Insight Articles

An infrequent take on all things web.

January 31, 2013
Earlier this week, I wrote an article over on the FliteHaus blog comparing responsive, adaptive, and mobile optimized sites. In addition to defining what they are, I also gave examples of when to use each for your latest project. Admittedly, the article was written for current and prospective clients, but I think the article offers some high-level insight into what each is and the situations for which each is designed. If you’re new to designing for the modern web, or just want to reaffirm your stance on each architecture, it’s a decent read.
January 12, 2013
While I’m a Drupal advocate for sites that require a content management system, I recognize that WordPress still holds the crown for most popular CMS. Through talking to others that work exclusively with WordPress, I’ve come across some of WordPress’s most popular modules. I know this list isn’t going to convert WordPress developers to Drupal (or vice versa hopefully), but I just thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the similar modules. This isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a comprehensive list, just a quick recap of some of the most popular WordPress plugins and their Drupal module counterparts.
December 14, 2012
I’ve been a Vimeo user for several years, and a Vimeo Plus member for the last two. At FliteHaus, we have a Pro account as well to better serve our clients with video content online. The quick and simple reasons are this: great quality, broad device support, top-notch security, and video player customization. Let’s explore these more in-depth, one by one.
December 7, 2012
One of the greatest things about Drupal is the ease at which you can create different types of content – aptly named “content types”. The one area that we, as a company, had to iron out – and have been perfecting over the last few years – is the assignment of permissions for these content types. Anyone who has seen the Drupal permissions page knows it is a nightmare of checkboxes that must be precisely managed. While we – the core admins of the site – need to have full control over all aspects of the content, we also need to lock down certain areas that clients need to stay out of. After deliberating over how to structure our roles and permissions, we’ve solidly decided on a system of creating roles based on content types. For any given site we might have a “page admin”, “blog admin”, “gallery admin” and so on. In addition, we can also have roles like “blog author” that may add/edit/delete their own content, but not all blog content site-wide.
December 4, 2012
CSS-only ribbons are a popular effect. Sometimes you need a triangle that will make it look as though your element is wrapping in from the left, sometimes the right, and sometimes both. Below are a few snippets to help quickly create these little triangles to create the ribbon effect you desire. We will be using the :before and :after pseudo-elements to achieve this effect, so you will be limited to 2 triangles per element. Pseudo-element browser support for these is as follows: IE8+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera.
December 3, 2012
Let’s face it, we only type a password correctly about 50% of the time. And when you hit that wrong letter, you erase the entire password and start over. If you’re a fan of XKCD’s method for creating secure passwords, that’s a lot of letters to erase to start over! So why not make the password visible by default? When’s the last time someone was creeping over your shoulder to see your password? What if we create an option to hide the letters still if someone is nearby? Let’s do that with some simple jQuery!
November 15, 2012
When you develop websites for a living, it’s inevitable that you write the same lines of code over and over. While the goal for some of these repititions might be to create a generic stylesheet (a reset) or create a plugin for javascript code, sometimes it’s just not enough code to need to create a whole system for. It is, however, enough code that not having to write it each time would save you hours of time over the long run. Enter TextExpander. (Or any other text expansion software. This just happens to be my favorite.) TextExpander is one of many text expansion softwares available for developers and everyday computer users alike. Text expansion is basically the ability to set up shortened snippets of text that automatically convert to long lines of text. For example, I could set up a snippet that would tell the computer to type out my full name – Marcus Dustin Burnette – whenever I type my initials – “MDB”.
November 7, 2012
I recently came across this talk on a relatively new site called BeSquare where you can watch primarily web development focused conference talks. I’ve watched a few so far, but this one stood out from the rest. Full disclosure though, they’ve all been pretty good, so I might talk about a few more in the future. The talk I watched was by Ryan Carson – CEO of Treehouse – and he talks about a lot of things, hence the title. The segments of the video that fascinated me though – as a young, business-concious developer – are the business aspects of how he runs Treehouse. I’ve embedded the video here, but included some notes of my own after the video. Note: It’s an hour and a half long, but worth every second for anyone looking to learn about how to run a successful business.
October 20, 2012
With the introduction of Drupal 7, many of the great tools that were essential in Drupal 6 – CCK and ImageCache for example – have been built right into the core installation. Instead of making 99% of developers install the same modules over and over and over, they’ve been included in Drupal core. There are, however, still a few modules that every developer should install right from the offset of a new project and some that will be useful for different kinds of projects. We’ll take a quick look at the essential modules in this article.