Web Design Blog

Building optimized sites has always been a major part of our strategy: they are easier to maintain, easier to upgrade, and they load more quickly.  I have never built a site using only Flash, and have always built sites using HTML-and-CSS based navigation menus.  They are search engine friendly and easy to expand or rearrange.

With that in mind, I have recently come up with a few other ways to speed things up.  A faster site will generally rank better in the search engines, plus it will have less people abandoning the site while waiting for it to load.

A Discussion Drupal vs Joomla Theming

I think this might be my first post specifically about Drupal.  I’ve been using Drupal for a few years now, but as many know, I’ve been a Joomla guy for a lot longer.  One of the nice things about Drupal’s theming structure is their “content” is rendered as a regular block.  So, when you’re managing blocks in the admin panel, you can assign a contact form block to the content area block area, and it shows up right below it.  No need to tweak the template files create a new block area (in Joomla speak, a module position).

First, a bit of clarification because my clients frequently ask this question: what’s the difference between "social icons" and "social sharing icons”?  Social icons are links to your company’s social pages, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN.  On these pages, people can directly engage with your organization by posting photos, asking questions, and the like.  

Social SHARING icons are visually similar as well, they will typically include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Pinterest… these are used for sharing content from your company’s website on your site visitors’ social media accounts (newsfeeds, or pages).  When your site’s visitors share your content throughout their social circles, it translates into free exposure for your content.  Assuming that you are producing relevant, high-quality content, this should translate into increased revenues, profits, and market share for your organization.

Before we begin, yes, K2 does have its own, built-in comment functionality.  And yes, there are plugins already built and available for this.  The reason I like this solution is twofold:

  1. K2's comment functionality, while has many useful features (Captcha anti-spam, email notifications, admin approval process), people seem to like using Disqus because it supports logins from multiple accounts (Disqus, Facebook, Google, Twitter).  K2's inbuilt commenting feature can be set up to allow comments from anonymous visitors, which opens up your site to comment spam.
  2. I don't like installing an entire plugin just to accomplish one little thing.  While I'm sure the plugin works, you have more customization / control when you handle the actual code.  This is similar to the plugins that allow you to add Google Analytics to your site - maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine - but I'd rather edit a (single, easy) file than install a new extension, which is a potential security risk.

I've been a Photoshop user for almost 10 years now, and it's slightly embarrassing to say that I've finally figured out how to create a keyboard shortcut for "crop."  I've been using keyboard shortcuts the entire time, for things like copy, cut, paste... but I always felt like I was losing valuable time to reach for the mouse, go to the Image menu, then down to Crop.  

Do you have a mobile or responsive site? If not, on April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers. The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.

I noticed that the XMap for Joomla plugins are no longer available so I am posting them here.  

Just received a call from "Windows Support Tech" and the guy tried to pull one of these Support Scams referenced here and here.  It's surprising that they are still trying this scam, years later.

This guy called from "Suzan Champagne" - number 1-450-623-7415

One of the most difficult things about being self-employed is taking a vacation.  It requires much effort to strike a healthy work-life balance.  Many of my clients rely on my fast turn-around time for making changes to their websites, and are frequently adding time-sensitive special offers and the like.

Every year, I manage to take a few long weekends and sometimes an entire week... below are some of my practices for handling such an event:

I want to take a brief moment to write up some important points to consider when dealing with securing digital communications.

Many of these items have come to light after Edward Snowden (bravely) came forward and contradicted what Obama told Leno: “We don’t have a domestic spying program.”  As you are (hopefully) well aware, this is 100% false.

Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Global_surveillance_disclosures

With all of this in mind, I am compiling a list of 4 things that anyone, not just industry-professionals, can do to protect themselves against such spying:

Latest Comments

Nate Covington posted a comment in Download XMap for Joomla - All Versions Joomla
Hi, I stopped using Xmap years ago. Not sure about your particular error with Hikashop. I suggest ...
Jonathan Brain posted a comment in Download XMap for Joomla - All Versions Joomla
Got these errors with your copy of XMap for Joomla 3.0.x download when upgrading a Joomla / Hikashop...
Nate Covington posted a comment in Simple Drupal Webform (v4) PayPal Integration
@giucas - No, this is a "PayPal" thing. Most likely there IS a way for a user to pay with a guest a...
Joy Lewis posted a comment in Beware of Fraud: Web Design Scam
I had the same issue today, I'm glad I didn't respond it seemed really fishy. Thanks for getting i...
Thanks for this code! The paypal form doesn't allow guest payment (with credit card) but only via pa...


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