• Migrate from Wordpress to Github Pages using Jekyll

  • Why?

    • Wordpress is bloated. It won’t even run on a basic free DigitalOcean instance.
    • GitHub is free and has powerful version control built in.
    • Wordpress is unnecessary overhead. Github Pages are light weight.
    • Github Pages are portable. Everything you write is written in Markdown and is portable.
    • There’s no need to upgrade or install plugins. The output is static.
    • I love git and I love markdown.


    Here’s what we need to do:

    • Migrate comments to Disqus
    • Export content
    • Using Jekyll
    • Publish to Github Pages
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  • Why error suppression in PHP is bad

  • I appreciate that to most people, this is not a new topic and it almost goes without saying, however I can understand that not everybody knows this, especially when you're just starting out with PHP.

    Back in 2008, I wrote an article titled “50+ PHP optimisation tips revisited“. Although it was written for fun and to include citations for tips that had gone without any supporting evidence, the underlying issue with the article was that “premature optimization is the root of all evil”.

    At the time, I had no real argument for this witty retort, however in hindsight, my reason for this was to settle those arguments of best practice, no matter how trivial, the evidence is there in black and white.

    The same is true with error suppression, despite what the PHP manual does or does not say.

    Read More »

  • How To Install MongoDB on CentOS 6 with cPanel

  • First of all, what is MongoDB? Well if you're already here, you probably know, but if this is the first time you've heard of it, then you may want to know a bit more, so here's a brief description to help you along your way:

    MongoDB is a “document database” designed for performance and scalability while remaining easy for developers to use. It does not mean XLS or DOC files, instead it means storing arrays, therefore it is often grouped with other non-relational databases under the term “NoSQL”.

    The question is, why might you want to use this over traditional SQL databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL or even SQLite?

    Well, there’s one fantastic reason: it works as if it is part of the language you’re coding in, rather than requiring you to learn a new one.

    The problem is that cPanel doesn’t have native support for MongoDB, but that won’t stop us installing it on CentOS 6, in fact, because there’s no interference from cPanel (yet), it makes it a little easier.

    Here’s how we get it installed:

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  • Setting up a PHP development environment

  • The best thing about PHP is it's low level of entry. There's very few hurdles these days to get started.

    Not only that but PHP has been around for long enough and is now mature enough to make no bones about it’s significance in the industry. Gone are the days where PHP was once the punchline of many jokes.

    This has been aided by have the right tools for the job, as like the old saying goes, “a bad workman always blames his tools”.

    That’s why it’s so important to get a development environment setup that’s right for your work.

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  • How We Build: Randles Responsive Website

  • Before Randles was bought out by the Stoneacre Motor Group I was tasked with the development of a new website.

    “We understand that the new rule is mobile first, Mobile first in everything. Mobile first in terms of applications. Most first in terms of the way people use things” … “It’s what people want”

    – CEO Eric Schmidt

    The goal was to focus on mobile first, not a split desktop/mobile site, but a responsive mobile website.

    A specification first started to come together in 2012, but was delayed due to other projects.

    “…many dealers still have ‘poor’ mobile web strategies which mean they are missing out on leads as smartphone users are put off from their sites”

    – Dermot Kelleher, Head of Research and Marketing at

    By 2013, the demand to “go mobile” was now apparent and the pressure to build a new website was mounting. There was no way we were going to have a separate mobile website either, this had to be responsive.

    Read More »

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