Creating a Perch dashboard widget for Google Analytics

Posted in on 14 January 2013 | Comments [2]

Before Christmas, I added a news section to the CVW Web Design site because I wanted to write some articles there. As a result, I was also keen to get a quick snapshot of Google Analytics (GA) data every time an article was published. Perhaps I would get more visitors and page views for some articles and not others? With this information, I can tailor what I write. Of course, all this date is available via the GA system but I wanted a simple way of viewing a small subset of GA data in my website content management system (CMS).

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Reviewing 2012 and learning new stuff

Posted in on 9 December 2012 | Comments

About a year ago, I wrote about Learning New Things for 2012 and joining the 12412 project – which was intended to be a starting point for me to learn new things during the year that’s now coming to an end. So, how has that worked out? Well, not that great actually although I have started some new ‘learning subjects’ and increased my usage of some things that weren’t completely new (cheat!). Here’s my summary of the year in that respect.

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Trying out Audioboo and VoiceBo

Posted in on 12 November 2012 | Comments [1]

I’ve joined Audioboo and VoiceBo which are apps/websites that allow you to make short audiologs/recordings via your desktop or mobile phone. Part of the reason for joining was to try something new but also I wanted to take part in #audiomo for November.

Here I am on Audioboo and on VoiceBo. I’ve found pros and cons for each app, and I may write a post on this, but so far I’ve used Audioboo most. Not because I think it’s better but mainly because I started with it before VoiceBo.

It’s been quite a challenge and also an enjoyable experience to record something every day. Here’s one of my previous ‘boos’ where I talk about Horsham Coworking as well as Windows 8.

I wouldn’t say that I have a recording career in me (!) but I’m intending to complete the #audiomo challenge for November and will probably continue with Audioboo/VoiceBo after that as well.

Jetpack for WordPress

Posted in on 30 October 2012 | Comments

I’ve developed and managed a few WordPress websites for myself (and for clients) and recently I’ve been using the Jetpack plug-in. It’s actually a collection of plug-ins that provides additional functionality for your WordPress blog/website. I like it!

Jetpack supercharges your self‑hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.

Jetpack is made by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and was orginally only available if your site was hosted on WordPress.com. Now, it’s available for self-hosted sites as well. So, what does it provide? Here are some of the options in the Jetpack package.

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LESS or Sass or neither?

Posted in on 27 September 2012 | Comments [5]

CSS preprocessors like LESS and Sass are hugely popular – and for good reason! Once you’ve picked up their syntax, they can shorten the time taken to write CSS, give you all sorts of useful functions, enable CSS compression, and give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Well, perhaps not that last one but you get the idea.

I’ve been using Sass for a few recent projects and I quite like it although it does give me a slight sense of disconnect from my normal working environment. In case you might be wondering why, I use (shock horror) Dreamweaver as my main coding and development environment. I find it works really well, OK?!

So, I expect to use Sass more and more but I’m not making it my first priority. Instead, I want to spend a lot more time making my final CSS smarter by reading more about OOCSS, SMACCS and similar – and putting these into practice. For me and my ‘typical’ projects, I can put a style sheet together quickly enough so the time saving factor of LESS or Sass is not the main thing. It just seems to make more sense for me (at the moment) to focus on making the end product smarter.

Of course, time saving and writing smarter CSS are not mutually exclusive but I think that concentrating on one of these will be better for me. You may have a different process or be at a different development stage – in which case, all power to your elbow! (or something like that). For me though, the OOCSS route looks better at the minute.