Here’s a good tutorial on CSS grid layout from Mozilla:
This isn’t the first nail in the SEO coffin, nor will it be the last. But it’s a blow that’s hard to ignore: Google just announced an upgrade to its search algorithm that they say will impact 35% of all searches. That’s not a bad thing, either. According to the blog post, the update will produce results that are more up-to-date. For example, if you search for Olympics without specifying which year, the results will automatically assume you mean the 2012 games, rather than older ones. Of course if you really want to read up on the “miracle on ice”, you can still search for 1980 Olympics and read about ice hockey at Lake Placid.
While this is generally good for us as consumers of search results, it doesn’t bode well for certain sites, like the sports desk at the Reuters news service, which doesn’t show up until page 8 of the results. My point is that if you’re creating a new site or updating an existing one, don’t waste your time or money on SEO services. Most of them seem to be hucksters anyway, but even if they can get your site up in the rankings, there’s little chance you’ll stay there. What should you do, instead? Spend time on your social network connections and — gasp! — interact with your customers.
Maybe you’re already familiar with web sites that let you create your own, basic site for free and without having to know any programming, using pre-made templates. Places like Google Sites, WordPress.com, Tumblr and Blogger are all popular. If you want to check out another one, look at Onepager. It lets you use a custom domain name (like www.mycompany.com) and includes analytics, so you know if you’re reaching your target audience. And did I mention they just raised $350 thousand in financing from angel investors? It means that something must be in the works, there.
If you’re on YouTube or Vimeo and click an Embed button to get the code to embed a video on your site or on your blog, you might notice something new: the code they give you is a simple 1-line iframe, rather than the long, complicated object and embed tags.
Years ago, people predicted that iframes would go the way of the dodo, but developers still find them useful. The reason YouTube and Vimeo are now using them is that the iPad and iPhone don’t support Flash, and that’s the format these videos are coded in. But when you insert an iframe, the video sharing service can insert something more compatible. The iframe code also has the advantage of being a lot more simple, and it’s easier to re-size the video to fit your web page.
If you still need the old method for backwards compatibility, both sites let you click a button to get the legacy code.
There’s a cool Firefox add-in that puts rulers and guides in the browser window, so you can measure things just like in Photoshop, Flash, Quark and most other graphics applications. The add-in is called foxGuide and you can download and install it from Mozilla here. Just be aware that it’s currently a beta release. Like most other add-ins, it’s free, and the developers don’t even seem to be asking for donations. I’m running foxGuide in Firefox 4 beta 9 without a problem.
Once foxGuide is installed, activate it from the pop-up menu when right-clicking the screen:
You can then drag as many horizontal and vertical guidelines on the screen as you want. Remove one at a time by dragging it off the screen, or remove them all by right-clicking and choosing Reset Guides. Or just refresh the browser.
The only minor glitch is that because the rulers lie on top of the screen, they take up a small amount of space (rather than pushing the screen away), so if you want to measure something right at the edge it can take some fiddling. But that isn’t terrible; just make the rulers transparent to see what’s behind them. You probably also want to fix the rulers in place, otherwise they’ll scroll out of view when you scroll the page. You control the preferences with a small control panel in the lower, right corner of the screen.