Chris Loos's blog

(Mis)use the Text-shadow Property for 7 Cool Text Effects

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The CSS3 text-shadow property is a great way to give a heading or title a little extra visual weight on a page. But did you know that you can simulate all kinds of Photoshop filter-like effects with it as well?

Ten Reasons You Should Be Using a CSS Preprocessor

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I started hearing about this CSS preprocessor stuff a couple of years ago. The concept intrigued me: Use special, supercharged CSS files that could contain variables, functions, "mixins", and other features. After development, these special files would then be compiled into regular CSS files that all web browsers could understand.

To my peril, I stayed away from CSS preprocessors until recently. "Why should I add another layer of complexity to my development workflow?" I thought. "I know what I'm doing with CSS. If it's not broken, don't fix it."

Integrating Drupal Webforms with Salesforce

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Integrating Drupal webforms with the popular CRM tool Salesforce is a common request from our clients. The concept works like this: Visitors fill out a contact webform on the Drupal website. That data is then transmitted to Salesforce, where it would be stored as a new record (or "lead" in CRM parlance.)

Taming the WYSIWYG Editor in 3 Steps

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Drupal's WYSIWYG editor was once described to me by a colleague as "where the rubber meets the road" for clients. In other words, its the part of the website that your clients will be interacting with the most. You can spend hours or days perfecting a theme, configuring modules, and writing custom code to make a site as beautiful and useful as possible, but if the WYSIWYG editor does not work as advertised, it can ruin the experience for a client.

Adding Pager Navigation to Nodes in Drupal 7

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My father, a part time sculptor, recently asked me to build him a website to showcase his work. Sensing an opportunity to learn some new Drupal 7 tricks, I agreed.

Being a fairly simple site with a few pages and an image gallery, the site was completed in a few days…almost. When I was at a stopping point, I asked my wife to click through the site, thinking she might pick up on some usability issues that I missed. Sure enough, she did.

Review: Omega Base Theme for Drupal 7

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I’m always on the hunt for a better base theme. I stuck with Zen for many a Drupal 6 project, and then switched to Fusion once I learned the ways of the grid. For a recent Drupal 7 project however, I decided to go a new direction and give the Omega base theme a try. I had heard some buzz about the theme at Drupalcon, and the theme’s feature set caught my attention. Amongst the selling points for me:

Create Awesome User Interfaces with Draggable Views

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On a recent project, I set up a “featured story block” to be displayed prominently on a home page. The block was essentially a view that rotates through a list of featured stories, displaying their lead images and titles. If you’ve built a few websites, chances are you’ve implemented a similar feature at some point.

5 Useful Features in Google Webmaster Tools (for Drupal Developers)

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Google Webmaster Tools proved to be an invaluable asset in identifying areas ripe for SEO improvements. In the end, we were able to boost the site’s rankings in Google substantially in just a few days.

Using CSS Sprites to speed up pages

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Should you be using sprites in your website theme? The short answer is, "yes!" What is a sprite you ask? Its a technique used to load website images using 1 HTTP request rather than separate HTTP requests to load all the background images on a given webpage.

Control Panel Page - A Drupal Usability Solution

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As Drupal consultants, we are constantly getting usability feedback from our clients. One issue that comes up fairly often is the fact that the functions that clients commonly use are often difficult to find, and sometimes in locations they wouldn't expect. These locations might make sense to us as Drupal developers, but not to clients. Most clients don't have time to become Drupal experts, nor should they be forced to. Ideally, a website should be designed in a way that anticipates how clients will use it, making it easy as possible for them to get to the functions and pages they need.