Are Your Google Services Too Difficult to Find in the Recent Re-design

As website developers we should look for ways to make using our websites more intuitive for visitors. They should be able to use our websites without needing to think about how to accomplish what they want to do. For example, if you use services like Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Calendar, etc., you've probably noticed that Google redesigned the navigation bar across the top of The problem is that the link which shows all the services you're signed up for is a little difficult to find. [Continue reading]

Facebook Pages for Organizations Now Easier to Manage Due to Recent Update

In late 2010, I began maintaining Facebook pages for a couple organizations. Managing pages is relatively simple in the early stages, but I feared how difficult it would get as we posted more and when visitors comment more often. Unlike personal pages, Facebook didn't tell us when someone comments on our page…until now. [Continue reading]

Security Issues with “You Are Now Leaving Our Website” Pages

If you've visited a government website, there's a good chance that you've seen the "You are now leaving our website" message. The message, as you have probably guessed, is displayed when a visitor clicks a link leading to an external website. Now I don't plan to discuss the validity of this technique but the potential security risk if utilized incorrectly. [Continue reading]

Avoid Getting Overwhelmed by Initial Client Requests

Early in my career I used to get a little overwhelmed by requests like "Can you create a new website and have it online by the end of the week?" My mind would race with everything that needed to be done to create the website. I would need to mockup a design; get it approved; build a template based on the mockup; work with the client on the content; populate the template; etc… On top of that, I still need to develop for and maintain all of our other websites. [Continue reading]

Developing a Simple Website Template with PHP

When developing websites it's always a good idea to look for ways to make the final product easier to maintain. For websites which contain more than a couple of pages, it can be a real time saver if you build them utilizing a template. [Continue reading]

Making it Easy for Visitors to Share Your Content with

With how common social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter are becoming I wanted to make it easier for website visitors to share our (the organization I work for) content with their colleagues. Instead of developing my own solution, I decided to utilize which provides a customizable widget that can be embedded in your website. According to their website, the widget currently allows visitors to share content with more than 300 services around the world. [Continue reading]

Remember, It’s 2011: Tips for Remembering the New Year

It's that time of year again. The time when people vow to change some aspect of their life. Maybe they want to get in shape, stop smoking, get out of debt, etc. Well here is my suggestion for a New Year's resolution. [Continue reading]

Adding an Audio Player to Your Hosted Show Notes

At work I was asked to solve an issue with the website associated with our podcast. The problem was that the default player provided by our host ( wasn't meeting our needs. On several occasions the player wouldn't play the most recent podcast episode. We also didn't like that if you were viewing the show notes for an older episode the player would still play the most recent episode which confused our visitors. [Continue reading]

Problems with Google Analytics Code for Tracking PDFs

After struggling for nearly a week to install the asynchronous code for Google Analytics, I thought it would be good to share what I've learned. Hopefully this will save you a few sleepless nights. When I switched to the asynchronous tracking code, everything appeared to be working correctly. But for some reason PDF downloads and visits to external websites weren't showing up in the analytics. [Continue reading]

Stop Fighting with Me WordPress

Writing last week's post (Future Proofing Your Google Analytics Code for Tracking PDFs) introduced me to one of WordPress' major flaws. If you want to display code (HTML, PHP, etc.) in your post, there is a good chance that WordPress will mess it up. [Continue reading]