For the record, I don’t hate w3schools. Apparently, a lot of people find their website useful. And from a human perspective, I’m happy for their success. After all, it’s run by one or more people, just like you and me, who have to feed their families.
But with everything we know about SEO and web development best practices, their ability to remain at the top of search results and also be in the top 200 most-visited websites in the world even after Google has made so many updates to their ranking algorithms, baffles us all.
In this post I’ll attempt to analyze a number of things about the w3schools.com website, both good and bad (mostly bad) and see if we can’t learn a few things and draw some conclusions.
My blog is not nearly as popular as some other websites in the industry. But I regularly get emails from people through my contact form, asking about various things, including:
Lately I’ve been working hard on my weekly newsletter Web Tools Weekly, which focuses on tools for front-end developers.
The newsletter was originally supposed to include design-related tools on occasion, then I changed my mind and kept it mostly developer focused. Unfortunately, this left me with a huge list of useful design, color, and typography related tools that I’ve compiled over the last 6 months or so.
So here is everything I’ve compiled, dumped into one big cheesy post for your artificial browsing pleasure. :)
I recently did a complete overhaul of my CSS Values info-app. The design is basically the same, with some minor adjustments. But the website is now using a MySQL database to store all the info (as opposed to throwing everything into plain HTML) and it now includes browser support charts for every CSS property.
Much of the info is probably in need of improvement, but there’s something significant I noticed when transferring the data from the HTML to the database. It turns out, a certain bias exists with the types of properties that the W3C has approved, and I think we can use this information to speed up the standards process in the future.
Some things in the specs have behaviours that browser makers are required to adhere to. But other areas are a bit gray, where there is no definite guidance on implementation, so sometimes the behaviour is different from browser to browser.
The team at Smashing Magazine have come a long way. I’m sure many of us remember how they broke ground, paving the way for so many copycat websites. While they still have a place in their hearts for the occasional “round-up” post, they are now focused on publishing the best web design and development related content in the world.
In my opinion, now that they have branched out into print publishing and have drastically improved their review and screening process for authors and articles, I think they have overtaken the previous industry leaders and are now the #1 web development resource in the world. That’s not taking anything away from publishers like A List Apart, SitePoint, or others; those organizations have their niche, and they will continue to be big. But Smashing Magazine has, in my opinion, surpassed them all.
Sometime over the past week, my Windows 7 machine did some updates that, amazingly, included an auto-update of IE10 to IE11. This is great news. This is the first time I’ve heard of any version of IE being pushed out automatically as a “critical” update (which I assume is what it did, since I don’t ever do the optional updates and those don’t happen automatically).
Those who have checked out IE11 have probably noticed a visual overhaul to the developer tools. One particular thing I noticed is that the “document mode” and “browser mode” options that were present in IE10’s tools have now been integrated into something called “Emulation” (which you can open quickly by hitting F12 then CTRL-8).
As you might already know, CSS3 transitions and animations allow you to animate a specific set of CSS properties. One of the properties that cannot be animated is the
It would be great if we could do it, but it’s not currently possible and I’m guessing it never will be (e.g. how would you animate to “display: table”?). But there are ways to work around it, and I’ll present one way here.
I don’t think this happens very often. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever used a percentage value on a top padding/margin, or a bottom padding/margin value. Even for height values, I may have used a 100% value for a hack, but nothing else.
Nonetheless, using percentages on those vertical parts of a page are somewhat different in the way they are calculated, compared to other properties that take percentage values.
This year I had the pleasure of completing my second book, and the first book that I authored all by myself: Jump Start CSS published by SitePoint.
It’s part of their “Jump Start” series of shorter books that provide an introduction to specific web development and design topics.