Perch is a lightweight CMS that I’ve used quite a lot recently. You can build a website in the normal way and then assign areas or sections of HTML to the Perch system via templates (snippets of HTML containing Perch tags). Additionally, the admin control panel seems to be easily understood by clients. It all works great!
Even though Perch is a lightweight system, it can still be pretty powerful because you can share content areas between pages and also hide or show content quite easily. This is all explained in the Perch documentation but the ability to hide or show content areas is something that is a bit ‘underplayed’ (or perhaps I only discovered this after everybody else) so I thought I’d highlight it.
At the end of last month, I went to the March meet-up of Worthing Digital where Harry Brignull from Clearleft described the development of an iPad app for The Week magazine. Taking a print magazine’s content and designing a tablet app in ten weeks was, I think, a tough challenge, so it was great to hear the project described in some detail.
I wanted to add my most popular posts (as measured by visitor logs) to this Textpattern site and display them. After searching through the Textpattern forums, it seemed that several plug-ins were available but most of these were now defunct. Until I came across the smd_lately plug-in by Stef Dawson. You can use it in a variety of different ways but, for me, I want to show the most popular posts over the last month. A ‘rolling’ total if you like.
The plugin code I used for this is:
<txp:smd_lately by="" sort="popularity" wraptag="ul" break="li" limit="10" within="1 month" />
I’ve used the plug-in on this site. It worked great.
PS: Make sure you are using the cache_time attribute with the plug-in to avoid heavy database use; this will speed up page load times. See this forum thread for details.
Update: This plug-in is not is use on the site any more because I wanted to put something else in its place.
I wrote about the 12414 project a few months ago. It’s an initiative to encourage you to learn new things over the course of 2012 and I signed up so that I would have to set aside more time for personal learning over the course of the year. That’s been partly successful but I haven’t done as much as I would have liked in the first few months. However, what I have done is read up on the HTML5 Geolocation API, which is a subject that I didn’t know much about. Here are a few of the articles and tutorials that I have been reading.
Classic Bags is a Sussex-based retailer that sells luggage and handbags from many top brands. Over recent months, we’ve redeveloped their website and changed it from a brochure-style site into an ecommerce website.
For the new website, we used shop software from Ecommerce Templates. This shopping cart software has a ton of features, is very customisable, and is under constant development. The software will work out of the box so-to-speak but that’s rarely an option these days because every website has its own requirements and there are some things that always need customising.
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