I Am Back

After a few days of not posting here, I am back. Every time the new year approaches, I begin to re-assess what I want to do for the year like most people. Last year I wanted to establish myself and my consulting business, get involved in some big projects, and learn more about WordPress. Looking back now, I ended up working on a few big projects, the most visible (as soon as it launches) is Ookles. I had the opportunity to work with some outstanding talent and I learned quite a bit about CSS, Google Maps, project management, contracts, and the art of communication. I also had a great year with my consulting company. I have helped a number of people build their personal and company web sites, and I learned quite a bit by working behind graphic designers for the first time. Thanks to Alex King, I also built quite a few custom WordPress CMS web sites, blogs, and etc which pushed me to learn more about WordPress, AJAX, and PHP. In the next coming year, I hope to improve my time management (so I can spend as much time with my son as possible), release a few plugins for WordPress, and move my more technical posts to my company’s blog so I can begin offering a place of centralized WordPress and XOOPS CMS HOWTOs and tips to my current and future clients. I should have everything up and running in the next few days so I can begin posting blog items: http://www.sdacinc.com/blog/.

ultimate tag warrior wordpress plugin.

I am always looking for new ways to optimize and improve jappler.com and this past weekend I installed and configured a new wordpress plugin: ultimate tag warrior. Not only does it take care of my tagging needs with each post, but it also allows me to create a tag cloud (see the home page), and it automatically adds keywords within my meta tags. If you are new to WordPress or need any of the functionality listed, check it out!

wordpress permalinks fix.

I had been struggling with the the next/previous links on my WordPress blog now for several months. Nothing excites me about mod_rewrite and permalinks in general. I know both are very powerful, but with power comes frustration.

My problem: All my permalinks were working correctly except for the next page/previous page links. WordPress was trying to use the URL: https://www.jappler.com/blog/page/1/ which was not working.

My setup: I am using WordPress as a CMS so my site is all in WordPress. My WordPress and blog address are the same: https://www.jappler.com (anything else produced an internal server error). I am using a custom permalink structure: /blog/archive/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%.php All blog posts go into the “general” category by default.

My solution: I finally did some research and figured out two things:

So, to fix the setup, do not worry about the Blog URI and WordPress URI, they both should be the same (assuming your WP files are in the root of your web site folder).

Using a WordPress page as the home page:
Create a page with a “page slug” of “home” for the page you want to be your home page. Also create a home.php template file and have the following code before the WordPress loop: and choose the “Home” template for the “Home” page.. This will take care of using a WordPress page as the home page.

To take care of the blog at /blog/:
Create a page with a “page slug” of “blog”. Create a new template called blog.php and in it, use the following code:


and choose the “Blog” template for the “Blog” page.

[tags]WordPress, mod_rewrite, permalinks, jappler.com[/tags]

feedburner (email posts) error.

Thanks for everyone that signed up to read the Evan news via email. I am sorry to say though that what you signed up for was to have these (jappler) posts emailed to you and that is my fault…I forgot to change one piece of code. Please unsubscribe from this by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email you get with this post in it, and then go back out to evan.jappler.com to sign up for what you wanted to actually read (the correct code is up there and tested).
[tags]jappler.com, Evan, feedburner[/tags]

it's a boy!

I have decided to finally share some awesome news…my partner and I are expecting a baby and being who I am and doing what I do, I have decided to create a web site for my soon to be child so that I can share all the information with my family and friends since many of you/them live so far away. I did not want to be “that parent” who sent billboard sized pictures, or who made you sign up for some photo sharing web site in which you never remembered your user name and password. I am still finalizing a few of the plugins and most of the content, but without further ado, check out Evan’s web site. No need to point out any issues…I know what they are and I will be addressing them one at a time. I wanted to get this out sooner in order to start blogging/post pictures, etc. Anyone can have a blog 😉
[tags]jappler.com, Evan[/tags]

big news/anouncement soon!

It is usually pretty accurate to say/think that when I do not post for multiple days in row, I must be up to something. I have been working on a special project for a few weeks that I will reveal either tomorrow or Saturday. Stay tuned for some big news/announcments in the next two days!

jappler.com for at least two more years.

When I first chose jappler.com as my domain name I was not sure if I would stick with it…but now two years later it is really starting to stick and I just renewed my domain name for two more years. Heck, one of these days I might actually start using a jappler.com email address. For now, I still stick with the Mac tax email address.

say hello to ken pesanka.

Last night I was working with my good friend Ken and he asked me about possibly being a guest writer on my blog for an occasional Ken post. I thought it over and decided to give him an account. Stay tuned for a Ken post in the near future and it will be written by “kenp”. Welcome Ken!
[tags]Ken Pesanka, jappler.com[/tags]

helpful css tips.

Over the years, I have wasted a lot of time on “guessing” what would work and what would not work. Anyone just starting with CSS or looking to modify someone else’s CSS will hopefully find these tips helpful and time saving.

  • Padding or Margin? These two attributes are often used, and more often confused. The margin attribute defines the space around an HTML element’s border. The padding attribute refers to the space within the border.
  • Example:
    p.marginex { margin:20px; border:1px solid #ccc; }
    p.paddingex { padding:20px; border:1px solid #ccc; }

    This illustrates using margins.

    This illustrates using padding.

  • Class(.) selector or ID(#)? selector I explained the usage of classes v. IDs in an earlier post but this is something that still confuses people. Classes are used over IDs when you have something that might repeat on a page. IDs are used for unique items like header, navbar, container, footer. My rule of thumb: if there is a possibility for something to appear multiple times on the same page, use a class, if not, use an ID.
  • How do I deal with line breaks without tables? CSS is not for the light hearted, but using display: block and display: inline correctly will save many headaches. Remember, display is your friend. If you would like to have a line break after an element, a class or an ID, make sure to define display: block. If you do not use that, chances are you will have the code following that seep up into where it does not belong.
    will not even help you at this point. On the other hand, if you would like to create something like my post categories list (see above, right below the post title) and you want to put all the list items in a row, on the same line, use display: inline. display: inline also works out nicely when you are using multiple columns in a layout. Anyone who has tried to do this will smile at this point, because we have all seen the left column in position and then having to scroll down the height of the left column before the right column begins. Display inline will take care of that.
  • The “float” property Most people will have to use floats at some point when using CSS. Floats are most commonly used to float text around a graphic, like I often do here on jappler.com. Floats are also commonly used with using multiple columns in page layout. Jappler.com uses floats all over (header, navbar, columns, etc). By using a float, you can shift a fix width box to the right or left with the surrounding content flowing around it. (think magazine picture layout).
  • The “clear” property If you are using floats, you most likely will need to use the float property too. The clear property sets the sides of an element where other floating elements are not allowed.
    Ex. If you set clear to left, an element will be moved below any floating element on the left side.

Hopefully these tips/explanations will help you understand how to get CSS to work for you…and not so much you working for CSS.
[tags]CSS, margin, padding, classes, IDs, float, clear[/tags]