The cobbler’s children have no shoes

Posted on by Chris

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in this blog. For the longest time this site has just been a holding page, because I didn’t want to do anything on the redesign until it was perfect. The thing is though, it’s never going to be perfect, for any number of reasons: I’m too much of a perfectionist, I’ve had another great idea which I really should incorporate, I was busy redesigning my billing/project management software instead. I’d let perfect become the enemy of good, or at least of good enough.

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On Forums, and why they’re a Good Thing

Posted on by Chris

One of the first things people find when they’re looking around for information on any subject is forums. Forums are a great resource because they collect a community knowledgeable people who actively help each other out, in addition to providing a huge searchable archive of information for people who are just looking to find the solution to one problem.

I’ve recently been involved in a project to create a forum for people who are interested in web design and development and all the disciplines (SEO, copywriting, content strategy) that go along with it, and it’s recently launched – without further ado, I present to you: The Web Design Forum.

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Local WordPress development with a better wp-config.php

Posted on by Chris

Responsible developers don’t work live. Working on a local copy of a site and only pushing it live when it’s ready is one of those sensible development practices that everyone should follow, but it can introduce some hitches when working with WordPress. Luckily, wp-config.php is the one core file that’s never overwritten by a WordPress update, so it’s safe to rewrite it to be a bit more useful. The wp-config.php file is generated from wp-config-sample.php by the WordPress install script and anyone who’s worked with WordPress will be familiar with the contents so I won’t list them in full, but you can view the default contents of wp-config-sample.php in the WordPress SVN repository.

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Load JQuery from Google’s CDN with local fallback in WordPress

Posted on by Chris

The advantages of loading scripts from Google’s CDN are fairly obvious – for a common script such as jQuery, we’re on to a better-than-even chance that the user will already have the script in their browser’s cache from other sites, reducing the total download weight of your site. Even if they don’t, the file will be downloaded from their nearest Google CDN server, which will still be faster than downloading it from your site because it will be downloading in parallel from a different host.

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Setting up the Perfect Web Development Environment, Part 2

Posted on by Chris

Setting up a Portable Project

In Part 1 of this guide, we covered how to set up a portable development environment with the basic set of software tools (a web stack, an IDE and a good text editor). Continuing on, we’ll create a project and make it portable. The instructions given are specific to Netbeans because that’s what we set up in Part 1, but can be easily adapted to your IDE of choice. Once again, you’ll need to follow the first part of this guide on both desktop and laptop.

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Setting up the Perfect Web Development Environment, Part 1

Posted on by Chris

Inspired by Elliot Jay Stocks’ recent posts on his iMac plus Air setup, I thought I’d document how to set up a seamless development environment between desktop and laptop. If you intend to set up a similar environment, you’ll need to perform these steps identically on both machines. Part 2 of this series will deal with the basics of setting up a portable project, and Part 3 will cover setting up advanced tools and source control.

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