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Mis à jour : il y a 33 min 52 sec

Anime.js Makes Animating CSS and SVG Easy

il y a 8 hours 49 min

Anime.js is another one in an already impressive row of frameworks for animations. In contrast to all the other ones, anime.js does not only allow for the animation via CSS attributes. You can also alter SVG and HTML attributes with animations. It’s hard to image modern web design without the SVG format. This framework came at the right time.

Simple CSS Animations

Once you’ve implemented the JavaScript anime.js, creating animations based on CSS attributes becomes a rather easy thing to do. Call up “anime()”, to define one or multiple targets, meaning elements you want to animate. After that, define the CSS attributes that you want the animation to change.

anime({ targets: [document.getElementsByTagName("div")[0]], translateX: "300px", rotate: 180, duration: 2000, direction: "alternate", loop: true, elasticity: 600, easing: "easeOutElastic" });

In the example, “targets” is used to define a “<div>” element. You could also enter an ID instead. Two CSS attributes, “translateX” and “rotate”, are next to be animated. Subsequently, the duration and direction of the animation are determined using “duration” and “direction.” Here, the animation takes two seconds. Then, the animation is reversed. You are also able to make it play in a loop via “loop”.

During an Animation

Generally, this simple example is also possible without JavaScript, by using the “@keyframes” rules in conjunction with “animation”. However, anime.js adds the particular attribute “elasticity” that allows you to add said elasticity to an animation. The higher the value, the higher the elasticity of the motion. This means, that the animation won’t stop abruptly once it’s done, but oscillates instead. This allows users to create very natural looking movements.

30 Easing Effects

Just like classic CSS3 animations, anime.js gives you the option to add an easing to an animation. In total, there are 30 different easing effects available, which is significantly more than CSS3 offers.

When giving out “anime.easings” via the browser console, you’ll receive a list of all effects. Aside from the usual, in conjunction with “elasticity”, fascinating effects can be created.

SVG Path Animations

As mentioned before, animations with SVG attributes, like the “d” attribute of a path, are possible. This allows you to quickly realize an animation alongside a path.

To do so, first define a “<path>” element via SVG, as well as another element, like a “<div>” container, which is supposed to move alongside the path.

anime({ targets: [document.getElementsByTagName("div")[0]], translateX: anime.path(document.getElementsByTagName("path")[0]), translateY: anime.path(document.getElementsByTagName("path")[0]), rotate: anime.path(document.getElementsByTagName("path")[0]), duration: 5000, loop: true, easing: "linear" });

The element you want to animate is once again referenced via “targets”. Then, use “translatex”, “translateY”, and “rotate” to define the SVG path, alongside which you want the “<div>” element to be animated, with “anime.path()”.

SVG Morphing

Due to Google sounding the death knell for SMIL, animated form changes of SVG elements won’t be possible anymore, at least in future browser versions. However, anime.js lets you continue to create these animations with ease.

To do so, first, define an SVG path which you can later quickly morph into a different shape.

anime({ targets: [document.getElementsByTagName("path")[0]], d: "M140,51.75A51.75,51.75,0,0,0,99.2,35.27a83,83,0,1,0,65.13,65.67A51.76,51.76,0,0,0,140,51.75Z", duration: 1000, loop: true, direction: "alternate", easing: "linear" });

In the example above, an SVG path is referenced as “targets”. “d” is used to define a target path which determines the shape into which you want the “<path>” element to morph. An identical amount of points on the source and destination path is necessary. Otherwise, there will be messy effects instead of a pretty morphing.

Interactive Animations

Last but not least, anime.js also allows you to create interactive animations. For instance, there are ways to control the playback called “play()”, “pause()”, and “restart()”. You could also use “seek()” to skip to a certain point in the animation. For that, you need to either enter a time or percentage value.

On top of that, there are the attributes “begin”, “update”, and “complete”, letting you transfer a function. This function will then be executed at the beginning, after changes, or at the end of the animation, respectively.

Conclusion

Example on CodePen

anime.js has everything you need for simple as well as complex CSS and SVG animations. There’s a clear API reference with a couple of examples. Additionally, the framework runs under all standard browsers, including the Internet Explorer starting at version 10.

The code examples presented above can also be found on CodePen:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

WP Staging: Cloning WordPress Websites per Click

22 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

WP Staging is one of the most interesting WordPress plugins I tested recently. With just a few clicks, you can create an exact clone of an entire website. You need a developer page to test plugins and themes? You want to create a new design for your website? Then, this plugin is the one for you.

A pure developer page is useful for many different purposes. One of the most intelligent application areas is testing updates, whether it be theme or plugin updates. An update doesn’t always end up well. Unfortunately, I can tell you a thing or two about that.

Sometimes, a simple update makes your website crock and nothing works anymore. Unlikely? That’s what I thought as well. Until it happened to me. After a bit of research, I found the WP Staging Plugin and immediately tested it. It’s a true sleeper, at least for websites that don’t have the size of Noupe yet.

We’d still have to test how simple and fast the process is for really large websites. For regular websites that are based on a reasonable server, the process is done rapidly and without errors.

WP Staging – DB & File Duplicator & Migration

The good thing about the plugin is, that it can be accessed for free on WordPress.org. It is constantly in development by renowned German developer René Hermenau, who also developed the Mashshare-Plugin, and provides good support.

  • Developer: René Hermenau, WP-Staging
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: three weeks ago
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
Cloning a Website Using WP Staging

The cloning process is straightforward. No settings need to be made, even though it would be possible. For one, the DB Copy Query Limit could be defined, which means the amount of database tables that are processed with an ajax request, as well as the File Copy Batch Size, the buffer size in MB.

During my testing, I didn’t make any changes and I didn’t get any error notifications. However, this could be different for cheaper shared hostings, which is why there are settings.

Please create a complete database backup before cloning the website. The free plugin BackWPup is a good choice for that purpose.

1 – Starting the Duplication Process

A click on “Create new staging site” will start the process. In the next step, a name is assigned to the cloned page. Here, you should keep it short. The sub folder of the WordPress installation will be where you create the duplicated website in. In this step, you also get to choose the database tables you want to have copied, as well as the WordPress folders that you don’t want it to copy.

I haven’t made any settings here, either. This would make little sense for a pure copy.

2 – Website Scan and Name Assignment

After clicking “Start Cloning”, the entire website is copied. This can take a few minutes, depending on the website’s size. My small website was copied after two minutes.

3 – The Duplication Begins

4 – Done. The Cloned Website is Ready to be Used

After a short while, the duplication and installation of the cloned website is done. Yes, you read that correctly. The website is not only cloned and duplicated with all of its settings and activated plugins, it’s also installed right away. A click on the highlighted button lets you log into the developer website using your admin access information.

The only thing that is not copied are the permalinks. The developer page runs using the conventional “messy-links”. If you really need permalinks for your clone, you can activate them with a respective .htaccess file.

The Finished Developer Page

To show you that you logged into your developer page, it has flashy colors in the upper admin bar. This allows you to prevent making accidental changes within the wrong website. By the way, all of your plugins have been activated as well, as you can see here:

The Accessibility – for Admins Only

Your developer page is only accessible to admins, and not to the public. Calling up the URL will cause an error message. Before the website can be viewed, an admin needs to be logged in. This is an important security bonus. On top of that, public accessibility doesn’t make sense.

You are able to call up and use your newly cloned website, by saving the admin access as a bookmark in the browser, or via the landing page’s plugin settings. There, you have the option to edit your developer page after changes have been made. This way, your developer page will always be an exact copy with just a few clicks.

Deleting or editing your cloned website, after installing a new plugin, for example, is done just as easily. You are even able to create an entirely new copy.

Conclusion

This small plugin is extremely powerful and useful. With only a few clicks, you have created an absolutely identical copy of your website that you can test freely, without having to fear a crash. In my testing, the plugin worked without any error. I strongly recommend it.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Blogging for Beginners: Choosing Platform and Domain [#1]

21 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Today, we’ll start a new, small series of articles, specifically for those that want to start with blogging. There are many things to keep in mind, and often, novices don’t know about them. That’s why we’ll shed light on blogging for beginners and make our way to an own blog step by step.

Which Platform Should You Choose?

Novice bloggers often face the problem that they don’t really know which platform suits their needs. Let’s take the three most popular platforms as an example: Blogger, WordPress.com, and WordPress.org. The solutions Blogger.com, and WordPress.com are free, making them look like a good choice for beginners at first.

However, free solutions also come with a bunch of disadvantages for those that don’t want to toy around but take blogging seriously. More on that later.

Blogger.com

Blogger.com is Google’s free blogging platform. As soon as you own a Google account, you can sign up for Blogger in no time and get your blog started. Afterward, confirm your profile, choose the right language if you didn’t do that already, and click “Continue to Blogger.” In the next window, all you need to do is click the button “New Blog” to start a – well – blog.

You will then be asked to choose a blog name, as well as the blog address, which is a subdomain of Blogger.com.

Example: mytestblogiscool.blogspot.com.

Now, you get to pick one of seven designs for your blog. Then, all it takes is a click on “Create Blog”, and you’re done. With my settings, a post will look like this:

A blog with a post at Blogger.com

Blogger.com: My Verdict

Blogger.com is designed in a very rudimentary way. There are barely any simple ways to influence the design, but that’s exactly what would be substantial. The user-friendliness is high, but the visual result is nowhere near satisfying. Conclusion: Nice to play around with, but fully unsuitable for more or less serious blogging.

WordPress.com

WordPress is also available in a hosted version called WordPress.com. Here, you can also set up a blog in no time. After registering an account at WordPress.com, you create a new blog in only five steps.

First, choose a category that fits your blog (health, wellness, and so on), then go in-depth and make a more specific choice on the blog’s topics. Subsequently, define how your landing page will be structured. The selection of a theme, which is the actual design, will have to be made, depending on the landing page structure you picked before.

It’s always possible to switch the theme when you don’t like it anymore.

Now, you get to choose a domain. There are two options: you could use a free subdomain by WordPress, or create your own domain which starts at 18 Euro a year.

After creating the domain, you can choose between the provided plans. The plan without any additions and very few customization options is free. When picking a proper plan, depending on how feature-rich you like it, you easily end up paying 25 Euro each month. That’s a lot – too much, even!

Publishing a post is done very easily and fast. The interface is as clean as you can imagine.

The result already looks a lot better than the one from its rival Blogger.

WordPress.com: My Verdict

WordPress.com is a good pick to practice blogging and getting started. However, it’s not suited for those that don’t only want to write a post for their colleagues every couple of weeks. You barely have any influence, you can’t tune or adjust the theme, and you’re not able to install plugins to extend the functionality. To put it short, either you pay for more options or choose something else.

When you want to take blogging seriously, it’s tough to get around using a paid solution.

WordPress.org

WordPress Original: There Can Only be One.

This is the “actual” WordPress. The version that started taking over the entire world. The software is free as well. However, it requires storage space on the internet. Thus, to use WordPress, you’ll need to rent either a web hosting package or a server.

Then, WordPress can be installed within that storage space, which is simple. Most web hosts also provide an auto-installer. This allows you to quickly install WordPress within a few minutes.

A decent web hosting package is available starting at only about five Euro a month. You should make sure that you get an SSD memory disk instead of an HDD, and that the new PHP version 7 can be used. Both speeds up your blog. This type of web hosting also comes with at least one domain address.

I’ve made good experiences with the host Alfahosting.de from Germany. Their prices are moderate, and they offer a ticket support that helps within 20 minutes most of the time.

Alfahosting – MultiXL Package with an SSD option for 5.99 € a month.

Why You Should Choose the “Real” WordPress

If you want to take blogging serious, choose WordPress.org and a web hosting package. For the money spent, you’ll receive lots of advantages.

  • Search themes directly within WordPress and install them in two clicks.
  • Get to choose your design from almost 4.000 free themes.
  • Install professional, paid themes.
  • Pick any function extension you need from 45,000 free plugins.
  • Customize your WordPress infinitely, until you’re satisfied.
  • Gain full control over every aspect of your website.
  • Any feature you could think of is only one plugin installation away.

Thus, I strongly recommend you install WordPress. The community is huge; you’ll always get advice when needed. There’re at least one tutorial and plugin for every problem.

Free Themes and Plugins:

Picking the Right Domain

You’ve chosen your favorite web host. That’s great. Now, when ordering your hosting package, you’ll be asked for the domain. The domain is a imperative thing, as it’s basically your blog’s address. For example, Noupe’s domain is noupe.com. Displaying “www” is activated as well. Thus, the complete domain is called www.noupe.com. This is what characterizes a good domain:

  • A good domain should be as short and memorable as possible
  • It should have the topic or the name of the brand in its title. When writing about health, this should be evident from the domain.
  • Your optimal domain should only contain a hyphen when it’s necessary.
Find Your Niche

Before making a choice, think about what niche you want to be in. What do you want to write about, what’s your topic? This will be a determining factor for your domain. Keep in mind that a different topic might not fit your existing domain, so choose a topic that you can write about for years, as you have enough knowledge on it to continuously create articles about it.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have an excellent starting point for a domain. When your chosen domain is still available, order your web hosting package, as it includes a free domain.

Conclusion

Now, you can call yourself the proud owner of web space and domain, meaning you can install WordPress. With Alfahosting, this can be done easily via the installer:

Installing WP on my deprecated Web Space over at Alfahosting.

Next, you need to choose a theme and install the core set of useful plugins. But more on that in the second part of our series.

By the way: Alfahosting is the example as that’s my host. This makes screenshots easy to take. You could also choose different providers like Domain Factory, Hetzner, Mittwald, All-Inkl or the giants 1&1 or Strato or Bluehost or whatever popular you have in your country.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

WordPress Backup: The Right Strategy

20 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

A WordPress backup strategy is of significant importance for every website and blog. Maybe you already read that over and over and can’t stand hearing about it anymore. Nonetheless, you should consider it immediately, should you not provide regular backups for your blog yet. It can go up in flames a lot faster than you might think.

This is Why a Backup Strategy is of Immense Importance

It can hit any of us at any time. You have to be aware of that. I, for example, thought that I wouldn’t need a backup for each of my websites. As a result, my personal website andreas-hecht.com was not saved in backups, as it didn’t have much content. I had to regret that later on.

A few weeks ago, I saw that my theme – Enfold by Kriesi – needed an update. Expecting nothing evil, I clicked the update button. A few minutes later, I was sitting in front of the debris that used to be my website. Enfold has destroyed it in a matter of seconds. The theme didn’t give out any HTML source code anymore after the opening <head>. I wasn’t even able to bring my website back to life by installing an older version either.

The installation of a WordPress basic theme managed to return my blog content, but the deposited pages were gone forever.

All of that just because I am an idiot that wanted to save five dollars a month. All of my other websites are secured by VaultPress, which I will present in a bit.

Further Information:

Killed in Action: When Your Website Suddenly Dies (in German language)

WordPress Backup Solutions – What’s Available, What Makes Sense

There are many options to create backups for WordPress. Not all of them make sense, as for some – free – versions, extensive knowledge on database administration is required to be able to apply the backups. Thus, the automatic backup solutions are better choices for inexperienced users or those who prefer a professional solution. They allow you to restore your backups with a single click. Good backup solutions are never free. However, the costs are very appropriate.

In the following, I will present two examples for each of the backup solutions.

The Fully Automized Solutions: Backup Services

These backup services always require payments. However, the costs are reasonable and range from five USD to nine Euro a month.

1 – VaultPress

VaultPress should be one of the most popular services for fully automatic WordPress backups. The provided service’s quality and user-friendliness are excellent. By the way, VaultPress is a project by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

This is how it works: log into VaultPress using your WordPress.com account, enter your URL, as well as your credit card information for the payments. Afterward, install the VaultPress plugin on your blog and enter the registration number you received in the VaultPress dashboard. Now, all you need to do is enter the SFTP or SSH access information for your server so VaultPress can work properly.

The Access Data For Your Server / Your Webhosting Package, Deposited in VaultPress.

The service instantly starts doing its job and creates the first backup of your entire website, including the uploads.

Viewing Individual Backups Created by VaultPress.

As you can see, each backup can be restored with just one click.

Important Information:
  • Paid: yes, available starting at 5 USD a month per URL/website
  • What exactly does it create backups of:  the entire WordPress installation
  • Where are the backups hosted: on the service’s servers (USA)
  • Support: yes, via email. Fast and, from my experience, good
  • Disadvantages: None, aside from the data storage in the USA
  • Recommendable: Totally, from my own experience
  • Trial period available: no
  • Payment options: credit card only
  • Possible payment rates: Monthly and annually. Yearly payment saves one month’s fee
  • Terms of termination: termination possible at all times via one click from the dashboard
  • A WordPress.com account is required
  • Link to the product
2 – blogVault

BlogVault doesn’t only offer a fast and straightforward backup solution with recovery, but also other interesting, additional functions. One advantage is the test recovery that VaultPress doesn’t have. The service requires the installation of a plugin.

What BlogVault Can do:
  • Backup history of up to 30 days: single pages or the entire website can be restored.
  • One-click-recovery: no fumbling around with database files or something similar.
  • Test Recovery: lets you check if your website was saved entirely. The service provides a test restoration with one-click from their servers.
  • High security: blogVault saves your backups on servers by Hetzner, as well as Amazon S3. Additionally, you’re also able to keep the backup in your Dropbox.
  • Additional functions: blogVault provides easy relocation of a WordPress installation.
  • Email support: currently only in English
Important Information:
  • Paid: yes, starting at 9 Euro a month for one website
  • What exactly does it create backups of:  the entire WordPress installation
  • Where are the backups hosted: on the service’s servers at Hetzner, and on Amazon S3
  • Support: yes, via email
  • Disadvantages: no evident ones
  • Recommendable: most likely
  • Trial period available: yes, you get seven days. After that, you’ll be charged
  • Payment options: PayPal only
  • Possible payment rates: monthly and yearly. Annual payments save between 12 and 16 percent.
  • Terms of termination: termination is possible at any time with one click via the dashboard
  • Link to the product

BlogVault sounds promising. I’ll make sure to do some in-depth testing with it shortly. Afterward, I can make safe statements. There is no risk in using the 7-day trial to check if the service meets the expectations.

Manual Solutions via WordPress Plugins

The manual solutions for a WordPress backup are mostly some popular and free plugins. They may be able to create a backup, but they are unable to restore it. Thus, you need to have experience with using phpMyAdmin to get the stored database back into the system. However, there is also a plugin solution that can restore the saved backups. This solution is paid but seems recommendable.

1 – BackupBuddy

The User Interface of BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is another paid backup solution. It claims to protect over half a million WordPress websites since 2010. BackupBuddy also offers backups that are restorable with one click. There are many different types of backups available. You could save the entire website, or just the data, or the database.

A restore feature is provided, and additionally, you can comfortably move a site to another server. Aside from the businesses’ servers, the files are also saved in the Dropbox, on Amazon S3, or Google Drive, as you wish. It’s also possible to download the saved backups.

What BackupBuddy can do:
  • Backup recovery: single areas or the entire website can be restored
  • One-click-recovery: No fumbling around with database files or something similar.
  • High security: BackupBuddy saves your backups on own servers or in your Dropbox. Saving on Amazon S3 and Google Drive is possible as well. On top of that, the backup can be downloaded at any time.
  • Additional functions: BackupBuddy provides an easy relocation of a WordPress installation, as well as fascinating features for developers. Migration, cloning, and a staging website are easy to realize. The staging function is interesting, allowing you to clone a developer page, and keep it up to date with a few clicks. Services for the relocation to a new domain and the automatic replacement of an old domain with a new one are integrated as well. Also, the plugin provides plenty more features and tools. It is very extensive.
  • Ticket support: currently only available in English
Important Information:
  • Paid: yes, starting at 80 USD per year and website. At the moment, you’ll receive 25 percent off when signing up for the newsletter.
  • Updates and support period: one year each, as you pay per year
  • What exactly does it create backups of: the entire WordPress installation or specific areas
  • Where are the backups hosted: on the service’s servers in the USA, or on Amazon S3, Google Drive, or in your own Dropbox.
  • Support: yes, via a ticket system
  • Disadvantages: no obvious ones
  • Recommendable: most likely
  • Trial period available: no
  • Payment options: credit card only
  • Possible payment rates: annually
  • Terms of termination: license runs out automatically when it is not extended. Thus, termination is not necessary.
  • Link to the product
2 – BackWPup – free

BackWPup is probably the most popular free backup plugins. It works perfectly fine, at least on more expensive hosting options. On cheap shared-hostings, the plugin often stops with an error message, as the backup job takes longer than accepted by the hoster. That’s my experience with the plugin, at least.

Depending on your needs, the plugin either saves your entire page or only the database. Additionally, a backup for the files (the XML import file) and the plugins can be executed. Furthermore, there are many different security measures available, including the own server, the Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, and so on.

BackWPup has one disadvantage, however: it is not capable of restoring backups. This has to be done manually, requiring knowledge on database administration. If you lack this knowledge, an expert has to be hired. A paid version is available too, yet it can’t recover backups either.

An Overview of the Functions:

  • Database backup (requires mysqli)
  • WordPress XML Export
  • Creates a file with the installed plugins
  • Optimizes the database
  • Checks and repairs the database
  • File backup
  • Backups in zip, tar, tar.gz, tar.bz2 format (requires gz, bz2, ZipArchive)
  • Saves the backups on: server, DropBox, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, RackSpaceCloud and SugarSync
Important Information:
  • Free on WordPress.org
  • No backup recovery
  • Only basic support via the WordPress support forum
  • Work in progress
  • Developer: Inpsyde GmbH, Frank Bültge, Daniel Hüsken
  • Newest version from: May 2016
  • Download on WordPress.org
Conclusion

A good backup strategy is indispensable. However, there are many trip hazards, especially when it comes to the free solutions. Thus, a paid solution for little money is recommended. Experience shows that, after the installation and activation, you don’t have to take care of backups anymore, as everything runs smoothly in the background. And should the worst case scenario happen, everything is recovered in a few minutes thanks to the restore function.

From my misery, I learned that you should not run a website without backups. Thus, all of my websites have a backup solution now. This lets me sleep calmly again.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Animated and Interactive SVG: Essential Tips

19 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

The SVG format has turned into a contemporary alternative to Flash in many regards. Not only is it vector-based, but it also renders animations and interactions possible. Due to the different ways to create animations and to integrate SVGs into a web project, you should keep the following tips in mind to make sure that everything works the way you want it to.

Animations Via JavaScript, CSS or SMIL?

There are three options when it comes to setting SVGs in motion. Certainly, the easiest one is using SMIL: “Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language”. Here, unique elements like “<animate>” are available, allowing you to tween and morph any SVG shape. However, Google has marked it as “deprecated” in its Chrome browser, which is why you should probably forgo SMIL.

<rect x="0" y="0" width="50" height="20"> <animate attributeName="x" from="0" to="100" dur="5s"/> </rect>

Using CSS, you get to animate elements in a way similar to how you do it in combination with HTML. The attributes “transition”, “animation”, and “@keyframes” are available. However, here, you only get to change values via animation that can be defined via CSS, meaning position and color, for example. The shapes of a polygon or a path can not be altered using a CSS animation.

rect { animation: animation 5s infinite; } @keyframes animation { 0% { transform: translateX(0); } 100% { transform: translateX(100px); } }

Both the SMIL, and the CSS example result in the same animation.

As animation options via CSS are limited, there are plenty of JavaScript frameworks that are used to realize complex SVG animations. JavaScript grants you access to all elements and attributes of an SVG element.

var i = 0; function animation() { document.getElementsByTagName("rect")[0].setAttribute("width", i++); window.requestAnimationFrame(animation); }

In the example, a rectangle’s width is enhanced via animation. Of course, significantly more complex animations would be possible as well.

The way how you should implement SVG into your web project depends on whether you choose JavaScript, CSS, or even SMIL. Generally, you have the option to use SVG graphics or files like normal images via the “<img>” element, or via the “url()” function, as a “background-image”, for example.

However, the browsers deal very differently with the three animation options, depending on the implementation method.

When using an animated SVG like a regular image file, CSS and SMIL animations are only executed in Chrome. Firefox only supports SMIL animations, and Internet Explorer and Edge don’t support any animations in that case.

Implementing SVG Via an “<object>” Element or Inline

The integration using an “<object>” element provides the largest possible support amongst all animation options. Alternatively, you could also directly embed an SVG within your HTML document, even saving a request doing so. In this case, Firefox supports all three animation methods.

Internet Explorer and Edge however, generally don’t support any CSS and SMIL animations. Thus, you’ll only have the JavaScript option left.

Interactions Using JavaScript

Aside from animations, JavaScript is also able to create an interactive SVG graphic. This way, you can integrate event listeners that react to mouse clicks, for example. To make JavaScript work within an SVG, it either needs to be implemented into the HTML document with an “<object>” element, or directly.

document.getElementsByTagName("circle")[0].addEventListener("click", function() { alert("Hello"); }, false);

In the example, a click on a circle triggers an “alert()”.

When tieing in an SVG file as a background via the “<img>” element, or using CSS and “url()”, the JavaScript it contains is not executed.

Even when integrating an SVG file with an “<object>” element, you are able to control the elements marked up inside using a JavaScript of the integrating HTML document. For that, the attribute “contentDocument” is available, granting access to the elements of the files integrated via “<object>” or “<iframe>”.

document.getElementsByTagName("object")[0].contentDocument.getElementsByTagName("circle")[0].addEventListener("click", function() { alert("Hello"); }, false);

In contrast to CSS and SMIL, JavaScript within SVG is dealt with the same way amongst all browsers.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

From Design to Code With These Ten Services

18 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

After lots of brainstorming, and hard work, you managed to create a great website Photoshop design. Now, all you need to do is convert the design to HTML, or even directly into a WordPress theme. However, for a lot of designers, this is a challenge they can’t beat, as only very few designers have the required HTML, CSS, and PHP knowledge. Fortunately, there are a lot of companies that can take care of the conversion for you. Thus, this article will introduce you to ten businesses that focus on this task.

Converting Design Files Into HTML or CMS Themes

The finishing works after the design process are a matter of trust. For this job, you want to find a business that you can work with permanently, if possible. But maybe, the budget only lets you choose a low-cost provider, which is why we chose ten businesses with different price ranges. Some convert your PSD file into HTML and CSS; other can also do other tasks for you, e.g. code a WordPress theme. We’ve also kept Joomla and Drupal in mind. This way, you should be able to find a good partner.

There’s a good reason for why we don’t mention the prices, as the prices vary massively between the first page and additional ones. Of course, the choice whether you want a responsive design or not also influences the price. Thus, instead of barely comparable prices, we linked the respective cost calculator of each company. This allows you to determine the costs of your particular project very quickly.

1. PSD To Manythings

PSD to Manythings can not only convert your design to simple HTML and CSS code but also offers many other conversions. Among other things, designs can be realized directly in WordPress or Joomla, and email newsletters are possible, as well as all kinds of responsive executions. The service is acknowledged by WooThemes as a specialized WooCommerce business.

A cost calculator is also available, letting you know in advance, how much your project will cost.

2. HTMLPanda

HTMLPanda is a full-service web development company with international customers. The business can be contacted every day at any moment. HTMLPanda does not only offer the traditional services, but also the development of all kinds of mobile apps. Thus, this company can help you make every important step, from the first line of website code all the way to the mobile app.

A cost calculator for the most essential services is provided.

3. htmlMafia

The htmlMafia offers exactly three services. The conversion of your design into XHTML, as a WordPress theme, and the realization of an email newsletter in HTML code. The company advertises a risk-free service and money-back guarantee.

Visit htmlMafia’s cost calculator here.

4. ExciteMarkup

The Indian company ExciteMarkup provides an extensive service when it comes to the realization of designs. The great thing is that content management systems other than WordPress are offered. Joomla and Drupal are further CMS that can be supplied with themes. For the first 30 days, there is free technical support.

The ExciteMarkup cost calculator

5. netlings

Aside from the standard PSD to XHTML, Netlings also offer the conversion to a Shopify theme, a WordPress theme, and to Ruby on Rails. Email newsletters are created as well as web apps. The 100% money-back guarantee for unsatisfying work, as well as the “unlimited guarantee” that removes possible bugs fast and for free, should be mentioned. Instead of a cost calculator, the website provides basic prices, which should be changed for the sake of user friendliness.

6. CSSChopper

CssChopper offers very extensive services. You can get your designs converted into WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, MODX, Social Engine, CMS Made Simple, and Concrete 5. On top of that, themes are offered for eight different online shop systems, as well as three different types of forum software. Of course, the company is also capable of the essential function of converting PSD files into HTML. This could be the partner for you if you’re looking for someone for website development, conversion of design data, and online marketing.

CSSChopper’s cost calculator

7. Reliable PSD

Reliable PSD promises to do a great job as, according to the company, they are the first code conversion service made by designers for designers. Thus, there’s a step in the process that the other businesses don’t offer: the company’s designers will discuss with the developers until the result is harmonious. The services PSD to HTML and PSD to WordPress are available. A cost calculator is not provided, but you can find a couple of core prices.

8. Pixel2HTML

The firm Pixel2HTML values long-term relationships with their customers, as well as professional support. According to their quality guidelines, a lot of attention is paid to a pixel-perfect delivery of the final result, so that the product looks exactly like the provided PSD file. Apart from PSD to HTML, conversions for Tumblr, WordPress, and Shopify are possible. You can also order email templates.

The Pixel2HTML cost calculator

9. Direct Basing

Direct Basing offers fast and discrete processing of your order. Your PSD file can be realized in HTML, WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. Email newsletters can also be achieved via Direct Basing. The company has quite a lot of clients, with their portfolio section alone showing 555 completed projects.

The Direct Basing cost calculator

10. PSDgator

PSDgator promises to create an appealing design out of many file formats (PSD, AI, and PNG). Aside from the core business, the company is also specialized in the creation of online shops according to your design. Magento and WooCommerce stores are realized in a user-friendly way, following your design file. The stores are said to be easy to manage, equipped with automatic invoicing, as well as an extended product search, while providing safe online payment methods. An extensive service, dealing with the installation of a website, for example, is also offered. Unfortunately, there is no cost calculator.

Conclusion

In this post, ten different businesses offer their services related to the conversion of a design to an HTML website. Most of them are also able to convert it into a WordPress theme. However, some go a step further, and also offer the conversion for other content management and shop systems like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento. The conversion of a PSD file into a working email newsletter is almost standard. There are plenty of services for you to choose from. We hope you’ll get an appealing result that is exactly the way you wanted it to be.

Related Links

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Dew-Fresh: 10 Free WordPress Plugins of July 2016

17 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Like every month, I once again compiled a list of this month’s ten most interesting, fresh, and free WordPress plugins from the official WordPress index. Now, your blog can shine with brand-new functions. Your visitors will be surprised by your new features over and over again.

Focus of July: Free WordPress Plugins for Niche Applications 1 – WP Script Optimizer

WP Script Optimizer is a free counterpart to the great, but paid plugin Gonzales. The plugin allows you to only let your scripts and styles load where they’re actually required. It is even possible to block unnecessary files entirely.

  • Developer: Hendrik Lersch
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.06.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
2 – Admin Category Tree

A useful little plugin that turns the admin area’s category list into a fold-out list. This makes for more clarity. Custom post types are supported as well.

  • Developer: nos3b3ar
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.01.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
3 – Post Terminal

Post Terminal is the plugin for you if you don’t only want to post code, but also terminal commands and input. You could call it the code highlight plugin for terminal code (Unix, Linux).

  • Developer: bgriffith
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.06.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
4 – Simple Social Sharing Buttons

“Another sharing buttons plugin”, is what you’ll want to say. I included it in here, firstly because there is no pro version that you’d have to buy to receive the full scope of features. Secondly, the customization options are extensive, and the final result has a pleasing design as well. Therefore, it definitely deserves a spot on this list.

  • Developer: henri
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.05.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
5 – Author Showcase

Author Showcase lets you display your ebooks, or other books written by you, in a very appealing way. There are many different formats to choose from, and a link to the transaction is always included. The plugin was developed by authors for authors. Title, subtitle, cover, the author’s name, and much more can be added.

  • Developer: Claire Ryan
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.03.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • Lizenz: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
6 – VRView

VRView lets you integrate the 360 panorama images from Google’s VRView into your website. Easily embed 360-degree videos and photos via shortcode.

  • Developer: sellfish
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.04.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
7 – Shortcode in Title

Have you ever wanted to be able to execute WordPress shortcodes in your article’s titles? This plugin makes it possible. With a bit of creativity, you can come up with many application scenarios. Execute shortcodes within the titles of articles, pages, and custom post types.

  • Developer: Amit Moreno
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.02.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • Lizenz: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
8 – WA Qrcode

The Wa Qrcode Generator helps you generate and implement useful QR code into your pages and articles. Using shortcode, you get to place the generated QR code wherever you want to. The theme files don’t need to be altered. This plugin is especially useful for online shops.

  • Developer: vkt005
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.02.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
9 – WP Show On Mobile

Show on Mobile does exactly what its name says: it displays content, and limits it to a website’s mobile view. This way, custom notifications or similar things are only displayed on smartphones and tablets. Additionally, the plugin is also able to block content for mobile versions.

  • Developer: Dogan Ucar
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.02.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • Lizenz: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
10 – WP GooGoose

The plugin adds a button to the WordPress text editor, which allows you to provide a specific content as a Word document for users to download. No matter what you want to provide to your visitors, they will easily be able to download it as a Word document with the help of this plugin.

  • Developer: aadel112
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 07.02.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known compatibility issues: unknown
  • Developer homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
Conclusion

This month was the month of niche plugins. However, it is often easy to find a way to apply plugins that only cover specific niches. This month, I was fascinated by the “Author Showcase” plugin. I will immediately test it in a more detailed way, and see if I can make use of it or not. Which of this month’s plugins did you like the most?

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Ten Design Trends That Boost Your Conversion Rate [Infographic]

16 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Trends come and go, especially when it comes to web design. That’s why web designers and developers should not blindly follow every trend. However, the ten following design trends give you a solid chance of improving your website’s conversion rate. Especially when running an online shop, you should consider one or two of these trends.

Full-Width Images

Images are always a good choice to get the attention of your website visitors. Large format pictures that take up the entire browser or display width have an exceptionally large effect.

If the images happen to display faces, the attention is raised even more. Alternatively, page-filling videos are also a promising factor of web design success.

Split-Screen Layouts

A successful website takes its visitors to what they are looking for as fast as possible. Split-screen layouts help to suggest different goods, services, or information, allowing your guests to choose what they desire.

This makes it easier for your visitors and potential customers to decide between different pages, leading them to their goal a lot faster.

Monochromatic Colors

Colorful is always flashy, but can also cause your visitors to lose the orientation on your website very quickly. Thus, restrict your layout to monochromatic colors, which means using different shades of one color. Make your call-to-action button stand out by using a flashy contrast to the monochromatic page.

This way, you highlight the most prominent button or link, giving your visitors a distinct orientation help. Reducing your colors, and choosing a harmonious high-contrast design gives your website a classy look.

Prioritized Navigation

Extensive websites usually come with an extensive navigation. Here, it makes sense to prioritize certain navigation items, like a call-to-action, while making the remaining items less striking.

You could also collect all the less relevant links in a hamburger menu, or move them to the end of the page. This makes your visitors focus on the “important” things while navigating.

When displaying your call-to-action as a button, this also increases the chances of it actually being chosen.

Minimal Lead Capture

Focus on the essentials and avoid using too many words. Especially landing pages are the wrong place for extensive anthems about your product or business.

Ask a simple question which they will ideally answer with “yes”, and make sure to briefly present a few of your product’s or service’s advantages.

Video Content

Especially when trying to sell something on your website, one thing is of essential importance: trust. The easiest way to build trust is by using a video.

Directly address your potential customers in a video, and give your brand a personal touch and, above all, a face.

Sticky Call-to-Action

Making your users act is an important goal of your website. Thus, place call-to-actions in a way that they are always visible.

In mobile web design, it makes sense to install them like a sticker so that they are always visible in the upper or lower page border, even when scrolling. This increases the chances of your call-to-actions being noticed and used.

Card Design

Present your different products like nice cards in the Pinterest style. This brings order into your page while still providing an appealing way of displaying plenty of different content.

Single-Column Call-to-Action

Place your call-to-action to make it stand alone, if possible. Even with a multi-column website, it should always create as much attention as possible.

Breaking a multi-column layout to place a call-to-action is a good idea. It turns your button or link into a real eyecatcher.

Personalized User Experiences

The better you know your target audience, the more detailed you can address them. You should do that. Use information like the location (the more accurate, the better) and previously purchased or viewed products.

This creates a custom page for each user, motivating them to act.

The Complete Infographic

The complete infographic, created by the team of “The Deep End”, collects all ten design trends, which can be combined perfectly, in a clear way.

(dpe)

 

Catégories: News dév web

HTML5 and JavaScript: How to Create Mobile Web Apps

15 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Mobile apps don’t always have to come as native apps. We can also use HTML5 and the JavaScript APIs it introduced, to develop mobile web apps that are (almost) equal to the natively programmed apps. On top of that, native applications also have disadvantages that you won’t need to deal with when using HTML5.

No Store Constraint, no Different Platforms

Apps have become an indispensable part of smartphones and tablets. However, if you want to offer mobile apps yourself, you’ll learn that it comes with a couple of hazards and effort that needs to be put in. The so-called hybrid apps that run on multiple platforms, however, only resemble some sort of container that holds web apps developed in HTML and JavaScript.

Google’s Play Store

Another disadvantage of native apps is that they can only be installed via the respective app store. This causes one-time registration payment in the Google Play Store, and regular payments when using Apple. It is possible to install apps without a store on Android devices. However, you need to activate app installation from “unknown” sources in the settings to do so.

You don’t have any of these problems with web apps. They are created entirely in HTML5 and JavaScript, and thus, they are independent from operating systems and stores.

Device Orientation and Localization

Many apps use the special device functions that smartphones and tablets are equipped with. This includes the gyroscope, which detects the rotation of a device around its own axis, allowing it to recognize if a device is held in the portrait, or landscape mode. This is also possible using JavaScript.

window.addEventListener("deviceorientation", function() { console.log(e.alpha); console.log(e.beta); console.log(e.gamma); }, true);

In the example, three angles that display the device’s current rotation, are distributed via the event “deviceorientation”.

GPS tracking is also very commonly used. Aside from navigation apps, social network apps are the ones that access the user’s location the most. Once again, this is also possible with JavaScript.

navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(function(position) { console.log(position.coords.latitude, position.coords.longitude); });

As you can see above, the coordinates of the longitude and latitude are distributed via “geolocation”. This makes it possible to determine the respective GPS position.

Saving Offline Via Application Cache

Especially on mobile devices, native apps have the advantage that they only need to be downloaded once to be available even without an internet connnection. However, that is no reason to feel obligated to create a native app. After all, the HTML5 application cache lets you permanently save a web app’s data as well.

For that, a so-called manifest file, that defines which data should be cached after the first time loading the page on a device, is referenced.

<html manifest="example.appcache">

Then, the manifest file contains all the data of the website that you want to make available offline.

CACHE MANIFEST index.html stylesheet.css logo.png

In the example above, three files are downloaded, and from that point on, they are loaded from the application cache instead of from the internet.

Gesture Controls

While the mouse dominates desktop devices, its job is done by finger taps on smartphones and tablets. Aside from simple taps that replace the mouse click to an extent, mobile devices also allow for so-called gestures. The swipe gesture that is used to display or hide menus, or go through an image gallery, is probably the most popular one.

JavaScript also lets you build this functionality. To do so, there are several different “touch” events that work in a way similar to the “mouse” events. For instance, there are “touchstart”, “touchmove”, and “touched”, which reflect the position of a finger on the display. Here, multiple fingers placed on the display at the same time, can be registered via “touch” events.

document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].addEventListener("touchmove", function(e) { console.log(e.changedTouches[0].pageX); console.log(e.changedTouches[0].pageY); }, false);

Via “changedTouches” all touches on the display are saved as arrays. In our example, the coordinates of the first touch are displayed.

Camera Access

Accessing cameras via “getUserMedia()” is a rather new option. For that, the first thing that needs to be done is placing an empty “<video>” element with active autoplay.

<video autoplay="autoplay"></video>

Subsequently, the camera image will be placed in there via “getUserMedia()”

navigator.getUserMedia ({ audio: true, video: true }, function (stream) { document.getElementsByTagName("video")[0].src = window.URL.createObjectURL(stream); }, function() { console.log("Error"); });

“getUserMedia()” requires three parameters. First, you define if video and audio content should be transferred. Then, a function that processes the stream and hands it over to the “<video>” element is needed. Lastly, a callback function that is called up in the case of an error is expected.

At the moment, “getUserMedia()” still needs to be labelled with a vendor prefix, like “webkitGetUserMedia()”.

Placing Web Apps on the Home Screen With the Web Application Manifest

On the mobile Chrome, there’s the function “add to home screen”. Here, a bookmark is not placed in the browser, but on the home screen. A manifest lets you define a name different from the page title, as well as a custom icon.

Chrome and the Function “Add to Home Screen”

To do so, the manifest file needs to be defined in the HTML header first.

<link rel="manifest" href="manifest.json">

Afterwards, the way this bookmark should be displayed on the home screen is determined in this file in JSON format.

{ "name": "Demo", "icons": [{ "src": "icon_36x36.png", "sizes": "36x36", "type": "image/png", "density": 1 }] }

In the sample above, the name of the bookmark is defined via “name”, and a bunch of files that reference icons in different resolutions and pixel densities are defined via “icons”.

Furthermore, you are also able to determine the app’s behaviour when opened from the home screen.

"display": "standalone", "orientation": "portrait"

“display” turns a website into a standalone application. Here, address bar and browser menu are hidden, and the website is displayed in full-screen mode. “orientation” is used to choose between portrait and landscape mode.

Conclusion

Thanks to the web application manifest, mobile apps and native apps are barely different from each other once deposited on the home screen. With the help of the many JavaScript APIs, it is also possible to use almost all the features of smartphones and tablets that native apps get to use.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Hacked? Retrieve Access to Your WordPress Backend

14 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

One day, you wake up and realize that your WordPress got hacked. Maybe the landing page shows a skull and mocks you, as you may have made a mistake allowing the hacker to access the page. Now, you have a real problem, because no matter what username and password combination you try, you just won’t get back into your website’s admin area. Stay calm; we have a solution to that as well.

Of course, the trick that I’m about to show you will also work for forgotten access information. Whatever the problem may be, and for whatever reason, you don’t have access to the admin account, it can be solved.

If you don’t have any website backups to restore, you need to fix the problem differently. However, if you have a good backup strategy, your website will be recovered with just a few clicks. If not, proceed as follows:

Setting Up New Access Information in phpMyAdmin

In about 98 percent of all cases, a hacker will not want to, or be able to compromise all areas of a website or a server. Thus, you’ll always have access to phpMyAdmin, including your database used by WordPress.

If you don’t have access to your server or web hosting package anymore, contact your hoster’s support.

In case you forgot, you’re able to find the access information in the wp-config.php. Use this access information to log into your phpMyAdmin interface. Then, choose the right database, if you happen to have multiple websites.

Now create a manual backup of your database, allowing you to import it again later on if you happen to make a major mistake in the following work.

First: Always create a backup.

Now, it’s time to go to the bone. We will set up new access information in the database, so that you get your access back fast, and restore your website.

Placing New Access Information in the Database

Click the table wp_users on the left. Please keep in mind that your table could also be named differently when using a database prefix other than wp_. Maybe, the table will be called myblog_users instead. It’s also possible to get that information from the wp-config.php.

In the upper line, click the first menu item called “Display”. Now, you’ll see the user accounts and click on “edit” for one admin.

The user accounts in the table wp_users. One click opens a larger view.

Next, place a working email address in the email field and save your data. Make sure that you have access to this email address, and that you can receive emails.

Set a new email address and save it.

Requesting a New Password

After you placed a new email address, you can log out of phpMyAdmin and call up your website’s admin area with the following URL:

http://your-website.com/wp-login.php

Now, use the WordPress function for forgotten passwords. Click on “forgot password” and enter the email you just placed in the newly opened window.

WordPress automatically sends you a new password to the email address you entered in the database. From that point, you have regained full access to your website, allowing you to remove it from malicious code.

After you’re able to log in again, please choose a safe password with at least ten characters, letters, numbers, as well as upper, and lower case letters. A proper password will make it a lot harder for future hackers to invade your website.

At a Word: the Right Backup Strategy

The entire procedure that you just had to go through was only possible because you didn’t protect your website properly, or didn’t keep it up to date. I know, it’s tough to hear this. But it’s the truth nonetheless.

Nobody has just to accept that their blog got hacked. You can always do a lot to prevent it. Everything starts with the updates. Always keep your page, plugins, and themes up to date. This closes security gaps. Make sure to have an optimal .htaccess file that makes it almost impossible for hackers to get into your blog. Use a safe password. This will let you sleep a lot better in the future.

My Recommendation for Regular Backups

There’s nothing more important than an excellent backup service. Yes, a service, not a plugin. A plugin requires expert knowledge and time when it comes to the recovery of a blog. On top of that, most plugins store backups on the same server they run on. I’ve been working with VaultPress, the paid service by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, for years. I’d like to recommend this service to you.

For only 5 USD a month, you’ll get daily backups that can be restored with one click. Your data is not saved on your server, meaning they are always available, even when your server is attacked. Additionally, VaultPress doesn’t require the website’s access information, but only the information for the (S)FTP access. You also get to choose what exactly you want to restore: the whole installation, including WordPress, or single files.

The VaultPress backups. A single click on “restore” will recover a backup.

For the registration and the conclusion of a contract, you need a WordPress.com account and a credit card, however, prepaid credit cards, like those by Number26, are also accepted.

Further Information:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

CacheFly: The Lightning-Fast Content Delivery Network

13 juillet, 2016 - 13:00

Speed may not be everything. However, it is an important aspect of any web project. Especially when distributing significant amounts of data, such as images or other multimedia content, it’s crucial to make sure that the user receives them as fast as possible. Too much buffering or long loading times can already be enough to make visitors leave your website. Most of the time, fast transfer of such content can only be done reliably using a content delivery network (CDN). CacheFly is one of them, providing speed, safety, and reliability.

Fast Transfer – Worldwide

One of CacheFly’s selling points is the fact that its network is connected to over 40 internet nodes all over the world, resulting in naturally fast data connections. In Germany, the node DE-CIX in Frankfurt is among the strategic hubs. That’s because DE-CIX is the largest internet node worldwide when measuring by throughput.

CacheFly is connected to strategically important nodes in both North America, and Europe. According to measurings by the analysis service CloudHarmony, CacheFly is one of the fastest content delivery networks in these regions. Its CDN can reach a throughput of over 18 megabytes per second when dealing with large files. Due to the rather slim presence in other areas like Africa, and Asia, the service nets a lower bandwidth there.


Worldwide Points-of-Presence – Mainly in North America and Europe

Nonetheless, CacheFly’s speed is nothing to sneeze at, even leaving some providers with local servers behind.

Costs Between Three and Ten Cent Per Gigabyte of Traffic

To convince you of CacheFly’s speed, you can conduct a test for two weeks. The service’s regular prices depend on total traffic. If you stay below ten terabytes of traffic, you’ll pay 10 cents per transferred gigabyte. The higher the total traffic, the lower the price per gigabyte. Starting at 500 terabytes, you’ll only pay about three cents.

The cost for the web space is 2 USD for the first 10 gigabytes, 1.50 USD for the next 40 gigabytes, and one USD for everything above that. You will only be charged for the web space you actually use. If you only use one gigabyte of storage, that’s all you will need to pay for. There’s a transparent overview that displays all costs for web space and traffic in the respective regions, being North America/Europe, Asia, Australia/Africa, as well as South America/India. This way, you’ll always have an eye on your monthly expenses.

However, the minimum charge will be 50 USD a month, being the fee required to use the service. As you can tell from the prices, the service was mainly designed for those that need to transfer large amounts of data. For most of the “standard” providers, the mentioned volumes will already exceed the provided web space, as well as the monthly traffic.

Upload Via FTP, Security Via HTTPS

Comfortably upload your media content via an FTP access. You also have the option to set up additional FTP users, which only gain access to individual folders, if necessary. You’ll receive a subdomain in the form “account name” followed by “.cachefly.net.” This allows you to comfortably integrate your content into your web project, using your content management system.


Simple User Interface

On demand, all content is available to you via a safe HTTPS connection. Thanks to Gzip compression, your content will be transferred even faster. Thus, CacheFly assures the most optimal compression and speed.

If you prefer using a custom domain to access the CacheFly files, you can deposit domains, as well as subdomains, which you want to be used for the transfer. You simply need to adjust your web host’s DNS settings, so that the domain is redirected to the IP address of CacheFly.

Easily Creating Expiry Headers

Particularly for large files, caching makes sense, preventing reload whenever it’s possible. Of course, you should think about for how long a file should stay in the cache. Images often remain unchanged, which is why you could set a generous expiry date.

CacheFly provides an easy to use management for expiry headers. This way, you can define for how long the respective content should be cached, for single folders, or file types. If necessary, define multiple rules for the expiry header, and prioritize them.

Blocking any referrers, and overwriting them with MIME types if needed is very easy as well. Instead of solving all of these tasks using a “.htaccess” file, CacheFly provides a clean management interface, allowing you to make all of these settings.

Extensive Statistics – Also in Real Time

To make sure you know when which content is downloaded, CacheFly gives you comprehensive statistics. You can use them to create daily summaries, but you can also demand information over which node this content was delivered, or which countries the requests came from.




Real Time Statistics Keep You Updated

Another interesting and important aspect is the option to receive an overview of flawed requests. Then, CacheFly will create a report on all 404 errors, and tells you which missing data was accessed.

The real time statistics are currently in a beta stage. These will inform you about how many requests are currently made each second. Whenever necessary, comfortably download all reports and statistics as a PDF file.

Suits Both Small and Large File Delivery

Fast and reliable transfer is of particular importance when it comes to video and audio content. With an availability of 100 percent, CacheFly guarantees that your content will be available at any time. This erases the risk of a service outage. Did I mention that images are compressed  on-the-fly to speed up delivery and minimize bandwidth load?

However, CacheFly is not only a good choice for multimedia content. For example, you can also use the service to provide applications for download. If your customers depend on your software, they will be more than angry when they can’t download it reliably.


Not Only Suitable for Video and Audio Content

When offering software-as-a-service (saas), instead of traditional applications, an outage-proof service is even more important. To guarantee users that they will always have a fast, outage-free access to your service, CacheFly is the right partner for you.

Conclusion

When safety, speed, and reliability is important to you, CacheFly is a perfect choice. The service is very transparent, and easy to use, and provides everything that helps you distribute significant amounts of data worldwide, fast, and outage-free. The prices are as transparent and flexible. The two-week trial allows you to test the service in-depth. When comparing it to your “average” web host, you’ll notice a significant difference in file download speed.

Talking of speed, I guess you have already heard about Google taking performance as a ranking factor. Speeding up your site’s content does good to your search engine ranking. And CacheFly delivers your content lightning-fast. The conclusion is yours to draw;-)

So then. I’d suggest you make up your own mind and give CacheFly a chance. Sign up for their 14-day free trial and see what they can do for you.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Better Safe Than Sorry: Why HTTPS Makes Sense for Your Website

13 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Until now, safe TLS connections for websites were only obligatory when personal data was transferred. This is the case for online banking, shops or social networks, for example. But this is supposed to change. Google plays a significant role due to its initiative “HTTPS everywhere”, forcing safe connections to become the standard for all websites.

Open Networks

For most websites, there was no necessity to deliver them via HTTPS. News pages, business and organization websites all worked fine without encrypted transfer. Simple contact forms were usually transferred without encryption as well. However, everyone needs to be aware that, without a safe connection, the transferred data can be read by third parties, which is a major problem in open networks.

Due to the growing importance of the mobile web, we and our smartphones and tablets are in open WiFi networks ever more often. This also increases the risk of the communication with the websites you visit being captured. Thus, it makes sense to generally use a safe HTTPS connection, even when no personal data is transferred, for the sake of your own privacy.

Google forces HTTPS

Google and its campaign “HTTPS everywhere” are a major reason as to why safe connections are becoming the standard. In 2014 Google’s announcement to introduce HTTPS as a soft ranking factor drew a lot of attention to the topic. However, Google explained that only one percent of search requests worldwide are affected by this ranking factor. Nonetheless, they also announced that HTTPS is a very significant ranking factor, in any case, to encourage the switch from HTTP to HTTPS.


Connection Warning in Chrome

On top of that, Google has also added a feature to its browser Chrome that marks websites that are delivered via HTTP with a lock crossed in red. You can already activate this feature on “chrome://flags”. Search the settings for “Mark Unsafe Origin as Unsafe”.


Settings for Unsafe Connections

If Chrome ever happens to activate the feature by default, all HTTPS connections would be labeled with a warning, while HTTPS connections would be marked with a green lock, as they already are. Visitors of your website could be scared off by the alarm, suspecting a potentially unsafe or sketchy website.

JavaScript APIs for Safe Connections Only

The label of unsafe connections is not the only thing separating HTTP and HTTPS in your browser, however. Modern JavaScript APIs that grant access to webcam and microphone, for example, can only be executed in Chrome and other browsers via HTTPS.


Camera Access Only Possible With HTTPS

Since Chrome version 50, operating the Geolocation API using an unsafe connection is not possible anymore. Before, you could read a user’s location with a simple HTTP connection, and from now on, HTTPS is necessary to do so.

It is not possible to rule out that Google Chrome will also only execute other APIs when combined with a safe connection in the future. It has already been announced that the orientation, as well as the fullscreen API, will soon only be usable via HTTPS.

Free Certificates Using “Let’s Encrypt.”

One reason against safe connections has always been the financial aspect. You can’t have an HTTPS connection without a certificate. The providers of these certificates usually charge a notable price for them. However, “Let’s Encrypt” now allows you to create a free Certificate for your domains.


Website of “Let’s Encrypt.”

Since all relevant browsers accept the “Let’s Encrypt” certificates, you don’t run the risk of your browser displaying a warning due to an unknown originator. The first providers have already included the creation of “Let’s Encrypt” certificates into their plans, giving you fast and uncomplicated access to a safe connection for your website.

Conclusion

HTTPS as a Google ranking factor might not be this important now, but new security settings in the browsers might make it impossible to avoid HTTP very soon. Thanks to “Let’s Encrypt”, there is now a free and – depending on the provider – easy way to make your website safer, for the sake of your visitor’s privacy.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Simbla 2016: New Data-Driven Website Application Builder

12 juillet, 2016 - 11:00

Many homepage builders promise you to be able to create websites without requiring any knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Then you find out that this comes at the cost of having to succumb to more or less flexible premade design templates. The website builder Simbla is one of the exceptions that don’t just provide pretty templates. The site layout is responsive and based on HTML5. That said, Simbla offers everything that contemporary websites need. Now, thanks to the brand-new database builder, you also get to visualize, manage, and edit extensive and complex data.

Creating a Database and Filling it With Content

Noupe readers already know Simbla as we’ve already published a detailed review here and here. The creators of Simbla don’t only want to work well with current standards. Current design trends are also always considered. For instance, there are new templates with parallax effects. Instead of static scrolling, the website’s different elements in the background and foreground are moved at different speeds while scrolling. This creates the illusion of motion, the so-called parallax effect.

Setting up a Database in Simbla

However, the biggest new addition to its feature set is Simbla’s online database builder. It allows you to create your own database and fill it with content. Due to the extensive assignment of permissions, you are in full control over who’s allowed to create, read, alter, and delete data sets.

The databases represent an own area that is independent of the websites. After setting up a database, define users, roles, as well as tables. For that, there’s the default user “public”, which takes care of the public access to the website. However, you also get to set up other users that will only have access after logging in, for example.

Defining Roles and Rights

You get to distribute different rights for each user. To give an example, it is possible to only assign reading rights to the user “public”, and writing rights to other users. Here, the rights “find” to search, “get” to display, “create” to create, “update” to update, and “delete” to delete a dataset, are available to you.

After assigning users, roles, and rights, create one or more tables. Comfortably add columns and define their type. Among others, the types include character strings, numbers, arrays, boolean values, and files. In contrast to databases like MySQL, files such as images and documents can easily be integrated, and then be accessed later on. Additionally, you also receive a preview of image files.

Creating a Table, Defining Columns and Types

The columns “Id”, “createdAt”, and “updateAt” are created and taken care of automatically. Thanks to the graphic user interface, creating and managing databases becomes as easy as child’s play. Setting up new rows and filling them with content is a snap.

If you need to use a data table somewhere else, export it into a CSV with one click. Only embedded files are ignored during the export.

Building Simple Web Applications Using Databases

Once your database is done, you can integrate it into your Simbla website extremely quickly and comfortably. To do so, you first need to choose the database from the website settings. Afterward, all of its contents are made available.

“App Widgets”

There are unique content elements called “app widgets,” which allow you to create a database connection. For that, you need to switch to the Pro mode, however. Then, you get to establish a login form for registered users, or a form that writes data into the table. Of course, you are also able to display your database’s content as a table on your website. All you need to do is choose from different table layouts.

Due to the extensive options, you easily construct simple as well as complex website applications, without much effort or programming knowledge.

For instance, when you want to offer content to registered users only, all you need to do is add a form that lets the users register. Email verification is done automatically. Your registered users will be displayed in the database area.

Login Form

A login form is what allows registered users to check in and out. Additionally, you can also decide that certain pages are only available to logged-in users.

Complex Web Applications Via JavaScript

The database builder allows for far more complex web applications as well. Instead of using a simple “app widget”, you also have the option to conduct extensive database requests and operations. For that, there’s a custom JavaScript API.

Thanks to the API, Simbla can work as a website application builder, which enables you to create custom requests, complex CRM systems, or even realize order handling, and booking requests.

Getting into the API is rather easy. Use “Simbla.Object.extend()” to access a database table, and make a request that you can work with via “Simbla.Query()”.

var db = Simbla.Object.extend("DatabankChart"); var abfrage = new Simbla.Query(db);

There are plenty of options to categorize and limit your request. Here, “descending()”, and “ascending()” make sure that the table is displayed in a descending or ascending order, respectively.

JavaScript Database Request

On top of that, there are plenty of comparison options like “lessThan()”, “greaterThan()”, as well as the option to limit a request to a specified number of results via “limit()”, as well as skip data sets with “skip()”.

arequest.greaterThan("ColumnYear", 2010);

The previously sorted, or limited data sets are searched via “find()”, and can then be distributed.

request.find({  success: function(db) { var output = ""; for (var i = 0; i &lt; db.length; i++){ output += "&lt;h1&gt;"+ db[i].get("name") + "&lt;/h1&gt;"; output += "&lt;img src='"+ db[i].get("image").url() + "'/&gt;"; } $("#dboutput").html(output); } });

In our example, the data sets are written into a variable via “get()”, and then into the element with the ID “output” using “html()”.

The website builder also provides a custom editor for JavaScript. For the HTML output, you need to place an HTML content element on a page and assign an element to it that has the ID defined via JavaScript.

&lt;div id="dboutput"&gt;&lt;/div&gt; New Features to be Expected

At the moment, the JavaScript API is still under construction. Simbla has announced that they would further extend the scope of functions. One can also assume that additional methods and attributes will be added, allowing for even more extensive database queries in the future.

However, the API’s current situation already enables plenty of queries. Getting to results is rather simple. Those that have experience when it comes to JavaScript will get the hang of it fast, and be able to create custom requests.

The builder is fascinating for those that lack experience with database queries and MySQl, as it comes with its own, way easier database solution, and the JavaScript API.

Contemporary Website Builder for Complex Web Applications

The Simbla website builder sets itself further apart from the plethora of competitors due to its database builder. Here, the connection to databases is far more extensive than it is for all other approaches, where you mostly won’t get more than a simple form named “the database connection”.

Handling Simbla is very simple as well, and even the custom JavaScript API is not much of a challenge.

If you would like to give Simbla a try, which I strongly advise you to do as soon as you are looking for a website builder anyway, create a free account and test the entire website and database builder in detail. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Mobile Navigation Via Taps and Gestures Instead of the Mouse

12 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Mobile web has strongly influenced our habits of when, how, and where we use the world wide web. The way of how we navigate through websites has changed the most. A few years ago, the mouse had the main responsibility for the navigation, and now, tablets and smartphones are controlled via simple taps and gestures. Thus, contemporary websites should definitely consider taps and gestures when it comes to user interfaces and mobile navigation.

The Hover Problem

Navigation on a smartphone or tablet works fine without paying close attention to taps and gestures. Links are opened via tap instead of a click, and scrolling is done by swiping. However, when it comes to hover effects, which are quite popular in web design, mobile devices will already give you trouble.

That’s because a hover effect, using the CSS pseudo class “: hover”, for example, just doesn’t exist on mobile devises, and thus, it won’t be triggered when calling up links via tap. So, when equipping links with hover effects, the link target and the hover effect are processed at the same time on mobile devices. At best, the visitor will see the hover effect for a short period of time, until the page referenced in the link is accessed.


Navigation Via Hover Effect on Fotolia

Of course, web developers can generally forgo hover effects to guarantee a homogeneous user interface on desktop and mobile devices. Or you could choose to take a different approach for desktop and mobile devices. If the hover effect is only used as ornamental art, you should just leave it out on mobile devices.

When information, like texts, is displayed using a hover effect, you should find a way to display them without the hover effect for mobile devices.

Media Query and “pointer”

CSS might not give you an explicit way to choose between controls via mouse, and touch displays. However, the “pointer” designation allows you to distinguish between high and limited pointer accuracy. On touch devices, “pointer” hands out the value “coarse”, which is equivalent to a limited accuracy. For other devices, the value “fine” is used for a high precision.

@media (pointer: fine) { a:hover p { display: block; } }

In the example, a paragraph within a link is only displayed via hover when using a device with a high pointer accuracy, as that means that it’s controlled with a mouse. This way, you are able to operate your website depending on the control concept – mouse or touch -, without using JavaScript.

Links and Buttons Require Space

Aside from hover effects, there’s another aspect that you should consider when designing mobile user interfaces: the size of and the distances between links and buttons.


Example for Menus With Sufficient Size: Google+ and FontShop

While the mouse allows you to click small links and buttons very precisely, the finger tap is not as accurate. Thus, you should make sure that your elements are large enough on mobile views. It is also important to leave enough space between the individual elements. All of this prevents the visitor from accidentally choosing a wrong link or button.

If you want to distinguish between desktop and mobile view, you could, once again, use the “pointer” designation to design different menus and forms.

Making the design of these elements dependant on a device’s display width, like it’s common in responsive weblayouts, doesn’t make much sense. After all, tablets are also operated via taps and gestures, and usually, they display the desktop view.

Reacting to Gestures Via JavaScript

By default, links and buttons are triggered with a simple tap on mobile. However, you can also react to gestures by using touch events. These are similar to the well-known mouse events. As such, there are events that are triggered at the start and end of a touch, as well as during the motion on the display.

document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].addEventListener("touchmove", function(e) { console.log(e.touches[0].pageX); console.log(e.touches[0].pageY); }, false);

In the example seen above, the event “touchmove” activates a funtion that writes down the position of the touch inside the browser window (“pageX” and “pageY”) into the console. All taps are captured as arrays using “touches[]”, by the way. Thus, if there are two fingers on the display at the same time, both moves and their positions are available to you via “touches[0]” “touches[1]”.


Gestures Supported by Hammer-JS/

This way, you react to swipe gestures as well as rotation and zoom gestures. As JavaScript doesn’t know any gestures, you need to create the using touch events, or by using according frameworks like Hammer.JS, which knows common gestures, allowing it to react to them with unique actions or functions.

Long-Tap is the “new” Hover

Hammer.JS can also be used to create so-called long-taps. Here, the finger stays on the display for a short while. Long-taps are often used to access context or pulldown menus.

Long-taps have the advantage of allowing for two different actions of one element, similar to the hover effect. On desktop devices, the mouse is often used to expand a dropdown menu via hover effect, while the click calls up individual menu items. On mobile, the long-tap enables you to expand a dropdown menu without directly activating a menu item.

For that reason, the long-tap can be used as a replacement for the hover effect on mobile devices. In any case, you should consider if your gestures and taps are intuitive, and whether they can be applied properly by the user.

Conclusion

It is not easy to transfer the common control concepts, as we know them from the mouse, to mobile and touch displays. However, many gestures have established themselves over the past years, like swipe and pinch gestures, for instance, which you should use for the navigation of your website.

The long-tap has also become a common alternative to the hover effect. Nonetheless, you always have to remember that both mouse and touch have differences that you need to consider.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

20 Animated Interfaces: New Ways to Present a Concept

11 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

There are numerous ways to represent the prototype of an upcoming project to the client. You can stick to the traditional path and overwhelm the client with a bulk of paper material and digital sketches accompanied by extensive descriptions. Or you could go for modern tools such as Adobe After Effects, Framer.js or MarvelApp that will make the future interface look pretty realistic, alive, much more friendly and approachable. The latter is a preferable option nowadays: a bit of interactivity has never hurt anyone and in case of displaying work proves to be pretty effective . One of such modern tools are the animated Gif walkthroughs. They are not precisely a brand-new solution (they have been with us for several years), nevertheless they are still attention-grabbing.

Despite looking like an excellent instrument for a pastime, it has a potential to benefit any project by improving and enriching the way of introducing it to the potential customers. It is small, lightweight, easily generated and most importantly engaging. It presents the concept in an unobtrusive and playful manner that naturally wins over the client.

Today we have collected 20 great examples of animated interfaces.

Gif for Sport App


Creator: Sergey Valiukh for T U B I K

City Intro Animation


Creator: Vasjen Katro for Fabric

Speedcam App Animation


Creator: Jakub Antalík

Weather Dashboard / Global Outlook 


Creator: Studio–JQ

Android Wear – Clock App


Creator: Ramotion

Madvad Landing Page


Creator: Hoang Nguyen

Time Tracking App


Creator: Hanna Jung

Star Wars App Concept


Creator: Konstantine Trundayev for Yalantis

Strada Cafe App


Creator: Nick Buturishvili for Leavingstone

UX Pattern – Gif Hints


Creator: Virgil Pana

Bob Web Player


Creator: Pivotal

Moves App for Watch


Creator: Jakov for Unity

Weather Rebound


Creator: Chris Slowik

Ramen Ninja App Animation


Creator: Walker Reed

Mood Control Animation


Creator: Veronika Bass for Cleveroad

Plastique Mobile Launch


Creator: Rachel Blank

Portfolio Website Redesign


Creator: David Moore

Dribbble App for Apple Watch


Creator: Artem

Tapdaq – Creative Template Process


Creator: Jan Losert

UI8 Wireframe Kit


Creator: Creativedash

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

How Writing Helped Me Find My Destiny

10 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Today, you’ll get to read an unusual article, sort of an outing. Only very few people can claim that a website has changed their life. I’m one of them. And the site that I’m talking about is Dr. Web. It has changed my entire life and turned it upside down. What was left is my destiny.

The Prolog: Webdesign, WordPress Themes, and WP Security

In early 2011, I went freelance again, after a long time in a day job. My company at that point, “HechtMediaArts”, offered custom web design, mostly based on WordPress, premium WordPress themes and, as a unique feature, WordPress security, mainly because as a result of my own stupidity one of my WordPress websites got hacked in 2009.

I didn’t want that ever to happen again, so I started dealing with WordPress security excessively.

All three pillars of the business started growing step by step, above all others, the security area of our beloved CMS WordPress. I’m positive that I secured about one hundred WordPress websites, and protected them from hacking. At the same time, I was working on my ebook “WordPress Security“, which is currently available in its third edition, and is still selling well, while still being very up to date at that. You will need to understand German should you want to read it, however.

The company was constantly growing, as well as my income. In 2013, I was already able to subsist on, and look after my family with my small business as a full-time job. Everything could’ve been fine. But – basically -, nothing was fine. My health was fading, slowly, but constantly.

The End: Significant Health Issues. The Death of a Company.

This is how fast things can go. A company dies because its owner sickens.

The first signs already showed up in 2011. But I’m a master when it comes to ignoring things I don’t want to see. I ignored all the symptoms of my illness and went even deeper into my work, much deeper than what would’ve been good for me. Maybe everything would have been different had I taken it slower at the right time.

However, cutting a break is nothing for me. God has created me as a working animal that doesn’t know breaks, no weekends, and no holidays. I dropped deeper into the abyss, and worked increasingly harder as if it was the cure for all diseases.

Around mid-2013, I couldn’t keep ignoring the symptoms and told my doctor about my issues. He immediately redirected me to a specialist, who was able to make a diagnosis after only five minutes. I suffered from depression, which was steadily getting worse, even though I was taking medicine. It became so bad that I had to close my business in 2014.

Hospitalizations and a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Depression: Not For the Faint-Hearted. But a Cure Exists.

In 2014, nothing worked anymore. I was finished and had to stay in specialized hospitals for about six to eight weeks per stay. It was the final visit that helped me find my way back into my life. The realization that my life had to change helped a lot with my recovery.

Additionally, I started doing sports in a nearby park. Walking in the morning in conjunction with a superb therapy helped clean out the clouds of depression very quickly.

I still remember my first day of walking. I was so weakened that I was only able to walk for one and a half kilometers. My energy increased slowly and after a while, I was able to walk for seven kilometers every morning. I quickly went back to feeling fit and vital, enjoyed life, and had the power to take it as it comes.

Why Am I Outing Myself?

If you ask yourself why I’m telling you about a part of my disease’s history, let me answer this: today, many people suffer from depression or burnout. But only a few of them have the courage to admit it in public. I have this courage because it was a part of me, and I continue to overcome it a little more with frankness.

I also don’t mind when people know that I was sick. Maybe my story encourages other people to stick through everything and work it out. There’s a life after the illness and depression can be cured.

The Email That Changed my Life

During my final hospital stay, I was thinking about my life a lot and asked myself what I should do to pay my bills. Web design was out of the question, as the constant stress with clients and my workaholism were two of the reasons why I became sick.

Then, I received an email that changed my life. The sender was Michael Dobler, the owner of the websites Dr. Web and Noupe, who asked me if I could start writing for Dr. Web more frequently again. Emails were sent back and forth, as I explained my health situation to him. Michael didn’t just show understanding; he absolutely wanted me to get back to writing. I had already written three articles for Dr. Web in 2012.

This was a real silver lining in my darkest hour. It didn’t take long until I regained the ability to care for my family by my own efforts.

Writing. My Destiny, My Passion

Being Able to Earn my Living From Writing is a Gift.

Writing for Dr. Web quickly turned into a business, a job that I could live from. That allowed, and still allows me to contribute to feeding my family. Of course, I had to learn to my cost and got criticized by our chief editor Dieter – for good reasons – over and over again.

But you only grow from constructive criticism. You get stronger from it. I have learned a lot from our experienced Dieter already, and I’m not done yet.

The most important thing that writing taught me is that you can make money without being exposed to extreme stress. Of course, I was under stress in the beginning. Dieter was rightly annoyed because I made certain mistakes again and again. I was annoyed because I made these mistakes repeatedly.

But the more you write, the less – stupid – mistakes you make. The quality of the delivered articles improved, and routine set in. Along with it came an increasingly deep feeling that I found my destiny. Today, I decide how much stress I want to be under.

Every new day gives me the feeling to have found my destiny. My true (professional) love. The thing I always wanted to do. Not being able to write again is something unthinkable for me. I write. Therefore I am.

A New Life Full of Vocational Joy and Health

Health, Strenght and Vitality Have Returned Into my Life.

Today, I live a life without limits, full of work-related joy. I enjoy being able to write for you. On top of that, I’ve written three ebooks this year, with a fourth one being almost finished, and a fifth one scheduled for this year. On the side, I have revived my own blog, and I started writing for myself again, utilizing everything that doesn’t seem to fit on here.

Everything is fine regarding health as well, as I can enjoy life without restrictions, and I learned that there’s a life aside from work.

Of course, I still like to work a lot and sometimes, undertake a bit too much. But when that’s the case, I feel it and apply the brake in time.

No matter what’s to come, Dr. Web is and will always be an important part of my life.

By the way, I follow these ten steps very carefully:

Noupe: Avoid These 10 Things That Kill Your Creativity

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Everyday Fonts: These Typefaces Always Work

9 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

The search for suitable fonts for a web project is not always easy. Many fonts have a unique character, and thus, don’t suit every case. However, there are a lot of free fonts with a very general design, allowing them to be used in almost any web project. We call them everyday fonts and have gathered some for you.

“Source Sans” and “Source Serif” by Adobe

“Source Sans” and “Source Serif” were the first open source families by Adobe. Both families are available as so-called Pro fonts. This means that they support all European languages, also including Eastern European languages such as Turkish. Thus, they are an excellent choice for international designs.

“Source Sans” and “Source Serif.”

In addition to that, there are plenty of ligatures like small caps, medieval numerals, proportional and tabular numerals, as well as breaches. Even though Adobe developed the font as an open source, it can be compared to Adobe’s commercial fonts regarding aesthetic quality as well as the character set.

The “Source Sans” is available in six different cuts, from “Extra Light“” to “Ultra Bold”, each of which is also available as italics variant. The “Source Serif” has half as many cuts. Just like every open source font, you can find the source files on Github (“Source Sans” and “Source Serif“), allowing you to edit and advance the font.

Aside from that, you’ll also find the font at Typekit and Google Fonts, as well as for download at Font Squirrel. By the way, there is a third family called “Source Code,” which is used to display – well – source code.

“PT Sans” and “PT Serif” by ParaType

The font families “PT Sans” and “PT Serif” from the foundry ParaType, are similarly well-developed. Both of these families are also available as Pro versions. However, these aren’t free. The free versions don’t support all languages. Nonetheless, they still include plenty of European and Asian languages.

“PT Sans” and “PT Serif.”

As the “PT Sans” is based on a Russian sans serif from the 20th century, the main languages that are supported are Russian minority languages. Many western European languages are also included, however.

Small caps and other alternative sets are not available in the families’ free versions. In return, both families are provided in standard cuts, meaning “regular,” “bold”, and “bold italic.” On top of that, there is a “caption” cut for large headings.

Moreover, there is an equidistant font called “PT Mono,” which is useful for the display of source code, for instance. All three families are provided as desktop and web fonts at ParaType. They can also be found at Typekit and Google Fonts.

“Roboto” and “Roboto Slab” by Google

Originally developed for the Android operating system, the “Roboto” is also available as a desktop and web font. With six cuts, ranging from “thin” to “black” (with an italic version of each), you’ll receive a well-developed family. A plethora of western, central, and eastern European languages are supported.

“Roboto” and “Roboto Slab.”

Corresponding to the sans serif “Roboto”, there’s the “Roboto Slab”, which is less extensive with four cuts from “thin” to “bold”, but still is a perfect addition.

You also have access to a very tightly cut version called “Roboto Condensed.” For this one, there are three cuts and italic versions. All three fonts can be downloaded at Font Squirrel.

By the way, in 2014, there was a revision of “Roboto”, where individual letters, like the capital R were designed differently. You have access to both the original family, as well as the 2014 version. Furthermore, you’ll find the fonts at Google Fonts.

Conclusion

All three of the presented font families have a rather modest design. The well-developed character set and the multitude of cuts make them universally usable. On top of that, all fonts have versions with serifs, and sans serif versions, letting you combine them perfectly.

Especially those that aren’t sure which fonts fit together will find completed, well-matched families with a large variety.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

12 Amazing Quotes to Help Inspire your Web Design

8 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

I find that occasionally I’ll be deeply inspired by a quote that will help me design better websites. Taking a look at these inspirational quotes I can see how they might help someone get some perspective on graphic design, web design, and stay inspired for another day. I hope you enjoy!

“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” -Lindon Leader

“Make it simple, but significant ” – Don Draper in Mad Men

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano

“Design is like sex. There is someone else involved, their needs are just as important as your own, and if everything goes right, both parties are happy in the end.” – Colin Wright

“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”  – Paul Cookson

“A website without SEO is like a car with no gas” – Paul Cookson

“If you want a great site, you’ve got to test. After you’ve worked on a site for even a few weeks, you can’t see it freshly anymore. You know too much. The only way to find out if it really works is to test it.”  – Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

“People ignore design that ignores people.” – Matt Edson

“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” –Jeffrey Zeldman

“Never fall in love with an idea. They’re whores. If the one you’re with isn’t doing the job, there’s always, always, always another.” – Chip Kidd

“Great web design without functionality is like a sports car with no engine.”
– Paul Cookson

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol

 

Tim Brown is a web designer and digital marketer for SEO Services, and is focused on increasing traffic and conversion for his agency and clients. 

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Catégories: News dév web

WordPress Maintenance Mode: Best Practices

7 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

I expect every WordPress user to know it; the WordPress Maintenance Mode. During every update, the CMS puts itself into the maintenance mode, no matter whether it’s a core, theme, or plugin update. In that period, your visitors are unable to access your website. This doesn’t sound all that good, but it’s actually a handy thing.

The WordPress Maintenance Mode

There are many possible reasons to send your website into the maintenance mode. The most important ones being website, theme, and plugin updates.

Website Updates

Each time your website is edited, it should be moved into the maintenance mode for the public. The user will immediately know that your website can not be viewed for a certain amount of time and that he’s better off checking back later.

Theme and Plugin Updates

The term updates does not only mean theme updates, but also the installation and set up of new themes. Of course, other things that take longer than a couple of seconds, or minutes are possible as well. This includes changes made to the stylesheet, or the integration of new areas, for example.

The installation of new themes may take some time. However, simple theme or plugin updates might do so as well. That’s why WordPress puts itself into the maintenance mode completely on its own. During that, mostly short, period, the users will usually see the message:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

Here, your language settings don’t matter. The message is always displayed in English.

The Integrated WordPress Maintenance Mode

The message is a part of the integrated maintenance mode of our popular CMS. It is created dynamically during each theme, plugin, or WordPress core update. Now and then, the message might not delete itself automatically like it usually should. Then, you’ll have to take care of that.

Just connect to your WordPress installation using an FTP program, make sure that the program also displays “invisible files”, and then delete the file .maintenance from the server.

Manually Putting WordPress Into the Maintenance Mode

The method with the automatic WordPress maintenance mode mentioned above surely works well and is sufficient in some default cases. However, the Auto mode is not usable for tasks more complicated than a short plugin or theme update.

WordPress can also be put into the maintenance mode manually, though. This doesn’t take much effort.

Maintenance Mode Via Snippet

A simple snippet with a few lines of code is sufficient and fulfills its purpose.

&lt;?php // Activate the WordPress Maintenance Mode function wp_maintenance_mode(){ if(!current_user_can('edit_themes') || !is_user_logged_in()){ wp_die('&lt;h1 style="color:red"&gt;Website in Maintenance Mode&lt;/h1&gt;&lt;br /&gt;We need to work on the website for a bit. Please be patient, we'll be back online as soon as possible.'); } } add_action('get_header', 'wp_maintenance_mode');

The fragment is copied into the active theme’s functions.php, and instantly puts the website into the maintenance mode. When the mode is not needed, only comment out the call-up of the function. Then, it will look like this:

&lt;?php // Activate the WordPress Maintenance Mode function wp_maintenance_mode(){ if(!current_user_can('edit_themes') || !is_user_logged_in()){ wp_die('&lt;h1 style="color:red"&gt;Website in Maintenance Mode&lt;/h1&gt;&lt;br /&gt;We need to work on the website for a bit. Please be patient, we'll be back online as soon as possible.'); } } // When it's not needed, simply place two slashes before add_action(). //add_action('get_header', 'wp_maintenance_mode');

In this snippet, the maintenance mode is deactivated. When both slashes before add_action() are deleted, the mode is back.

Maintenance Mode Via Plugin

When you need to work on your website for a longer period, you should put a little more effort into the maintenance mode. You always need to look at a maintenance from the visitor’s point of view. A user can definitely grow impatient when he’s coming to your website from the Google search results, looking for a solution to his problem.

Thus, there are a couple of things that should be on every good maintenance page:

  • A clear message telling the user why the website is offline.
  • A realistically estimated time when the page will be accessible again.
  • An email address for visitor questions.
  • Optionally, but user-friendly: an email list into which the visitor can enter himself. After the works are done, an email saying that the website is back up will be sent out.
  • Optionally: The website owner’s social networks.
Two Good Plugins for the Maintenance Mode

Surely, there are a lot of useful plugins for the manual maintenance mode. However, I am not able to name them all here, and thus, I’ll only present you those that I’ve made experiences with. Because of that, you can be sure that the plugins work when necessary, and do their job well.

You need to keep in mind that the website’s interface is only accessible to the logged in admin, all other visitors will see the maintenance page.

IgniteUp – Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode

IgniteUp is a combo plugin and can also be used for neat “coming soon” websites. Choose from a couple predefined templates, and adjust them to your desires. The result on my personal blog looks like this:

  • Developer: Ceylon Systems
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Latest Version from: two months ago
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: IgniteUP – with template demos
  • Download on WordPress.org
WP Maintenance Mode

Here, you’ll get a heavily customizable page for the maintenance mode as well. WP Maintenance Mode doesn’t work with predefined templates, however, but instead, using an interface that you have to make pretty with a bit of effort. In return, you have more design options.

  • Developer: Designmodo
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Latest Version from: 06.20.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: not available
  • Download on WordPress.org
Conclusion

The maintenance mode is a paramount thing and should be used whenever you’re working on the website. If you don’t do that, your visitors could grow angry pretty quickly, which is what you want to prevent at all cost. It’s your choice whether you activate the maintenance mode via snippet or plugin.

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Catégories: News dév web

Good to Have: Chrome Extensions for Web Developers

6 juillet, 2016 - 10:00

Browsers have been evolving over the past years, and by now, there are plenty of tools for developers, allowing you to test your web projects in-depth, foremost regarding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This way, both JavaScript errors, as well as wrong CSS labels are recognized. However, the developer tools can’t do everything (yet). Thus, there are a few valuable Chrome extensions to facilitate work for you.

Recognize Fonts With “WhatFont.”

As a web designer and developer, you hang around on other websites now and then to get inspired. If for example, you found a font on a website that you’d like to use yourself, the extension “WhatFont” can help you.

“WhatFont”

Instead of searching the font name in the stylesheets, you can just hover over the respective text with the mouse when using “WhatFont”. A small tooltip tells you the name of the used font. Via click on the text, additional information is given out, like font size and color.

Picking Up Colors Using “Eye Dropper.”

Colors can be recognized in a similar way to fonts. To get the exact color from a website, you need to copy it from the stylesheet. If you want to grab a color from a picture, all you can do is take a screenshot to copy it into your image editor.

“Eye Dropper”

Eye Dropper” makes all of that redundant. The extension provides a pipette that allows you to pick up a color from a website. While doing that, “Eye Dropper” doesn’t restrict itself to elements that have had a color assigned to them via CSS. You are also able to get a color value from an image.

The color is given out as hexadecimal, RGB, and HSL value, including proper CSS labeling.

Deactivating Cookies With “Disable Cookies.”

Deactivating JavaScript or turning off the cache for a website – all of this is uncomplicated thanks to the Chrome developer tools. Only the fast activation and deactivation of cookies is not possible in Chrome directly.

For that, you usually need to dive into the settings. The detour is rather complicated just to test how a website reacts to deactivated cookies.

The extension “Disable Cookies” now allows you to easily enable and disable cookies for a website via a button in the toolbar.

Measuring Distances and Sizes Using “Page Ruler” and “Dimensions.”

Are all elements on your website placed correctly? Are all the distances and sizes right? The following extensions
help you measure your site.

“Page Ruler”

The “Page Ruler” can be used to place a rectangle on a website either manually, or by entering numeric values. Here, the distances to all four page borders, as well as the rectangle’s width and height are displayed.

“Dimensions”

An alternative is the extension “Dimensions“. This one measures the distances between two adjacent elements on its own. To make it do that, just place the mouse pointer between the respective elements. Two lines show you which distance is measured. It always measures the vertical and horizontal distance to adjacent elements.

Automatically Refresh a Page After Changes With “LivePage.”

Refreshing a website is probably one of the most common actions. Changes to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files are made, and they need to be tested in the browser afterward.

The extension “LivePage” takes the task of frequent manual refreshing off of you. Whenever a resource, like a CSS file, was changed on the server, the extension automatically refreshes the page.

Creating Screenshots Using “Awesome Screenshot.”

“Awesome Screenshot”

Whether it’s for the presentation in your portfolio or for a client: website screenshots are always necessary. “Awesome Screenshot” allows you to take screenshots with one click. Here, only the content of the current tab is included.

Additionally, you also get to decide whether you want a screenshot of the visible area in the browser, or the entire website. It is also possible to take a complete screenshot of long, scrollable pages.

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Catégories: News dév web

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans la création de sites web (CMS, PHP, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML 5, CSS 3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn