Archives for June 2013

Styling TinyMCE content in WordPress

I, for one, was tired of my left aligned images creating a staircase in TinyMCE when my theme CSS is set for them to nicely clear. Here is what it looks like in WordPress TinyMCE:

2013-06-28_10-12-37

When this is what it looks like on the page:

2013-06-28_10-16-01

In TinyMCE it can often be challenging to tell what the true layout of the page will look like when your front-end CSS is applied, but it turns out that it’s easy to change the TinyMCE styles as well. All you need to do is drop this code into your theme’s functions.php:

And then create a corresponding CSS file called custom-editor-styles.css in your theme folder.

Write the CSS to clear your <h2>’s, make any other style changes you want to show up in TinyMCE, and voilà! You’ve got a page that makes visual sense.

Clearing Headings

There is a lot more you can do with this, like incorporating more of your actual theme CSS, but the main point is just to make your TinyMCE (back-end) and theme (front-end) CSS more consistent. We don’t need it to look exactly like the site, just enough to understand how the final page is going to lay out.

If you’d like to learn more, you can always check out the add_editor_style() post in the WordPress Codex.

Website Weekend Success: Karier Design!

karier homeNancy Karier of Karier Design recently completed Website Weekend and now has a unique, beautiful design to showcase her work as a graphic designer. In one weekend, Nancy was able to move her site she built in Dreamweaver to WordPress so it is more flexible and easier to maintain. Now she can add projects and content quickly and is able to get back to what she does best – creating beautiful graphic designs. Read the case study.

Tech Tip Tuesdays: Output a list of pages that includes/excludes pages based on their title

Hello and welcome to our first Tech Tip Tuesday, MIGHTYminnow’s very own tips & tricks series. Stay tuned for more…

WordPress’ native wp_list_pages() function is great for doing just what it sounds like – outputting a clean list of pages with one line of code – but sometimes we need to do more.

The following code goes in your theme’s functions.php file and can be used to output a list of pages, in which pages are included or excluded if their title contains a specified “test string.”

MIGHTY Israel Adventure

Mickey here, the latest addition to the MIGHTYminnow team. I’m writing after just having returned from a whirlwind 10-day trip to Israel with a pretty special group of people. We ate. We laughed. We slept far too little. Read on to hear the juicy details…

The Adventure Begins…

mickey at the Tel Aviv port

Yours truly at the Tel Aviv port.

Each of the past four years, I’ve travelled to Israel as part of an organization called Taglit–Birthright, which provides free trips to Israel for Jewish young adults. The first year I went as a participant (amazing), and the last three years I’ve volunteered as staff (doubly amazing)!

Hundreds of different groups participate each year, but our particular trip is unique in that it’s specially designed for people with disabilities (an idea I’m in love with, as a wheelchair user myself). This year we planned a fully accessible itinerary (which is saying a lot in Israel, a land of cobblestone, sand, and stairs) featuring a ton of awesome highlights.

Highlights

masada

The cable car up to Masada.

  • Climbing Masada
    Masada is an epic mountain fortress that is an important historic symbol in Israel. The hike up is normally a grueling 1-hour trek in desert heat, but we got to take the speedy gondola straight to the summit.
  • Swimming in the Dead Sea
    This is the lowest place on earth, and one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet – which makes floating a piece of cake. We managed to get everyone in, leaving wheelchairs and walkers on the shore.
  • Touring the Old City of Jerusalem
    Jerusalem is probably one of the most significant historical/religious sites in the world, and was a fascinating stop for our whole group.
  • Sailing on the Mediterranean
    There’s this great organization in Israel called Etgarim (translates to “Challenges”) that runs adaptive sports programs for people with disabilities. With their help, we all piled into two sailboats and took a cruise just off the Tel Aviv coast.
  • Syria Overlook
    We ventured right up to the border, within site of the UN demilitarized zone, for a group discussion about the present-day conflict in Syria. Midway through the discussion, we heard muffled BOOMs in the distance, and looked up to see mini mushroom clouds of dust no more than 15 miles away. Quite different from reading about it in the newspaper.
  • Hummus, hummus, & more hummus
    I have to admit, one of the things I look forward to each year is getting back to the amazing hummus. It’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s sooooo good.

The Adventure Continues…

sailing

Sailing on the Mediterranean.

I have to admit, it feels great to be home. Coming back to my apartment, my girlfriend, our 17-year-old, 3-legged, deaf cat (this warrants another blog post – coming soon) is just what I needed after one-and-a-half weeks of serious adventure mode. And, I have to say, it feels great to come back to work. No, my boss did not pay me to write that. I love what I do, and I missed it while I was gone. I love creating, building, problem-solving, and I love love love making cool stuff, which is what I get to do on a daily basis!

So, until next summer’s trip, you know where you can find me – at my desk, drinking far too much coffee, making awesome websites.

 

Special thanks to Netanel Yehuda Halevi for the great photos.

Free Ben & Jerry’s for the minnows today!

ice cream truckFirst a little back story before we get to the sweet stuff (pun intended): Our building has recently gotten a brand new security system. One of the features is an intercom system that our security guard uses to update us on the latest basketball scores. The real purpose though is to let the building know whether we should take the fire alarm – which goes off quite frequently around here do to all the construction – seriously or not.

Today started off like any normal workday; lots of emails to answer, problems to solve, and code to write. BUT around 1:30, our work was interupted on the intercom system by our security gaurd for what we assumed was an Athletics update. As it turns out, there was a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck parked right outside our building giving away free frozen greek yogurt! We, along with the rest of the building, rushed down to test out the flavors.

Our Results:

Haley tried the banana and peanut butter frozen greek yogurt. This was a banana flavored yogurt with peanut butter mixed in. It was quite delicious, but the only complaint was that since the banana flavor and the peanut butter were so sweet, the sour yogurt flavor got in the way. Mickey tried the raspberry and chocolate frozen greek yogurt. This was a raspberry flavored yogurt with chocolate pieces mixed in. Since the raspberry was a bit more tart, it mixed much better with the flavor of the yogurt, and who doesnt like chocolate with fruit?! So, Ben & Jerry, if you wanted some input on your new flavors, there you have it!

Google changing smartphone search result rankings

Mm devicesGoogle announced yesterday that it has made changes to the rankings of smartphone search results. They will be looking as some common issues with “desktop” sites when visited on mobile. If your site fails or behaves irrelevantly or annoyingly on mobile, you are likely to be dinged.

They mentioned two very common mistakes and some suggestions on how to fix them:

Faulty Redirects

Some websites have a URL for someone looking at their site on a desktop and a separate URL for users on a smartphone (often called an m. or “em dot” site). When the desktop page redirects a person on a smartphone to a mobile (m. page) that does not exist, or that does not have the same content as the desktop page (like redirecting the user to the mobile home page), this can frustate the user. The solution to this would be to direct smartphone users to the equivalent mobile page, and if this page does not exist, show the desktop version.

Smartphone-only Errors

Sometimes content that works correctly on a desktop browser does not work the same way, or does not work at all on a mobile device. One of the most common examples of this is when content on your site requires Adobe Flash to work. If your site uses Flash, it will not work on any iPhone or any Android version 4.1 or higher.

Correcting these problems can mean the difference between your site being shown on page 1 of a mobile search result or being shown on page 4. If you’d like to make sure your site looks great on mobile devices, we can help! We also offer classes on improving your SEO and search engine rankings, where you will hear the tips and tricks to attracting more visitors and potential customers to your site. We will also soon be holding a “responsive design / development” class, so you can banish those m. sites forever in favor of having one site the works well on all devices. As ours does. 😀

Mm’s “Bay Area Web Freelancers Meetup” is a Great Resource for Freelancers!

meetup_logoWhether you are a web freelancer or just work in the web field, the Meetup group we host at MIGHTYminnow is a great place to come together, network and talk shop. Our most recent event, on June 6th, discussed pricing projects, the pros and cons of outsourcing projects to other parts of the country or world, whether to bill on a fixed bid or hourly, and other topics related to making a living as a freelancer (or small shop). It was a really fun meetup and it was great to hear comments and questions from such a diverse group. Not only does the meetup draw professionals who have been freelancing for many years, but we also welcome newcomers just striking out on their own.

Our next Meetup is August 1st. At this meetup we will be showing off our favorite tools of the trade. We know we will get lots of new tips and tricks in lots of different areas, inspiring debates about which code editor is best, seeing new ways to track bugs, exploring folks’ favorite project management tools. If you are interested in joining in on one of our stimulating conversations, check out our Meetup group, Bay Area Web Freelancers! We’d love to see you there!