website: October 2009 Archives

Happy Halloween. I modified the method of placing the graphics in the header found at the top of the home page .. up where it says » RADIFIED | Nuclear Grade Technolust. There I implemented a technique known as » CSS Image Replacement, of which there exist many variations, each with its own set of pro's & con's.

HalloweenThe dividing-line among web designers seems to be whether or not to use a non-semantic span tag with CSS positioning, which involves a more complicated technique .. but leaves visible TEXT in place for visitors who surf the Web with STYLES turned off (primarily those using mobile devices).

I used a simpler IR technique, by changing the images you see displayed there .. from foreground images to background images.

This allowed me to replace the foreground images (contained in those heading elements) with TEXT .. which I then indented (way to your left), so it can't be seen. By moving the TEXT out of the way, this technique reveals the graphics (.. which look prettier than standard heading-text).

The advantage however, is » devices that don't render styles (such as screen readers and mobile devices) will now see a TEXT heading and tag-line displayed there, where before there existed only images. Search engines also gives more weight to TEXT than images.

Most Rad visitors will never notice the difference .. seeing most who frequent the site (fellow technolusters) browse with both images and CSS turned ON. But I'm gradually filling my webmaster toolkit with increasingly sophisticated techniques. (Learning by doing.)

After all the pages are styled however, and the markup is coded semantically, there's still no substitute for insightful content .. that is well written (.. and hopefully seasoned with a dash of personality).

This has always been the most difficult challenge .. because a stylish suit does not a charming pig make. And the ugliest person can say the profoundest things, and possess scintillating ideas. So it would seem that content trumps style .. no matter the venue (.. except maybe for those who focus on style).

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Changed the underlying markup that controls the links in the blue-green sidebars on the home-page. They were previously coded as » paragraphs. I changed them to » list-items .. cuz that's what they are » a list of items (links) grouped according to category. Certainly not paragraphs .. not even sentences.

Website InspectionIf I did this correctly, you shouldn't notice any difference. Cuz I applied the same styling to the list items .. tho this was trickier than it might sound. I nearly freaked when a single misplaced comma trashed my whole layout. Yikes!

This change represents a semantic improvement. Semantics (i.e. » 'meaning') is one of the buzz-words kicked around when thinkers discuss the Web's future.

Most surprising was that it took me so long to realize I had coded the home-page with semantically incorrect markup. It suddenly hit me (last night), when out of the blue (actually » blue-green), I thought » "Those links aren't paragraphs; they're a LIST."

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Enrolled in Amazon's Affiliate program, something I probably shoulda done years ago. They claim it takes ~3 days to process an application, but I received my acceptance letter today. (Applied late last night.)

Crime and Punishment

Being a n00b, I don't know much about their program yet, except that they pay a percentage whenever a visitor clicks a link on my site and makes a corresponding purchase. (How big of a percentage I'm not sure.)

I've long included links to books at the Amazon site [ in pages such as this one » Best Books for Learning the Basics of Web Site Design (XHTML & CSS), and this one » Andy Budd's Book: CSS Mastery ] without ever taking advantage of their program.

If I start making considerable cash, I'll be bummed that I didn't enroll sooner. And if I don't (earn cash), I'll be bummed too, for wasting my time with this program. So either way .. which might be why I hesitated so long.

What I like best about the Amazon program is that it allows me to monetize the site without including visible ads (.. unlike Google's AdSense program). All I need to do is add the following code to the end of each Amazon link » ?ie=UTF8&tag=radifiedcom-20. So it's virtually invisible to visitors. If I didn't tell you, you might never know.

I also like that it doesn't cost visitors anything extra when purchasing a book via a link from this site.

After establishing an 'Associate' account (and logging in to the Amazon site), a toolbar magically appears at the top of the browser window whenever I visit

The Associate toolbar allows me to create targeted links to the particular book/page I'm at/on .. with a single click. Couldn't be easier. I simply paste the auto-generated code into my web page.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the website category from October 2009.

website: September 2009 is the previous archive.

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