I’ll be in NYC next week

I’ll be in New York City from Saturday the 14th until Wednesday the 18th.  I’ll be attending the Sunday mini-camp of WordCamp NYC and also I’ll be heading to Tuesday conference of the Future of Web Design by Carsonified.  I was at FOWD last year and had a blast, so hopefully this year will be just as amazing.

If you will be attending either of these events, or live in the area and want to get together, either follow me on Twitter and send me a tweet, or leave me a message here and I can try to make arrangements.

Posted in Blogging, Design | 1 Comment

Attack of the Robots!

Help! It’s the attack of the robots! Well, the robots.txt. I’m talking about the bots & web crawlers from MSN, Yahoo, Google, and the other search engines that come through everything time and again to check on your website. I’m sure you’ve more than likely seen them in your stats. Maybe you even thought they screw up your stats and skew them. Well here’s the good news about the robots.

The more content you create, the more often the robots come back. The robots come back when new content is created so they can crawl through it and place your precious information in the right places in the search engines. So you are looking through your stats and noticing robots coming back more frequently, or looking back on past stats and seeing an abnormally high volume of hits from robots…. Great job! That means you created more than normal content and the robots are back.

Now when you create a lot of content not only do the robots come by more often, it means that you have more content that has been added to the search engines. More content for users to read, more content in search engines, these things more often than not pay off to you the creator of this content in the form of more visits to your site!

Now go attract those robots!

Posted in SEO | Comments Off on Attack of the Robots!

Twilight Theme Released

I’ve spent last week and this weekend finishing up a theme, and I’m very happy with the result.


  • CSS3 Rounded Corners (NO IE6 SUPPORT)
  • Unique RSS and Twitter links
  • Custom headers for each post title
  • Future Posts list in sidebar

Picture 12

I’ve added the images to the RSS and Twitter buttons in the images folder of the theme.  However I added them as a text widget using the following code.

<a href="http://www.google.com"><img src="wp-content/themes/Twilight/images/subscribe.png" border="0" alt="Subscribe to my RSS Feed"/></a>
<a href="http://www.twitter.com"><img src="wp-content/themes/Twilight/images/twitterfollow.png" border="0" alt="Follow Me on Twitter"/></a>

The custom headers can be added using the Custom Field name of “post-img” and for the value put in the URL of the image.  If you don’t have a custom image, or don’t want to use one, the page gracefully fills the gap.  Also a feature I’ve added which I will use more frequently in my future themes is the ability to list future posts.  This will automatically list up to 10 future posts, or leave a neat little note that there are currently no future posts if you don’t have any timestamped.

Picture 13

The theme is available for download here.  Please let me know any comments or suggestions you may have.  Thank you!

Posted in Themes | 1 Comment

What type of CMS is best?

Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal seem to be gaining more and more momentum as of late, but I can’t help but wonder if those tools are the best solution for the problem or role they need to be playing. Just the other day I came accross an article by Jason Lengstorf (and part 2 of the article) discussing how to create a your own CMS. I wont say making your own CMS is the simplest task, but more often than not, I’m finding that developing a custom CMS is a better fitting solution for a client than one of the previously mentioned, more popular, ones.

I am currently working with a client who needed a CMS for her cafe. She did not say she needed a CMS, I decided that. She just requested that I help her develop a website that would suit her small cafe, and be easy for her to maintain. Knowing she wanted to maintain the site, meant immediately to me, that she would want to update it. The bulk of the site is nothing more than a bit of news about the cafe, and an up-to-date menu.

Could I use WordPress or one of the other CMS’ out there? Sure. Did I want to? No. Hearing the requests of the client and understanding how the website should funtion made me realize a small custom CMS would be optimal. As mentioned in Jason’s articles above, all that is truly required to meet the requirements of my client is that she can update her menu and news. In web developer jargon that means she needs to be able to modify a database.

Now I don’t want to guess how to start the task in WordPress, but to me I heard the request and my technological thought process was as follows:

She will need a database which she can update. It will have two tables (menu and news). I will need to develop an administration section for the client to access and modify the database. I will need to create a front end which connects to the database and displays the data in the correct manner.

To conclude the lesson I’ve learned is not what “what tools can I use?” but rather “what tool or tools best solve this problem?” Clients come in all shapes in sizes, as do their requests and problems. Some days WordPress or Joomla may be a perfect fit for your client, other days… Well you may need to bust out your favorite code editor and make your own CMS. That’s just how it is.

Posted in Programming | Comments Off on What type of CMS is best?