Rabbit Hole of Research #1
I just saw a link to an interestingly-worded article on Reddit suggesting that Google Analytics is no longer a viable service because it is subject to spamming of traffic by Bots. Others suggest some ways of solving these issues and clearing up any confusion or misjudgment placed in the first article. I suppose Google could do a bit more to curb these issues but the exclusion list function is good enough for me.
Just a few resources that I’ve found to be quite helpful for web design.
- Bootstrap – The best framework for simple websites (<8 pages) because of its good documentation, responsive grid, navigation options, and ease of customization when adding your own CSS. Set up containers, use the carousel, and customize the featurettes with your own marketing lingo.
- WAMP – A lightweight, friendly, and easy to setup local testing server for when you want to play with PHP or map out a website folder structure easier. This will allow you to access your hosted site when you drop the files in C:\wamp\www and point your web browser to localhost.
- Google Web Fonts – Free CDN (what is a CDN?) hosted web fonts that are easily added to your website with a line each of CSS and HTML. Good typography can transform a website feel.
- The Magic of CSS – Learn the basics of CSS layouts quickly for those of us with visual learning styles.
- NetBeans IDE – This well known development environment still works great for creating a modern website. Create a project and drop Bootstrap CDN into your HTML file. Download the PHP oriented version, it’s lighter on its feet.
- How to Setup PHP Includes for HTML Pages – Save time when producing a website that has multiple web pages and one universal header/footer by using includes. Be sure to remove “active” tags from your bootstrap nav, too!
- Bootstrap 3 Tips & Tricks – Part One and Two on Scotch.io. Also check out their latest article on Foundation, a framework similar to Bootstrap.
- HTML5Please – Research the nitty gritty compatibility..y of all the HTML5 and CSS classes available.
- Best Tools for Designers – A great list that includes links to stock photos, templates, infographics, and much more.
- CSS Color Words – A fun way to find hex codes.
Learning PHP from front to back to develop a web application has proven daunting for many of us who like to focus on front end design. I cannot express to you how much of a headache I get when I think about all of the components I would need to understand better in order to develop a basic blogging or CMS engine. Luckily, thanks to the hard work of many talented web application developers, there are now many open source frameworks available for use.
Layers upon layers being built upon existing languages, with repurposed code being organized and made available for the masses – it’s a prime example of Laravel.
There is a very talented web developer named Maksim Surguy who has written an excellent introductory article for the new framework. I would highly recommend taking a look at his write up as it offers a good balance of technical knowledge and entry level explanation.