tell your …

June 22, 200991 comments

Free WordPress Theme: WP Typo

As promised, the theme I had WP Coders code up as a demo is now available for your perusal and download. It's called WP Typo and it's a purely typographical theme (zero images used).

I won't be cross-posting everything …

June 18, 20090 comments

Review of WP Coder

I was recently asked by the guys at WP Coder if I would do a review of their service. I don't do it very often, but they seemed like nice guys and WordPress is of particular interest to me lately. …

June 17, 200937 comments

Digging Into WordPress

Got a little news for ya'll. Remember when I announced me and Jeff Starr were looking for a publisher for a book about WordPress? Well, that worked, and we talked a number of different publishers. They were all very nice, …

June 16, 20090 comments

Intimacy Hierarchy

Pete Pinnell in a video about fine art and ceramic cups talking about human behavior:

We'll look at things that we won't nudge with our foot.
We'll nudge things with our foot that we won't pick up in our hand.…

June 15, 200912 comments

Pricing Order

We were recently re-doing the signup page for Are My Sites Up, and we were looking at the way we were ordering our plans. At the time, it was from least expensive (free) to most expensive (Premium Pro). We looked …

June 12, 200957 comments

What’s The Best Way To Handle Page Titles?

First-level Navigation

Or, "the homepage". Here are some possibilities:

  1. [ NAME OF SITE ]
    Short and to the point
    Ex. CSS-Tricks
  2. [ NAME OF SITE ] - Short Tagline
    Taking the opportunity to explain the site
    Ex. CSS-Tricks - A
June 9, 200956 comments

Sending Nice HTML Email with PHP

This is going to be a continuation of the Website Change Request Form demo we've been using around here for a while. If you need to catch up, first I talked about it, then I built it, then …

June 8, 200976 comments

Five Questions with Matthew Kammerer

I first heard of Matthew while exploring UX Booth, a darn nice little blog and resource site dealing with user experience by four young folks. Then I heard he joined the team at BuySellAds, a company I take …

June 4, 200917 comments

Affiliate Program for Are My Sites Up

There is now an official affiliate program for Are My Sites Up where you can earn money through referring people to our service.

Here are the basics:

  1. You sign up.
  2. You get an email when you are approved with
June 3, 200922 comments

The CSS Box Model

At the risk of over-repeating myself: every element in web design is a rectangular box. This was my ah-ha moment that helped me really start to understand CSS-based web design and accomplish the layouts I wanted to accomplish. We've talked …

June 1, 200987 comments

*May or may not contain any actual "CSS" or "Tricks".