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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Web Design Sites I Cannot Live Without

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Web Design Sites I Cannot Live Without

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Since I've been knee-deep in web design projects for more than a month now, I've discovered that there are certain resources that make my life much, much easier. They're too good not to share, so all you other design geeks out there can enjoy them as well. And if you have any favorites that you'd like to share ... I'm all ears. :)

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:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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.

DynamicDrive DHTML. From aranel_took, this site has tons of DHTML and JavaScript codes to make your webpages do cool dynamic and interactive things. I haven't used it too much yet aside from looking at all the possibilities and drooling, but it looks like it addresses a lot of common needs for a person who doesn't necessarily "speak" DHTML. (Like me ... again. But I'm slowly learning!) Or just to flip through the pages and think, "OMG. I would be so cool to do that here and that there and ..." Yes, it can be dangerous in that regard!

HTML Goodies Very comprehensive and down-to-earth. This is one of the sites that I visit first when I have a stupid question that I need answered. It starts with the most basic of basic HTML and addresses up to more advanced topics like PHP, JavaScript, Perl ... pretty much everything. There's a forum for asking questions and primers on nearly every topic imaginable. This is one to keep bookmarked if you find yourself working on your website in a place without your books ... like at work. *evil grin* It's comprehensive and down-to-earth; great for beginners and more experienced designers alike.

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.
  • I haven't gotten too deep into web design, but I've been going back to Web Monkey for years. (When I was first getting into HTML, it really helped me learn the simply tags, and nowadays, I still use it for color codes and codes for special characters, like Å or ♣

    And strangely enough, component_help is also a massive help for me--I use it for my own journal's layout primarily, but it's good for practice with HTML tricks and programming. But there it helps to have a Component layout to practice on. ;)

    *bookmarks some of these pages you've linked to* :D
  • Thanks for the bookmarks, I should go look at them, which I intend to do once I have time ambition.

    Basic SQL is easy, I learned it looking over my co-worker's shoulder; you'll pick it up in no time.
  • I love that Dynamic Drive site. Drop-down-menus! Random content! So much love! (And so many things where Aranel said she would kill me if I even thought about putting them on my sites. *sigh* ... but it blinks, mommy. And it moves! And it's CUTE!).

    For my WordPress blog I love all sites that have WordPress plugins (for example, my awesome "Now Reading" plugin or the Irrepresible Fragment): Plugins Galore!
    The bad thing: you can spend days on looking at plugins, downloading them and installing them. LOL!

    I also love design sites for looking at templates. My favourite I got from Aranel: Zen Garden

    For more practical matters I tend to use the w3school guides and a German site called "selfhtml".
  • 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.

    Ooooh! So much has happened in our lives over the past week, I hope you get around to it soon! I'm curious to see what you think about everything.

    Teaser: Alex now has a cousin. :-D

    I've probably asked you this before, but I always thought the Spam Encoder wouldn't work if your "Click here" text was your email address. Or do they encode that too? I'll have to check. Strangely when I view the source code, it all looks normal. But hey, I just know that it works! :-P
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