Back slash versus forward slash

I hear people using these wrong all the time. Here’s a mnemonic device to help keep them straight: think of “forward slash” and “back slash” in terms of them leaning in the direction you’re typing. You type to the right, so when you enter a “/” it’s leaning forward, toward the end of the line, and when you enter a “\” it’s leaning backward, back toward the beginning of the line. Easy! So, urls use…Continue Reading →

The label tag for form elements

A huge dev-related pet peeve of mine is when you’re filling out a form on a website and the radio buttons and checkboxes do not have the <label> tag implemented, so you can’t click on the text next to the radio buttons/checkboxes to select them. The label tag is simple and pretty much effortless to implement. I’m surprised how many web developers I’ve talked to don’t know about it, and I’m even more surprised at…Continue Reading →

Why I’m moving my WordPress sites to GoDaddy after seven years with DreamHost

I was a huge proponent of DreamHost for years; I’ve used them for at least a dozen websites and I’ve recommended them to countless clients. They’re cheap, their site’s easy to use, and I’ve experienced little or no downtime on any of the sites I’ve hosted with them over the last seven years. However, in the last couple years I’ve noticed that my WordPress sites that are hosted with DreamHost (I have about five) are…Continue Reading →

Using Vimeo for video on websites

Since web developers have been working to make websites device-compatible in the last few years, we’ve run into a lot of challenges with regards to hosting videos on our sites. Years ago, before the iPhone changed everything, the best way to get a video onto a website was to format the video as an .flv (Flash video) file and build a custom Flash video player (in .swf format). 99% of users had the Flash plugin…Continue Reading →

Responsive website semantics: let’s avoid discussing multiple “versions” of a site

Let’s be careful when discussing responsive websites to never describe them as having multiple versions. Let’s always talk about the desktop layout or the desktop view, the mobile layout or the mobile view, but never the desktop version or the mobile version. A responsive site is one site that has multiple views, or variable layouts, depending on screen size. I’m a stickler for this kind of semantics, because it’s extremely important that we use the…Continue Reading →


I was asked recently, what do you call that little icon that some websites have in the browser tab or bookmark? Can we make those for our sites? It’s called a favicon, and it’s pretty easy to make and implement. The hardest part is probably figuring out how to make something look good at just 16×16 pixels. Look up at your browser tab right now to see a very handsome example. Once the favicon is…Continue Reading →

Website design: out with 980 pixels wide, in with 1000

For a good ten years now I (and many others) have been advocating for 960 or 980 pixels wide as the standard for website design. I’m upgrading that to 1000 pixels as of now. The reason for this is responsive design, which I’ll get into more below… But first let’s go back to the 980 days. The reason for designing at 980 pixels wide was to create a layout that would safely fit within a…Continue Reading →

A responsive site or a separate mobile site?

One of the most common things people have been asking me about lately is responsive design for websites. For a few recent projects at my agency we’ve discussed the pros and cons of creating a responsive website versus creating a separate mobile site for smartphones and small tablets. In the vast majority of cases I advocate for responsive design, and I’ll explain why below. Let’s start with definitions A mobile site is just that —…Continue Reading →