It seems these days that everyone is doing Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3, so here are some things to get you started.

Responsive Web Design ( is getting a lot of buzz and having a website that is as attractive on the small screen of a smart phone as it is on a wide screen desktop is certainly getting a lot of focus from clients. While there are plenty of books available on HTML5/CSS3, the best I have found on this topic is Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 by Ben Frain (Packt Publishing Ltd, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84969-318-9).

[And before anyone says anything – Yes, I know currently (as of 2012Jul18) this site is HTML4. I should have updated it while converting to Joomla 2.5, but I’m busy; I will get around to it. 🙂 ]

These Firefox Extensions will help

My main development environment is on Windows, so to provide Apache and MySQL I am using XAMPP (

As most of my web development is using either WordPress or Joomla the Zend PHP Development Tools ( are the obvious place to start. Download the “All-in-one” build ( and install.

For version control I am using Subversion and Subclipse by Tigris ( is the standard interface.

The Smarty Template Engine ( helps to separate control and presentation logic within a PHP application. There is a Smarty PDT Eclipse plugin that provides colour highlighting and code completion for Template files. Just follow the instructions ( Don’t forget to un-tick ‘Group Items by Category’ or you won’t see the plugin.

I like LESS ( as it makes coding CSS much easier. Installing in Windows can be a bit tricky though ( Firstly you will need to install a lessc command for Windows ( Then install the Eclipse plugin for LESS ( The author’s instructions are based on the Eclipse Java EE package, rather than the PDT build. I found for PDT the steps were:

I have been using the W3C Default style sheet for HTML4 ( as a starting point for some time, so it was an easy step to use the HTML5 Boilerplate ( instead. The Bones WordPress Theme ( is based on this; so is the Cambridge Software HTML5 Joomla Template (

Happy coding!


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