24 April, 2014 — Development, Life

A new look for ThatBlogger

As you might have been ThatBlogger has been quite quiet recently. This is because since the start of the year I have been extremely busy working on new projects, a new business venture and general life events.

I recently took some time to redesign That Blogger to give it a fresh new look and to finally get round to blogging again!

The New Theme

Having spent some time looking around the net for a theme to fork, saving me time designing and building a new theme. I stumbled upon a theme I really liked. It was clean, simple and used Post Formats, something I had wanted to use for a while to give my posts a facelift. This theme was Sorbet by Automattic. I knew I would have to fork a theme and adapt the code to work the way I wanted and take out the code I didn’t need for That Blogger. However after forking the code I decided to work from the ground up and build a Sorbet based theme using the Bootstrap Framework. What you see now if my finished product.

Take a look at what the theme looks like if you downloaded it right from WordPress.org and you’ll see the difference.

What else has changed?

I have been through and fixed broken links in posts so you don’t need to worry about clicking a link and the website behind it has gone! The next thing to be removed is adverts, I decided to ditch all adverts, this was simply because I want the website to be as clean as it can be to really focus on the content.

I have also made some minor speed improvements in the new theme.

Let me know what you think about the new look in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

10 January, 2014 — Blogging

Blogging Topics…

Over the past few days I have been fining blogging hard. Not the actual technical side of blogging more the coming up with topics to write about…

Some of you may well know I am a big fan of John Saddington a former owner of 8BIT and WPDaily who I worked with when I contributed to WPDaily. His expertise and advice has gotten me to this point today and have allowed me to keep blogging for nearly a year now!

People can’t lie to you, blogging is hard work – getting readers and keeping readers isn’t easy. However one of John’s posts really helped me out. In it John said blog at least 3 times a week, to gain more traffic to your blog or website. My aim is to hit 250 unique visits per day. Hopefully with a bit of work I can achieve this target.

Totally random post but its one down for this week!

9 January, 2014 — Development, Snippets, WordPress

Create a “Recent Posts” Module Outside of WordPress

Not all websites run on WordPress, but some websites might decide to use WordPress as their blogging choice. They decide they want to display the recent posts from the blog on the website. However the website isn’t in the WordPress core. So how do we display the recent posts on the website?

The Code

To be able to use WordPress outside of the WordPress core is simple. Just include the 

wp-load.php
 file in your website:

// Include the wp-load from WordPress Install
include('wp-load.php');

// Get the last 10 posts
$recent_posts = wp_get_recent_posts(array(
    'numberposts' => 10
));

// Output the posts
echo '<ul>';
foreach($recent_posts as $post) {
    echo '<li><a href="', get_permalink($post['ID']), '">', $post['post_title'], '</a></li>';
}
echo '</ul>';

Once you have the 

wp-load.php
 file included, the entire WordPress core is open to use!

31 December, 2013 — Blogging, Life

My Goals for 2014

2014 is just around the corner so I thought I would share some goals I have set myself for the next year!

Changes To That Blogger

So first things first, my plans for That Blogger – I originally set this blog up as a way to focus on WordPress and web development articles but now with 2014 I have decided to turn it into more of a personal blog, while at the same time keeping the tips and code snippets coming.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m not only a programmer but also a scuba diving professional and a photographer. Therefore That Blogger could become a large source of all sorts of information.

Extending My Diving Professional Status

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In very early 2014 I plan on doing the Scuba Instructor Exam to allow me to become a fully qualified Diving Instructor. Which could be interesting I am not sure if I will be doing it in the UK or Abroad yet. Keep an eye out for updated on that…

My Health & Fitness

I must set this goal every year and like others I’m sure, it never really fully happens. Been young I have been getting away with eating whatever I want, whenever I want. However in the long run I know it’s all going to come crashing down so eating healthy is going to be a big part of new year… but only time will tell on that one!

The Unknown

I’m sure 2014 will be full of other goals that pop-up over the year and I’m sure you’ll have your own goals. Whatever your goals are I wish you all the best in 2014!

28 December, 2013 — Development, Tech

Should Web Designers Be Able To Code?

Over Christmas I was flicking around the internet one evening and stumbled across a blog post here, and after reading it, it got me thinking about events that have happened in my life that leads me to believe that Elliot’s tweet was absolutely correct.

(an old Tweet I know but still just as relevant I think)

If someone is calling themselves a “web designer” they should not only be able to design but have the ability to visually or physically be able to work through the build process for a project’s visual aspect. Thus knowing and getting to know the limitations some designs may have before the final design is signed off by the client, making them think thats what there getting. I can’t remember how many times I have been sent a flat Photoshop (psd) file that is both complex and near impossible to build with the time allocated and the clients budget. Where the designer can’t code and therefore has no reference for the technical abilities needed to achieve the finished design and look they are after.

Web Designers – Can’t or Won’t

As in Elliot’s post there is a clear line between designers who can’t code and those who won’t code. However I think this is somewhat miss leaving in his post as he refers to “can’t” as ‘choosing not to’ – so they can but choose not too – where as I think there are designers who can’t because they don’t know how and need to be taught but are willing to learn.

What’s the options?

So the question is, should people who are web designers be able to code what they see visually? Or maybe we should be designing in the browser from the word go, after all it is 2013 (nearly 2014). Leaving photoshop for what it was built for?

I would love to hear your views from both designers and developers below.

Photo by takorii

25 December, 2013 — Life

Merry Christmas!

I would just like to wish all my readers a very Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you are not all sick yet from all that chocolate and turkey!!

Happy Blogging for 2014!