Skip to main content

Chris Coyier

Founder, writer, designer, spam-deleter, email personality

Article

Should you use a template?

I absolutely think that beginner web designers should use templates. And by templates, I mean something that you might buy off ThemeForest or other template selling service. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tweaking = learning. Templates need to be changed/altered/tweaked. That’s the whole idea of a template. When a beginner designer does those things, they are learning how code works. Tweaking WordPress themes is exactly how I got into web design.
  • Quality. When the site is “done”, a beginner
Read article “Should you use a template?”
Video

#87: Moving Up with MAMP

Working locally with MAMP is awesome, but what about when you need to take that site live? Last time we got a version of WordPress installed locally, now we’ll take that local version and move it to a real live site. This entails moving files as well as moving the database, and changing a couple of values in that database.

Links from Video:

Read article “#87: Moving Up with MAMP”
Article

Photography and CSS

It sure seems like a heck of a lot of web designers are also photographers, doesn’t it? And by “photographer”, I mean they own a DSLR and heavily consider aesthetics when taking a picture. Why the overlap of interests? Well clearly web design often incorporates photographs. Maybe we like to have the equipment we need to take decent pictures for websites and it grows from there. Maybe it’s because photography is a lot like design. You have a canvas of … Read article “Photography and CSS”

Snippet

Basics of Google Font API

Link to CSS files

You essentially hotlink directly to CSS files on Google.com. Through URL parameters, you specificity which fonts you want, and what variations of those fonts.

<head>
  
   ...

   <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Tangerine:bold,bolditalic|Inconsolata:italic|Droid+Sans">
</head>
Idea: You can avoid an extra network request by opening that stylesheet and copy-and-pasting the @font-face stuff into your main stylesheet. But beware: Google does some User Agent sniffing stuff to sometimes serve different things to different devices as needed. You won’t benefit from that… Read article “Basics of Google Font API”
Article

Yay for HSLa

Huge sogging longbottoms? High strength low alloy steel? NOPE, we’re talking Hue Saturation Lightness (and alpha) and it’s a way of declaring color in CSS. It looks like this:

#some-element {
  background-color: hsla(170, 50%, 45%, 1);
}

It is similar to RGBa in that you declare three values determining the color and then a fourth value for its transparency level. You can read more about browser support below, but it’s basically any browser that supports rgba supports hsla too.… Read article “Yay for HSLa”

Snippet

Intervals

Standard

You don’t need to create the variable, but it’s a good practice as you can use that variable with clearInterval to stop the currently running interval.

var int = setInterval("doSomething()", 5000 ); /* 5 seconds */
var int = setInterval(doSomething, 5000 ); /* same thing, no quotes, no parens */

If you need to pass parameters to the doSomething function, you can pass them as additional parameters beyond the first two to setInterval.

Without overlapping

setInterval, as above, will … Read article “Intervals”

Article

To Wufoo

When I decided to leave my last job, I decided I was going to leave at the beginning of the Summer. I was going to bum around the Summer not doing much, maybe even extend that for a whole year. It sounded pretty appealing. There was very little that could have strayed me from my awesome plan. I even got to turn down some pretty swell job offers.

Then one thing came along that turned that whole idea around. Something … Read article “To Wufoo”

Snippet

Font Stacks

/* Times New Roman-based stack */
font-family: Cambria, "Hoefler Text", Utopia, "Liberation Serif", "Nimbus Roman No9 L Regular", Times, "Times New Roman", serif;

/* Modern Georgia-based serif stack */
font-family: Constantia, "Lucida Bright", Lucidabright, "Lucida Serif", Lucida, "DejaVu Serif", "Bitstream Vera Serif", "Liberation Serif", Georgia, serif;

/* Traditional Garamond-based serif stack */
font-family: "Palatino Linotype", Palatino, Palladio, "URW Palladio L", "Book Antiqua", Baskerville, "Bookman Old Style", "Bitstream Charter", "Nimbus Roman No9 L", Garamond, "Apple Garamond", "ITC Garamond Narrow", "New Century 
Read article “Font Stacks”
Snippet

PHP Error Logging

Log errors to a file, and prevent showing them to the user. Make sure that the file exists and youre able to write to it.

# display no errs to user
php_flag display_startup_errors off
php_flag display_errors off
php_flag html_errors off
# log to file
php_flag log_errors on
php_value error_log /location/to/php_error.log
Read article “PHP Error Logging”
Snippet

Shuffle Array

Technique #1
function Shuffle(o) {
	for(var j, x, i = o.length; i; j = parseInt(Math.random() * i), x = o[--i], o[i] = o[j], o[j] = x);
	return o;
};

Usage

var testArray = [1,2,3,4,5];
Shuffle(testArray);

// jQuery to dump out new values to element with ID of 'dump'
$(function() {
   for (var i=0;i<testArray.length;i++) {
      $("#dump").append(testArray[i]);
   }
});
Technique #2
yourArray.sort(function() { return 0.5 - Math.random() });
Read article “Shuffle Array”