→ Professional Homepage

My wife is a medical student and applying for a pediatric residency this year. I put together a simple homepage for her on her own domain.

I believe that it makes sense for anyone, even med students, to own and publish their own content on the web. #IndieWeb

→ Heroes Often Go a Lifetime with No Recognition

Tyler Braun:

When I meet with someone for the first time over coffee one of my common questions is to ask what the person would like to accomplish in the next 5 years … Amazingly, no one has ever answered by saying, “I’d like to do something hard that no one will know about.”

Gulp. That was convicting. Time to get back to work.

1995 Suzuki Escudo For Sale in Grenada

Price: EC $10,000 Sold!

1995 Red Suzuki Escudo

Our time at SGU is ending soon and we’re selling our Escudo before leaving the island. The car has reliably started every day, been regularly maintenanced and driven great on multiple trips around the whole island.

  • Passed inspection on March 25th
  • Right hand drive
  • Automatic Transmission
  • 2 doors, 4 passengers
  • 4 wheel drive
  • 277,000 km
  • Oil, oil filter, transmission fluid and transmission filter changed within last month
  • Fuel filter changed within last year
  • Front tires < 2 years old
  • Rear tires < 1 years old
  • Power locks and windows
  • CD player / FM radio
  • No A/C

Interested? Contact Tyler at (473) 449-0187 or hello@tylerpaulson.com.

→ Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape

Beautiful raw video by Nervous Energies of Aaron Gillespie playing “Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape” acoustic.

There’s a lot of songs / artwork / films that have moved me, but only a handful I can sincerely say have pulled me through a time in my life.

This song is one of them.

→ Front-end Performance

In addition to soaking up as much knowledge as I can about CSS architecture, I’ve spent a ton of time recently learning more about front-end performance.

Harry Roberts excellently rounds up and explains here in detail a lot of the strategies I’ve picked up over the last few months, plus a few more. He covers markup structure, parallelisation, prefetching, gzipping and minifying, among other things.

Definitely a must read for anyone diving into this topic.

→ CSS Architecture

One of the things I love most about the work I do is that I’m constantly learning.

As I work on web applications long-term more and more and my role shifts from being a “designer who can develop” to a “front-end developer with a background in design”, writing better CSS is constantly on the front of my mind.

And by better, I mean CSS that scales across an application more easily and presents content more beautifully on more devices, both past, present and future.

I’ve been soaking up as much knowledge as I can. There’s been a lot written about this subject lately, but Jonathan Snook’s book and Harry Roberts' article Code smells in CSS have stuck out as being especially helpful to me.

My First JavaScript Plugins

This fall I released my first two JavaScript plugins on GitHub. They’re both rather simple, but I find them really helpful in my work and my hope is others will too.

Responsive Table Headers

My usual way of handling tables for narrow viewports in responsive layouts is to convert the cells into block elements. This is very easy to do with CSS and I find the table usually remains very readable, except when the table has a header.

Instead of being on top, the header cells now need to be repeated multiple times inline next to each of their respective body cells.

Responsive Table Headers is a jQuery plugin that automate this DOM manipulation on the browser side and keeps the markup cleaner and more semantic.

Check out the code, docs and demo at the GitHub repo.

Format SymbolSet Stars

I pre-ordered Symbolset as soon as I saw it. The idea to make a semantic symbol font for the web using OpenType ligatures was brilliant.

I quickly found myself using their star symbol in ratings systems. With Sybmolset, you literally put the word “star” in your markup when you want to show a star. For ratings, i would rather output the more semantic and backwards compatible “4 stars” for a rating instead of repeating the word star multiple times.

Format Symbolset Stars is a JavaScript plugin that automates this DOM manipulation on the browser side and keeps the markup cleaner and more semantic. If you have Modernizr installed, it checks for support of @font-face before making the manipulation.

Check out the code, docs and demo at the GitHub repo.

Website Hosting Recommendations

As a website designer and developer, I frequently get asked by people I meet whom I recommend they host their website with. Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of web hosts for clients which has given me the opportunity to compare them firsthand.

Domain Registration

Registration is the purchasing of yourwebsite.com, in pre-digital world terms, it’s the listing of your address and phone number in the yellow pages so that people know where to find you.

There is only one company I recommend for domain registrations – Hover.

Their primary business is registering domains, they make money by doing a great job at this one thing, not doing something else and bundling registration in. Their interface is extremely intuitive and makes you feel like you have complete control over your domains, one of the most important assets your organization has.

Hosting

Hosting is the purchasing of space on a server for your files to be stored, in pre-digital world terms, it’s the physical space your rent out to operate from.

If you know you will be hiring a professional to build your website for you, stop here. Let them recommend the hosting that they prefer to deploy your site onto.

There are million different hosting set-ups to choose from. The rest of this post is for those with relatively low traffic sites; for example, a small business or non-profit, a newly started blog, or a designer’s portfolio.

My Current Host

I use A Small Orange to host this site and the five other ones that I directly manage. ASO offers the standard Linux cPanel configurations that many other hosts do, but their pricing model protects their servers from being as overloaded as other companies in that category.

Overloaded servers cause your site to load slower. Users won’t stick around to wait for slow loading pages and Google may even penalize you in their rankings. Even if you have the most basic blog theme with no images or JavaScript, if the MySQL calls to generate the page take forever to return, your page will load slow.

Other Options

If you do need the high storage / high bandwidth and low cost of a large hosting company, I’d recommend using InMotion; this site was happily hosted there for its first couple of years, from my experience, their servers run much faster than their big-name counterparts and their admin UI isn’t littered with ads.

If you’re a designer or developer and have the budget for some extra features; MediaTemple comes recommend by dev gurus I follow; they’ve created their own control panel that has a lot of really nice features that cPanel doesn’t, plus they’re huge supporters of the design community.

If you’re 100% on WordPress, WPEngine comes recommended by WordPress gurus I follow; your site will be on a server built just for WordPress that will have speed and security that would take you a lot of time and expertise to set-up on your own.

Not technically minded?

If you don’t want to deal with any of the technical challenges of setting a server up and don’t have the budget to hire a web developer, you can register your domain with Hover and point the web traffic to WordPress or Tumblr (blogs), Carbonmade (portfolios), Bellstrike (non-profits), Virb or SquareSpace (all of the above) and point the email traffic to Google Apps or Hover.