5.30.2009

Craigslist Fraud

...Sure I'll send the deposit your way... J/K

I'm always impressed with the stories criminals come up with to swindle unsuspecting victims. Let's face it- I'm a Dateline and Law & Order SVU fanatic. It seems like Craigslist has become some sort of online Mecca for swindling criminals, and unfortunately many innocent bystanders are all too often financially deceived by these con artists on the site.

So as I've been searching for the perfect apartment or house in Charleston, I uncovered a beautiful James Island (right near the beach) house for an unbelievable price! $800 for a great home, complete with pictures and an address that I was even able to Google Map for legitness. Check it out:

Craigslist scam

Better yet, check out the scam of an email I got back:


Hi,
I did get your response concerning the AD I posted on craigslist. The house is still available but presently I'm not around.. I did bid for a portion of petroleum land sometimes ago in West Africa and fortunately I won the bidding so I have to move quickly down to Africa to have my company set up because I will still have to rebid for it in the next 10 years. I came over here with my wife, we both built the house when we got married. As soon as we settle down here I had a thought of selling the house so I have to look for an agent, after getting one, we got a deal but later my wife advised against that.. She said we may not be able to win the bidding next time, in other to keep our head when we return that we have to keep the house. I reasoned with her and accepted her advise. So I contacted the agent back and requested for my keys and documents. Later we decided to have the house rent out, we would have give the same agent this job also but the truth of the matter is that the agent would want to handle it professionally and the occupant may not be able to reason along with him later. If you notice, you will discovered that the price we are offering is far below standard price, this is enough for you to know that we are not after the rental fee but the absolute care for the property. I know there is no way I can be sure that you are the right person to live in the house because we won't be able to see physical before sending you the keys and the documents to occupy the space. But I just had a feeling that anyone who knows what it takes to put the kind of structure down should know that maintaining a building is mandatory, so if you belief you can take good care of the house and handle it like yours then I will be more than happy to let you rent the house.

House Address: GUNPOWDER DR CHARLESTON SC 29412
First Month Rent:$800
Refundable Security Deposit Payment:$800
Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Full Name__________________________________________________
Home Phone ( ) ________________________
Date of Birth_________________________________
Other Phone ( ) ___________________
Current Address_______________________________
Apt#________
City__________________
State______
Zip________
Reasons for Leaving____________________________
Rent $__________
Phone ( ) ____________________________
Are you married____________________________
How many people will be living in the house____________________________
Do you have a pet____________________________
Do you have a car____________________________
Occupation____________________________
Move In Date____________________________
HOW SOON CAN YOU HAVE THE DEPOSIT PAYMENT SENT TO ME___________________________
HOW SOON DO YOU WANT TO RECEIVE THE KEYS AND DOCUMENTS OF THE HOUSE___________________________

You could give me a call as soon as possible so we could proceed asap..
Please note than you will only be able to drive by the house for now but not have a look at the interior until i have sent the keys and documents of the house to you..and the requirement for getting the keys and documents of the house is a fully refundable payment of $800 USD,which is the security deposit.
Please note that the deposit made is fully refundable should in case you finally gain entrance into the house after receiving the keys and documents and feel unsatisfied or uncomfortable with the interior,but i am giving you a benefit of doubt that you will love everything about this lovely home..
I Await your response so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys to you.
My cell phone number is:(+234-802-859-3562 OR 011-234-802-859-3562)
Best Regards
TAHA JAMAL

My Response:

Dear Taha Jamal, or whatever you chose your name to be today:
Sure, I will send you the deposit ASAP. C'mon, we both know the form isn't really necessary. I mean truth be told, you could care less if I am married, have a really cool dog, or what I paid for rent at my last place. No, these details are not significant to you... unless you are trying to also access all of my personal accounts as well. I really don't doubt that at all. Oh well. The deposit will be on your doorstep in Nigeria tomorrow, for sure.
Best,
Kaylee

PS ...YOU SUCK

PPS That's a real nice fake name ya got there. Taha Jamal? Taj Mahal!? Hah. I googled your phone number, and found that you like to impersonate a vast selection of people- men, women, American, Pakistani, African...etc.

PPSS That means you double suck.

I posted this in an effort to bring just a little more awareness into the Craigslist community. Not too mention I wanted to add to the google results when you type in the phone number on the email.

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4.18.2009

14 Essential Web Design/Development Tools

The Must-Have Resources

  1. HTML Ipsum. Serves as an advanced website for latin filler text. Provides entire pages of text, various sized paragraphs, sentences, unordered/ordered lists and even navigation.The Webutante - HTMLipsum - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog
  2. Adobe Kuler. A vast collection of color schemes with search and rating capabilities. The Webutante - Adobe Kuler - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog
  3. BG Patterns. A comprehensive and handy background creator that allows you to modify sizes, colors, patterns and more.
  4. MultiBox. In my opinion, one of the most functional variations of the lightbox. Can display multiple file types and has great transitions and customizability. Freebie from PhatFusion.
  5. Flash Gallery. Probably the simplest gallery feature I have discovered thus far. Allows you to create a slideshow on your website easy and fast from a specified folder or from Flickr photostream. Best Part? It's Free.
  6. PicMarkr. Free tool that allows you to add custom watermark (image or text) to your online images. The Webutante - Pic Markr Image - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog
  7. CSS Curved corners. CSS manipulated to provide bullet proof rounded corners, a great way to speed up loading on a website.
  8. Web Developer Firefox Add-On. The most vast system for web developers I have seen thus far. Allows numerous capabilities, including manipulating CSS and CSS Viewing, disabling specific site features and TONS more. The Webutante - Web Developer Toolbar image - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog
  9. WuFoo. Free (for the limited version) Form builder application with numerous options for displays and themes, and even the capability to edit the CSS.
  10. Upload Thingy. A file-upload feature that allows for large files to be uploaded on your website. Reasonable pricing, and fairly easy to do. The Webutante - Upload Thingy Image - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog
  11. Cushy CMS. An incredibly useful and surprisingly easy CMS system. One of the few free CMS providers.
  12. Browser Testing - IE Net Renderer. A convenient method for testing websites in the Internet Explorer browser, encompassing IE5.5 all the way through IE8. There is no charge for the service and your screenshot shows up fairly rapidly.The Webutante - IE Net Renderer Image - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog
  13. Google Analytics. Provides an incredible amount of tools for evaluating your traffic, common visiters, locations, etc. All aspects of SEO are covered.
  14. W3C Validator. Checks your website for alignment with HTML and/or CSS Standards. While it is not always a necessity to maintain 100% compliance, it tends to be important to know the issues that are causing non-compliance which can sometimes be detrimental.The Webutante - W3C Validator Image - A Graphic Design Web Design & Web Development Resource Blog

For more web tools be sure to check out these previous posts:

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4.08.2009

Exploring the Features of Google Analytics

Analytics Analysis

Everyone who knows anything about the web knows about Google Analytics. However, not everyone knows how far the Analytics capabilities extend. For anyone not familiar with Google Analytics, here is the summary taken from the Analytics website that sums it up pretty well:

"Learn more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site. You'll get the information you need to write better ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives, and create higher-converting websites. Learn more about the benefits. Google Analytics is free to everyone, whether you are an advertiser, publisher, or site owner."

Today I have outlined some of the features Google Analytics provides including my personal favorite tools. To provide more extensive explanations, I have referenced one of my own Analytics accounts, my wedding website, www.brentandkaylee.com.

Traffic
  • Referring Site Visits. Referring websites are important to note for pretty much anyone, but especially for a company that advertises on an outside website, utilizes networking sites to gain traffic, or even those that utilize SEO or SEM. Google Analytics Visitor Analysis
  • Search Engine Visits. Analytics also provides Search Engine information which can be an incredibly useful tool to figure out which keywords to capitalize on, which seem to maintain interested viewers, etc. This is one of the most important Analytics features for anyone doing Search Engine Marketing Campaigns. Of course for my wedding website, this was not all that big of a feature as everyone was given the exact URL via the wedding invitation RSVP card.
  • Filter Yourself. Filtering your IP address out is a must do for any company or freelancer. To do so, find your IP address and set up a filter by clicking on the 'Add Filter' button in the Analytics Dashboard, so Google does not include traffic from your company or personal network. This allows you to analyze your statistics without worrying about your own impact on those statistics.
Visitor Trending
  • Unique Visitors. The 'New vs. Returning' visitor information is important as it allows you to analyze if you are generating new leads or just maintaining the old leads. While they are both important, continuously generating new viewership is important for any type of website as it demonstrates growth.
  • Page Views/Bounce Rate. This feature can really help you analyze your page content. Often times if a landing page does not generate enough interest, you will lose most of your viewers after their initial impression. A high number of page views and a low bounce rate is ideal for a successful website.Google Analytics Page View Analysis
  • Browser Capabilities & Connection Speeds. For anyone unsure of their websites compatibility with other browsers, operating systems, etc., this feature is a must. If you are somewhat apathetic about browser testing, and you monitor the browsers people have used thus far, then it eases the necessity of doing so as you know exactly which browsers you will need to ensure your website is fully functional with. Google Analytics Visitor Browsers Analysis You can also check for screen resolutions, and flash versions to make sure your website is seen the way it is supposed to be seen. In addition, you can analyze connection speeds of your viewers to be sure the website loads in a decent amount of time for your viewers. For more information about cross-browser testing, see my recent post Cross-Browser Testing Methods. Google Analytics Visitor Connection Speeds
TRACKING
  • Tracking links. Google Analytics also allows you to track the outgoing links on your website to further analyze your viewers behavior. Simply insert the following code (forgive my laziness, yes, it is an image): Google Analytics Link Tracking Code
  • Tracking your visitor's actions. You can track the browsing and buying behavior of your website visitor also through Google Analytics, to see who subscribed, mad a purchase/download, etc. using the following script: Google Analytics Visitor Action Tracking Code
DATA ANALYSIS
  • Advanced Segments: Analytics allows you to analyze subsets of your viewership with the Advanced Segments Tool. You are able to select from predefined segments, which include: all visitors (default), new visitors, returning visitors, paid, non-paid, search traffic, direct traffic, referral traffic, visits with conversions, visits from iPhones and non-bounce visitors; or you can create your own custom segments with a flexible segment builder. See the video below to learn more about advanced segments.
  • Dashboard Customization. You can customize the reports featured in your dashboard quite easily through Google Analytics. This allows you to see your most important reports immediately without digging through your reports to find them. Google Analytics Dashboard Image
  • Email Alerts. Analytics allows you to set-up emails alerts on a schedule for continuous updates on your stats. Go to Analytics settings -- View Reports -- Email -- Schedule to customize your alerts.
  • Export to Excel. For Analytic virgins, the 'Export to Excel feature can be a true time saver. Each Analytics report can be exported to a file type compatible with Excel for personal documentation purposes or for more familiarity. XML, TSV, PDF, CSV
  • Great Visualization Features: From the 'Site Overlay' feature, which provides information regarding the links being clicked on the page (see image below below for brentandkaylee.com's site overlay) to the 'Map Overlay' feature that provides visitors location information by color-coding maps (see image below for brentandkaylee.com's map overlay), to the plethora of graphs created to analyze data, Google Analytics data charts are an excellent supplement for visualizing large data. Google Analytics Map Overlay Feature

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3.21.2009

Down With IE6

Solving the Big Problems by Boycott

No offense to anyone who is reading this on the Internet Explorer 6 Browser, but IE6 truly characterizes all that is wrong with the web. But don't worry, it's not your fault - It's society's... Or Microsoft's... one or the other.

As one of the many means Bill Gates has used to torture web developer's souls (as we tend to lean towards Macs rather than bulky PC's), Internet Explorer 6 has become a time consuming distraction to the web development community. Which was why I was so stoked to see .net magazine's new website: Bring Down IE6 with the headline 'It's time to Unite' directly below it.

Chuckle as you may, IE6 is a catch 22 for developers, and something like this has been needed for quite some time. As a resource bank with tools to discourage the use of the dated browser, Bring Down IE6 can also be followed on Twitter or added to your groups on Facebook.

So, please support the cause, and Bring Down IE6 with us today!

Other Resources: (UPDATES!)

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3.16.2009

Cross-Browser Testing Methods

Hassle Free Website Browser Testing

Since the early days of the web when Bill Gates made Internet Explorer the default browser for PC purchasers throwing Netscape for a loop, web developers have had to test their creations on multiple browsers to ensure cross-browser compatibility. Although most developers reserve a sacred spot in their hearts for the Mozilla Firefox browser, a browser sponsored by anon-profit organization that devotes its resources to promoting openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet, the general public has yet to completely catch on. Therefore we are left with the largely ungratifying and often times tedious task of correcting our website creations in those other browsers... Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 (just forget about 5 and lower- too much hassle for such a small audience), early versions of Mozilla (for the slackers that refuse to update), Opera, Safari, and optionally Google Chrome (...and sometimes others). Whoever actually 'won' the browser wars is debatable. What we can say, however, is that we do know who lost... Web Developers.

The Webutante - Cross Browser Testing Methods - Browser Image

Because of the inconvenience testing a website in all of these browsers can be, I have compiled a couple of methods for cross browser testing that increase developers efficiency and quality when conducting cross-browser tests. Check them out and be sure to Contact me if you have any additions, modifications, or even just commentary.

The Webutante - graphic design and web development resources - browser statistics
  1. Browser Shots offers both a free service and a paid service for testing an awesome selection of browsers on PC's, Mac's, Linux and more. So why pay? Buying Browser Shot's service gives you priority, meaning if you don't pay, you are essentially last in line to be provided with your request. So, needless to say, the main drawback on the free browser shots service is rendering time. I put in a request for one of my personal websites to test it out a little bit for myself, and...well I am still waiting with my queue estimate being somewhere between 3 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes (!).
  2. IE NetRenderer offers a convenient method of testing the Internet Explorer browser, encompassing IE5.5 all the way through IE8. This is one of my faves because of its straightforward utility, and no hassle service. There is no charge for the service and your screenshot shows up fairly rapidly. Drawback: NetRenderer only gives you a screenshot of the browser, so interactivity and usability testing is pretty much out of the question.
  3. For testing a website in Mac browsers be sure to check out Browsr Camp, which tests with with the latest versions of 12 different Mac OS X browsers. Drawbacks: this baby costs money, even if it is only $3 for a two day pass or a $99 year long pass - and although you can test Safari 3.1.2 for free, the website I chose to test showed up flawed in the screenshot for some reason... It also only entails the most recent versions of the Mac OSX browsers, leaving out the previous versions that many people still have. Either way, however, Browsr Camp's rendering speed still makes this program pretty sweet.
  4. Xenocode Browser Sandox could be considered the free alternative to Browsr Camp. Despite being less browser inclusive (Xenocode only tests for Internet Explorer 8, 7, and 6, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, and Google Chrome), it still covers the primary browsers necessary for testing and even features multiple versions of IE. The main drawback with Xenocode is its incompatibility with Mac users.
  5. Another good PC freebie is IE Tester which allows PC users to download the program to test all relevant versions of the IE browser on both Windows and XP. Again, the drawback with this program is its incompatibility with Macs.
  6. For more browser testing programs that cost money, check out Web Worker Daily's recommendations.

Until the day comes that all browsers unite their standards principles, functional capabilities, and visual interpretations, we must cope by utilizing the cross-browser testing methods listed above. Oh- and if you are viewing this on IE, please do me a solid and download Mozilla. Trust me, it's for your own good.

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3.10.2009

The Latest Design/Developer Resource Collection

March's First Collection of Faves

This week's resources are focused primarily on (although not strictly limited to) web developers and web designers. I decided to go this route due to the struggles I have been facing with some of my latest projects. I wanted to emphasize the details entailed in designing and structuring a website because of the struggle I, myself, have had in the past week working on just that - the details. When I say details, I am referring to icons, typography and layout structure...those little irritating features that can either make the website what it is, or if handled incorrectly, take away from what it is supposed to be. If you have any suggestions or anything you would like to add, please feel free to let me know.

ICON RESOURCES

  • iconPot is an awesome icon resource bank featuring a wide range of icons for web development projects. What I like about iconPot is its no limitations policy - all icons listed are free for BOTH commercial and personal projects without the obligation to provide back-links and/or credit to the author.
  • Always offering impressive resources and helpful file collections, Noupe does it again with their recent collection of the 50 Most Beautiful Icon Sets Created in 2008. What I liked most about this collection? The pragmatic utility of each set. There is sure to be something of use to everyone in this compilation.

NAVIGATION & BUTTONS

  • Da Button Factory is a fun website that allows anyone to make shiny, web 2.0 style buttons online with the click of a button.
  • Smashing Magazine is always coming up with new tips and tricks for their tech-obsessed readers, but with their latest collection of Navigation Menus: Trends and Examples they seem to have outdone themselves. This article is both useful and surprisingly inspirational with their Web 2.0 navigation suggestions for a vast range of websites.

TYPOGRAPHY

  • The Web Designer Depot examines 5 Simple Ways to Improve Web Typography in a recent article. Featuring very useful suggestions for accomplishing better legibility, this article is straightforward and to the point, and useful to anyone who even occasionally struggles with the art of typography.
  • For a great typeface reference guide, be sure to check out the Periodic Table of Typefaces created by the Behance Network. As a ranking system for the 100 most popular, influential and notorious typefaces today, this periodic table is a great tool to reference when deciding on the proper typeface for use in any design.

"NEATNESS" FEATURES

  • James Padolsey familiarizes his audience with the JQuery Auto-Resize capability that adds a touch of class to just about any form. Try it out for yourself to test out the coolness factor.
  • DesignM.ag never fails to offer useful tutorials and tips, and their latest jQuery feature, Easy Display Switch with CSS and jQuery proves to be another of my DesignM.ag faves. This feature doesn't just add to the 'neatness' factor of a website, but also adds an excellent form of customization that many people will appreciate.

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2.21.2009

Latest Design/Development Resources

Top Notch Picks for Quality Production

I have been severely slacking on my posts this week, so in order to make it up to my readers, I opted to scan for some new excellent resources on the web. This time I will be breaking it up into 3 categories: 1.) Web Development; 2.) Design Oriented; 3.) Inspiration/Humor. Enjoy.

Category 1: Web Development.

  1. The curious blog, Noupe, featured an incredibly resourceful article recently entitled 40+ Useful & Handy Web Designer's Web Services & Tools. I found a few things in there I have used recently as well as a couple of items both designers and developers can use (I loved #2, Wordle, and I found #19 really useful for businesses and freelancers).
  2. Compiling browser safe resources can be quite an un-fun task, but, no need to worry, DesignM.ag has done it for you in their latest article 10 Helpful Resources for Cross Browser Testing. The free tools, like IE NetRendering, are my personal faves - I don't really like to pay to please Bill Gates and his Windows Posse ;).
  3. One of my own favorite web logs, Smashing Magazine, has compiled a list of 50 Beautiful And User-Friendly Navigation Menus. Featured are CSS-based design solutions, CSS+JavaScript-based menus and Flash-designs. This is a great compilation resource for anyone who appreciates the importance of website navigation.

Category 2: Design Oriented.

  1. PSD Tuts+ posted a fun resource for Photoshop Users called 50 Insanely Weird but Awesome Photoshop Brushes. Not all of these brushes may be useful for you, but you are sure to find at least several brushes that you have been dying for. My faves are the grunge, smudges, sparkly and lace brushes.
  2. Best Photoshop Tutorials Blog posted a fun article recently compiling the The Coolest Text Effects on the planet. This collection truly does not let down; the 'Fire' effect and 'Funky' effect are both killer looks that are hard to find.
  3. Smashing magazine just can not do wrong. Case in point, their recent post The Ultimate Collection Of Useful Photoshop Actions. While some are a little cliche (the comic book look is slightly overrated), this article is a real treat for people like me who like to conserve time with Photoshop.

Category 3: Humor & Inspiration.

  1. I could not stop laughing when looking at Urlesque's collection of the Top 10 Moments Caught on Google Maps Street View... At least until I saw a kid pointing a gun at an even smaller kid!
  2. Even I have been guilty of posting one of the Top 20 Male Poses of Facebook. 2Birds1Blog did a great job with this piece.
  3. Nearly everyone has written a Passive Aggressive Note at some point in our lives. However when they are posted together on a website online, hilarity ensues.

If you found this information useful, be sure to check out some of my related posts:

Thank me later.

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2.10.2009

10 Client-Side Editability Options

Offering Clients Hands-On Updating Options without Hiring a Programmer

Not all web developers are PHP or JavaScript wiz kids. In fact, a lot of us draw the line after complex CSS... maybe even after cut'n'paste JavaScript. So when it comes to offering clients the opportunity to edit the content of their web page, it can often be a struggle for web businesses to figure out the best way to go about doing so.

To help those businesses, and myself, I decided to do some research on the subject. Based on my own experience in addition to other reviews and information, I gathered the top 10 most useful applications and software that allow for clients to edit portions of their website without paying a web developer to do it for them. These will come in handy under many circumstances, but especially when you are working with a client on a budget that does not necessarily need a custom back-end system that a programmer can build.

If you find this information useful, be sure to check out some of my related posts:

The Top 10:

  1. Cushy CMS is a straightforward method for offering client editability without sacrificing time, money or design. With Cushy CMS your editable regions are pointed out via CSS classes, allowing for clean-cut code and purity in CSS. Vandalay Design offers an excellent Cushy CMS Explanation and tutorial to help you get started.
  2. Adobe Contribute is a handy way to offer clients a simple content management system for under $200. With an interface similar to MS Word, Contribute allows for rich-media files, in-browser editing capabilities, and Adobe Dreamweaver compatibility.
  3. Tiny MCE is a WYSIWYG web based Javascript HTML editor control to help assist your clients with content management. Released as Open Source under LGPL by Moxiecode Systems AB, it has the ability to convert HTML TEXTAREA fields or other HTML elements to editor instances. TinyMCE is also has the ability to integrate into other Content Management Systems. Drawback: You have to use file/image managers to relay the information.
  4. For those clients who only need to provide clients with the ability to edit their website's gallery, Zen Photo is for you. With a wide variety of gallery features, customizable CSS-based templates, comment capabilities, support for Flash Video, MPEG4, Quicktime, and 3GP (.3gp), ZenPhoto is the way to go for anyone seeking an all-around gallery solution.
  5. Using an interface similar to that of the popular project management application, grouphub, WidgetFinger is free with limited use. However, unlimited use of the application can be bought for the low price of just $10/month. The Widgetfinger editor will enable your clients to edit a live web site in real time, while also helping to maintain standards compliant XHTML and CSS code by separating the content from design.
  6. With features including WYSIWYG editing, video compatibility, photo galleries and blogs, Light CMS is free to start (pricing begins with increased users and pages) and offers a clean, hassle-free CMS experience with web 2.0 functionality. Featured on the website are useful video tutorials (which helps with client training). The drawbacks with this system is the hosting requirements (hosting with them) and the graduated pricing.
  7. Available in ASP, ASP.net, or PHP, Content Seed allows your client to visit a page that you've "seeded", hit control-y on their keyboard and log in, at which point they can change the text, upload images, add links, and anything else they want to do within the area of the page you've given them editing privileges over. It's customizable toolbar (to control the editing capabilities of the client) is what distinguishes this content system. Pricing runs from $150-$300 for unlimited deployments.
  8. The award-winning Joomla is a content management system (CMS) that enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Its ease-of-use and extensibility have made the open source, freely available Joomla a popular choice among developers. Websites presently using Joomla include the United Nations, Ihop, and LA Weekly.
  9. Drupal may be a little more challenging at first compared to some of the other applications/software I have posted here, however for anyone willing to invest some time, Drupal is a great open source CMS software to learn. The primary drawback: Time is money.
  10. Finally, there's always the blog option. Although this option will only allow for editability on the actual blog page, itself, sometimes that is all a client really needs. Some reliable blogging websites you can use to create client blogs: Blogger, BlogSpot, and Word Press

If you have any suggestions for additions to this post, be sure to Contact me or post a comment with any helpful information.


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2.07.2009

New Design & Development Resources

This Week's Top Picks

Listed below are some of the best design & Development Resources I have Discovered this Week. Check them out, and be sure to leave a comment or Contact Me if you have found any awesome resources this week that you would like to share.

  1. For all you Mac junkies out there (like me), Noupe recently posted an article called Readers Pick: 30+ Incredibly Useful Mac Apps for Web Design. With a wide variety of applications for the Mac interface, there is something for everyone in this collection even if you are not a developer or designer.
  2. The web design blogRedswish created a list of 10 SEO elements all websites should have. From the basics to the more advanced, this article will help you ensure you are covering the SEO basics with each website you develop.
  3. Vandelay Design recently posted an incredibly useful article featuring 77 Resources to simplify your life as a Web Designer. This article covers a wide-range of issues, from colors to favicons, most of which are pretty useful for web developers.
  4. You've got to love CSS Trick's awesome tutorial about Setting Font Size Based on Word Count. It may not be a feature you want to use for every website, but it is a great tool to use in some instances, and it is a pretty cool typography effect.
  5. Sebastian de With hearts making icons and interfaces. So his latest project, the Icon Designer definitely is fitting for Sebastian. His beautiful and clean website design is only amplified by the tools it provides to developers and designers all over.
  6. Smashing Magazine makes this weeks cut for design resources with their resource-filled article 100 Beautiful Free Textures. Nearly everyone needs random textures from time to time, and this inventory will come in handy for those people time and time again.
  7. Along the same lines as the previous resource, Dzine Blog shares another group of useful resources, this time in the form of Photoshop files, in their article 30+ Free Quality PSD Files to Download. Featuring tech resources, design templates and more, this article is equipped with an awesome selection of Photoshop files that many people (such as myself) have found themselves in need of in the past.

I hope you find these websites and articles both beneficial and useful. If you feel like I am leaving any out feel free to share with a comment. Be sure to check back again soon for more for resources!

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2.03.2009

A February Featured Website

I am Studios

I've been a fan of i am studios website for quite a while now, but since I have not yet shared it with you, I felt I needed to do just that. Check it out for yourself.

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Top Design Galleries

Design/Development Resources

So I'm finally back from my fun-filled Atlanta vaca, and it's time for blog updates! Due to my lack of posts during vacation, I thought I'd throw a couple of good resources your way to make up for my absence. Today's resources are for both designers and developers, and coverage will focus on the best design galleries (primarily web, but a few cover a more expansive range of design). If you would like to add any websites you think are notable, feel free to post comments and I will update the info asap.

  • The Best Designs recognizes the best CSS and Flash websites from around the world. This website is reliably updated (every weekday) and uses keywords to categorize the website type, offering excellent utility when you need style-specific design inspiration or motivation.
  • With nearly 13,000 websites to sift through, CSS Mania is an excellent resource for web designers and CSS enthusiasts, and is probably one of the best web 2.0 resource out of all of the websites I post (excluding the fifth post). Although it does lack thorough descriptions, it's images reveal the style and type of the website on their own which allows readers to click only on relevant sites.
  • Best Web Gallery is an inspirational gallery website featuring a wide range of quality design websites (Flash & CSS). A notable feature is its istockphoto-esque hover viewing appeal.
  • One of my personal faves, Faveup provides a simplistic but useful gallery of inspirational designs. What I like about Faveup is it's variety, featuring business cards along with Flash/CSS designs, and it's permalinks are a gift any designer can appreciate.
  • The CSS Zen Garden aims to inspire, excite, and encourage participation in pure CSS-driven designs. Offering impressive designer CSS showcases, CSS Zen Garden appeals to the beauty of standards based, clean coded websites.
  • Tag Society is a criterion-based network of quality websites organized by their respective tags. The impressive aspect of tag society is its vast collection of websites in addition to the ease of searching for type/style specific sites.
  • Website Design Awards is a clean-cut Flash/CSS design showcase with a ratings system that makes this site especially fun. One drawback: it's difficult to figure out what website style/type you are clicking on as there is no description and the preview contains such a small portion of the design.
  • Design Licks boasts a neat collection of top web design picks displayed in a flashy (but still subtle) manner. The 'Site of the Day' feature is the aspect that truly sets this website apart from its competition.
  • Finally, Type Sites is a website showcase updated weekly that emphasizes the beauty of typographic design. In addition to its narrowed focus on typography, Type Sites is also set apart by its informative commentary that guides readers through the art of typography and how it is successfully used on various sites.

Other notables:



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1.24.2009

Development/Design Resources

My Latest Faves

Lately, in an effort to develop my blog audience by offering helpful tips and information, I have spent quite a bit of my free time scanning the internet. In doing so I have compiled several valuable websites that offer useful resources for individuals in the tech industry. These are some of the latest to be added to my collection of bookmarks.

  1. As a repository of Sifr fonts, sIFR Vault offers quite a selection of sIFR fonts and font inspiration. The 'Resources' page will also familiarize you with sIFR if you have not yet had experience using it.
  2. With information on the latest calendars/date picker features, resources for the cleanest sliders, and the most beautiful web UI galleries, Italian blog woork has helpful resources that every web developer could appreciate.
  3. Designer Folio (a helpful website all around) recently posted an excellent Free Flash Gallery with cool effects and great versatility features web developers will love to toy with.
  4. For those people who desire to be known as one of the CSS Elite, web developer Adam Oliver compiled a few Useful CSS Tips that are sure to come in handy.
  5. From SEO, to PHP, Devlisting links to an expansive collection of web resources for web developers to utilize. While some are better than others, the large variety makes the website useful for a broad spectrum of beginners and professionals.
  6. Delicious is a great tool to discover the latest hot topics spanning the entire web. It also serves as a handy organizational tool for bookmarks.
  7. Finally, for website form advocates, Feckless Mind shares Purified Form Mark-Up for anyone to use on the web.

I will try to post a few more of these beneficial websites and articles each week, so be sure to check back again soon for updates.

UPDATE: I discovered this late, but just could not leave it out: 30 Useful Open Source Apps for Web Designers

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1.23.2009

My Gift to You

20 Free & Open Source Image Galleries for Web Developers

Website image of CMD+Shift Design blog - web development resources

I found probably one of the most useful articles I have ever come across on CMD+SHIFT Design Blog, and I could not resist sharing it with you: 20 Free & Open Source Image Galleries for Web Designers.

I tested out a couple of the galleries mentioned as I was so excited, and they seem to work quite well. I especially like the Space Gallery which mimics the effect of Mac OSX's Time Machine feature. Another gallery I enjoyed was Hideslide. The Hideslide website offers quite a few pretty sweet lightbox manipulation features, although there is a small fee associated with its commercial use.

This article should definitely be bookmarked for future use. Enjoy!

UPDATE: I found another great article with 57+ (!) Free Image Gallery, Slideshow And Lightbox Solutions. It covers some of the same territory as CMD+Shift, but also expands on it quite a bit.

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1.22.2009

We are the Web

It's Inevitable.

I spotted this vid after spending too much time browsing through the internet looking for something to spark my interest. It reminds me of my adventures in a college class called 'Communication, Technology and the Internet,' and it is definitely worth a peek.

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