Why not Dreamweaver?

To Dreamweaver or not to Dreamweaver, that is the question

To Dreamweaver or not to Dreamweaver, that is the question

Having attended several conferences this past summer, I wanted to write a post to answer one of the questions I hear not only from students, but also from web development teachers as well. So often when I am giving a presentation on teaching web development, I get asked “Why shouldn’t we use Dreamweaver?”

It is a very legitimate question, especially as more and more schools are getting Creative Cloud licensing for their faculty and students. So, if all your students already have Dreamweaver installed and they are used to how Adobe lays out their workspace, why wouldn’t I recommend Dreamweaver as the best way to teach coding? Let’s start with the simplest and in my opinion most important answer:

I can’t name a single developer using Dreamweaver to code!

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Typography is not just pretty fonts

Web typography is not just pretty fonts

Web typography is not just pretty fonts

A student found passed this article along to me and I think it is a fantastic article dealing with typography on the web. For years web designers were stuck with minimal choices for fonts in order to ensure display compatibility for many end users. Then along came font squirrel and google fonts and now web designers can rejoice in the freedom of their non-web designer counterparts!

But this article hits on some really important points that should be considered by all designers including both print and web. We can’t just fall in love with a font and use it under any circumstances. Typography is an art and as such, thought and deep consideration should be involved when choosing the best font for a specific job.

Simply put, typography is the art and technique of arranging type. It encompasses every possible element that can affect web design, including choice of typeface, color palette, line length, point size, layout, and design integration.”

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Chrome DevTools for Mobile

This is a great article exploring the newer features of Chrome DevTools and how they interact with mobile development. The video is short and sweet and you can see how big of a jump these tools now are in debugging and testing mobile websites.

Developing for mobile should be just as easy as it is developing for desktop. We’ve been working hard in the Chrome DevTools to make things easier for you and it’s time to unveil some new features that should dramatically improve your mobile web development. First up, remote debugging and then we’ll unveil proper mobile emulation.
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Absolute vs relative positioning

The question always comes up at some point: which positioning should I use to get the site to look the way I want it to. Would absolute vs relative positioning create the layout and effect I am aiming for? I think this article and demo are really a clear and to the point. What do you think?

5 Different Position Values

Let’s get some complexity out of the way up front. In reality, there are a whopping five different possible values for the position property. We’ll largely skip over inherit because it’s pretty self explanatory (simply inherits the value of its parent) and isn’t really supported well in older versions of IE.

The default position value for any element on the page is static. Any element with a staticpositioning context will simply fall where you expect it to in the flow of the document. This of course entirely depends on the structure of your HTML. Continue…

Is WordPress the best CMS for your business?

The infographic provides a summary of the fundamentals of content management systems, the industries in which they are used and the various types of Content Management Systems available. It provides details of the date of initial release, the platform used, the latest version, the number of themes available, average setup and customization cost, average monthly maintenance cost, the number of websites using the CMS, the popular websites that use the platform and the top industries using them.

Infographic: The Most Popular CMS for Your Business Needs

Infographic: The Most Popular CMS for Your Business Needs

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How best to add code to your functions.php file

How many times have you seen a WordPress tutorial where you’re instructed to add a snippet of code to your functions.php file in order to add new functionality to your site? I’m sure we’re guilty of a few. The best practice is to create your own functionality plugin, instead of loading up your functions.php file with a ton of code.

One of the most important reasons for not doing this is to help you during upgrades and troubleshooting. If your site’s functions are broken up into a separate plugin, it will be easier to turn it on or off while trying to track down a problem or incompatibility. It’s much more difficult if all of those functions are loaded via your theme’s functions.php. Continue…

What questions are you asking when you work on code?

Do the questions you ask when working with code decode your level of expertise?

As a beginner in any specific web tech, your first concern when working with any code is “what is this and how does it work?” As you level up, those concerns change. You may still learn about about how it works as you dive deeper, but other concerns will emerge the more you know, the more you use it, and the more work of others you are exposed to.

CSS

Beginner

  • How do I make stuff look how I want?

Intermediate

  • How can I keep this under control?
  • Can/should I use frameworks/libraries?
  • How do I deal with cross-browser problems?
  • Should I be using a preprocessor?

Expert

  • How can I write less of this?
  • Can/should I create frameworks/libraries?
  • Is testing possible?
  • How can I improve the tooling? Continue…