Blog

Life is full of little discoveries and triumphs.
Here are some of the things we have uncovered or conquered lately.

Tweaking Admin Styles in WordPress 3.8

The most significant change you’ll notice when you spin up WordPress 3.8, is the re-styled admin dashboard, previously previewed via the MP6 plugin. Such changes always come with a degree of controversy, though most of the changes at this point are rather cosmetic. For new users the WordPress back-end can be a little overwhelming at first and while some of the changes in 3.8 have the effect of bringing clarity to the interface, there is a lot more that needs doing and some things that shouldn’t have been changed! read on

Kick London site wins Award at #cnmac13

We are delighted to be able to announce that one of our recent client projects, Kick London, won an award at the Christian New Media Awards and Conference 2013 for Best Christian Organisation Web Site.

kick

It’s great news for Kick, who are a relatively small London charity, doing some great work across the city with values based sports activities for young people. There was stiff competition with some great web sites from other organisations, but we were thrilled to see Kick receive the award. The other fantastic nominees, were probably some of the biggest names in the Christian world, so were even more delighted to see our project make the headlines. The other nominees were Leprosy Mission (runner-up), Christian Aid Collective, Evangelical Alliance and Operation Mobilisation.

I’m pretty sure the other nominees would have had bigger budgets, and certainly have more resources. This was one of those David vs Goliath moments, showing what can be done with limited resources.

This was our first time at CNMAC, but well worth the trip with or without the privilege of collecting an award. We got to meet lots of  interesting people and hear all about what’s been happening in the digital church world.

Of course if you would like an affordable, award-winning web site, you know where to come!

Does your web site work on mobiles and tablets?

50% of people use a mobile as their primary browser

Responsive DesignDo visitors to your web site have to squint or pinch and zoom to read your content when using their smartphone or tablet?

Until recently most web sites were designed using a fixed width (960 pixels was most common) and designed on a desktop computer with a nice big monitor. But 50% of potential visitors to your site use a mobile or tablet as their primary internet browser. (See Infographic: 2013 Mobile Growth Statistics.)

Over the last few years clever designers (like us?) have noticed this change in technology and so started designing web sites that scale and adapt to the user’s device size and capabilities. This is called Responsive Web Design (RWD) and produces sites that are mobile and tablet friendly.

The result is happy users and visitors who can actually read your content on their mobiles.

Kick London Web SiteEven the page you are reading right now is using a responsive design. Don’t believe us? Try resizing your browser and see how content is displayed differently as the browser window gets smaller. You could even try it on your smartphone to see what a difference this makes to being able to interact with a web site on the go.

Is it time your web site was mobile friendly?

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Goodbye Flickr, Hello TroveBox (OpenPhoto)

Since my last post, my search for a flickr alternative continued. Flickr haven’t listened and I just stopped using it. Not through protest, simply because it is unusable.

Since then I discovered TroveBox, or should I say “reacquainted myself” with OpenPhoto, as TroveBox is the hosted version of the open source image hosting software. There is so much I like about TroveBox. read on

Alternatives to flickr

I have been a Pro user of flickr for some time. It has until now been the simplest way to manage, share and publish images. That is until somebody at Yahoo let their five year old have a go at designing a new interface. At best the new interface is simply unusable.

At the outset, I have to say that after much searching, there isn’t really a direct replacement for flickr. In dumping flickr you will to some extent need to review what your image hosting and sharing needs really are. It could be time to change your image workflow. If you switch from flickr this is almost certainly going to be forced on you, but it may not be such a bad thing.
read on

Ten Years of WordPress and LIVINGOS Themes

On May 27th WordPress is officially 10 years old. The world’s greatest content management system started as a fork from the B2/Cafelog blogging software by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and has grown exponentially since to become a huge community and industry.

By way of celebration I thought I would share our part in that journey. read on

Finding a New Home for Google Reader Feeds

On 1st July 2013, Google is pulling the plug on the only app I actually use every day! Reader has been the place to keep up with news from all the bogs and sites I have taken an interest in for the last few years.  But now the Grand Daddy of the web is to have a “spring clean” and loosing lots of friends in the process. The demise of Reader causes me to question the wisdom of relying on Google for anything, but for now here are some of the alternatives I’ve been exploring. read on

How to Change the Root Site on a WordPress Network

Problem

This little problem took a while to find the answer to even if the solution is pretty simple. A WordPress Network (or multi-site) allows you to run hundreds of  independent WordPress sites from a single install. This is a great way to simplify the management of multiple sites.

I use such a set-up to run this site and I can quickly create preview sites for clients this way.

But how do you change the root blog (default site  for your network to a sub-site you have created. You might want to do this if you are developing a new version of your main site and want to make it live by switching your root site. read on

A Holiday Club Song with an Olympics Theme

Looking through the Doug Horley Songbook, I couldn’t find one to fit our Olympic themed holiday club this week. So I had a go at writing one myself and it seems to be going down a treat with the kids. It has some great actions (e.g. run, row, ride, swim, a Bolt celebration) and ends with everyone doing their own winner’s celebration.

Words and music are below. If I get time I’ll try and publish a recoding of it too.

Can you run the hundred metres quicker than the Bolt?
Can you row from A to Z like Watkins and Grainger?
Could you ride the Tour de France faster than Bradley Wiggins?
Could you beat Michael Phelps into the pool?

Well they’re all great, make no mistake;
But something else I know is better.
Jesus loves me, just because I’m me you see;
On Team JC everyone’s a winner.

Download the lead Sheet with guitar chords: Can you run the hundred metres?

And of course you are free to use it, share it and remix it in Open Source fashion:

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