Quality Service

17 Dec, 2005 | WebTdp

Big companies spend millions of pounds trying to build customer relations, trying to woo and keep customers. Generally, I like to think I'm immune to much of this and go where the price is best despite their efforts to keep us (have you noticed that they suddenly hike your car insurance up in year two for example, so it's best to keep moving). Having said that I find that I go to the same shops online time and again because I know I'm going to get a good, reliable, hassle-free service at a reasonable price. I'm finding I'm doing more online shopping at Amazon for example, simply because they have everything I want under one roof (why pay two lots of postage) and I'm all but guaranteed a fast, efficient service where I won't need to spend time chasing things up. I'm slowly building a group of companies that cover almost everything I buy at a reasonable price who I trust to provide the service I expect. I'm even prepared to pay a little more to buy it from them rather than risk some dodgy site I've not used before.

The same is true of other online sites though. I write a fair bit of code for my various sites, either redesigning templates or adding functionality. I'm also fairly lazy and know that much of what I want to do will either have been written or that there is some stuff out there I can adapt that'll save me time, sometimes I need a tutorial on a function I've not used, sometimes I have no idea how to achieve something and I need pointers. So, I head on over to Google and punt in a search.

Then I trawl through the results. Now, more often than not, I look for a web address I recognise. You see, I've searched through a lot of sites over the years and I've found some that provide quality advice, code, tutorials or snippets. I have developed a relationship with these sites because I know they are likely to answer my query or point me in the right direction quickly, with text that is clearly written and easy to understand. I've added a few examples, in no particular order, to help you all, I may have missed some.

The official site of the PHP coding language and their online manual is easy to use, very informative and you can pick up some useful function from the user comments.

The official site of the MySQL database, again, online manual and tutorial is easy to use and navigate.

Covering a wide range of topics, again, usually quality advice that's simply written. The forums are good too.

Dunstan's Blog
Dunstan may have stopped writing but his archive still contains some interesting, useful and, often, cutting edge stuff.

PHP Builder
The code library is good, though it was an ugly site, the redesign isn't much better and now doesn't seem to work in Firefox, not exactly useful.

My first and only port of call for HTML and CSS reference, if you're looking for what attributes you can use on tags or how to do something, here's the place, well laid out too.

The Evolt Mailing List
A bit random (it's a mailing list) but generally good advice if you find it in your search results.

Scripty Goddess
Quality code on a range of things, I do find the site design a little confusing on the eye though.

WordPress Codex
Invaluable resource for anything WordPress related. Doesn't always have the answer, but combined with the support forums they cover about 98% of anything you can think of.

Invariably you can find something that'll do what you want has already been written and is listed here.

I'm sure there are others, but can I remember? No.