The myth around cheap WordPress based websites

Wordpress is free and simple.  That means that if you are tech savvy, have a webserver with both PHP and MySQL enabled and understand how to set the whole thing up you can have an online presence within minutes.  I know how to do it as I have done it many times. Wordpress offers even a vast array of free plug-ins that provide you with literally thousands of different functions as well as themes that allow you to “dress” your website literally as you like.  If you are willing to invest a few tens of pounds (or dollars/euro), you can buy a premium theme from a place like ThemeForest and enjoy a highly customizable theme.  These are usually great solutions for simple personal websites or blogs; problems start when people believe in the myth of free (or very cheap) Wordpress based website. What I describe above is true if you know and understand where all these little pieces of software Continue reading

Subpage highlight in WordPress

When you have a set of pages that are subpages of a main page (e.g. the case of this website for a complementary health clinic) you may want an automated system that creates a highlight among its subpages. We used this to create a practitioners' highlight page that, every time it gets loaded, shows a different practitioner's profile.  By changing just one parameter it'd be possible to do multiple highlights and show 3 or more profiles at once. As we previously showed there is a simple way of defining a new template that, based on the standard page template, shows content  of one, single and random subpage instead of the page content.  We use the gaet_Query() function that Continue reading

Here comes the responsive website

This post introduces the concept of responsive websites and why you should ask for a responsive design when you next decide to update or redesign your company’s website. Once upon a time, during the prehistoric web-age, websites were optimised for one particular screen resolution; starting from the basic 800 x 600 in the mid 1990s, we saw a rapid evolution of the optimization toward 1024 x 768 or wider.  The resolution of computer screens was increasing slowly and most designers obviously wanted to deliver websites that the majority of users could see properly, often adopting a conservative approach. In recent years screen technology improved to the point where it’s not unusual to have computers, even laptops, with screens that are 1600 or more pixels wide.  The interesting phenomenon, that somehow started a countertrend, is the advent of a large number of smart-phones and other tablet computers that create a new technical problem all together at least for web Continue reading

Content Management Systems: the case against DIY

I see a large number of freelance developers and small agencies selling website designs based on bespoke, homemade, Content Management Systems (CMS).  In this post I am going to explain why buying one of these websites is, in principle, a bad investment and can have expensive repercussions on your business in the medium to long term. This post is dedicated to owners of small companies investing considerable amounts of money on their website.  A CMS is essentially a piece of software (a set of computer programs) which runs on your web server (where you are hosting your website) and, allows you to edit your website’s content in a user-friendly way (similarly to when you are using an on-line Continue reading