David Nash General 1 Comment

It’s been a long time between posts, mainly because I’ve been so busy. Lately I’ve been working with Symphony CMS. Which means I’ve been writing templates using XSLT, which I think is excellent for writing templates. My XML skills have really advanced over the last 6 months. Using XSLT you can transform one bit of XML into another bit of XML. And because XHTML is XML, it means that I can transfer the XML data output from my Symphony data sources to XHTML. The documentation that does exist for Symphony is quite good, but there seems to be a lot …

“Mad Libs” Style Form Increases Conversion 25-40%

David Nash General 1 Comment

I don’t usually like to re-blog – I prefer original content and a list of links. But I’m making an exception for this – firstly, it’s really cool, and secondly, I’ve been too busy to post anything for a while. Ron and his team ran some A/B testing online that compared a traditional Web form layout with a narrative “Mad Libs” format. In’s testing, Mad Libs style forms increased conversion across the board by 25-40%. I think forms are a crucial part of any website. The web is mostly one-way, and only via forms can you get feedback. …

Using PHP variables that contain hyphens

David Nash php 2 Comments

This took me a little while to work out. I’m using PHP5’s SimpleXML to parse XML into a PHP object. The XML has entries like <HELLO-THERE>. But you can’t use $xml->HELLO-THERE because it reads the hyphen as a minus. Instead, use $xml->{“HELLO-THERE”} Easy!

Reset Silverstripe admin password

David Nash General 7 Comments

It seems like every time I deploy a Silverstripe site I either lose the admin password, or it changes somehow. Then I have to search for ‘lost silverstripe password’ or something to work out how to reset it. This is basically for my own reference: 1. edit /mysite/_config.php 2. add Security::setDefaultAdmin(‘admin’,’password’); to the bottom 3. profit!

Duplicate WordPress site for local development and testing environment

David Nash mysql, wordpress 4 Comments

Update: This is not the best way to do this – use Search and Replace for WordPress databases instead. 1. Download all files from eg, upload to eg http://localhost/example/. 2. Export mysql database from 3. Create a local mysql database with the same user, password and database name. These can be found in wp-config.php 4. Import the database into your new local account 5. Log in to the database, and do: update wp_options set option_value=’http://localhost/example/’ where option_id=1 You’ll now be able to log in at http://localhost/example/wp-admin, using the same username and password as 5. In WordPress, click ‘Settings’ …

HTML syntax highlighting for Silverstripe .ss template files in vim

David Nash silverstripe, vim, xhtml 3 Comments

By default vim opens .ss files with some other file format syntax highlighting. To enable HTML (actually XHTML) syntax highlighting on your .SS Silverstripe template files, create (or edit) your ~/.vim/filetype.vim file. Then enter this: au BufNewFile,BufRead *.ss      setf xhtml Then open a .ss file and it’ll give you nice HTML syntax highlighting. And because it’s in your home directory, it’ll keep working even after you upgrade vim.

Pixel Perfect Firefox Extension

David Nash css, xhtml Leave a Comment

When I write HTML and CSS I’ll usually create a mockup – I take a high quality JPG of the design and put it into a very simple page that shows the JPG, centered on the screen. Then in Firefox I switch back and forth between the page I’m working on and the mockup so that I can get the design pixel-perfect. Well today all that will change. I’ve discovered the Pixel Perfect Firefox Extension which allows me to overlay the mockup over what I’m designing.  You can set the opacity and quickly toggle the overlay on and off. I’m …

Quickly replace the header image in the default WordPress 2.7 Kubrick theme

David Nash General, wordpress 4 Comments

I was asked to do some quick mods to client’s WordPress blog. He wanted to replace the banner image. He’s using WordPress 2.7 and has the default Kubrick theme. This isn’t as easy as you would think as it’s generated by PHP so that the colours can be dynamically set. Here’s what I did: Download wp-content/themes/default/images/kubrickheader.jpg Modify it, save and upload as wp-content/themes/default/images/kubrickheader_NEW.jpg Edit wp-content/themes/default/header.php. On line 42 you should see <div id=”headerimg”> Modify this so it reads: <div id=”headerimg” style=”background: url(<?php bloginfo(‘stylesheet_directory’); ?>/images/kubrickheader_NEW.jpg) no-repeat -1px 0″> Upload header.php and it should now be using your new header. I used …

Remove empty LEGEND tags in Silverstripe search form

David Nash silverstripe, xhtml 3 Comments

I’m pretty obsessive about my HTML validating with no errors and no warnings. It bugs me that when I use Silverstripe’s incredibly convenient $Searchform in the template that it outputs an empty legend tag inside the fieldset. There’s an easy way to fix this: Create a templates directory inside mysite. Copy sapphire/templates/ to mysite/templates/ Edit your copy of the file and remove that pesky <legend></legend> line Refresh your page that uses the searchform and bathe in the warm glow of a error and warning free page! Thanks to Maksfeltrin in the Silverstripe forums for pointing this out.