For the previous five years we at Ten Ten Studios have hosted many sites with a company called AN Hosting -- selected primarily because of their good reviews with regard to Drupal websites. On the rare occasions when we needed it, we received good support and were very satisfied with the speed and reliability of the hosting packages that we purchased. Unfortunately, approximately six months ago (October, 2014) AN Hosting announced that they would be merging with their parent company, Midphase.
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I'm occasionally asked by others what program(s) I use for web development. While there's a short answer and a long answer to that question, what I say depends largely on who's asking the question. If it's a person who's interested in learning to program or who is already involved in IT in one way or another but has not yet taken the website development plunge, I'll tell them about my current development software of choice, Coda.
If you've ever worked with open-source software such as Linux, Wordpress, Drupal, phpBB, etc., you may have run across the title of this article. Never hack core! But what does that mean? Doesn't the whole premise of open-source involve people tweaking and (hopefully) improving the core code? Yes -- but in a very controlled way that usually involves many eyes on the code verifying that the change is a good one which will benefit the program as a whole.
Admittedly this article is a bit of a divergence from the usual round of website related content that we post here; however, we recently completed an overhaul of our backup solution and felt that it would be a worthwhile discussion topic. These days, everyone has digital data that they value and need to preserve, but given the plethora of backup options out there the choices can get a bit overwhelming, particularly to those who are not information technology professionals.
In part one of this series I discussed the basics of getting a Sphinx search up and running in a custom PHP application. However, Sphinx has so many features and options that the previous article really only scratched the surface of what can be done, so in this post we'll get into some of the more advanced tricks and techniques that can be employed to customize your search results. Specifically, we'll cover how to handle pagination and custom weighting.
We recently re-developed an application that was originally built using ASP Classic and MS SQL Server and converted it into PHP/MySQL and along the way, one of our goals was to simplify the search system. The original application had individual searches for specific content types -- for example, if you wanted to search for documents you would have to browse to that area and click the search drop-down. The fields listed there would be things like document title, date posted, document type, etc.
It's pretty common to use Google Adsense to serve ads on your site to generate supplemental income. But if you run a membership driven or e-commerce website, you may decide that you want to hide ads from those valuable users/customers and only show them to anonymous users. Doing so in Drupal is very easy, particularly if you have placed your ads in blocks.
We have been tasked with the development of a large facilities management application -- one which has gone through several revisions over the years. In moving the project forward we wanted to add in features that provide more information quickly, and at-a-glance. In order to make things more real-time we investigated several options for replicating Facebook-style "badges" that would let users know when they had new tasks assigned to them or other content alerts that needed their attention.
For the recent redesign of our own website we wanted to add in a jQuery rotator, as we had done for other sites in the past. We wanted to overlay a title, descriptive text, and a "more info" link on top of the main images and there are a few ways to accomplish that.
When we start a new custom programming project we typically begin by copying and pasting a handful of useful functions that we have developed for previous projects. Most developers will put together a toolbox like this -- if you haven't, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by doing so. The first step is to make sure that you're wrapping any potentially reusable code in a function. For example: