Dec 30 2013

301 Redirect that makes www non-www

OK, I do 301 redirects all the time for clients, when they move or change their site, but what is an easy way to make the redirect from www to non www?

Simple, put this into the .htaccess file of the site in question.  It works.

RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.*)$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://%1/$1 [R=301,L]

Thanks to Stackflow for this answer, which according to Google, I keep looking for.


Nov 1 2013

Why won’t my picture show up in Facebook?

Well, I would love to show you pictures about how this is done ,but this is the link to the facebook developers page, where you can check and see how the Facebook is seeing your page, when you get ready to post it on facebook, so you can share it with all your friends.  If you go here, when the image doesn’t show up in facebook, or whatever the problem is, you can get a clue as to what Facebook is having trouble with.  It may not solve all your problems, but it will at least give you a starting place.

I tried an experiment and used it on my about page. I can clearly see my photo, so I k now that if I tried this in facebook, that would not be an issue.

However, other issues, it does not solve, such as why it can’t see a photo that is clearly there.  But at least with this device, you can see that it can’t see it before you even try posting.

Aug 19 2011

thumb.php and WooThemes (and wordpress)

I had been reading a mumbling of trouble on the wordpress groups I belong to, so knew something was up, although I wasn’t sure what. One group mentioned thumb.php, and that it was a security risk, but I thought to myself, I haven’t installed that anywhere, so I guess I am safe.

Wrong. My favorite premium theme supplier had been using it, and I got an email, recently, telling me just that:

TimThumb (or thumb.php as you know it) – the open-source script we use in all of our themes to do dynamic image resizing – recently uncovered a critical security flaw in the script. This flaw is vulnerable to a potential hacker that could gain access to your server. This affects all of our existing themes and thus everyone that are currently using our themes.

Good thing, of course, is that they noticed, and have redone their themes.

And, even more wonderful, all you have to do is update their framework, and it looks for the thumb.php, and updates it to one that is not vulnerable. :)

So, I don’t have to dump the theme, or update the theme, just the framework. Thanks Woo.



Aug 18 2011

Fonts for the web, font squirrel

Of course the bane of a designer working on the web is that we have to use the fonts that everyone has on their computer. Well, not quite. Recently, I started using Font Squirrel. First, because the designer I was working with insisted that I did, and then because the client I was working with wanted it.  Of course, she didn’t know that is what she was asking for. She just wanted the font to be closer to her logo, and so I went to Font Squirrel, and found something damn close, and she was happy.

Now, what is funny, is some WordPress themes claim they are special because they have this feature, but you don’t have to use anything special. You just have to include it in your css, and put the font package that font squirrel gives you in the same directory. Well, there is more to it than that, and perhaps, when I have time, I’ll do a step by step. But, right now, I have to go work on a site, with a different problem, that I need to solve.

Dec 23 2010

Flipboard is all that.

Up until I installed Flipboard, I thought of the iPad, I got for my birthday, last month, was just a iTouch on steroids. Nice to have, but what was the point. Then, I was reading the Silicon Valley Business Journal and saw the headline touting how wonderful  Flipboard was. How it made the iPad as good as it was.  Plus it was free.

So, I downloaded it, and was totally blown away.

Before Flipboard, all the stuff I had seen was really just larger iPhone stuff, and I was unimpressed. But Flipboard takes everything you are interested in, and puts it all together, and easy to read. I love what they did with Facebook, for example. Instead of seeing the beginnings of links about articles, all the articles appear as though you are reading a magazine. Same thing with twitter. It makes going through sites so much easier, and even includes Huffington Post (which has also redesigned its reader for the iPad).

Now, it makes it all worth it.

Nov 17 2010

Always check your forms

I think I’ve written about this before, but it goes without saying it to often. Always check to see that your forms are working, each time you muck with them. EACH TIME. I say this because I just made a tiny tweak to a form for a client, just now, and thought, well, I had better test it just in case something changed, and sure enough, something had changed enough that it threw the form off. I am so glad I checked it.

Well, we learn by our mistakes, and my first mistake with a form for a website happened so long ago, I can’t even tell you, probably in the early days of my web design, I created a form for a client, and according to the client, it didn’t work. Oh, I had tested it, but I hadn’t done the final test, that is the test to see if the client is getting the emails. It is not enough that you are getting them, but that it works for them too.

And it didn’t. Weather it was user error or not, it didn’t matter. And they didn’t tell me for a year that they had not gotten any emails.

Needless to dsay, I did not keep that client.

So check, once, twice, and then check in with the client.

Then you can breath easily.

Mar 3 2010

Upgrade wordpress so trashed files don’t show

I usually wait to upgrade wordpress, and the blog post by wordpress told me why, but I ignored it. I figured it would have no effect on me, so continued on my merry way, utnil I checked my StatPress (a great plug in for giving stat information) and noticed that there were hits coming from pages that didn’t exist, and posts that had been trashed.

I did not want that, so upgraded all my wordpress sites.

And let me put in a plug in for Stat Press. It is so comprehensive. I still use Google Analytics, but StatPress shows everything in your dashboard, and lets you drill down to even see just about everything you would want to know about where people are coming for and what they are searching for.

Jul 15 2009

Hey, Adobe, could you please rename “frame” to “state” throughout Fireworks? Thanks

OK, this is just a short rant. I have upgraded from Fireworks CS2 to CS4. A  big leap, I know, but the biggest leap is pages, and apparently “states”. States have always been there, they were just called frames. But, and this is my complaint, in the program, when you set up roll-overs, it still says that it will be working with frames. It is just a simple matter of changing the pop-up dialogue box, so that when you read it and say to yourself, “hmm, better go and make a set of rollovers in frames”, you don’t then say, “hey, what happened to frames.”

It will do no good doing a search for frames in Fireworks CS4. It won’t find it. It won’t know what it is you are looking for. You will either have to poke around until you notice something called “states’ and say to yourself, once again, and people are going to wonder why you are talking to yourself, as my family does, “oh, that sounds like what frames was used for”, and so it is.

So, other than that, and of course the expense of the suite, I am quite happy with Fireworks CS4. Please include it in the package I buy when you put out CS5. Thanks.

Jul 4 2009

Why people are using “Add to Any” and “Add to This”

Add to Any window

Add to Any window

I’m sure you have see the buttons “Share this” on blogs, and I even have one of those on my blog, but have you ever looked at how many ways you can share? The first images that come up is this. It lists the most popular places that you would want to link to. I was looking at this because I was on a blog, yesterday, and thought, oh, I wonder if they have a wordpress link. I noticed there was one for Facebook, which I actually used the other day on my Facebook account, and it was quite cool. I have also used this for TypePad, when I needed to do so for that. So I clicked the link that brings up the rest of the Add to Any window. Boy was I surprised. Who would have that there would be so many ways to share, or that anyone would actually support them all. Sheesh.

Add to Any full page

Add to Any full page

Some of these I have heard of, some of these I have not. It amazes me that there are so many places that someone would want to send a link or story to. I mean I understand the main ones, but I think some of the ones I don’t recognize might be variations on a theme, such as the twitter feeders and things like that. I am currently working on a revamp of a site where, when we last revamped in, back in the bad old days of 2007, delicious was the only social link that we had set up. This week, when looking at the comps, I saw that they had added a few more. It seems to be the way to go. I used Add This for one client, but they asked that we use our own graphic, which I think was a bad idea, as no one had clicked on it. I think people are used to seeing the “add” button, and know what it means, while they may not know what a stylized one would mean.

The interesting thing about Add to Any is that the places you do visit, it puts in bold at the top, at least that is what it claims, but I don’t have a MySpace account, so not sure why that was in bold.

I wandered around, clicking on some of these, such as YooLink, which is in French, Kledy is out of Germany, Arto is from Denmark, and Hyves is from the Netherlands. I’m glad they are being all inclusive. Of course, clicking on them is throwing my “Add to This” off, and it is now bringing these links up to the top 10.

And why are these things so popular? Well, it is rather a pain to select a link, and then get it over to what ever social media you are using at the moment, such as Facebook, to talk to your friends about it. It is sort of the dumbing down of the web, in one sense, but in another, why not make things easy. I used it the other day, as I said, on Facebook, when I wanted to link to an article in the newspaper that I had mentioned. All I had to do was click the “add to this” link for Facebook, and it plunked it in. And yes, I could have just copied the url.

But, for other places, such as Twitter, it makes sense to use it. If you do it the old fashioned way, you go to tiny url, put in the link, and then copy that link into twitter. If you do it using “Add to Any” it creates the tiny url all by itself, and plunks it into your twitter feed. Work done.

Jun 29 2009

Hey, Amazon, I don’t want to buy a book about WordPress 2.7

Usually Amazon follows what I have bought, and gets it mostly right. The other day, I got a notice that, wow, a book on WordPress 2.7 was coming out soon, would I like it.

There are several things wrong here, but the main thing is…Wordpress 2.8 is out already. It came out shortly after WordCamp, back a few weeks ago. Most books get written while the product is in alpha or beta (as I did when I wrote a book about PageMaker, low those many years ago when it was the big thing.) I am a little surprised that someone wrote a WordPress book without speaking to the people at wordpress, at least to get copies of the latest and greatest.

But, no, doing a search of Amazon brings up not only books about 2.7, but second edition books about 2.7. And I suppose most people won’t notice that it is the not the latest version, and although there are major changes, the look of the dashboard is pretty much the same.

WordPress, a non-profit, could probably make a lot of money if they came out with books when the versions were released, but on the other hand, people who would be most interested wouldn’t think about buying those books, they would rather just read what they can on-line.

Me, I do like to have a reference guide around, I have several about CSS, but sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier just to have something bookmarked.