Website Launch Checklist

The First step is to make sure pages are accounted for and add redirects as needed. In this case I google and it shows me all the pages that have been indexed. There’s about 400 something pages indexed when you first run the search. You have to skip to the end of the search results and typically that number changes. In this case it says it’s 186 results.


Most of those are going to be blog posts and PDFs. I’ll pull over all of the PDFs so that they’re there and we don’t end up with any 404s.


Then we’ll want to review the rest and redirect to new pages if they’re fairly important and if they’re not I’ve installed a “404 to 301” plugin that will take any pages that would normally result in a 404 page and redirects it to the homepage. They call it a 301 redirect because it’s permanent as opposed to a 302 redirect which is temporary.


Websites can have various post types. In this case we had team members and normal posts and each have been imported. In the case of both these post types we’ll just need to take a sampling of each to ensure that the naming rules for the URLs stayed the same. For the blog I tested a tag archive, post & general archive. To test the old URLs agains the the new ones you’ll just take the “Slug” of the old url (i.e. /insights/page/4/) and add it at the end of the address bar on your test site. If the page doesn’t come up, something wrong. Either redirect or change the names to make up for the difference.

You’ll want to make sure as you update URLs to match the old site that you don’t break any links on your new site. Ideally the old website would be reviewed thoroughly before the build so that the web developer is already aware of what content exists well before these final steps.


If analytics were installed on the previous site you will want to continue to use the same analytics ID so that you can keep the history. You can quickly check for the analytics ID by searching for UA- in the old site’s source code. I like to use the All In One SEO plugin, which has a place to plug in the analytics ID, but the Google Analytics dashboard is good if you’re looking for additional analytics control or have another SEO plugin.


Once everything is accounted for the final step of setting a website live is quite simple. The domain just needs to point to the server that contains the website and the website hosting needs to be configured to be ready for traffic to come from that domain.

Coding Setup on a Mac

Currently on my mac I’m using MAMP to run the server, Sass to compile my code, browsersync to refresh the browser automatically & Textmate as an editor. Best coding setup on a Mac yet!

Image Solution for Retina and Non Retina Displays

It’s become more and more important to provide support for retina displays as they become more widely available. In order to do this I’ve been inserting images that are 2x the size they need to be in order to get the higher pixel density and then scaling the images in the code to look correct.

A client noticed that in IE 11 this these retina style images don’t look good. Retina images actually look worse in IE than native sized images. The solution is to load natively sized images and then in the css have a media call to load in larger retina ‘background images’ in place of the actual image. This requires the image your replacing to have something containing it.

Here’s an example of such a media call:

(-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2),
(min-resolution: 192dpi) {
#logo img{
#logo a{
background-size:100% auto;

Drupal Force Password Reset

It’s becoming more and more frequent that sites are asking / forcing users to reset their passwords. The most recent example is the Heartbleed OpenSSL security threat.

If you manage a Drupal website having people reset their password can be easy with the Password Policy Module.

After turning the module on you can navigate to

Where you’ll find a set of checkboxes where you can choose which role you want to force to reset their password. You can choose the authenticated user role in order to reset every users password.

force password reset

The the super users password won’t be forced to be reset unless specified in the settings tab.

Talkatone Won’t Make or Receive calls (fix)

talkatone app

The Background

I’ve used Talkatone to make free calls for years now. I liked it so much that I forwarded my normal number to Google voice and use it for all of my personal calls. So we decided it would also be good for my wife to use talkatone and Google voice in lieu of A $40-$80 cell phone bill. So we set her up with the Google account and upgraded it to use Google voice. Then we plugged it into her new LTE Nexus 7.

The Problem(s)

When we went to make calls it would go to the dialing screen for one or two seconds and then would come back to the dialer. When we would call the number it wouldn’t ring on Talkatone. Read the rest of this entry »

iPhone 5s Example Photos

I’m a newby to the iPhone although I’ve been able in the past to try out different iPhone cameras. It’s a very convenient camera to always have in your pocket! I’d say the $200 price is worth it just for the smart camera.


On this trip, the panoramic feature on the iPhone 5s was especially useful.

large iphone 5c panarama

The panoramic mode has you put your phone portrait and scan the terrain. Since the phone is portrait and you scan landscape it results in a whole lot of pixels. I’ve linked each photo to the photo from the camera so that you can see the details of all the pixels. The photo above is 18+ megapixels.

If you don’t scan the terrain perfectly you’ll get a result like the photo below. The unfinished corners can be easily cropped, so it’s not a bad way to handle user error. It’s fantastic that each piece gets fused together perfectly with no noticeable processing time.

Unsteady Panarama


iPhone 5s Photo with HDR

iPhone 5s Photo without HDR HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a fantastic feature on the iPhone 5s that’s been on the iPhone for awhile. What happens is that the photo is taken at various exposures to get a perspective that is closer to what you would perceive with your eyes.

This isn’t much different than the way than the iPhone camera now takes all photos. The camera actually will take multiple stills and select the best, this is done without you even knowing that other photos were taken!

The option is also there to take both normal photos and HDR at the same time in case you want to go with the standard version.

Can you tell which is the HDR photo? Take a close look at the clouds, can you tell which has more detail? That’s the HDR photo.

Less Detail without HDR on photo from iphone 5sHDR subtle details


If you’re still having a hard time seeing the difference take a look at the photo below:

HDR Clouds VS non HDR Clouds

Pebble Watch Review

The computer I strap to my wrist

I’ve had the pebble smart watch for about three months now, it’s probably the electronic device I’ve been most excited about since the iPod touch/iPhone was first released, it’s a game changer.

So what it does is real simple. It uses Bluetooth to communicate with your watch. So any heavy processing happens on your phone; it’s really just a second display with buttons or a remote. What makes it so unique is that you strap it to your wrist.

Read the rest of this entry »

Macbook Air Case Review

case crown open mac Macbook Air Case

There’s not much to a Macbook air, but somehow there is a lot to love. I was thinking about how I could do a review on the Air, but you could find those anywhere. When people see the air, I get compliments on the case that holds it just as much as I do on the machine. People probably comment even more so on the case, so I thought it’d take a minute to review the CaseCrown Book Cover Clip On Case for my 13 Inch Apple MacBook Air.


  • It’s a great value for ~$20.
  • Does a great job protecting the machine when it’s closed.
  • It’s easy enough to take off when you want just the air.
  • Magnet latch is nice & secure


  • If left on when the computer is open it tends to pull the shell open as much as possible.
  • Magnet latch can get in the way of trackpad in certain positions.
  • Air will cool better without it. Luckily it’s easy to take off, just make sure it’s in a safe location!

5 Best Gifts You Probably Haven’t Heard of.

Last year I started a tradition of publishing what I found to be the 5 best gift ideas of the year. So without further adue, here’s a years worth of research of the best gifts out there.


1) Pebble Watch

Pebble watch

Pebble is a smartwatch that integrates with your iOS or Android smartphone. It’s so new you can’t even get one unless you had backed it on kickstarter. Even the backers are in for at least another month wait. You can preorder for a non-estimated release date for $150. Besides telling the time it allows you to receive text messages on your wrist, adjust your music, and really do anything that your smartphone does, controlled from your wrist assuming you can make apps or someone makes an app for the watch that does what you are wanting it to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Forty Eight Drupal 7 Modules

Recomended Drupal 7 Modules

Drupal is an incredibly powerful and flexible opensource CMS. Much like there’s always “an app for that” there is also always a module for that when it comes to extending Drupal. The more I work with it the more cool & helpful extensions I find. Here are some solid ones that I’d recommend to extend your Drupal install:

  1. admin_menu: Makes drupal sites so much easier to manage and find what you’re looking for. I refuse to manage a website without this module.
  2. calendar: Works well with the date module to make a powerful calendar
  3. captcha: Use math or Images to cut down on spam
  4. colorbox: Lets you easily put internal or external links into lightboxes including drupal forms
  5. conditional fields: Allows you to show or hide cck fields based on values of other cck fields. Read the rest of this entry »