We have been quiet for few months here at htmlcenter.
There are couple of reasons for this radio silence and I’m sure both of these reasons mean some positive things for this blog.
First reason is that Allen who was original founder and started htmlcenter back in 1998 (its true, this site was started even before dot.com meltdown happened!) decided to do something different and gave the keys from this blog to new owners. It gives us a chance to give this site well deserved push forward with some new and fresh ideas.
Earlier today Facebook announced that they have launched a full WordPress plugin. The Facebook developer blog has a full overview of the plugin which is available now from within the WordPress admin plugins page.
The plugin allows you to post directly from WordPress to your Facebook profile. The plugin also allows for Facebook comments, Facebook like button, Facebook share button along with an activity option.
To use this plugin, you need to setup your blog as an application inside of WordPress and then link up your Facebook account with the plugin if you want the full functionality of the plugin.
One important note – when I added the Facebook plugin to one of my blogs – the like button completely removed ShareThis and the Facebook commenting option completely removed the regular WordPress commenting option.
For those of you using WordPress, GravityForms can be a real godsend. GravityForms is a premium plugin that makes it extremely simple to create forms on your website. However, there are a few features that aren’t quite built out the way they probably should be, yet.
One of those features is the ability to stop people from submitting forms with duplicate values. While this feature is extremely useful the way it’s currently implemented when it comes to duplicate entries for people’s names, email addresses, etc., it’s not overly useful when it comes to select elements, radio buttons and checkboxes. As it is currently implemented, all of the options are still available for the user to select when filling out the form, but when they submit the form, they get an error message indicating the option has already been selected.
With the use of some GravityForms filters, though, you can make things slightly more usable.
Have you ever wondered what your friends’ favorite WordPress plugins might be? Are you tired of slogging through pages and pages of 5-year-old blog posts just trying to find good plugins for your WordPress site?
The folks at WordPress have made a small but significant change to the way the plugins repository works. Now, when viewing the details of a plugin, you can click the “Favorite” link to add that plugin to your list of favorites. Then, anyone that visits your profile will be able to see which plugins are your favorites.
Ok, that’s cool. So what is HTML5 and what does it do for mobile?
Great question! HTML5 is the latest version of HTML – the standard for presenting and structuring content on the World Wide Web. One of the great advancements with HTML5 is that it allows websites to function like mobile apps by offering design capability that is mobile friendly, as opposed to laptop/desktop friendly. This means websites can be designed to fit mobile screens and have a user interface that is easy to control and highly functional with a touch screen. The term used for this technology is “web app”.
For practical purposes, there are two ways to implement a “web app”.
Websites can be designed so that they can scale from a desktop monitor down to a smart phone screen.
An independent web app can be designed, which will open when a website is accessed on a mobile device.
This new approach of presenting mobile content is breaking down barriers – including time, money, and the ubiquitous App Store. The doors are now being opened to individuals and small business. Big players are also gravitating to this alternative as they recognize the benefits.
Here are the facts about the mobile market: 50% of all local searches are now on mobile devices. This is largely due to smart phone ownership surpassing cell phone ownership in the US and other countries. Despite this notable adoption, most businesses don’t have any mobile solution of any kind – let alone the subsequent marketing benefits. Unfortunately, traditional app development is just too time-consuming, expensive, and technical.
I would guess not many of you have noticed this, since much of our audience probably regards Bing as a joke, but the team over at Bing has redesigned their search results pages. The page is now much cleaner than it once was, with a true no-nonsense feel. The only items on the page are the search results, one or two ads and a list of related searches.
In addition to cleaning up the overall design by removing all of the color splashes and by moving the related search list from the left to the right, they’ve also removed your search history and the ability to narrow your search results by time period.
Although the page’s color palette now resemble Google more than it ever has before, the actual layout of the page is much more minimal than Google’s current design. Below, I’ve included a comparison of Bing and Google. Both searches were performed within an incognito window, so I am not signed into either service. If you’re interested in more details about the redesign, you can view the official post on the Bing blog.