Archive for June, 2012

Adding a custom widget area in WordPress

Friday, June 29th, 2012

I am currently developing a CMS website for one of our clients. My aim is to make every element of their site editable for them, meaning they can amend any element on any given page.

In most typical CMS sites there is a sidebar that contains elements like ‘Latest posts’, ‘Categories’ and a search box etc. I wanted to take it a step further and give the client full access to the sidebar and allow them to add any elements that they so wished.

A great way of doing this is by adding an area on the page where widgets can be added.

Firstly, you need to register the new widget area by adding the following code to your functions.php file:

register_sidebar( array(
		'name' => __( 'area-name', 'twentyeleven' ),
		'id' => 'sidebar-6',
		'description' => __( 'Your Area Name' ),
		'before_widget' => '<aside id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
		'after_widget' => "</aside>",
		'before_title' => '',
		'after_title' => '',
	) );

In the ‘name’ brackets you will need to add a unique name which should be lowercase, you will also need to add a description. What you use as your description will be the name of the Widget area within WordPress. From the WordPress admin area you can drag across the widgets that you wish to have into your new widget area. You also need to make sure that the ‘id’ is a unique number and not already in use.

You then need to create the DIV on your page for the widget area to display in. To then call the widget area on your page use the following code:

if ( ! dynamic_sidebar( 'Construction' ) ) :

You can now add or remove widgets from the newly created area as you please.

Google Drive vs Dropbox

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

As a web design company we need to find clever ways to make our lives easier and enable us to become more efficient web designers.

A couple of years ago we used to exhaust our email space with our customers constantly emailing us images, text documents or sending us very big zip files. In some cases we had our customers post CD, USB or DVD’s to us and in some cases we had to go and get the data directly from their door step.

Then we discovered Dropbox which is a free service that helped us bring store all images, documents, videos etc anywhere on multiple computers and mobile devices. We used a great feature which allowed all of our web designers to share files with one another whilst having our own space to store personal or private data.

We encouraged all of our clients to sign up to Dropbox which helped us to accumulate more free storage space as we would introduce more people to Dropbox. Dropbox’s ethos was all about sharing hence it was very easy and simple to share with other people and with multiple computers or mobile devices which was exactly what we needed. We recently had a hard drive failure on one of our iMac’s but the web designer simply logged on to another machine and connected to their Dropbox and continued with their work.

The new buzz today in our office is the release of Google Drive. Unfortunately for me I am disappointed that the emphasis is not on gaining free space as you introduce more people to Google Drive like Dropbox but I guess Google does not need any help getting to the top. There are a couple of advantages to Google Drive which are:

  • Google are generous giving us 5gb of space in the first space.
  • Google Drive is lighting fast because hardly anyone is one there hence it beats slow speeds of Dropbox.
  • Google Drive will be cheaper to use in the long run as they can operate at a full loss to steal Dropbox’s business or customers.
  • $20 a month is peanuts to back up commercial work hence Google Drive might be a serious business storage solution for many companies.
  • Google Drive offers a good disaster recovery solution for business and personal use.

Some disadvantages to consider:

  • Google Drive has no app yet for the mobile device like Drop Box
  • Google Drive is unproven because apart from Google Maps and Analytics who uses Google Plus?
  • Dropbox will allow you to accumulate free space (upto 16gb) if you introduce people via email, Twitter, Facebook whilst Google Drive does not have this feature.

I personal conclusion is to stick with Dropbox but there is no harm in having both! If you want us to design your website for you today then call us today on Bristol: 01179 000 482 or Cardiff: 02920 290 080. We are an established web design company based near Bristol and Cardiff.

Google Juice Bar South Wales

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Over the last few months there have been quite a few meetings and workshops held throughout South Wales to help and educate South Wales based companies embrace the internet and get better results for their business. Representatives of Google have come accross from the states and have been trying to get Wales moving with regard to the opportunity of the internet and maximising your web presence.
I have attended myself and I have several friends and business aquaintances that have also been along to see whether these meetings are useful. My opinion is that all companies in Wales should be improving or actually getting a decent web profile otherwise they are really missing out on a huge potential market for their business. Having said that these Google meetings or Juice Bars are only giving limited information just to get you started.
My company is the biggest Web Design and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) company in the UK. We also offer a completely FREE review of your current situation, and can advise on all of the things that you can do to get you started on the internet. We then take it alot further and will demonstrate all of the different options available to you to get the NEW Business Enquiries that your company requires in these difficult times. We are experts on getting our clients to the very top on Google and if you put SEO on Google you will find Creare at the very top of page one. This is what I achieve for my clients throughout Wales and the Southwest and it all starts with our FREE honest appraisal of your current situation. So if you would like a review from a company based right on the South Wales and South West border with dozens of happy clients in the area then please feel free to give me a call or send me a message.
Regards
Gary

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