Static HTML sites with Markdown and Metalsmith


The language in which all websites and web apps are being presented on the web browsers is HTML. This language is what web browsers read, understand and render. In addition to HTML, web applications usually have dedicated JavaScript and style files.

In the dynamic web applications, HTML representation files are generated dynamically, in most cases by the web server. Web server application is using front end templates and data stored in databases to generate final HTML pages.

Static web applications, do not have the server app side. HTML and all corresponding style and JavaScript files are already created and just served by a web server as they are. This approach allows you to host your web pages on different platforms which support static HTML pages but not server side languages. Examples would be GitHub pages or even DropBox.

jQuery Fundamentals Training – Free for Next 36 Hours

The Plural Sight training group has launched a new course around jQuery.  The course is listed as a beginner class and apparently is available for free for the next 36 hours. I haven’t watched any sections of the course yet but plan to this evening. I wanted to get the link out to ya’all now in case you want to participate you will have the maximum free time to participate.

Here’s part of the topics that will be covered:

  • jQuery Fundamentals: Introduction, Referencing a jQuery Script, Using Content Delivery Networks, Using the jQuery Ready Function, Getting to Know the jQuery Documentation
  • Using jQuery Selectors: What are Selectors?, Selecting Nodes by Tag Name, Selecting Nodes by ID, Selecting Input Nodes
  • Interacting with the DOM: Iterating Through Nodes, Modifying Properties and Attributes, Adding and Removing Nodes, Modifying Styles
  • Handling Events: jQuery Event Model Benefits, Handling Events, Binding to Events, Handling Hover Events
  • Working with Ajax Features: jQuery Ajax Functions, Loading HTML Content from the Server, Making GET Requests, Making POST Requests

Update – the free period is now over, if you want to watch the videos you will need to buy a subscription.

10 ways to orientate users on your site

Imagine you’re driving along and due to a road closure you have to follow those conspicuous yellow detour signs. You’re now on an unfamiliar road, but because of the signs you confidently proceed, comfortable in trusting the arrows to tell you where you need to go.

Then there’s a roundabout and no sign. Do you turn left? Right? You’re lost and have two choices; turn back and find an alternate road you know well or blindly drive around and hope for the best.

Websites are very similar, no matter what their ultimate goal is, your site visitors need to intuitively find their way around. Too often, general website navigation and orientation disappears or changes on internal pages.

In fact, with websites this point is even more pertinent as users can just ‘evaporate’ and leave your site, instead of being forced to drive around aimlessly!