Witty and insightful observations on the world? Sorry to disappoint, this is a techie blog purely for self reference - published online in the hope it will help others!

Domain Name Registration

Countless people who have commissioned a new website come to rue a very simple mistake. It's important enough to justify a line of it's own, some bold text, and exclamation marks; REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME YOURSELF!!! Many businesses allow their web developers to do this for them, and there's nothing wrong with that...until something happens with the developers. They move to New Zealand, they get sent to jail, their business goes under, they fall out with the client over an unpaid bill......these are all real examples I've come across in the last three months alone. Seriously. When this happens you will end up in all sorts of trouble trying to take action to recover the domain name, transfer it and ... Read more

The Magic Cloud Application

I got a call from a sales guy yesterday evening, he was representing a company who have set up a new Software as a Service (SaaS) business and were trying to drum up some new clients.  A nice bloke but very much a graduate from the old school of sales - he just went into freeflow for about 10 minutes and I could imagine what it felt like answering your door to a double glazing salesman in the eighties or a timeshare salesman in the nineties. My big problem with it was that as far as he was concerned this application could do anything.  Anything at all.  Any e-commerce system, any requirements from clients, it would replace any of their existing ... Read more

Tienda – Removing Shipping Address

I'm a big fan of Tienda, I think it's a fantastic e-commerce plugin for anybody who has a Joomla site.  If the main focus of the site is e-commerce I'd always recommend using Magento, but for an e-commerce add-on then Tienda takes a bit of beating. It's not really suitable for beginners in my mind though, although that's more to do with the nature of e-commerce rather than of the Tienda extension.  There's no such thing as a 'standard e-commerce implemenation' - every one requires some kind of customisation.  One of aspects that might be required is the ability to remove the separate shipping address in the checkout. Why would this be important?  Well if you use SagePay in the UK, one ... Read more

Tienda Documentation

I believe it's important to have detailed systems documentation, I wrote about it here -> the importance of good Systems Documentation. Open source systems tend to be lacking in documentation because they are fast moving, rapidly changing projects and everyone wants to be involved in the glamourous stuff, not stuck writing systems documentation.  I stumbled across this Tienda User Guide which Tessa Kriesel has shared. This can give users a good overview of the Tienda system, although I would normally provide my clients with a bespoke document suited to their system.  This is especially important if it's been customised and looks or acts differently to a standard implentation.  Tessa's document is an excellent guide though. Read more

Systems Documentation

One of the aspects of open source Content Management Systems that is often overlooked is the documentation.  It stems from the fact that the developer often has to try to cram as much as possible into a project for the client's given budget, and at the end of it they just want the job signed off and delivered.  The documentation aspect gets given scant, if any, attention. The trouble is that this often undermines the entire project.  A CMS that the client isn't able to add content to, doesn't understand, is scared of.  The client has paid for this wonderful CMS that they can't use, and the site's content stagnates and ends up out of date and irrelevant before too long. It's ... Read more