Articles by David Elliot

David is a long-time journalist and editor, who also has over 10 years of experience as a freelance Web developer, specializing in online newspaper design and maintenance.

Add a Simple Google, Yahoo! or Bing Search Box to Your Website

‘Search’ is the web’s most utilized and essential function. The major search engines process billions of keyword requests daily, but there are still some websites and blogs that have yet to incorporate the vital feature. While customized search box solutions are offered by various business entities, I prefer to use only the results from major engines: Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. Many of the commercial packages employ a free trial period to entice buyers, which tends to include very prominently...
CSS

Create Quick and Easy Progress Bar Charts with HTML5 and CSS3

The official January 2011 launch of the robust HTML5 has brought with it a number of powerful coding elements. Among them is the <progress> tag, a very useful tool in putting together quick, attractive online presentations. CSS3 provides a highly flexible methodology for customizing default HTML5 tags. At present, both technologies are undergoing considerable revision. ‘Pseudo-elements’, such as those prefixed by -moz- and -webkit-, were implemented within the CSS3 framework...
CSS

W3C ‘Media Queries’ Proposal Boosts Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design took a big step forward on June 19, when a highly influential W3C Working Group published a draft recommendation stating that an additional slate of media queries should be incorporated into web browsers. The CSS Working Group's proposal would enable browsers to render web design layouts in a much more flexible manner, based on factors such as screen size, color depth, and device orientation. Media queries consist of a media type (ex. screen or print), combined with defining...

New ‘Adaptive Image’ HTML Tag Stirs Controversy

The rising global popularity of smart phones and other small-screen Internet devices has created a number of dilemmas for web developers. Among the most pressing is the issue of serving the proper image files for widely divergent screen sizes. The industry has responded with a variety of solutions, including separate mobile websites that are much leaner in terms of shown images. A new attribute, <img srcset>, has the potential to resolve some of the issues by enabling the desired image size,...
CSS

Add Some Pizzazz to Your Text Boxes with HTML5 and CSS3

Most online text entry fields, including text boxes and search boxes, look exactly like the name implies -- very “boxy”. Relatively few website owners have availed themselves of the latest coding advances to incorporate subtle touches into their form elements to create an entirely new look. With HTML5 and CSS3, powerful, yet simple coding tools will now allow for speedy and effective appearance upgrades for all types of boxes. Say, for instance, you wanted to freshen up a simple multi-line text...

New ‘Intent’ Tag to Facilitate Ease of Online Data Sharing

In the rapidly evolving arena of browser standards, among the newest additions is a tag that significantly facilitates the transfer and sharing of data between online applications and services. The Google-originated ‘Web Intents’ API gives a user the ability to select an application to perform a specific action on a designated piece of data, such as an image, audio or video file, or text file. Here’s how the feature works: Say, for instance, a person wants to edit or share a photo that has been...
CSS

Designing Smartphone-Optimized Websites: Challenges Web Developers

Web developers are increasingly being asked to build sites that cater to smartphone Internet users, or to recast existing sites into user-friendlier formats for mobile devices. By 2015, statistical research by eMarketer predicts that more than half of the persons who access the Web will do so through a smartphone or other small-screen device. This paradigm shift represents a challenge to the established Web development community, which now has a mandate to configure Web content previously optimized...

Utilize Favicons and Meta Tags to Boost Your Website’s Visibility

A memorable Al Pacino line from the popular sports movie “Any Given Sunday” states that, in essence, “Life is just a game of inches”. In other words, success in any endeavor can depend on the smallest details, because they can end up having a major impact. When it comes to SEO, I am constantly amazed at how paying careful attention to tiny, often overlooked factors can significantly assist in boosting a website’s online presence, thus gaining its owner a competitive advantage. As web developers,...
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