After a few years of Web Design I’ve come across a few amazing things which I didn’t realise. For some of you these will be obvious things but they’re things I’ve discovered along the way that have really helped me.
- The CSS Text Shadow property.
Definitely one of my favourite CSS styles! I’m a massive fan! Why?
There have been quite a few times when text in my sites have looked a little pixelated and I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out why. Then I decided to rummage around the CSS properties list for anything that might help. I didn’t find anything but did stumble across text-shadow after trying to work out how the lovely text effects in Tumblr were done. I started to use text-shadow and then realised that it seemed to fix all my pixelation issues with text and fonts. Ever since, text-shadow has been a part of my designs and it’s diverse range of implementation has made it useful all over.You can see it in use on my Church’s website: http://christchurchhitchin.org.uk I find that:
text-shadow:1px 1px 1px;
text-shadow:black 1px 1px 1px;depending on colour of course.Playing around with text-shadow is fun and a good way to create some interesting effects. Remember though, don’t over do it as too much shadow makes your eyes water and doesn’t give a great impression to someone who is visiting your site for the first time!
Text shadows can be used to add a lot of variation in your sites as well. Another use for them is making text stand out where it shouldn’t normally stand out. White text on a white background is invisible right? Well with text-shadow you can give it a nice black shadow that makes the text readable.
http://www.w3.org/Style/Examples/007/text-shadow has a good list of different effects that you can use in all kinds of situations.
- Using a proper editor.
When I started coding sites by hand I was still stuck in the Notepad realm. I really wanted a proper text editor but didn’t really know what I wanted. I had hoped I could get a nice free WYSIWYG editor that I could just drag and drop elements in. That didn’t work out; I couldn’t find anything so I settled with Kompozer after a while which I really liked. After learning CSS/HTML off by heart, however, last year I brought a PC Magazine that had Microsoft Expression Web included with it. I was hooked and I’ve never looked back.What I really like about using Expression is that I can undo/redo brilliantly, it automatically colour codes different bits of CSS, it spaces out the CSS nicely, it even has multiple tabs so you can edit loads of HTML/CSS pages at once. Also, it has built in templates for starting a site for index.html pages and CSS pages, perfect! Really, it makes creating websites a whole lot easier. I’d really encourage you to grab something more than just Notepad; you won’t regret it!
- There’s no need for full images all the time.For a good year or so I always created background images that were big enough to fill most size screens. What I’ve since learnt is that backgrounds auto-tile which means you can create tiny 5kb PNG files and have a background that fills the page! Fantastic. This means you reduce the size of your site quite considerably. You can turn off tiling with CSS easily to.
background-image: url('/etc.png') fixed no-repeat;
Being able to tile images is used an awful lot. My church’s background is just a very small image with a bit of texture and that’s it.
So in conclusion, have fun exploring bits of CSS you never knew existed, programs that may seriously improve your efficiency and the wonders of tiling images!
Designing a website would also mean that you have to be ready in receiving tons of emails everyday. So be careful in choosing an email hosting. It should be of great quality.
Maybe you’ve got some tips you’d like to share? What editor do you use?
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