Random writings on software & product development, running, business and anything else

Category: Web (Page 1 of 3)

The web is where I spend most of my working day.

Shame On Me

I have let this site slide. Not just in new content but also keeping the site up to date with new versions of WordPress etc.

My history with WordPress goes back a long way. I have built both commercial and non commercial sites with it. Developed plugins and themes, and helped many others get sites up and running. These days I am a lot less hands on and my contact with what has been happening in the WP world has declined.

With all the angst over Gutenberg and WP 5.0 I left this and a couple of other sites on WP 4.9.x. I have been getting questions over the new editor from some non technical site admins who had hit the update button and been confused and frustrated by the changes they found. So it was time to catch up given 5.2 is now out. Gutenberg is fine. It’s a little different but pretty functional. I’m yet to see massive advantages or disadvantages of it.

What I have been underwhelmed by is the Twenty Nineteen theme. I have nothing against minimalism but this theme just leaves me cold. Lacks customisation, and some of the fonts and the footer. Hmmm. Maybe I need to use more imagery and it will look better. More likely I will go find something else.

I’m even a little tempted to see what else is out there in CMS land.

UPDATE 18/5: I ended up switching to the Hemingway theme.

GoDaddy hit by stop sign

It seems a hacker connected with Anonymous, but not as a collective action has turned the lights out on GoDaddy and all the sites that have their domain registered through them.
I still have some domains with GoDaddy and this has had some impact on me, but I see this differently to many other users who have been affected and are expressing their anger at the hacker. This situation should remind us all that the internet is built on some pretty flaky foundations. GoDaddy is the largest regitrar in the world 9at least in .com), but take out their name servers and the impact is widespread.
So quickly a lot of the worlds commerce and communication has become dependant on a system (the internet) that is really quite young, and is still rapidly growing and evolving. Still lots of bumps in the road to come. Today is GoDaddy and they may have been a target becuase of past support for SOPA, but they are not unique and it could easily be another large host tomorrow.

WooCommerce – No Thanks

WooThemes LogoSo WooThemes have released v1 of WooCommerce an ecommerce plugin for WordPress. This is a fork of the Jigowatt ecommerce plugin Jigoshop. Given the GPL licensing of the code the fork was legally fine, but I found the whole process ethically dubious. The reason for the fork seemed to be purely for financial gain given their own attempts to create an ecommerce plugin had failed and they could not come to a commercial agreement with Jigowatt or at least 1 other similar plugin development group.
Jigoshop LogoI have 1 site about to go live using Jigoshop, but another in early stages of development. It would be derelict of me not to at least check out WooCommerce for the sake of my client.
Continue reading

Moving web servers and hosts file

For whatever reason there may come a time when you need to change web hosts for a site. Its not a good look for the world see a broken site due to differences between the old and new. So how do you test everything is set up correctly at the new host before updating nameservers?
When you type a site into the browser location bar, a DNS lookup goes on and the typed in domain name is resolved to an IP address and a known location. the requested site is returned to you. So how do you test a domain that is to be hosted at a new location? In the scenario where you do not have a dedicated IP address, the answer is the hosts file on your local PC.
Your local hosts file is checked before any DNS lookup, so adding a domain and the new IP will cause your browser to go to the new location not the old.
So what does a hosts file look like? In the case of Windows XP, something like below, ignoring the comment lines which start with a #. In this case localhost will resolve to the IP address of 127.0.1 which is your local machine.       localhost

Hosts files for other OS are much the same. Ubuntu has entries for the local machine name and IPv6 setup in its default hosts file. localhost mymachine.local mymachine

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts'
::1 ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

Now if you wished to have www.mysite.com resolve to IP address you would add the following line into the hosts file. As simple as that. It’s always a good idea to back up the existing hosts file.     mysite.com

So where is your hosts file? Obviously this varies by operating system. The table below will cover the standard location for common operating systems.

OS Location
Win XP, Vista, 7 & 2003 (32 bit) C:WINDOWSsystem32driversetchosts
Windows 64 bit C:WINDOWSSysWOW64driversetchosts
Mac OS X /private/etc/hosts
Linux distributions /etc/hosts

These lookup entries are often cached, so you will need to either restart networking or even reboot your machine for the new IP address to be used.
Once you have finished your move & testing, and updated the real nameservers for your new location, its always best to remove these temporary lines from the hosts file. That way you find the site, the same way everybody else does, and you may find out early if there are any problems.

Web Directions 2010

Registration to attend Web Directions 2010 has now opened. I didn’t make it last year after attending in 2008, but I do intended to go this coming year. The are still a number of TBAs in the conference program. October 14 & 15 are the dates for the conference with workshops the days prior. There is a special price of $799 for the conference only when using the code WDS10-THANKS. Of the workshops, none really appeal to me, and I will save the cash for OSDC later in the year.

Sometimes Simplicity is the Answer

I really like the bubble image, and thought it would make a great background for a WordPress theme, but in reality it was too big, and made the initial page load too slow. So I have replaced the theme for this blog, with a theme called Modern Clix by Rodrigo Galindez. Beautiful typography and plenty of white space. Pretty much the opposite of what I had created.

New Free Stock Photo Site

Occasionally when I have needed an image for a web site, or even just inspiration for a colour scheme, I have headed over to Stock.XCHNG, where there are hundreds of thousands of images. It seems Stock.XCHNG has new ownership in the form of Getty Images, and there has been a break away called RGBStock.com.
Obviously the number of images is lower at this time, but the site is easy to navigate, and a number of previous contributors to Stock.XCHNG have made the move over to RGBStock.com. The licensing of images is pretty liberal, even for commercial use.

Searching FOSS project management software

I have begun the search for a software application to manage project tracking and collaboration. It will need to be browser based so I can have it used internally and externally for Aura Media. Using PHP as the scripting language is the preference as that is what I am most comfortable with, but I am not against a solution that used Python or Ruby. The last requirement is a free and open source license.

In the past I have been a happy Mantis user for bug and issue tracking. So much that I have installed it in a few client sites. However now I want a broader product that includes time tracking and more collaboration features. Also Mantis is showing its age in a visual sense, and this can put off less technical users. Project tracking is the aim, not project planning with features like gannt charts.

In the past I did look at ActiveCollab, but they changed their license, and Streber, but it was immature and moving in a more wiki direction.

My current investigation list is:

Open to any other suggestions.

« Older posts

© 2020 Ernie Leseberg

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑