Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WordPress As a Framework for Web Apps - Building a Simple Recipe Database

In the past WordPress has grown from a powerful blog-system to a powerful CMS and, more recently, to a powerful framework for web applications. In fact, using WordPress customization features and the WordPress API, there are not many applications I can think of, you couldn't build. However, there are a lot of applications you shouldn't build with WordPress. Choosing which framework to use (or choosing not to use one) is balancing between many pros and cons affecting architecture, performance, security, scalability and so on.
I found WordPress extremely useful as base for medium sized web apps, without too much traffic. Building a small application, for example a restaurant table booking system, from scratch or even with a framework like Rails or CakePHP, would involve thinking about database scheme, controller structure, authentication, user interfaces etc. A lot of this stuff WordPress is already doing: you already have rough user management, a working admin interface and you only have to think about how to map your data-model to the already existing WordPress database structure.
Our use case: A recipe database
Now, I want to show you how to implement a simple recipe database with WordPress. Requirements are really basic:
  1. Allows adding recipes and editing them just like ordinary posts or pages
  2. Allows categorizing recipes in hierarchical categories like Healthy -> Chicken -> Marinated Chicken Breasts
  3. Allows adding ingredients to a recipe and finding recipes by ingredients
  4. Allows adding quantities to ingredients of a recipe, e.g. 500ml milk, 20g sugar, 3 tablespoons olive oil

Using VBA To Search For The Latest Version Of A Text File

If you're using VBA to import data from a text file, you might need to make sure you're using the latest version of the file. This article will show you how to use VBA to search a folder and identify the correct document based on the date and time the file was created.
One example could be that you receive daily files which are the basis for a regular report you compile in Excel.


Listing Files With The File System Object
The Microsoft Scripting Runtime library must be selected under references in the tools tab before any code you write can access the file system.
Our short piece of VBA code will select all the files in the appropriate folder and find the file with the most recent file creation date.
First, we'll create the file system object and select the folder, which in this example is called "files" and is under the folder of the active workbook.
Dim fso As Scripting.FileSystemObject
Dim SourceFolder As Scripting.FolderSet fso = New Scripting.FileSystemObject
Set SourceFolder = fso.GetFolder(ActiveWorkbook.path & "\files")
Next, we can loop through the folder and determine the most recent file. We do this by creating a date object, which by default defines the year as 1899 - depending on the version of Excel you have.
To begin, we set the newest date as "30/12/1899" so every file will have been created after that date. As we loop through the code we redefine the newest date and file depending on the file creation date.

Using VBA To Search And Retrieve Data From A Text File Containing A Code Library

Sometimes it's easier to save information in a text file, rather than adding another sheet to a possibly already cluttered Excel application. In some instances, the use of a text file might be the only option in a particular situation.
This article will explain how you can organize a text file to make it easy to search for, and retrieve information.
Organizing The File
We'll use the example of using a text file containing a code library, where you can store individual procedures for later use.
One way to search the file is to place your own tags around the code, so that your own VBA code can find the block of text and do something with it. In this case, the "tags" are already in place with the sub and end sub lines.
Perhaps your text file looks something like the text below and you want to retrieve the changeMe procedure which changes the color, bold and font type of the selected cell.
Sub firstCodeSnippet()

' other subs

end subSub changeMe(cellAdress)


With Selection.Font

.Name = "Tahoma"

.Bold = True

.ColorIndex = 3

End With

End sub
Sub otherCodeSnippets() ' other subs end sub

Now, you just need to write some VBA code to retrieve the data.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Use Drupal For Building Community Website

The world of cyber technologies are changing rapidly. The phenomenal rise of Facebook can be easily noticed. Social networking websites are not for fun anymore. Now, these websites have converted into biggest market place in virtual arena. The social networking has become regular business networking. Thus, you can see new entrant, who wants to build community building site for commercial purpose. Such business organizations are looking for best web technologies and Drupal is amongst these web technologies. This content management system can also be used for running a social networking website.
Customization and easy management facility
With this tool, you get the chance to give desirable look and feel in your website. It is based on an object oriented server backend scripting language called PHP, which provides scope for customizing your website as per specific business needs. Apart from this, you can manage your website efficiently by conducting few simple tasks. By using this simply operable CMS tool, you can update your social networking website regularly. Additionally, it provides multiple user accounts and controls features. With the help of these features, you can give specific controls to your social networkers for letting them connected with their friends and update their regular status massages.
Availability of Numerous Modules
Social networking website needs wide ranging functionalities to keep their users engaged. You can enable needful functionalities by installing modules from its 5000+ module directory. Apart from this, you can also take Drupal module development services for installing customized modules in your website.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Right Web Designer for a Profitable Business

Mankind has evolved over the years through business deeds. Business as such plays a role in every aspect of our lives. In early days we had the barter system wherein one person exchanged something for another thing that he requires the most with another person. For example a farmer will sell rice or fruits and other vegetables to another person who sells seeds, pesticides, farming tools etc. These days in order to communize everything man has introduced money system where printed valuable notes are exchanged for things and other services.http://tiny.cc/0ag6aw

However, our world has become a hectic place to live in. 24 hours in a day is not sufficient anymore to complete our work tasks. Such is the demand thanks to the population growth. Competitors in every field have increased and so it has in business too. And in today's market it is very difficult to run your business without a proper website thanks to the advent of internet technology. Every company invariably has websites and the company's reputation has risen thanks to their respective website which serves as a marketing tool and has improvised business strategies. So if you own any business do not think back about creating website for your business. You can create a website on your own, but are you an expert in creating websites precisely to meet your requirements? Of course if you are a good software programmer as well you might give it a shot. But I would advise you to avail a professional to create a website for your company.http://tiny.cc/0ag6aw

There are several website developers available in the market. You can browse online to get details about them. Choose the one after thorough research work regarding their reputation; check their policies and their charges for the job. Never choose a designer just because he charges cheaper rate for the task. A website developed for your company must be of high quality to help you succeed and for that it should be readable and contain precise contents for readers to engage interest in your website. And in this competitive world, it is very important to get the attention of readers to be successful.http://tiny.cc/0ag6aw

To create a website for your company, there are four basic steps involved;
1. Establish your goals
2. Determine your budget
3. Pick a web design company
4. Pick a web hosting company

For establishing goals, you might need to make an assessment and answer certain questions such as why do you require a website? What are you selling? Do you have a catalogue of products? What is your target? Etc.http://tiny.cc/0ag6aw

Determining the budget is very simple once you know the market value for creating websites and you have a clear idea of your requirements.

Choosing the right web designing company is the most difficult task. While you perform a thorough research some of the things you need to keep in mind is design versus build (Before you hire them ask them to create a prototype of the website and make a presentation), their experience in the field, Review their port folios, Compare prices.http://tiny.cc/0ag6aw

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Website Design and What Else I Do Need

A lot of web designers will make you believe that a pretty looking website is enough for achieving an online success. There point is that when a customer comes to your website, they should like what you present to them. I do not argue with this point, however you should ask yourself the following:http://tiny.cc/ltg6aw

1. What would bring visitors to my website: Although you may have a very good Cheap Web Design, but you should also consider what would bring those customers to your website. Is it just the design or there are other aspects of the website design that your cheap website designer should concentrate on. The challenge for modern website designers is to come up with a web site design that is not only attractive to visitors but also to Search Engines like Google and yahoo. Most of your visitors will come from these two search engines. A good cheap website developer will develop a web design that will be both attractive to a naked eye and search engine technologies.http://tiny.cc/ltg6aw

2. How would I retain customer attention: With a good website design, you may excite the customer momentarily as they visit your company website. However, after those initial moments what will keep the customer interested in your website? A customer spends time on your website if they find enough information on the website. The content of the website should excite them. It should not just offer them sales but should also educate them. This can also ensure that the customers will return to your website in future.http://tiny.cc/ltg6aw

3. How do customers navigate: There is no point in having information on the website if customers can’t find it. A good Cheap Website Designer will ensure that the cheap web design is user friendly and navigable. Visitors should easily find the information on your website without any problems. A good rule of thumb is that no information should be more than 3 clicks away on your website.http://tiny.cc/ltg6aw

4. Can people contact me easily: Another aspect of a website design that many web developers and cheap web designers do not concentrate on is your contact details. I suggest that your contact details should be easily visible on your website. Make sure you provide your phone, fax, email and physical address. This helps in generating trust between you and your customer.

5. Do we need a Content Management System: If your budget approves for it and you want to maintain your website yourself and update information regularly with contacting the website development company or your web developer, http://tiny.cc/ltg6aw you should get a Content Management System. A Content Management System (CMS) is a website application that allows you to manage your website without any knowledge of cheap website development. This allows you to keep the information updated on your website and provides a professional look to your website.

What are the Characteristics of Good Web Site Design?

There are many different and often contradictory views and perceptions of the qualities that make for good Web site design. One also has to take into account current trends and popular styles in modern design, which can differ according to personal preferences.

Despite these variables there are some central characteristics of good site design that have emerged in the last few years, and which are generally perceived by pundits as being core features of good design. While design and creative layout remains an area dictated by personal taste and perception it is important to be aware of generally accepted characteristics in order to assess the comparative visual creativity of one’s own Web site.

A feature that is emphasized repeatedly by many designers is the tendency towards simplicity of design and structure of a Web site. Achieving simplicity of design however is not as easy as it might sound. The modern trend is towards a more minimalist interface and page layout, which facilitates ease of access to the site and usability features. One of the reasons for this trend is that as the number of Web sites proliferates at an even increasing rate, there is a need to create sites that have a clear and obvious message and aim.

Simplicity of layout is therefore a characteristic that is evident in some of the best Web sites around. Very often this refers to a simple one or two column structure. Pages are also read from top to bottom. The days of the complex and involved site structure that requires time to figure out in order to navigate are definitely outdated. A good example of the modern stylistic approach is a site like Protolize (Protolize.org).

One of the main design principles that many Webmasters have lived by in recent years was that it was wise to reduce the amount of scrolling necessary to view a page. However, the modern tendency is for a centered orientation in Web design, rather than the previous left aligned, fixed-width layouts. Many top modern sites have the content centered on the page, which often requires some scrolling. While excessive scrolling is certainly not a good design characteristic, the modern view is that some scrolling is acceptable when it is offset against the better use of white space and content that is situated around a central axis.

In line with the above, there is also a relatively new tendency to focus on the design of the content and not the page itself. In other words, there is less focus on designing a page background for instance and rather paying more attention given to the way that the content is presented on a Web page. This follows from the view that effective communication and not mere decoration should be the main focus of a good Web site.

As designer Phil Brisk states, designers often become focused on detail rather than on paying attention to the way that the content is presented, “With your 'design' head on, concentrating on crafting and perfecting style elements, it's easy to forget to step back and see things through the eyes of your users.(http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/dont_decorate_communicate.cfm) He also makes the important point reflected in many modern successful Web sites that, while it is important to make use of eye-catching design elements to create flair and excitement on a site, “…these elements must always be relevant and appropriate, and not distract from a clear, coherent whole effect.” (http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/dont_decorate_communicate.cfm)

This statement encapsulates a central aspect of the modern trend in site design. In more practical terms this refers to aspects such as more open and less boxed-in page layouts as well as the use of color and visual effects to draw attention to the content rather than the aesthetics of the page. As another pundit states, “the focus is on making the site's subject look good, rather than making the web designer look good”. (http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/current-style.cfm). In the light of these views, aspects such central content alignment become important as it focuses attention on the content, as well as providing a sense of balance and simplistic creative design. A good example of a site that takes this view to the point of minimalism is that of Garrett Dimon's blog (GarrettDimon.com). This site is designed for maximum access to content.

There are many other design aspects that conform to the modern perception of a ‘good’ website that are worth mentioning. Navigation is conventionally situated on the left side of the page or on the topbar. The latest trend is to rather place navigational elements on the right side of the page. This may be a trend that is linked to the way that navigation in most Blogs function. Similarly, right side navigation also has the advantage of making the content more visible and prominent.

There are many other aspects such as color usage, which have tended to become more low key and less garish. In terms of font size, the general trend has been to move away from very small illegible font sizes to larger fonts to make online reading more user-friendly. All of these trends point towards the central factor in contemporary Web design; namely that content, and access to instant information are key factors in modern Web design.