A guest post by Vincent H. Clarke works as a copywriter and blogger with USB Memory Direct.
If you’re serious about blogging or having a personal website, then you’ll always need to improve on your web development techniques to keep your blog looking savvy and up-to-date. Learning to use the latest tools and technology can be a bit intimidating, but it will help you create a better looking and better formatted blog for your visitors. Having a professional looking site will make your services look more credible, but it will also improve your search engine rankings as well.
As we are all well aware, one of the best ways to stay informed and learn on the internet is through established blogs with dedicated niches. There’s a multitude of resources on topics discussing the basics of web development. But if you were to read through them all, you’d have no time for actually building up your blog – or anything else for that matter.
Here are 9 great blogs you can follow concerning the three most important components of web development: HTML and CSS coding, Photoshop techniques, and SEO advice. By keeping up with these blogs, you’ll be able to get all the trending web development advice, tutorials and information that you’ll ever need. Whether you want to become a web development pro or just improve your personal blog, there’s something useful for every freelancer on this list.
HTML and CSS
HTML and CSS are the absolute basics of web development. Every single beginner interested in customizing their own website must begin by learning how to code these two languages. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main formatting language used to display web pages, while Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) deal with the actual look (shapes, colors) of your site. While you don’t really need to know the language like an expert, the resources below will help you tweak your site for the perfect navigation bar you’ve been wanting or help out with ad placement on your posts.
Without a shadow of a doubt, w3schools is regarded as the best learning/tutorial resource for HTML and CSS (especially for novices like me). It offers lessons on everything from elements of HTML, basic tags of HTML, formatting in HTML, CSS backgrounds, CSS Fonts, CSS Tables, and advanced topics as well. It not only focuses on teaching you the basics but gives interactive examples for you to practice what you’ve learned. Best part of it all? It’s all free.
Web Developer + discusses the more advanced styling languages of Ajax, CSS, Flash, jQuery and PHP, as well as those specific to the popular CMS WordPress. Their blog posts are always unbelievably educational and clever.
As if detailed tutorials weren’t enough, Cats Who Code has a light hearted approach to learning that’s delivered with witty humor and style. They include useful code HTML and CSS snippets that you can copy and paste for easy WordPress and other blog site customizations.
Creating interesting, appealing graphics throughout a site is an invaluable talent to possess. And while there are many different image editing/creating programs out there, none even come close to the features and popularity of Photoshop. Here are a few fantastic sources for learning Photoshop techniques that will transform your site into something out of this world.
Design Instruct is a regularly updated web magazine for designers and digital artists where you can find and learn design tips and tricks. They feature high-quality tutorials from some of the top designers and digital artists from around the world.
Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop tutorials and more.
WeGraphics is the definitive solution for designers who need high-quality resources but they also have a great blog with useful tutorials, tips and tricks for Photoshop users.
We’re all well aware of the enormous impact search engines have on our daily organic traffic. Despite the increasing popularity of social media and viral buzz websites, search engines are still the number one way our sites are introduced to new visitors. As a result, it is almost an absolute must for freelancers to have a good working knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. The goal of course being to get your website ranked first for a series of keywords relating to your specific website’s niche, the payoff being the difference between 10,000 unique visitors a month and 10,000,000. Here are a few top sites that’ll help you learn the basics and keep you up to date on the latest SEO trends.
1. Matt Cutts
This is an inside man. Someone who really knows his stuff. Matt joined the Google team back in 2000, where he wrote the first version of SafeSearch, Google’s family filter, and is currently the head of its Web Spam department. He regularly posts invaluable information on the world of SEO.
It has a strange name, but it provides incredibly rich, in-depth articles on SEO related subjects – and all for free. His site is also ad-free, which gives you a totally relaxed, clean reading/learning environment.
This site has a friendly, community-like setting that helps freelancers learn the skills of blogging, and allows them to share their own experiences and questions. The owner, Darren Rowse runs a number of great blogs including Digital Photography School, FeelGooder and TwiTip.
Do you like tech or would you rather not deal with it?
Vincent H. Clarke works as a copywriter and blogger with USB Memory Direct. He is a regular contributor to USBTips and enjoys writing tutorial-style posts to help people in their daily interactions with technology.