Tag: this

Do This to Improve Image Loading on Your Website

Jen Simmons explains how to improve image loading by simply using width and height attributes. The issue is that there’s a lot of jank when an image is first loaded because an img will naturally have a height of 0 before the image asset has been successfully downloaded by the browser. Then it needs to repaint the page after that which pushes all the content around. I’ve definitely seen this problem a lot on big news websites.

Anyway, Jen is recommending that we should add height and width attributes to images like so:

<img src="dog.png" height="400" width="1000" alt="A cool dog" />

This is because Firefox will now take those values into consideration and remove all the jank before the image has loaded. That means content will always stay in the same position, even if the image hasn’t loaded yet. In the past, I’ve worked on a bunch of projects where I’ve placed images lower down the page simply because I want to prevent this sort of jank. I reckon this fixes that problem quite nicely.

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Uses This

A little interview with me over on Uses This. I’ll skip the intro since you know who I am, but I’ll republish the rest here.

What hardware do you use?

I’m a fairly cliché Mac guy. After my first Commodore 64 (and then 128), the only computers I’ve ever had have been from Apple. I’m a longtime loyalist in that way and I don’t regret a second of it. I use the 2018 MacBook Pro tricked out as much as they would sell it to me. It’s the main tool for my job, so I’ve always made sure I had the best equipment I can. A heaping helping of luck and privilege have baked themselves into moderate success for me such that I can afford that.

At the office, I plug it into two of those LG UltraFine 4k monitors, a Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, and a Logitech MX Master mouse. I plug in some Audioengine A2s for speakers. Between all those extras, the desk is more cluttered in wires than I would like and I look forward to an actually wireless future.

I’m only at the office say 60% of the time and aside from that just use the MacBook Pro as it is. I’m probably a more efficient coder at the office, but my work is a lot of email and editing and social media and planning and such that is equally efficient away from the fancy office setup.

And what software?

  • Notion for tons of stuff. Project planning. Meeting notes. Documentation. Public documents.
  • Things for personal TODO lists.
  • BusyCal for calendaring.
  • 1Password for password, credit cards, and other secure documents and notes.
  • Slack for team and community chat.
  • WhatsApp for family chat.
  • Zoom for business face-to-face chat and group podcasting.
  • Audio Hijack for locally recording podcasts.
  • FaceTime for family face to face chat.
  • ScreenFlow for big long-form screen recordings.
  • Kap for small short-form screen recordings.
  • CleanMyMac for tidying up.
  • Local for local WordPress development.
  • VS Code for writing code.
  • TablePlus for dealing with databases.
  • Tower for Git.
  • iTerm for command line work.
  • Figma for design.
  • Mailplane to have a tabbed in-dock closable Gmail app.
  • Bear for notes and Markdown writing.

What would be your dream setup?

I’d happily upgrade to a tricked out 16″ MacBook Pro. If I’m just throwing money at things I’d also happily take Apple’s Pro Display XDR, but the price on those is a little frightening. I already have it pretty good, so I don’t do a ton of dreaming about what could be better.

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This Page is Designed to Last

Jeff Huang, while going through his collection of bookmarks, sadly finds a lot of old pages gone from the internet. Bit rot. It’s pretty bad. Most of what gets published on the web disappears. Thankfully, the Internet Archive gets a lot of it. Jeff has seven things that he thinks will help make a page last.

1) Return to vanilla HTML/CSS
2) Don’t minimize that HTML
3) Prefer one page over several
4) End all forms of hotlinking
5) Stick with the 13 web safe fonts +2
6) Obsessively compress your images
7) Eliminate the broken URL risk

I don’t take issue with any of that advice in general, but to me, they don’t all feel like things that have much to do with whether a site will last or not. Of them, #4 seems like the biggest deal, and #5 is… strange. (Fonts fall back on the web; what fonts you use should have no bearing on a site’s ability to last.)

I sort of agree with #1 and #2, but not on the surface. Both of them imply a build process. Build processes get old, they stop working, and they become a brick of technical debt. I still love them and can’t imagine day-to-day work without them, but they are things that stands in the way of people wanting to deal with an old site. Highly relevant, Simplicity, notes from Bastian Allgeier’s article.

Everything listed is technological. If we’re talking technological advice to keeping a site online for the long haul, I’d say jamstack is the obvious answer. Prerender everything into static files. Rely on no third-party stuff anything, except a host. (Disclosure: Netlify is a current sponsor of this site, but I’m tellin’ ya, toss a simple static site without a complex build process up on Netlify, which has a generous free tier, and that site will absolutely be there for the long haul. )

Don’t diddle with your URLs either. Gosh darn it if I don’t see a lot of 404s because someone up and changed up all their URLs.

But I feel there is something beyond the technological that is the real trick to a site that lasts: you need to have some stake in the game. You don’t let your URLs die because you don’t want them to. They matter to you. You’ll tend to them if you have to. They benefit you in some way, so you’re incentivized to keep them around. That’s what makes a page last.

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We asked web developers we admire: “What about building websites has you interested this year?”

For the first time ever here on CSS-Tricks, we’re going to do an end-of-year series of posts. Like an Advent calendar riff, only look at us, we’re beating the Advent calendar rush! We’ll be publishing several articles a day from a variety of web developers we look up to, where gave them all the same prompt:

What about building websites has you interested this year?

We’re aiming for a bit of self-reflection and real honesty. As in, not what you think you should care about or hot takes on current trends, but something that has quite literally got you thinking. Our hope is that all put together, the series paints an interesting picture of where we are and where we’re going in the web development industry.

We didn’t ask people for their future predictions directly. Our hope is that the future is glimpsable through seeing what is commanding developer attention. I mention that as this series take some inspiration from NeimanLab’s series that run each year (e.g. 2019, 2018, 2017…) which directly asks for people’s predictions about journalism. Maybe we’ll try that one year!

Automattic has a been a wonderful partner to us for a while now, and so I’m using this series as another way to thank them for that. Automattic are the makers of WordPress.com and big contributors to WordPress itself, which this site runs on, and make premium plugins like WooCommerce and Jetpack, which we also use.

Stay tuned here on the blog for all the wonderful thoughts from developers we’ll be publishing this week (hey even RSS is still cool I heard) or bookmark the homepage for the series.

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The Teletype Text Element Lives On… at Least on This Site

It was this: <tt>

I say “was” because it’s deprecated. It may still “work” (like everybody’s favorite <marquee> in some browsers), but it could stop working anytime, they say. The whole purpose of it was to display text in a monospace font, like the way Teletype machines used to.

Dave used it jokingly the other day.

Which got me thinking how much I used to use that element!

Right here on CSS-Tricks. See, in my early days, I learned about that element and how its job is to set text as monospace. I thought, oh! like code! and then for years that’s how I marked up code on this site. I had never heard of the <code> element! When I did, I switched over to that. But I still haven’t updated every single article from <code>

I bring this up just because it's a funny little example of not knowing what you don't know. It's worth having a little sympathy for people early in their journey and just doing things that get the job done because that's all they know. We've all been there... and are always still there to some degree.

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Add Instant awesomeness to your interfaces with this insanely large icon set

(This is a sponsored post.)

When you need to add icons to your interface, the whole process can really suck. “Should I use all these default bootstrap icons? Maybe I’ll just use the same Google Material icons for the hundredth time?”

Some important yet often overlooked things to consider when choosing an icon set includes, the size of the icons, style, consistency, and quantity. It’s frustrating to find icons that only cover half of the use cases you need.

We constantly felt this frustration too and decided to do something about it. This ultimately led to creating Streamline icon set.

Now in version 3.0, Streamline contains a whopping 30,000 icons in three distinct weights, similar to a font family. There are tons of options to pick the perfect icon for any interface you’re working with, whether it’s a big web application, documentation, or a marketing site.

“I own several icon sets but the one that I return to over and over is the copious Streamline pack, which almost always seems to have just the pictogram I need when I dig into its catalog.”

—Khoi Vinh, Adobe

Easy to Use

Streamline has also been meticulously organized into easy-to-navigate categories. You can see all of the categories in our handy dandy web-based icon viewer.

If you’re an IconJar user, you can also search for icons by name and drag and drop them into your project folder. We’re currently under development on this functionality for our web viewer too.

Every Streamline Icon pack comes with the following file types: .svg, .iconjar, .sketch, .fig, .ai, .pdf, .png, .xd.

So now matter how you like to work with icons, you have the file types you need.

“Streamline 3.0 is one of the most versatile and detailed icon packs I’ve ever used. The structure and hierarchy make it super easy to work with. This is an amazing product. Bravo, Vincent.”

—Stephanie Walter, UX & UI Designer

Optimized SVG

The SVG versions of Streamline is already dev-ready with proper viewbox tags in place and currentColor set as the color properties for all strokes and fills. You can pop in Streamline using your favorite SVG technique and start changing the color of the icons with CSS right out of the gate.

See the Pen QJQjMm by Matt D. Smith (@mds) on CodePen.

Weights

Every weight—light, regular, and bold—was designed with a very consistent style to give you tons of consistency within your interface.

Light

The classic Streamline style with bits of detail here and there. Designed with 1px stroke on a 24px grid. The Light icons are great for interfaces that need lots of fun personality. They also work well scaled up to 48px as small illustrations.

Regular

A new minimal and geometric style. Designed with a 1.5px stroke on a 24px grid. These are perfect to use on clean and modern web interfaces.

Bold

A new solid style akin to the latest iOS guidelines. Designed with fills and a 2px stroke on a 24px grid. The bold style gives a little more punch for an iOS style interface.

Put Streamline to work for you

There are two different package types available—Essential and Ultimate.

Essential contains 14 categories all related to interfaces and web design, whereas the Ultimate pack contains all 53 categories, including things like Pets, Weather, Finance, Outdoors, Transportation, and so much more.

👉 Check out the Streamline site to soak in all of the icon glory.

“Vincent’s icons are unique, versatile, and easy to work with. I’ve found them to be super useful across a range of projects.”

—Daniel Burka, Resolve to Save Lives

🤓 Some nerdy facts about the Streamline site:

  • Initials designs created in Figma
  • Coded from scratch with .pug, .sass, and .js
  • CodeKit for compiling all of the code
  • Grunt to create a sprite with all of the SVG assets
  • Animations created in After Effects, exported from AE with Lottie into an icon-animation.json format, and added to the site using bodymovin.js
  • Scrollmagic.js was used to manipulate the DOM based on scroll positions for the large icon parallax sections
  • jQuery.js was used to make our lives easier since we’re building a marketing site and not a full-scale application

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