We often come across new applications and web stuff. In no particular order, here’s a few interesting links that we found this week.
Lovely Charts is a free online diagramming application that looks very easy to use. Check out the screencast for a demo. If you regularly create diagrams like wireframes, flow charts, site maps, and organisational charts, this might be the online application for you.
As a web designer or developer, contact forms can sometimes cause problems because there may be a degree of difficulty in getting the form to actually send the information and because using CSS to layout the form is perhaps a bit more difficult than you might have thought. Help! Luckily, there are some great resources out there to help you build website contact forms. Here’s my top five list (in no particular order).
In recent months, I seem to have spent a lot of time managing and updating various clients’ ecommerce websites. That’s great, you say. Steady work. For a freelancer, the nirvana of regular work is hard to beat. On the other hand, I have started wondering what my job really is because a substantial proportion of the work has involved the addition of product information via an ecommerce administration control panel. Although, I get paid the same rate for this type of work as anything else, it is perhaps not as exciting as getting a new website designed.
I am not too unhappy with this state of affairs because the situation was different a few months ago. I suspect I am just going through a period where various coincidences have resulted in a higher proportion of the ecommerce administration type of work. However, it has emphasized the variety of work that I tackle throughout the year and caused me to think about my job. When people ask me what I do, it’s tempting to say ‘websites for small businesses’ or ‘web designer’ or ‘front-end coder’. In reality, it is all of those and few other things thrown in besides….!
With the advent of CSS-based layouts over the last few years, it might be assumed that the word “table” should be banished from your web design dictionary (apart from those really useful data tables that we should all use for related data). However….
I maintain several personal websites including a pub guide and a directory of pub links. In the latter case, it is particularly important to keep up-to-date with invalid links. People are only too happy to submit their link when it is new but if the link becomes invalid, for example the domain name changes or the website goes belly up, I seem to be the last to know.
I have all my links in a database but what I need is a simple link checking tool that can search my web pages for invalid links or do the same thing through my website's admin backend. That's where this LinkChecker extension [home page] for Firefox is very useful. It adds a 'Check Page Links' command to the right click menu. The extension checks each link and highlights every link on the page with a different colour according to their validity [green for valid, red for invalid ... you get the idea].
LinkChecker is a great little tool.
» CSS3 Foundations is a new book that combines practicality with inspiration to show you how to create modern websites.
Sync files between computers. Share files with your clients, friends, and family using DropBox. It's great!