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| Coding Tutorials

server-stackNic Rosental is a developer based in Atlanta and he recently gave a great presentation on how to build a really fast server stack.

Nic defines a stack as, "The components that make up your application. From the web server to the code."

Nic starts with a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). He explains that the normal LAMP stack isn't optimized for speed and then he goes to look at a wide variety of server setups and tools.

During the presentation he compares PHP 5.3 to PHP 5.5 for speed. If you use PHP at all, you really should watch and see how much faster 5.5 is.

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| Coding Tutorials

cms-source-codeWordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are primarily powered by PHP.

However, as a user on a website, we don't actually see what's going on behind the scenes in the server. We only get the final output from the server, which is in the form of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. That's the code that creates the webpage that we see.

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| Coding Tutorials

flexboxCreating columns can be a tricky task in webdesign.

For many year webdesigners used tables to show content in columns. More recently, designers have been using CSS floats.

Flexbox is a CSS property that makes it possible display content in columns without the need of using floats or tables.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to get started with this useful CSS feature.

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| Coding Tutorials

AngularJS logo

One of our predictions for 2014 was that traditional CMS's will become much more reliant on Javascript.

That prediction is coming true, and AngularJS is at the forefront of this change.

AngularJS in a Javascript framework created by Google. The goal of the Google team was to add model–view–controller (MVC) capabilities to web applications so that both development and testing could be made easier.

In this video, Douglas walks you through the fundamentals of Angular so that you'll have a good idea of how Angular works and a clear understanding of how to get started.

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browser iconsIs your website running slowly? Does your site have a lot of repeat visitors? Browser caching is one tool to help your site load much more quickly.

Every time someone looks at a page or an image the browser keeps a copy of it. Then if you request that page again within a certain amount of time, rather than run out to the internet to grab a new copy, it just gives you the locally saved version. This make the internet feel much faster.

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| Coding Tutorials

SecurityOver the last few years, our websites have been subject to regular attacks. One of the most common attacks was sending bots to repeatedly attempt to login to our admin area. Some of the attacks were severe enough to slow or crash our website.

We've stopped those attacks from happening by creating an additional layer of security for our admin areas.

We keep hackers out of your admin area is to create an additional username and password via a file called htpasswd. That extra password screen prevents the bots from reaching our admin login and has eliminated problems with repeated login attempts.

This tutorial will show you how to do that in three easy steps. Let's get started.

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| Coding Tutorials

fullscreenMany years ago, when flash websites were popular and no-one cared about SEO, websites often went fullscreen.

A fullscreen website would hide all the browser elements such as address bar and bookmarks menu.

Thanks to the jQuery.fullscreen plugin, you can add this feature to your non-Flash websites. 

Here's how to use the jQuery.fullscreen plugin:

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| Coding Tutorials

phpmyadminOne common question we hear from our members is this:

"My hosting company tells me my database is too large. But, I'm not sure what's causing it."

Here is an easy way to find out why your database has grown so large:

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| Coding Tutorials

youtube embed codeThis tutorial will show you how to embed YouTube videos directly into your site without a plugin.

There's a mantra in CMS communities, that goes something along the lines of "There's a plugin for that." However, adding many plugins can make it more difficult to manage the site in the long term, as well as cause conflicts at times. One of the most common examples of this is YouTube plugins. While many of them can be very useful, they are sometimes not flexible enough or cause unintended issues.

The solution is simple, but I've found that many site admins don't know about it and instead opt to link to the video, rather embedding it into their website.

EmbedPress - WordPress Embed YouTube Videos If you're using WordPress, we highly recommend you check out the EmbedPress plugin. You can create advanced, responsive YouTube embeds, using just the URL.

Download EmbedPress

Let's get started.

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| Coding Tutorials

Speech RecognitionIt's increasingly common to control your devices using speech.

Google has speech recognition built into the Chrome browser. Apple and other Android manufacturers have voice control built into their cell phones.

Now, thanks to annyang!, you can add voice control to your website. annyang! is a tiny javascript library that's really easy to add to your site.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use this library doing a quick example.

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| Coding Tutorials

Using Bootstrap the Right / Semantic WayBack in the year 2000, when I first started learning web development, tables were my best friend.

The web was filled with <tr> and <td> and semantics were non-existent. Images were broken down and placed in bits & pieces inside different table cells.

Things changed in mid-2003 when I came across a site csszengarden.com. This site showcased the new and the right way of doing things, which was to separate content & presentation. After all, that is the reason CSS was created in the first place.

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| Coding Tutorials

firefox-osOpen web apps are here thanks to Firefox OS, which makes it possible to build apps with only HTML, Javascript and CSS.

This is a great advantage for web developers who don't want to code for iOS or Android devices.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to convert your existing responsive website into an app that can run on Firefox OS devices.

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| Coding Tutorials

font-squirrelIn the early days of the web, the number of fonts in websites was limited. This was due to the font files that were installed in the visitor's computer.

The most famous fonts are Arial, Helvetica and Calibri because Windows and Macs often included only those fonts by default.

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| Coding Tutorials

logofilezillaFileZilla is one of the most popular FTP clients.

The main purpose of Filezilla is to make it easy for you to upload and download files from your web hosting server.

You can also edit the files and save changes without the need of manually downloading and uploading.

FileZilla supports Mac, Windows and Linux. 

This is an intoductory tutorial for people who are new to using FTP software.

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| Coding Tutorials

BootstrapBootstrap is an enormously popular CSS framework.

UPDATE: Firebug is not supported anymore. Please try Dev Tools in Firefox, or Developer Tools in Chrome instead.

Last week, we outlined 6 reasons why so many people love using it.

This week, we have a quick tip from our forthcoming Joomla 3 and Bootstrap class.

VIcki Watson shows us how to use the Firebug plugin for Firefox to diagnose and fix problems with Bootstrap sites:

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| Coding Tutorials

accessibilityAccessible websites allow users with disabilities to navigate the web and access information. A disabled user may be blind, have a motor disability, dyslexia, or a range of other disabilities that make web navigation difficult. Most users with disabilities will access the web using adaptive equipment, such as a screen reader or refreshable Braille display. Many will not use a mouse.

And these disabled users make up around 10-20% of Internet users in most countries, so creating websites with them in mind will have a positive effect on your bottom line.

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| Coding Tutorials

lessCSS is a simple language. It allows us to style properties of HTML elements using selectors. This makes it easy for beginners to get started with CSS.

However, as the size of your web projects grow, you end up repeating much of your CSS code. If you face this issue, then it's time to use a CSS preprocessor.

In this tutorial, we're going to explain what a CSS preprocessor is. We'll also introduce you to one of the most popular CSS preprocessors: LESS.

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| Coding Tutorials
tutuploadsphp.gif

A critical file you often need to manage is the php.ini file. It controls many import aspects of what you can and can not do with your site, including the size of files that you can upload.

Different hosts use different schemes for storing and accessing files and so you'll need to research where your php.ini file.

This tutorial will show you how to find the location of the file on any server.

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| Coding Tutorials

UPDATE: Firebug is not supported anymore. Please try Dev Tools in Firefox, or Developer Tools in Chrome instead.

As templates and themes become more complicated, it can also become more difficult to find and replace images. The most likely image you'll want to replace is the logo.

We're going to show you a technique to find and replace logos. Though the technique requires a few steps, it should help you track down almost any image you need to find.

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| Coding Tutorials

CodeLobsterAn IDE is a wonderful tool for coders. IDE stands for Integrated development environment. It's an environment on your computer that has your web server and all possible editing tools in one place.

In this tutorial we'll introduce you to CodeLobster, an IDE with plugins to support Joomla, Drupal and WordPress development.

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| Coding Tutorials

960-grid

Web designers need to create beautiful designs. That's obvious. But, with many different platforms and screen sizes in use, they now also need beautiful designs that are also easy to scale and modify. Grid systems are one solution They are an attempt by designers to create work that is both beautiful and practical.

Various grid systems now form the basis of almost all new Joomla, WordPress and Drupal templates and themes. In this tutorial, we'll give you an introduction to grids so that you can work with those designs more effectively. At the end, we have links to tutorials on two popular grid systems for Joomla, WordPress and Drupal.

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Browsers want to appear really fast for you. So instead of going back to the webpage every time you visit it, they save copies of pages and bits of information called, "cache". There are times when this effort at speeding up the browser actually slows you down. Like when you're trying to make changes to your live site and see the changes in real time.

There are three things that can cause some frustration, cache, cookies and browser history.

You may need to get rid of all these temporary files so you see your changes. The process is similar in all browsers, you just have to know where to find the controls. Check out the list.

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| Coding Tutorials

A detailed look at the Wireshark protocol analyzer

Greetings, In this article I want to discuss the other powerful tool a systems administrator should know about. It is called Wireshark (from Wireshark.org). Wireshark is in essence a sniffer, in that it can listen in on the packets on the wire and tell you whats what. Officially its called a protocol analyzer which is more true to its mission. In this article I want to share with you a few items of value about Wireshark, and why you should get to know this tool better.

I think that as technical people we get lulled into a dull sense of safety with tools, for example a reliance on a control panel tool that identifies bad guys by their actions and blocks their IP's. This is for sure a good thing, but it is not the only thing. With tools like Wireshark, we can peer into the activity of our server and see what is going on at the packet level. A client some months ago came to JoomlaRescue.com and was having a problem with continually being hacked. We tracked it down to a compromised (vulnerable) FTP software that had allowed them in. However we found they were using FTP through the use of Wireshark.

This is important because if you were unfortunate enough to have a bad guy insert this INTO your network he could eavesdrop on everything you do. However - in this use case, it is being demonstrated as diagnostic tool.

For the purposes of this article I ran Wireshark on MY personal machine only. It was never allowed  outside my network, so in other words, everything you see here came to my machine using normal, everyday browsing techniques.

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| Coding Tutorials

In our previous articles, we discussed at a high level a few tools, the first of which was Nmap from insecure.org. In this article I want to give you a short primer on Nmap and some of the popular methods to use this powerful tool.

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Good Day to you!

In my last article, I introduced you to NMAP, WIRESHARK and NETCAT. These fall in the category of diagnostics and troubleshooting. The next two tools known as vulnerability scanners. They check your server, code and in the case of the second tool - Accunetix  - it scans your "code" for such things as SQL Injection flaws and Cross site scripting.

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Good Day to you and welcome to Tools you need to know about.

This article is part one of the TOOL Series. In this I want to introduce you to some of my favorite tools. In the first few articles, I will discuss them generally, then in future articles, I'll spend time discussing each one.

The tools discussed will be both GPL and NON-GPL tools as well as Joomla based tools.  Your comments are welcome and I hope that you find this series helpful.

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| Coding Tutorials

HTML form data can be retrieved and processed in many different ways, for example

  • by using a scripting language,
  • a server-side language such as PHP,
  • or any of the many programming languages of choice.

In this tutorial, we're going to walk you through on how to access or retrieve form data with PHP, and show you the different methods that can be used.

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