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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

The CSS Overflow Property

Every single element on a page is a rectangular box. The sizing, positioning, and behavior of these boxes can all be controlled via CSS. By behavior, I mean how the box handles it when the content inside and around it …

May 27, 200964 comments

Applications: One Day in the Life of a Web Designer

It's incredible how many applications we interact with on a daily basis. It's no wonder we are so critical of them sometimes, Below is a timeline of a typical day for me and the different applications I deal with at …

May 26, 2009125 comments

Links + This Week

Couple of links to share this morning of my content elsewhere. The latest Ask Smashing Magazine is up with loads of questions on CSS answered by me. Also Chris Spooner interviewed me on Line 25 about my past, blogging, and …

May 25, 20095 comments

Quotes on Design API v2.0

I know at least a couple of you ended up using the original Quotes on Design API. It was kind of an experiment, but it did the trick in that it was an easy way to quickly add random design-related …

May 22, 200919 comments

CSS-Tricks Mobile

UPDATE: CSS-Tricks.com is now responsive, so no more separate mobile version of the site. Not that I'm against that, I'm just a fan of responsive for this site.

There is now a mobile version of CSS-Tricks, thanks to the …

May 20, 200932 comments

Serious Form Security

The Website Change Request Form has been a running topic around here for a little while and I'm gonna run with that for a little while. We are not going to rehash all the HTML and JavaScript that makes the …

May 19, 200959 comments

.net magazine

I've had articles in several recent issues of .net magazine. I thought I'd snap some pics for posterity.

May 15, 200921 comments

Vertically Center Multi-Lined Text

If you only have a single word or a single line of text, there is a clever way to vertically center it in a block with CSS. You set the line-height of that text to be equal to the height

May 13, 200963 comments

Don’t Rely on Background Colors Printing

At work I recently rolled out a new system for one of our clients, the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater. Their site is largely informational about them and their show, and a portal for selling tickets to their show online. …

May 12, 200941 comments

Front-End Design Conference

I will be speaking at my first conference ever! I'm really looking forward to it and I have already started preparing my presentation. It's going to be focused on jQuery and using it to accomplish things that CSS does poorly, …

May 11, 200928 comments

Override Inline Styles with CSS

This damn juicy CSS trick has been around for a while now, but I wanted to make a special post sharing it again to spread the good word.

Often we think of inline styles as a way to override styles …

May 8, 200987 comments

New Poll: Sans-Developer Tools Browser Choice

I bet a lot of us around here use Firefox as our main browser. I really like Firefox. I think the interface is pretty nice, but what put its so far ahead of the other browsers for me is the …

May 6, 2009177 comments

Poll Results: CSS3 Features

Almost 7,000 people have weighed in on this poll so far, making it the biggest yet! The question was:

If CSS2 and CSS3 was fully supported in all browsers tomorrow, what would you be MOST excited about?

As always, very …

May 5, 200930 comments

Website Change Request Form

Last month I wrote about how I wished when clients had a change request for their site, they would treat me like a six-year-old. The point was, those change requests are often far too vague which leads to confusion …

May 4, 200969 comments

Five Questions with Richard Felix Jr.

I've been friends with Richard for years. In between sending funny links back and forth to each other, we've been able to kick out a few projects (Are My Sites Up, LyricSift). I design, he develops. I've …

May 1, 200910 comments

Five Questions with Soh Tanaka

In looking back through some emails, I found an email from Soh in October 2008. It was a very nice message introducing himself, saying he has enjoyed CSS-Tricks, and that he was just getting into blogging and if I had …

April 30, 200924 comments

Five Questions with Jeffrey Brown

I first met Jeff when he emailed me in early March of this year introducing himself as a High School Web Design Teacher at Damascus High in Maryland. He told me he makes his advanced students subscribe to this blog! …

April 29, 200919 comments

Five Questions with Collis Ta’eed

Collis Ta'eed is the kind of guy that every web designer with a little entrepreneurial spirit wants to be. He is a trend-setting designer who's work is seen, used, and interacted with by millions of people a day on Envato's

April 28, 200936 comments

Five Questions with James Padolsey

If you are like me and commonly find yourself Googling around for JavaScript solutions to coding problems, there is a good chance you've come across James Padolsey's Blog. James is a prolific blogger with a clear teaching style I …

April 27, 200918 comments

Next Week: Five Days, Five People, Five Questions Each

I've gotten to be interviewed a few times, but I've always wanted to be the interviewer myself. I've finally made that happen. Next week on CSS-Tricks I'm going to be posting interviews all week long. Here's the plan:

  • Monday: a
April 24, 200917 comments

So Much Power, So Few Options

David Berlow commenting on font rendering abilities in the browser:

...it’s not treated beyond a fourth-grader’s crayoning abilities; no shadows, in-lines, outlines, fill variety, twisting, perspective, set on a bouncing line, or opaque over another object, much less in motion. …

April 21, 200912 comments

What is Vertical Align?

CSS has a property called vertical align. It can be a bit confusing when you first learn about it, so I thought we could go through it's use a little bit. The basic usage is like this:

img {
April 20, 200968 comments

px – em – % – pt – keyword

When it comes to setting the size of type in CSS, you have lots of options. You can apply a "keyword", like p { font-size: small; } or a numerical value. When using a value, you need to declare a …

April 16, 2009114 comments

Looking for a Publisher

Hey everybody, I have some news. I've alluded to it a few times in the past, but now I'm officially saying it: I'm writing a book. I am not going to share too much detail about it now, but here …

April 15, 200958 comments

CSS is like…

I mused on Twitter recently:

CSS is like chess. You can learn the basics in a day and spend a lifetime mastering it.

I quickly thought it would be fun to collect other people's ideas on what CSS is like. …

April 10, 200997 comments

Exercise to Get Better at Web Design

Getting better at anything takes considerable time and effort. Feel like you are in a rut with progressing your web design skill? Try this:

  1. Find a web site you really love the design of. Maybe browse a design gallery.
April 8, 200966 comments

Navigation Markup After Content

I am not an SEO expert. I said not long ago that I believe it's mostly just a matter of common sense. However, I do find the subject interesting. Being the #1 result for a search term is a …

April 7, 200983 comments

Auto-Moving Parallax Background

A while back I did a little demo on parallax backgrounds. As a quick review, parallax is that effect where there are different layers of backgrounds that all move at a different rate creating a very unique 3D effect (think …

April 6, 200942 comments

Need Something Changed On Your Website? Treat Me Like a Six-Year-Old (Really)

I used to work in pre-press before I got into web design. I worked at three different somewhat large printing shops. Pre-press is the department that is in between clients (designers) files and actually getting those files to press. It …

April 2, 200966 comments

Filtering Blocks

One of our eCommerce clients at work had a number of products they wanted to put on special to promote on the web. Each product has a different "reason" why it's on special. Perhaps it's discontinued, perhaps its special pricing, …

April 1, 200923 comments

AMSU: Three Tiers of Premium + iPhone App v2.0

We've been chugging along over at Are My Sites Up keeping things running smoothly and working on new features for ya'll. First and foremost, we were closed for new registrations for a while there while we worked out some growth …

March 31, 200912 comments

Highlight Certain Number of Characters

I had a unique programming challenge the other day that I thought I'd share here. It's rather specific and probably won't be of huge general use, but hey, it might be interesting.

The idea was to have 160 characters become …

March 30, 200927 comments

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