10 Promising Free Web Analytics Tools

Jan 2 2009 by Jacob Gube | 126 Comments

Web analytics is the process of gathering and analyzing your web content’s data in order to glean meaningful information about how your site is being utilized by your users. There are plenty of Web analytics applications out there, and you probably already know the big guns such as Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, and remote-site services such as Alexa and Compete.

We go off the trodden path and explore a few lesser-known Web analytics options. In this article, you’ll find 10 excellent and free tools and applications to help you gather and analyze data about your web content.

1. Piwik

Piwik - screen shot.Go to Live Demonstration of Piwik.

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10 Ways to Improve Your Web Page Performance

Dec 22 2008 by Jacob Gube | 51 Comments

There are a million and one ways to boost your website’s performance. The methods vary and some are more involved than others. The three main areas that you can work on are: hardware (your web server), server-side scripting optimization (PHP, Python, Java), and front-end performance (the meat of the web page).

This article primarily focuses on front-end performance since it’s the easiest to work on and provides you the most bang for your buck.

Why focus on front-end performance?

The front-end (i.e. your HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images) is the most accessible part of your website. If you’re on a shared web hosting plan, you might not have root (or root-like) access to the server and therefore can’t tweak and adjust server settings. And even if you do have the right permissions, web server and database engineering require specialized knowledge to give you any immediate benefits.

It’s also cheap. Most of the front-end optimization discussed can be done at no other cost but your time. Not only is it inexpensive, but it’s the best use of your time because front-end performance is responsible for a very large part of a website’s response time.

With this in mind, here are a few simple ways to improve the speed of your website.

1. Profile your web pages to find the culprits.

Firebug screen shot.

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10 Ways to Cut Down Web Development Time

Dec 13 2008 by Jacob Gube | 74 Comments

In today’s development environment: faster is better.

Present-day buzzwords and buzz terms like "rapid application development", "Agile", and "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML" (we can’t even wait for web pages reload anymore) gives you an insight of the fast-paced world we live in.

But getting things done rapidly doesn’t mean working harder – just working smarter. In this article, you’ll find 10 general, time-saving tips to cut down on your development time.

1. Use frameworks

logo of frameworks.

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20 Websites That Made Me A Better Web Developer

Mar 9 2008 by Jacob Gube | 156 Comments

Computer Geek Award - photo by eecueAs a web developer, if you’re to be successful, you have to have a constant yearning for learning new things. In an industry that evolves rapidly, you’ve got to keep up or you risk being obsolete and outdated. Keeping up with trends, weeding out the fads, and adopting new techniques to your web-building arsenal is an essential part of being a web developer.

I spend (literally) most of the day in front of the computer and even in my spare time, I choose to read, learn, and keep up with web technology news. This leads to a massive collection of bookmarked links, but through the years, there are only a handful of websites that I frequent.

I’d like to share 20 websites that have broadened my knowledge, expanded my skill set, and improved the quality and efficiency of my web development projects. Most of these (hopefully) you’ve already encountered, but if you come out with just one or two links you’ve never heard of or you end up bookmarking a link or two, I would’ve accomplished my goal.

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9 Practical Ways to Enhance your Web Development Using the Firefox Web Developer Extension

Feb 4 2008 by Jacob Gube | 43 Comments

Whether you’re a front-end graphics designer or a back-end web programmer, if you’ve worked long enough in the field of creating web-based solutions, you’ve no doubt heard about an extension for the Mozilla Firefox web browser called (simply enough) the Web Developer extension. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, here’s a brief overview from Webs Tips to get you familiarized with this wonderful tool.

A screenshot of the Mozilla Firefox Web Developer tool

This article lists some practical, everyday uses of the Web Developer extension to help improve your web-building methods. I’ve tried to stay away from the more common and basic uses of the Web Developer extension like troubleshooting layout issues with the Information > Display Div Order option because I feel these have been discussed quite enough in other places. New users, don’t run away quite yet, I think this guide will help you get a rapid jump start into applying this tool into your daily development routine. continue reading »