This is a new feature for my blog, I’ll try to make sure it really is a ‘weekly’ one… This week’s wrap-up includes a few notable posts about recent web design trends – and what’s no longer trendy! Enjoy.

  1. Stephanie Hamilton writes about 10 Beautiful Website Color Palettes That Increase Engagement at The Daily Egg. Nice palette choices; I just finished a design with a palette very similar to The Big Top.

  2. Paul Feakins writes about the flat color trend he’s observed recently in Web Design Trends: Flat Color.
  3. Chris Brown writes about The What, Why and How of Textures in Web Design for Web Design Tuts+.
  4. Joshua Johnson writes about 5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore (So Stop Using Them) at Design Shack.


I love Gravity Forms, it’s one of my go-to plugins for all WordPress installs. Last week a client gave me the form fields for a new form and some of them needed a word counter to limit words to 300 in textareas. I found two possible solutions for adding maximum word count in Gravity Forms after a bit of searching, but neither worked for me (not being a programmer, I didn’t know how to fix them). But my programmer friends at CodeGeek stepped in and came up with this solution.

Here’s the Javascript which is saved in /themes/mytheme/js/ (it could also be put in an HTML block within the form itself, but we may want to use it on several other forms so made it available site-wide):

Then in functions.php, call the script:

Then in the Gravity Form for fields that need the word count, add the class ‘els-word-count[300]’ in the Advanced tab for CSS Class Name. Change [300] as needed for the maximum words that can be added to that particular field.

After some trial and error and a long discussion on the Concrete5 forum, this is the setup I’m using successfully for incorporating the excellent CSS3 PIE for rendering CSS3 styles in old IE.

1) Put in the site root.

2) In the theme’s header.php, I link a conditional stylesheet for IE8:

3) In ie8.css, I add the elements from the main screen.css that need to have CSS3 PIE applied for gradients, rounded corners or shadows:

Don’t forget to use position: relative.