Show 64: Hosting

This week on Boagworld we explain all you need to know about hosting , look at how to interpret other people’s CSS and review an excellent HTML email testing tool. Oh yes… and Marcus drones on about client stuff.

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News and events

Heuristic Testing

This week seems to be the week of Heuristic usability testing. Andy Budd kicked us off with a post on how Jakob Nielsen’s classic article on heuristic testing needs updating to take into account the new generation of web applications. Lisa Herrod then followed up with an excellent article on the sitepoint website looking at how heuristic testing can be used by web development teams.

The Future of Web Design

I know that a lot of people cannot afford the time or money to go to web conferences but I thought the Future of Web Design one day conference was worth a mention as it is only £59. It has a great line up of speakers including people from 37Signals, Flickr and Adaptive Path.

Tips for better design review process

You maybe the best designer in the world but if you cannot “sell” your designs to the client then more often than not they will be rejected. Many designers hate the design sign off process and are often frustrated with the final result. Keith Robinson has written a superb article that will help you better manage the successful sign off of your designs.

Seven Accessibility Mistakes

A while back Chris Heilmann wrote two articles on typical accessibility mistakes that people should avoid at all costs. I am sure that they were great articles but I never got around to reading them. Fortunately Roger Johansson has taken the time to summarise them in a nice easy to digest format.

Client corner: Questions for designers

How do you know which is the right web design agency to go with? Proposals are important but what questions do you ask at the presentation? This week Marcus gives website owners the inside track on what to ask prospective web design agencies. Here are some of the main points he covered:

  • Get a detailed breakdown of rates and pricing.
  • Understand what happens if things go wrong.
  • Ask about the contractual arrangements.
  • Request financial information on the company.
  • Get detailed information on the work they have done.
  • Know the team who will be working on your project.
  • Always ask to speak to existing clients.

Agony Uncle: Understanding other people’s CSS

There is nothing worse than working on a site built by somebody else. This especially true when it comes to the CSS. What styles affect which elements? How do the styles cascade down? What is going to be effected if I make a change to a style? This week in the agony uncle corner we look at some of the tools which can help solve these issues. In particular we take a look at the Firebug Firefox extension and the CSS panel in Dreamweaver.

Ask an expert: Mark Crawley on hosting

One of the things that has been requested for the “ask an expert” section is that we try and get on some new names rather than the normal “web celebs”. With that in mind this week’s guy is an old work colleague of mine; Mark Crawley. He talks about an area we should have covered a long time ago… hosting.

Review: Testing HTML Email

Although many condemn HTML emails as truly evil, the reality is that many of us are occasionally forced by clients into producing them. Setting aside the appalling support for standards, the next biggest headache with working on HTML emails is testing. Fortunately Site Vista, a UK based company has solved the problem by producing a testing suite very similar to Browser cam but for email.

  • Quality episode as usual.

  • Scott Holloway

    Hello Guys–
    Great show! I am enjoying the new format, but I think I would enjoy what ever you guys come up with.
    I have one question and that is: Do you still take mp3 questions?
    Thank You;

  • Yes Scott, definitely.

  • Great Show, discovered it just after I bought my IPOD and I have downloaded nearly all your programmes already.
    Question: Are you going to do any show on how to create quality podcasts?

  • Hello Paul (& Marcus!)
    This is the first time I have commented, but I have spent the past two months catching up by listening to every episode, and have to say – I’m hooked. I recommend your podcast to my clients, hoping they will get excited about what they can do with their web sites. I even put a few episodes on CD for one client who got hopelessly lost trying to listen on his own. He was very excited, and really wanted to have your shows after I told him about you. (He’s 84, therefore I wasn’t going to fault him for his inability to subscribe to podcasts through iTunes – though he’s quit proficient at ripping CDs of Hank Williams….go figure)
    No matter how long I do this, I’m still learning, and loving every minute of it. Thanks for the great show! It’s quite entertaining – but I wonder why I have not come across any comments concerning Marcus’ sly and witty ways of getting back at your jabs. ;)

  • Thanks for covering my question – some useful stuff there :-) I’ll grab Firebug and give it a whirl. I’ll also have to pay more attention to the Dreamweaver manual as I hadn’t noticed the facilities you outlined.
    And yes, I am the same one as sends in the jokes (with the funny name spelling). Marcus, shame on you!

  • I feel there was a lack of actual names regarding hosting as I’m having trouble trying to find a host that does ruby on rails that’s based in the UK.
    I was hoping for you guys to actually name a few proven hosts.

  • Hey guys, great show! I wanted to add a few programs to your list for evaluating CSS.
    MacRabbit’s CSS Edit:
    Westciv’s Stylemaster:
    Cultured Code’s Xylescope:
    These apps have always been easier to use for me than Dreamweavers built in CSS editor. My current fav is MacRabbits CSS Edit.

  • Just wanted to shout at the top of my lungs “THANK YOU.” When you first mentioned firebug I downloaded it but didnt really play with it until now.
    I’d been frustrated with a few cross browser problems when I listened to your podcast and firebug has definitely helped out, not only with my understanding of how CSS is displayed, but how I write it as well.
    Keep up the great podcasts Paul.

  • Cindy Lionwoman

    Great Podcast!
    I learned the hard way about using CSS page layout in HTML emails. After many hours of making a great layout, I found that many popular email providers like Yahoo, didn’t support it. A big waste of time. Next time I’ll do a little research before doing something like that. Anyways, I found out about the following sites after do my beautiful CSS2 Email layout….
    Here are a couple more sites for both learning about HTML in Emails and also validating your HTML in Emails:
    HTML Email Guide:
    Email HTML Validator:

  • james

    The trouble with accessibility wonks is that they only pay attention to the blind user. I’d like to hear the podcast – but I’d like to hear anything, as I’ve been profoundly deaf since an infant.
    Is there a transcript published?

  • As XHTML grows, XHTML 1.0 documents will be able to interoperate among other XHTML documents making it a more browser transitional language.To conclude, using the standards of web development lined out by the W3 is imperative for users to get the most out of a site. Often, making a webpage W3-compliant is the first step of SEO, a marketing tool to get the most out of your advertising dollar.