• The Next Big Thing in CSS

    Contributed by: John Barreiros

    Ah, WebKit, you've done it again.

    Last couple of weeks, you may have come across a post or two discussing downloadable fonts. This came about after Apple WebKit announced support for the CSS @font-face rules.

  • Optimal Screen Resolution

    AKA why I'm still close to 800 by 600

    Why is it that with today's monitors we are still making sites at or near 800 by 600? It seems that with a 20 inch Mac I should be making sites that actually fill my screen.

    Well the problem isn't a lack of screen resolution. According to some recent figures, a big majority of users have monitors that are set well above 800 by 600 (60% a year ago according to Jacob Nielsen). The problem is the fact that now that we have all of this real estate, we don't maximize our windows anymore.

  • Security Through Obscurity

    Anyone who has ever had to work on an E-commerce site knows that these projects can quickly become extremely complicated.

    The main reason for this is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of details that need to be covered for a store to work well.

    Selecting what shopping cart to use can be a daunting task.

    At my day job we currently use Miva Merchant in order to implement the vast majority of our stores. Miva Merchant is used by a good number of people, but definitely could not be considered one of the most popular solutions.

  • Two Files to SEO Greatness

    Well maybe not greatness, but there are two files you can add to the root of your web directory that will greatly improve how Google, and the other search engines you may remember from 1999, index your site.

    Sitemap.xml is the first file you'll learn to love. Search engines have finally gotten together and created a common format that lets you determine the relative importance of your individual pieces of content. This is done through a simple XML file, with each entry providing a link, a date modified, and a priority. This information gives Google's robots a "cheat sheet" to understanding the structure of your site. This is especially helpful if you've been ignoring web standards.

    Robots.txt is the second step to SEO greatness. It can be though of as the opposite of sitemap.xml, instead of telling the search engine where to go, robots.txt tells it where not to go. This benefits everyone involved. You avoid the duplicate content penalty, increase your site's security, and Google doesn't waste its resources on content you don't want them to see.

    These two files may not greatly improve your ranking tomorrow, but they definitely won't hurt it either. With the automated tools, and examples available on the web, there's no reason not to have them. Setting aside the SEO benefits, these files will make it easier for your users to find the content they need.

  • CSS Form Styling

    Something I’ve noticed coming up a lot lately with new designs is the desire to change the look and feel of forms on a site.

    For those of you who don’t spend your days knee deep in HTML, form controls are the fields you type in, the drop down lists, and the buttons that you find on almost any site.

    There are a few different issues when it comes to controlling the way these look.