Email Templates and Cafes

This week is Spring Break with the family. We’re having a great time and even ended up making an appearance on the Oakland Athletics Jumbotron last night.

Today, I’m back at writing my book on building email templates from start to finish, which is almost as much fun to me. Really. Part of the enjoyment for me involves cafe hopping by bicycle; finding quiet places with free wifi and good coffee to pick apart email templates that I’ve coded. And discovering the wealth of resources online with free, responsive email templates.

A couple of notables:

Both Litmus and EOA provide good, general email advice and testing tools that I rely on frequently. Take a look and join the fun (or at least make your job implementing emails easier ).

Digital Nostalgia

I had a fun trip down digital memory lane this weekend, while doing some research for a book.

Looking up information on when the HTML <table> element was first used unlocked a rush of memories from when I first started writing code. It turns out that as a teen in the 90s, I started writing code for the web as it was being developed. Connecting to the web, sure, with the help of America Online, was a novel thing for most at that time. But I had no idea then that everyone in the world was really just figuring it all out. Like we still are, more than 20 years later.

The World Wide Web Consortium was formed in late 1994 to fulfill the potential of the Web through the development of open standards. (source)

While my best friend showed me how to find and download midis, create hypertext reference links, and use bitmap image editing software to make repeating background images for my “Personal Publisher” web page on the America Online, Inc. members site, Sir* Tim Berners-Lee was meeting with scientists to develop standards for how to code on the web.

Jesse's First Web Page

Much has changed on the web, but many of the basics still apply and are used widely. Such as the HTML <table> element.

At the moment, while I reminisce about the “early” days of the web, my son plays Minecraft while connected to the web, and my dad delivers a sermon on Facebook Live. Nothing quite like those activities existed in 1994.

*“Sir” Tim Berners-Lee would not be knighted until 2004.

The Problem is the Solution

Often, solutions to web problems are not too far away. It’s refreshing when both the problem and the solution are well-defined. Also when the client walks away knowing how to solve it next time.

Last night:

Hi Jesse,

Nick is out and I have what I hope is a quick question about adding color to text in our fluid-hybrid template.

I’d like to add

style="color:#C52031; font-weight:bold;"

, but it is not a paragraph (our/your template avoids them) and it is not a hyper link. I could use

<a style="color:#C52031; font-weight:bold;">TEST</a>

What do you recommend?

In short how do I make text bold and red?

This morning:

Hi Will,

Sorry to not respond yesterday. I was out of the office. It’s a quick fix, though—just use a


tag around that text with your style attribute, like this:

<span style="color:#C52031; font-weight:bold;">TEST</span>

Later in the morning:


Great! Thanks. Just what I needed. I didn’t see any use of


in your code, so I didn’t know. Awesome.

Keep asking, learning, & doing—that’s what the web is all about.

Domain name registration addiction

I picked up a few more domain names today. However geeky it may be, there is always a feeling of possibility and a jolt of creativity that runs through me when domain names are available for registration. In the works today:

This time around, I used GoDaddy. It’s just easy. And they have free domain forwarding.

My mom, coincidentally, is also working on web projects today! Check out her note cards for sale here. She’s a talented artist and writer.