Why I’m moving my WordPress sites to GoDaddy after seven years with DreamHost

I was a huge proponent of DreamHost for years; I’ve used them for at least a dozen websites and I’ve recommended them to countless clients. They’re cheap, their site’s easy to use, and I’ve experienced little or no downtime on any of the sites I’ve hosted with them over the last seven years. However, in the last couple years I’ve noticed that my WordPress sites that are hosted with DreamHost (I have about five) are…Continue Reading →

Using Vimeo for video on websites

Since web developers have been working to make websites device-compatible in the last few years, we’ve run into a lot of challenges with regards to hosting videos on our sites. Years ago, before the iPhone changed everything, the best way to get a video onto a website was to format the video as an .flv (Flash video) file and build a custom Flash video player (in .swf format). 99% of users had the Flash plugin…Continue Reading →

Responsive website semantics: let’s avoid discussing multiple “versions” of a site

Let’s be careful when discussing responsive websites to never describe them as having multiple versions. Let’s always talk about the desktop layout or the desktop view, the mobile layout or the mobile view, but never the desktop version or the mobile version. A responsive site is one site that has multiple views, or variable layouts, depending on screen size. I’m a stickler for this kind of semantics, because it’s extremely important that we use the…Continue Reading →


I was asked recently, what do you call that little icon that some websites have in the browser tab or bookmark? Can we make those for our sites? It’s called a favicon, and it’s pretty easy to make and implement. The hardest part is probably figuring out how to make something look good at just 16×16 pixels. Look up at your browser tab right now to see a very handsome example. Once the favicon is…Continue Reading →

Semantics: Veeva and iRep

If you’ve been in meetings with me, you might wonder, why does Manning always say “Veeva iRep” instead of just “Veeva?” There’s a reason. Veeva is a software company, and iRep is their iPad presentation platform, i.e. just one of their products. (Other Veeva products that we work with include Vault, Approved Email, etc.) A lot of folks — our clients and our colleagues — refer to the iRep platform as Veeva. This is inaccurate….Continue Reading →

Website design: out with 980 pixels wide, in with 1000

For a good ten years now I (and many others) have been advocating for 960 or 980 pixels wide as the standard for website design. I’m upgrading that to 1000 pixels as of now. The reason for this is responsive design, which I’ll get into more below… But first let’s go back to the 980 days. The reason for designing at 980 pixels wide was to create a layout that would safely fit within a…Continue Reading →

Semantics: overlays versus pop-ups

An overlay is a box or content area that appears overlapped onto a website. It exists within the same window as the website, so it doesn’t have an address bar at the top. It typically has a transparent color that masks out the full-screen page behind it. Overlays are built with javascript (often jquery) and are widely compatible across browsers and devices. They can contain any kind of content; text, graphics, links, etc. They often…Continue Reading →

Let’s talk about “the fold”

“The fold” is a print term. It has no place in digital media. The end. Okay, okay… When we talk about the fold we’re talking about content that’s visible on the user’s screen, without scrolling, right when a webpage loads. Of course, a big problem when talking about the fold is that there are a ton of different devices and different screen sizes out there, so not all users are seeing the same amount of…Continue Reading →

Repeat after me: DIGITAL IS NOT PRINT

Digital is not print. Well, of course it isn’t. But why? Digital media is interpreted by the device it’s displayed on. Variables include: desktop computer versus mobile device, operating system (Mac OS/PC), operating system version (Windows 7? Windows 8?), web browser (IE/Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Opera/etc), the tons of different kinds of smartphones, iPad vs iPad mini vs tablet PC, etc etc etc. Then there are things like monitor resolution (is the user looking at a tiny laptop or…Continue Reading →