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Web Dev

Web design nowadays doesn’t have to be a mass of complicated coding and endless head scratching. In fact, there are plenty of tools out there that allow even the most novice of people to throw together a fairly decent website without too much effort. One of those that we are going to be looking at is Edicy however this one comes with a slight twist – it is designed with multilingual websites in mind, making creating twenty different versions of your site an easy task.

Read on after the break for my thoughts. (more…)

When you think of a CMS, chances are you think of a PHP-based application installed on your server that lets you login and add/edit pages, such as Drupal or Joomla, or maybe even WordPress. Such content management systems are great, especially for users that aren’t massively fluent in code. However, the way these websites work can make it difficult to customise your website, leaving the backend dictating how the frontend works. Osmek, on the other hand, aims to be flexible enough (and powerful enough) to work with any design or idea you have whilst leaving you with benefit of easy data entry.

How does it do this, and how good a job does it do? Let’s take a look… (more…)

Store owners, bloggers and business have a vested interest in their websites being up 100% of the time. When Chrome won’t load a page, it ends in frustration and customer’s money going elsewhere.

ErlyWarn allows users to have their website monitored 24/7. At the first hint of trouble they receive an alert so the website can be attended to. Without such a warning system, sleeping soundly could be costing us all valuable visitors. Lets check this out. (more…)

Pinterest is one of the newest popular social media services and it’s especially great for brands with easily shareable photos. But because Pinterest uses pictures instead of words, it’s hard to track your brand when people aren’t actually mentioning your name.

That’s where Curalate comes in. It’s a web app for brands who want to manage and track their brand presence on Pinterest. It automagically finds your brand images on Pinterest using image recognition algorithms, and allows you track and monitor what your fans are saying and how they’re sharing your products and pictures.

Let’s see how easy Curalate is to use and whether it’s a good resource for brands. (more…)

If you’re a web app developer, no doubt you’ve come across the often painstaking task of sending email within your app. If you’re just starting out, chances are you’re going to be using a small server that you’re maintaining yourself, and because email is a part of almost every app, it’s also your job to ensure that everything runs as smooth as possible.

But you’re a developer. You shouldn’t have to worry about taking care of the server and making sure it’s running when that important email comes in. Plus, even if it all appears to be working fine, how can you be sure how many emails are bouncing?

Postmark is an app that takes care of just that. It provides developers with an API that makes sending transactional emails from inside their apps a breeze. With its simple and to-the-point interface, your sent and received emails can be viewed just as easily. Read on to find out more!

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The internet’s come a really long way over the past few years, especially for webmasters and developers. In terms of web hosting in particular, it’s progressed from WYSIWYG website builders to shared hosting to fully-fledged dedicated servers being used and run by those creating the sites. In short, we’ve seen a massive progression in the way in which we web developers prepare our websites for the users.

Over the past couple of years, ‘the cloud’ has become a more commonplace term and developers are quickly migrating to these smart cloud hosting platforms (the stuff that the cloud really is) to ensure that their websites are protected against massive spikes in traffic and popularity of their websites. Apps like Heroku have meant that Rails developers have a way of ensuring that this isn’t a problem, but if you’re one of the many PHP developers looking to take advantage, you’ll find that the available providers of cloud hosting are limited and it’s incredibly hard to find one that manages everything in a user-friendly way.

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at Pagoda Box – an app that I believe does cloud hosting right. Packed with some incredible tools and a beautiful interface to boot, it can be a very interesting addition to any developer’s toolbelt. Interested? Read on to find out more about this rare gem.

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For a while now, GitHub has been running a service called GitHub Pages. Based on Jekyll, GitHub Pages allows for the creation of websites as either standalone sites or to accompany code projects on GitHub. This is great, but adding new pages is a little tricky unless you’re a seasoned Git pro.

That is where Prose comes in. Once you’ve authenticated your GitHub account, Prose lets you edit existing text files and create new ones ready for Jekyll to convert them to HTML. Prose is geared towards the creation of new Jekyll pages in the Markdown format. Markdown, if you’re unfamiliar, is a simple type of markup language designed to be both easy to learn and to convert to well-formed HTML.

The question is, do Prose and GitHub make a good enough team to displace more traditional website backends?

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Allow me to open this article with a quote from the 2010 movie The Social Network that still sticks quite vividly in my mind:

“If those servers are down for even a day, our entire reputation is irreversibly destroyed! Users are fickle, Friendster has proved that. Even a few people leaving would reverberate through the entire userbase.”

If you operate a web service, uptime is vital. Even more vital, however, is knowing when your services go down so you can take action.

SiteLog is a web app designed to help you monitor the uptime of your websites and/or servers, very simply. By just typing in an address and choosing which service you want to monitor, you can easily checkup on the website’s current status, as well as that of it’s HTTP, FTP, IMAP, and more, no installation required.

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Trying to get valuable advice from your site audience can be a tricky process. You’ll always hear from your users when they encounter a problem on your app or disagree with something you’ve written, but you’ll seldom hear people telling you what you’re doing right. Something as small as your ad placement or text size might be bugging them, but they won’t ever think to tell you, and you’ll have no way of knowing they need help.

WebEngage is an app that can help you actually start the conversations you need with your customers through more detailed contact forms and targeted surveys. It won’t instantly make your site better, but might get you started knowing more of what your audience needs and how you can make your site better. And that is something we all need.

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Building a new WordPress theme can be a daunting task. Far from just creating a basic HTML and CSS template, you’ve got use PHP, dig into the WordPress codex to find cryptic ways to access core functions, and create plugins to make your theme tweakable. It’s usually just easier to head to ThemeForest or your favorite WordPress theme site and buy a theme.

That’s why our own writer Joe Casabona just wrote a new book: Building WordPress Themes from Scratch. Published by Rockable Press, part of our own parent company Envato, this book helps you learn how to create your own WordPress themes, even if you’ve never created a theme before. Let’s take a look and see why you might want to check out this book.

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