Thou shalt hack, but be careful

This clock was built as a free snippet from the site CSSFlow.

One of the eight commandments of Creative Laziness™ is “Thou Shalt Hack.” Hacking here is defined as using free code snippets to add functions to your website, provide a basic structure for your code or add other enhancements.

The World Wide Web is more than 20 years old and has become a mature medium. Web developers offer thousands of code snippets and web techniques that allow you to build in complicated functions such as drop-down menus, photo slide shows and search boxes, even a clock.

But you can go too far. A goal of this class is to teach you basic HTML and CSS skills. If you just use someone else’s website and call it your own, you learn nothing and in essence have committed plagiarism.

“Thou shalt hack” does not mean:

So use code snippets for complicated functions or for basic structures, but do not download an entire site and think you have done your job.

These hacks will save you time and enhance your site:

Finding a hack

If you can think of a function for your website, someone probably is offering a hack for it. Here are some things to consider: