CSS Tips: Box Shadows, Insets and Single Sided

Have you ever wanted to create a framed section of your website with a highlighted shadow style border, but didn’t know how? Well, using one of CSS 3’s great features called “box shadow” you can!

Example:

Example

.boxshadow {
box-shadow: 6px 6px 5px 5px #cccccc;
-moz-box-shadow: 6px 6px 5px 5px #cccccc;
-webkit-box-shadow:6px 6px 5px 5px #cccccc;
}

Browser Compatibility:

You will notice that I include 3 different forms of box-shadow code in my CSS. This is to ensure full browser compatibility among the Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome browsers. Internet Explorer requires extra code, which I will mention a little further down.

Explaining The CSS:

There are 5 parts to the Box Shadow code:

  1. Horizontal Offset (ie. 2px). This is the number that will tell the browser where to display the horizontal shadow. A positive number will move the shadow to the right and a negative will move the shadow to the left.
  2. Vertical Offset (ie. 2px). Similar to the horizontal offset, this moves the shadow up or down. A positive figure will move the shadow below the box and a negative number moves the shadow above the box.
  3. Blur Radius (ie. 5px). This allows you to “blue” the shadow to give it more or less detail. Note: this is optional.
  4. Spread Radius / Size (ie. 5px). This displays how large your box shadow is displayed. 0 is used by default. Note: this is optional.
  5. Color. Using different color codes you can specify how your shadow looks.

Insets and Single Sides:

In addition to regular shadow effects, you can use the “inset” feature to add the shadow inside the box instead of outside. The remaining properties remain the same (ie. horizontal, vertical, blur etc).

Inset

.insetboxshadow {
box-shadow: inset 0 0 8px #000000;
-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 0 8px #000000;
-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 0 8px #000000;
}

From time to time you may also wish to only display a shadow on 1 side of a box. This is done by giving the spread/size a negative number (ie. negative spread radius) which will result in your shadow only being displayed on a single side of the box. Play around with this to see how it looks.

1 Sided

.1sideboxshadow {
box-shadow: 0px 8px 8px -8px #000000;
-moz-box-shadow: 0px 8px 8px -8px #000000;
-webkit-box-shadow: 0px 8px 8px -8px #000000;
}

Internet Explorer Additional CSS:

As with most things IE, they don’t recogise standard HTML out of the box, so you need to add a little extra code to make the magic happen. In this case we need to include a second CSS Div Class. A big thanks to css-tricks.com for helping me with this particular bit of code.

.ieshadow {
margin: 40px;
background-color: rgb(255,255,255); /* Required by IE. RGB 255 = White */
box-shadow: 2px 2px 5px 5px rgba(255,255,255,0.6);
-moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 5px 5px rgba(255,255,255,0.6);
-webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 5px 5px rgba(255,255,255,0.6);
filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Blur(PixelRadius=3,MakeShadow=true,
ShadowOpacity=0.30);
-ms-filter: “progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Blur(PixelRadius=3,
MakeShadow=true,ShadowOpacity=0.30)”;
zoom: 1;
}

.ieshadow .iecontent {
position: relative; /* This ensures the inner section is not blurred */
padding: 100px;
background-color: #ffffff;
}

Blue Shadow

The HTML code would therefore look like:

<div class=”ieshadow”>
<div class=”iecontent”>
Content
</div>
</div>

As with most things, trial and error will often get you the best results. If at first you’re not happy with the shadow of your divs, edit the css and try new settings.

Helpful Resources:

Css-tricks.com – Box Shadows
CSS Secrets Squidoo Lens

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CSS Tips: Font Styling Shortcut Rule

html-5-css-style-sheetHave you ever coded CSS and wished you could merge multiple lines into just one?  You can, at least with regards to your font styling by merging your styles into a single line. There are a few rules you must follow in order to use this (details after the code details) but in general it’s a quick and easy way to code your CSS.

Instead of using code such as:

{
font-family: arial;
font-size:1em;
font-style: italic;
font-weight:bold;
font-variant: small-caps;
}

You can include all these into a single line such as:

{
font: italic bold small-caps 1em arial
}

The Rules:

1) You MUST specify BOTH the font-family and font-size properties in order for this to work.

2) The font-family property MUST be the very last item within the CSS.

3) The font-size property MUST be directly before the font-family property.

4) Not specifying the font-weight, font-style properties etc will result in the browser using the default options.  If in doubt, specify the full-styling.

Helpful References:

w3.org font-sizes: http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/font-size
Webcredible CSS Tips: http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css/css-tricks.shtml
Blog Herald: CSS Tips: http://www.blogherald.com/2006/09/08/css-tips-and-tricks/

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Major SafeAdZone Update Incl. Audio Recording

If you are/were involved with any of the SafeAdZone / QUIK Family programs or TripleQUIKads, you MUST hear the latest update from Clint.  In fact, even if you are not in those programs but are involved in the Affiliate Marketing / MLM industry you should also catch up on this very important update.

The SafeAdZone blog update can be found here: http://safeadzone.com/2012/08/15/member-update-details-august-14th/

SafeAdZone

The blog update also contains an audio recording from this weeks presentation.

Summary of points from the presentation:

  • Server Crash on May 24th – No Offsite Backup was done by the server admin / programmer, contrary to representations indicating sufficient backups were in place.
  • Server admin has since renounced responsibility and is deemed unreliable.
  • Data loss due to no sufficient backup wiped out the total business and full-time income.
  • Clint is committed to rebuilding and providing members what they’re owed.
  • Will look for a new programmer with MLM experience and also develop strategic alliances.
  • Working with others in the industry including Brian Rooney and Penny Prechtl.
  • Clint / SAZ is not going anywhere and WILL relaunch!

You can listen to the presentation directly here: http://www.safeadzone.com/pres/sazmtg-8-14-12/

Note: If you are a member of TripleQUIKads / TQA and wish to contact Allan regarding TQA’s relaunch chances or the server crash situation, you can submit a support ticket at his site.  I notice TripleQUIKads is not a listed department, so choose Followmydownline as the best option.

A number of people have asked me if my leaving TQA had anything to do with the current situation / hdd failure.  I want to clear that up right now and state that no, my departing happened long before the server issues and is 100% unrelated.  I left because I did not agree with an ill-advised and uncalculated business risk (financial) that my business partner at the time (Allan) was willing to make.  That is all I will speak on this matter on a public forum such as this.

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5 Ways To Improve Your PPM Soccer Team

ppmsoccer03The evolution of the Online Sports Manager Game, Powerplay Manager since it’s inception has been quite incredible, so it’s understandable and expected that the game engine that drives the game(s) has also.  For better or worse, the football / soccer and hockey game engines have undergone continual tweaks and adjustments since day 1 of season 1.  I have been involved in different online manager games for a number of years and PPM is by far the most active of all admin, and to me, that can only ever be a good thing.

Of course, the other side to continual tweaks to the game engine is that we as managers need to study the changes and constantly adjust our playing style to ensure we stay on top of our games.  This is part of PPM that I really like the most, as It creates a certain amount of trial by fire to the game.  That doesn’t mean that it’s a guessing game.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Knowledge equals power, and once you know and understand the finer points of the game, your winning percentage will greatly increasel.

So here are 5 things you can do that will help you develop a stronger team and play a stronger game (in no particular order).

1. Dominate The Midfield

In one of the big changes to the game engine in the last few seasons PPM made some major improvements to the way the game looks at, and plays the midfield.  In football, ball posession is often won (or lost) in the midfield, and ball posession is the first step to scoring chances and of course goals.  PPM are always keen to make their games as realistic as possible, so this particular change had a lot of us hardcore football fans nearly salivating!

ppmsoccer01Your midfield (both central and out wide) should be one of your strongest (if not THE strongest) positions on the field.  The quickest way to see the strength of your midfield is to look at your team page and look at your team ratings graph (similar to image on right)

Having core players here could quite literally be the difference between a win and a loss.  In my opinion I believe you should play at least 4 midfielders, 2 in the center position and 2 out wide.  Depending on your opposition (see point 5 in this article), your players (point 2) or how offensively talented they are (point 3) your tactics may vary here.

2. Position, Position, Position!

Left back, right back, full back, striker, forward, center midfield attack… great phrases, but what does it mean in relation to having a strong team?  There are actually 2 things you need to understand when it comes to your players positions. 

The first is to ensure that they are in fact being played in the correct position.  Playing a center defender at left back may sound ok, but in practice the results may be something entirely different.  If you do test different players in different positions be sure to take note of your team strength (ie. team info page) after the daily game update.  This will give you an indicator of any major changes.  I wont get into attributes and EOR in this article as that will take too long, but you need to make sure that your players are where they should be.

The second part to this is your players preferred side.  There are 3 different types of preferences for this; left, right or universal.  While this “mainly” applies to players who are in the wide positions it can also apply to central players also.  Above all else the most important thing you need to remember is to try and NOT play someone who prefers  one side on the opposite side of the field.  For example if you have a left back who likes the left side, don’t play him on the right side!  Research shows doing so could result in an drop of attribute rating for that player between 10% and 20%!

3. Shooting, The Forgotten Attribute

You can have the most talented player in the league but if he has zero finishing skills he’s never going to score a ton of goals.  All too often I see players who train up their team with 1 or 2 scorers (usually forwards) and then wonder why their team scores less goals a season than their opposition. 

The fact is, the shooting attribute applies to ALL players with the exception of only the goalie!  Last season I spent a lot of time training up shooting on my midfielders and defenders to see just how much of a difference it really made.  The image below shows the current top goal scorers in my team so far this season. 

ppmsoccer02

Of those top 6 players, 2 are forwards, 2 are midfielders and 2 are defenders!

How much you train your shooting is entirely up to you.  I would recommend between 40% and 60% of the defense attribute for defenders (depending of course on the quality of the shooting attribute), between 40% and 70% for midfielders (50% – 80% for attacking midfielders) and for forwards 70%+ or their primary attribute. 

4. Use Line Tactics That Suit YOUR Team

Line tactics are another thing that PPM have spent time tweaking within the game engine over the last few seasons.  No longer can you play a crazy (unrealistic) tactic and still dominate a game.  But that doesn’t mean you “have” to play a cookie cutter style of tactic.  While many play a default 4-4-2 style of game, it is my opinion that if you train your team right, you can be far more successful with tactics that are designed around your teams strengths.

For example, if you have a center midfielder who has a very high shooting then you could play a 4-1-2-1-2 tactic, where you have 4 defenders, a defensive midfielder (played back in the central position towards the defenders), a winger on the left and right and the high shooting attacking midfielder at the top just back from the 2 forwards.  This would give your team essentially 3 attacking players while keeping your midfield strong (see point 1 in this article).

Alternatively, if you only have 1 quality striker but have a strength in the midfield you could play something like a 4-1-2-2-2 or 4-2-2-1-2 where you have 5 players in the midfield with either 2 back as defensive central midfielders and 1 attacking or switch them and have 1 defensive mid and 2 attacking mid.

The line tactics you play should always match the strengths of your team. Just remember, don’t play crazy lineups!

5. Know Your Enemy

Updating your game tactics and lines everyday can take less than 5 minutes and can be a major decider in you winning or losing.  But before you do that, take a look at your next match and check out your oppositions analysis.  See what tactics they play, how they manage their energy / game importance and which of their players are the biggest scoring threats. 

Once you’ve done that, take a look at your lineup and decide what (if anything) you need to change or tweak.  Doing a little research can go a very long way with PPM!

Tomorrow I will be posting an article touching on the same issue but with regards to your PPM Hockey team.

Not playing PPM yet?  Why not join today?  It’s 100% free and you can play either Hockey or Soccer! 

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Can Bing Compete Compete With Googles Domination?

Bing Vs GoogleFirst we had the Cola Wars, then came the Smart Phone Wars… the question flying around the internet these days is whether we are on the verge of seeing a brand new Social Media War.  For years now Google has stood alone at the top with regards to search and has led the way in the area of PPC Advertising and Market Share.  While there have been countless challenges to Google’s market share, nobody has really stood a chance.

Which raises the question: Can Bing mount a serious challenge and topple the king? Webmaster news source Sitepronews argue that they don’t believe it’s possible, as they reported in a story earlier this week.

“I think it is going to be extremely difficult for Bing to ever seriously compete with Google, but that doesn’t mean they are going to stop trying.” ~ SiteProNews

As SiteProNews mention, the biggest difference between Google and Bing is the revenue they each generate and the market share they have across the globe.

In the 2011 fiscal year Google totally dominated, generating $37 Billion in revenue from PPC Advertising to Bing’s $1 Billion.  They backed this up with an incredible 81.7% market share globally to Bing’s tiny 4.4%!  In the US, arguably the biggest market for both companies Google again dominates with more than 66% of the market to Bing’s 15.2%.

But here’s the kicker, at the end of the day it all comes down to trust.  Who do you like and trust more? 

“The main issue I have with Bing, and the reason I think they will never compete with Google, is the fact they call themselves a decision engine. Why would anyone want Microsoft making their decisions for them?”

Market Share, decision engines, algorythms, the battle for search supremacy may already be over before it’s begun.  But Bing seem determined and that is something they will need if they intend to truly mount a challenge against Google.

Whether you side with Google or Bing, I highly recommend heading over to SiteProNews now to read the full story.

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