Setting up a WordPress site

Setting up a Wordpress site isn’t difficult, but there are a lot of steps. As something of an early Christmas present, iThemes has put together an extensive checklist breaking the process down into 7 easy-to-follow sections.

  • Basic WordPress Development
  • WordPress Security
  • WordPress Backup
  • WordPress SEO
  • General WordPress
  • WordPress Launch
  • WordPress Maintenance

There are 88 items in all. Under the security section, iThemes recommends its own plugin. As we’ve written before, we would offer different advice. But otherwise, their list is terrific.


The New York Times on Quest for Land

I just ran across this story by Seth Mydans on the New York Times Lens blog about John Vink’s excellent app Quest for Land.

“One goal stayed in my mind throughout,” he said in a telephone interview from Phnom Penh. “The mechanisms of an injustice hitting thousands of people in Cambodia had to be told. That’s what it is about.”

He has produced an intimate, passionate, almost palpable documentation of their lives — a decade of photographs, tens of thousands of images, the vast majority of which have never been published or exhibited.

He has become so immersed in his work, he said, that it has been hard to find a point at which to pause and pull it all together. “When living in a country instead of popping in and out, the flow of events is immersive,” he said. “You can’t escape it.”

Looking for a home for some of his 3,500 edited images, he has turned to the most modern of technology, creating an iPad app called Quest for Land, available through iTunes. In 20 themed chapters containing more than 700 photographs, he invites a viewer to join him in his immersion.

John spoke to the photographer Erik Kim about the project, and the interview provides some interesting insights into the process behind building the app. Of course, this is all a bit old news. The app was released in 2012, when iOS was in version four. But it’s not every day that your work gets discussed in The Times, so you have to grab the opportunities when you can.


Book binding in Phnom Penh

Book binding. It really is an art form.

Good commercial printers in Phnom Penh are everywhere. None of them, however, specialize in book binding, and high-quality book binding work is rare. A few printers I’ve visited just looked sheepishly at the floor and acknowledged that, while they can print books, they are not very good at it. A quick glance at the spines of sample books made the point all too clear. A few others did decent, if not great, work. And while print quality was generally pretty good everywhere, paper stock was narrow.

Google page speed 100

No one likes to wait for a slow web page. But blinding fast sites don’t just happen.

For those that don’t know, Google PageSpeed is a free tool that assesses the performance and usability of your website for mobile and desktop platforms. It’s extra important because Google uses it in determining key elements of our SEO ranking, i.e. how high we appear in their search results.

On our first pass recently, the K4 Media site scored 86. Not bad. But not great. WordPress doesn’t make it easy, either, with bloated themes and unnecessary plugins. If your aim is Page Speed 100, however, Jeff Reifman at Tutsplus shows you the way.

Flash goes HTML 5

Expect to be hearing a lot about this in the future.

The latest buzz is that Flash goes HTML5 i.e. the work done in Flash can be imported to HTML5 using the new Creative Suite called Flash CS6 that will work on iPad and iPhone as well as Android and it will also support Windows 8.

A year or so ago, pundits were predicting the death of Flash. That seems unlikely to be the case now. The devil, of course, is in the details. Expect a lot of experimentation over the next few months.

Flash CS6 uses the CreateJS open source framework for the output of animations in Flash. A Flash animation can be exported to the CreateJS framework working within the Canvas element of HTML5 which is being called as the Toolkit for CreateJS. It will help to smooth the transition to the world of JavaScript from ActionScript development. It is thus being predicted that HTML5 has a great future in the world of web development and Web designing.


Syncing passwords across computers

If you use more than one computer on a regular basis — home, work, laptop, ipad, for example —  you know what a pain it can be to keep things like bookmarks and passwords synchronized. Enter Xmarks, which is a dead-handy little browser plugin that makes it easy to sync, um, bookmarks and passwords, across multiple machines.

Xmarks handles the bookmark syncing, and it integrates with Last Pass to support secure password storage. Very useful. And Xmarks even works across browsers — Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari.