Useful Web Development Sites

October 3, 2009

I’m constantly running across different useful sites when it comes to choosing a Web page’s HTML, formatting, CSS, fonts, layout, and so forth. Here are a couple of notable ones:

FontTester, as you might expect, lets you play with different CSS and HTML options to adjust what fonts you use and how they are formatted. The page starts with up to three columns of sample text at the top. Then you can edit the properties of the individual columns to compare and contrast different effects. Once you have the look you like, including color, line height, indentation, and more, you can copy the corresponding CSS.

If you’re new to CSS, you might want to check out CSS Basics. I think it’s a fairly straightforward, easy to understand introduction to Cascading Style Sheets. Once you’ve grasped CSS fundamentals, and found yourself wanting more, check out the exhaustive 84 Amazingly Useful CSS Tips & Resources. There are links to LOTS of good content there; just give yourself time to kill and don’t forget to take good notes!

Once you’ve got a site fairly well developed, you ought to do the professional thing and check its accessibility. This is a pretty easy step to skip, especially if you don’t have personal experience in accessing sites using non-standard tools. Sitepoint put together an article worth reading called 12 Tools To Check Your Site’s Accessibility. Some are software plug-ins that work with Dreamweaver, Eclipse, Firefox, or Opera; other tools are Web based, just like those used to validate a site’s HTML. Besides increasing the potential number of viewers for your site, making it universally accessible may even be something that’s mandated by the client. For example, I do a lot of work for educational institutions and the federal government, both of which insist on sites being accessible.