Markup & Style

XHTML & CSS Articles

Is WordPress Screwing Up Your SEO?

Is WordPress Screwing Up Your SEO?Ever since WordPress burst on the scene and gained huge popularity among designers, developers and Joe Blow bloggers, it has become shockingly easy to create SEO-friendly content. WordPress handles everything for you: Pretty spider-friendly URLs, semantic content, accessibility, and structurally accurate heading tags.

Wait — scratch that last one. I’ve always been suspicious that WordPress’s HTML heading structure was slightly off, and recently my suspicions have been (evidently) confirmed. Two articles have provided some important info to help front-end developers, content strategists, and SEO experts structure their content in a more accessible, semantic, and SEO-friendly manner.

More Additions to the CSS3 Click Chart

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More Additions to the CSS3 Click ChartCSS3 is fun to mess around with, and this info chart has certainly kept me busy while helping me to become more familiar with the newest techniques in CSS.

I’ve made updates and modifications to the click chart, including a few improvements to some of the already-existing examples, to make them more specific. The changes are listed below, or you can skip the boring descriptions and just use the demo button to view the updated chart.

What is Inline-Block?

What is Inline-Block?If you’ve been developing with CSS for some time now, you’re certainly familiar with the inline-block value for the display property. The most common use for this property/value pair is when getting IE6’s margins to behave.

To briefly explain what I’m talking about, if you float an element in IE6 and give it a margin setting on the same side as the direction of the float, the margin will (strangely) be doubled. You could fix this with an IE6 hack with a margin setting that’s half the value of the original, or you could (in many cases) give the element’s display property a value of inline-block (again in an IE6-only hack or stylesheet). This will resolve the issue in most, if not all circumstances.

Although this IE6 workaround for floated elements has probably been the most useful way to implement the inline-block value, it could serve a much more legitimate purpose if the value itself is better understood.

Updates to the CSS3 Click Chart

Updates to the CSS3 Click ChartI’ve added five new items to the CSS3 Click Chart. I also added a couple of filter hacks for IE, and corrected some syntax examples.

Each item on the chart includes a clickable heading that opens an info panel on the bottom of the screen displaying a basic description of the item, along with example syntax. To accommodate the fact that the chart is now more than one screen, I’ve integrated Alen Grakalic’s Easy Slider jQuery plugin.

CSS Opacity: A Comprehensive Reference

CSS Opacity: A Comprehensive ReferenceCSS opacity has been a bit of a trendy technique for a few years now, and it’s been especially frustrating for developers trying to implement opacity (also referred to as CSS transparency) in a cross-browser fashion, because it’s taken a while for the different browsers to finally agree on settings. There is still not a universal method to ensure opacity settings work on all currently-used browsers, but things have improved in the last little while.

This reference is going to provide a detailed overview of CSS opacity, along with some code examples and explanations to help you implement this useful CSS technique in your projects equally across all browsers.

One thing that should be noted about CSS opacity is that, although it’s been in use for a number of years now, it has never been, and is currently not a standard property. It’s a non-standard technique that is supposed to be part of the CSS3 specification.

CSS Font Shorthand Property Cheat Sheet

CSS Font Shorthand Property Cheat SheetIn the past I’ve displayed some serious animosity towards the CSS font shorthand property, so I feel I should make up for it. After all, the font shorthand property was just minding its own business, trying to save developers some lines of code, and I come along and declare it an outcast. So, although I still don’t agree with ever using font shorthand, I do think it’s important that CSS developers understand how it works.

So to make up for my former font shorthand hostilities, I’ve prepared a printable cheat sheet that you can download and hang next to your computer, which will come in handy in case you decide to use this property yourself, or are forced use it in a stylesheet from an inherited project. Enjoy!

CSS3 Click Chart

CSS3 Click ChartSince my knowledge of CSS3 is fairly shoddy, I decided to create and release a CSS3 “click chart” or “help chart” (for lack of a better term) that displays examples of some of the newest features in CSS.

The initial release only has 8 examples, with more to be added in the future. Each example visually displays the CSS3 feature, with a clickable heading that opens a box at the bottom of the page for information on that particular feature.

The box that opens gives a description along with browser support, an external link (usually W3C info), and some example syntax taken from the CSS of the page itself.

A Primer on the CSS Font Shorthand Property

CSS Font Shorthand PropertyIn recent years, as an off-shoot of the “web 2.0” movement, typography has really taken off and now plays a major role in web design. And font usage is also quite an important factor in CSS development — despite that it has not gotten to the point where any font can be used freely without some tricky, sometimes complex workarounds.

Font declarations and related properties in CSS are fairly straightforward to write in longhand. But there is a shorthand CSS property for declaring certain typographical properties that is well-supported across all common browsers, but a little quirky to work with. In this article I’ll describe how the css font shorthand property is used, how it can be misused, and what potential drawbacks there might be to including it in your CSS code.

A Detailed Look at the z-index CSS Property

Z-Index PropertyMost CSS properties that a web developer deals with regularly are instantaneous in their application to elements on the page. For example, when you add the background-color or font-size property to an element on your page, in most cases you will see the results immediately upon page refresh. But other CSS properties are not quite as “plug and play” as we would like.

The z-index property is one example of the latter. I would venture to guess that z-index is probably the CSS property that is more speedily abandoned than any other. Very often — when I previously didn’t understand z-index — I would try to apply it to an element, hoping that the element would automatically “jump” to the top in the page’s stacking order. But that didn’t happen, so I would abandon that method and try some other way to solve the problem. Maybe you’ve had the same experience. Hopefully this article will clear up some misunderstandings regarding z-index.

Everything You Need to Know About !important CSS Declarations

The !important CSS DeclarationRecently I came across a few articles that mentioned CSS !important declarations, and there was a little bit of confusion over what they actually did, and how they could be used, as expressed in the user comments on those articles.

So I thought I would research this unique CSS property/value appendage and do a comprehensive write-up on it that would go through essentially all the information developers should have before considering its use in their style sheets.

This article will discuss what !important is, how it’s used, some practical uses for it, and drawbacks that need to be considered before implementing it.