Be careful what you ask for




homebase_extraction_fan

Originally uploaded by surfgimp

Homebase seems to have an interesting fall back when you submit a query that it doesn’t know. It gives you random stuff in the hope that you’ll buy it. I suppose there’s more chance of buying something than having a “sorry we can’t find that” page with no products.

This still amuses me. Time to try other random searches me thinks.

Essential add-ons for firefox

firefox logoThe true power of firefox is in the add-ons available. For the web-developer there are a number of add-ons which are not only essential but also means that most of the time you only need firefox to carry out your work.

The list of these include:

Web Developer

firebug – Great tool for debugging javascript and examining what’s going on in the background.
firequery – An addon for firebug which shows the detail of what’s going on with jquery on a page.
page-speed from google – Another addon to further expand firebug. This time it’s from google and it shows how long each part of a page is taking to load and has helpful hints on how to speed the page load process up.
developer toolbar – This addon contains a wealth of useful tools when developing. Too many to mention here, it basically helps with css, javascript, standards validation. You name it, it’s got it.

Web Design

measureit – A neat little addon which lets you drag the mouse over the page to get element sizes. This is useful when designing pages.
colorzilla – Another essential design tool. Just click on the eye-dropper and anywhere on the page it will tell you the colour.

SEO

seo for firefox – These two are from Aaron Wall of seobook.com fame. It displays seo information for the page that is being displayed. There’s also tools to delve deeper into the seo performance of the page.; rankchecker
– Thisaddonn allowssearchtermss / websites to be entered then theaddonn goes away and find where the site is ranking for that search-term.
google toolbar – Helpful toolbar if you use a lot of Google’s services. Obviously it was mainly used for displaying the all important page-rank but as page-rank isn’t all of how Google ranks a site it isn’t as important as it used to be.

This is my current favourite addons for firefox. I’m going to be on the lookout for more soon mainly to help with general blogging like image finding, screenshot etc. There are plenty being developed all the time so let me know which addons you recommend.

WordPress theme tutorials

One of my New Years resolutions is to create a custom design for this blog. One slight problem is that I’m more of a developer than a designer. Give me an image and I can slice / dice, write the css and develop the theme quite easily. Here’s the killer, blank space frightens me.

To start my steep template designer learning curve I went on the hunt for tutorials. Luckily a lot of the feeds I read have a lot of tutorials to stat me off. Here’s some links to photoshop wordpress theme tutorials.

Sixrevisions

Here’s a few photoshop design tutorials from six revisions. This first one is a clean blog design with a large header and main content area with sidebar for sponsors.

Clean blog design from Six Revisions

This design is made appealing by the use of the coordinated large black header and footer. It delivers a minimalist theme which could be used on a variety of blogs.

Business Layout from Six Revisions

This is my personal favourite of the three and I’m sure it will come in useful for the redesign. It uses the 960 grid system to design a minimalist blog layout.

Ultimate design roundup from hongkiat – A comprehensive list of tutorials for wed design. Even though they’re not specific for wordpress they provide good inspiration to generate templates in photoshop.

Photoshop to wordpress from scratch – A tutorial detailing the full process of creating a blog design in photoshop then implementing it in wordpress.

List of wordpress framework tutorials from Smashing magazine.