Building smart websites for small businesses

Tag: technical

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The makers of Sublime Text have launched a dedicated plug-in for the version control software Git. Called Sublime Merge, it's a Git client that seamlessly integrates with the Sublime text editor, with a particular focus on the unenviable task of merging conflicting code.

The merge tool lets you resolve conflicts by comparing code across three panes:

  1. the left pane shows your changes
  2. the right shows their changes
  3. and the centre pane is the resolved code

Alongside this nifty merge interface, we get a powerful search tool, keyboard shortcuts, command line integration and syntax highlighting. Try for free, then it costs $99 if you decide to support the producers.

Everything you've always wanted to know about site migrations but were afraid to ask! Moz have got an extensive article covering everything you'd need to consider when migrating a site, which could include:

  • switching to https
  • domain name change
  • URL changes
  • site structure changes
  • changing CMS
  • making a site mobile-friendly
  • a site redesign

With plenty of tips and tricks, it's worth a read if you're planning any major changes to your site.

Based on the W3C's Web Notifications specification, here's a very useful service called Push.js which lets websites send timely messages to site visitors, whether on desktop or mobile. For example, let your visitors know when you add a new product or blog post, or use it to announce important, breaking news.

The latest version of HTML, HTML 5.1, has recently become a W3C Recommendation, which means we can expect to see some nifty new features available in our browsers quite soon (if they're not already available - the two examples I describe below are both implemented in my version of Firefox (v50.0.1)).

One new feature involves Context Menus, and introduces new elements <menu> and <menuitem>. With some simple markup we can now include links and options within a right-click context menu.

Another nice addition is elements for <details> and <summary>, which replaces functionality we had to resort to JavaScript to reproduce. All markup within a <details> section will automatically be hidden except the <summary> content. Then clicking the <summary> text will toggle the rest of the <details>.

Check out What’s New in HTML 5.1 for more info and working examples.

Cloudinary provide a service to let you manage your images (e.g. within a website admin). Using their simple JavaScript-powered API, you can crop, re-size, pixelate faces, add watermarks and all sorts of other manipulations before they get saved to their servers. With a selection of pricing options, there's plenty of scope to run a small business site for free.

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