Latest posts

Writing for the web

Responsive design makes it more important than ever that content is not tied to layout. You cannot control how people will view your site or read your content, so make sure what you write makes sense no matter how people read it.

· Web

WordPress holding page

If you are developing a new WordPress site on a live server, you might want to display a holding page to anyone who isn’t working on the site. You can do this very easily, using a few lines to check whether the current user is logged in.

· Code

Circular CSS

Did you know that you can make any element circular with CSS? Just set the width and height to the same value and set the border radius to something excessively large, such as border-radius: 999em. I just that might be useful.

· Code, Design

Old elements with new meanings

There are lots of new elements in HTML5, but there are also a few old elements with new meanings. In particular, there are several formerly presentational elements that have been redefined to have semantic value.

· Code, Web

Automattic for the people

A lot of people grumble about WordPress. It’s old, it’s everywhere, and it’s written in deeply unfashionable PHP. But whatever you think about it, the really remarkable thing is that it exists at all. Thanks to Automattic, we all benefit from a free, open source platform we can use however we want. Just something to …

· Uncategorized

Not dead yet

Every so often someone will confidently predict the demise of the web. The current threat is apparently from the closed ecosystem of the mobile app. But this ignores the web’s unique technical features and its extremely low barrier to entry. For many, an app will never be an option. Personally, I don’t think the web is going anywhere for a long time.

· Web


Infinite scroll

Infinite scroll—and anything else that monkeys around with your UI—is a terrible idea. As usual, xkcd says it better than I ever could.

· Design, Web

Normalize headings

I recently wrote a PHP class that promotes or demotes HTML headings to allow content to be reused without affecting the overall document outline. This means you can use any heading structure you like in your content and not worry about fitting it into an existing template.

· Code

Too many icons

Icons used to be easy, but now there are lots of formats, names, and links. There are tools and articles to help, but you can still end up with a lot of files and a lot of code. I am not interested in chasing competing non-standard browser behaviour and so I have given up. From now on, my site will only use one icon.

· Browsers, Web

Client misconceptions

Making a website for a client can involve all sorts of misunderstandings and confusion. One issue that comes up again and again is that when we talk about websites, we are often thinking of different things. Explaining what we mean early can make things a lot easier later.

· Web