We’ve recently been working on a horoscopes website for one of our clients that has some content that is for members only. The Cart66 WordPress eCommerce has been great for handling the PayPal subscriptions but I had to add some custom functionality so that new members on certain levels would be automatically signed up to a mailing list which is handled by Constant Contact.
Cart66 actually has Constant Contact integration which adds an “opt-in” style mailing list signup that is added to the checkout which would normally work fine for most eCommerce sites however I we needed to make the signup compulsory for the user and to do it seamlessly without the user knowing that this has occurred so they receive the daily emails that they have purchased.
Any of you who follow WordPress news sites or any WordPress geeks on Twitter will be well aware of the vulnerabilities that were found in the PHP image resizing script, TimThumb. TimThumb is being used in many free and premium WordPress themes so this vulnerability caused a bit of a stir around the place. I actually used the script on the current sennza WordPress theme because this theme was whipped up over 18 months ago very quickly and back then I hadn’t used WordPress inbuilt add_image_size which I’m using almost every day on clients sites these days.
Our blog uses VaultPress for backups and security and VaultPress were onto the vulnerability post haste. I’m often singing VaultPress’s praises on Twitter but I wanted to post on the record about just how amazing the VaultPress plugin and team are when it comes to backups and security! Read on to find out about yet another amazing VaultPress experience of mine!
Every now and then we need to have a bit of a rant right? I know that it’s been proven to be healthy to release any negative energy in any format.
You could write a song, scream at the top of your lungs or blog about it…so I’m choosing the later! So it’s rant time in regards to WordPress updates and why they are a good thing! Because other CMS seem to think frequent updates are a bad thing…plus this rant will make me a healthier person cause I’ll release the negative energy and hopefully get my point across!
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At sennza, we are more than happy to admit that our heads are in the clouds…I’m referring to cloud computing of course. We’re not airheads after all! At any given time any of our desktops, laptops or mobiles could blow up and we wouldn’t care too much because we know our data is safe as it’s “in the cloud”.
“Cloud computing” is a term that’s thrown around a lot in the geek world and many businesses are still behind the times with cloud computing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, cloud computing is basically software and storage that is hosted and maintained externally (wave goodbye to your Sys Admins). Usually you only need to use an internet browser to access the services and files, which of course means no more installing pesky programs on every computer that you use in your workplace. We take baby steps with our clients when it comes to cloud computing. The first step we take with clients is telling them to delete Outlook and Thunderbird! Needless to say the initial looks of shock and horror are quite humourous for us!
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Usability is something that each and every one of us occurs on a daily basis. We experience usability in both online and in the real world as well. Have a quick think about how many times you’ve thought things like this:
- “Which damn aisle has the pasta in it? Why don’t they have signs?”
- “Okay, so I left in a rush and forgot my GPS and my iPhone doesn’t have service here. Why haven’t I seen a sign for Timbucktoo in 30 kilometres?”
- “Why do I have to fill out this damn form again online for the third freaking time?!?! Give me a decent error message and at least remember what I’ve already typed in before so I can correct it!”
- “Uhhhh, so why doesn’t this train have a map so I can see how many stops there are before I need to get off. Hmm, I’ll just sit here in a mild state of anxiety until I hear my station called over the PA then I guess. Woot!”
Being a designer/developer I have to consider usability on a daily basis. Our company stands for simplicity so of course we have to think about usability as we develop products for our clients. That being said, sometimes a product is developed so rapidly that extra features can cramp usability when the good old “feature creep” tends to kick in when a client gets excited about the end product…but surely that’s a compliment to our work right?
I’ve been a student a few times in my life, so I understand what it’s like to be tight on cash. The first time was at uni doing a Bachelor of Microelectronic Engineering, the second time was at TAFE studying Applications Programming and the third time was at another uni doing a Bachelor of Accounting. Granted, during my stint studying Accounting I was working full time so money wasn’t an issue during that period of my life.
However, when you’re a full-time student you’re quite often struggling to make ends meet and I can understand and relate. I was talking to one of my friends on instant messenger the other day while she was at uni and she was having a bit of a rant about how she wished her lecturers would stop giving her documents in .doc and .docx (both Microsoft Office formats) and it got me thinking.
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