Empowering Web Creativity

Empowering Web Creativity through Education

Being a designer or developer today requires more knowledge than ever.  It's not a static industry - you have to be constantly learning to stay on top of the game.  And that's the inspiration behind our new Education Center.  We want to share great educational content that helps give you the skills you need to serve your clients better and (of course) earn more money.

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The Latest

  • You've seen them on many sites.  If time is involved, there's usually a countdown clock somewhere.  Our free tool makes it as easy as copy-n-paste to add a snazzy current-time clock or countdown clock to your site.
  • The end of the year is a critical time to come up for air, look at the big picture, and be sure that you're actually going in the right direction in your career and life.  Today, I want to give you some very simple and actionable steps to take before you hit the champagne and bid 2014 adieu.
  • As a creative field, design isn't really governed by rules.  Rules are simply the accepted method of teaching underlying fundamental principles; and once you understand those principles, strategically breaking the rules can yield great rewards.
  • Summer's winding down in the Northern Hemisphere; let's recap some of the last month's most inspiring design, helpful articles and useful resources.
  • Content without good design won't ever garner the respect it deserves.  Typography helps give content its voice.  Today, we're going to look at 4 fundamentals that typography is built on.
  • We now have hundreds of font options for our webpages... but typeface gumbo isn't a good idea.  In this article, I'll cover the keys to combining fonts effectively so they enhance (and don't detract from) your design.
  • Are you familiar with the new header, footer, article, section, nav & aside elements in HTML5 and how they should be used?  Well, div tags have some new friends.  In this article, I'll be showing how to use these elements when designing your page structures.
  • A potential client comes to you because some other contractor abandoned their project before it was complete.  Is this an easy payday in waiting or a landmine-to-be?  Based on my experience, there are 4 potential reasons to take these jobs, and 4 potential reasons to run the other way.  Let's look at the right way to make the decision.
  • Gratefully, a new era of typography on the web has arrived.  You can now use thousands of fonts in your webpages.  Let's look at what made this possible, and how you can get started for free.
  • A logo is the cornerstone of any business's brand identity.  In this article, I'll walk through the 7 fundamental steps to creating a logo and show you some real-life examples.
  • Responsive design is quickly becoming the favored approach for making your site accessible on all devices.  In this article, I'll show you how to create a resizable grid of tiles that always fits perfectly, no matter the screen size.
  • Have you perfected your CSS3 keyframe animation skills yet?  The day when CSS3 animation becomes the new standard is quickly approaching.  In this tutorial, we'll practice by creating a simple animated scene.
  • To help put you in a festive mood, we're featuring a holiday-themed article this week.  What could be more appropriate at this time of year than adding a snowstorm to your webpage?  I'll give you a pre-baked script plus the recipe for this holiday treat.
  • XML is one of the most commonly used technologies in web and software development.  In this article, I will introduce XML in principle and in practice, giving you a sound grasp of the basics.
  • When you're looking for inspiration, sometimes it's good to go back to the basics.  In this article, I look at 7 trends that won't be going away any time soon.
  • Want to add social sharing buttons to your rotators, so site visitors can share photos on Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook?  We're pleased to announce today a free add-on and WordPress plugin that makes it easy to add social integration to your rotators.
  • Even with all the technology, tutorials and websites out there today, there is one thing that people can't avoid – human error. I'm going to warn you about some of the biggest mistakes freelancers make, so you can fill up your "mistake quota" with the little ones... like typos.
  • We've received several requests for a tutorial showing how to create an infinite image scroller or carousel – something that's not quite covered by either EasyRotator or the XML Flash Slideshow Creator v4. In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the simple steps.
  • You probably know how to style links with :hover and :visited etc.  But did you know that there are several newer pseudo-elements that can be used for dropcaps, consistent paragraph spacing, setting field focus colors, even text selection color?  We'll explore it all in this article.
  • Responsive design allows you to use some simple CSS to transform your webpage based on each visitor's screen size.  In this article, I'll show you how easy it is to get started with responsive design – there's even a real demo for you to play with.
  • In this article, I'll show you how to place any type of content behind existing content on your webpage.  One of the most popular applications of this effect is using rotators as the background for part of your page.
  • In all the din surrounding CSS3 and other flashy features, it's easy to forget about some of the more foundational CSS functionality that shouldn't be ignored either.  Today, I'm going to touch on one of the lesser-used features of CSS: the ability to customize how your webpage looks when it is printed.
  • Drop shadows are a great way to add depth and perspective to your webpages, highlighting certain areas and diminishing the prominence of others.  In this article, I'll introduce you to the CSS3 box-shadow property.  I've even included a visual tool to make it easy to learn and create code for your own sites.
  • In this article, I'll share seven keys from personal experience for providing your clients the absolute best service.  If you do things right, you'll have more than just happy customers – you'll have raving fans who actively promote your business for you.
  • You've likely seen it while browsing the Internet – a navigation menu that "sticks" to the top of your window as you scroll down a page.  This popular effect ensures that you never have to scroll back to the top of a page to navigate; the menu is always floating there, waiting to be used.  In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create this effect.
  • Right away is not always the right way.  It's not always easy to allow time for your project to chill... But if you care about the quality of work that you're putting out, then it isn't just recommended – it is a must.
  • Lightboxes are great for distraction-free viewing of photos.  Today, we're providing a plug-n-play script that makes it easy to add lightbox functionality to your existing EasyRotator sliders.
  • So, you're using WordPress, Drupal, etc. or writing your own server-side code.  How do you test that code?  Please don't tell me you're doing it all on the live server!  That's the slow way, and it can lead to embarrassments and security breaches.  The solution is a local testing server.  In this article, I'll explain why you need one, and walk you through setting it up.
  • Traffic loss, reduced sales, and poor search engine performance – these are just some of the side-effects of a WordPress site that loads slowly.  In this article, I'm going to go through ten important steps for making your WordPress site lightning fast.
  • A favicon is the little icon that browsers display next to a page's title on a browser tab, or in the address bar next to its URL.  It also is used when you bookmark a page.  Favicons help improve branding, and are critical for site recognition.  In this article, I'll guide you through the easy process of adding one to your site.
  • The humble iframe (short for inline frame) is one of the most powerful elements in HTML.  It is the ultimate modularization tool, allowing you to break up content, seamlessly display content from other sources, and better manage loading.  It's a must-have for any web designer's arsenal.  If you're not familiar with this tag, this article is for you!
  • It's spring!  If you're running your own business, this is the time to do some important yearly maintenance.  As projects pile up, it's easy to neglect your own workspace, systems and finances.  Before you know it, the disorder is out of control and it's harming your productivity.  Dana shares 10 must-do steps that will help you maximize the rest of your year.
  • If you're a photographer or other graphic artist, then you are undoubtedly displaying a portion of your work online.  Unfortunately, this means you have to deal with the problem of image thieves ripping off your work and using it – without credit – on their own sites.  In this article, I'll explain how you can protect your photos from freeloading downloaders.
  • Have you ever had a problem with a menu showing up behind other content on your webpage?  Most of us had.  In this article, I'm going to explain how these problems can be avoided by using the CSS z-index property, which controls how elements are stacked in your pages.  You'll learn to use the z-index property to ensure that the right content always ends up on top.
  • The unfortunate reality is that we all get sick and face unexpected events that keep us from working.  As a freelancer, it's really tempting to let these interruptions become the source of stress, events that turn our schedules inside-out for weeks.  Or, we "power through" sickness and end up prolonging the illness for weeks.  It shouldn't be this way.  In this article, I'm going to help you create a plan that allows for downtime and recovery time on those occasional days when you really need it.
  • Inadvertently working for free is one of the biggest dangers of freelancing.  In this article, I'm going to cover several different variations on this tune, including spec work, client-specific samples (including free samples), and pro bono work.  More importantly, I'm going to help you create a framework that protects you from getting tangled in the working-for-free trap, yet helps you proactively leverage specific types of free work to build your business.
  • Your business is booming.  Before you know it, it seems like every task you finish leads to two or three new tasks.  Deadlines are quickly approaching, but instead of feeling uber-confident as you normally feel, you start feeling a little behind.  A few days later, the deadline is tomorrow and it feels like there is still so much to do.  Now you're overwhelmed and stressed.  You forego breaks and meals just trying to get done on time.  It doesn't have to be this way.  With some planning and organization, you can meet those deadlines without working in a pressure cooker.  In this article, I'm going to show you how.
  • As pages get longer, you often need to link to specific sections on the page.  Instead of instantly jumping from section to section, adding smooth scrolling improves your pages' usability.  Use our free script to make the process drop-dead easy.
  • Are you thinking about making the jump from being a "traditionally employed" web developer to being a freelance web developer?  Are you a freelance web developer looking for ways to boost your income and better leverage your skillset?  In this article, Dana shares some of the important considerations you need to make when taking the initial leap from employee to freelancer, along with important tips and tools for then making it both work and pay.

For developers:

  • "Drupal is slow, isn't it?"  This question gets brought up all the time, whether it's by developers, site owners, or bloggers.  It seems as though everyone has heard that Drupal is slow. The truth is, Drupal itself isn't really all that slow.  However, if you have an incorrectly-configured server and/or load your installation with tons of modules, widgets and everything else under the sun, performance will inevitable suffer.  Dana explains the most common causes of Drupal slowdowns and how you can fix them.

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