Frameworks, libraries, interesting new releases in the world of tech and programming. If this sounds good to you, you’re in the right place.
Leonardo Petrucci
December 27, 2021

How to set up a modern terminal for developers

If you're a web developer, you probably spend a whole lot of time in your terminal. But, despite how fundamental terminals are for modern web development, they're incredibly minimal and limited with often quite bad UX. That's why I've spent no less than a couple of years perfecting this cross-platform guide to improving your terminal experience. And it's what I use every day for both personal and professional projects, so I know it works. It's by no means perfect, but it should be enough to get you started. Once you're done, your terminal should look something

Leonardo Petrucci
June 8, 2021

How to store Access Tokens: Localstorage, Cookies or HttpOnly?

Learning how to store access tokens is one of the most confusing parts of web development, especially when you're just starting out. This article is all about the do's - and don'ts - of storing Access Tokens, with easy, beginner friendly examples. Access tokens are a hugely important part of any web-app. They contain sensitive information about your user and if someone got their hands on one they would be able to pretend to be

Leonardo Petrucci
May 20, 2021

How To Get a Job in Web Development 101

Finding your first web development job, be it for programming or design, is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. Obviously there's no exact science to it, but here's some advice from someone who had to go through it - and learned a lot along the way. About my experience and training For an article like this I think it's fairly important I give some background, so: hello! I'm Leonardo, a front-end developer in Glasgow, Scotland. This is my third software development job since finishing uni. I studied

Evie Dillon-Riley
March 17, 2021

Is Dispo Good? Will it survive the hype? A look at Dispo's future

If you've had your ear to the ground in the app world, you'll have heard of David Dobrik's new retro-feel photography app Dispo. People are pretty excited about it, and rightfully so. But is the interface addictive enough? Will users be willing to wait until the next day to see their photos once the novelty wears off? And is Dispo good enough to rival Instagram? Let's take a look. What Makes Dispo Unique? Dispo's icon -

Leonardo Petrucci
January 20, 2021

Build a serverless Prisma API for Vercel (example included!)

Do you have a great idea but aren't well versed in SQL and don't want to break the bank with a server and database? Then this guide is for you! You can set up a serverless API with Prisma and host it on Vercel for free. I've never been great with APIs. I work on the web and on mobile and front end is my thing. However, sometimes even if you're not a backend guy you might need to set up an API for a side project. While this can sound like a gargantuan task it doesn't need to be! I was struggling with the w

Leonardo Petrucci
December 18, 2020

Animating page transitions in Next.js for Capacitor

Capacitor is a fantastic solution to running web apps as native. Unfortunately it can also be quite hard to give your front-end that extra polish to make it look truly native. In this article we'll go over implementing page transitions in Capacitor and Next.js None of the examples in this article actually require you to use Capacitor, so if you're just looking to jazz up your Next.js app this article is

Evie Dillon-Riley
December 16, 2020

The One Font Pairing Tool You Need: Why We Love

Font pairing is a skill almost every kind of designer will have to use at some stage. But a lot of us weren't specifically trained in typography! So where do you start? Thankfully, Jack Qiao's fantastic AI-powered font pairing tool is a wealth of free inspo for amateurs and professionals alike. How Do You Us

Leonardo Petrucci
October 25, 2020

How to return a 404 error in getServerSideProps with Next.js

After a lot of misunderstandings and frustration with the documentation on the Next.js docs I decided it might be worth explaining how to properly return a 404 error in getServerSideProps with Next.js. What's the problem with Next.js and its error pages? If you're reading this you're probably aware that Next.js has a fairly clear page about showing custom error pages. I suppose most people will be absolutely fine with the solutions provided

Leonardo Petrucci
October 20, 2020

Getting started with Capacitor using Next.js on iOS

We previously talked about [how to get started with Next.js on Android]( in a new tab)). In that article though we had to skip over iOS setup as we didn't have access to a Mac. This week I finally got my hands on a Mac mini, so I spent a couple days troubleshooting problems with Next.js and Capacitor on iOS. How to use Next.js and Capacitor together on iOS Before doing anything else, start setting up your app by following

Evie Dillon-Riley
October 11, 2020

How to Name an App or Brand - a writer's advice

When naming your product, app or business, we all know to go for something, short, snappy and concise. But where do you go from there? How do you narrow down your options to something that's not just easy to say and iconise but something that gives the right feeling? Today, I'm going to give you some key tips on how to name an app (or anything you want!) with confidence. 1. Vowels and Consonants A word's unique "vibe" comes from much more than just its definition and connotations. It'

Leonardo Petrucci
September 28, 2020

How to set up a CI/CD pipeline to an Ubuntu server with Github

CI/CD pipelines are a cornerstone of modern web development. Unfortunately if you can't afford an Azure or AWS server it's not always clear how to implement them. In this article we'll go over how to create a CI/CD pipeline with Github and a simple Ubuntu server. Preface Before we get into the solution I want to make it clear that we will not be using any outside dependencies outside of Ubuntu and Github. This guide is meant to be specifically for small teams who need a lightweight pipeline

Leonardo Petrucci
August 19, 2020

On the benefits and pitfalls of being a Unicorn Designer

A unicorn designer is defined as someone skilled in design, visual design, and coding. While they're very sought after, they are usually looked down upon by other designers because they're seen as avoiding being a specialist in anything. Here's why that shouldn't be the case. I recently discussed the nature of Unicorn Designers with some peers. And I could see pretty quickly that the consensus among Interaction and Prod

Leonardo Petrucci
August 6, 2020

Getting started with Capacitor using Next.js on Android

Ever wondered how to run a Next.js app natively on a mobile device? It requires some setup but it's actually very easy thanks to Ionic's Capacitor! We also have a Capacitor + Next.js + iOS guide! What is Capacitor? Capacitor is Ionic's solution to running web apps natively on your device. To put it simply, if your app works on the web, Capacitor is an easy solution to use your already existing front-end while still being a

Evie Dillon-Riley
July 28, 2020

ARM tech & why Apple's new Silicon Macbooks are a big deal

This year, Apple announced a two year plan to switch from Intel processors to their own, tailor-made ARM tech. Here's why you should care about this change - even if you don't buy Apple products. Firstly, here's a quick rundown in case you haven't heard. At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) Apple announced the next wave of Macbooks would ship with one of their mobile processors rather than the standard Intel ones they've used for decades. This is a BIG deal. But why? What is the differen

Evie Dillon-Riley
June 26, 2020

Google Docs: 3 reasons why it's the best word processor out there for the modern user

Google Docs has a lot up against it. Microsoft Office, despite its high price tag, has held the monopoly over the word processing world for as long as I can remember. But with 'working' and 'online' now being more synonymous than ever, free online word processors are growing in popularity and challenging the status quo. Despite being a writer by trade, my taste in word processors is historically pretty standard. 'Word' was my daily driver for years, before being replaced with the less swish (but free) 'WPS Writer', and nothing e

Leonardo Petrucci
June 12, 2020

The Small Business Website Scam: What it is and how to avoid it

Let's face it, your company needs a website. Unfortunately nowadays it's not just about getting a website online though. You need to be smart about it. To avoid a website scam and make sure you're getting your money's worth, here's a checklist to follow. It's true: every business should have a site. Even small businesses can reap the benefits of online purchases or new custom through being ranked highly by Google. Back in the day it

Leonardo Petrucci
May 25, 2020

Tailwind UI: a great new library of bite-size components

Tailwind is my favorite CSS framework. And when I learned that its creator was working on a library of components I couldn't help being excited. I wrote about Tailwind when I first started using it in my article Tailwind: A refreshing alternative to Bootstrap. That was quite a while ago now and since then Tailwind has only improved. Adam Wathan, the creator of Tailwind CSS, announced a new Tailwind-r

Evie Dillon-Riley
May 15, 2020

Figma - Exciting New & Upcoming Changes in 2020

Figma, the collaborative design and prototyping tool, has yielded great success as a slick (and free) Adobe XD and Sketch alternative. And this year, its features and UX are being upgraded like never before. So let's have look at what's new in Figma in 2020. The

Leonardo Petrucci
April 22, 2020

Mailgun: The best free mail server alternative

After the hassle of trying to set up a mail server on my own, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a mail server that’s free and requires no complex setup. Here’s why it’s great. Email has had a proper resurgence in the late part of the 2010s thanks to the advent of Smatphones. Nowadays our emails go wherever we go and most of my peers check their inboxes daily if not hourly. For the end user, creating an email add

Evie Dillon-Riley
March 17, 2020

'A Little Beyond' - Dmitrii Gruzdev of Gaijin Entertainment on breaking into game design at 22

Before studying game design at Dundee's Abertay, Dmitrii Gruzdev sealed his first professional gig with Gaijin Entertainment. Meriting luck, drive, and a confidence in his interests, he tells ironeko about what lead him here; his advice for aspiring designers; and the rift between university and real world experience. Dmitri secured a job at Gaijin Entertainment after showing

Leonardo Petrucci
March 5, 2020

Next.js vs Express: Which one should you choose?

When I built this site, Next.js' built-in server wasn't great... so I had to rely on Express. But have the recent updates to Next.js 9 changed my mind? Let's compare. I created Ironeko during the few months before Next.js 8.1 was released. At that point the only realistic way to actually run Next.js was with a custom Express server and using something like next-routes to handle routing.

Evie Dillon-Riley
February 25, 2020

Can the Mimo App Really Teach You To Code on Your Coffee Break?

Google 'learn to', and 'learn to code' is up there with 'learn to play piano'. It's something that many people today want to do, but struggle to find time for. So is Mimo the answer? Today we'll go through the good and the bad of this promising app. When I first downloaded the Mimo app, code was truly a foreign language to me. And perhaps because of this, I couldn't help but compare it to other language apps I've used. After all

Leonardo Petrucci
February 17, 2020

Is ManyChat worth it? The big benefits (& bigger pitfalls) of this newsletter "replacer"

Facebook Messenger automation has been touted as the end of email marketing, and rightly so. Spearheading that change is ManyChat, which simplifies creating your own Messenger bot. But is ManyChat worth it? I've used ManyChat on two very different websites over the past month. One is Ironeko, the site yo

Evie Dillon-Riley
February 9, 2020

The Woes of Bad Period Tracker Apps (& How iOS Solves Them)

People will put up with all manner of design sins when settling for a period tracker. And it wasn't until I tried Apple's in-built cycle-tracker that I realised just how dire the situation on the app store was. So whats the big deal? The Importance of a Good Mobile Period Tracker Every friend and family member I know who menstruates uses a period-tracking app. And unless they're into tech, they generally settle on the first or second thing they find in the app store. This is... fine... But we deserve better. So why don't we hold

Leonardo Petrucci
January 17, 2020

What Happened To The Modern Smartphone Market?

It's harder than ever to find a mid-range phone in android or iOS that does everything you want it to. But why? Let's analyse the smartphone market in 2020 and go through the best phones for the year. All Out of Options I had a Oneplus 3 for years and I loved it. It was sturdy, beautiful and surprisingly powerful for just £309. When it broke suddenly last year I found myself in a real pickle of indecision over how to replace it. I quickly learned that in the years while owning my Oneplus, the mid

Leonardo Petrucci
December 17, 2019

Google Analytics Tips for Beginners

Google Analytics is an essential tool for every blog, business or service you put online. However, like most legacy tools, it's extremely complex. And it doesn't help that Google doesn't offer any help past your basic setup. So here's some Google Analytics tips for beginners that I wish I had known sooner. Why You'll Need This Article Google Analytics has been around since around 2005. If it was made from scratch today, it would be far more optimised and less confusing, but I don't think Google are about to change it any time s

Leonardo Petrucci
December 5, 2019

Node.js Tutorial #2: How to Install Node.js

In my previous Node.js tutorial I went over what Node.js is and how it can help you become a better, more modern front end designer. If doing this is something you're interested in, it's probably time to get started with Node. This article will help you do just that. Welcome to my tutorial on how to install Node.js on Windows and Linux. A quick foreword Before getting started, it's important to mention this: Node.js works bes

Leonardo Petrucci
October 16, 2019

Optimize TailwindCSS by removing unused CSS classes

I've gushed about TailwindCSS on ironeko before. A couple of months into using it, I'm still discovering new tricks, and removing unused CSS to dramatically reduce network payload and optimize TailwindCSS is probably my favorite. TailwindCSS is great, but... What I didn't realise when first writing about this fantastic new framework was how many options for optimization it offered. Here's the thing: Tailwind is fantastic, but it has th

Leonardo Petrucci
October 11, 2019

WeChat: why is it failing to compete in the West?

WeChat is the most popular smartphone app in China. Having conquered that market, it's spent the past few months trying its hardest to break into the western world. Here's why that's not going to happen. What is WeChat? The answer to this question is a little complicated. At its core it's a messaging app, yes, but it's been expanded to do a lot more. In China, WeChat is used for essentially everything, including games, payments, transport, and even sharing important documents. If this sounds like a mess

Leonardo Petrucci
September 2, 2019

Node.JS Tutorial #1: What is Node.JS?

Node.js is an amazing tool. It exponentially speeds up all kinds of web development, aiding your working ability immensely. In spite of this, many designers are wary of it because it requires learning a command line interface. Knowing how daunting this can seem, I'm here to help. In this series, I plan to go through how to install and learn Node.js (as well as Linux terminals) as clearly as I can. In this article I will cover what is Node.js and what it c

Leonardo Petrucci
August 22, 2019

How to set up an SSL certificate and secure your website for free

This is the tale of how I learned to set up a free SSL certificate after being "scammed" into buying one. Yes, scammed. And I usually pride myself in avoiding that. Like a lot of new things that creating ironeko has required me to attempt, it's been a learning experience. And as with most learning experiences, screwing up once in a while is unavoidable. But let's start from the beginning. What is SSL? Unless you are a webmaster, it's likely you won't know what a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is. The explanation is pret

Leonardo Petrucci
July 27, 2019

ironeko, headless Wordpress and React

Welcome to ironeko, a personal blog about technology and design. ironeko is built with React and uses a headless Wordpress installation (a site that uses Wordpress at its core but runs a custom front-end). What is React? React is a framework developed by Facebook that fundamentally changes how websites and web apps are built. It's used on a whole host of successful sites that many of us use daily such as Dropbox, Netflix, the BBC and Instagram. So what is the fundamental difference between most standard websites and ones built with React? It