WPDFD Issue #85 - December 03, 2007

There are a plethora of Websites out there, each one unique in its design, its content, markup, features, functionality, and in myriad other ways. Yet, despite these differences, there are specific needs that should be met with near consistency, Internet-wide, regardless of the site. Let’s take a look at twelve of these common denominators. Below are the first six. They appear in the order in which I thunk ‘em up.

Having a local development environment is an excellent idea. It is not at all difficult these days to install a xAMP stack. By this I mean an Apache web server, a MySQL database, and PHP/Perl. There is XAMPP for Windows and Mac, LAMP for Linux, and MAMP. My preferred development environment is OS X and MAMP. The MAMP Package You can download this complete, self-enclosed web development environment from the MAMP website.

Growing Up with the Web

We're entering an exciting period in the history of the Web. Since the 90's, the Internet has embedded itself in our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined. I'd be hard pressed to find a lad in my school who doesn't have a MySpace , Facebook or Twitter profile, a Flickr account or a blog. Kids younger than me now interact confidently with the Web without fear of being labelled as geeks or nerdy.

We frequently get responses and e-mails from viewers, and I see it requested all the time in user forums and elsewhere around the web: how do you remove the underline from links in your Web page? First Method: Inline Style The first way to do this would be to apply a style attribute to your links containing the CSS property "text-decoration." Like so: <a href="link-to-page-here.html" style="text-decoration: none;">Link text here!</a> This will create a link with no underline, but it will only affect that link, so you'll need to apply the style attribute to each link that you want to appear without an underline.

We get a lot of e-mail from people asking for ways to be a better Web designer. There is no simple way to answer a question like that, but the majority of the time we find that a designer has been exposed to HTML and Web design in such a way that he or she is designing pages and uploading them to the Web, but was never shown some of the essentials of Web design. If you're a new designer or you're already building pages and need to up your game, read on.

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz going around about Internet Explorer 8 and plans to include in it a feature called "version targeting." You can scour the net for blog posts and articles about version targeting, but you'll get a lot of debate and several different views on this topic, and it's difficult to pinpoint just the facts. What is version targeting? Version targeting is a way to tell Internet Explorer how it should render a page.

Creating Lasting Websites

When my 98 year old grandpa posted a comment on my weblog last fall it hit me in a new way just how much the web is a part of our society. If I open my laptop in a coffee shop and there's no wireless I practically don't know what to do. "What? No internet? I guess I'll play solitaire." The more the web expands its reach the greater the need for those behind the scenes to create usable, sustainable and quality websites.