Articles by Kevin Williams

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Kevin Williams
By Kevin Williams |
IN Build, IN Featured |

5 Expert Tips on Writing Efficient, Optimized CSS

Cascading style sheets, known more commonly as CSS, is a language used to describe the presentation or form of a document written in HTML, or other markup languages. It is an essential component of the WWW next to HTML and JavaScript.

After years of honing my skill as an engineer, I’ve found that grounding my CSS work around these five strategies has helped save valuable time and energy when working on production sites.

1. Write Tidy, Semantic HTML

Tidy, semantic HTML creates the foundation for writing good CSS. Semantic HTML markup is the best-practice of writing and organizing your HTML in a way that bolsters the meaning of the content over its appearance. Here are some examples

<header>
When inside <body> it’s the website masthead.
When inside <article> it’s the most important information.
<main>
Primary content of the page.
<aside>
Secondary content not required to understand the main content.
<footer>
When inside <body> it’s the website footer.
When inside <article> it’s the least important information.

Check out Algonquin Designs HTML semantics cheat sheet for more examples.

2. Use Shorthand Properties

Learning CSS in 2003, I was a late adopter of using CSS shorthand properties, and I'm still working on making it a habit. Writing in shorthand is the most straightforward method to shorten the amount of code and time it takes when writing CSS. 

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Kevin Williams
By Kevin Williams |
IN Design |

Website Fonts That Go Beyond the Basics

1600x600-fontsEvery now and then designers and/or developers run into the problem of designing a website or application that includes non-web fonts because not all fonts are installed on all end-user computers or other devices. Therefore, one often settles for one of the 11 less-appealing core web-fonts, which include Andale Mono, Arial, Arial Black, Comic Sans MS, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Times New Roman,Trebuchet MS, Verdana, and Webdings. These are the standard fonts used by all devices. It’s been the only way to ensure that all website visitors will see exactly what the designer intended. The only alternative is to render your type as graphics, which is impractical. What follows are some solutions for using the exact font your design requires, or at least a font reasonably close.

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