Category > Web developer tips

How to warn IE6 users

» 23 June 2009 » In Web developer tips » No Comments

First of all, do not dump support for Internet Explorer 6, that is not the intention of this article. The point is to, where possible, ensure that your site works in IE6. But where it’s not possible, or you would have to spend too much time and energy on writing “hacks” to make it work, you can apply a warning/information to consider upgrading IE or to use another browser.

What not to do

The point is to encourage the user to upgrade, not to force an upgrade (telling how dumb the user is by using IE6). If a site is already works as it should in IE6, or if you could invest very little time in getting it working, it’s better if you don’t include a warning at all. At least you could try to integrate the IE7 JavaScript library, available from , or by overriding some of the CSS via an IE6-specific style sheet. The image below shows Joe Levi’s one-line upgrade method, “scaring” people to upgrade by pretending an OS alert, but encouragement is better than underhand methods.

Scaring users to upgrade

When to warn

Generally, you should only show warnings when they’re directly beneficial to the user, such as a major part of the site is based on functionality that does not work or render properly in IE6. If you misuse your trust as a website owner, and force the user to upgrade for no practical reasons, it will just be an unnecessary hassle for the user. And when they return to the site with a new or updated browser, only to see that site has no changes, they’ll lose all trust in it.
If you get too “hung-up” in hating IE6, and decide to block access to all IE6 users, you can be pretty sure that they will never return, regardless of what browser they later end up with. The choice must always always rest with the user, they have to be in control of making the decision. And if they don’t want to upgrade, that’s down to them and it’s their loss. However, with the right approach, you can encourage them by explaining the benefits of switching or upgrading their browser, you’re more likely to get a positive result this way. The image below is from Travellerspoint, and it looks nice.

A nice warning message

Be kind

The truth is, while you and me know that it is better to either upgrade or switching your browser, many users aren’t even aware that alternatives to Internet Explorer exists. Also, many people still have to use IE6 at work. With this in mind, we should create the warnings-text in a kind way. Tell the user that they’re using an old browser and that, because of this, the site they’re currently on won’t look its best, and some functionality might be unavailable. Then suggest that, for a better browsing expreience, they should consider upgrading.

Applying the warning

It only takes a few lines of html code to apply the IE6 warning. You need to make use of conditional comments to apply it to your website. The code below is one way of doing it. It wraps a conditional comment around the relevant code block:


Modern, compliant browsers will just ignore this block of code. But versions of IE below version 7 will read it and treat it as html. So, if this was read by an IE6 browser, it would generate the html placed in the block, but if it was by IE7 or IE8, it would ignore it.

So, the conclusion would be: Keep it simple, keep it polite, and reassure and assist IE6 users, rather than showing them the finger.

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Tags: , , web, , , ,

How to create a favicon

» 05 May 2009 » In Web developer tips » No Comments

faviconsA favourite icon, called favicon, is the small icon that is displayed in the browser address bar, and it will also show in your bookmarks. It is a lot easier for the user to find the bookmark of your site, if you have created a favicon, and attached it to your website. If you look in your browser bar right now, you can see a pink little graphic square, this is the favicon of this site, making it easy to remember that you may have visited this site earlier. In short: using a favicon will improve the overall look of your website. So, how do we create a favicon? The favicon of this site is made in Adobe Photoshop.

Favicon information

Favicons have the extension .ico, and they must be named favicon.ico. The dimension of the icons must be 16×16.


To make .ico files in Photoshop, you need to download a plugin. This can be found here, it’s a Windows Icon Photoshop plugin. When you have done this, then you can start by creating a new file, but remember that it needs to be downsized to 16×16, so you can create a new file with the dimensions 128×128, 64×64 and so on (you get the idea?). Then, design your new amazing looking favicon, and last but not least, go to Image Size and click on Resample Image. This option is better than just selecting Image Resize, because it will make sure that the image does not blur when you scale it down.

Upload the icon

The only thing you need to remember here, is to upload it to your sites root directory.

Edit your header

You also need to edit the header section of the files in your website. It should look like this:

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" />

That’s it! Now you can test in your favourite browser, it looks better now, right?

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Generate backgrounds online

» 23 April 2009 » In Web developer tips » No Comments

A nice background is very important on every website. But sometimes it can be hard to come up with a good idea on what background image or pattern to use. Luckily, there are some good online background generators on the web. This is a list of 15 background generators, that will create patterns, stripes, gradients and tartans!

1. Patterncooler


3. Patterns from






9. Dotter by

10. Gradient Image Maker by DynamicDrive

11. Ogim – Online Gradient Image Maker

12. Gradient-Maker by

13. Background Image Maker by


15. bgMaker by

As you see, there are a lot of options for making background for your website available on the net. Have you tried/used any of these resources? Please, write your opinion in the comment field below.

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Tags: color, color scheme, colorschema, colorscheme, , design generator, gradients, , online design tool, patterns, stripes, , tartans, ,

Choosing color combinations

» 18 July 2008 » In Web developer tips » No Comments

One of the first things you should think of when starting the development of a new fresh website, is what colors you want to use. Many people don’t think of this as that important, but it is! According to studies, the right combination of colors is very important to grab your visitors interest. Luckily, Adobe has created a great tool for making this easier for us, it’s called Adobe Kuler.

Adobe kulerWith Adobe Kuler you have several ways to find the right colors for your website. You can simply log in to the Adobe Kuler website and browse your way to find a nice colorschema.

As you can see from the screenshot, there is many existing schemas that is free for you to download.

If you already have a picture that is going to be central on your website, you can upload the photo, and Adobe Kuler will extract central colors and make a color schema from it, pretty neat!

Create color schema from image

I recommend you to try Adobe Kuler. It’s a great tool for choosing colors for your website.

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Tags: Adobe Kuler, color, color scheme, colorschema, colorscheme

Web 2.0 Design Generators

» 08 May 2008 » In Web developer tips » 3 Comments

What about spicing up your website with some Web 2.0 design? Web 2.0 styles have been very popular in the last couple of years, and thus, many online generators have been made. If you’re looking for web 2.0 buttons, badges, logos or backgrounds, there is a free online generator waiting for you!

Stripe Generator:

Web 2.0 Stripes Generator

Stripe Designer:

Stripe designer

Quick Ribbon:

Ribbon Generator

Web 2.0 Logo Creator:

Web 2.0 Logo Creator

Ajax Loader Generator:

Ajax Loader generator

Tabs Generator:

Web 2.0 tabs generator



Web 2.0 Badges:

Web 2.0 badges




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Tags: , design generator, , online design tool, web 2.0,


» 07 March 2008 » In Web developer tips » No Comments

Good page design isn’t just about shiny buttons, polished reflections and subtle gradients. An understanding of web typography is essential if your site is to be more than mere eye candy.

Typography is about more than just choosing the right fonts for your design. Think of it as encompassing everything on your page even remotely to do with text on your page. This includes the way it looks, the space around it, how it relates to neighbouring text, line-spacing, proportional sizes, leading, kerning – the list goes on. And since a good website is nothing without content, the typography is as important part of the overall design as any other.
Font choice is an obvious place to start. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the individual fonts, but keep in mind that any text rendered as HTML needs to be a standard web font, so make sure any graphical headings work well alongside the HTML text. Limit yourself to no more than tow or three font styles on a page, with each having a distinct purpose (section headings, pull-out quotes, etc). The same applies to font sizes. This not only makes the page look neater and clearer to read, but can also cut down the amount of CSS styles needed when you construct the HTML.
White space (or negative space) is the space between elements on the page, and is one of the most important typographic tools at your disposal. It allows you to draw the reader’s focus to important text, emphasise content and improve readability. Unfortunately it remains one of the most misunderstood by clients, who frequently try to fill dead space, resulting in cluttered-looking pages.
Line length is also key in creating a clean, readable layout. Studies have found that participants read varying line lengths at similar speeds, but expressed a preference for lenghts of around four to six inches (or 10-15 words). This fits the natural arc of the eye, meaning it has to travel less, thus the visitor can give their full concentration to our carefully crafted page content.


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Tags: fonts, , typography

Test your web design in different browsers

» 03 March 2008 » In Web developer tips » No Comments

When you develop websites, it’s very important to check that your new amazing website looks the same way in all browsers. This is something many designers forget to check, and another question is: how to do it? It’s not normal to have all kinds of operating systems installed on several servers to test the design.

The solution

To test your beautiful, newly created web design in all available browsers, running on different operating systems, all you have to do is to visit 1 website! It’s called Browsershots. Here you can just paste the url to your site, and it will generate screenshots of your page in all the browsers on different operating systems, ensuring you that your web design will look the same no matter what system the users are running.

Screenshot from browsershots:



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