Hey, you! What are you doing? Where are you going? More importantly, what are you clicking on?
If only it were that easy. But no, most users like to travel the web incognito. They come to your site, poke around a few files, download a PDF or two, and then — poof — disappear, leaving nothing but questions in their wake:Where did they come from? Which browsers are they using? Are they experiencing any errors?
The most thorough method of tracking users is by planting cookies, which some folks consider rude or invasive, and, oh yeah, you need to know how to program them. Not to worry — there is an option that requires very little technical know-how, comes at no (or nominal) cost, and may already be a part of your site’s backend. I’m talking about logs!
Continue Reading “Gather Users Data From Server Logs” »
Well, mobile Webmonkey, if you read our article Tutorial:VI Tutorial for Beginners on the basics of vi, you’ve probably jumped feet first into vi practice, discovered that the mouse really doesn’t work, and practiced a little deleting and adding text of your own. But typing jjjjjjjjjjjj and dw might seem a little limited for serious HTML work. This tutorial focuses on what happens when you’ve mastered the basic moves in vi and are ready for a little more functionality.
Continue Reading “Advanced VI Tutorial” »
Last time around, we installed Django and started building a blog application. We got Django’s built-in admin system up and running and explored some third-party libraries like the django-tagging project.
So far we have some cool administrative tools, but no website for the rest of the world to see. This time around, we’ll work on displaying our content to the world by building the URL patterns and constructing some “views” — a term with a very specific meaning within the Django framework.
Everything we’re going to do will make more sense if you understand how Django processes your visitor’s request. We went over some of this in our introduction, but here’s a quick refresher course.
Continue Reading “Use URL Patterns and Views in Django” »
HTML is the lingua franca of the web. It’s a simple, universal mark-up language that allows web publishers to create complex pages of text and images that can be viewed by anyone else on the web, regardless of what kind of computer or browser is being used.
Despite what you might have heard, you don’t need any special software to create an HTML page; all you need is a word processor (such as SimpleText, BBEdit, or Microsoft Word) and a working knowledge of HTML. And lucky for all of us, basic HTML is dead easy.
It’s All About the Tags
HTML is just a series of tags that are integrated into a text document. They’re a lot like stage directions — silently telling the browser what to do, and what props to use.
Continue Reading “Make an HTML Document” »
In Lesson 1 of this tutorial, we learned how to manipulate images to reduce your download time. Now, it’s time to dig even deeper into the fine art of slimming down those pages.
We’re going to talk about page layout, and that means talking about HTML tables, first and foremost. First, because table-based layouts are the de facto web standard, and foremost because table-heavy designs have a nasty reputation for poor performance.
And CSS layout? It’s faster, better, and smarter. We’ll cover it later. Now, you’re welcome to skip ahead, but The House bets that you’ll keep reading.
CSS is cooler than tables. And smaller. And in the long run, its better. But some CSS-2 layout standards still aren’t showing up the same in every browser. So let’s face it — sometimes right-now compatability trumps future-compatability.
Tables aren’t all bad, anyways. Most designers are taught to design with a grid, so dropping things into a table comes naturally. We’re also fond of their duality; variable-width tables can both define a layout and respond to the unpredictable elements of a page. Being a web designer means coping with unpredictability, and striking a compromise between your design and the user’s flexibility. (Users should be afforded the ability to make fonts larger, for instance). Unfortunately, tables also increase the time it takes to display a web page, and sometimes by a substantial amount.
Continue Reading “Site Optimization Tutorial – Lesson 2″ »