Category Archives: Tips

Where's my profile picture

How do I get my picture in the comments on a blog?

Where's my profile picture

So I’d decided that on the new blog I’d have some tips and tricks for people. The first one for me is a pretty obvious one given the first few comments on the blog (see the header graphic). Also following on from some comments previously on my personal blog and also given who was the first to comment on my “professional” Blog :)

How do I get a profile pic / avatar in the comments on all these blog things just like you? (see the header graphic)

Well thankfully it’s quite easy. Just head on over to Gravatar.com

It’s FREE!!! and that probably leads you to wonder why / how on earth / what the …. well it’s a service provided by Automattic ( The company behind WordPress, PollDaddy and a whole lot more )

You’re probably wondering why and truth be told I wonder the same at times but then I think it’s something that binds people together and helps people feel more at ease with their services. This means in turn that you’ll continue to use the products and services of the company helping to strengthen their offerings. Which do you prefer a comment without a graphical representation of the user or a nice smiley little picture of someone. You come back and you recognise the person you go to other blogs and you see the same person you start to build trust. So it’s something I’d definitely be recommending you do if you’re new to blogging / commenting / setting up your website. Associate your email address with a graphic and be recognised across the web.

Stop eating my memory Firefox

Came about a very useful command the other day ( well maybe not command but feature ) in Firefox that lets you check the memory usage of the browser. Seems that FireFox + a few plugins always start to eat up memory on me.

I don’t have that many plugins installed

YSlow / Adblock and a few others you can see below

Plugins I use in Firefox

So why not throw about:memory into the URL bar and you get to see some interesting stuff.

Memory usage

Seemed a bit high to me. I killed the browser and started it again and suddenly we’re down to

Memory usage after restart of Firefox

Wonder if I removed all the plugins if things would stabilize a bit but then it’s pretty pointless to use FF if it’s missing all the plugins I use.

Move to chrome? no thanks I’m fine in FF and can put up with the issues for now at any rate.

How to make a copy of OSX Lion

Backup Lion before you Upgrade

ATTENTION DON’T UPGRADE BEFORE MAKING A COPY OF LION AS IT DELETES ITSELF

If you’d like to make a copy of Lion you’ll need to download it with the App Store as normal BUT don’t upgrade just yet why not make a backup of it first?

Take a look over at http://lifehacker.com/5823096/how-to-burn-your-own-lion-install-dvd-or-flash-drive

Of course I didn’t know this before and won’t be downloading it again though I’d like to have a copy of it.

And God said let there be LightBox …

Let there be LightBox

In general I resize images before I upload them to WordPress and as a result I disable the click the image link. However I noticed no nice lightbox (click image and it pops up rather than taking you to a page with just the image) effect as so sent up a call on twitter if anyone knew a quick plugin that’ll work with existing content and hey presto twitter.com/thelinden ( Barry Walsh ) gets back to me in seconds mentioning ShadowBox JS. God I really love twitter sometimes can save you ages looking up things and  making up a forum post and so on.

Cheers Barry and you can see the results on my previous post its automagic (Just needed to select JQuery in the plugin preference and it auto picks up linked images)

 

Brand Protection Online

Protecting your Brand online the James way

One of the most common questions I see over on the likes boards.ie or iwf.ie is, which domain extension should I get?

I’m always quite surprised by the question I have to admit. Usually people want to know if they should market their business as the .ie (Irish Country Code Top Level Domain – cctld) or the .com and which they should buy. Me being me I think to myself idiots the .com costs about six quid and the .ie costs about 20 quid. You’re talking 26 quid to have both and I mean if both are available I’ll always be saying to take them. So why are people so hesitant on grabbing both? Its something I never understand.

I personally would be telling any of my clients to go ahead and register .ie / .com / .co.uk / .eu / .me and also now the .co (though my verdict is out on it just at the moment but they are selling fast with a lot of good names available its the cctld for columbia but its being marketed as an international tld so hopefully like .tv and .me it’ll join the ranks of international domains read over about .co over on blacknight’s blog – Sick of .com? Meet .co! ). Hell I’d probably even say get the .net / .org / .biz

Why will I do that well rather simply its to protect your brand. Protect my brand but why do I need to do that? Well you’re thinking small at the moment and you’re thinking the Irish market? so the obvious choice is the .ie there in the past has been a certain level of well the .ie was difficult to get and if they are an irish company they have to have their legal details displayed on the website so it must be good and not just a random .com I’ve come across who may be a kid sitting in a basement somewhere. This is changing however .. Irish businesses go belly up .. and I personally hold less esteem for the dot ie anymore.

In the past I’ve put things very simply for a few clients who were humming and hawing wondering if they should buy the two or more domains. The simple question was so you get the .ie and what happens if people go to the .com and discover a porn site with a picture of a gigantic clock on it … ( yes I put it like that to them and let them work out the meaning ). Now if its a childrens clothes store or something like that and people put in xyz.com instead of xyz.ie .. people may be less likely to go back or searching for your store again wouldn’t they ?

Human nature is also weird people can have strange ideas in their heads … the amount of people I know that type urls into google and search for them that way is staggering. Do we ever really remember if a site is .ie / .com or .other ? I know I don’t I kinda expect going to one will take me to the correct site.

So I’ve got to ask why wouldn’t you register a couple of more domain extensions ? I’ve created a number of print adverts before you know the type of thing it goes into a local paper gets sent out and bang there goes 1000 euro with pretty much no way of tracking the return and believe me the return on some of them was rather poor … not that I’d put it down to my advert graphics mind you more so to the target audience they were trying to hit but by using traditional media for the purpose. So that was 1000 euro gone like that and people are complaining that they don’t know if they want to spend that extra fiver on the .com ? get real people.

Anyways just a small rant and a place I’m going to direct people to again … the population of Ireland is 4.5 million (.ie – 20€) … of the UK is 62 million (.co.uk 5€) … of europe is 830 million (.eu – 7€ ) … of the world is 6,700 million (.com 6€) .. if you’re going to be targeting your business at any of these well … you do the maths ?

So why not head on over to Blacknight and protect your brand ? You might even find some very good domain offers

Disclaimer: I do work for Blacknight and all figures are roughly correct at time of posting

How can I make a favicon with photoshop

Favicons quick tip banner

One thing I hate is when a website goes to all the trouble of making up a nice design (or even just grabbing a template and putting it up) and then they don’t go ahead and create a Favicon or worse still in my mind they use the default one that came with the CMS they are using. ARGH!

So what can you do … well really you’ve no excuse there are a multitude of free online favicon generators out there. I however prefer being able to do things from within my trusty version of Photoshop. I’m running Photoshop CS3 and thankfully there is a nice little plugin for it from the lovely people over at Telegraphics. They have versions of the plugin for both windows and Mac (I’m a Mac) and they also have versions or CS3 and CS4.

So install the plugin .. create your 32×32 pixel image and away you go Click the Save As button from the Format Dropdown choose ICO (Windows Icon) and I normally select Standard format.

Of course you can just go ahead and use PNG graphics for your icons I do believe however you’ll end up no doubt having issues with compatability and this method described here has just worked for me.

All this sounding like too much hastle to you ? well there are loads of free online generators out there

Take this one over at Dynamicdrive Favicon Generator or HTML Kit Favicon Generator

Lastly I might add in order for this favicon to appear on the tab / URL area you’ll need to let browsers know it exists. I recommend uploading it to the root webfolder / on your website calling it favicon.ico for consistancy not to mention some browsers automagically pick up the name and search for it, and you’ll want to add in a small snippet of code to all your webpages

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/favicon.ico" />

And finally some Favicons I’ve created (not to mention the one you’re hopefully seeing above)

Examples of Favicons I've created

So once again we’ve saved the world .. well no … its not made that much difference on the greater scale of things but its a nice little finishing touch to your sites and something you or your customers can kinda go oooh thats cool about