Scribble Designs http://scribbledesigns.co.uk Web Design Northern Ireland Thu, 06 Feb 2014 11:15:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Unreal Theme for WordPress releasedhttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2012/06/23/unreal-theme-for-wordpress-released/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2012/06/23/unreal-theme-for-wordpress-released/#comments Sat, 23 Jun 2012 21:25:23 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/?p=270 We’re proud to announce that Scribble Designs has released our first ever free WordPress theme. Called ‘Unreal‘, it’s a subtle blue and grey two-column theme that uses the latest HTML5 and CSS3 features for a clean, modern look that’s also fully search engine optimised. What you get Thumbnail-enabled latest posts widget: The Unreal theme supports […]

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Unreal WordPress theme - screenshotWe’re proud to announce that Scribble Designs has released our first ever free WordPress theme. Called ‘Unreal‘, it’s a subtle blue and grey two-column theme that uses the latest HTML5 and CSS3 features for a clean, modern look that’s also fully search engine optimised.

What you get

Thumbnail-enabled latest posts widget: The Unreal theme supports post thumbnails, allowing you to set a featured image for each post. We’ve included a widget that shows your most recent blog posts, complete with thumbnail. You can even customise the number of posts that are shown by default.

Menu support: Two menu areas – one in the header for site navigation and one in the footer for copyright/terms and conditions links. The header menu supports one level of drop-down links, so you can organise your navigation!

HTML5-enabled: We’ve based our theme on the HTML5 compatible _s theme by Automattic in order to take advantage of the latest web technologies and all the baked-in microformat goodness the theme contains.

Four widget areas: The Unreal theme has four widget areas by default – one in the sidebar, and three across the site footer, allowing you plenty of flexibility in where you place your widgets.

Download & Install

Download the Unreal theme from our official page, or grab the file directly from here.

To install, you can upload the unreal.zip file using the Install Themes feature in your WordPress dashboard. Alternatively, extract the zip file to your hard drive and upload it using FTP to your WordPress site’s wp-content/themes directory.

To activate the theme, browse to your WordPress dashboard’s themes area and enable the Unreal theme from there.

Support

Do you need help installing or customising the Unreal theme? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Get in touch through our contact form with your enquiry and we’ll be happy to help you at our normal hourly rates.

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Updates: New site launches and design refreshes!http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2012/04/19/updates-new-site-launches-and-design-refreshes/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2012/04/19/updates-new-site-launches-and-design-refreshes/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 14:33:49 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/?p=235 We’re excited to announce that Scribble Designs has just launched the new website for Crumlin-based tree surgery, The Tree Company. It’s an elegant brochure website with a clean, uncluttered design that focuses on the various arboicultural services the company offers. Scribble were contacted by the client before Christmas and asked to come up with a […]

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The Tree Company Brochure Website screenshotWe’re excited to announce that Scribble Designs has just launched the new website for Crumlin-based tree surgery, The Tree Company. It’s an elegant brochure website with a clean, uncluttered design that focuses on the various arboicultural services the company offers.

Scribble were contacted by the client before Christmas and asked to come up with a design that would help The Tree Company market their services to a wider audience. We’ve also provided advice on Search Engine Optimisation and link building to help them drive traffic to their new site. Check out our portfolio page for this site.

Design refresh for Crosshill Carpets

Refreshed website for Crosshill Carpet ServicesAfter revamping their company logo, long-standing clients Crosshill Carpet Services contacted us to refresh their website.

Alongside the branding refresh, we reorganised the structure of the site to include new services that Crosshill are offering to clients. We also replaced old-style image-based rounded corners with the new CSS3 border-radius and box-shadow implementations which work in most modern browsers and render faster than the old image-based method.

Stylejacking

Stylejacking fashion blogWe silently added this to our portfolio section a while back – it’s time for a slightly louder fanfare for Stylejacking.

Stylejacking is a new addition to the Unreality TV family of sites – a fashion and fitness blog for modern women who want a gossipy take on celebrity fashion as well as a finger on the pulse of current fitness and diet trends. The site is built using the WordPress blog platform and we designed a custom theme that utilises custom thumbnails and easy to manage menus. It also runs on the Nginx web server platform, something Unreality TV has been looking at as it serves a growing user base each year.

Since its launch in February 2011, Stylejacking has had one million pageviews and continues to grow.

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WordPress 3.0 has been releasedhttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2010/06/18/wordpress-3-0-has-been-released/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2010/06/18/wordpress-3-0-has-been-released/#comments Fri, 18 Jun 2010 14:14:31 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/?p=189 Just a short note to say that WordPress 3.0 has recently been released. It’s a milestone release for the blog software, and includes some major leaps forward: Brand new default theme, the highly customizable Twenty Ten. The theme supports easily customisable tiled backgrounds and header images to help you create a custom look with little […]

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Just a short note to say that WordPress 3.0 has recently been released. It’s a milestone release for the blog software, and includes some major leaps forward:

  • Brand new default theme, the highly customizable Twenty Ten. The theme supports easily customisable tiled backgrounds and header images to help you create a custom look with little effort. Coolest thing about this? You can specify a header image for each post if you want!
  • Support for new customisable hierarchical navigational menus. Easy to manage, drag and drop and no need to worry about code!
  • WordPress multiuser has been merged with core, allowing each and every WordPress installation to operate as a Multiuser installation if the mood takes you. No word on how to activate this just yet, but…wow.
  • Support for custom post types. It used to be Blog posts with some support for single pages. Now you can create custom post types for just about anything you fancy – like events, product listings, etc. That almost brings WordPress in line with Drupal!
  • For the twitter power users – built-in support for short links.
  • Easy bulk updating of plugins, core WordPress and themes.

Check out the video showing some of the new features in this version of WordPress. I think it’s good that they’re taking a little break after this release to concentrate on features for the wordpress.org site. They’re clearly anticipating an upswing in WordPress users after this – and it’ll probably happen too. This version of WordPress looks far more versatile than anything that’s gone before it.

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Backing Up Your Drupal Databasehttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/24/backing-up-your-drupal-database/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/24/backing-up-your-drupal-database/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:00:08 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/24/backing-up-your-drupal-database/ Being a WordPress devotee, the shocking thing about Drupal is that it doesn’t have a backup utility built into the core system. Any content management system that relies upon a back-end database should provide a way to back that database up regularly. Shockingly, Drupal doesn’t. But it does have a dedicated community, and there are […]

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Being a WordPress devotee, the shocking thing about Drupal is that it doesn’t have a backup utility built into the core system. Any content management system that relies upon a back-end database should provide a way to back that database up regularly.

Shockingly, Drupal doesn’t. But it does have a dedicated community, and there are a number of options out there for backing up your database. The one which I’ve been using lately is the Backup/Migrate module.

This module makes it easy to do both on-demand and scheduled backups of your Drupal installation. With the on-demand backups, you can download them to your computer immediately. The scheduled backup saves the files to your webserver for downloading at a later date, and you can specify how regularly to back up and how many backup files to keep, so it’ll do the housekeeping for you as well.

Because Drupal uses relative hyperlinks by default, you can download an entire live website to a local server and use it to test themes, modules and Drupal upgrades without affecting the live environment.

This is more useful than you’d believe. I recently upgraded a Drupal site I manage, and the upgrade failed. I couldn’t get access to the site and thought it was ruined. However, I installed Drupal 5.1 on a local webserver and restored the database backup to that. I then upgraded that installation to Drupal 6.2 successfully. With a completely recovered and upgraded database, I was able to put this on the live webserver. We were up and running again relatively quickly.

I decided after that to test all my Drupal upgrades on a local server before doing the upgrade on a live website!

What’s missing (in my opinion) is a way to back up the uploaded files, themes and modules that each Drupal site contains. I want to look at some way to set up FTP synchronisation to back up site files on a scheduled basis.

If you’ve got any suggestions, please share!

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Redesigning My Personal Bloghttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/23/redesigning-my-personal-blog/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/23/redesigning-my-personal-blog/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2008 23:28:50 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/23/redesigning-my-personal-blog/ Something I’ll be putting on the portfolio here soon – a redesign of my personal blog. This is a redesign of the blog, which runs on Drupal 6 and features a blog and photo galleries. It’s not the first Drupal-based theme I’ve ever created, but certainly the one I’m happiest with. If you want to […]

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Something I’ll be putting on the portfolio here soon – a redesign of my personal blog.

This is a redesign of the blog, which runs on Drupal 6 and features a blog and photo galleries. It’s not the first Drupal-based theme I’ve ever created, but certainly the one I’m happiest with.

If you want to know a little bit more about the process behind designing the site, I wrote about my aims for the site, then followed up today with some notes on why I made certain design decisions.

My feeling is that the design is quite unique and a good starting point for establishing an identifiable presence on the Internet. Here’s a screen-shot:

gerard-screenshot

I’ll have a bit more information on this design in the portfolio in the neat future.

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HowTo: Configuring Triggers and Actions in Drupal 6http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/03/howto-configuring-triggers-and-actions-in-drupal-6/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/03/howto-configuring-triggers-and-actions-in-drupal-6/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2008 11:32:16 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/03/howto-configuring-triggers-and-actions-in-drupal-6/ Drupal 6 offers built-in actions that can be performed whenever something happens on your site. Typically, you want to use this to get an alert when someone publishes content on the site, or a new user signs up. You might even want to mimic WordPress and get an email alert every time someone leaves a […]

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drupal logo

Drupal 6 offers built-in actions that can be performed whenever something happens on your site. Typically, you want to use this to get an alert when someone publishes content on the site, or a new user signs up.

You might even want to mimic WordPress and get an email alert every time someone leaves a comment on the site. I’m going to show you how to set this up for your site.

Defining Triggers and Actions

First, let’s take a look at what triggers and actions actually are. A trigger is an event which will happen on your site. Triggers that I can see on my site are Comments, Content, Cron, Taxonomy and Users.

If you look at the available triggers for Comments, you’ll see various trigger types. The one we’re interested in is “After saving a new comment”.

Before you can activate a trigger, you need to specify an Action. This is the action you want to happen each time a trigger is ..er.. triggered. You can do a number of things with actions, such as redirect users to a URL or give them a message on the page. However, we’re mostly interested in the Send Email action.

Step By Step Instructions

OK. So let’s set up a simple action and trigger combo to send us an email each time a comment is left on our Drupal site.

  • Before you start: Make sure you’ve got the trigger module activated. Browse to Administer -> Site Building -> Modules and check that Trigger is enabled. If not, switch it on, obviously!
  • Now, let’s set up our action – browse to Administer -> Site Configuration -> Actions. Drop down the Make a new advanced action box and select Send e-mail. Click Create.
  • Set up your alert email with an easy to recognise Description and Subject – I used “New Comment on [Sitename]” for mine. Enter the email address of the person who’s supposed to receive the alert (probably you) and then enter a short message – you should see some variables underneath the text field showing variables you can use.
  • Save your changes et voila, your action is configured. Now to attach it to a trigger…
  • Browse to the Trigger page in Adminster -> Site Building -> Triggers. Click the Comments tab and drop down the list underneath After saving a new comment. You should see your email in the list – select it and click Assign.
  • Job done – your action has been configured.

Don’t Forget To Test

You didn’t think we were finished yet, did you? Now you need to test that the triggers are working correctly.

Just to approach this as a regular site visitor, log out of your Drupal site. Or, if you’re smart like me, just fire up another web browser where you’re not logged on to the site (that way, you can still use the admin part of Drupal in your main browser and test the average user experience in the other).

Simply visit any blog post on the site (or any node that allows comments) and leave a comment on that post. Now, head on over to your email inbox and wait for that alert to arrive. Mine arrived in just a couple of minutes.

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Mollom: A Content Monitoring Systemhttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/mollom-a-content-monitoring-system/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/mollom-a-content-monitoring-system/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2008 15:31:47 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/mollom-a-content-monitoring-system/ Developers Dries Buytaert and Benjamin Schrauwen have announced the release of an all new anti-comment spam system called Mollom. Since Dries is the mastermind behind the community-building CMS Drupal, Mollom seems to have a wider remit than you might find with comparable systems like Akismet. They’re not just going after the usual automated comment spam […]

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mollom

Developers Dries Buytaert and Benjamin Schrauwen have announced the release of an all new anti-comment spam system called Mollom. Since Dries is the mastermind behind the community-building CMS Drupal, Mollom seems to have a wider remit than you might find with comparable systems like Akismet.

They’re not just going after the usual automated comment spam that most anti-spam focuses on. Mollom allows you to look at the entire spectrum of user contributed content and analyse it against a number of factors: spam, offensive/inflammatory content, aggressive content, etc.

I’ve installed the Mollom module on my personal Drupal website and I’m thinking seriously about installing it on a couple of other Drupal sites that I’m working on that are getting hit heavily with user account spam*. There’s an option in the config page for Mollom that indicates it can watch out for spam user accounts, which will be a godsend for anyone who runs an open community.

What Does Mollom Protect?

Well, looking at the configuration page (in Drupal 6), you can protect all your contact and comment forms, user registration and password request forms and input forms for any node type, such as blogs, pages, polls and stories. That’s pretty cool and covers all the possible ways a user (or a spam-bot) might try to enter spam on your site.

Effectiveness?

It’s too early to say. Give it a couple of days and we’ll see. My personal blog isn’t very heavily trafficked, so I may install it on another community site I’m working on to see how it handles user account and content spam.

Mollom works on three classifications: good content, bad content and content it is unsure of. When it’s unable to make a classification, Mollom will present a CAPTCHA box to the user to verify their input.

Getting Started With Mollom

There’s a fairly comprehensive post about Mollom over on Dries Buytaert’s blog that should get you up and running in no time. Unlike Akismet, which allows you to use the same key across multiple websites, Mollom requires you to create a key set for each website you plan to run it on.

It only takes a moment or two to get up and running, so visit the Mollom website for more information.

* User accounts that are created by software for the purposes of spamming.

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How To Apply rel=”nofollow” To Content In Drupalhttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/how-to-apply-relnofollow-to-content-in-drupal/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/how-to-apply-relnofollow-to-content-in-drupal/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2008 11:37:58 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/how-to-apply-relnofollow-to-content-in-drupal/ If you’ve got a community website using Drupal, you might want to protect your site from spammers by applying the rel=”nofollow” attribute to any links your users generate. The theory behind this is that you protect your site from linking to ‘bad neighbourhoods’ an possibly incurring penalties with Google for spammy links. Rel=”nofollow” is your […]

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If you’ve got a community website using Drupal, you might want to protect your site from spammers by applying the rel=”nofollow” attribute to any links your users generate.

The theory behind this is that you protect your site from linking to ‘bad neighbourhoods’ an possibly incurring penalties with Google for spammy links. Rel=”nofollow” is your way of saying – as the site owner – that you can’t vouch for the quality of those links.

Anyway, you probably already know the reasoning – let’s show you how to set this up.

Configuring Nofollow On Input Filters

Yes, that’s right. The “nofollow” attribute is configured on Input filters. Go to your Drupal administration pages and browse to Site Configuration -> Input Formats.

Normally you want the default Input Format set to Filtered HTML for user-generated content. This allows your users the ability to use HTML formatting without having access to insert scripts or other disruptive things on the site.

  1. Click on the configure button for Filtered HTML. You’ll see under the Filters heading that a number of filters are activated. If the HTML Filter isn’t activated, then activate it and save your changes.
  2. Click the Configure button at the top of the page and you’ll see how the filter is currently configured.
  3. Activate the option for Spam link deterrent and save the settings. All outgoing links will now have rel=”nofollow” applied to them.

Refining With Access Permissions

If you want to be especially clever about it, you could modify permissions so that regular members and anonymous users get the Filtered HTML input by default but set your ‘trusted members‘ up with access to a less restrictive Input Format such as Full HTML.

But that’s a conversation for another day, folks…

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Comment Configuration In Drupal 6http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/comment-configuration-in-drupal-6/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/comment-configuration-in-drupal-6/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2008 09:35:59 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/04/02/comment-configuration-in-drupal-6/ I spent a frustrating hour searching for the comment configuration area in Drupal 6, so I’m putting this post together to hopefully save you time setting up comments in Drupal. Basically, in contrast to previous editions of Drupal, comments are now configured by content type – allowing you to permit comments on blog entries, but […]

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I spent a frustrating hour searching for the comment configuration area in Drupal 6, so I’m putting this post together to hopefully save you time setting up comments in Drupal.

Basically, in contrast to previous editions of Drupal, comments are now configured by content type – allowing you to permit comments on blog entries, but not on image nodes.

Finding The Configuration Pages

To find the configuration page for each content type, browse to Admin -> Content Management -> Content Types and click Edit on the content type you want to set up comments on.

My reason for wanting to configure comments was to allow comments on my blog and image content types (on my personal blog), and to allow people to enter contact information. I’m also testing Drupal’s new anti-spam system called Mollom, which seems to be similar in concept to Akismet, the anti-blog spam system from Automattic.

If you want some pointers on how to set up comment configuration there are some good comments and discussions over on Lullabot.

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A Drupal User Administration Tiphttp://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/03/31/a-drupal-user-administration-tip/ http://scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/03/31/a-drupal-user-administration-tip/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2008 12:12:24 +0000 http://www.scribbledesigns.co.uk/2008/03/31/a-drupal-user-administration-tip/ I’ve been working a lot with the Drupal content management system lately, and one tip I’d share with anybody managing a Drupal site is to keep the administration account separate from their user account. Why? Because if you’re managing a community site, the administrator account has ultimate power. You only want to be using this […]

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I’ve been working a lot with the Drupal content management system lately, and one tip I’d share with anybody managing a Drupal site is to keep the administration account separate from their user account.

Why? Because if you’re managing a community site, the administrator account has ultimate power. You only want to be using this where absolutely necessary. In fact, I’d suggest you have 3 user accounts:

  1. The Built-in Administrator Account: In Drupal, the built-in admin account has total control to manage the site’s features.
  2. Your live account: Your own identity on the website that you use when posting content and interacting with other members.
  3. A dummy account for testing permissions. An account whose permissions you can alter to test menus and access rights.

The Administrator Account

I use the admin account for high-level tasks like activating/installing modules and configuring forum features. The admin account has total control of the site by default, and needs to be managed carefully.

By not using it as my primary account, I’m not tempted to go in and make tweaks to the configuration on an ad-hoc basis. This sometimes prevents rash changes that might affect the way the site works.

The Live Account

I keep a live account for posting and interacting on the site myself. My permissions are still higher than a normal user, but only allow me to carry out moderation tasks. This way, I get roughly the same user experience that other users get, which is useful from a site design and usability perspective.

I add myself (and other high-level users) to a Trusted Members group which has the appropriate access permissions granted in Drupal.

The Dummy Account

Keeping a ‘dummy’ user account is useful when I want to test permissions in Drupal. This can be useful to test everything from basic ‘authenticated user’ permissions through all of the tiers of user access I’ve created for the site. You just use your administrator permissions to grant the appropriate level of access to the dummy account, then log on with that account and check the menu structures and what features you have access to.

This can be helpful, as I discovered today that one of my sites had image uploading permissions for authenticated users, but didn’t have blog/forum posting rights. Likewise, I discovered my ‘trusted member’ group had access to the page and story content types. I didn’t want this, as I wanted to restrict trusted members (including myself) to using the blog/forum/image content types.

Summary

I hope this is helpful for Drupal administrators. If there’s one thing I would do again on some of my early Drupal sites it would be to set up better segmentation between my administrator account and my live posting account.

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