CSS: Equally Spaced Horizontal Elements

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Sometimes there are things you want to do in your layouts with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) that you assume would be easy, but as you dive into the coding, it turns out what you thought should work just isn’t cutting it. Equally spacing elements across a horizontal area so that the first and last items are flush with the left and right borders respectively turns out to be a perfect example of this. For the lowdown on how to best accomplish this, read on! Read the Full Post »

Responsive Aspect Ratios With Pure CSS

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One of the hurdles I faced when beginning to work with responsive designs was the lack of an obvious way to assign an aspect ratio to a container in CSS. This kind of thing can be handled with an image placeholder or Javascript, but neither is an elegant solution. Fortunately, with a little bit of digging, an answer soon presented itself! Read the Full Post »

WordPress: Take Control of Private Post Titles

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WordPress gives us an easy built in way to hide certain posts or pages from non logged-in users, by simply marking the post status as private or password protected. When we do this, the title of the post or page will automatically be prefixed with “Private:” or “Protected:” In some cases this is no big deal, but sometimes we may want to prefix with something different, or nothing at all. Today we’ll see how we can take control of the matter. Read the Full Post »

Youtube Thumbnails Via PHP

Youtube

Embedding videos from Youtube into a website is a rather painless procedure. Each video is provided with sharing options that include a bit of html code that will get the job done, and with WordPress it’s even easier. All you need is the video URL and the oEmbed protocol included in WordPress will take care of the rest of the embedding for you. These solutions put the video directly into your content, which is fine if you are adding only one or two, but when we’re dealing with many videos to be collected on one page this is far from ideal. In these cases I usually opt to put together a solution using the Fancybox modal window script and a video thumbnail image link. Read the Full Post »

WordPress: Take Control of HTML Tag Filtering

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One of the important ways in which we protect websites from hackers, spammers, and other such baddies is by preventing them from injecting malicious code into our databases. WordPress provides us with some built in security functions that stop this type of thing by automatically stripping certain code tags out of entries to our database and allowing others. On occasion though, we may want some control over what is allowed and not allowed in our entries or comments, and today we’re going to explore just how to do that! Read the Full Post »

PHP: Random Data Retrieval

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Sometimes we may want to present our data in an unordered fashion, avoiding alphabetical or date based sorting. For example, creating a “Featured” list of articles that changes upon each page load by choosing a handful at random from our database. Another instance may be wanting to change up an image at random for each page or page load. When dealing with the data in our database with the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) programming language, we have several options… Read the Full Post »

MySQL: Avoiding Access Denied Errors When Importing DB

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Moving MySQL databases from one server to another is usually a pretty painless and relatively easy process when the phpMyAdmin tool is available on the hosting servers. An unforeseen hiccup recently presented itself to me when trying to move a WordPress MySQL database from one account to another on the same ISP. It was a situation I had never run into before as usually a move is from one ISP to another. The solution turned out to be rather simple but not necessarily obvious, so I thought I’d share it here! Read the Full Post »

WordPress Quick Tip: Using Shortcodes in Templates

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A WordPress project I’m currently working on presented me with a situation that I soon realized was calling for a custom WordPress shortcode. In a future post I’ll cover the process of creating a custom shortcode, but for today I’ll share a quick tip on how to use shortcodes in your theme templates as opposed to a post’s content.  Read the Full Post »

WordPress: Tweaks For Good Theme Development – Part 1

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WordPress has really made some huge leaps forward in recent versions making it a truly powerful content management system. Not coincidentally, WordPress custom theme design and development has really become a passion of mine… one of the fruits of which is a tried and true collection of customizations and tweaks I always start off with when creating a new custom theme for a client. In this post I’ll share some of them and explain a little about why I think they’re important. Read the Full Post »

Smart Design: Image Replacement

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Custom logos and exotic heading fonts… two things that as designers we’re in love with when it comes to website aesthetics. That’s where image replacement techniques come into the picture but when it comes to maintainability, accessibility, and search engine optimization (SEO) they can quickly become problems if not dealt with properly. In this post I’ll talk about what needs to be considered and describe the technique I use the most. Read the Full Post »