Best of the Web: February
With the end of February comes a new monthly roundup on the Tuts+ sites. Each month we like to bring you some of our favorite articles, tutorials, and code snippets from all around the web. Today we will go over the best of the web from February 2009, covering everything from Ruby On Rails to Wordpress tutorials.
40+ Useful & Handy Web Designer's Services & Tools
Nothing can be more useful than handy tools you can use “on the fly” in your design process. Whether you’d like diagramming application, create vector images, format or optimize CSS code, generate patterns- you can use dozens of tools to make your life easier.
10 Useful Tips For Ruby On Rails Developers
While Ruby On Rails is a very popular and powerful language, it is often the case that popular web articles tend to leave Ruby On Rails out of the roundup. Luckily, Smashing Magazine has put together a wonderful collection of useful tips for Ruby On Rails developers.
Lightbox + Photonav = Lightnav
Download Counter in PHP Using .htaccess
Ever had this thought: "I want to fire something extra up when somebody downloads a certain file."? This can be easily fixed by making all you download links link to a php page and output the download file for you. But what if the file is called directly in the browser? This tutorial walks you through using php and .htaccess to create a custom download counter script.
6 Signs of Adaptive PHP
In this excellent article written by Brian Cray, the user is walked through 6 different php techniques to achieve and a more adaptive style of php scripts.
CSS Trick Hidden Messages
If you have ever read one of my monthly round ups before, you will know I like to include some tricks and articles that use the latest techniques to just have some fun. This is one of those articles. The author uses some CSS3 mozilla specific techniques to make a witty hidden css message when the text is highlighted. Even better is that it really does 'self-destruct'. Practical? Probably not. Fun? You bet.
Top 50 Wordpress Tutorials
As a web developer, you can broaden your potential client base and add value for existing clients by listing 'Wordpress' as an area of expertise. Of course, unless you want to bluff your way through jobs, you'd better have the skill to back-up that claim. This collection will help.
Wordpress: How to Get the First Image From the Post and Display it.
Most Wordpress users are using custom fields to display thumbs on their blog homepage. It is a good idea, but do you know that with a simple php function, you can grab the first image from the post, and display it. Just read on. Written by WP expert Jean-Baptiste Jung.
25 Great Site Designs Powered by Wordpress
For all of you out there who are more design oriented this article is for you. Check out this post and get inspired by the wonderfully beautiful websites that are powered by wordpress.
Customize Your Blog Posts Without Touching Your Theme Files
Do you ever get frustrated by having to edit your theme files after a wordpress upgrade? Yeah, me too. Thanks to Ian Stewart for showing us a quick and painless way to create a plugin that will allow you much more customization of your blog theme files, without actually touching or editing the files.
Video Screencast: Adding RSS Content with SimplePie
As always Chris Coyier delivers another fantastic video screencast covering the basics of using SimplePie to parse RSS feeds. Learn how to use any RSS feed you like and pull custom information out and onto your site.
Add Easing to Your jQuery Animations
Easing can really bring life to an effect. Easing controls how an animation progresses over time by manipulating its acceleration. jQuery has two built-in easing methods: linear and swing. While they get the job done, they are pretty boring when compared to what's made available through the jQuery easing plugin.
Video Screencast: Extending SimplePe to Parse Unique RSS Feeds
The boss man Jeffrey Way decided to go even further with the use of SimplePie. In this video tutorial Jeffrey shows us how to pull custom namespaces from Blip TV to grab 20 video tutorials. Taking things one step further, Jeffrey also creates a custom lightbox like video viewer so the videos can be viewed conveniently by the user.
Things You May Not Know About jQuery
6 Warning Signs of a Problem Client
Have you ever had a project that turned out to cause way more stress that it was worth? Of course you have. We all have. Most of the time you’re left saying “Why didn’t I see this coming?” Here are some early warning signs of a problem project and some tips for upgrading them from hopeless to profitable.
Fun with php 'maths'
This is another 'fun one' that gave me a really good laugh. Every once in a while on the SitePoint forums someone asks a relatively simple question, an answer is provided, and then the members continue to find the most outrageous way to write a simple (usually php) script. Check out all the different hilarious ways people came up with to add two basic numbers with php. For more fun, check out 'Write a FOR loop that prints the numbers 0-9' thread.
Create Snook-Style Navigation Using MooTools
A Few Lessons From Real World Usability
The recently launched UXBooth, whose focus is primarily on the user experience and usability in the world of web design, has put together a wonderful list outlining some usability lessons. Even if you are a usability expert yourself, these are some great tips to keep in mind.
7 Interface Design Techniques to Simplify and De-clutter Your Interfaces
"Most people naturally dislike complexity in devices and software. Yes, some people find joy in figuring out how something works, but for most of us, being unable to operate a device leads to wasted time and frustration, and that’s not a good thing." Use this article as a guide on how to make your interfaces more friendly to your end users.
We have quite a lot going on at Envato at the moment, we have listed a few things below you might be interested in participating in.
$900 For Submitting Shopify Templates
Theme forest is giving away $100 a piece to the first 9 members to submit and have a Shopify theme accepted! Learn how to create a Shopify theme in this tutorial if you need to.
$300 Referral Contest!
ThemeForest is also running a referral contest, all you need to do is write a simple post on your blog that talks about and links back to ThemeForest. Hurry as many have already entered!
Wordpress for Designers Video Series
In case you missed it, we are hosting a 'from scratch' series titled 'Wordpress For Designers' on the ThemeForest Blog hosted by yours truly. We are almost on day 10 but you have plenty of time to catch up if you are interested!
What Did You Enjoy?
I always enjoy seeing the links and article all of you enjoy. If we missed any article or tutorials you felt should have been included, please do let us know! Happy coding everyone!