Ways You’ll Mess Up

Mur·phy’s Law

/ˌmərfēz ˈlô/nouna supposed law of nature, expressed in various humorous popular sayings, to the effect that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

-Google result for “Murphy’s Law.”

Welcome to NMIX 4110. It will happen.


A beautiful thing that keeps track of where you are and what you’ve been up to (you know, like the Internet does), cache can occasionally cause frustrations…such as updating a WordPress theme only to find that nothing has actually changed 🙃. Usually, this an error deep down in the bowels of the server that involves something called an API (trust me, we’ll get to what that is in due time).

While you don’t necessarily want to get rid of any and everything every single time you update your site, clearing your browser cache can cause you to see updates that you thought weren’t sticking.

Temp Files…

…or temporary files exist to keep track of information as you create new files. While most programs should delete this once they have served their purpose, sometimes they hang around and cause redundancies, resulting in site issues. Delete them if you need to, but be super careful you’re not unintentionally removing an all-too-necessary PHP or something of the sort.

Temporary files are .TMP files; if you’ve finished and you’re having problems, remove them. Set it, and forget it.

The WRONG file is open

This particular annoyance relates to Brackets’ menu bar. Pay attention to what you’re working on and what you want to work on. It sounds silly, but coding the wrong code is a great way to ruin your hard work.

Stupid typos!

Programs like Brackets don’t care about white space…use it up, and keep things nice and ordered. HOWEVER, all it takes is a missing semicolon or a misplaced comma for the entire function – or even the site – to stop working. Pay attention to what you’re writing and how your site is working for the optimal result.

Conflicting styles

The beauty of CSS is that you can create a single stylesheet and link it to an array of HTML pages, keeping your style consistent for your site. Be careful not to add CSS on top of CSS, causing styling conflicts. This typically arises when someone links HTML to CSS, and begins adding CSS in the HTML document. However, it’s easy to create blocks upon blocks of CSS within the stylesheet and, say, add another font atop what you already have in place. Make sure your styles are in sync.

Curly Quotes

Use &lsquo for the opening single quotation mark and &rsquo for the closing single quotation mark.

Consequently, use &ldquo for opening double quotes and &rdquo for closing double quotes.

Invisible characters

When you code, certain characters – such as line separators – don’t show up in JavaScript, and cannot be used in strings. If you copy code from another website 😈, or something as bizarre a coding platform as a Word document or a PDF, mystery invisible characters can cost you hours of diligent productivity. Save time: write your code by hand.

Not resetting user agent stylesheet

Believe it or not, web browsers have stylesheets of their own. Your CSS is designed to override these essentially bland and perfectly utilitarian instructions.

Link / file name / path mismatch

Remember the “Files and Folders” lesson? It’s like that.