ExpressionEngine Conference Wrap-up

Posted on Wed, October 16, 2013 in Web Design, ExpressionEngine, GRAYBOX News by Paul Weinert

The best part of being an ExpressionEngine developer (well, aside from working with the best CMS on the market) is being part of the EE community, and putting face to twitter handle was the highlight of this years ExpressionEngine conference. We had a chance to meet developers behind some of our favorite and most used add-ons, like Low (creator of Low Variables which we’re using on nearly every site), Adrian (of Exp-resso Store fame, or infamy on some of our off days) and many others. We were also happy to meet the EllisLabs team.

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List of Awesome Bootstrap Plugins

Posted on Tue, October 08, 2013 in Web Design, User Experience by Kevin Carpenter

It seems like everyday that i stumble across a new useful plugin that enhances the web project that i am currently working on. However, what use are plugins if they are difficult to work with or do not directly fit into to your existing websites' templates or framework? To ease the pain, i have put together a few plugins that all play nicely with Twitter's Bootstrap foundation for seamless transition into your website.

ComboBox

A combobox plugin that works with twitter bootstrap. Transforms a select box into a autoselecting combobox, pretty neat. Link: ...

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Which Graphics File Format Do I Save As?

Posted on Tue, September 24, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

The difference in image types is the result of the need for compression. By default, most images have a fairly large file size, which is not conducive to web use. The most commonly compressed image file types are .jpg, .gif and .png. This quick tip article will supply you with a basic rundown of the various image types while avoiding the massive amount of details regarding the technical processes of compression.

For most readers, you are here for a quick answer as to what format you should save your image as, here is a quick rundown before we go into a little more depth:

  • If the images...

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Setting up a Magento site on your Local Machine

Posted on Tue, September 24, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Design, Web Development, Magento by Mark Middleton

Setting up Magento (Community or Enterprise) for local development can be a little tricky, but with these tips you can be up and running in no time.

Here’s what we will cover:

Installation of MAMP MAMP (not MAMP Pro) is a free one-click installation of Apache, MySQL and PHP for Mac OS X Configuring your Computer’s Hosts File Configuring Apache Setting up your MySQL Database Importing and updating Magento

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ExpressionEngine 2.7: The new Grid fieldtype

Posted on Fri, September 13, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Design, ExpressionEngine by Alum

EllisLabs recently released the latest major point update to their ExpressionEngine CMS, which is great news for GRAYBOX and many of it’s clientele as the ExpressionEngine CMS powers a majority of our projects and the latest update will bring some new opportunities for existing EE sites and open up a number of possibilities for how we can use and manipulate content on an EE powered site.

Some backstory: If you’re a seasoned EE developer you’re probably aware of the hullabaloo surrounding Pixel & Tonic, probably one of the most well known EE add-on providers. If you’re not aware of...

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Magento Troubleshooting Fundamentals

Posted on Wed, September 04, 2013 in Web Design, Web Development, Magento by Mark Middleton

When starting out as a developer working on the Magento eCommerce system, it can be confusing and frustrating to find the source of an issue. Here are some basic techniques for finding and resolving problems within Magento:

Caches

Magento is built with a sophisticated caching system to speed up the delivery of content to the browser.  Even if you turn off all caching, Magento seems to be hesitant to loosen her grip on content without truly clearing the cache folder.

From the Magento Admin Control Panel: In the navigation, select “System” → “Cache Management” Normally...

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3 Ways to Design Better Responsive Sites

Posted on Tue, September 03, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Design by Jason Bennett

Here at GRAYBOX, virtually every new site we design includes responsive features. Designing for multiple devices can be tricky. We refine our responsive design process constantly to identify and fix issues we come across with each site we build. Here are three important things we’ve learned.

1. Side-by-side design

Every device is different. What’s good for one viewport isn’t necessarily good for the other. It’s important to think critically from the very beginning about how users will interact with your site on a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Designing the desktop view and...

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Xcode for Free Design Testing on a Mac

Posted on Tue, September 03, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Design by Paul Weinert

Quick Tip : Using Xcode for Free Responsive Design Testing on a Mac

At GRAYBOX almost all projects we’re doing now are responsive designs so that our websites function great on a variety of mobile devices. This means we have a ton of testing devices now in the office including:

  • iPhone 3G (iOS 4)
  • iPhone 4 (iOS 5)
  • iPhone 4S (iOS 6)
  • iPhone 5 (iOS 6)
  • iPad 1 (iOS 5 Tablet)
  • iPad 3 (Retina) (iOS 6 Tablet)
  • iPad Mini (iOS 6 Tablet)
  • Surface RT (Windows RT)
  • Surface Pro (Windows 8)
  • HTC HD7 (Windows Phone 7)
  • Samsung Galaxy 3 (Android 3)
  • Samsung Galaxy 4 (Android 4)
  • Samsung Charge (Android 2)
  • Kindle...

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Gesture Recognition: A Hands-On Example With HammerJS

Posted on Tue, August 27, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

In this article, you’ll learn how to create web experiences with touch gestures using simple and easy HTML, CSS and a little bit of jQuery.

I Googled to find a few different frameworks from jQuery mobile to Wipetouch as well as several others. All the frameworks I tried were either too complex to use or not very responsive on mobile browsers which completely defeats the purpose.

Finally, I tried another framework called HammerJS, and this worked the way I wanted. It was simple, easy to use and the swipe gesture is very responsive for platforms in iOS and Android alike.

Note: the demo...

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What are "Bugs"?

Posted on Fri, August 23, 2013 in Web Design by Alum

No matter how perfectly architected or built, every running program or live website will eventually encounter a situation that it does not have an appropriate response prepared for. Whenever this unexpected thing occurs, the software running a website has a limited number of options.

  • Fail Silently
  • Fail and report the failure to a human (while hopefully logging the error).
  • DO SOMETHING TOTALLY CRAZY

Each of these actions are ultimately the intended action as far as our software is concerned. At a core level, software doesn’t understand the difference between successfully logging you in...

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