Happy New Year

Here’s to 2009! Hope you all had a good break.

Don’t you just hate Mondays – this has got to be the worst of the year!!

24 Ways 2008

For me the 1st December is exciting not because I get to eat chocolate everyday for the next month (ish) but the excellant 24 ways is back.

24 ways is the advent calendar for web geeks. Each day throughout December we publish a daily dose of web design and development goodness to bring you all a little Christmas cheer.

Previous years have seen first class tutorials and tips from some of the top minds in web development today including Paul Boag, Cameron Moll, Veerle Pieters and Jonathan Snook

It really is beginning to feel like Christmas!

Beginners Guide to SEO

Apparently to appease the numerous requests at conferences, Google has helpfully released their internal guide to SEO for everyone to download. In the past we have worked from guidelines established from trial and error and thankfully to everyone in the SEO industry this confirms pretty much what we took as gospel.

This document first began as an effort to help teams within Google, but we thought it’d be just as useful to webmasters that are new to the topic of search engine optimization and wish to improve their sites’ interaction with both users and search engines.

Its pretty basic in fact but is a very good primer for people who are trying to understand the concept for the first time. Here’s a direct link to the Google SEO Guide.

Eminent Style Relaunched

222 days!

222 days since I last posted. Some could accuse me of being slack or distracted and it could be a combination of the two. The truth is that, thankfully I have been very busy and I have learnt a lot since I launched this site originally nearly 3 years ago.

When I went live with the first version of the site, it was the first time I had implemented a WordPress driven site and I was naive with the way I planned it all out. With a lack of understanding regarding the architecture of web design and WordPress I installed a ‘blog’ in a sub folder called news. So while updating blog or news posts was done through the dashboard of WordPress making any changes to the site’s static pages was a tiresome job.

Welcome to the new version of EminentStyle.com

The site is written semantically and is valid xhtml transitional. Eminent Style v2 is fully optimised for WordPress 2.6.x and is widget compatible. It also makes use of the hAtom and hCard formats – more on this below.

Adding new items to the portfolio is a breeze with custom fields and the excellent JavaScript library jQuery adding hover effects to the thumbnails. The case study pages also make great use of jQuery with the slide effect displaying screen shots.

The contact page is more useful than just having a contact form. Significantly this makes use of microformats hCard for the contact information and allows users to easily download and store this in vcard format compatible with Outlook and other contact managers.

With the power of WordPress and the ability to use pages making it a valid CMS, Eminent Style v2 is now fully customisable. Making much use of the core WordPress features and a few tweaks I am very happy with the result. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think.

Eagerly waiting for Magento 1.0…..

According to Twitter, its available for download now but I am just getting ‘System Offline’. Its worse than Christmas Eve!

Seriously though I have been playing around with the various Magento beta’s over the last few months and I am seriously impressed. This really is e-commerce evolved!

Update – Its arrived!

IE8 Standards Mode by Default – Thank you Microsoft

It seems that Microsoft have caved listened to public reasoning and web standards ‘mode’ will be switched on by default.

Microsoft’s forth coming Internet Explorer 8, which recently passed the ACID2 Test, have now changed the direction they were heading in the way IE8 will render web pages. Orginally IE8 was going to cater for existing web pages not conforming to web standards and offer a meta tag or other solution to enable it if required. Officially dragging IE into the 21st century by enabling this by default is definitely a step in the right direction and a statement of intent about IE8 from Microsoft.

Congratulations Microsoft, this is the right decision. Allowing developers to write website the right way with out hacks and work arounds simply makes economical sense.

Happy New Year

Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and 2008 is everything you want and need it to be.

LA Galaxy MySpace Profile Goes Live

I am delighted to announce that the LA Galaxy MySpace page has gone live.

I was approached by AEG Worldwide in June about a proposed design for the Los Angeles Galaxy MySpace profile that was to go live in time for the David Beckham press conference. With important time constraints on the project and a complete brand redesign ready to be implemented it was an exciting time to be working with such a prestigious company.

The profile is live and I hope demonstrates what can be done with MySpace and a great brief. Take a look here Official LA Galaxy MySpace Profile.

How To: Fix Windows Vista Help (Dreamweaver 8)

Applies to: Dreamweaver 8 and Windows Vista (possibly other xml editors / versions of Dreamweaver).
A short while after installing Vista I discovered the operating system help section was broken. I was getting the following message:

Internet Explorer cannot download / from windows.

I assumed this was due to me being an early adopter and a Microsoft would release a fix through Windows Update.

It turns out I was wrong and in fact it was Dreamweaver 8 that I installed and this caused the problem. By default Dreamweaver 8 associates itself as the default editor of xml files and this in turn causes some sort of conflict with the help system. Dreamweaver 8 was release some time before Vista though so I don’t expect this problem with the latest release, Dreamweaver CS3.
To fix this issue, Adobe have released a registry fix which is incredibly easy to use. Download the file from here and extract the files, then run the enclosed file (DW8_Fix_Help_and Support.reg) to fix. You will need administrator rights to perform this action.

How To: Backup and Restore Photoshop CS2 Settings and Workspaces

Fairly regularly, it seems recently, I have had to backup and restore my settings for Adobe Photoshop CS2. This isn’t the most straightforward process but is relatively painless if you know where to look. This process can be followed for most of Adobe’s apps but in this example we will backup and restore Photoshop CS2.

This ‘how to’ applies to Vista/XP.

Backup

  1. Exit Photoshop CS2.
  2. Ensure that you can see hidden files and folders.
    • XP/Vista: From ‘folder options’ and the ‘View’ tab, select the radio button ‘Show hidden files and folders’.
  3. Locate your settings folder.
    • Vista: Usersuser nameAppdataRoamingAdobePhotoshop9.0Adobe Photoshop CS2 Settings
    • XP: Documents and Settingsuser nameApplication DataAdobePhotoshop9.0Adobe Photoshop CS2
  4. Copy this folder and archive securely.

Restore

  1. Exit Photoshop CS2.
  2. Locate the Photoshop CS2 settings folder in the same way as instructed above.
  3. Rename the folder to ‘Settings Old’.
  4. Copy the archived folder back to ‘9.0’ folder.
  5. Restart Photoshop CS2.
  6. When you are satisfied that you have all your settings and Photoshop is working correctly then delete the ‘Settings Old’ folder.

Always backup before making changes to files and folders on your system.