WordPress and Mexican Silver

There’s more to WordPress than blogging. It has become a great CMS platform for non-techies and web developers. The fact that you can extend it as much as you like, makes it a candidate platform for any project.

I recently decided to create an e-commerce site for one of my passions: Mexican Silver Jewellery. I wanted to build something very simple and easy to navigate for the customer. I know it can take a few weeks to get something up and running from scratch, so as my time was limited and I needed to create the content for the site, I decided to use the twenty twelve WordPress theme, which I love. I prefer simplicity over heavy design and the twenty twelve theme doesn’t disappoint. It has everything I need.

It was just a matter of finding the right plugin for the shop. I opted for JigoShop, as it has been recommended to me in the past. Once I started adding products, I realised how well developed the plugin is. Although I did spend many hours entering products and searching for answers to the questions I had – I was grateful for the documentation.

One of the most time consuming parts was getting the SSL to work. I decided to make the entire site secure, as JigoShop only has one page that can be made secure – the ‘checkout’ page. This was an issue for me, as I wanted to make sure customers felt confident creating an account and going back to the site anytime and be able to update their profile securely.

As I already had a Paypal account, I got the transactions working nicely. Although I did have some issues with Paypal sandbox and in the end I was forced to make a live transaction during the development process.

I’m very pleased with the result… now all I need are customers!

Inspired by the Paralympics

We had a great family day earlier this week at the Olympic Park. We watched 7 World and Paralympic records being smashed in the Aquatic Centre including Ellie Simmonds in the 200m IM. We went absolutely nuts when she raised the last 20 meters to win and break her PB.

A big cheer to all the paralympians who have shown us that everything is possible.


Feeling the Autumn chill

The holidays are officially over, the children are back to school and we’re left with great memories  from our lovely holidays in Cornwall – one of my favourite places in England.

Back at my desk with loads of work to look forward to. Plenty of WordPress development for a couple of clients, which I will share as soon as I can, and some new exciting mobile web ideas to implement in the next few months.

I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that I still need to read and catch up with. I’m still trying to figure out what is the most efficient way to do so. I definitely need to keep my notes a little tidier to be able to share them more regularly here.

In the meantime, I’ll keep that blue sky as my screensaver until the Autumn officially arrives.

On my radar: #html5 #mobileweb

Technology moves fast and this week I’ve been madly busy, but here are some of the tidbits that piqued my interest recently…

  1. Microsoft ditches .NET for HTML5 – watch the video
  2. Microsoft updates to Bing mobile are supported in Android, iPhone and RIM but not Windows Phone 7. Read the full story.
  3. The FT launched an HTML5 web app, which according to the NYT was created to bypass the App Store.
  4. Can the web and mobile help the planet? Yes, according to Katie Fehrenbacher from earth2tech. Full story.
  5. The Mobile browser share Q12011.
  6. HTML5 vs Native: The Mobile App Debate continues.
  7. A brief tour of  Apple OS5 and this piece about Apple’s iCloud.

New year, new blog theme

I’m pleased with this new WordPress blog theme.

Thanks to my friend Aaron Acutt of Point6, who gave me a hand with tweaking the illustration, which was acquired from iStockPhoto.

It was hard to find a theme that would make me happy. Here in England, I miss the sunshine, so I wanted something to cheer me up. The sun and cactus is the perfect combination. I also love the way the ‘nopal’ (‘prickly pear’ if you prefer) grows in the direction of the ‘sun’.

I have lots of exciting things to share with you over the coming months. But for now, just wanted to say ‘salud!’ to my new blog theme.

The Future of the web

I’m looking forward to seeing Sir Tim Berners-Lee tomorrow at NESTA speak about ‘The future of the web’. The event will be webcast live from the NESTA website.  For sure there will also be much tweeting via @innovationedge, too.

I look forward to meeting some of Steve Bridger’s friends – please come a say hello.

WordPress 2.5.1 upgrade

It was time to sit down and concentrate on the inevitable WordPress upgrade. I always have to dedicate a couple of hours to this task, to allow time for any fixes.

I was looking forward to the upgrade as I knew that there’s been a facelift to the 2.5 interface but my first problem was encountered when I was just about to hit the ‘upgrade wordpress’ link and read the message:

‘Database Upgrade Required
Your WordPress database is out-of-date, and must be upgraded before you can continue.’

Followed by the link ‘Update WordPress’

My database is out of date? Does this mean I’m not running the required version of mySQL? This confusion meant that I couldn’t carry on with the upgrade straightaway. A message to my hosting provider and to the WordPress forum and a couple of hours later I was up and running.

The problem was to do with the wording of the message. ‘Your database will be upgraded now…’ or ‘Your database is out of date but you nearly there, just follow the link ‘upgrade wordpress” would have been much clearer. Usability confusion.

Next time I upgrade I will know what it means!

Coffee break

Hot coffee

I can’t do without coffee; I get my best ideas when I’m sipping a cup of good coffee. Fair trade coffee.

If you are still not convinced of either the quality or the ethics of fair trade products, you might want to think about it during Fair Trade Fortnight.

It was an real eye-opener to watch Black Gold, a film I highly recommend, which creates awareness where the coffee we consume in the west originates from, and the small but significant difference to coffee growers we can all make as individuals.


Tired of email spam, Roel Van Gils, in his ListApart article shows how to stop it for now Graceful E-Mail Obfuscation

Guidelines for UK Government Websites: government websites must meet Level Double-A of the W3C guidelines by December 2008

A working example of Alt text and link images, explained by Jared Smith

Looking to automate testing? Watir “Web Application Testing in Ruby” might be what you are looking for.