Useful links: 5 second test, game design, WHATWG & W3C split

five second test is an interesting new that helps with wireframing and optimizing a site. As questions about your design or mockup and they are answered by real testers.

Computer game design: what I know now. Here’s a dose of reality for the folks who think it’s easy to design a game.

HTML5 Work Splits into Living and Snapshot Standards. The WHATWG and W3C are ‘splitting.’ You can read several more stories about this at HTML5 News.

At quick look at CheckThis: UPDATED

In the universe of single purpose pages, there’s a new site called that gives you a series of choices to check off and you end up with a web page which you can send people. The very simple tool allows you to either “tell, sell, ask, or invite.”

Here are some examples of what can be done with the tool:

check this

How is this different from Facebook events or Tumblr or Craigslist or PayPal or eVite? Well, you end up with a unique URL that isn’t part of Facebook or some other site.  As you can see from the examples, if you’re good with images, you can tell a good story or make a point in one page. You might find useful at some point.

UPDATE: Since posting this, a friend told me about Mozilla Thimble. If checkthis caught your eye, you may like Mozilla Thimble, too.

A Closer Look at Codecademy

Online programming tutorials like Lifehacker’s tutorial on coding are great places to start if you want to learn the basics of coding for free. The only problem with tutorials is that they often don’t give you much of a chance to learn by doing, and any programmer will tell you that a programming language is best learned through experience.

Up until recently, you could find a few, free interactive education courses to help you learn how to code, but many of these courses weren’t designed with pedagogical best practices in mind. Many of the available open source courses were designed by programmers, for programmers who want to brush up on some of the finer points of coding. Fortunately for those with limited background knowledge of computer science, there’s a relatively new and highly accessible online education program called Codecademy. Codecademy is an interactive series of web-based courses on coding.

Web Teacher has already devoted some attention to Codecademy in a previous post. If you’re interested in learning more about this coding education program before you sign up, here’s the scoop on the JavaScript track.

code academy tracks

Codecademy begins with the very basics of coding in JavaScript, and it uses scaffolding techniques to ease learners into some of the most complex coding tasks. The education program’s user interface is simple and well-designed. There are instructions on the left side of the screen, and there’s a terminal in the middle of the screen where you practice coding according to lesson instructions. At the end of each lesson, you’re given a “test” that requires you to complete coding tasks based on what you’ve learned. As the lessons progress in terms of difficulty, it’s best to take notes. Some users have mentioned that the courses go by a little quickly. So, make sure you give yourself some processing time between lessons and refer back to your notes when you’re tested on difficult concepts.

Staying motivated while taking any sort of online course can be a challenge for many learners. Luckily, Codecademy does provide some incentive for users to stick with its education program. Users of the program are given trophies and points as they complete lessons, and these trophies and points are prominently displayed on their profiles. If a few of your friends are also learning how to code, it can be fun to compare how many trophies and points you each have and try to compete to finish lessons first.

Codecademy undeniably makes learning how to code in JavaScript easier. However, it should be noted that learning to code is intrinsically difficult for many beginning programmers. If you’re self-motivated and dedicated to completing all of Codecademy’s lessons, however, you’ll be a JavaScript guru in no time.

About the guest author: A freelance writer and blogger hailing from the great state of Texas, Melissa Miller specializes in writing about the education field. If you’re considering pursuing an associate degree online, Melissa’s many posts on the subject can help light the way. Email her at with any feedback.


4 Tools to Add a Pinterest “Pin it” Button Anywhere

Pinterest is more than a social networking site, it is a new addiction. Just as Facebook and Twitter have become a daily part of the average citizens life, so to has Pinterest become a pinnacle of the day to day actions of many women in particular. Making social media the official drug of the modern day, and growing in use by the moment.

But do you feel like your recent Pinning just isn’t enough? Do you wish you could expand it to other pages and sites? Especially since so many are either not compatible with the Pin It button or actually blog direct repinning now?

If this has become your greatest online desire, then you are in luck. There are four different tools that will help you to expand your current Pinterest arsenal.



Originally, there was no need for this tool unless you were a frequent double sharer, and so needed to be able to work more quickly and efficiently. But now, Facebook has blocked users from repinning directly from their site. Which is weird, given the fact that you have a logon option using your Facebook account.

The reason that they did this is unclear. It might be that grown slowed a bit for awhile, and they decided to start putting some distance between the two. Or maybe because Pinterest has more appeal for women than men, and so cleaves their user base in half.

Which is where Pinvolve comes in. It allows you to create a link between the two, so you can pin images found directly on Facebook like you used to. It works as a Facebook app, so you just add it to your Timeline. It lets both you and your friends use it, for your own content. Which might be a little annoying, as you have to put it on your profile first.

But the general usefulness makes it less aggravating, and it is worth adding.

Pin It Button

Pin It Button

This is a general Pin It button that has been slightly extended as a Chrome plugin. It works by increasing the number of websites that allow you to pin images. Think of it as an update to the original, which isn’t compatible with many sites on the web thanks to their style of older coding, and the relative newness of Pinterest as a site.

You can also see the “pin count” for each website you visit, similar to those that show how many times you have been tweeted or shared on Facebook. So when you combine it with other tools, such as Pin Search, you have a really comprehensive toolbox that allows you to get the most out of Pinterest.

Pinterest Button Extension for WordPress

Pinterest Button Extension for WordPress

What could be better than a Pinterest button for the blogging powerhouse WordPress? Not much. You can finally add a Pin It button to your WP blog, thanks to his excellent extension by WooCommerce. It is easy to use, and great as it will specifically configure to your blog when you integrate it into your general widgets.

Of course, there is one downside. In order to use it, you have to have the WooCommerce extension, which can be downloaded through their official WP plugin profile. But it isn’t a huge inconvenience, and it is the best WP Pinterest button I have found.



Pinterest has been accused by many sites as promoting (if indirectly) the pilfering of copyrighted images without proper credit. Which has led to many refusing to participate in pinning, putting up blocks similar to those used by Facebook to keep from content being pinned on their site.

However, Flickr is one of the first to get around this by allowing pinning that also includes direct attribution with every taken image. This includes an active link and a mention of the photographer or artist name.

For the first time, people on Flickr can participate and even gain a certain amount of followers through this method. It is a great tool.


Pinterest is an excellent website with a lot of potential. As the popularity of image sharing spreads, the tools for better utilizing the resource will increase. Until then, these four options give you a way to expand your pinboards across the web.

Guest Author is the SEO manager at PsPrint, Chicago commercial printing company specializing in business card and poster printing among other popular services. Find him in Google+

10 Invaluable WordPress Tools

If you want to make using WordPress an easier process, or just want to make the most out of what WordPress has to offer, check out these ten tools.

1. Bundlelytic


The great thing about this content package is that it is more than just beneficial for WordPress bloggers. It is also a charity package, which gives 100% of their proceeds to emergency programs through UNICEF. It comes with access to nine different services: Site5 Web Hosting, The Hello Bar, Themify, Pippity WP Plugin, Mad Mimi, CodeGuard, Sendible, OrganicThemes ‘Bold Theme’ and Themes Kingdom (5 different themes). Some of these, such as the themes, are one time purchases that give you full use rights. As for the services, they are between three and six month plans. In all, this is a $630 value package for $59, and all to help UNICEF. Definitely worth getting.

2. WPBeginner


When you first go onto this site you might be a little confused. The format is a fantastic clone of the WP dashboard, complete with matching side icons. In itself, it is the perfect guide for the WP beginner. It goes through every element of the website, giving you a total tutorial to use. They also have a list of useful WordPress books you can read if you want to learn even more.

3. Guest Blog Checklist

Guest Blog Checklist

As a blog owner, you are responsible for the content that is posted on your site. The biggest issue with this comes with guest bloggers. While you can easily control the genre or topics they write on, it is harder to handle format. Most writers will try to follow by the general layout used on other posts, or follow your instructions, they can often forget something. Which leads to more work for you in edit. That is why having a checklist for guest post formatting is a great idea. You can make your own, or use this one by the great Ann Smarty. Download and customize it.

4. 7 Tips For WP

7 Tips For WP

Copyblogger is a very informative site, and they aim to provide simple posts with plenty of advice for the average blog owner. In this edition, they give you seven tips on how to make WP work for you. It includes tricks for your sidebar, navigation advice and more.

5. Creating A WP Template 

Creating A WP Template (Video)

WordPress has a large selection of templates for you to use. Most of them are free, and some of them cost between $15 and $200. All of them are customizable and easily adapted for your needs. However, you might want something entirely your own. In that case, you will have to create one. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as creating other coding, such as traditional graphic design. This video will show you how to make a template for WP, step by step.

6. Designing For WP

Designing For WP (Video)

If you want more information on design for WordPress, this series is a good place to start. They have a few videos explaining the finer points of the topic, starting from the Starkers theme rather than a default. In all, the video series runs about two hours and fifteen minutes.

7. Putting Custom Headers In WP (Video)

Sometimes you love a theme, but you hate the header that it generates. Which is fine, because it is very simple to create your own header. On this video it will break it down for you, showing exactly how to make a header that will fit your blog. You will be ready in a manner of minutes.

8. Modifying WP Themes

Modifying WP Themes (Video)

The most confusing part of customizing a blog for more WorPress users is modifying an existing theme. It doesn’t take that much to learn what you are doing. Each part is in a different area of the coding box. This video breaks it down for you and shows you how to make changes.

9. ScribeFire


ScribeFire is a great plugin tool for Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera. It allows users to turn their browser into a full blog updater. Create new posts, edit old ones, work on SEO and more through the plugin itself. But best of all is that it allows you to work on all of your blogs in one place.

10. Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker

An official tool from WP, this allows you to check for any broken links in your posts. This makes it really easy to keep track of them, and to be alerted to any problems in the future.


If you want to make WordPress really work for you, then these ten tools can help. From getting advice on how to create a better blog to learning how to properly code your theme, they have everything you need to get things started.

Guest Author Jessy is the tech blogger for VIP Reality blog. Vip Reality is a Dallas real estate company preaching a high-quality approach to online marketing. All images courtesy Jessy.

Sharing from Kindle Reader app for iPhone to Facebook

share this

I don’t have an actual Kindle. I buy books from Amazon and read them on my iPhone with the Kindle app. I love it. I love the size, the line-length (makes for very speedy reading) and the fact that I don’t have to carry more than one device when I go awandering.

Theoretically, I should be able to highlight something in my Kindle Reader app, and send it to Facebook or Twitter. I’ve been reading Deanna Zandt’s book “Share This!” lately and have really wanted to share some of the great quotes from the book. The app goes through the motions, tells me it’s sharing, but nothing shows up on Facebook.

Have you made this work? Got any tips?

Is this how you find your bliss?

Have you looked at Bliss Control? Start from there and adjust settings for all the things shown in the screen grab:

settings to change

After you pick the thing you want to change, you pick the place where you want to make the change. The app will connect you directly to the right spot in each of the sites shown below:


The interesting thing about this service is that they don’t retain any login information – they simply guide you straight to the relevant place on the site in question to do whatever it is you want to do.

The young guys behind this interesting app are @benin, @Altryne, and @TboyTim.