How Far Can You Push CSS3 Gradients?


I’m a passionate, and I think rational proponent of relying on CSS3 whenever you need gradients. Let’s break that into two issues: CSS3 for when you do need gradients, and the role of gradients in contemporary Web design… The Fading of Gradients Correct me if I’m wrong, students of design trends, but gradients are fading… in their role in Web design. Like many features, there was a phase designers went through of using them, because you can. But in the overall battle against chaos and cacophony, they’ve faded (OK, I’ve used that one too many times) in import. As one of my designer friends constantly reminds me, when you’re designing an art gallery, you want the artwork, not the gallery, to be the…

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Secret Hack (but legit): Take my lynda.com course on creating forms (and thousands of others) free!


My lynda.com course on creating forms is a unique resource. For over two hours, in dozens of videos, I walk you through every dimension of building forms that are inviting, accessible, and productive in any envornment. Take the course for free.

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Breaking into professional Web design: Internships


It’s my experience that when it comes to breaking in to the world of professional Web design, there’s nothing more valuable than a quality internship. But what is a quality internship? What should you look for? And… how do you get one?

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What’s the Easiest Way to Manage Form Data?


In my books, courses, online classes, blogging… etc etc etc, I focus on promoting the need for, and techniques for creating inviting, accessible forms that work great in every environment. But once you have the form, then what do you do with the data you collect? Ah, yes, that is the essential question. Let’s work from simple to complex: If you’re just collecting input from a few people, a mailto form action might do the trick. Downsides: Mailto form actions expose your own email address; some users – especially users with the Microsoft Windows operating system* – might have issues launching their email client (Outlook) which is required to send form data created with a mailto: action. If your needs are…

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Image Mapping


Question from a reader: I am currently reading your excellently written book Building Websites All-in-One for Dummies and I wanted to ask whether it is possible to create map areas purely from code? How exactly is this done, without resorting to the map areas tool on Dreamweaver? Thanks for the nice words on the book. There are free tools for generating image maps that don’t require Dreamweaver. Here are a few, not in any particular order Free Online Image Map Generator Easy Imagemap Generator Online Image Map Editor Image Map Creator

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Do you REALLY have to close list tags?


I’m always on the lookout for shortcuts. Thus, If I have a long list, I’ll skip the closing </li> tag until I get to my last list item. But is that really OK? I was taken aback by the heat this issue generates online, although I guess I should expect heat just about anywhere online in today’s Web culture. A sampling response to a post on social media that a student’s professor (coulda been me) said closing </li> tags are optional: Your professor should be fired. <li> is not a self-closing tag and needs a separate closing it’s optional in most cases. The professor is correct. Optional or not, a closing </li> tag should never be considered ‘optional’ if you…

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What’s More Valuable? 10 Humans Who Sign Up At Your Site … or 10,000 Fake Followers?


I’m provoked by a major piece in yesterday’s New York Times to pose a question. The story is “The Follower Factory” and it  exposes how widely fake followers — sometimes in the tens of hundreds of thousands – are purchased to lend credibility to politicians (of all stripes), gurus, entertainers and others. The question is: What’s More Valuable? 10 Humans Who Sign Up At Your Site … or 10,000 Fake Followers? I’ve been an advocate of the value of actual signup forms at your site, where real people can make a conscious decision to hear from you. To get advice, special offers, information and opinion. If you’re getting this rant by email, you did that at my site. Let’s get concrete: You can purchase access…

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Free Hosting Options & Alternatives


I’ve been encouraging students to use 000webhost.com for free hosting because it is full featured, including support for PHP back-end scripts and WordPress. But the quality of the hosting server has declined rapidly and overtly over the past months. 000webhost now puts sites to “sleep” for hours each day, and even when the sites are “awake” connection time is maddening. So… here are some alternatives I’ve begun to check out for the budget-conscious of us (as in free) sites:

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How to obtain a 000webhost site and upload files


The interface, and in particular the file management tools at 000webhost are in a generalized state of flux. Here’s are step-by-step instructions to navigate creating a site, and uploading content to it.

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Generating and Applying a Theme for jQuery Mobile


THEMEROLLER UPDATE: At this moment, the option for using Adobe Kuler to generate color schemes is not operative. Stay tuned. If I learn anything about the status of this feature, I’ll post an update here.

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