How to Achieve Your Own Definition of Success as a Freelance Web Designer

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In society, success is often portrayed as having pretty close to a singular definition. We think of a successful entrepreneur driving a Tesla and living in the smartest of smart homes. Or we see the opulence of a big shot executive “living the life”, as they say.

But success is a very personal and subjective thing. There is no right or wrong definition because it’s a matter of what is in our hearts. My measure of success may be different than yours. But does that mean we should still take the same approach to achievement?

While traits like hard work and integrity will always be shared factors, how we approach our freelance design businesses should better reflect our personal definition of success. Here are some ways to tailor your business to help you get to your happy place.

Focus on the Right Types of Projects

For some people, part of what defines success involves working on specific kinds of projects. Fulfillment may come in the form of designing websites for non-profit organizations or a favorite sport. Others may not care about industry so much as they care about luring projects that pay big money.

The point is to figure out the types of projects that will get you to where you want to go. From there, it’s a matter of marketing yourself to whatever niche that interests you.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. The realities of running your own business sometimes mean having to take on projects that aren’t necessarily aligned with your vision of success. But that’s okay – so long as you don’t get stuck with something that interferes with your long-term goals.

Indeed, unless you already have industry connections, pointing your business towards a specific type of project is often a process that takes time. But once you get your foot in the door, it can open up all sorts of possibilities.

Think About Where, When and How Much You Work

Success can be greatly influenced by your work environment. When you think about it, this is an area that both affects and defines our success. If you’re cranking out websites from a place you don’t want to be, it’s going to be that much more difficult to do well.

But it also goes well beyond just location. There are a number of scenarios where part of our success is not only where we do our work, but also the time we spending working. Consider three of the most common ones:

Being a Parent and a Designer
Freelancing provides a great opportunity for parents to both make a living and be there for their children. Personally, it allows me to get my daughter to and from school, along with the chance to spend extra quality time with her. So for me, working standard daylight hours at home is the right situation. Weekends are generally off-limits unless absolutely necessary.

This can be a fairly simple arrangement in terms of initial business setup. The biggest challenge is that there are interruptions in the day that can be a bit chaotic. But being at home certainly makes any chaos easier to handle than it would be at a traditional office.

Putting the ‘Free’ in Freelancer
There are many designers who use their freelance career as a vehicle to pursue other passions like travel or volunteering. Therefore, the flexibility to work your own hours is a big deal. It’s also a bit more of a challenge to achieve.

Working odd hours really depends on the type of clientele you have. Some gigs demand that you to be available during “normal” business hours. And being in the office less than the standard 5 days a week can also take some careful planning.

Still, it can be done. It’s all about finding an equation that a) lets you work a personalized schedule; and b) enables you to make a living. If you’re really passionate about something, you’ll find a way to make it all work.

Hitting the Big Time
Those looking for big ticket projects may take a different tact to freelancing than the two scenarios above. For one, higher level projects might mean working with big companies. While some clients may be comfortable with remote meetings, others may prefer to meet you in person. This means either traveling or having a meeting space may be necessary.

The other major consideration here is the amount of extra work involved. Even if you’re managing other freelancers, there could be plenty of nights and weekends filled with work (not to mention the time spent marketing yourself).

If this sounds like your jam, then focusing on process efficiency can do wonders for keeping everything running smoothly. Establish a process for how projects get done on-time and on-budget so that you can keep that money machine cha-chinging.

When Progress is Slow…

One of the best aspects of being a freelancer is the ability to do things your own way. That’s a big responsibility, though. It’s easy to get into bad habits that end up hurting your chances to live and work the way you want.

So, if you’re not seeing the progress you hoped for, it may be time to take a hard look at how you’re running your business. While bad luck can play a role, most often you’ll find that are specific things you could be doing differently.

When it comes to your financial situation, scrutinize how much you charge and how you collect payment. Web design, in particular, is an industry where prices run the gamut. You want to make sure that you’re not charging too much or too little.

As for collection, ask yourself if you’ve made it easy enough for people to both receive invoices and make payments. For example, I noticed that not long after I started accepting online payments, I had a significantly lower number of clients who were late with payment. While online payment processors usually charge a fee for every transaction, I found that this was a worthy tradeoff over being stressed out by unpaid invoices.

It’s also vital to review the services you offer. Are you providing services that don’t fit in with your goals? Do your services set you up for a predictable stream of income? While it may be hard to fully weed out services that aren’t in your best interest, you can always grandfather them out over time. Or, you might structure pricing in such a way that it’s much more worthwhile.

Lastly, review just how organized (or not) you are. If you find that you’re always scrambling to put out fires, you might want to invest some effort into better organizing your average workday. There are plenty of tools and services out there to help. If something makes your life easier and doesn’t require you to sacrifice quality – go for it.

Creating Success on Your Own Terms

Being a freelancer puts you in a unique position to determine your own present and future. It enables you to achieve the kind of success that reflects who you are as a person.

But getting there requires a thoughtful approach. Simply working day-to-day without regards to your goals isn’t enough (I now know that from experience). The key is to find out what it is you want and then implement any necessary changes in order to make it a reality.

It may take some time to get there, but that journey is part of the fun.

Which Design Elements Are The Must-Have For Mobile App?

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According to a Gartner research, “The global app downloads worldwide will reach the mark of 268.7 billion in 2017.” The astronomical usage of the mobile app is an eye-opening fact. When the businesses are consumer-first, then the need of mobile app has turned from an option to a necessity. Witnessing the benefits and use of […]

The post Which Design Elements Are The Must-Have For Mobile App? appeared first on

Dynamic Shape Overlays with SVG

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Today we’d like to share another way of achieving morphing page transitions. This time, we’ll generate multiple SVG curves with JavaScript, making many different looking shapes possible. By controlling the individual coordinates of the several layers of SVG paths, the curved shapes animate to a rectangle (the overlay) with a gooey motion. We use some nice easing functions from glsl-easings and by tuning the curve, speed and the delay value, we can generate many interesting effects.


Attention: We use some new CSS properties in the demos; please view them with a modern browsers.

This demo is kindly sponsored by HelloSign API: The dev friendly eSign.

Building the SVG

Let’s have a look at the SVG which we will use to insert the path coordinates dynamically.
First, we’ll make sure that the whole SVG and the overlay paths are stretched to the size of the screen. For that, we’ll set the preserveAspectRatio attribute to none. Depending on how many layers we want, we’ll create that amount of paths:

<svg class=”shape-overlays” viewBox=”0 0 100 100″ preserveAspectRatio=”none”>
<path class=”shape-overlays__path”></path>
<path class=”shape-overlays__path”></path>
<path class=”shape-overlays__path”></path>

The styles that will allow the SVG to match the size of the browser window looks as follows:

.shape-overlays {
width: 100vw;
height: 100vh;
position: fixed;
top: 0;
left: 0;

Each path element corresponds to a layer of the overlay. We’ll specify the fill for each of these layers in our CSS. The last path element is the background that stays after the overlay expansion:

.shape-overlays path:nth-of-type(1) { fill: #c4dbea; }
.shape-overlays path:nth-of-type(2) { fill: #4c688b; }
.shape-overlays path:nth-of-type(3) { fill: #2e496a; }

Note that in our demos, we make use of CSS custom properties to set the path colors.

The JavaScript

For our demos, we define an overlay control class that allows us to set and control a couple of things. By changing each value, you can create unique looking shapes and effects:

class ShapeOverlays {
constructor(elm) {
this.elm = elm; // Parent SVG element.
this.path = elm.querySelectorAll(‘path’); // Path elements in parent SVG. These are the layers of the overlay.
this.numPoints = 18; // Number of control points for Bezier Curve.
this.duration = 600; // Animation duration of one path element.
this.delayPointsArray = []; // Array of control points for Bezier Curve.
this.delayPointsMax = 300; // Max of delay value in all control points.
this.delayPerPath = 60; // Delay value per path.
this.timeStart =;
this.isOpened = false;

const elmOverlay = document.querySelector(‘.shape-overlays’);
const overlay = new ShapeOverlays(elmOverlay);

Further methods that determine the appearance of the overlay are the ShapeOverlays.toggle() method and the ShapeOverlays.updatePath() method.

The ShapeOverlays.toggle() method has the function of opening and closing the overlay, and also of setting the delay value of each control point for every time it opens and closes. It is not necessary to set the delay value every time, but by altering it, it will create some nice randomness.

The ShapeOverlays.updatePath() controls the animation by specifying the easing function.

For example, in demo 1, the same easing function is used for all control points, and the delay value is set like a fine wave using trigonometric functions, so that we get a “melting” appearance.

toggle() {
const range = 4 * Math.random() + 6;
for (var i = 0; i < this.numPoints; i++) {
const radian = i / (this.numPoints – 1) * Math.PI;
this.delayPointsArray[i] = (Math.sin(-radian) + Math.sin(-radian * range) + 2) / 4 * this.delayPointsMax;


updatePath(time) {
const points = [];
for (var i = 0; i < this.numPoints; i++) {
points[i] = ease.cubicInOut(Math.min(Math.max(time – this.delayPointsArray[i], 0) / this.duration, 1)) * 100


In our demos we use this effect to create an overlay in order to show a menu in the end of the animation. But it could also be used for other types of transitions, like page transitions or scroll effects. Your imagination is the limit.

Here are a couple of screenshots:





We hope you enjoyed this effect and find it useful!


glsl-easings by glslify. Easing functions that use to demos are based on the code of glsl-easings module.

Dynamic Shape Overlays with SVG was written by Yoichi Kobayashi and published on Codrops.

10 top tools for illustrators to try this October

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This month, we're taking a look at custom brushes for illustrators. We'll start with some brushes for Photoshop. These aren't all exactly new, but with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which ones to use. Beyond these top five, if you're looking for a more extensive collection, take a look at our roundup of The 60 best free Photoshop brushes.

Then we'll move on to top Clip Studio Paint (aka Manga Studio) brushes. Like Photoshop, you can also add custom brushes, as our guide to creating custom brushes in Clip Studio Paint shows. There's bound to be something here for you, so let's get started.

Custom brushes for Photoshop
01. 12 Free Halftone Texture Brushes

Halftone brushes are great for a retro comic book look


If you're looking to add different tones to your illustrations, check out these free brushes by Spoon Graphics. With this set of 12 distressed halftone effects, you'll be able to add retro shading and halftone textures with ease.

The pack includes a range of dot patterns including Fine, Light, Heavy and Dark, each with three size options. The brushes are also sensitive to pen pressure, so graphics tablet users can easily adjust the size of brush this way.

02. 10 Free Subtle Grunge Texture Brushes

Great brushes for creating well-worn looks


Here's another set of free Photoshop brushes from Spoon Graphics, which includes 10 presets at 2000 x 2000 resolution. The subtle textures here are versatile, and ideal for creating all kinds of distressed or worn looks.

They're easy to resize and edit to suit your needs. If you're looking to add a little grunge to your illustrations, this is an awesome pack to have loaded.

03. Strokes and Splatters

Create strokes and splatters easily


This splatter pack was created by Brusheezy user Benjamin McFetridge, who's rather new to the game – this is his second ever brush set, which he created after his first one proved so popular.

It will have you tossing digital paint all over the place in no time. This set includes 25 hi-res custom brushes for Photoshop.

04. 20 Painter PS Brushes

Add a painterly look to your digital art


Liza Giannouri, another Brusheezy user, has a set of 20 painterly brushes ready for you to try. This isn't her first set. In fact, Giannouri has over 1063 uploads.

This particular set includes a number of brushes designed to mimic traditional paintbrushes, and is ideal for adding a painterly look to your digital artwork.

05. Kyle T. Webster's Brushes

Webster’s brushes are now all included in Creative Cloud


Quite possibly my favourite brush packs come from Kyle T. Webster – although you won't be able to get them from his site anymore. That's because Adobe has partnered with Webster and now all of his brushes are included in the Creative Cloud library.

How do access them? Launch Photoshop (if you don't have it already, get Creative Cloud here). Create a new document. Switch to the Libraries panel, and select the 'Kyle Brushes' library.

Bonus: Make your own custom Photoshop brushes

Are you interested in learning how to make your own custom brushes? If so, check out this video tutorial on how to make your own custom brushes in Photoshop.

Clip Studio Paint custom brushes
06. Assorted Inks and Pencils by lapinbeau

These brushes mimic different pencils and pens


This set of Clip Studio Paint brushes by DeviantArt user lapinbeau comes with 14 different pencil and ink-style brushes, some of which were modelled after well-known artists. Styles include oil pencil, crow quill, soft pen and calligraphy.

07. Blue and Red Pencil Brushes by SerketXXI

A simple but handy pack of red and blue pencil brushes


SerketXXI, another DeviantArt user, created this set of blues and reds for those of us who remember 'the good old days' of pencils, paper and copying machines. This pack includes four brushes: light and heavy versions of red and blue pencils, for use in Clip Studio Paint. Simple but handy.

08. Daub Brush Collection

DAUB offers an impressive range of brushes

€2.99 – €9.99

DAUB creates custom brushes for Clip Studio Paint, Affinity, Procreate and Photoshop. Its brushes are crafted using natural media and parametric generation, making them as realistic as possible.

There are a number of different packs from which to choose, or you can grab yourself the Super Bundle for €9.99 (around $11.80/£8.90 at today's exchange rates) and call it day.

09. Yeti Rough Inker & Yeti-Go-To-Inker

Zombie Yeti’s brushes are versatile and free


The Yeti was one of the first brushes I added to my installation of Clip Studio. I use it with almost every illustration I create. These brushes are the work of the "damn nice, self-aware, humble, tall and hairy" Zombie Yeti. The brushes create a lovely ink pen effect, and the best part is: they're free.

10. Mega Pack from Flyland Designs

These are essentials in my Clip Studio ‘U-toolity’ belt


Once again saving the best for last, Brian Allen at Flyland Designs has created what I like to call my Clip Studio 'U-toolity' belt. His mega-packs have everything you need to create the perfect illustration. 

For just $6.99 USD you can get Volume 1 and Volume 2, which combined has more than 220 brushes. These include crosshatch brushes, copic marker brushes, fur and hair brushes, inking brushes, pencil brushes, special pattern brushes, splatter brushes, stippling brushes and more. So what are you waiting for? Go grab those brushes!

Bonus: Make your own Clip Studio Paint brushes

Interested in making your own custom brushes? Try one of these helpful tutorials: Create custom brushes in Clip Studio Paint or Using custom brushes in Clip Studio Paint. You might also like our tutorial on how to create a custom sticker brush in Artrage.

Read more:

30 of the best Procreate brushesThe 23 best Illustrator brushesThe best drawing tablets in 2017

Top 12 Productivity Tips for WebStorm and Angular – Part 1

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This article was sponsored by JetBrains. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

In this 2-part series, Google Developer Experts Jurgen Van de Moere and Todd Motto share their favorite productivity tips for developing Angular applications using WebStorm.

In this first part, Jurgen shares his personal top 5 WebStorm features that allow him to increase his productivity on a daily basis:

Use Angular CLI from within WebStorm
Navigate like a pro
Take advantage of Angular Language Service
Auto format your code
Optimize your imports

Each tip can tremendously increase your development productivity, so let’s dig into them a little deeper one by one.

Tip 1: Use Angular CLI from Within WebStorm

Angular CLI is a Command Line Interface (CLI), written and maintained by the Angular team, to help automate your development workflow. You can use it to quickly create new Angular projects and add new features such as components, services and directives to existing Angular projects.

WebStorm’s integration with Angular CLI provides you with all its power right from within WebStorm, without using the terminal.

To create a new Angular Project, choose File | New | Project and select Angular CLI.

Enter a project location and hit the Create button. WebStorm uses Angular CLI to create a new Angular project and install dependencies.

When your new Angular application is in place, you can easily add new Angular features. Right click on src/app and choose New | Angular CLI to pick the type of feature you wish to add.

Once you’ve selected a feature, you can specify the name and optional parameters, just as you would with Angular CLI on the command line:

Create a new Angular module

To learn more about Angular CLI options and parameters, make sure to check out The Ultimate Angular CLI Reference.

What’s really awesome is that WebStorm automatically adds the component to the right Angular module for you, in this case AppModule.

If your application has multiple Angular modules, right click on the module you wish to add the feature to and choose New | Angular CLI. WebStorm will make sure the new files are created in the right location and that the new feature is added to the correct Angular module.

How sweet is that!

Tip 2: Navigate Like a Pro

Use cmd-click or cmd-B to easily jump to any definition within your project.

If you are a keyboard user, just put your cursor on a term and hit cmd-B. If you are a mouse user, hold down the cmd button and all terms you hover will turn into links to their definition.

WebStorm automatically recognizes Angular components and directives in your HTML, links to stylesheets, links to templates, classes, interfaces and much more.

No need to open file(s) manually, just jump to any definition you need:

Command-click words

When looking for a file that you don’t have an immediate reference to, hit shift twice to open the Search everywhere dialog. You don’t have to type the entire search string. If you want to open AppComponent, just type the first letter of each part — i.e. ac — and WebStorm will immediately narrow down the result list for you, so you can quickly pick the suggestion you wish to open:

Search everywhere

Another super useful navigation shortcut is cmd-E, which presents you with a list of recently edited files so you can easily navigate back and forth between them.

Recent files

Knowing how to quickly navigate to the code you need will save you a tremendous amount of time every single day.

Tip 3: Take Advantage of Angular Language Service

Angular Language Service is a service, designed by the Angular Team, to provide IDEs with error checking and type completion within Angular templates.

WebStorm integrates with Angular Language Service to better understand your code. To enable Angular Language Service, first make sure it is installed:

npm install @angular/language-service –save-dev

If you use Angular CLI to generate an Angular application, Angular Language Service is automatically installed.

Next, go to Preferences | Languages & Frameworks | TypeScript, make sure Use TypeScript Service is checked and click Configure…:

TypeScript recommendations

The Service Options modal will pop up. Enable Use Angular service and apply the changes:

TypeScript recommendations

By default, WebStorm already provides great assistance for writing Angular code.

When editing a script, WebStorm automatically imports the required JavaScript modules so you don’t have to import them manually.

If you open up the TypeScript panel, WebStorm provides you with immediate feedback on the validity of your code, so you can quickly resolve issues before having to compile your project.

Watch how the OnInit interface is automatically imported and how the live TypeScript feedback immediately tells you whether or not your TypeScript code is valid:

TypeScript recommendations

When you edit a template, WebStorm provides you with smart code completion that recognizes components, directives and even input and output properties:

Code completion in templates

With Angular Language Service enabled, WebStorm is able to improve code completion in template expressions:

Angular Language Service Expression Error

… and report template errors more precisely right inside your editor:

Highlighted errors

Catching errors without having to compile your project saves you incredible amounts of time.

Tip 4: Auto-format Your Code

Don’t worry about formatting your code manually. WebStorm has you covered.

Whether your are in a template, a script, a stylesheet or even a JSON file, just hit cmd-option-L and WebStorm will automatically format all code for you:

Continue reading %Top 12 Productivity Tips for WebStorm and Angular – Part 1%

Combining Graphical And Voice Interfaces For A Better User Experience

Original Source:



With​ ​the​ ​appearance​ ​of​ ​voice​ ​user​ ​interfaces,​ ​AI​ ​and​ ​chatbots,​ ​what is​ ​the​ ​future​ ​of​ ​graphical​ ​user​ ​interfaces (GUIs)?​ ​Don’t​ ​worry: Despite​ ​some dark​ ​predictions​,​ ​GUIs​ ​will​ ​stay​ ​around​ ​for​ ​many​ ​years​ ​to​ ​come. Let​ ​me​ ​share​ ​my​ ​personal, humble predictions​ ​and​ ​introduce​ ​multi-modal​ ​interfaces as​ ​a​ ​more​ ​human​ ​way​ ​of​ ​communication​ ​between​ ​user​ ​and​ machine.

Combining Graphical And Voice Interfaces For A Better User Experience

The​ ​old​ ​wisdom​ ​that​ ​a​ ​picture​ ​is​ ​worth​ ​a​ ​thousand​ ​words​ ​​is​ ​still​ ​true​ ​today.​ ​Our​ ​brain​ ​is​ ​an incredible​ ​image​-​processing​ ​machine.​ ​We​ ​can​ ​understand​ ​complex​ ​information​ ​faster​ ​when we​ ​see​ ​it​ ​visually.​ ​According​ ​to​ ​studies,​ ​even​ ​when​ ​we​ ​talk​ ​with​ ​someone​ ​else,​ n​​onverbal communication​​ ​represents​ ​two third​s ​of​ ​the​ ​conversation.​ ​According​ ​to​ ​​other​ ​studies​​, ​we​ absorb most​ ​information​ ​from​ ​our​ ​sight​ ​(83%​ ​sight,​ ​11%​ ​hearing,​ ​3%​ ​smell,​ ​2%​ ​touch​ ​and​ ​1% taste).​ ​In​ ​short,​ ​our​ ​eyes​ ​are​ our ​primary​ ​sensors​.

The post Combining Graphical And Voice Interfaces For A Better User Experience appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Collective #358

Original Source:


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This online, part-time program at Northwestern University is taught by industry leaders and top professors.

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A fantastic write up on how those organic looking squishy gooey blobs work with SVG path-only manipulations. By Varun Vachhar.

Read it


Design Beyond a Screen: A Primer for VR, AR and the Multiverse

A great introduction to the different types of realms we can potentially work with. By Graeme Fulton.

Read it


Introducing PayPal’s open-source cross-domain JavaScript suite

Paypal has open sourced a set of tools to make the integration on third-party sites easier and more reliable.

Read it



Schnack.js is an ad-free, open source Disqus clone that comes with a very minimal, hackable code base.

Check it out


Design for Developers: Specific Steps to Improve Your Website Design

Some clear tips on how to become better at critiquing and improving ones own site as a non-designer.

Read it


Naming Things In CSS Grid Layout

Rachel Andrew takes an in-depth look at the various ways to name lines and areas in CSS Grid Layout.

Read it



Automatically create React Native components out of Sketch designs.

Check it out


Key Reinstallation Attacks

Mathy Vanhoef has discovered an extremely crucial security weakness in all modern WPA2 protected Wi-Fi networks.

Read it


Only CSS: Creamy <3

A fun CSS-only demo by Yusuke Nakaya.

Check it out


How open source licenses work and how to add them to your projects

Radu Raicea gives an overview of popular open source licenses and teaches how to apply them to your GitHub projects.

Read it


While Apple is taking away buttons, we found a way to add one

Savannah Reising introduces the brilliant solution for Luna Display that adds another “button” to the iPad using the camera.

Read it


The Art of Comments

Gread read by Sara Drasner on the necessity of commenting code.

Read it


Image Trace Loader

Based on Mikael Ainalem’s interesting idea, this library loads images and exports traced outlines as image/svg+xml URL-encoded data. By Emil Tholin.

Check it out


Sequence Creator with Web Audio API

An Excel-like sequence creator made with canvas and the Web Audio API. By Jon Kantner.

Check it out


How to structure components in React

An article by Bartek Witczak on how to properly structure React component.

Read it


Geometrical Birds Slideshow

A slideshow with morphing geometrical birds by Mikael Ainalem.

Check it out


Web Typography: Numerals

An excerpt from Chapter 2 of Richard Rutter’s new book, “Web Typography”.

Read it



A repo for collecting Audio/VR/AR/GL experiments. By Jordan Santell.

Check it out



An OSX/macOS application that takes ttf and otf files and outputs a webfont bundle with woff2, woff, tff, svg, and eot.

Check it out



Hillclimber is a curated machine learning mashup resource.

Check it out


Monopoly board

John Coppola made this Monopoly board with CSS grid.

Check it out


Library Symbol Replacer

A Sketch plugin for replacing symbols in an existing document with library symbols

Check it out

Collective #358 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

15 Free Web-Based Apps & Tools For Web Developers

Original Source:

With the right tools you can build a website from scratch in less than a day. This requires some experience, but web development is easier to pick up than you’d think.

The best way to speed up a dev workflow is with tools that automate your process and help to improve your knowledge.

I’ve organized my top picks for the best tools/web apps for web developers here that can make you a much better developer in the long run.

1. RawGit

rawgit generate github

I’m constantly finding incredible projects on GitHub that I want to demo. But downloading the whole repo or pulling via npm is a lot of effort for something I may not even like.

That’s where RawGit can help. You simply copy the URL of any file in a GitHub repo into this tool, and it’ll spit out a raw content URL with proper headers for embedding into a web page.

You can do this with any CSS/JS files in any GitHub repo online. This way you can demo literally any GitHub project without downloading files locally. Pretty cool!

2. CSSReflex Frameworks

css reflex list

With so many frameworks to choose from it can be tough getting started. It’s also easy to feel like you’re missing out on some secluded underground framework.

The folks at CSS Reflex put together a huge frameworks list for just this occasion. It’s certainly not complete but it is one of the most complete lists I’ve seen.

Each framework includes a small icon along with details about the license and links to the main site + GitHub repo. It’s all organized alphabetically so you can scroll through all these frontend frameworks to mark whichever ones you want to try.

Another great site like this is CSS DB although it’s a bit tougher to browse through.

3. WP Hasty

wp hasty generator

WordPress developers always want shortcuts to shave time off theme development. WP Hasty is the best solution I’ve found since it’s one of the most detailed code generators out there.

With WP Hasty you never need to memorize templates or code snippets for WordPress features. You just select what you want, pick your settings, and then copy/paste the code right into your functions file. Easy!

These features include WP menus, custom taxonomies, shortcodes, custom WP_Query() loops, and even snippets for adding elements to the visual composer.

No doubt this is the best WP code generator you can find and it’s brilliant for saving time on WP development.

4. Animista

animista webapp

You can also find a ton of web-based CSS animation generators. These got popular right after the release of CSS3 when CSS animation got popular.

But over the years many new code generators have sprung up and my favorite is Animista.

This tool is so detailed and easy to use. It’s by far the best CSS animation tool to date.

It’ll let you select which styles you want for your animation and auto-generate all the keyframes. You can even pick if you want CSS prefixes or if you want the code minifed by default.

Plus this animation editor is gorgeous with dozens of CSS3 techniques at the click of a button(full visual editor). If you’re sick of hard-coding CSS animations then you’ll want to bookmark Animista for safe keeping.

5. CSS3 Generator

css3 generator webapp

The CSS3 Generator is a handy code generator that’s been around for years. This is also one of the best for getting quick & easy CSS3 codes in case you forget the syntax or just don’t want to type it all out.

Note this does support the CSS3 transition property but it does not support custom animation with keyframes. So this works well in conjunction with Animista, but it’s not a replacement.

The better features aren’t in the animated codes, but rather with the more complex CSS3 properties like gradients and flexbox.

6. Can I Use

caniuse flexbox webapp

Browser support changes all the time and thankfully we’re moving towards an era where most CSS & JS features are supported.

But if you’re concerned with legacy browsers then Can I Use is an unrivaled resource. It’s the ultimate database of browser support for CSS and JavaScript with information on every browser. All versions of Firefox, IE, Chrome, Opera, and even mobile browsers are included.

You just search for a CSS property or JS method to find the related table. There you can view all browser versions or just check whichever browser you’re unsure about.

7. CodePen

codepen ide

I can’t write this gallery without including some type of cloud IDE. Being able to code right in your browser is one of the biggest changes in web development over the past 10 years.

And right now my top recommendation is CodePen because it’s just so detailed and supports so many features.

It lets you write Sass/Less right in CodePen and it’ll auto-compile for you. Same goes for Haml/Jade templating and you can even include remote JS libraries like jQuery.

A browser-based editor has almost become the starting point for demoing ideas. No software required beyond a web browser and some Internet access.

8. Quantity Queries

quantity queries webapp

Not everyone uses CSS quantity queries since they’re a lesser-known feature in the language. But with the Quantity Queries webapp you can auto-generate these queries fast.

I’ve yet to find another CSS generator that supports quantity query code. The only trouble is that this site doesn’t really explain how a QQ works, at least not in fine detail.

So it helps if you already know how to write quantity queries and then use this more as a time saver.

9. MJML Framework

mjml newsletter framework

Frontend web developers aren’t just tasked with creating websites. They often need to develop newsletters and these do not have the easiest coding standards.

That’s why other devs created email newsletter frameworks to save time and frustration. One of my favorites is the MJML framework which has its own custom syntax for building newsletters.

It may take a little while to learn, but once you get it, you’ll never want to go back. Plus this even has a live editor where you can test your newsletter designs right in your browser, just like CodePen but for newsletters.

The best tool for anyone developing a custom newsletter layout.

10. Mega Tags

metatags social generator

Every website features meta tags in the header section. These define the language, the page size for mobile, and many other settings like social features.

Mega Tags focuses on that last part. It’s a social meta tag generator site where you can input what type of site you have and what type of meta tags you want.

The default is Open Graph which works on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and many others. But you can also add custom Twitter meta tags too, and you can even change the information with a handy visual editor.

11. Clean CSS

clean css tools

Code formatting is never an easy task. Some developers create their own scripts to automate minifying code but it’s a lot easier to use someone else’s script.

That’s why Clean CSS is so valuable. It’s a free website with tons of small webapps for minifying code, cleaning out duplicate codes, and auto-formatting whatever code you want.

It has different apps for HTML, CSS, JS, SQL, XML and even JSON notation. Plus new tools get added every so often which makes this a wonderful resource for code cleanup.

12. Sharing Buttons

social sharing buttons

Looking to add quick & easy social buttons onto your site? Then Sharing Buttons is the perfect tool.

It runs with SVG icons and uses HTML for opening new sharing windows. Everything is styled with CSS so the whole webapp generates compliant code without any JavaScript.

Some devs may like this, others may hate it. But it’s one of the few social sharing button scripts that automates the whole process and gives you quite a few styles to pick from.

13. Layout Debugger

css layout debugger

This small script works as a bookmarklet in your browser. You simply drag the link up to your bookmarks bar & visit any website you want to study.

Clicking the bookmarklet automates small CSS outlines to show how certain elements fall in the DOM. This way you can easily study where certain divs end and how child elements are contained.

Really simple script but super useful for debugging CSS layouts.

14. Larder

larder code bookmarking

This isn’t so much a coding tool but rather a resource for coders. Larder lets you bookmark your favorite snippets from around the web and keep them organized based on language or project type.

You can curate libraries of your favorite codes or projects straight from GitHub. It’s like Delicious but geared strictly towards coders.

And if you connect with GitHub repos they’ll automatically sync new changes every day. This way you can keep on top of updates and keep your bookmarks fresh.

15. Panda Reader

panda reader webapp

I know reading through news isn’t always productive but Panda Reader should be a staple for every web developer.

It’s the best web-based RSS feed reader with a slant towards the web design crowd. You can choose among dozens of popular tech & design blogs along with larger sites like Dribbble or GitHub.

This way you can keep on top of news, hot new projects, and updates to current projects. All from one handy dashboard. Plus this comes with built-in bookmarking so it works like Larder but with tech/dev articles around the web.

Ember.js: The Perfect Framework for Web Applications

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Ember.js is an opinionated frontend JavaScript framework that has been getting a lot of interest lately. This article will introduce some key concepts of the framework while building a simple application with it, in order to show a basic example of what it is capable of producing.

Our example application is going to be a Dice Roller, including the ability to roll some dice and view a history of all dice rolls that have been performed to date. A fully working version of this application is available from Github

The Ember.js framework pulls together a lot of modern JavaScript concepts and technologies into one single bundle, including but not limited to:

The use of the Babel transpiler tool, to support ES2016 throughout.
Testing support at the Unit, Integration and Acceptance levels as standard, powered by Testem and QTest.
Asset building using Broccoli.js.
Support for live reloading, for shorter development cycle times.
Templating using the Handlebars markup syntax.
URL Routing first development to ensure that deep linking is fully supported throughout.
Full data layer built around JSON API, but pluggable for whatever API access you need.

In order to work with Ember.js, it is assumed that you have an up-to-date installation of Node.js and npm. If not then these can be downloaded and installed from the Node.js website.

It should also be mentioned that Ember is purely a frontend framework. It has a number of ways of interacting with the backend of your choice, but this backend is not in any way handled by Ember itself.

Introducing ember-cli

A lot of the power of Ember.js comes from its command line interface (CLI). This tool – known as ember-cli – powers much of the development lifecycle of an Ember.js application, starting from creating the application, through adding functionality into it all the way to running the test suites and starting the actual project in development mode.

Almost everything that you do whilst developing an Ember.js application will involve this tool at some level, so it is important to understand how best to use it. We will be making use of it throughout this article.

The first thing we need to do is ensure that the Ember.js CLI is correctly installed and up-to-date. This is done by installing from npm, as follows:

$ npm install -g ember-cli

and we can check it was successfully installed by running the following command:

$ ember –version
ember-cli: 2.15.0-beta.1
node: 8.2.1
os: darwin x64

Creating Your First Ember.js App

Once ember-cli is installed, you are ready to start creating your application. This is the first place we will be making use of the Ember.js CLI tool – it creates the entire application structure, setting everything up ready to run.

$ ember new dice-roller
installing app
create .editorconfig
create .ember-cli
create .eslintrc.js
create .travis.yml
create .watchmanconfig
create app/app.js
create app/components/.gitkeep
create app/controllers/.gitkeep
create app/helpers/.gitkeep
create app/index.html
create app/models/.gitkeep
create app/resolver.js
create app/router.js
create app/routes/.gitkeep
create app/styles/app.css
create app/templates/application.hbs
create app/templates/components/.gitkeep
create config/environment.js
create config/targets.js
create ember-cli-build.js
create .gitignore
create package.json
create public/crossdomain.xml
create public/robots.txt
create testem.js
create tests/.eslintrc.js
create tests/helpers/destroy-app.js
create tests/helpers/module-for-acceptance.js
create tests/helpers/resolver.js
create tests/helpers/start-app.js
create tests/index.html
create tests/integration/.gitkeep
create tests/test-helper.js
create tests/unit/.gitkeep
create vendor/.gitkeep
NPM: Installed dependencies
Successfully initialized git.


This has caused an entire application to be created which is ready to run. It has even set up Git as source control to track your work.

Note: If you wish, you can disable the Git integration and you can prefer Yarn over npm. The help for the tool describes this and much more.

Now, let’s see what it looks like. Starting the Ember application for development purposes is – once again – also done using ember-cli:

$ cd dice-roller
$ ember serve
Livereload server on http://localhost:49153
‘instrument’ is imported from external module ’ember-data/-debug’ but never used
Warning: ignoring input sourcemap for vendor/ember/ember.debug.js because ENOENT: no such file or directory, open ‘/Users/coxg/source/me/writing/repos/dice-roller/tmp/source_map_concat-input_base_path-2fXNPqjl.tmp/vendor/ember/’
Warning: ignoring input sourcemap for vendor/ember/ember-testing.js because ENOENT: no such file or directory, open ‘/Users/coxg/source/me/writing/repos/dice-roller/tmp/source_map_concat-input_base_path-Xwpjztar.tmp/vendor/ember/’

Build successful (5835ms) – Serving on http://localhost:4200/

Slowest Nodes (totalTime => 5% ) | Total (avg)
Babel (16) | 4625ms (289 ms)
Rollup (1) | 445ms

We are now ready to go. The application is running on http://localhost:4200, and looks like this:
Default application screen

It is also running a LiveReload service which automatically watches for changes to the filesystem. This means that you can have an incredibly fast turnaround time when tweaking your site design.

Let’s try it?

The initial page already tells us what to do, so let’s go and change the main page and see what happens. We’re going to change the app/templates/application.hbs file to look like the following.

This is my new application.


Note: The {{outlet}} tag is part of how Routing works in Ember. We will cover that later on.

The first thing to notice is the output from ember-cli, which should look as follows:

file changed templates/application.hbs

Build successful (67ms) – Serving on http://localhost:4200/

Slowest Nodes (totalTime => 5% ) | Total (avg)
SourceMapConcat: Concat: App (1) | 9ms
SourceMapConcat: Concat: Vendor /asset… (1) | 8ms
SimpleConcatConcat: Concat: Vendor Sty… (1) | 4ms
Funnel (7) | 4ms (0 ms)

This tells us that it has spotted that we changed the template and rebuilt and restarted everything. We’ve had zero involvement in that part of it.

Now let’s look at the browser. If you’ve got LiveReload installed and running you will not even have needed to refresh the browser for this to be picked up, otherwise, you will need to reload the current page.

First Change

Not very exciting, but this is with almost no effort on our part that we’ve achieved this.

In addition, we get a fully set up test suite ready to run. This is – unsurprisingly – run using the Ember tool as well, as follows:

$ ember test
⠸ Building’instrument’ is imported from external module ’ember-data/-debug’ but never used
⠴ BuildingWarning: ignoring input sourcemap for vendor/ember/ember.debug.js because ENOENT: no such file or directory, open ‘/Users/coxg/source/me/writing/repos/dice-roller/tmp/source_map_concat-input_base_path-S8aQFGaz.tmp/vendor/ember/’
⠇ BuildingWarning: ignoring input sourcemap for vendor/ember/ember-testing.js because ENOENT: no such file or directory, open ‘/Users/coxg/source/me/writing/repos/dice-roller/tmp/source_map_concat-input_base_path-wO8OLEE2.tmp/vendor/ember/’
cleaning up…
Built project successfully. Stored in “/Users/coxg/source/me/writing/repos/dice-roller/tmp/class-tests_dist-PUnMT5zL.tmp”.
ok 1 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | app: app.js
ok 2 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | app: resolver.js
ok 3 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | app: router.js
ok 4 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | tests: helpers/destroy-app.js
ok 5 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | tests: helpers/module-for-acceptance.js
ok 6 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | tests: helpers/resolver.js
ok 7 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | tests: helpers/start-app.js
ok 8 PhantomJS 2.1 – ESLint | tests: test-helper.js

# tests 8
# pass 8
# skip 0
# fail 0

# ok

Note that the output talks about PhantomJS. This is because there is full support for Integration tests that run in a browser, and by default, these run headless in the PhantomJS browser. There is full support for running them in other browsers if you wish, and when setting up continuous integration (CI) it is worth doing this to ensure that your application works correctly in all supported browsers.

How an Ember.js app is structured

Before we get to actually writing our application, let’s explore how it is structured on the filesystem. The ember new command above will have created a whole directory structure on your computer, with lots of different parts. Understanding all of these is important to efficiently work with the tool and create amazing projects.

Continue reading %Ember.js: The Perfect Framework for Web Applications%

Monthly Web Development Update 10/2017: CSS Grid, CAA Pitfalls, And Image Optimization

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Editor’s Note: Welcome to this month’s web development update. Anselm has summarized the most important happenings in the web community that have taken place over the past few weeks in one handy list for you. Enjoy!

Web Development Update October 2017

As web developers, we’re working in a very diverse environment: We have countless options to specialize in, but it’s impossible to keep up with everything. This week I read an article from a developer who realized that even though he has been building stuff for the web for over seven years, sometimes he just doesn’t understand what’s going on: “I’m slamming my keyboard in frustration as another mysterious error appears in my build script,” he writes.

The post Monthly Web Development Update 10/2017: CSS Grid, CAA Pitfalls, And Image Optimization appeared first on Smashing Magazine.