This is a guest post by Jan Rajtoral (AKA Gonzo the Great), founder of gonzodesign, a Dutch design studio specialized in graphic and (responsive) web design. He also writes for the gonzoblog.nl, where above anything else, his passion for writing, technology, communication and design drives him to contribute.
- § -
In this article we’re going to take a look what has been published this last month on the Blogosphere. We hand-picked a selection with the best Resources, Tutorials, Scripts/Snippet and WordPress related Articles for you. All these design-related links have been mentioned on Twitter in the last month, and collected in this single article. So, I hope you’ll enjoy this roundup cause we think that having resources and staying up-to-date is important in your personal growth and development.
HTML, CSS, PhP, Coding & Resources
Common Sass Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them - In the meantime, I’d like to share some common Sass pitfalls I’ve run into in recent weeks that can be easily avoided.
A Look Into: Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Animation - This time we are going to work with SVG Animation. Don’t be scared though, SVG Animation is relatively easy and actually in this post we will start from the basics.
box-shadow vs filter: drop-shadow - The big advantage of the drop-shadow filter is that it acknowledges the outline and transparency of an element. Or you wanted a box-shadow to take transparent parts of a .png into account?
What the Heck Is CSS Specificity? - Ultimately, you can only avoid it for so long. Specificity is an essential concept that you need to grasp to be an effective developer. Today I’ll walk you through the concepts of specificity in a simple and easy to understand manner.
Gradient In CSS3: Circular And Elliptical - Today we are going to continue our discussion on CSS3 Gradients. This time we will cover their relative, Circular and Elliptical Gradients.
9 Valuable CSS Tricks for Responsive Design - Let us take a look at few of the most useful, valuable and simple CSS rules playing an important role in responsive designing.
The Semantic, Responsive Navicon - The majority of responsive websites that use an icon to represent a hidden menu opt for the three horizontal stripes. Its vagueness in shape doesn’t detract from its message as the icon is becoming an emerging standard.
Lessons Learned From A Responsive Design - I didn’t work with an ideal process and I’m not 100% happy with how things turned out. However, I learned quite a bit and now have some guidelines to follow for future projects.
Setup to Build Responsive Websites - You cannot have a responsive site without a responsive design. I recommend taking a “mobile first” approach because it forces you to focus on the most critical elements in your app.
10 Useful Techniques and Tutorials for PHP Programmers - This is also one of the very first scripting languages of the server side which was used to be embedded in a document of HTML source. It thus became the most popular ..
8 Highly Useful APIs for Your Websites - Some of these API’s also help in finding the local street addresses and also names of various places. One of these API services named as the Amazon A3 storage makes it possible to store files on the internet.
Stop designing for fixed viewports! - When two columns become unreasonably small and the content becomes too cramped, the design breaks and you know there should be a media query there to fix it. Don’t let device dimensions dictate the flow of the design.
25 web development tips to boost your skills - Overflowing like an inadequately specified buffer, a googolplex of know-how has been filtered to bring you 25 fine features, tricks and tips. There are open source services that developers ..
Creating SVG vector graphics for maximum browser compatibility - This article describes how to design vector graphics and maximize SVG features while retaining browser compatibility. It is a resolution independent format for graphics on the web.
Styling Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) With CSS - Today we are going to continue our discussion on Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG), and as we have pointed out in our previous post, one of the advantages of using SVG is that it can be styled with CSS.
How To Convert Old CSS To LESS - some new tools and apps that essentially aim to makea web designer’s or developer’s life easier, such as this tool: CSS2Less. This tool allows us to convert regular CSS into LESS.
SVG CSS Injection—A Different Approach Towards SVG Rendering - Retina displays are going to drastically change how we design for the web. Vector imagery, most notably SVG, will become a significant tool to display resolution-independent imagery at a reasonable bandwidth footprint.
SVG Fallback, Vertical Rhythm, CSS Project Structure - Welcome to more Smashing Magazine CSS Q&A. Your question could be about a very specific problem you’re having, or it could even be a question about a philosophical approach.
Creating a True Cross-Browser Drop Shadow Effect With CSS3 & SVG - The syntax is very straightforward: the values for the filter represent, in order, horizontal offset, vertical offset, blur and the color of the shadow.
LESS CSS – Beginner’s Guide - To solve the problem, a CSS pre-preprocessor is created to allow us to compose styles in a more dynamic way. There are a few solutions, but the one that we are going to cover this time is LESS.
A simple guide to responsive typography - There are two main principles to creating effective responsive typography. The first is resizable type. The second is optimized line lengths, which maintain readability.
Debugging CSS Media Queries - In responsive design we’re working with different states, widths, and viewport sizes. Fluidity and adaptive behavior is a hot subject nowadays, and it’s perfectly justified when looking at today’s mobile browser landscape.
RWD – Mastering Best Practices: Round-Up of Recent Results - Responsive web design (RWD) has clearly indicated that time of the one-dimensional Web is over once and for all and all variations of the modern Web are of equal worth for web designers and developers.
Beginners guide to HTML5 Canvas - The HTML5 Canvas element is arguably the most important addition to the next-gen specification, providing an array of possibilities for bringing graphical capabilities natively into the browser
Working With Text In Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) - In this post, as the title said, we will look into creating Text with SVG. There are a lot of things we can do with text beyond what plain HTML text is capable of doing.
Standard Conventions, Innovative Experiences - Pushing the boundaries in experience design often requires the use of standard conventions to ensure the experience is usable, familiar, and understandable.
Adaptive and Fluid Approach in Responsive Web Design - Each approach has its own positives that make it an ideal choice, and negatives that may make you second guess using it.No one approach is ever perfect for everything.
A Look Into: Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) - SVG is still considerably underused, whereas there are a lot of advantages in using Vector rather than Bitmap to serve graphic or image on a website.
That Nasty Responsive Image Problem- One of those issues is bandwidth. Loading a full-sized image that is shrunk down for smaller sites will always yield an image of acceptable quality, but on smaller devices with less bandwidth ..
Easy Fixes to Common Accessibility Problems - Making a site or application accessible can seem so overwhelming that it can completely stall efforts before they begin. So, in the spirit of small things that make a big difference, here’s a list of fixes for common accessibility problems.
Responsive Web Design Tips- Responsive Web Design has many benefits that are spreading its use over the online world very quickly. Some of the benefits of Responsive Web Design are as follows
Ditch Traditional Wireframes - While this article is not about getting rid of the wireframing process itself, now is a good time for questioning and improving some of the materials and deliverables that have become de facto standards in the UX field.
UX design for start-ups:get to know your users - User experience design is deeply human centric – it dies without a decent amount of interaction between human beings. Let’s befriend our users!
Create a Cool Website with Fancy Scrolling Effects - In this tutorial we’ll use a couple of readily available jQuery plugins to quickly put together a cool little single page website of our own, complete with fancy scrolling effects.
Windy: A Plugin for Swift Content Navigation - Windy is a jQuery plugin that allows a rapid navigation through a pile of items using some CSS 3D transforms and transitions. The effect of a continuous navigation flow reminds of a ..
How to Create Full-page Animations Using CSS - Our target is to achieve a seamless browsing experience in which content smoothly appears into view when the user visits a page and transitions away when he clicks on a link or performs a relevant action.
Responsive Pricing Tables Using :target for Small Screens- We’re going to make a fluid pricing table, then alter the way it’s displayed at different viewport sizes using media queries
PFold: Paper-Like Unfolding Effect - A highly experimental jQuery plugin that let’s you unfold elements to reveal more content just like on a piece of paper. Unfolding directions and number of steps can be specified
jQuery Autocomplete Dropdown - Here we’re going to be building a predictive/autofill drop down box that will let your users see suggestions based on what they’re typing.
6 Cool Image Captions With CSS3 - This caption will be much dependent on transform and transition properties which are relatively new features, so, it would be wise to take note of the browser support needed to run the caption smoothly.
A Simple Parallax Scrolling Technique - Parallax scrolling is an interesting technique, where, as you scroll, the background images translate slower than the content in the foreground, creating the illusion of 3D depth
Colorful CSS3 Animated Navigation Men - In this short tutorial, we will be creating a colorful dropdown menu using only CSS3 and the Font Awesome icon font. An icon font is, as the name implies, a font which maps characters to icons instead of letters.
CSS3 tucked corners - While thinking about it, one of my first thoughts was to try finding an alternative solution which can allow you use a pattern as a background for the containing block.
Tools (web applications, bookmarklets, frameworks etc.)
Deployd - A platform that makes building complex backends simple. Build APIs for web and mobile apps in minutes instead of days. Unlike working with a traditional backend, there’s no boilerplate, or configuration.
httool - This is a small tool to help you with generating your .htaccess file. It’s a collection of tips, tricks and techniques used in .htaccess files to provide functionality or boost performance.
Tampon - An open-source Buffer app clone. It has been built as a Backbone.js application that communicates with a MongoDB datastore through a REST API written in PHP.
Harvest - A simple, clean user interface that’s a joy to use. No fuss one-click timer. Track multiple projects and clients at once. Track time from home, the office, or on the go. Access Harvest on the web, your desktop, or mobile phone.
browserver ~ I’ve got some good news for you: your web browser has just been upgraded to a web server. It’s responding to HTTP requests on the Internet as you read this.
Brunch - An assembler for HTML5 applications. It‘s agnostic to frameworks, libraries, programming, stylesheet & templating languages and backend technology. It is a lightweight approach to building HTML5 applications.
Solidify - Creating clickable prototypes from sketches, wireframe, or mockup. Validate user flows on any device by performing user tests in person, remotely, or on your testers own time to get the feedback you need.
Specificity Calculator - A visual way to understand CSS specificity. Change the selectors or paste in your own. Specificity Calculator isn’t a CSS validator. If you enter invalid selectors it will return incorrect results
A tool to disavow links - Today we’re introducing a tool that enables you to disavow links to your site. If you’ve been notified of a manual spam action based on “unnatural links” pointing to your site, this tool can help you address the issue.
Compass API Browser - Welcome to Compass/Blueprint API browser. It’s generated from original API reference, but has some additional features like fast AJAX-loading and search.
SimplyTestable - Automated front-end web testing. Save time and take the pain out of routine front-end web testing. One-click testing of your entire site.
Grid displayer - In-browser web design made easier with this bookmarklet which displays the grid of your favourite front-end framework for Twitter Bootstrap and Foundation
Viewport resizer - Viewport resizer is a browser-based tool to test any website’s responsiveness. Just save the bookmarklet, go to the page you want to test, click on your created bookmarklet and check all kinds of screen resolutions of the page.
One% CSS Grid - A percentage based 12 column fluid CSS grid system. It’s been designed as a base for building responsive web layouts easily, quickly and with minimum effort.
Selfstarter - An open source starting point for building your own ad-hoc crowdfunding site. It was put together by Lockitron after they were turned down from Kickstarter.
Simple Grid - A basic 12 column (1140px) lightweight responsive grid, not a CSS framework (there are no styles for buttons, tables, typography … etc), that gives you a quick and robust starting point for your design.
Cut&Slice me - A great and free Photoshop plugin that can fasten this process with the smart features it offers. First of all, it trims any unnecessary pixels while exporting. Also, “a group of layers” needs to be treated as a single object and cuts them perfectly.
bonsaijs - A lightweight graphics library with an intuitive graphics API and an SVG renderer
uiji.js - jQuery in reverse. Instead of using CSS selectors to find elements, you use the same syntax to create elements. The library is in scripts/uiji.js
Rescue.js - Rescue.js catches the errors that are already happening on your web pages. They’re sent securely to our servers for you to review and fix.
Polyfilter - This polyfill takes the official CSS filters syntax and translates it to the different equivalent techniques that the browsers know for those effects. Not supported are IE 10(!), Opera and Opera Mini, as well as Chrome on Android
Tiny Circleslider - A circular slider / carousel jQuery plugin. That was built to provide webdevelopers with a cool but subtle alternative to all those standard carousels. Tiny Circleslider can blend in on any webpage.
Responsive-content - A jQuery plugin that helps you serve different content to different devices.
Fabric.js – A Framework To Work With Canvas. Besides offering methods for creating objects and manipulating them, the framework also works as a SVG-to-Canvas parser (and vice-versa).
jResize - This jQuery Plugin was created to take away all the annoying browser resizing we have to do, or loading up external iFrames for testing. jResize works by only requiring a click to change the viewport size.
Kort - A thumbnail preview concept. Hover over the thumbnails, or touch and swipe if you’re on a touch device.
Motio - A free jQuery plugin for simple but powerful sprite based animations and panning. Motio is called on an element representing animation container, where animation is delivered as a CSS background image.
Grid-A-Licious 3 - Totally rewritten and the biggest change since the previous versions of Grid-A-Licious is that the items in the grid aren’t using absolute positioning any more. They’re all floating.
16 of the Most Common WordPress Mistakes - I’ve outlined 16 of the most common mistakes that WordPress users and developers make. Brush up on what other people are doing wrong so you can prevent these same blunders on your own site.
WordPress Body Class 101: Tips and Tricks for Theme Designers - Body Class (body_class) is a WordPress function that gives the body element different classes, so theme authors can style their sites effectively with CSS. HTML ..
How to Scan Your WordPress Site for Potentially Malicious Code - In this article, we will show you a few ways on how to scan your WordPress site for potentially malicious code.
jQuery In WordPress – 35 Of The Best Plugins To Customize Your Blog - Adding a jQuery plugin to your WordPress site can be done in two ways, a hard one and an incredibly simple one. The hard way to do it is include ..
How to Create a WordPress Reward for Tweet Plugin - In this tutorial, I’ll be showing how to create a WordPress reward for Tweet plugin to increase the tweets on your content while satisfying everyone!
Pros and Cons of Using the Facebook Commenting System for WordPress- But before deciding upon actually implementing this commenting system on your blog, I would like you to have proper insights into its pros and cons.
A Guide to WordPress Custom Post Types: Creation, Display and Meta Boxes - In this tutorial we will be exploring one of the most powerful features of WordPress known asCustom Post Types and how WordPress reached a new height with the advent of this wonderful feature.
How to Build a Responsive WordPress Theme with Bootstrap - In this tutorial, we will learn how to make our own responsive WordPress theme using Bootstrap. Bootstrap is a responsive framework for building web sites and
Add Colour Picker To WordPress Admin - In this tutorial we are going to use both of these tutorials to create a colour picker on your theme options page using the default WordPress scripts.
The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Actions and Filters - Simply put, hooks are what give us the ability to customize, extend, and enhance WordPress through an API in our themes, plugins, and other custom development efforts.
What is the Best Permalinks Structure for WordPress? - Permalinks is something that plays a huge role in the search engine rankings. I’m currently using %postname% permalinks structure, which works very well.
What To Do When You Are Locked Out of WordPress Admin- There are few reasons why you could be locked out of WordPress admin, so let’s take a look at each of them one by one. Hopefully through this process of elimination, ..
Demystifying WordPress: The Concept of Tags- In this article, we shall take a detailed look at tags. We will learn what exactly tags and their benefits are, what their role is and how we can utilize them to the fullest.
How to Add Custom Meta Boxes in WordPress Posts and Post Types - In this article, we will show you how to add custom meta boxes in WordPress posts and custom post types.
The Ten Commandments of WordPress Development - Do you incorporate best practices into your development process? Here are ten commandments that can help you to get better.
Effective Landing Pages for WordPress - If you have absolutely anything you want people to do when visiting your website — be that subscribe, download, purchase, whatever — you need a landing page.
What is a WordPress Theme Framework? Pros, Cons, and More - The term WordPress theme framework often refers to a code library that is used to facilitate development of a theme. In the old days of WordPress, there were ..
.. and don’t forget these!
Free Online eBooks for Web Designers and Developers - The idea of free eBook downloads is great for the designer and developers who search for low-cost techniques of learning. Since the eBooks can be downloaded in different formats, they can be accessed through several types of handheld devices.
Free E-book: Freelance Designer’s Guide to Multiple Income Streams - The purpose of the e-book is to show that in today’s marketplace most designers can earn a higher and more stable income by making money in a few different ways.
Six Reasons Why Simplicity is The Best in Logo Design - A simple logo must be in the same time a quality project, it must be effective and perfectly represent the owner behind it.
Ligature Symbols - This free icon font consists of 200+ letters with items like actions, smileys and more. Also, a huge number of social icons are included. The download pack has all the versions (SVG, EOT, TTF, WOFF) needed for cross-browser support and the styles needed to use it.
Dos and Don’ts of Using Google’s Disavow Links Tool - While this sounds like a miracle tool, Google has warned webmasters not to go crazy disavowing links left, right and center as this could work against you ..
Illustrator vs. Photoshop: How to Maximize Your Designs - To be a successful graphic designer, the first thing you should know is the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator. Graphic design degree or not, it’s important to ..
The ultimate guide to logo design: 25 expert tips - Logos are all around us. To the general public they serve as an instant reminder of a company or a product; to the client they’re the point of recognition on which their brand hangs
Did we lose track of the big picture? - It seems to me that we are slowly switching from publishing content for the Web, to making content accessible to Screen-Readers (SR) – from targeting users, to focusing on devices and modern browsers.
Baseline Grids on the Web - Some of my problems with baseline grids on the web are merely personal annoyances, others are technical issues. However, I am very much in support of them in print design
If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest articles and resources from the design community, you should follow Inspired Magazine on Twitter.