Gattonero 2012 Christmas card

Has it really been a year since I sent my last Gattonero Christmas card?

With rising postage costs I’m now even less motivated to send out a paper card so once again I made the call to local designer Liz Elcoate from Capriccio Design and gave her the brief.

As my freelance business Gattonero would be nothing without the black cat, I donate to the place we adopted from – the Peterborough branch of Cats Protection.? This year they have started an Amazon Wish List so you can donate actual items rather than a slightly impersonal bundle of cash, plus what cat doesn’t deserve a handful of Dreamies at Christmas?

Enough waffle, here’s this year’s Chrismas card design. Merry Christmas!

Gattonero 2012 Christmas card

Christmas Card for 2011

Truth be told, I don’t have much time for traditional paper based Christmas cards. I appreciate the sentiment, but lets be honest with ourselves, cards are expensive, as is the postage and come the New Year all the cards go into the recycling bin at best.

As someone that offers web development services, it only seemed fitting that I send a digital e-card to my clients. Not one of those dancing elf monstrosities, or a cobbled-together-in-5-minutes-because-we-forgot-to-get-cards-in-the-post type affair, but a bona-fide bespoke Christmas card. Then for good measure and a warm feeling inside, a hand-picked charity donation to a cause I’ve supported for a few years – Cats Protection

Last year I got in touch with local designer Liz Elcoate from Capriccio Design who produced a great art-deco “chat noir” style design.

This year I gave Liz the brief of something 50’s inspired, Christmassey and with the obligatory cat (in case you wondered, my company is called Gattonero – Italian for “black cat”). Here’s the finished design which I’m really pleased with:

Gattonero black cat christmas card

Christmas Card for 2010

This year’s Gattonero Christmas e-card sent out to clients:

I wish I could take credit for the design, but I opted to use someone far better skilled at the artsy stuff that myself – Liz Elcoate from Sketchy Design Capriccio Design

Instead of sending paper based greetings cards, I sent this card by email and made a donation to Cats Protection – www.cats.org.uk

How to: Include external PHP file in WordPress

So, you want to include (also include_once, require or require_once) another PHP file in one of your WordPress files?? Fine, but if your PHP file is in a different folder/directory to your WordPress installation you might run into problems.

After spending too long trawling the WordPress Codex trying to find a solution, I luckily found this post by Andy Fletcher – How to use a PHP include with WordPress

ABSPATH is your friend and the answer to your prayers. ? For example, assume your PHP files are in a folder off your web root called “thefolder”, you would include them using:

<?php include(ABSPATH . '/thefolder/thefile.php'); ?>

Simple when you know how.

CMS Made Simple WYSIWYG table outlines

CMS Made Simple is a great content management system. It’s free, easy to get to grips with, quite powerful and the forums are fairly helpful when you need help.

There are obviously quirks with it (as there is with all off the shelf software) such as tables inserted within the WYSIWYG editor lacking any outlines, making placement quite problematic (think “invisible table”).

Thankfully there is an answer with at least the current versions of CMS Made Simple (1.4.1 at the time of writing this) having an option to turn table outline borders on and off.

Method

From within the CMS Made Simple admin control panel, go to: Extensions > TinyMCE?WYSIWYG > Advanced (tab)

There you should see a checkbox for the option “Include only screen CSS”. Tick that, update the settings and give the WYSIWYG editor a whirl.

If all has gone well, you should now see the outline borders when editing page contents.

Page redirect with CMS Made Simple

If you’re scratching your head on how to get an HTTP redirect with CMS Made Simple, then save your scalp and scratch no longer!

All you need to do is create a User Defined Tag (UDT) within your CMS MS admin (Extensions > User Defined Tags), call the tag “redirect” and paste the following code:

if( isset( $params['to'] ) )
  {
    global $gCms;
    $manager =& $gCms->GetHierarchyManager();
    $node =& $manager->sureGetNodeByAlias($params['to']);
    $content =& $node->GetContent();
    if (isset($content) && is_object($content))
       {
         if ($content->GetURL()?!= '')
         {
            redirect($content->GetURL());
         }
       }
    else return '<!-- redirect udt - page not found: '.$params['to'].' -->';
  }

To use, add {redirect to=”page_alias”} into one of your pages, or somewhere intelligently placed in your template. If it’s going into a template then you should have an if statement around this, or you’ll get some nasty redirection loops!

Credit to calguy1000 for writing the function.

Further reading:

Update

I don’t know if they have always been there but I’ve since noticed the CMS Made Simple tags redirect_url and redirect_page

To use, insert into your page or template:

{redirect_page page="some-page-alias"}

or

{redirect_url to="www.cmsmadesimple.org"}

WordPress is NOT a CMS

According to a recent poll by CSS-Tricks, 40% of those in the survey said WordPress their favourite content management system.

Now I’m no expert when it comes to CMS platforms, but I’ve developed with a few, tested out a few others (before uninstalling and running away) and even use one (WordPress to be exact) for this blog, and I’m quite happy to put my neck firmly on the line and say WordPress isn’t a proper CMS by my standards.

Continue reading “WordPress is NOT a CMS”

How to get Cubecart 4 friendly URLs on a Windows server

Cubecart 4 includes the option to rewrite the standard URL structure into “search engine friendly” URLs.

This means that instead of a product in your shop having the pretty awful address of

http://www.domain.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=1

you can have it rewritten into something like

http://www.domain.co.uk/test-category/test-product2/prod_1.html

Much easier for humans I’m sure you’ll agree and hopefully search engines will love your keyword-packed URLs too.

Continue reading “How to get Cubecart 4 friendly URLs on a Windows server”