Whereas part 1 covered the workstation and hardware setup, this article will lean more towards software and user interface setup. Specifically I'll show you the tools that I use daily when developing websites and databases. And if you haven't read part one I'd suggest doing so -- if you have, feel free to have another look as I've made some changes to the hardware setup that are worth reviewing.
The Ten Ten Studios Blog
Just a few short months ago we wrote about our transition from one shared web host to another. The move was prompted by downtime and poor customer service during that downtime and we came to our new host with high hopes of improvement. Unfortunately, we were disappointed on both fronts. After discussing the struggle with other development firms we have come to the conclusion that shared web hosts are stretching themselves too thin in order to maximize their profits. They are simply loading their servers down with too many websites.
UPDATE (August 8, 2015): after repeated poor experiences with Arvixe, we have changed our hosting solution and have abandoned shared hosting altogether. Here is additional information about why we made the switch.
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.