IADT Blogs

4 Web Development Resources You Should Be Using

August 23, 2011 IADT General, IADT San Antonio 0 Comments

Web Design and DevelopmentOne of the best things about working the World Wide Web is the wealth of knowledge and resources at your fingertips. From the World Wide Web Consortium’s dry listings of the technical specifications of HTML, CSS and other Web standards to A List Apart’s articles exploring the cutting-edge of Web design, you can find information that is right for your level.

Today we’ll look at a few resources that I like to use on a regular basis to enhance website production.

JotForm: One of the most onerous chores that a new Web developer faces is the prospect of creating a Web form and getting it to work correctly. The seemingly simple task of building a form and emailing the results can become a daunting mess of permissions and email issues that can tank a project. JotForm makes form creation easy with a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create a custom form with no ads or additional branding. Form results can be emailed and you can accept payments via many standard payment services, including PayPal and Authorize.net.

You can have JotForm host the entire form or you can get the code to make it completely editable on your end. You can set up conditional fields that will show additional fields depending on how previous fields were filled out. JotForm is free of charge for up to 100 email submissions or 10 file uploads or payments. Pricing is very reasonable if you need more than that.

Layer Styles: As more browsers and devices add support for new features in the proposed CSS3 standards, it becomes realistic to use these in your website. But figuring out the CSS3 syntax along with the special properties that support different browsers can be a chore. Fortunately, there are sites popping up that can create the CSS code for you in an interactive manner. Check out the Layer Styles site for a Photoshop-inspired layer style dialog box that lets you add gradients, shadows, transparency and rounded corners with ease.

CSS 3.0 Maker: For a more full-featured CSS3 generator, head over to CSS 3.0 Maker. This site covers not just the aforementioned CSS3 properties, but it also hits CSS animation and transitions, text and box shadows, RGBA color values with opacity, text rotation and web fonts. It also lists which browser versions will support these features! Way cool!

Hongkiat.com: Since we all like to integrate links to our social networks into our sites we tend to look for creative icons that are free to use. Hongkiat.com is one of my favorite blogs about Web development, and I keep going back to their Free Social Media Icon Sets – Best Of post listing scores of great social media icons. These are all high-quality icons available for commercial use with no attribution required, so you can feel good about using them on your site. Most icons are transparent PNG files, and many also include layered Photoshop files if you need to customize them to fit your site.

Working the Web means being a part of a community, and it’s a community that shares resources, tips and ideas. Leverage this community for your next Web project, and see what it is like to stand on the shoulders of giants.

-Paul Vaughn, Web Design & Development and Internet Marketing Program Chair, IADT-San Antonio

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