CSS Tutorial Advanced Techniques for More Sophisticated Design

Cascading Style Sheet or CSS, as it is more popularly known, is used to combine dynamic effect to website design. Its purpose does not need much elaboration as every developer knows about it. What is great about CSS is the ready availability of tutorials including those for advanced techniques. Advanced tutorials really push the limits of creativity through CSS. Building on the basic knowledge of developers, such tutorials describe techniques and the use of sophisticated tools for advanced effects to the website design. Indeed, there are too many tools and techniques to be learnt in one sit. However, some advancement made in this department is worth a mention, though brief.

IE Print Protector

IE Print Protector makes IE render elements of HTML5 correctly on screen as well as for printing. It is a section of JavaScript used for this purpose.

Less Framework 2

Less Framework is not related to LESS CSS, which is another framework for extension of CSS with operations, mix-ins, variables and nested rules. The former is a cross-device layout and has minimal features-set, which does not include predefined classes and similar properties. A grid, a typography preset and media-queries are all that it contains. The typography presets are aligned to 24-pixel baseline grid, the column sizes of which are noted within CSS comments. The tool provides a zipped archive of the features that users select to include in their framework files.


Minify is developed in HTML5 and is a supportive application for CSS. It helps developers follow Yahoo Rules for High Performance Websites. It combines multiple JavaScript and CSS files, removes comments and unnecessary space and returns them with optimal cache header at the client-side and gzip encoding.


Modernizr simplifies a very important part of coding for specific browser functionality. It lets users target browser-specific functionality on their style sheet by adding classes to concerned elements. Hence, users do not have to write JavaScript code for the purpose.

CSS Tutorial Advanced Techniques

My DebugBar

DebugBar IE Tester provides the JavaScript and rendering engines of IE9 to as old as IE5.5 for Windows 7 to XP and the installed IE simultaneously.


It is a great tool to decrease the number of long http requests. With gzip-compression enabled at the server-side, the effect results into massive improvement in speed. It parses the CSS code and returns a copy of it including all the external media as datasets encoded in Base64.

Switch CSS

Switch CSS is a production-ready, feature-loaded and Apache-based CSS pre-processor. It runs as a command-line tool or with mod_python in the Apache environment.

Toucan CSS Reset

There are not many reset style sheets available as good as this one. Toucan CSS Reset removes the default styles of HTML elements and rebuilds new generic rules for tables, forms, list, paragraphs, headings, typography, etc. Moreover, it is browser-friendly, flexible and light.

How the web-design industry has changed over the years

Over the past couple of decades, the business life of the typical web designer has changed a great deal. The actual design process has changed and even business tools have changed a great deal. We take a look at what has changed in that time.

Modern projection systems reign supreme

The days when you could just show a potential client your designs by clicking the links in their presence or sending them a list of links are long gone. Today, web-design firms use powerful projection systems from businesses like Videonations, to show potential clients detailed descriptions of projects they have handled in the past. The presentations must be colorful, insightful and show the client what was done to meet specific demands.

Tables are now history

Before now, web designers experienced in the use of tables could easily make a website take any look they desire. Shims and image slices were popular with such designers but today, all that has become history. Web designers of today are expected to be very good with CSS styling and Semantic markup. Here is more on CSS.

How the web-design industry has changed over the years

Flash is going away gradually

A few years back, the Adobe Flash plugin was the perfect answer for designers anytime they ran into web problems. It was easy to use any fonts without being confined to the restrictions of the early Internet. However, even with the freedom it offered, it still lacked accessibility and also lacked depth. Flash is still with us today but it is no longer the force it was when it comes to building whole sites. This is partly down to the fact that mobile devices on the iOS platform cannot access it. Designers are instead turning to jQuery and CSS to accomplish some of the things Flash would do back in the day.

Web is more social than ever

It doesn’t matter what you think of it, the social media world is now an important part of web design. In the last decade alone, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have strengthened their grip on everyday living. This means support for social media sharing and integration is more important than ever in website design. This means designers are expected to have a proper understanding of how to include social media sharing in the web strategies for every website being created. Here is more on adding social media to your web design.

Expectations are higher than ever

The average website owner expects a lot out of their websites these days. Gone are the periods when people saw websites as a casual extension of their business online. Today, websites are deemed as a powerful part of any business. This means clients expect a website that offers easy interactions while coping with the strain of diverse kinds of media.

All of these mean that web-design firms have to adapt very quickly if they are to stay relevant in this sector.

8 Tips on Creating a Great Website Layout

Website building has become more common than air. But there are minor things which are forgotten. Fresh interns and beginners may not completely know of all that gets and should get covered. So, these simple precautionary and remedial steps will get your job done with ease and ability.

1. Record your thought processes visually

Before you get on to begin with your layout work, it is trivially necessary for you to have a clean sketch of what you are actually going to present. For this, you can let flow out your thoughts and ideas for the project through the tip of your pen onto a paper. This lets you have an absolute outlook of what your plans are. There, you get ready to proceed further.

2. Make use of a single Font Type

It is generally found that standard websites make usage of only a single font type. It rather makes work look professional and upgraded than making it look dull and simple.

3. Portray the structure of your plan on a top level

This helps you in knowing the exact content and the sub contents of the program that you are currently working on. Through this, you can have a clear point of view regarding what the needs of your website will be in the future.

4. Make the wordings convincingly distinct

This includes proper background color selection, text color choosing etc. One needs to be quite attentive here at this point because legibility is of utmost importance in a website. Choose contrasting background and text color which makes it easier for your visitors to incept your points. Let there not be a hitch created to them in retaining what your plan priorities are.

Tips on Creating a Great Website Layout

5. Two font sizes are better

Be cautious when you are choosing two font sizes. Its better when there is distinct difference shown in between your normal text and your significant titles. This promises your visitors a segregation through which they can decide what they want to go forward for, pick up and read.

6. Decide on a pleasing color theme

Apart from giving legibility, the color themes even work out great polarities in terms of pleasing the visitors. Using fewer themes makes your website look standardized and sophisticated with profession and induces in it a sense of seriousness too.

7. Design interactive options with a universal motive

Every section of your layout is yet another comprehensive single. But let not them subdivide and indulge into an extremity. Provide punctuating ends wherever possible so as to assure and direct towards the single and the universal aim of your website.

8. Lighten files

Let not your visitors wait for too long to get their tasks accomplished on your layout. Manage to ensure that the files that can be downloaded from your website are not too bulky. This will create a gratifying user experience, which definitely will add up to the goodness points of your website layout.

The Essential Guide to Starting A New Design Business

Starting a new business can be massively daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. Thinking about everything that can go wrong can be massively scary – but rather than focus on potential negatives you need to focus on the huge potential that is out there for you if you get it right.

A lot of people have great ideas but are put off by the logistics of getting their business set up. You might be a great designer, but sadly, this often isn’t enough. In this post I’ll go through a few top tips to starting your business so that you can see how simple it can be to get it off the ground.

Getting the Fear

The first thing to do is to get the fear. Not everyone can do this, but in my view, making the leap from your old jump before you set up gives you the drive you require and the time you need to make your business a success. Make sure your idea is solid first by all means, and only make the leap if you have some money saved or a backup.  You may also consider tapping into your home equity line of credit for a low-cost means of financing. Regardless of if you obtain financing or if you need to save first, consider a budget planner. If you can save and safeguard your position, this is a great approach.

If you do this, another great tip is to get a small office sorted so that you get away from home and get into the work mentality. You can get short term, low risk lets from companies like Priestgate Offices, or you can look at sharing with other companies.

Essential Guide to Starting A New Design Business

Develop a USP

To succeed you ideally want to have a unique selling position (USP). Consider working with a business coach or someone whose an expert in the design field to refine this if you need to, but really focus on what it is that you sell or do that makes you stand out. Why would someone pay you money for what you do? Would you pay for it? Once you ask yourself some difficult questions you’ll learn a lot more about your potential business!

Get Yourself Out There

Once you have your product or service refined, you’ve made the leap and you’ve gone public, you need to get your message out to find new customers. A great way to do this is by using video and promoting it on YouTube. If you’re offering a service, people are buying based on their faith in you rather than what you do – but how can they do that if they don’t know who you are? Consider using a company like Posh Gecko to get a personalised video or animated promotional clip created to help sell what you do in a professional and approachable way.

It all depends on what you do as to how you can promote yourself. If you’re selling products then attend trade shows, send out samples, and talk to buyers. If you’re selling a service, attend relevant networking events, get active on Twitter and make a name for yourself. Either way the key is to make a noise and get your new business talked about!

It’s tough out there, but not as tough as many would have you believe. Have faith in yourself and you can succeed in setting up your own business!

10 Inspiring E-Commerce Website Designs

Inspiring e-commerce website designs show how any new start-up company can launch their own online store with a few mouse clicks. Designers these days are creating some immersive and beautiful websites that truly need every bit of one’s attention.

1. United Pixelworkers

Shopify is used by many T- shirts vendors but the one that truly stands apart from the rest is the website of United Pixel Workers. The detailing of this inspiring e-commerce website design is incredible, with the fully receptive design perfectly reflows and bends regardless of the screen’s width.

2. A Book Apart

While most of the ecommerce sites rely on beautiful photography for their products to sell, A Book Apart uses block colour covers to display vividly their collection of books for website- making people. It works brilliantly when one is displaying their total collection as a bundle.

3. Ada Blackjack

In terms of layout and design, this inspiring e-commerce website design may be relatively traditional but where it really excels is in its excessive use of big hero images and clean and simple product photography.

4. 8 Faces

Featuring large images and even larger typography, this ecommerce site is totally responsive and enables readers to purchase the magazine, back- issue PDFs and prints. The feature that truly inspires is its clever use of jQuery Kinetic plugin.

Inspiring E-Commerce Website Designs

5. Luhse Tea

On first glance, one might think it to be a site of a comic book. The brilliant use of stylised graphics surely makes one to take a second view. This site makes nice use of copy, with the intelligent use of filters at the time of viewing the collection of products makes it real easy to find the chosen item.

6. Bellroy

Custom illustration is used to great effect by this inspiring e-commerce website design. The very first thing which will be greeting the viewer every time they visit this site is the relatively simple layout. Delving a little deeper will allow one to visit a variety of pages with each highlighting individual products.

7. Good as Gold

This New Zealand- based fashion store’s site is both loud and impressive. Huge homepage imagery lures the visitor in, with the option of numerous ways in navigating the site. An inspiring feature is the way in which the logo changes into a loading spinner every time a visitor clicks a link.

8. Best Made Company

This is an ecommerce site filled with beautiful products that until now have failed to get the attention of the buyer. This inspiring e-commerce website design is very minimal and clean, with every product being displayed on milky white backgrounds allowing the product to take the centre stage.

9. Big Green Factory

The vision behind forming this website was to create a principled online store for customers, in addition to being a creative distribution and merchandise platform for NGOs and charities. Build on the Shopify platform, the site exploits the titular colour extraordinarily that creates a cuddly and warm feeling in the viewer.

10. Shwood

Video is used exceptionally well by this site to entice interested buyers to know more about their sunglass collection. It features some beautiful photography as well.

Top 10 Really Useful Responsive Design Tutorials

Responsive websites have significantly grown in numbers and their demand is going to increase due to their adaptability. Obviously, creating such websites is not easy and the really useful responsive design tutorials are much-needed assistance, especially for inexperienced developers. These tutorials cover different essential aspects of responsive website development.

1. Braindump Responsive Web Design

This tutorial for responsive design has been created by Chris Coyier. He has made it easy to understand by adding various examples, tips & tricks, link to related resources and to relevant people, etc. He has also discussed the evolution of responsive web design briefly.

2. CSS Responsive Website

There are few website tutorials that clarify myths and misunderstanding that prevail in responsive website development. However, Jason Michaels has taken the initiative through his really useful responsive design tutorial that works on CSS.

3. CSS3 Responsive Menu

In this tutorial, Shingo Tamura has offered instructions in a step-by-step format, as they are required to develop a responsive navigation menu by using CSS media queries.

Useful Responsive Design Tutorials

4. Filament Group

Images are integral part of online content and Filament Group has produced a code for context-aware photo resizing.

5. Responsive Grid Systems

Grids are integral part of website development and need to be adaptive in case of responsive websites. Graham Miller has created this really useful responsive design tutorial which makes creation of grids for responsive websites easy and quick.

6. Responsive Navigation Menu

This is a very useful responsive design tutorial for creating dropdown menus out of regular list menus for smaller displays. The technique explained in this tutorial uses semantic and clean HTML5 mark-up without any involvement of JavaScript.

7. Responsive Web Design by Kayla Knights

It is more of a discussion on responsive web design than tutorial for the same. Kayla Knights has discussed how to keep up with the fast changing resolution of communication devices and how to retain users of one brand as customers while expanding to other brands.

8. Responsive Web Design, Visual Guide

The concept of standard size has become quite out-dated in this age. CSS media queries have evolved as required and facilitate responsive design that can adapt to mobile phones as well as desktops. All this has been visually illustrated in the Visual Guide to responsive web design.

9. Responsive Website Tutorial

Paul Robert Lloyd has created a very detailed and really useful responsive design tutorial. It contains much more information than just flexible media queries, images and layouts. In this tutorial, he has explained steps that are required for development of a complete responsive website.

10. Typography Handling

Scalability of images and other components of responsive website are essential to be taken care of. However, typography demands equal degree of attention, without which it may distort when the website scales between big and small displays. Different font sizes are needed for different line-lengths and screen-widths.

Top 10 Design Concepts That Every Web Developer Needs to Know

Website development is a thriving industry but some developers score over others and become favourites of customers. There are some basic design concepts that every web developer needs to know in order to make his product competitively efficient in the market.

1. Design influences experience

That design influences the whole experience of users is a crucial design concept that every web developer needs to know. Therefore, designing encompasses every phase of development. Load-time, space between content, hover/click effects and everything that makes browsing and surfing easier for users has to be present in the website.

2. Design-critique

Designers need to have convincing reasons for everything on the webpage. They may be asked to enlarge the logo, change colour of certain block, modify certain text, and similar miscellaneous features. They have to be able to explain that why is it as it is and how the modification can affect the design.

3. Detailed design

The ability of designers is determined from the finesse with which minute details are executed rather than from the all-round result. However, focusing on details at initial stages slows down the process and is an important design concept that every web developer needs to know.

4. Emphasis

When every object has emphasis, the webpage seems to lack priority and fails to direct visitors properly. Only the most important and relevant elements should be emphasised as it helps visitors navigate smoothly. There should be a pattern in emphasis so that every page highlights a unique content and redundancy is eliminated.

Design Concepts For Web Developer

5. Grids

Building relationships between objects, providing a base system for visual alignment, creating rhythm between vertical and horizontal alignment and optical balance can be achieved through grids.

6. Inspiration folder

Designers must store their inspirations in a separate folder. Design can be sheer imagination or inspired by a photo, video, logo, pattern, inscription, etc. Anything that struck idea in the designers’ mind should be punctually saved as they can be great for reference in future.

7. Problem solving

This design concept that every developer needs to know does not refer to real coding and editing issues but imaginary problems. Before the inclusion of any element, designers must debate with themselves about why it should be there, whether visitors need it and so on.

8 Sketching for designing

More a designer sketches, more he identifies the possibilities of making the design efficient. It is the preliminary step to designing and should be religiously followed.

9. User-centric

No website demonstrates skills of the developer more than the one that most user-centric. Making the website according to the preference and for the convenience of targeted visitors is by far the ultimate design concept that every web developer needs to know.

10. White space

The toughest design concept that every web developer needs to know is the use of white blank space on the web page. White spaces help in separating different titles, segments, etc. as well as give much-needed break to users’ mind.

The Best 10 Steps to the Perfect Website Layout

Designing a website has become tremendously simple in the present age. The steps to the perfect website layout are just as helpful for impressive web designing as various web designing tools and tutorials are.

1. Idea Presentation & Framework Sketching

Presentation of idea seems obvious to many but developers often jump into designing straightaway. However, it is only when the thought is appropriately represented on paper can design start. Sketching top level of framework is the first step to the perfect website layout.

2. Adding Grid and Dividing Layout

Adding a grid before starting a design assures that the design will be more accurate and better than that designed otherwise. It also helps in division of layout, which is crucial to highlight specific content. The right step to a perfect website layout is to design a simple layout and add necessary components to it.

3. Selecting Typography and Colour Theme

Fonts that can be easily read and understood are preferred for all sections of the website. Choosing appropriate colour for theme is also very important.

4. Challenge and Rediscovery

Conventions are the safest steps to the perfect website layout. However, there is always scope for innovation as long as they are relevant and beneficial for the project.

Steps to the Perfect Website Layout

5. Details

The expertise of a developer is not only showcased by the overall appearance of the webpage but by the attention that is paid to details, which can get ignored by others. In fact, every element of the layout should be treated as if it is to contest in a design competition.

6. Tidying by Sharpening

Strokes, font rendering options, blurry edges, gradient banding, etc. need to be sharpened to make the layout fine and tidy. Every element should be separately analysed when the full layout is examined as whole.

7. Best & Worst Case Scenarios

Website layout should always be designed with the best case scenario in mind. This approach is helpful for creativity. However, the design has to have all the elements needed in the worst case scenario which demands only the best out of the designer.

8. Designing Smartly

Obsession towards an idea usually prevents implementation of the best steps to the perfect website layout. Designing with full attention is good but too much time should not be spent on it unless it is approved by the client.

9. Developers’ Help

Unfortunately, developers are usually missed out during brainstorming and are approached only for the development phase. This practice deprives the project of an opportunity to be better.

10. Tracking Progress

Once the decision-making is done, it is important to track the progress of the project. Completion of the project on time and with desired results is ensured only when the progress is tracked step by step throughout.

10 Incredible Examples of Flat Design

Flat GUI designs incorporate fewer extra features that are only added for visual effect. These examples of flat design reflect the trend that started in 2013 and took it by storm. It has been in the market for years but gained popularity especially when it was incorporated in iPhones. Flat designs refer to UIs that allow limited visual effect or do not all.

1. Alchemy Digital

The UI of Alchemy Digital is one incredible example of flat design that is subtly used to maintain the appeal of the interface. The name of the website and navigation tabs is at the top panel, below which multiple totally flat graphics are displayed.

2. Friends of the Web

The expertise of designers of Friends of the Web (FTW) website is overwhelmingly evident from the UI. It is as flat and simple as flatness and simplicity can be.

Incredible Examples of Flat Design

3. Froont

Froont facilitates web-designing on the browser by just drag & drop mechanism. Its website is as flat as simple web-designing with it is.

4. Gravual

A top panel in white and featuring the name of the company on left along with the navigation panel on the right is all that can be technically called Gravual website. The bottom panel is in black and occupies more than 2/3 of the page with partially visible spelling of 64 that completes the description.

5. House Kitchen

House Kitchen has really simple, very playful and extremely lovable single-panel interface. On the all-white background are the name of the website, some kitchen ingredients resembling hand-drawing and the menu option at the top right. It has gone a step further and excluded even the navigation panel.

6. Josef Kjaergaard

Josef comes from a creative background and has more than a decade of technical experience. He aims to provide quality service to small businesses and agencies. His website can be seen as evidence of his claim and the assurance for his work.

7. Mosne

The subtlety with which Mosne has been designed makes it an incredible example of flat design that can look extremely pleasant too. The top panel features the name, navigation tabs, search and other utility options and thumbnail link to Facebook.

8. Moving Things Design Co.

The GUI of Moving Things Design will remind its visitors the simplicity of old days of Internet. Its 2-panel webpage with ‘learn more’ button go deeper, is truly a remarkable example of web design.

9. Play Dot To

Interface design cannot be made flatter than what Play Dot To uses. It has a single panel main page with two numbered circles separated by the instruction to “click and drag to start”.

10. Si Digital

Si Digital refers to its web-designing service as creating digital chemistry. Its all-white main page with chemistry laboratory apparatus, description of the service and the navigation panel together put up an incredible example of flat design.

Learn How to Create a Tool-Tip Just Using Pure CSS

Pure CSS is replacing usage of jQuery incredibly fast. Developers are pushing the limits by doing new things purely with CSS and creating tool-tips without using any other coding technique is an example of that. Thus, knowing how to create a tool-tip just using pure CSS is a very relevant and applicable now-a-days. A tutorial dealing with this concern will help all in their quest for pure CSS development.

How to Create a Tooltip

The evolution of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) has helped and still helps web designers in creation of beautiful projects within relatively small time. Addition of tool-tips to HTML elements is traditionally done with jQuery. However, the same result can be obtained with pure CSS too. In this tutorial, anchor tags have been targeted for the tooltip. CSS pseudo elements have been used to make the tool-tip functional. The following is the code that has to be internally or externally added to CSS to create a tool-tip just using pure CSS.


/*For the anchor tag*/


/*Pseudo element before*/



content: “”;

position: absolute;

border-top: 20px rgba(0,0,0,1) solid;

border-left: 30px solid transparent;

border-right: 30px solid transparent;

display: none;

top: -17px;

left: -20px;


/*Pseudo element after*/




position:absolute;color:#FFFFFF;top:-33px;left:-26px;background:rgba(0,0,0,1);padding:5px 15px;






/*Display tool-tip on hover link */


Once CSS has been added, HTML document has to be created to which the CSS document can be added or the external CSS file can be linked to. Following is the code to create the mark-up:

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