New Project Launch

The Web is ever changing, and this article is relatively ancient having been published 7 years ago. It is likely out of date or even blatantly incorrect in relation to modern better practices, so proceed at your own risk.

I launched a new Web project a couple of months ago, but am just now getting a chance to post about it. The project is the Student Loan Facts Page, a site and blog about student loans. The importance of it to this Front-end dev blog, however, is that I want to let you know my thoughts on the HTML5 Boilerplate.

I’ll start with a caveat: this is a personal project, so I made a conscious decision to use elements in the design and coding that won’t work in any current release of IE. That’s not to say that IE users can’t see the site or anything, just that some stuff might be a little wonky. Like, the homepage makes use of the content CSS attribute to display numbers next to the six main links.

But my main goal with this site was to play around with WordPress a little more and start something with HTML 5. HTML5 Boilerplate seemed like a good place to start. I’m a fan of CSS resets, so that’s all there. I’m also intrigued by some of their approaches:

  • CDN hosted jQuery with local fallback failsafe.
  • JS located at the bottom of the page.
  • IE/JS-specific classes on the html tag (or body tag, depending on which version you’re using) to allow for progressive enhancement.
  • Asynchronous Google Analytics use.
  • Forcing a scrollbar in non-IE browsers to for design consistency.
  • Consideration for a:focus.
  • Text input/label alignment.
  • Progressive HTML5 form error classes using the :valid and :invalid selectors.

… and much more.

There’s also some stuff that I’m not as happy with, like non-semantic classes, but I can see why they included it.

As a whole, I think it’s a great start for developers who know what all of the code does. It is a very simple setup to modify as a solid basis for your own personal framework. It’s not really a straight out of the box solution, though.

It’s also not a great solution for a newbie to use. They’ll end up with bloated code and unnecessary stuff. Although, my current code on that site isn’t exactly pretty.

I’m impressed enough to use it as a jumping-off point for a redesign of this site coming later in the year, though. I hope you have a good experience with it as well.