Fresh New Resources For Web Designers And Developers

As we move fully into April (and mid autumn) we thought it was time we looked at some of the fantastic resources that web designers and web developers have been tapping into over the first quarter of 2014. These resources are still very valid in this industry, so jump on board today!

  • Cerberus – With more people viewing emails on their smartphones, it is important to ensure that your email displays nicely and is readable. This resource is compatible with Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.

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  • Ratchet – This is a new mobile app framework that allows you to build an app using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It comes complete with a number of reusable components for building the interface.

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  • StackIcons – Whilst we can typically only assign a single colour to a font, this resource is sophisticated enough that every part within the icon is adjustable. And the icons come in multiple shapes!

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  • StickUp – This is actually a jQuery plugin that makes your elements stick to the top of the browser window. It means that, no matter how much you scroll down, the stuck element is still visible.

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  • Type Scale – This resource is the perfect tool for font scaling. You can set the base font size, font weight, font family, preview text and the scaling method – then get the results immediately.

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  • WP Job Manager – If your website has been built using WordPress, then you can build a job board! This resource adds a new menu to your Dashboard, allowing you to add new job listings and information.

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Whilst there are plenty more resources out there that web designers and web developers alike can take advantage of, we hope that you take a moment or two to check out some of the ones above for yourself. You might just find that they are exactly what you have been looking for.

I Use A Good Web Development Company, So How Was My Website Hacked?

If your website has been hacked in the past, you will know better than most how much work goes into fixing the chaos that the hacker managed to wreak before they were caught. The question that arises in many people’s minds, however, is that they have chosen a reputable web development company to build their site, so how on earth did it still manage to get hacked?

  • Your web host is vulnerable: More often than not, a number of websites that are all hosted by the same company will be hacked together. If this is the case, the problem lies with your web host, who is vulnerable; report hacked websites immediately.
  • Your computer (or your developer’s computer) has been compromised: This is a reflection of the vulnerability of the computer and not the site itself; malware can be used to steal passwords and infect uploaded files that in turn affect the website.
  • Your code is poorly written: If your web development company has not properly coded all aspects of your website (from its forms, dynamic pages and even its CMS), it is likely that security holes will result. Code should always be tested before being released.
  • Your content management system has security holes: If your CMS has not been kept secure, it’s likely that a hacker has found holes that they have been able to exploit. Whenever the developer releases a new version, make sure you update.

Unfortunately, no website is going to be completely hacker-proof, even if you have the most reputable web development company in the world working on your code. But by ensuring that known of the above issues has arisen, you can take active steps towards making it as difficult as possible for hackers to gain access to your private information.

How Smartphone-Optimised Websites Are Challenging Web Developers

With more and more people accessing the internet from the smartphones, web developers are finding themselves required more and more often to create websites that cater to these devices. This creates a number of problems for developers who are forced to change the way that they work and code to ensure that smaller screens are catered for.

But how can web developers overcome these challenges and ensure that they provide a mobile-friendly experience with all projects that they work on?

  • Customised CSS coding is a good way of adjusting the content of an existing website to fit onto a smaller screen.
  • Create stylesheets that hide elements that are unnecessary for mobile users; this reduces the clutter of a smaller screen.
  • If you would instead like to create a totally separate mobile website, use a Javascript redirect code to take visitors to the relevant URL for the device they are browsing on.
  • Use the <viewport> meta tag to enable users to flip the website from portrait to landscape viewing.
  • Download some of the tools on the market that enable developers to test how their websites are working in mobile and other small screens.

Even though the increase in the use of smartphone devices for internet browsing has created a number of challenges for web developers, there are a number of tools and techniques out there that enable these challenges to be easily overcome. With internet access via mobile devices expected to rise over the next few years, developers could use all the help they can get.

Is Stealing Necessary For Great Web Development?

There is a saying in the web development industry that goes something along the lines of: “Good developers copy. Great ones steal.” This suggests that a lot of people believe that there is nothing unique left to be created. Does this imply, then, that ‘stealing’ code is acceptable? Perhaps not, as you can see from the other two types of developer out there:Web Development Ideas

  • Web development copiers
    Often, the copiers are seen as being at the bottom of the development pyramid – they are the novices who haven’t yet come up with any of their own useful code yet. There is nothing wrong with doing this – it’s a great way to learn what different pieces of code does to the website as a whole, until you get to a point where you can do this without copying.
  • Web development stealers
    This generally occurs after a developer has copied another’s code and begun to understand how it works – they realize that coming up with something similar (on their own) is much harder then it looks. These people then begin to steal their code, carefully concealing their sources so that no one can trace their deception.
  • Web development strugglers
    These are the developers who try their hardest to avoid copying and stealing other’s work. They are aware of the fact that it is near impossible to create anything unique in this day and age, but they try to do so regardless. These people instead try to draw inspiration from other areas of life.

Seeing as there are 3 kinds of people in the web development industry, it does seem to suggest that stealing is not the only way to come up with great code and websites. It should be the strugglers, then, that are considered as the truly great developers, the copiers the good ones, and the stealers the bad ones.

Web Development And The Pseudo-Flash Site

As anyone working in the web development industry will be able to tell you, working with Flash is the bane of the internet user’s existence. Whilst Flash can make for highly attractive websites that users are instantly attracted to and want to engage in, they can wreak havoc with a site’s usability and search engine spider readability. So, what is a pseudo-Flash website and why is it so great for developers?

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Basically, a pseudo-Flash website is one that has the appearance, feel and characteristics of a Flash website but has instead been built using those friends of web development, HTML and CSS. There are 2 main reasons for this shift from the attractive world of Flash to the equally attractive world of pseudo-Flash:

  • Technicalities – it makes search engine optimization (SEO), content management systems (CMS) and device support much easier to achieve.
  • Language – web development in the languages of HTML and CSS is much easier to work with.

One of the great things for internet users is that, with pseudo-Flash sites on the rise, there are a number of Flash attributes that are becoming much harder for web developers to implement. One of these is background music – no longer will users have to search the page for the pause or mute button, as music will actually rarely feature on a site.

As with any web development trend, caution must be exercised when it comes time to approach a pseudo-Flash website. For example, ensure that you use self-control; just because your developer can do amazing things with page scrolling and animation doesn’t mean that they should. Instead, consider the audience and user-experience, and you will find your website works much better.