So you think you can code?

Picture this: you have been learning and using HTML and CSS off and on for 6 years. And you think to yourself, "I should design and code an email. It's just plain HTML and CSS, how hard can it be?"


You might be in for a bit of a surprise.


After the great browser wars of the 90's (it was a real thing I swear!), browsers started listening to W3C and were standardized (more or less.) Email rendering did not.


While researching how to code for email I often saw remember to "code like it's 1999."

I remember 1999 fondly, and it doesn't seem that long ago. I was on a computer then. I can figure it out. 


Friends, I had forgotten the little line that used to be at the bottom of every website: "This website is best viewed at 1024 by 768." There was a reason for it, and that reason was tables.


Tables right here in Riverity.


With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool!


...We apologize for the musical interlude.


I didn't learn to code until after HTML5 and CSS3 were mostly adopted. I didn't remember the importance of tables on "the 'net." They were fundamental to the structure. Also, everything was styled in-line. As much as I like to complain about CSS (why isn't the color of a font "font-color"? It's font-everything else!), in-line styling is a pain.


Now that I've thoroughly talked you out of doing this, I should say coding for emails is actually kind of fun. Start out with Figma. I recommend watching a few of the How To videos. As with all training videos, I suggest watching them at 1.5x. Because while they are informative, entertaining they are not.


Put a bunch of rectangles together with a rough idea of topic. Next wrangle those rectangles into tables. They will fight you, but I recommend checking out this tutorial on how to subdue the wild rectangle.


Finally, if you want to use font-awesome for your buttons (and of course you do, it's right in the name) - checkout this site that will turn them into pictures. You can then load those pictures into imgbb (yes, that is really the name) and pull into your HTML from there.


Now you just have to think of something clever to say. Ah, there's the rub.




Erica Forget is a web developer who enjoys pattern recognition, is always learning, and looking to refine her craft. Whether in fiber arts, baking, or coding – everything gets better if you document what works and calculate how to improve the next iteration.


While she staying home with her son, Erica has graduated from Dev Bootcamp as a full-stack Ruby developer. She has supported Women Who Code Austin as an Event Lead for the past two years and contributed to Firefox debugger. Erica holds a BA in Humanities from the University of Texas at Austin. 


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