Web Design Blog

Why Designers Hate Internet Explorer 6

Ask any designer if their work is supported in IE6 and you'll probably see them shudder. IE6 was right up there with Windows ME where Microsoft flops are concerned and, unfortunately, it's still in use on some computers today. Where professional web design is concerned, not supporting IE6 is generally considered acceptable due to the many bugs this browsers proved to have.

The Best Sources of Information for CSS Designers

CSS designers have to make sure they do things up to web authoring standards and doing so sometimes requires a visit to a reference site. Here are some that you can take a look at when you want to verify something, validate code or just get some ideas.

W3C

W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, is the place to go when you need authoritative answers. This is the site from which all other sites really draw their information and there are numerous resources here that you can use to answer your questions about designing for the web.

http://www.w3.org/

The Best Free Social Media Icons

Social media icons are needed to make sure that a site is getting shared as much as it should. There are plenty of different icon sets out there. Here are a few of the best of them.

Web 2 Badges

This set offers a circular design that is attractive and eye-catching. The advantage is that these icons are easily recognized, so you don't have to worry about anyone not knowing what they are.

http://www.iconfinder.net/search/?q=iconset%3Aweb2badges

Some New and Useful HTML5 Features

HTML5 has some great form features that designers will appreciated. They allow you to add both functionality and flair to your web pages.

Auto Focus

More and more, users are turning off JavaScript in an effort to enjoy safer surfing, and you really can't blame them. A lot of web forms, particularly search pages, use JavaScript to auto focus the user into the most important field on the site. In HTML5, you'll be able to handle this right through the markup, so you don't have to worry about JavaScript being disabled:

Rounded Borders and Cross-Browser Compatibility

Rounded borders are great design tools. They would be even greater if they were supported in the same way by all browsers but, unfortunately, they aren't. There are some hacks required to get browsers to display these features correctly. The CSS3 definition for rounded corners is border-radius, but you have to apply it in different ways to ensure compatibility.

Internet Explorer

IE requires that you use a meta tag for rounded border support. The format is:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Combatable" content="IE-edge/>

Free Website Template Resources

Here are some places where you can get good website templates. Depending upon what you're running your site off of, however, not all of them will be suitable.

HTML

If you just want an HTML template to work with, you can check out FreeWebsiteTempates.com. They're near the top of the search engine rankings for a reason.

Other sites include QuackIt.com, InstantShift.com and 2WebDesign.com.

There are pages upon pages of templates to choose from at these sites, but you'll have to work with the HTML Code to use them.

CSS Sprites

Sprites provide designers with a way to reduce the amount of server requests generated by a page. They involve taking several different images and combining them into one and then selectively displaying the various parts of that image instead of displaying each image separately.

Breaking Away from Boring Fonts with @Font-Face

One of the most tedious elements of web design has been the fact that, in a world where there are literally thousands of fonts to choose from designers have been restricted to around four. These four fonts—Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet and Courier—are used because most everyone's computer has them installed and, of course, that means that the page displays the way you want it to. The @font-face CSS3 addition allows a lot more flexibility in typography.

Basic SEO for HTML Coders

Search engine optimization (SEO) is usually something marketing people handle, but HTML coders play a role in it, too. To avoid having to redo code to meet SEO standards, keep the following in mind.

4 Great Firefox Extensions for CSS and Web Design

If you're designing sites and are a Firefox user, take a look at these extensions that can help you get the job done.

Firebug

Firebug is an extension that legs you monitor your code. You can debug your CSS, your HTML and your JavaScript on the fly, allowing you to get information about what's working great and what needs a bit of tweaking. The best thing about this extension is that you can do that tweaking right from the extension; it allows full editing capability and does a nice job of color coding your lines.