Beyond mobirise website builder

Six months after writing my mobirise review, I'm still amazed at the quality of this free software. It has spawned a new business model for my web design business in the west of Brittany where I deal with an important  market share  of customers who do not wish to pay for wordpress or CMS powered web design : small and medium companies just need to be online, not to pay for extra content management services they absolutely do not need.

SELF HOSTED web site creation 

This is why I am investigating domain management and webdesign, and two new tools have caught my attention. Remember SILEX FLASH CMS ? their original website has gone down and there is a new SILEX, are these the same guys ? anyway this is a good web design interface that generates static HTML and sends it straight to your FTP. the project is available online for try and test and abuse (free) !! and also hosted on github. But I honestly don't know if it generates modern pages like MOBIRISE does... I have also been looking at another self hosted solution, that runs on CPANEL, this is useful for hosting business where you want to give your customers access to website design : look at KOPAGE if you want something dynamic  integrated into your webhosing CPANEL package, or Aloha Editor, opensource javascript application that provides a very neat editing interface for HTML pages, and its PHP integration CreateJS. Or opensource SITECAKE

FREE website creation tools

apart from squarespace or WIX, a dozen of website creation tools allow to start free : investigating domain reservation api led me to try moonfruit which has lot of initial templates to start from. But the real deal breaker is pagecloud, which promises to create your HTML5/  CSS compliant webpage straight from photoshop


To conclude,  let's return to static generation : I have found a really net webdesign app that will cost you 70 bucks, I really like the HTML it produces, and that's all for now, here is a screenshot, enter BLOCAPP for mac, their front page says it all : simplicity, quality, clarity ...





Using Amazon S3 cloud storage with WordPress

I was quickly hooked to Amazon S3 storage via the free account creation offer on Amazon Cloud's website. AWS offers 5 free gigabytes of cloud storage, which is interesting if, as in my case, you need to host big files permanently, that could hardly be stored via standard wordpress installation. Of course you could increase upload limit but I am afraid this could be  security issue.

It turns out that the AMAZON WEB SERVICES is a cluster of different hosted applications, among which S3 is the simplest to use : it is no more than a file storage utility with a web based browser, web access to files, and various protection features.

If you want to host your WORDPRESS Media files on AMAZON S3, you need to install a plugin. I tried the WP READ ONLY plugin that is very easy to configure. All you need is to have configured  your S3 account :

  • choose a bucket   (some kind of folder for amazon S3),
  •  your amazon credentials : developer key and SECRET KEY

Other plugin I tried is wp2cloud but this one is more complex to configure as it requires linux skills to install Clouse,  Cloud Storage Engine for MySQL

Magento custom attributes display on product page

The flexibility created by the attribute feature in Magento allows limitless possibilities : vairous product types can be created and each of them can go with specific attributes, meaning specific form fields for the admin, that are inserted in the product view (template/product/view.phtml) for public display. The functions availble for each user defined attributes are very simple to guess : they are dynamically created for each attribute create using , as explained in the Pratthost developer zone blog...
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Protonotes : simple web collaboration

Have your ever found that communicating with distant partners or collaborators involve a lot of window changes : email, phone conversation, chat... Protonotes is a hosted service that aims to centralize all conversations to a web page, can be either a web design prototype or the beginning of your own extranet. Protonotes works very simply by the inclusion of a javascript that displays a control bar on top of your web page, and allows the display of yellow notes all over the place. nice and simple, doesnot require login or installation : might be a good idea to implement password protected notes for privacy - or moderation !! Link : protonotes

Gmail vs OtherInbox

What I like about gmail is not its interface : while it's certainly one of the most accessible web based mail interface, it lacks powerful features from the desktop world. But we don't like it only for its interface, we also like the fact that it kills spams very efficiently. Spam is the issue, and that's where OtherInbox, Austin-based start-up and web service founded by serial entrepreneur and email-marketing guru Joshua Baer, fires. OtherInbox is described as  the cure for email overload - it provides consumers with a free email account that automatically organizes newsletters, social networking updates, coupons and receipts from online purchases so that its easy to find the most interesting things and ignore the rest. OtherInbox shows the consumer who is really responsible for sending them spam and gives them a powerful new Block button to stop it once and for all. OtherInbox launched publicly in September 2008 at TechCrunch50. Served by Ruby On Rails,  powered by sproutcore, otherinbox has gone through a new step in the world of free web based mail readers. Thinking of Migrating ?

Time management with rescue time

Ridiculously easy  time management & analytics : unlike stated by the name it wears, rescue time does not only manage timesheets. This free signup online service can also easily host project management with serious analytics letting you know instantly where you stand in terms of personal and group time management. Working without require you to tell what you're doing on your PC, rescue time will record which application you're using on your desktop and render the time spent according to keyword you've defined : "RescueTime really begins to sing once you've tagged the apps that you use most often. The tagging interface is designed to allow you to quickly label your untagged apps with the tags that make the most sense to you. We've found that you only need to tag a few dozen most-often-used apps to get exceptional value out of RescueTime".

Cushy CMS administrates static pages

Cushy CMS, hosted Content Managemant platform, has invented an efficient concept : just modify the HTML code of your pages by addinc the "cushycms" class attribute to HTML elements, and these elements will be made editable via Cushy CMS' interface. Technically, CushyCMs analyses your page, grabs appropriate elements and builds an editor within its interface. It then modifies the HTML code of the pages and transfers them to your host via FTP. Simple and efficient.

JotForm, Form making for everyone

There is a lot to say about the knowledge of making forms for the internet : we have recently covered form making interfaces on applications such as WordPress and Silverstripe, and this article focuses on JOTFORM and other hosted web service that let its registered users build form, and save them as HTML to be displayed on any website, and processed by a distant platform hosted by the service. Submission can then be sent by email or kept on server databases for access from registered user account. While JOTFORM seems relatively simple compared to competitor FormAssembly's conditional multiple page infrastructure, it hosts interesting features such as payment gateway processing.

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