Archive for September, 2009

Site Launch: Fun with WordPress as a CMS

Posted in Accessibility, Ajax / Scripting, News, Web Standards, WordPress

Screen Shot of Triton Custom Homes, Urban Moto Shop, Water to Thrive Web SitesOver the past several months I’ve been working with Glide Design — an Austin-based web site design firm — on a number of interesting projects. We’ve been building the sites with WordPress which is a great solution for a lightweight CMS. I’ve had a lot of fun working on these projects and learning as much as I can about how to extend WordPress into more than just a simple blogging system. They’re not only easy to build but clients also appreciate the simplicity of the admin interface which allows them to maintain their own site content. The following three sites are a sample of the projects I’ve been working on recently. Each one had its own fun challenges and rewarding learning opportunities. Check out Triton Custom Homes, Urban Moto Shop, and Water to Thrive (sites no longer available).

What is Ajax (and what is it not)? Part 3 of 3

Posted in Accessibility, Ajax / Scripting, Resources, Web Standards

AjaxThis is the third post (of three) discussing the topic of Ajax. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to go back and read Part 1 (general introduction, definitions, and history) and Part 2 (development sandbox with examples). Now that I’ve covered the basics of Ajax and implemented some demos, I’d like to address the issue of Ajax accessibility. Does the use of Ajax necessarily exclude people with disabilities? Does Ajax cause a roadblock for search engines (search engine optimization) and mobile devices? Are there ways to improve the accessibility of Ajax and JavaScript-enhanced websites?As I’m writing this, I’m wondering what kinds of accessibility concerns there are in the sandbox demos I included in Part 2 of this series. Did you notice some issues as you were trying out the demos? Perhaps I’ll have to put them to the test in a more formal manner… but that’s a task for another day (and another blog post). In this post I’d like to discuss some general accessibility issues and possible solutions that are available to web developers today. It’s by no means an exhaustive list or a definitive hands-on guide, but hopefully it’s a good starting point for further research. Continue Reading →

What is Ajax (and what is it not)? Part 2 of 3

Posted in Ajax / Scripting, Resources, Web Standards

AjaxThis is the second post (of three) discussing the topic of Ajax. In case you haven’t already done so, you might want to read Part 1. It’s not essential, but it will provide some general context and a roadmap of the three blog posts.

Now that I’ve covered the basics about what Ajax is and is not, I’d like to spend some time playing around with some actual Ajax code. I’ll go ahead and say up front that there’s not much original here. I’m not professing to be an expert Ajax programmer (or hard-core JavaScript programmer, for that matter). Using a home improvement analogy, I’m not trying to build my own hammer, screwdriver, or copper tubing from scratch; I’m holding the tools in my own hands and trying them out to see what each can do. In other words, I’m exploring the use of readily available Ajax and other JavaScript components in my own server environment. Continue Reading →