How to show Popular Posts on a Texpattern site

Posted in on 12 March 2012 | Comments

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.

Learning about HTML5 Geolocation

Posted in on 5 March 2012 | Comments

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.

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New website for Classic Bags

Posted in on 28 February 2012 | Comments

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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My five favourite web design and development books

Posted in on 19 February 2012 | Comments

Recently, @MikeStreety wrote a blog post called My Favourite 5 Books, started a #bookstobuy hashtag on Twitter, and suggested that a few other folks could write blog posts with a similar theme. Here’s my contribution to that.

I found it quite difficult choose only five from my bookshelf so I’ve chosen five books that I found easy to read. My concentration span for reading seems a lot less these days so if I find a book easy to read, that’s quite a compliment! Anyway, without further ado, here are my #bookstobuy book suggestions.

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Responsive web design is easy with fluid layouts

Posted in on 23 January 2012 | Comments [1]

So, I have been thinking a lot about responsive web design recently. I’ve been reading about some CSS frameworks and recoding some of my core files so they can adapt to any grid system that I choose to use. As a result, I’ve decided to use fluid or elastic layouts or hybrid layouts wherever possible from now on.

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