Author: Glen Stansberry
Glen Stansberry is the editor at Web Jackalope, a blog about creative Web development.
Twitter: Follow Glen Stansberry on Twitter
Regular expressions are an essential part of any programmer’s toolkit. They can be very handy when you need to identify, replace or modify text, words, patterns or characters. In a nutshell: regular expressions (regex) are like a Swiss army knife for modifying strings of just about anything. Need to make your site URLs look pretty? Use regex. Need to remove all punctuation from a sentence? Definitely use regex. The uses for regular expressions are almost limitless.
Regular expressions are something that you’ll come across at least once in your development cycle, whether you’re just trying to modify an .htaccess file to make clean URLs, or something much more advanced like filtering RSS feeds or other data. Here are some resources to get you well on your way to mastering regex.Read more...
Google AdSense is a simple and low-risk way for publishers to quickly monetize their content. The pay-per-click ad system has created an opportunity for anyone to instantly have advertising on their website, without the hassle of having to actively sell ad space. AdSense makes up a good portion of the advertising revenue for many websites, and other websites may use AdSense to earn the bulk of their revenues. Either way, AdSense is an excellent system for monetizing your content.Read more...
Subversion is a version control system that many Web developers and designers use to back up their work. Subversion was started in 2000 and is quite popular in the open-source community; major repositories such as Google Code use it to distribute source code.
While other version control systems, like Git, have become quite popular among developers, Subversion (SVN) is still considered the standard for version control systems and is used for the majority of projects on the Web that need something like it. SVN provides the ability to share source code in a collaborative way, making it popular with teams for sharing and contributing to projects. It’s also a great choice for designers who want to keep versions of their personal work environments.
There are quite a few resources available for those who want to learn about SVN-like tools, tutorials and SVN clients, so that you can get started working with the popular version control system.Read more...
PHP programming has climbed rapidly since its humble beginnings in 1995. Since then, PHP has become the most popular programming language for Web applications. Many popular websites are powered by PHP, and an overwhelming majority of scripts and Web projects are built with the popular language.
Because of PHP’s huge popularity, it has become almost impossible for Web developers not to have at least a working knowledge of PHP. This tutorial is aimed at people who are just past the beginning stages of learning PHP and are ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty with the language. Listed below are 10 excellent techniques that PHP developers should learn and use every time they program. These tips will speed up proficiency and make the code much more responsive, cleaner and more optimized for performance.Read more...
Whether you’re a Web developer, Web designer or blogger, you’ve probably had to deal with the headache of converting many images to different sizes and formats. It’s not much fun if you have to convert all of them by hand. Batch image processing can reduce this process from hours of work to just a few simple clicks.
With batch image processing, you can specify a size or file type, and then a script runs to convert the images. You can process hundreds or thousands of images with just a few clicks. And nearly every image processor comes with a unique feature set.
Image processors are worth their weight in gold if you’re a designer or developer spending a good chunk of time converting images by hand in Photoshop. Let's take a look at 15 useful batch image processors for both Mac and PC.Read more...
With fall just around the corner, designers are looking for ways to complement their work with Fall imagery like water droplets, rain on leaves and fall rain showers. Including rain or water drops in a scene can be a nice effect because water is a very compelling element. As you’ll see in the tutorials below, water drops and rain can completely change the dynamic of a design or photo.
Adding the illusion of water and rain to photographs using Photoshop can be a bit tricky. Many times the effect feels forced and cheesy, as if you’re looking at a grainy picture instead of an authentic rain shower. The tutorials below will give any designer inspiration for incorporating water scenes in fall designs and showcase some amazing water work by excellent designers. You’ll learn how to create realistic photos.
Here are some other tutorials and Photoshop tutorials from Smashing Magazine:
If you’ve ever collaborated with other people on a project, you know the frustration of constantly swapping files. Some do it by email, some through file upload services and some by other methods. It’s a pain in the neck, and every designer and developer knows it. Revision control is an excellent way to combat the problem of sharing files between workers.
Most web-developers have probably worked with some sort of revision control system, but designers may find it a foreign concept. The most obvious benefit of using revision control is the ability to have an unlimited number of people working on the same code base, without having to constantly send files back and forth.
But designers and developers can both benefit from using revision control systems to keep copies of their files and designs. You can instantly browse previous “commits” to your repository and revert to earlier versions if something happens.
This article reviews some of the top open-source version control systems and tools that setting up a version control system easy.Read more...
Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.
There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:
Programming language. Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.
What features you’ll need. The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.Read more...
Many e-commerce sites these days tend to be loaded down with too much information on their landing pages. The reasoning for cluttered e-commerce sites is simple: the more information you can cram on the page, the more the user will buy. Unfortunately, web buyers are a finicky bunch.
Jacob Nielson reports that web users are becoming much more impatient while shopping and browsing online. Instead of spending their time going to a site’s homepage and finding the content by categories or other product recommendations, most shopping is done by quick Google searches. If the user can’t find what she’s looking for right away, she’s gone.
It’s crucial to have simple web designs to allow the user to quickly find the information they need, especially if you are selling a product. If the page is cluttered with useless text, widgets or unrelated products, the site becomes meaningless.
However, it’s become a common practice to do just the opposite. e-commerce sites have taken this “scatter shot” approach of trying to slap the potential buyer with as many options as possible. Instead of making the landing page solely about one product, sites usually clutter the page with unnecessary information, ads and related products.Read more...