Web Page Annotation and Markup on Live Web Pages

Teaching web publishing with HTML, CSS, WordPress, etc., and working with clients, I long for the ability to just look at a web page or PDF and draw on it. Point out what works, what doesn’t, editing notes, and somehow share it or preserve it. Or make notes. To scribble a note that says “I need to remember this” or “this is cool!”

Well you can.

HongKait offers “Top Web Annotation and Markup Tools,” a huge list of tools that allow you to annotate – write on – web pages. You can highlight sections, draw on them, doodle, whatever.

You can instantly share or save your annotations.

Think of the possibilities. You are working on a WordPress Theme with a client. They can scribble on the page making notes while you are chatting about it on the page at the same time.

Developing a WordPress Plugin? Imagine running tests with this with this level of collaboration. “What if I over it over here? How does this look to you?”

Layers is a tool that allows you to have a conversation on a web page with annotations and image shows the conversation and graphics.In one example, Layers, the tool allows you to add sticky notes, tweets, maps, videos, and images on web pages. Comments can be public or private. You can invite others to participate in an ongoing discussion of the web page to make it highly collaborative. Oh, this so is going to work out nice for students and clients.

Some of these are online apps, some are downloadable programs, and others are web browser extensions and add-ons. There are tons to choose from.

I’m going to use some of these in future classes to markup homework assignments, labs, etc. And what until my clients see these. Wow!

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Tutorial: Tools for Evaluating and Testing Web Pages

There are many online tools, web browser extensions, and add-ons to help you evaluate and test web pages. We will be talking about web page validation later, but you can use these tools now to become familiar with such tools and how to integrate them into your web browser.

Most browser-integration tools are browser specific, compared to online tools which sit in web pages, accessible through any browser. Browser-integration tools include extensions, add-ons, and bookmarklets.

How to Add an Extension or Add-on to Your Web Browser

To add an extension or add-on tool to your browser:

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Lorem Ipsum: Resources for Dummy Content

The traditional Lorem Ipsum site front page.The granddaddy of all Lorem Ipsum services is Lorem Ipsum – Lipsum generator. Lorem ipsum has been used for hundreds of years to generate dummy content for prototypes, wireframes, and galleys. Created originally for print material, it has evolved online beyond the original Latin to a variety of forms, formats, and “languages” for web use.

Selection of Lorem Ipsum types can be tricky. If you are working on a project for fun, you can use anything that tickles your fancy. If you are building a wireframe or prototype for a client, while Lorem Ipsum might be appropriate and professional, choosing dummy content that matches the intent and purpose of the site might be wiser, such as using the Cupcake Ipsum for a food site, a Lorem Ipsum alternative that features names of deserts with Latin, Pasta Ipsum – for all your macaroni product lorem ipsum needs for pasta lovers, or Veggie Ipsum – the vegetarian lorem ipsum generator for an organic restaurant or farmers market seller.

Mustard salsify welsh onion cucumber earthnut pea okra brussels sprout. Yarrow green bean gumbo garlic welsh onion wakame pumpkin wattle seed yarrow sierra leone bologi taro gram. Catsear amaranth celery wattle seed sorrel shallot pumpkin.

Onion wattle seed quandong parsley fava bean rutabaga courgette cucumber. Celery potato melon bok choy epazote zucchini artichoke fava bean beetroot groundnut desert raisin onion black-eyed pea jícama coriander celery. Lotus root spring onion endive arugula tomatillo sorrel pea dulse chickweed turnip gourd plantain cauliflower tatsoi bush tomato komatsuna rutabaga. Water chestnut endive pea sprouts gram lentil spinach chicory lettuce soybean melon turnip greens celery parsnip artichoke okra swiss chard eggplant aubergine. Water spinach garlic tomatillo tigernut catsear peanut amaranth melon garlic.

Consider Bacon Ipsum for carnivores or Cheese Ipsum for cheese lovers.

Cheese slices lancashire jarlsberg. Monterey jack fromage say cheese pepper jack fondue cheese strings blue castello cheese triangles. Cheesecake squirty cheese cheesecake fromage frais mascarpone cheese and wine edam cheesecake. Stinking bishop stinking bishop.

Manchego rubber cheese cheesy grin. Fromage frais port-salut camembert de normandie port-salut port-salut manchego camembert de normandie cheese triangles. Bocconcini bocconcini cheesy feet cheese triangles macaroni cheese cheese slices paneer cut the cheese. Edam.

Cheese on toast who moved my cheese the big cheese. Queso cheddar pecorino fromage frais parmesan mozzarella brie lancashire. Jarlsberg smelly cheese lancashire cheddar stinking bishop roquefort port-salut cheesecake. Cheese and wine fondue blue castello smelly cheese emmental pecorino parmesan.

For serious sites and clients, the traditional Lorem Ipsum is a wise choice, but like the food versions of Lorem Ipsum, there are more content specific alternatives such as Corporate Ipsum for corporate speak, and Not Lorem Ipsum for industry based Lorem Ipsum generator. These create dummy content based upon the specific industry of the company such as app development, advertising, banking, cafes, restaurants, accounting, car sales, dentists, and more.

Check out this dentist version of Lorem Ipsum.

We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment that you require at a time that suits you. All of our dentists are accredited by The British Dental Association Good Practice Scheme, so you can rest assured that your smile really is in good hands.

We offer NHS dental treatment to children and have a very easy private payment scheme for our adult patients. We encourage everyone to visit the dentist regularly so that we can prevent any problems from occurring and the more you visit the less likely it is that we will have to do anything “scary!”

If you are working on a static HTML site, <html>ipsum is Lorem Ipsum set within HTML tags for paragraphs, lists, forms, tables, and more. Several alternative Lorem Ipsum generators offer the option for HTML including One-Click Lorem Ipsum Generator and Loripsum.net.

Web 2.0 Ipsumr is a popular alternative Lorem Ipsum generator using nonsensical Web 2.0 startup names in keeping with the naming of things like Google, Woopra, Orkut, Zynga, Squidoo, Meebo, etc. Hipster Ipsum is for the younger generation with lines such as:

Sriracha tofu ethical, cardigan wayfarers bushwick butcher kale chips scenester mcsweeney’s sustainable jean shorts Austin. Gastropub VHS farm-to-table, lomo whatever authentic thundercats street art. Iphone gentrify pour-over street art, small batch food truck keffiyeh DIY american apparel artisan high life cray twee fingerstache. Forage mumblecore readymade next level, single-origin coffee keytar swag cliche mcsweeney’s american apparel squid chambray. Occupy vice whatever forage, brooklyn next level direct trade messenger bag pitchfork.

Why stop with clever nonsense Web 2.0 names. Use Twipsum to generate your own Twitterverse originals in Lorem Ipsum fashion.

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Example of a Sandbox Post for Testing WordPress Themes

This is the H1 Heading

This is an example of a sandbox post for testing WordPress Themes and web page designs to ensure every design detail within the content area of a Theme meets with your design needs.

To use this sandbox post for your own testing, right click the following link and save the file as a text file. Open it within a text editor and select all of the text and paste it into your WordPress site with the HTML/TEXT editor – not visual editor. Save the post or publish it to view the post content designs.

This is the link to the sandbox post text file.

This sandbox post is available for free. Use as you wish.

At the top of this paragraph should be the H1 heading for your web page. If it is not visible, the design settings for the H1 tag is set to display:none which many WordPress Themes use to hide the blog title text and replace it with a graphic. Do not use H1 within your blog post area.

If the design in the H1 heading looks like your blog title or blog post title, then that is the style set for that HTML tag and you should not use it within your blog post area.

Inside of this test data section are most of the basic HTML and XHTML and CSS styles that you might use within your WordPress Theme. You need to know what that will look like as part of structuring your styles.

This is the H2 Heading

Above this paragraph should be the H2 heading for your web page. WordPress Themes use the h2 heading for various purposes. Logically, it should be either the post title or the first heading in the post content.

However, it is used all over WordPress Themes including the subtitle, tag line, post title, comment area, sidebar area, and even in the footer. Be specific when styling each h2 headings to ensure you are not styling all of them.

This is the H3 Heading

Is this the same heading as is in your post title or is this the section headings found within your sidebar? Or is it different? This is the post content heading for the HTML tag h3, as is the one below, H4, for section headings within your post to divide up topics. If there is an H3 or H4 tag in your sidebar, you will need to identify the parent HTML and CSS container for the sidebar and style those appropriate in your blog’s stylesheet.

For more information in searching for your styles in your WordPress blog, see CSS: Studying Your CSS Styles.

Also notice how the links in that paragraph are styled so you can style links within your post content area. Links have three styles. There is the link color, link hover color, and visited link color. Be sure and design for each style.

This is the H4 Heading

In this section under the H4 heading, we’re going to look at what the post content, the meat and potatoes of your site looks like. In general, you will have multiple paragraphs, so we will add another paragraph so you can adjust the spacing in between them to the look you want.

Paragraphs are not just for typing your blog babble, they can also hold frame and hold other information within your content area to help make the point you want to make in your writing. For instance, you will commonly have three types of lists.

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Analytics: Tracking the Competition

Web Analytics WordleThere are many ways to track the competition, from reading newspapers and magazines to checking them out on Alexa or other web stats and analytics sites.

Here are some articles referencing how to track the competition in a variety of ways including traditional media, social media, analytics, and legal spying.

Comparing your website to others means tracking their activity compared to yours. This might involve using an online tool that compares your site to theirs, or by checking each site individually and comparing notes. Some of the following will compare one site to another testing for a variety of data such as PageRank, keywords, traffic, and incoming links. Others will focus on a single aspect such as keywords or unique visitors. Use a variety of them to get an overall perspective on how your site compares to others.

Note: Google removed their PageRank data from the public a couple years ago. Online tools based upon Google’s PageRank data may no longer work or be supported. Please let me know if any of these are no longer active.

Comparison Testing Tools

Link Checking: Backlinks and Outgoing Links

Keyword Research and Analysis

Specific SEO Testing Tools

The following are SEO and analytics testing tools that cover specific types of testing. For example, BuiltWith tests the site and reports back with information on how the site was build, the publishing platform, supporting technologies, and other information about how the site was built.

Reference Articles

The following are articles and sites specializing in analytics, SEO, and optimization.