WordPress 2.5: The Next Generation

The latest release of WordPress has just hit the net, offering some significant design changes and a boatload of new features. As mentioned in my previous post on the site upgrade, I've been using WordPress 2.5 RC since its release mid-March. The first release candidate went to RC2 and on to a stable version in just two short weeks - that's damn impressive. Some of the key new features include:…
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Dao By Redesign

For anyone that's been to the site previously, you should immediately notice a rather massive change in the site's design. When I stitched together the original site back in June last year, I did what I constantly advise clients against - I didn't look ahead. I, wrongly, assumed that the size of the site wouldn't grow and that setting it on top of a CMS was a waste of time. * shakes head in sham…
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A simple SEO plugin for Joomla 1.5

Well, I've officially smashed together my first Joomla 1.5 plugin - autoMetaDescSEO - crappy name, I know. You can get all the details about the plugin at its "official" homepage, but briefly, the plugin simply takes a set chunk of text from the page's content and slips it into the page's meta description tag. This was initially created for a site I was working on that had a number of pages, whi…
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Pimpin' XP With Zune Theme

As someone who makes their living sitting in front of this silicon and liquid crystal box, I guess it's little surprise that every few months I get itchy and feel the need to redecorate my system a bit. It was just this desire for change that led me to skin my Windows XP machine to look just like a Mac OSX system. Largely that depended on WindowBlinds, a program that allows you to do all sorts of…
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Joomla 1.5 stable released, finally!

Well the big news in the open-source CMS community this week is the announcement that Joomla 1.5 is finally stable. It took 2.5 years to get it there, but the wait was well worth it. Joomla, for those that don't know, is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) used in the construction of dynamic, database driven Web sites. Through the separation of code from design elements, and design ele…
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Putting value into Social Networking, pay up Facebook

Great post on China Vortext regarding the Facebook Beacon service: China Vortex: Facebook’s Beacon and Valuing Social Networks Let me put it this way, I don’t think that there is a way to value social networks, even though this is what advertisers would very much like to see happen. And the reason that social networks cannot be valued in a top-down/corporate/advertising way is because they are en…
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How To: Joomla Multi-Language Content Support

This is a quick and basic "how to" for anyone looking to add multi-language support to their content in Joomla 1.5. Eventually I imagine the folks over at the Joom!Fish project will get around to updating their excellent component, but until then anyone that's in need of multi-lingual content using Joomla 1.5 is SOL. My switch from the Joomla 1.0.x series to the new (and much improved) Joomla 1.5…
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CSS overflow vertical toolbar problem

I recently ran into a bit of scrolling problem on a project I was working on. The designed called for a DIV with a set height to display text. If the text was longer than the height of the box, it would be contained in the DIV, but a vertical scroll bar would appear beside the DIV and allow the content to be scrolled. Simple enough, this is easily handled by the CSS variable overflow:auto; being…
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Avoid the bait, don't discount your services

One of the things designers should be cautious of is "baiting" from clients. "Baiting" is when you're parenthetically promised more work down the road in a play by the client to get cheaper pricing. Often the "we'll also have some additional projects for you later" line comes directly after an inquiry for a quote, and most, if not all, the time is designed to give the designer a sense that perhap…
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Google, Alexa and Technorati Chomp My Bit

The blogsphere is abuzz with Google's recent PageRank recalculations. The "slaps" and "pats" are controversial because big blogs (Problogger.net, Engadget.com, Johnchow.com, and many many more) have seen their PR jump around more than an Asian boy band. The reason for the heated discussion that has come out of this is that Google is "punishing" sites that sell links, under the idea that such sale…
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Finally, native WordPress tagging

I am, admittedly, quite lax on keeping up with the latest version of things. So, it was with a bit of surprise that I happened to notice I had fallen behind on my WordPress version. Partly due to it's comparably solid track record, WordPress is usually the last of my open source softwares to get updated. However, when I heard the WP crew finally incorporated native tagging into the code, I cleare…
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Ford Oval Rapes Designers

I've owned several Ford cars over the years, and never had one that didn't live up to the Found On Road Dead and Fix Or Repair Daily acronyms that were creatively given to the company. Well folks, as the title of this post displays, I've got another one to use now. Ford Motor Company is launching the Ford Blue Oval Scholars, "a national Web-based initiative that will provide Ford Motor Company F…
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Craigslist brings sweatshops online

I've recently started using Craigslist as a source for design job leads, and largely, I think it's a great resource. With sites specific to 450+ cities around the world, it's easy to target certain geographical locations, and as it's the world's most widely known online classifieds stop, there's often no shortage of postings to browse. Craigslist has got to be the fugliest site ever, and at #45 o…
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Light a flame under Firefox's memory usage

Much the anti-thesis of my "I hate IE" post, I love Firefox. From principle to practice, it just is what a browser should be. That said, one of the things that's been bugging me lately about Firefox is that it is just crap on resources. I admit, I'm terrible with having 19 trillion tabs open at the same time, and that's bound to slow stuff down. But, what I don't like is that even after those tab…
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Creating a dynamic WordPress sidebar

I recently finished the redesign of my blog, The Humanaught, and as these things tend to - it came with a few forehead slapping mind scratchers. The key one being that the design utilized the post's footer to store comments. On many posts you wouldn't even know there was a problem, however when I - on occasion - veer from my usual rambling and only write a tiny little blurb, the issue is evident.…
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How To Make Fast Hover Effects

Causality in Web sites is a must these days. People want action, plain and simple. Not only does it add greater functionality for the user, it gives you a whole other dimension for design. When I visit a site with static buttons and unchanging link styles I get confused (something I'm quite proficient at actually). I've grown so accustom to being shown visually that "this is a place I can do some…
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