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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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, …

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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 …

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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
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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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.net magazine

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

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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

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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! …

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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

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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 …

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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. …

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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 {
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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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.
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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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Design Refresh

It was time for another design refresh! The best part about this one, for me, was that all the work I did last time made this one very easy to do.

As usual, it's not extremely drastic. Evolutionary, not revolutionary. …

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Building a Simple Quiz

I had to build a quiz for a client a little while ago. A few multiple choice questions, submit button, and it grades the quiz and tells you how you did. It's kinda dorky and really really simple PHP, but …

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Layout Packs

I thought I would take a crack at a couple of common multi-column fluid-width layout styles that are notoriously quirky with CSS.

One way to accomplish a multi-column fluid layout is to set the columns with percentages. For example, floating …

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Q&A v4…

...is now up on Smashing Magazine. I answer questions about equidistant spacing on elements, CSS image/font replacement, "max sides" on images, and a bunch of "quickfire questions".…

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IE Fix: Bicubic Scaling for Images

Devthought had a little CSS tip the other day that is definitely worth repeating. It's not new, it's just an important little trick to know.

And here it is:

img { -ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic; }

If you use width or …

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Unique Pages, Unique CSS Files

I received a question the other day from someone who was curious how I handle multiple different page styles and layouts across one site with CSS. It's a very common scenario I think. For example, you have a homepage that …