Web Design Sites I Cannot Live Without
On a personal note, I'm catching up on comments on some of my older posts and haven't read my flist in a depressingly long time. I miss you all ... I should hopefully be around more soon, once I get the Wild Monster that is the SWG site more at a reasonable status quo.
Email Encoder. This one performs such a simple function ... despite this (or perhaps thanks to this), I use it all of the time. And it's not only useful for designers but for anyone who shares their email in HTML and doesn't like the idea of being crawled over by spambots.
The concept is simple: You type in your address, the link you'd like to appear, and select "Employ Anti-Spam Encoding," and your email address is encoded into a string of "senseless" characters. It makes it more difficult (though not impossible, note) for your email to be harvested by spambots.
Well, case in point, as the grand poobah of SWG, my email is everywhere, and whenever I can use HTML, I encode my address. And I get maybe one spam message each month. And I can't believe that Comcast's spam filter is that good. (If it is, then it's the only one of their services with that level of quality!)
Here's my email encoded: DawnFelagund@comcast.net
Looks normal, doesn't it?
Here's what the code looks like, though:
It's very handy. Bookmark this one, even if you sometimes share your email address on LiveJournal. Thanks to ssotknapsack for turning me on to this one!
PHP Include. Thanks again to ssotknapsack, now that I know this possibility exists, I don't know how I survived without it.
Have you ever wanted to change something on your header or menu, something that appears on every one of your pages? And so you have to change it on every one of your pages? How annoying is that? It can take a half-hour of copying, pasting, uploading ... and then fixing the inevitable mistakes when you paste too much or not quite enough. As I said, very annoying.
With the PHP include, which is a tiny bit of code that you include on your pages, you change these items in one place and one place only. So if I want to add a NEWS button to my sidebar menu, I change a single menu file, save it, upload it, and the change reflects on all of my pages. Or if I want to change to a holiday-themed SWG icon (theoretically), I change it on my header file, save it, upload it, and in two minutes (versus two hours), the change reflects on the entire site.
No, you don't have to know PHP. (I don't.) The only catch is that you have to save your pages as .php versus .html ... but the time saved makes the funny extension well worth the while. (And hey, .php looks cooler than .html anyway!) And when someone views your page source, they can't tell that you're using PHP includes; the HTML code shows up in full and looks completely normal.
So what are your favorite web design sites?
Speaking of web design, I am currently reading PHP and MySQL for Dummies because *cue dramatic music* next month, I am going to start getting the SWG archive underway. And I'd like to have half a clue how PHP and MySQL work; Lenine has offered to help me, but I'd like to avoid embarrassing myself by asking her questions addressed in Chapter One of a For Dummies book. Today, I got almost through MySQL; it seems familiar to some of the (basic) programming work I've done in the past and, of course, Microsoft Access, which uses SQL, I have since learned.