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A collection of resouces about web design, development and marketing on the web.


How The Huffington Post uses real-time testing to write better headlines

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 07:48:42 +0200

Having a good bit of traffic allows The Huffington Post to a/b test article headlines for 5 minutes in order to pick the winner with the most click-thrus. We have done this on client sites by testing copy in different content modules but the tests run for a much longer period. It would certainly be fun to be on the data side of these tests and to see what works best. Anyways, there are some good links in the article to some other a/b test cases.(image)

SlickMap CSS

Thu, 09 Jul 2009 18:25:14 +0200

Here's a cool implementation of CSS for turning hierarchical lists into easier to understand site maps.

The general idea of SlickMap CSS is to streamline the web design process by automating the illustration of sitemaps while at the same time allowing for the predevelopment of functional HTML navigation.


Custom events in jQuery open doors to complex behaviors

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 17:55:48 +0200

Rebecca Murphey provides a look at using custom events in jQuery. While she doesn't really get to the why until the end of the article, the benefits are certainly something worth having in your code:

  1. Well-organized code that consolidates the behavior widgets in a few bind() statements, rather than scattering those behaviors across the elements that initiate them
  2. Added flexibility as it’s any element can initiate a behavior, or a behavior can be triggered across multiple widgets at once
  3. Use of a control element which captures a click event and translates it into an event to be triggered on the widget.
  4. Better organization of your code, abstraction and increased ability to reuse code

I'm no JavaScript wizard and I am looking forward to implementing some of this logic in the near future to consolidate some of the jQuery we use in a few client sites.


Sphinx - free open-source SQL full-text search engine

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 20:26:27 +0100

This is being bookmarked for future reference. From the website:

Generally, it's a standalone search engine, meant to provide fast, size-efficient and relevant fulltext search functions to other applications. Sphinx was specially designed to integrate well with SQL databases and scripting languages. Currently built-in data sources support fetching data either via direct connection to MySQL or PostgreSQL, or using XML pipe mechanism (a pipe to indexer in special XML-based format which Sphinx recognizes).

Also see: Build a custom search engine with PHP and Implementing Search.


Evolution of a Header

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 20:20:17 +0100

Garrett Dimon wrote up some details about the evolution of the header area on a couple of screens for his webapp Sifter. It provides a very nice overview of the stages of development (with sketches and images) and we get to see how the decisions were made. I find these articles a good way to bring some focus back to what they are discussing, and in this case I feel compelled to examine how I handle meta data in our CMS and on my websites like 5411.


100% Google AdSense: Tools, Tips and Resources

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 13:44:46 +0100

A fantastic post covering heaps of tools and articles focused on helping you get the most from the ads on your site or network. If you are not familiar with the links in this article, put some time aside and get to know them and implement or use some of them and hopefully you will notice the difference in your AdSense revenue!


jQuery Rich Text Editor

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 12:54:27 +0100

We use jQuery for most things in our CMS but for the moment use Cameron Adams' widgEditor as a lightweight RTE. Here we have a fork off of Batiste Bieler's jQuery Lightweight Rich Text Editor that looks like it could be a decent jQuery option in our next release, which is targeted at using nothing but jQuery for behaviour.

Functionality is what you would expect from a lightweight RTE, down to the small footprint of the source code which should be easy to customize for your own work. It has a GPL license and is tested and fully compatible with Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE6, and IE7.


Quarkbase - Everything about a Website

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 04:12:20 +0100

A pretty useful tool for getting some quick data about a website, from social popularity on the usual social sites to spotlight "In the blogs" covering blog mentions of a site down to its nameservers and hosting company. Having just had to look up some nameservers today, this was useful. I have to say I really like the name.