November 1, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Gillevet | Monthly Roundups

The Monthly Round-up: October’s Best Web Design/Development, CMS, and Security Content

The Monthly Round-up: October’s Best Web Design/Development, CMS, and Security Content

Each month, we like to keep an eye out on what’s going on in the web design/development, CMS, and security communities. Then we gather up our favorite content to share with you. These are the most interesting and informative articles from October. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section!

Web Design and Development

Drew Thomas: Responsive Web Design is Hard Work – Until responsive web design simply becomes the norm, we need to stop viewing issues with a traditional mindset and accept responsive design is hard, argues Drew Thomas.

Should Web Designers Have Coding Skills? – The term “web designer” is subjective and means different things to different people. To some, it equates to “designer” or “graphic artist”. To others, it’s someone possessing good front-end coding skills who can create an HTML and CSS layout with JavaScript interactions.

5 Steps to Drastically Improve Your CSS Knowledge in 24 Hours – You’ve been coding for a while now and know your way around a CSS file. You’re certainly no master, but with enough fiddling you can get where you want to go. You’re wondering though if you’ll ever get past that point where CSS is such a struggle.

How To Design Your Site for the Holidays – We all know that making changes for the holidays should entail a little more effort than a snowflake animation or a “Season’s Greetings!” on the homepage or your social media profiles.

Flat UI and Forms – Though some decry flat user interfaces as pure fashion, or the obvious response to skeuomorphic trends, many designers have embraced the flat approach because the reduction in visual styling (such as gradients, drop shadows, and borders) creates interfaces that seem simpler and cleaner.

Responsive Web Design: Relying Too Much on Screen Size – As people continue to go online using an ever increasing diversity of devices, responsive Web design has helped teams build amazing sites and apps that adapt their designs to smartphones, desktops, and everything in between.

3 Web Design Building Blocks Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know – You’re a small-business owner and you probably need a digital presence. Typically that means you need a website, though increasingly, some businesses can function digitally with just a Facebook page.

The 5 Best Tools for Responsive Design – Let me start by saying this, I will not be including any point-and-click design tools in this list (think Adobe Edge Reflow). The reason is simple enough, I believe that they’re bad for everyone; designers, clients, coders… everyone suffers.

Conceptual Introduction to Web Development – I know what you’re thinking. There are so many “Intro to x programming” articles that why should you waste your time reading another one. The reality is that there are TONS of tutorials, MOOCs, and other educational resources just waiting to teach you how to start coding your way into a rockstar X-language developer.

Content Management Systems

The Best Themes for Any CMS Platforms – No matter what CMS platform you use, the right theme can make or break your site. From dynamic backgrounds and style designs to optimized Search programs and monetization layouts; a good, clean theme can really bring out the best in your site.

Craft is the new ExpressionEngine – As of this writing in 2013, the topic of which CMS (Content Management System) to use is a bit redundant. I’ve long felt that web agencies and freelancers should generally avoid building their own CMS to sell to clients, opting instead to use off-the-shelf third-party solutions.

Understanding Ghost: Stages of Design – The process of building themes for Ghost is incredibly smooth, simple and very easy to learn. But before you start building an actual Ghost theme it’s important and helpful to understand the role themes play in the overall Ghost ecology so that you can design in the optimal way.

Just Use [insert CMS here]! Or, Why I Still Love WordPress – I somewhat regularly ask questions about WordPress stuff on Twitter. Usually when I don’t know how to do something or I’m seeing behavior that I didn’t expect.

Pricing ExpressionEngine for Success – At the 2013 ExpressionEngine Conference I gave a talk entitled “Pricing ExpressionEngine for Success.” What follows is a transcript of my talk, with slides containing the survey results that I shared during the talk.


Reengineering Human Behavior Can Foil Phishing – Almost all cyberattacks these days require an element of social engineering. Spammers are always looking for that hot button to induce a click on a link or an attachment. Drive-by artists continually experiment with poisoned banner ads designed to steer the curious into an online dark alley.

How Your CMS Could be Breeding Security Vulnerabilities – They are everywhere. Not hackers per se, but the very platforms whose vulnerabilities hackers seek to exploit. I’m talking about content management systems (CMSs).

BYOD Rules, Network Security & Your Business – The integration of sophisticated interfaces in modern devices has made it difficult to draw a line between personal and business usage. Nearly a decade back, it was fairly easy to differentiate between data/software/applications targeted or being used at an enterprise level and those at a personal scale.

The Dark Economy: A Look at the Shadier WordPress Products & Businesses – There is no doubting that WordPress is an amazing tool and has been used by millions of people in many good ways, there are also people who use it in more nefarious ways – a darker side to WordPress.

Meet “badBIOS,” the mysterious Mac and PC Malware that Jumps Airgaps – Three years ago, security consultant Dragos Ruiu was in his lab when he noticed something highly unusual: his MacBook Air, on which he had just installed a fresh copy of OS X, spontaneously updated the firmware that helps it boot.

If you liked these articles, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google + for the same great content the rest of the month. We’ll leave you with Google answering the question,” What is inside the new Loon antenna?”

Image via Flickr/Nick Taylor