30 websites to follow if you're into web development

 

I’ve made it a goal to learn at least one useful thing each day so that I can stay sharp and well-versed on the topic of web development and design. To that end, here’s some of the websites I keep track of to find new techniques, resources, and news about building websites.

Most of these sites are updated frequently, so there’s never a lack of new content that fills up my Google Reader.

Because the role of the web developer is ever-expanding, I’ve also included a variety of sites that covers fields relating to web development – such information architecture, user interaction, and web/graphics design.

1. NETTUTS

NETTUTS - Screenshot

NETTUTS is a recently launched blog/tutorial site that provides “spoonfed web skills“. There are already plenty of useful and detailed tutorials that range from offloading static content to Amazon S3 to creating a beautiful tabbed content area using jQuery. NETTUTS is perfect for developers just starting out, since the tutorials are very thorough and in a “step by step” format. For more advanced developers, it’s an excellent source of inspiration and learning new techniques.

2. woork

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Woork is a blog by Antonio Lupetti, a developer from Italy. He provides short, easily-consumable tutorials on various topics of web development such as PHP, Cold Fusion, JavaScript, and CSS. His knack for creating beautiful tutorials, chock full of custom-made images that illustrates the concepts he talks about is a testament to the detail and “work” that Antonio puts in each of his posts. Check out his awesome tutorial on a “Top-Down approach to simplify your CSS code” where he explains his preference on creating and formatting stylesheets.

3. Web Designer Wall

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Web Designer Wall is a blog by Nick La that features design ideas and elaborate, stunning tutorials such as creating a CSS gradient Text Effect – a technique that uses an image overlay over normal XHTML text, and jQuery tutorials for designers which showcases ten techniques to get you started with jQuery.

4. Smashing Magazine

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I won’t say much about Smashing Magazine since most of us have probably heard of it, but if you haven’t, Smashing Magazine is an excellent resource for web designers and developers looking to be inspired. Smashing Magazine also manages to publish almost everyday, despite their very detailed and thorough posts.

5. Vitamin

Vitamin - Screenshot

Vitamin offers a large amount of information on the topic of web development and design. With many contributors, Vitamin manages to cover a wide range of topics including Ajax, CSS, development techniques, best practices, and workflow management.

6. Wake Up Later

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Wake Up Later is the blog of Samuel Ryan, a freelance web developer/designer. Rather than covering specific web development techniques or providing tutorials, he talks about general web development related things such as reasons not to write your own code, tips on improving productivity, and common design mistakes made by developers.

7. Snook.ca

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Snook.ca is run by Jonathan Snook, an icon in web development and design. His blog provides tutorials and articles about PHP, JavaScript, and more recently (the blog dates back to 2001), Adobe AIR. He also provides useful resources and bookmarks that are worth a read, and talks about things that are part of being a web developer such as project management via email and maintaining your personal brand online.

8. Signal vs. Noise

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Signal vs. Noise is a design/usability company blog by the people over at 37 Signals – known for developing remarkable web applications such as BaseCamp and their involvement in the popular open source web application framework, Ruby On Rails. The blog gives insights about being a productive and effective web application developer and keeping things simple, with entries such as “Workaholics fixate on inconsequential details” and “Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor“.

9. adaptive path blog

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adaptive path’s company blog offers news and posts on the topic of user interface design. There’s a variety of useful posts that cover the topic of creating user-friendly designs (not limited to just web applications). Some things the adaptive path crew writes about are “Tips for presenting the look & feel to a client” and “The Lure of the Single Click“.

10. Tutorial Blog

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Tutorial Blog provides handy tutorials, resources, and lists on various web development and design topics such as code snipplets for web designers, using layer comps in Photoshop to manage designs, and Flash tutorials. Tutorial Blog has a section on user-submitted tutorials which allows readers to share their own tutorials.

11. WebAppers

WebAppers

WebAppers is a blog created by Ray Cheung, a freelance web developer. The premise of WebAppers is to provide news and resources related to open source and free applications that are useful to web developers and designers. From cost-free fonts and icons to navigation menus and image galleries, WebAppers seeks to hunt down useful tools and applications aimed at reducing your time developing custom solutions.

12. Web Resources Depot

Web Resources Depot - Screenshot

Web Resources Depot is similar to WebAppers – it discusses new web resources that web developers and designers may find helpful. Web Resources Depot is an excellent way to stay up to date

with what’s currently available out there all in one place.

13. Ajaxian

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With continual advancements in Ajax, it’s imperative to keep up to date with modern techniques and news. Ajaxian is the leading Ajax community run by some of the biggest names in the field. You’ll find information, reviews on JavaScript frameworks, helpful tools, and server-side technology specific (like PHP, RoR, and .NET) articles. If Ajax news and information is what you’re looking for, you can be sure to hear about it from Ajaxian.

14.DZone

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DZone is a social news site for developers. Users share links related to development and can vote on submissions (very much like Digg but limited to developer links). You can subscribe via RSS to various pages and sections such JavaScript, Flash/Flex, or databases if you want to get instant updates to things specific to your interests.

15. Design Float

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Design Float is social media site created for web and graphics designers. Like Dzone, people get to vote up submissions. You’ll find stuff about CSS, HTML, and Photoshop submitted to Design Float.

16. IBM’s developerWorks

developerWorks - screenshot

With the name camel-cased, you already know off-the-bat that it’s a great site for developers. developerWorks offers many articles and tutorials pertaining to development topics, not just about web development, but also on related fields such as systems administration and open source technologies and applications. developerWorks has a knack for writing about complex topics and boiling it down to consumable, understandable articles. Some of my bookmarks include “Debug and tune applications on the fly with Firebug” (an introduction to Firebug) and the “Make PHP apps fast, faster, fastest” series.

17. del.icio.us

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del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site where members can post bookmarks to keep and share. It’s not strictly for web developers but you can monitoring specific tags such as webdev, development, or javascript.

18. Sharebrain

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Sharebrain is site that shares useful resources for web workers. You can find resources and tutorials on various web development and design topics such as Photoshop tutorials, Usability, SEO Tools, CMS’s, and interviews.

19. Style Grind

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Style Grind shares useful news and information about web technologies and designs. Resources and news reported by Style Grind include a variety of web development and design topics such as updates on Erik Meyer’s CSS Reset and new plugins for jQuery.

20. PSDTUTS

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Your value as a web developer increases when you’re proficient in design as well. Some examples would be WordPress theme developers who not only know how to develop themes, but can also design them. PSDTUTS is a great place to improve on Photoshop skills and is a site I follow to learn more about graphics/web design.

21. Design Reviver

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Design Reviver is aimed at providing useful information for web designers. You can visit to read tutorials such getting started with 3D in Flash, to get free downloads like Photoshop brushes, and to find design inspiration.

22. Blog.SpoonGraphics

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Blog.SpoonGraphics is a blog about graphics and web design created by Chris Spooner, a graphics and web designer. You can find many tutorials on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, free, downloadable resources like “Sliding Door” tab menus, articles for inspiration, and news.

23. John Resig

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John Resig is the self-titled blog of John Resig – a premier JavaScript developer and author most known for his creation of jQuery, a popular JavaScript framework. John Resig’s blog shares his thoughts about JavaScript development and web applications. It’s where I found out about the release of his new project: Processing.js (a JavaScript port of the Processing programming language) and where he voiced his thoughts on Google Doctype.

24. Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows - Screenshot

Boxes and Arrows is all about best practices, innovations, and trends in the topic of design – including information architecture, graphics design, and user interaction design. You can read about findability (how people look for information), counter-arguments of front-loading information above the fold, and web accessibility.

25. PHPDeveloper

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PHPDeveloper brings together news and resources about PHP from blogs and sites that cover PHP. You’ll find reports varying from PHP video tutorials to interesting developments over at Zend.

26. Coding Horror

Coding Horror - Screenshot

Coding Horror is a very popular blog (over 100,000 RSS subscribers!) by Jeff Atwood, a software developer. He talks about web development too, posing questions such as Is HTML a Humane Markup Language?, discussing Amazon S3’s viability to host images, and sharing information on versioning databases.

27. O’Reilly Network

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The O’Reilly Network by O’Reilly Media (publisher of development books) features articles and blogs pertaining to web development and open technologies. Some recent articles include Creating Applications with Amazon EC2 and S3 and Getting Started with the Google App Engine. Some blogs that are part of the O’Reilly Network include WindowsDevCenter.com (for Windows Developers), ONJava.com (topics cover the Java language) and ONLamp.com (which talks about Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).

28. Google doctype

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Google Doctype is Google’s new project that will include entries “by web developers for web developers“. Currently, it doesn’t have very many articles, but it’s certainly a resource to follow in the upcoming months.

29. Web Monkey

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Web Monkey – the web developer’s resource is back! Though they’re just getting back to the swing of things, it’s definitely a website to keep track of.

30. Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine is the online magazine for web professionals (web designers, developers, information architects). You can find many things included here such PHP, Web Standards, and Programming.

Other notable sites to check out

  • 24 ways – an annual collection of 24 development and design articles by some of the leading website builders.
  • Noupe – Provides news and resources on web design and development.
  • Vandelay Design – a blog on web design and development by Steven Snell, who contributed to Six Revisions last month.
  • CSS Globe – Community-driven website on web standards.

 

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