DevTips

Pixels, Ems, and Rems: The Differences Explained

pixels-ems-and-rems

Website design measurements are not inches or even centimeters. They are pixels, ems, and rems. Rems are new. When I opened the Twenty-Twelve CSS (styling) sheet, I was thrown by the new rem measurement. The first thing I did was delete all of them and used pixels or ems. That messed things up pretty well, until I came to terms with rems.

Pixels

Computer monitors have resolutions in pixels. A screen can be 72 pixels per inch (PPI), 124, etc, etc. To size a font in pixels means it will appear as that number of screen pixels. It’s a constant that depends on the number of pixels on the screen. On my monitor has many pixels per inch, so in Microsoft Word, for example, I view documents at 125% in order to see what the page will look like when I print it. On websites, I often have to increase the font in order to read it.dpi_and_ppi

In addition to different pixels per inch on different monitors, pixels are sized in absolute numbers, Each style on the webpage has to be given a specific number of pixels. Since the styles may take pages of code and pixel sizes range from 36 to 8, proportions of various elements were difficult to keep consistent. And if the size or proportions were changed, each of those numbers had to be replaced.

Then ems came along.

Ems

“Em” is a typographical term that refers to the height of a letter. Other measurements on a page of text, like line-height and the proportions of titles and headings, are measured in percentages of ems. On webs pages the size of an em is established by the website designer for the site or each section of a page or the site. If the base font size is set to 16 px other sizes are set a percentages of the base font size, the em. If the base font is 16px, a  smaller font might be set .75 em resulting in 14 px letters. When a base font size is increased or decreased, all the other sizes will change in relation to the base font size.

But they don’t. And there lies the problem.

Measurements, like colors, are established using “CSS,” which stands for Cascading Style Sheet. Styles change in relation to the style above them or in which they are nested in a “cascade.” If the text of a paragraph is set at .75 em, and a quote within the paragraph is set at .25em, the quote will be 25% of 75%, not 25% of the original 16 pixels. With long pages of complex CSS coding, this means sizes can change unexpectedly. Tracking down all the relationships between cascading percentages of ems can take a lot of time—unless you are mathematically inclined and can see the logical (or illogical) flow of percentages cascading on top of percentages. Designers are often not.

On top of that screen sizes began changing. One person would be using an iPhone and another a 24 inch monitor. One person a new retinal display and another a much older 72 ppi screen. Predetermined numbers meant that what was good design on one was unusable on another. Enter rems.

REMs

With the increasing variety of screen sizes and resolutions, programmers began working on “responsive design,” web pages that change according the size of the screen. What can be read on a desktop monitor may be difficult to read on a notebook and laborious on a smart phone. This required either different websites, at triple the design cost, or a web page that would change depending on the device it was being viewed on. Elements had to be able to move around according to the width of screen on mobile devices and the browser window size on desktops. A stable, non-cascading measurement became necessary.

Rem stands for “root em”. Rems work as logically as one expects ems to: in relation to the base font size of 16 px, not the size of the font immediately above it. Current version of all the mainstream browsers and mobil devices support rems, which means they can read them and render a page accurately. As a fall back, however, for those who are not using current browsers, sizes are still set in both pixels and rems.*

More on Rems

A good place to watch for updates on CSS changes is CSS-Tricks which features a blog, forums, demos, gallery, snippets of HTML and CSS, videos, and more.

A  (Life Saving) Rem Calculator

And here is a calculator from Foliovision to convert a pixel measurement to rem measurement. Type in your pixels measurement and hit Enter. You will get two results—one for font-size, width, height, margin, padding and the other for line-height.

Responsive Design Calculator: Pixels to REM

*Everyone should be using current versions of browsers. They have better security protecting your computer from worms and viruses and trojan horses, and can use more features on websites. And they are faster. Old version so Internet Explorer are particularly deficient. Those users should definitely upgrade to version 9 or change browsers.


Why Good Logo Design is Important

generated-logoStarting a new business can be stressful, with countless pressures and concerns. Among all of the things you have on your “to do” list, you must not overlook your business logo. Having an unforgettable business logo is critical for any and every business.

Our design partners understand that a good logo signals that your business is legitimate, trustworthy, and credible. Businesses that do not have a quality logo design are inconspicuous, compared to those that do have a quality logo design. Those who try to run a business on a weak logo design give the impression of a “here today, gone tomorrow” or “fly by night” kind of establishment.

Not only does a good logo advertise that your business is legitimate, it also tells a great deal about your industry. An effective logo, depending on how it is used, can create a professional image for your business that will be unforgettable. A good logo design is at the core of success for many companies. Some companies even have teams employed to protect the company’s image, deflect those who try to violate their copyright and anyone who uses the company’s logo inappropriately. Why? A company’s logo is the very representation of the business, and is a valued symbol.

The flexibility of a company’s logo multiplies its value, increases credibility, and helps promote in different channels of business branding. You can use your company’s logo essentially anywhere and under any circumstances to spread the message you are trying to convey. The company’s logo can be used on every fax, postcard, promotional item, advertisement and business card. It can be the focus of interest on your website and even used in e-mails. When you have a quality logo, you have one of the most effective branding and marketing vehicles out there.

As you start to develop your new business, do not neglect to find a professional logo designer who can develop your logo. If you absolutely have no budget, then consider using this cheap logo generator, until you have the time and resources to hire a serious designer. However, understand that the power of your company’s logo is an effective tool to communicate your business’ legitimacy and quality.

 


The Importance Of A Privacy Policy For Your Website

privacy-law-onlineWe have all heard that joke about how every person on the planet has one lie in common, which is ticking the box to confirm we’ve read the terms and conditions. Is it really important to have one on your website, if nobody reads it anyway? The answer is yes

When you review the terms & conditions, or Terms of Service (ToC) for any website, or social media channel, you view a set of rules. It’s a lot like entering into a competition and failing to read the fine print at the bottom which tells you what might disqualify you from it. When you agree to the terms & conditions you are agreeing that you will abide by the rules that a particular website has set out. Forget about your right to free speech, a website is like any other company- they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and breaking the terms & conditions is the quickest way to see that in action. Every company has a set of terms and conditions that is unique to its site. The ToS also generally includes a disclaimer notice, to ensure the visitor understands you are not liable for any misinformation that may be presented on your site.

Very recently a well-known right wing Twitter user was banned from the site, and supporters were up in arms about it, claiming that his right to free speech was being censored. A quick look at the T’s and C’s shows that Twitter was well within their rights to cancel his account and ban him from returning, because he broke the rules that allowed him a platform on Twitter in the first place. Within Twitter’s terms and conditions, the rules he broke are clearly set out- so by breaching those rules repeatedly they simply cut him off from their service. Another good example is one of our local clients, here in Long Island, that has a website in the adult entertainment industry. Imagine the type of private date they have on their visitors, and what they could theoretically do with it!

 

You will frequently see Instagram and Facebook remove posts, pictures, and videos from the site due to a breach in terms and conditions. This can be triggered if enough people complain about it, otherwise it can be difficult for large social media sites to stay on top of all of the misbehaviour of its users.

When it comes to privacy policy and terms & conditions, what’s the difference?

A Privacy Policy when will inform customers how you collect their personal information is collected, how it is stored and whether it is offered to third parties. Every website should have its own unique privacy policy. It’s essentially a disclosure statement made specifically for your company, and it should also contain any laws that are relevant to your business, industry or location.

Every website that collects personal information requires a privacy policy, but not all websites will require terms & conditions, it depends on the nature of your site.


How To Download All Files From A Website?

download-website-scraping

When it comes to downloading all of the files from a website, you are going to have to deal with a variety of issues. The reason why is simple, you can’t just click and save everything with ease. There was a time in the past where you could do that, but today? That’s not going to be the case at all. Most sites have a lot of code to break down if you try to take their content. You can try to emulate the code, but there’s going to be a lot of breaks. There are several ways that you can do this. Whether you want to get all the files, including videos, images, and more, or you just want to pull the writing, there are several things that you are going to need to consider. In the end, it is possible to do this for most sites, but even then, there are some sites that you cannot pull through.

The Quick Way 

The first option that you can do is simple, visit any website you’d like. Then go to your settings within the web browser and hit save entire website. Or save page as, and then save everything. For most sites, you will be able to save every single thing on a site. There are also services like Website Downloader Online, which essentially do the same thing for free, but also allow you to exclude certain file extensions. If you don’t get everything, you can look at the code and see where any images, and more are hosted on other areas, and then download them or edit the code as a result.

www-website

Download Management Software

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to work with this is simple, look for download managers. You can pull a lot of files, including all the major audio, video, and more with a download manager. Things like Flashgot, Downthemall, WBMDL, IDM, and FDM (Free Download Manager), can help you pull all the files completely. From the code, to the digital media files, you can pull through anything you’d like, and many software choices are free overall.

The thing that you need to remember is simple. You need to remember that you can download most files on any site, with the sole exception that you could deal with webmasters that block downloads. This is rare. However, there are some pages that you cannot just pull away files from overall. In theory, 90% of websites can be downloaded completely, using one of the two ways mentioned above.


What Is The Wayback Machine?

There’s a lot of different cool internet domains. There’s a lot of different websites that you can explore, and spend a lot of time looking through, and at. One of the premier pages that you have to consider today is none other than the wayback machine. This is a virtual treasure trove of epic proportions. If you haven’t heard of this, you’re in for a real treat. This is a solution that is going to absolutely change everything for you, as it is a simple time machine, for the internet age. Once you start looking through this, you may very well never want to log off.

The Loss of Internet Pages

There are millions upon millions of pages that are deleted every day. Over the years, people have put out a ton of information, and nothing happens with them. They get lost in the shuffle, they get deleted from the archives, and they are gone. Well, in 2001, a couple of internet guys decided to bring about a time machine. This time machine would pull archival images and information from websites that have been deleted from the past. Taking information from 1996 moving forward, this site is absolutely incredible, in the amount of information that it has.

How to recover a website from the Wayback Machine?

Here is a good video that uses waybackmachinedownloader.com, which explains how you can download a website from the Internet Archive:

What Exactly Is The Wayback Machine?

This is a site that lets you search for old sites. Any site you can think of can be pulled through. Whether you posted a blog long ago that you forgot about, or deleted, or you wanted to look at an archive of information, you will find that the wayback machine puts you in contact with the past today. The site pulls archive from Alexa Internet, and is a way to see the world of the internet through various websites, domains, and more.

This is something that comes alongside the internet archive. The internet archive is the largest collection of public domain images, videos, and much more. Through the search that you do on that page, you can pull images from the world around you, and beyond. It’s nothing short of incredible. Now, tie together the wayback machine and the internet archive, and you should have no reason to be bored ever again.

Time machines may not exist in real life, but as far as the internet archives are concerned, you’ll find that the wayback machine is well worth exploring on that level. It truly brings you to all new levels of experience with the internet’s past.