I’ve released a bug fix version of Simple 301 Redirects for WordPress. Version 1.02 fixes a couple of bugs and 1.03 adds PHP4 support, which I carelessly neglected in 1.02. It seems that a lot of people still use PHP4 even though it’s been officially dead (i.e. unsupported and with no security updates) for over 2 years. You can get the latest version of the plugin by updating from your admin system or by visiting the WordPress plugin directory.
TeuxDeux, my favorite simple to use and difficult to spell todo list application, has quietly launched an iPhone app. They’re apparently waiting to announce it later this week, but Tina Roth Eisenberg (the designer behind TeuxDeux) recently talked about it on The Pipeline with Dan Benjamin. The app costs $2.99 and supports all of the features of the free browser-based version plus support for multiple accounts, and it’s always in sync with your accounts on the website. You can buy the TeuxDeux app here (iTunes link.)
Facebook Places adds geolocation to Facebook, allowing you to share where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with. It differentiates itself from Foursquare or Gowalla, with an interesting additional feature: it allows you to check your friends in with you. This is a cool feature but it is certainly open to abuse; your friends could check you in somewhere embarrassing as a practical joke. Depending on who’s watching, you may find it causing problems for you.
Here’s how to prevent other people from checking you in on Facebook Places:
- Click on Privacy Settings
- Click Customize Settings
- Under Things Others Share, disable Friends can check me in to Places
That’s it. I’d like to see the ability to select certain people or friend lists which are allowed to check you in (or filter out people and lists which are not) but for now it’s an all-or-nothing setting. I’ll update this post if the options around this feature become more robust in the future.
You can read more about HTML5 pre-fetching here.
QuicklyCode.com is a web gallery of cheat sheets related to programming. It’s got rating features bolted on which, with any luck, will help you find the best cheat sheet when there are several available for a given language or technology.
I haven’t owned a printer in something like 8 years, and that makes getting the most of QuicklyCode difficult for me. I may start making routine trips to FedEx Kinkos though, because I do love a good printed sheet of quick documentation.
I build a fair number of WordPress sites on small budgets for my employer, Union Street Media. Sometimes I need to give our clients an editable region in the sidebar, away from the main blog/page content. Here’s a quick and dirty trick I use to pull a page into a theme outside of the loop:
<?php // must use a variable for page id // http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/get_page $id = 3; $p = get_page($id); echo apply_filters('the_content', $p->post_content); ?>
You can get your page ID by editing the page. It will show up in the url (the ‘post=x’ portion.) It’s important to note that you have to pass a variable to the
get_page() function. If you just pass an integer it will throw a fatal error. No need to go into why that is; just keep it in mind.
get_page() essentially wraps
get_post() so that function’s documentation is a good place to start if you want to learn what’s available to you.
This isn’t a particularly pretty solution, but it’s quick and it works well provided you know your page IDs and you’re not making a theme for distribution. I like to name my page something like ‘**Sidebar Content’ so it is easy to differentiate from regular pages.
I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve released my first WordPress plugin. It’s called Simple 301 Redirects and it does just what it says on the tin. It provides an interface for redirecting URL requests. It’s handy for when you’ve migrated a site to WordPress and are unable to maintain the URL structure. With Simple 301 Redirects you can redirect your old urls like “/about.html” to new, clean URLs like “http://www.yoursite.com/pages/about/” or whatever you like. Redirecting your old links to new destinations is important for preserving inbound links and pagerank after migrating a site. And this plugin does it in the easiest possible way I could think of.
Douglas Bowman at StopDesign recently shared how his site visitors break down in terms of browser use. As a hero of the web standards movement (sort of like our Hercules or Michael Jordan,) Douglas admits that his stats are skewed toward tech-savvy folks. I decided it would be interesting to look into stats from a more general audience. I develop a lot of real estate websites at work, so that seemed like a natural place to look. I surveyed several of our more heavily-trafficked sites and I’ve made the following observations (which I have also posted at Douglas’ site:)
- Internet Explorer users account for between 65% and 85% of all visits
- Firefox and Safari account for almost all the rest of the traffic, and Firefox tends to have 2-3 times the share of Safari.
- 70% of IE users are browsing these sites with IE7. There was very little variation here, even though the percentage of IE users in general varied by 20% across sites.
(Observations are based on the last month of data, across a sampling of sites based around the United States. Visitors were primarily from the US.)
It’s unfortunate to see how dominant Internet Explorer is sector, but progress is evident. It’s a relief to see that IE7–a fairly capable browser in its own right–has seen increased adoption recently.
I’ve decided I’m leaving the 140 Club. 2 months and about 70 tweets later, I’ve had my fun and indulged my obsessive nature for long enough.
I was reading a local news story and in the sidebar I noticed what appeared to be an ad banner for Barack Obama in the sidebar. It turns out it was actually a link to the news site’s section of Obama-related stories. What struck me about the banner was the wording: “President-Elect Barack Obama Click Here.” Apparently they are targeting the extremely small niche of web users that are President-Elect Barack Obama, and imploring them to click on a mysterious banner (and for those counting along at home, that’s a niche of one.)
Just a little mid-week levity. The moral of the story: think carefully about your calls to action. You need to make it clear to your readers what you want them to do and why they should want to do it. Give them a reason to click your banner or sign-up button. And if something isn’t an advertisement, make sure that it doesn’t look like one. This banner looks like a paid ad for who knows what and I never would have clicked on it if I weren’t planning to write this post poking fun at it. It doesn’t represent a compelling call to action for me. At face value, I can’t tell what I’ll find once I click, or even if I’m supposed to. After all, I’m not President-Elect Barack Obama. That’s some other guy.