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How to Write Great Web Development Articles and Tutorials

Pen and PaperAs some of you probably already know, since January 2014 I’ve been working for SitePoint as one of their Managing Editors, mostly editing HTML, CSS, and Sass content. I’ve also helped out with Mobile content, JavaScript, some general Web stuff (Git articles, build tools, and other generic content), and I write SitePoint’s primary newsletter each week.

I love my job at SitePoint—it’s the best job I’ve ever had. As long as SitePoint still wants me working for them, I hope I can continue to help them put out better and better content for front-end developers.

I’ve rejected or sent back for editing quite a few articles since I’ve started my editing duties. Many of those rejections suffered from the same problems. So for this post, I’ve put together my thoughts on what I think makes for a good web development article or tutorial.

Another Redesign for Impressive Webs

Another Redesign for Impressive WebsI don’t know how many times I’ve redesigned this site over the past 4 years, but here’s another one, just launched this morning.

Layout-wise, there’s nothing really all that different. It’s more of a different skin than anything, and (out of sheer laziness) the comments and footer area have pretty much remained the same. Basically, I got tired of the dull looking header/sidebar in the previous design and wanted something cleaner and with a little more color.

The Folly of Allowing Up/Down Voting for Individual Comments

The Folly of Allowing Up/Down Voting for Individual CommentsWe should be past this type of behaviour already. This industry should be about sharing, learning, and growing in knowledge. But too often we do things that allow these areas to be stifled. And it turns people away, causing newcomers to become discouraged and not want to voice their opinions and questions for fear that they’ll be labelled “stupid”.

Of course, we’re all going to slip up in this regard to some degree. I’ve answered people’s questions on this blog in ways that some people thought were rude and condescending. It wasn’t my intent to do that, so I’ve tried to do my best to apologize and keep the conversation going.

Dealing With Gray-area Comment Spam

Dealing With Gray-area Comment SpamComment spam is still a problem on many blogs, including this one. Fortunately, WordPress’s Akismet plugin does a great job at filtering out most of the worst offenders.

But there are still some “gray-area” spam comments that I’ve tried to deal with. For me, this less-obvious type of spam has the following three characteristics: