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While I was reading Smashing Magazine, I discovered this handy tool called XRespond that lets you load webpages in iframes that are designed to simulate different devices, (similar to how browsers' mobile simulators work).
I think it's quite useful for local development. In fact it works for any website as long as it doesnt have `X-Frame-Options` headers set to `sameorigin`. I highly recommend using it with browser-sync with live loading as well. I use this settings when using it with PHPStorm to live reload my dev site on pw.dev.
// remember set cwd to /site/templates/ or call it from templates directory path/to/browser-sync.cmd start --proxy pw.dev --port 8080 --files "**/*.php" --files "assets/**/*.css" --files "assets/**/*.css"
What other tools/utilities do you use for testing your responsive designs?
Here's a mixin I put together for creating hamburger icons.
It utilizes the checkbox hack so you can use CSS only to show a mobile menu (or off-canvas menu, etc).
Unlike other mixins here you can specify a selector for the label tag if it's not directly below the checkbox, so the label (the icon) can be placed anywhere in the DOM.
There is also a "hamburger_tint" helper mixin included to easily colorize the icon/text on hover or in a checked state.
width: the width of the icon. default: 32px thickness: the thickness of the bars. default: 3px gap: the vertical space between the bars. Overall height is: thickness*3 + gap*2. default: 7px color: the color of the icons. default: #000 (black) radius: border-radius value to round edges. default: 0 anim: seconds of animation duration (transition-duration) or timing function + duration (eg. "ease-out 0.3s"). default:0.25s labelselector: in case the label is not right after the checkbox, use this setting to tell the mixin where to find it. Eg. "~ div.content header nav label". default: "+ label" padding: extra spacing around the icon. default: 0 text: show text next to the icon, by default on the right. Values: "left" or false to disable. Requires an extra "span" tag. default: "right" CodePen demo
I like to showcase my new website acniti on the forum here.
Building and managing a website is a hobby, over the years, making websites got more complicated and more technologies, knowledge and wisdom are required. I started building my first website around 1997. It started out with a static site built with FrontPage, a WYSIWYG HTML editor. A few years later it was time for the first content management system, I looked at Joomla but settled for MediaWiki. I run those websites for 2 years on the MediaWiki platform and then moved on to WordPress. WordPress was good, it did a good job but over time, it became more complicated to make something out of the box, if it's not a blog, it becomes complicated and to have a feature rich website requires a lot of plugins. Little by little it became less fun and more and more hassle juggling the various plugins.
In 2014 I became interested in learning PHP programming, I wanted to do this already for many years, but never had enough time to bite the bullet and work my way through the basics. At the end of the courses I though and now what have I learned, how to put this into action? To built modern website with PHP only is difficult, it also requires knowledge of html, MySQL, CSS, java-script etc. I started looking for a framework experimented a little with CakePHP and then came across Processwire via a CMS Critic blog post.
I developed the acniti website on a Linux Ubuntu 16, with PHP 7 and MySQL as the development server. For the IDE I use PhpStorm, before using Storm I have used and tried some other IDE's such as Zend, Eclipse, Netbeans, Aptana but none of them I liked, some were feature poor, Zend and Eclipse were slow and use a lot of memory. PhpStorm not free but definitely worth the investment. I make use of the free tier Git repository of AWS called CodeCommit, I still use GIT Cola to commit the changes, I could also use PhpStorm for this but I never took the time to change my workflow.
For project management I am a big fan of Redmine, Redmine is a web-based open-source project management and issue tracking tool. I use this also for my other work so it easily integrates with the website building flow as well. It's easy for maintaining lists of features you want to carry out per version, it supports a wiki which is easy for making notes and keeping a log of the activities. I use it everyday and it runs on Ruby. For images and graphics I switch back to Windows for some Photoshop.
The acniti website runs on the latest stable Processwire version at the time of writing 3.0.62, the website has 4 languages including an Asian language. The Japanese language URL's are implemented with their 3 alphabets kanji, hiragana, katakana i.e. https://www.acniti.com/ja/インレットフィルタ. Some images on the site have text and image language tags help to select the correct language, the Processwire blog post from 30 June was helpful to get this running.
The main site has a bootstrap theme, for the mobile version of the site the google AMP specification is implemented. This was really fun to do but challenging at times as the AMP specification is still a little limited. To visit the AMP pages type /amp/ behind any URL like https://www.acniti.com/amp/ for the homepage. The Google webmaster portal is really easy to troubleshoot and check for the correct AMP implementation. Finally structured data according to schema.org is added to the site via the JSON-LD markup.
The commercial modules ProCache and Formbuilder are installed. The ProCache module is really amazing and makes the website lightning fast. Besides the commercial modules around eleven open-source modules are used, Database Backups, Tracy Debugger, Wire Mail SMTP, Protected Mode, Batcher, Upgrades, PublishAsHidden, URL (Multi-language), Twitter Feed Markup, Email Obfuscation (EMO), Login History, Selector test.
During development the Processwire forum is really helpful and checked often. The forum is good for two reasons, most of the questions, I had during development of the site, are already on the site. Secondly the only 6 questions I posted over the last 2 years, are quickly and accurately answered. The downside I didn't become a very active member on the forum but see that as a compliment.
An open issue on the acniti site is the AMP contact form with Formbuilder, the restricted usage of java-script for the AMP specification requires some more in-depth study.
For the hosting services the acniti site uses Amazon EC2, I use AWS already many years to manage my cloud office so it was easy to decide to use it for the web hosting as well. The site is running on a micro instance of EC2 and with the ProCache module CloudFront is serving webpages worldwide fast. Updates from the development server are sent to CodeCommit and from there to the production server. From a site management point of view it would be nice to use AWS RDS to manage the MySQL databases, but from a cost perspective I decide not to do that for now. Via a cron I have set up automatic MySQL backups and these are via another cron job uploaded to AWS S3. To make sure the server is safe, a cron job runs daily snapshots of the server, this is getting initiated via AWS Lambda. Lambda also removes older snapshots because during creation a delete tag is attached for sevens days after their creation. It's important to make a separate MySQL backup as with snapshots the database often gets corrupted and its easier to restore a database backup than to fix a corrupted database. Another nice feature to use AWS Lambda for is a simple HTTP service health checker, which reports to you by email or sms when the website is down.
Making use of all these Amazon services cost me probably somewhere between 10 - 15 $ a month, I have to estimate a little since I am running a lot more things on AWS than only the website.
The site is running on a Comodo SSL certificate but next year I will change to the free LetsEncrypt, as it is easier to add and will automatically renew after 90 days. The Comodo certificate requires manually copy pasting and editing the certificates in place.
The content for the site I write in the Redmine wiki, most of the content I write requires research and it takes about two weeks before I publish the content to the Processwire site. For writing content I use the google spell checker with the grammar checker, After the Deadline. To ensure catchy headlines they are optimized with the Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule
Now the site is running, it needs promotion. The robots.txt files shows the search engines the way as does the sitemap.xml both of these I have made in a template file. Most of the blog articles I promote are republished on social networks like, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter, and some branch specific networks as the Waternetwork and Environmental XPRT. To check, the search engines index the site well, Google webmaster and Bing webmaster check for any problems with the site. For statics on the same server there is an instance installed of Piwik. Piwik is a leading open alternative to Google Analytics that gives full control over data. The Piwik setup works very well and gives a good overview of the site usage both on the desktop via the site or via a mobile app. As a part of a test I have installed the open-source SEO-panel on the same server to manage keywords and to further improve the scores in the search engine, a nice feature is that you can also track your competitors. I am still new to SEO panel and have to learn more how to use the tool effectively.
By Kiwi Chris
Years ago before Wordpress had even been invented, I started work on a site providing information about my local region of New Zealand. Back then, most people were on dialup, and if you wanted a CMS you had to roll it yourself - if you could find a host that supported server scripting at an affordable price.
This year, with a quiet patch with essentially no paid work, I finally decided it was time to make the move from a home-grown CMS using an obscure scripting language to something more modern, so I could spend more time adding content and features, and less time maintaining the core CMS.
I love Processwire because it works the way I think, and when I was first introduced to it, I was up and running within 20 minutes of reading the documentation, vs several hours reading Wordpress documentation, and still not entirely sure how to create my own fields and create a theme from scratch.
I come from a database programming background, particularly Microsoft Access, so being able to make fields and add them to a form or report, is the way I'm used to working, although it took a bit of getting used to Processwire not adding fields to a table by default, although I see Pro-Fields or custom field types can achieve this. (I haven't used Pro-Fields in this project as I'm essentially on a zero budget).
The site itself doesn't use anything particularly fancy. I use the following modules:
Map Marker Form Template Processor Social Share Buttons (With my own colour version of the button icons) AIOM+ (This is particularly handy as I'm using a customised version of Bootstrap, and it handles compiling all the LESS files) Jumplinks The biggest task was importing all the content from my existing CMS, but since I wrote it, it was easier than dealing with some third-party CMS.
The site had been around for a long time, and had numerous inward links including a number from Wikipedia, and I didn't want to break them in the conversion.
If you're converting a site to Processwire with a URL structure that can't be replicated in Processwire, Jumplinks is a must-have module, as it handles complex URL redirects very nicely.
The site has quite a bit of content, much of it which needed updating in addition to changing the CMS, so there might be odd bits that don't look right, but that's certainly not Processwire's fault.
This is the second site we've built for Visualization. The first launched some 5 years ago and was based on a different CMS (before we started working with PW).
The site is fully responsive and features a 'quick quote system' using the FormBuilder module to manage quote requests and email both customer and site owners with the calculated quote. The prices for each part of the quote calculation are editable by the client in the CMS at any time.
Every page features Meta Title and Description override option fields with tag content falling back to values based on the page's content if these are not filled in.
Other than PW core v 3.0.42 additional modules are FormBuilder, ProCache and markupBlog.
Any feedback welcome!