Dev Toolkit: Code Snippet Storage

Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013 in Web Development by Alum

The saying goes that good developers write code and great developers steal code*. The best developers however are those who are able to steal from themselves. The great thing about working with digital tools is the ability to apply previous solutions to new work with copy/paste. Reusing code in this manner can save development time is a standard practice, especially for veterans of the industry who get both smarter and lazier as time goes on. What's hard though is keeping all of your stolen code handy, ready to pop it into the template or script or whathaveyou. Back in the day™ we kept this...

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jQuery: Combining Effects to Make Your Site Sizzle

Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013 in Web Design by Mark Middleton

jQuery, the popular framework for short-handing complex actions in JavaScript, has been extended by many developers around the world to do create some pretty slick in-browser effects.

Today, let's combine a couple of those together (along with some CSS effects) and make your page content a little more interesting.

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Wordpress .htaccess Broken Down

Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

As of WordPress 3.0, to create permalinks you will need to use the following .htaccess file: # BEGIN WordPress RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L] RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d RewriteRule . /index.php [L] # END WordPress The goal of this post is to examine what the .htaccess rules are doing, and why they’re doing it. With this information you will be able to customize your own .htaccess file to suit the needs of your web application.

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Great Advice for Understanding most Users

Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013 in Web Design, User Experience by Alum

Do you ever have a hard time explaining UI and UX to clients or coworkers? We came across this video the other day and found it humorous and helpful in explaining the sometimes counter intuitive design decisions that get made to make our sites user friendly.

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4 Tips To Faster Loading Google Fonts

Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013 in Web Design, User Experience, Digital Design by Kevin Carpenter

Load Google Fonts First Before CSS Place the Google import code such that it loads first directly after the html HEAD tag, EVEN before loading the CSS file. This ensures the fonts load before the CSS so there isn't any unexpected "jumping" of when the font finally loads. This is actually becoming very common in sites that I have seen recently. Use Link Format There are 3 ways in which you can load Google Fonts – @import, link rel and javascript. The link rel tag will allow you to place the code on the html and load it the fastest before the CSS file. Here is an example:

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The Query Module - Getting ungettable data into your templates

Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Development by Alum

At its core the job of a CMS is to retrieve information from a database and display it to a user. Inside of ExpressionEngine the most common example of this is the Channel Entries module, which at its most basic it looks something like this;

{exp:channel:entries channel="blog"}

{title} {blog_intro} {blog_body}

{/exp:channel:entries}

If you’re familiar with EE then you should know instantly what’s going to happen here. ExpressionEngine will output the Title, Intro and Content for each entry in the blog channel, one after the next. By adding parameters like “limit=”, “orderby=”,...

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What kind of Social Media User is your company?

Posted on Mon, November 04, 2013 in Digital Marketing by Alum

At GRAYBOX we’ve been working out our social media strategy. As our company grows and we bring in new people with new ideas, we’re slowly working out a consistent strategy that our whole team engages in.

While utilizing different tools and experimenting, I came across tweetlevel and a helpful list of the different kinds of twitter users they have identified. It has helped us decide what kind of social media users we are, and what kind of user we want to be. Take a look, I think it is helpful.

Idea Starters – this small collective of people are the creative brains behind many of the...

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Magento Quick Tip: Magento product does not display

Posted on Wed, October 30, 2013 in Web Design, Web Development, eCommerce, Magento by Mark Middleton

If you have added a product to your store and it isn’t showing up in the storefront, there’s a list of settings to check:

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Expression Engine Conference 2013

Posted on Tue, October 29, 2013 in Web Design, ExpressionEngine, GRAYBOX News by Mark Middleton

Earlier this month, two of us from GRAYBOX attended the EE2013 conference here in Portland, Oregon USA.

With a packed schedule of 46 sessions with 34 speakers, the two days of the event went by very quickly. It was a great opportunity to meet and share with other developers, add-on creators, hosting vendors and EllisLab, the makers of Expression Engine, themselves. The conference was excellently executed and provided a solid foundation to deliver excellent training and connection with the EE community.

Gremlins in the Gears: Troubleshooting tips and tricks from EL’s own

One of...

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3 Questions to Help You Assess Your Team

Posted on Fri, October 25, 2013 in Business Operations by Alum

After a long season of having our heads down on client work and pushing out several site launches and marketing campaigns, we like to assess results and improve our systems and communication as a team.

One of the things that I'm fascinated with in business and life in general is people. Managing projects overseeing work and communication from clients and coworkers provides an interesting perspective for how different people with various personalities work and communicate together, or fail to do so. Often, improvements that can be made revolve around understanding and contextualizing to...

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