World Wide Web

Using Wordpress with Amazon S3 and Git

When you get into larger Wordpress sites that have a very large /wp-content/uploads folder, things start to get a little hairy if you're using Git.  Best practices with Git say to not have binaries like images and media files under version control in order to keep your code base clean, but then it means we can't really use Git for backing up production files like images.

So what do we do?  Setting up an Amazon S3 cloud sync is an obvious answer since S3 is meant to store files.

A few tools can help with this.

jQuery's $.ajax and Cordova don't play well anymore

In updating my PhoneGap/Cordova app to the latest version, I came across the unpleasant surprise that the jQuery $.ajax function is no longer working.  I've made sure to whitelist domains properly and have done everything that I did when it was working, about a year and a half ago.  However, Cordova 2.6, jQuery Mobile 1.3, and jQuery 1.9 Ajax calls just don't work.  Especially on Windows Phone.  Maybe I'm just missing something, but breaking this functionality is frustrating.

Font sizing in CSS: em vs. px vs. rem

I've been looking for ways to simplify my CSS development constantly.  I recently made the switch to using Compass/SASS full time in all of my projects due to its simplicity and more importantly the fact that you can create a base template for all of the wild CSS3 effects that require 5 different lines for each browser.

Google blocks search keyword tracking for logged in users

Something I recently noticed in Google Analytics is that they show "(not provided)" for many search keywords these days.  They have recently started blocking search keyword tracking for individuals that are logged in to Google for "security reasons".  This block severely limits the usefulness of Analytics for search, as webmasters have no idea what 20% or more of their visitors are finding their site with.

Hacking Realtime Google Analytics for TV Display

EDIT 2/2/2012: Google likes to randomly change the CSS/page structure of the Realtime Analytics page.  You can always get the updated version at the demo page I have set up (since I use it for the TV display at work and fix it when it breaks).  It has changed twice so far since this post.

Using Adaptive CSS to create mobile-friendly pages

I recently discovered the greatness that is adapt.js, or Adaptive CSS.  In a nutshell, it's a javascript tool that allows your website to activate different CSS files based on the user's current browser window size.  

Essential security feeds for web developers

I try to subscribe to security and release announcement RSS feeds in Google Reader since it's bad practice to let software become out of date, especially on a web server.  At the very least you'll know of a vulnerability and be able to patch it.  Here are some important ones I use:

Tips for beginner web developers

I feel starting out as a person who makes websites today is different than it was 12 years ago when I started.  Back then I had literally no guide and I was a middle school student.  Somehow, I pulled through and that experience is an interesting thing to look at now that I'm a little older.  Compared to some I am still a beginning web developer, but I now do it professionally and make a living with it.

Here is a list of things I'd recommend to anyone starting out on the path of web development.

WordPress is dropping Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) support, a step in the right direction

The upcoming WordPress 3.2 release will be thankfully dropping IE6 support.  This is a welcome change and means themers and developers no longer have to take a step back 10 years when doing their job.  I believe this change will hasten the removal of the browser since WordPress is a large chunk of the web.  

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