Archive for March, 2012


If you are still developing your website, you should consider adding a temporary page for visitors to inform them that your website will be coming soon.

This is a great way of letting visitors when your site is launching and it also allows you to collect email addresses for a newsletter list too (i.e. add your name and email here to be more details of our launch). Another benefit of of an under construction landing page is that it stops people looking around your site whilst it is incomplete.

Today I will show you 10 WordPress themes and 4 WordPress plugins which let you quickly and easily add a coming soon message for visitors.

These themes are suitable for:

  • Launching a new website
  • Domain name parking
  • Leaving a message for visitors when performing site maintenance
  • Landing pages

If you know of a theme or plugin which has not been included in this article, please feel free to share it with others in the comment area :)

10 Under Construction WordPress Themes

1. Tempskin

Tempskin WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

2. Changing Room

Changing Room WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

3. Under Construction Theme

Under Construction WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

4. WP Wrench

WP Wrench WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

5. Ready2Launch

Ready2Launch WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

6. WP Launcher

WP Launcher WordPress Theme

Info & Download

7. Ice Breaker

Ice Breaker WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

8. WP Blueprint

WP Blueprint WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

9. Launchpad

Launchpad WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

10. Ignite
* Only available when you purchase the iThemes All Access Pass

Ignite WordPress Theme

Info & Download | Demo

4 Under Construction WordPress Plugins

There are also some good plugins available for WordPress which allow you to add a temporary maintenance mode or coming soon message to visitors.

When you are logged into your site you will still be able to see your website as normal when these plugins are activated. Therefore you need to make sure you are logged out to see the maintenance message that visitors will see (Tip: load up your page up in a different browser to save you from having to log out and log back in).

1. Custom Coming Soon Pages

The Custom Coming Soon plugin from CSS Jockey gives you a huge amount of control over what your page is displayed.

Within the plugin you can change the favicon, logo, header and custom message. You can also add your Facebook, Twitter and RSS URLs.

Custom Coming Soon Pages WordPress Plugin

The background colour and image, SEO settings, email settings and launch date can be determined too.

Custom Coming Soon WordPress Plugin

In the comments area some people have reported some issues with the plugin though it seemed to work perfectly when I tested it.

A good plugin option in my opinion.

Info | Download

2. Maintenance Mode

Places a small splash page on your site when you need to turn your site off temporarily. The time and message can easily be activated in the settings area.

Maintenance Mode WordPress Plugin

The plugin also allows you to grant access to certain user levels such as authors, contributors and subscribers.

Maintenance Mode WordPress Plugin

Maintenance Mode is quite basic so it’s not a good option for domain parking or launching a site, however it’s great if you need to temporarily shut off your site to visitors in order to fix something.

Info | Download

3. WP Maintenance Mode

Adds a temporary maintenance message to your blog for visitors. The default message is very basic though you can link to your own css stylesheet to improve things.

WP Maintenance Mode WordPress Plugin

The plugin also comes with 11 default designs which you can choose in the settings area.

WP Site Maintenance WordPress Plugin

Another great feature is the ability to exclude certain pages from the maintenance message. Very useful!

Info & Download

4. Site Maintenance

A simple plugin which shows a service unavailable message to visitors. It also adds a 503 Service Unavailable status code so that search engines won’t index this temporary message.

Site Maintenance WordPress Plugin

Info & Download

As always, thoughts and opinions about the themes and plugins in this list are more than welcome :)


For the last couple of months I have been wanting to create a new simple project management application. My needs were and still are, for an application that has the most basic features wrapped up in a good looking user interface. I’m still considering creating the app, but for now I just want to keep on researching. As a result of my research I’ve compiled 10 free and open source project management applications. Let’s take a look over the most promising of them.

project management 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

1. Retrospectiva

Retrospectiva is a powerful open-source project management tool, designed towards agile software development teams. It features a solid core with ticket system, code review and milestones, but it also has powerful addons like wiki, blog or agile project management.

retrospectiva 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.retrospectiva.org/

2. Trac

Trac is one powerful issue tracking tool judging by the fact that WordPress development is tracked using it. Trac is an enhanced open-source wiki and issue tracking system for software development projects. It uses a minimalistic approach to web-based software project management.

trac 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://trac.edgewall.org/

3. Collabtive

Collabtive is web-based open source project management software. It was developed as an PHP&Javascript alternative to commercial project management tools like Basecamp. It features basic project management features and it has a decent and usable user interface.

collabtive 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://collabtive.o-dyn.de/index.php

4. Teambox

Although it is a rather new player in the project management area, Teambox can be seen as one of the future leaders. It is developed as an open source application and it benefits from a simple and clean user interface similar to Twitter. It supports multiple projects, statuses, document attachments.

Teambox 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.teambox.com/

5. Redmine

Redmine is a great project management tool based on Ruby on Rails and released under GPL v2. It has multiple projects support, news, documents & files management, time tracking and even multilingual support.

Speaking of time tracking software, there are a lot of commercial applications offering good value for money. You just need to know your expectations and how much you want to pay.

redmine 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.redmine.org/

6. SteberPM

Continuing the open source trend, we will place SteberPM in this list. Teams can easily setup projects and keep track of tasks, issues, bugs, efforts etc – using SteberPM.

steberPM 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.streber-pm.org/

7. Todoyu

This application has a more compact yet visually rich interface compared to previous project management tools. Todoyu features are: manage multiple projects, overview your customer’s data, assign tasks, share files, group calendars and meet deadlines.

todoyu 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.todoyu.com/en/todoyu/

8. OpenAtrium

With one impressive set of features as well as a clean and well executed user interface, OpenAtrium will definitely succeed against commercial tools. It is still in beta and probably when it will be stable, OpenAtrium will make happy a lot of teams.

atrium 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://openatrium.com/

9. PlanCake

Probably light is the term that comes into my mind when I see the user interface from PlanCake. It is super light and clean and it provides fast response to your actions. And considering that the project is free, it can make a lot of friends in freelancers.

plancake 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.plancake.com/

10. myTinyTodo

I’ve left this application at the end because it is one of my favorites. Not because of its features but because of the simplicity and speed. myTinyTodo is as the name says a tiny todo list. The best thing about it is that you are quite productive using it and it serves its purpose: todo manager for individuals and freelancers.

mytinytodo 10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

http://www.mytinytodo.net/

 


This is going to be a continuation of the Website Change Request Form demo we’ve been using around here for a while. If you need to catch up, first I talked about it, then I built it, then I screencasted it, then I secured it. Throughout all of this, the end result has been a boring text-only email that gets sent to a single email address.

We’re going to improve that output, and make the email into a nicer looking HTML-formatted email.

 

It’s Not Much Different Than Text Email

Sending HTML Email through PHP uses the exact same mail function as text email:

mail($to, $subject, $message, $headers);

The last parameter, the headers, are optional for the function but required for sending HTML email, as this is where we are able to pass along the Content-Type declaration telling email clients to parse the email as HTML.

In fact, the headers area gives us the opportunity to do lots of important email functions. This is where we can set the From: and Reply To: settings if need be, as well as CC and BCC other recipients (Hey, a checkbox for CC’ing yourself would be a cool feature to add!). Here is the code used for the new and improved HTML-Sendin’ Website Change Request Form:

$to = 'bob@example.com'; $subject = 'Website Change Reqest'; $headers = "From: " . strip_tags($_POST['req-email']) . "\r\n"; $headers .= "Reply-To: ". strip_tags($_POST['req-email']) . "\r\n"; $headers .= "CC: susan@example.com\r\n"; $headers .= "MIME-Version: 1.0\r\n"; $headers .= "Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1\r\n";

Now We Can Use HTML Tags

The message parameter (a big string we pass to the mail function with the body of our email), can now have HTML tags in it. For example:

$message = '<html><body>'; $message .= '<h1>Hello, World!</h1>'; $message .= '</body></html>';

Here is whole shebang, to create the table of data as shown above:

$message = '<html><body>'; $message .= '<img src="http://css-tricks.com/examples/WebsiteChangeRequestForm/images/wcrf-header.png" alt="Website Change Request" />'; $message .= '<table rules="all" style="border-color: #666;" cellpadding="10">'; $message .= "<tr style='background: #eee;'><td><strong>Name:</strong> </td><td>" . strip_tags($_POST['req-name']) . "</td></tr>"; $message .= "<tr><td><strong>Email:</strong> </td><td>" . strip_tags($_POST['req-email']) . "</td></tr>"; $message .= "<tr><td><strong>Type of Change:</strong> </td><td>" . strip_tags($_POST['typeOfChange']) . "</td></tr>"; $message .= "<tr><td><strong>Urgency:</strong> </td><td>" . strip_tags($_POST['urgency']) . "</td></tr>"; $message .= "<tr><td><strong>URL To Change (main):</strong> </td><td>" . $_POST['URL-main'] . "</td></tr>"; $addURLS = $_POST['addURLS']; if (($addURLS) != '') { $message .= "<tr><td><strong>URL To Change (additional):</strong> </td><td>" . strip_tags($addURLS) . "</td></tr>"; } $curText = htmlentities($_POST['curText']); if (($curText) != '') { $message .= "<tr><td><strong>CURRENT Content:</strong> </td><td>" . $curText . "</td></tr>"; } $message .= "<tr><td><strong>NEW Content:</strong> </td><td>" . htmlentities($_POST['newText']) . "</td></tr>"; $message .= "</table>"; $message .= "</body></html>";

I think that looks A LOT nicer. And since this email is (theoretically) coming directly to you, isn’t it nice to know that it will be formatted to be easy on the eyes?

Concerns

Some people just absolutely hate HTML email. For one, it can be a security risk as it’s possible to run JavaScript in them in some email clients which can be problematic. HTML emails also have a habit of being more easily caught in Spam filters. I think it’s less of a concern here as this email is essentially being created BY you FOR you.

Demo

I updated the demo and download to use the new HTML email format.

View Demo   Download Files

There is likely to be another one or two demos on this form yet to come. I would at least like to do one on writing the data to a database before sending the email. Email can be such a fragile thing, that saving the data to a DB first is surely a smart move.

Courtesy:Chris Coyier


In this tutorial shows you how to validate form using Macromedia Dreamweaver, it will show alert box when someone press submit button and forgot to fill your required fields.

Open Dreamweaver and create singup form

############### Code
<table width=”350″ border=”0″ align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″>
<tr>
<td><form action=”” method=”post” name=”form1″>
<table width=”350″ border=”0″ cellspacing=”5″ cellpadding=”0″>
<tr>
<td width=”105″>Full Name</td>
<td width=”16″>:</td>
<td width=”222″><input name=”fullname” type=”text” id=”fullname”>
* </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>E-mail</td>
<td>:</td>
<td><input name=”email” type=”text” id=”email”>
* </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Phone number </td>
<td>:</td>
<td><input name=”phone_number” type=”text” id=”phone_number”>
* </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
<td><input type=”submit” name=”Submit” value=”Submit”>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
</form></td>
</tr>
</table>
Select Form tag
Click on table and you will see form tag appeared then click to select it
Open tag inspector panel (Press F9)
At your panel bar open your tag inspector panel (press F9 or window > Tag Inapector)
Select tab “Behaviors”
Select onSubmit
Click on a plus sign then select “Validate Form”
Validate form

In this step in Name fields box select what field you don’t want to be blank then tick “Required” and choose what you accept.
Test in your web browser
Press submit button without insert any value in form fields you will see this alert box.

How To Find The Current URL In PHP

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Php

In your valiant conquest of the web development industry, you will notice that some scripts will require that you know the current URL the user is browsing to provide certain services. A prime example would be in user management- where we make use of query strings to keep track of users. More practical solutions may even demand that we find the current URL to display relevant ads and increase conversion rates.

PHP has set forth certain global variables that makes this process painfully easy. We will be experimenting with several methods of finding certain parts in the URL within this tutorial. Respectively, they are:

  1. Finding the current domain
  2. Finding the path to the script
  3. Finding the query string (if any)
  4. Using a special short cut method to tie things together

Finding The Current Domain In PHP

If you need the current domain, you can use this neat little snipped below:

<?php
# Using HTTP_HOST

$domain = $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];
echo $domain;
?>

If we were to use this directly on this page, the output would be learnphponline.com – notice that it does not include the ‘http://’ or ‘www.’ prefixes. If you are trying to make a link, you could do so by concatenating these prefixes onto the HTTP_HOST server variable.

Finding The Path To The Current Script

If you need to link to the current page, we use the SCRIPT_NAME server variable. We see this in use a lot more than you would think. WordPress installations will link article titles to the same page for several reasons. First, it keeps things user friendly- but it is also great for search engine optimization. Don’t be afraid to follow their example such as the snippet below shows.

<?php
# Using SCRIPT_NAME

$path = $_SERVER['SCRIPT_NAME'];

echo "Path To Script Example: <a href='$path'>An Article Title</a>";

?>

You will notice that the domain section and query string is left out. Instead we get the script path that links nicely to the current page.

Finding The Query String In a URL

The query string is important in passing variables or authorization information across several different pages in your website. You have probably noticed this before when logging into your favorite website and seen something to this effect: “TheWebsite.com/users/index.php?name=YourName”

Making a query string is actually quite easy. Make a simple PHP file and create a link to the current file, yet concatenate a ternary symbol and assign a variable like this:

  • <a href=’www.yoururl.com/index.php?variable=value’>Test it!</a>

This won’t do anything since we haven’t coded anything to work with the variable. But it will allow us to test the server variable below.

<?php
# Using QUERY_STRING

$queryString = $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'];

echo "Query: " . $queryString;

?>

Finding The Current URL With Request URI

If you are using MOD REWRITE to make your URLs more user-friendly, there is still a way to get the original URL. By using the REQUEST_URI server variable, we can get the URL given to access the page. So be definition, we bypass any rewrite rules.

<?php
# Using REQUEST_URI

echo "http://" . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']  . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];

?>

This saves a little bit of space over the previous examples, since REQUEST_URI can replace the script path and query string server variables. This is best used when you don’t need these variables separated, which you commonly do.

Courtesy: http://www.learnphponline.com/php-basics/how-to-find-the-current-url-in-php#domain


Lets face it there is no enjoyment in writing a proposals. You became a web designer to build web sites, no one thought to mention anything about the processes you would have to follow to find new contracts and clients. Unfortunately, web design proposals are one of those essential processes you have to learn, and learn well.

The biggest question I have asked myself in the past is – “Are they really worth all this hassle?” The answer sadly is YES, they are.

A client contacts you regarding a new web site, you will discuss it first, you will then ask him to fill out a project questionnaire, and then they they will no doubt ask “How much will that cost?”. You will have to explain to them that you will have to analyze the details of the project and that you will be in touch in a few days with the report.
Now, it is those details that clients like. It is those details that will decide whether you get the contract or not. Not only will you have to convey, within the proposal, a comprehensive account of the processes involved in developing the project, you will also have to convince them that you know exactly what you are doing and that you are the best person for the job. It has to build your clients confidence from the start and allow them to trust your expertise.

In this post you will find resources to help you write a successful web design proposal, that will help you to win contracts every time…. or at least most of the time!

What are your thoughts on web design proposals? What tips do you have? Please leave a comment and share your experiences.

Writing a Website Design Proposal

Web Design ResourcesA website design proposal is a fancy way of saying quote. Often a potential client will come to you asking, “What will this kind of site cost me?” You should do some research, using a client questionnaire before giving the client a quote and submitting your proposal.
Website design proposals can take all forms – there’s no set way to create one. There will be some things you’ll see in all design proposals they are a must, and the author lists the most common, and adds a fair few insightful new sections.

Writing a Website Design Proposal »

Tutorial – How to Write a Basic Web Development Proposal

Web Design ResourcesKnowing and understanding what exactly you should include in a proposal is the first step to convincing clients and winning contracts.
A professionally presented and well written development proposal more often than not decides whether you will win or lose the project. The proposal can also decreases the incidences of misunderstandings between yourself and your clients when the project is under way and acts as a basis for a formal contract.
Read this article for an in-depth analysis of what should and is expected from a web design proposal.

Tutorial – How to Write a Basic Web Development Proposal »

7 Tips For Writing A Winning Web Design Proposal

Web Design ResourcesIf you’re soliciting web design work in traditional ways, a major step in winning jobs is the proposal phase. There are certain things you can do to put yourself, your capabilities and your company in the best possible light, whether you’re outlining what you have to offer in an e-mail message, or submitting a complete proposal.
What would you put in a proposal?
In this article they outline in detail seven very useful tips for designers of any level and background and help you improve your proposal process.

7 Tips For Writing A Winning Web Design Proposal »

How to Write a Web Design Proposal – Anatomy of a Persuasive Proposal

Web Design ResourcesIf you plan on paying the bills, you can’t avoid the painful activity that is web design proposal writing. What you need to do is become more efficient and better at writing them. Outsource what you can and hack the rest!
Before you can quickly and efficiently write amazing proposals, you’ll need some basic background on what a persuasive proposal is made of. A proposal has to be persuasive, it must convince the reader that you are the absolutely best person for the job.

How to Write a Web Design Proposal – Anatomy of a Persuasive Proposal »

Five Steps to Writing Proposals That Sell [Find Clients]

Web Design ResourcesIn today’s market, if you can’t write good proposals, you won’t be able to sell. Its a simple fact.
Let’s face it: we’re in a buyer’s market when it comes to freelance services. For every job you bid on, you’re competing with five, ten, or even more other freelancers.
When you’re stuck in a crowd like that, you’ve got to find a way to set yourself apart, or face 20:1 (or even longer!) odds on winning that contract. How do you do that? How can you beat the odds?
Even if you have a prior relationship, a good proposal helps reinforce your ability to deliver. And if you’re part of a cattle-call, a good proposal can push you to the top of the stack.
If the thought of writing fills you with trepidation, this article covers in five simple steps you can follow to write proposals that sell. The steps they cover are:
1. Steal a proposal that works
2. Understand (and flatter) your target
3. First the end, then the means
4. Use simple words
5. The price is right (and this is a buyer’s market)

Five Steps to Writing Proposals That Sell [Find Clients] »

Writing A Project Proposal – Don’t Give Up!

Web Design ResourcesHaving 100% of project proposals accepted usually means that a freelance developer has had very few clients. Low percentage rates usually mean that proposals are being sent to people who didn’t ask or the proposal writer simply needs a few good “getting warmer’s” in the right direction.
The tried and tested tips, in this article, are to encourage the 100%ers to write more proposals and the low raters to take heart and give it another try.

Writing A Project Proposal – Don’t Give Up!

The Secret to Landing Clients Nearly 100% of the Time

Web Design ResourcesTurning a prospect into a client is a process-based on a system. Identifying deliverables and executing campaigns for a client is a series of tasks based on a system.
Create the right system and you can almost flawlessly guarantee success and satisfaction every time.
In this informative and eye-opening article, the author not only writes about his experiences as a freelancer but also how they stumbled upon a system for winning over clients (nearly all the time) by simply outsourcing…

The Secret to Landing Clients Nearly 100% of the Time »

How to Make a Positive First Impression with Potential Clients

Web Design ResourcesFor clients, choosing a designer for their project is often based on their comfort level with the designer and their confidence that the designer will do a great job.
First impressions make a huge impact here and can either get you much closer to landing the job, or they can lead the client to eliminate you from consideration.
In this article they look at 11 significant factors that may influence the early impressions from a potential client. These are things that you should focus on to show that you should be considered for the work and that you are more than capable of giving them an excellent website that will be effective for their business.

How to Make a Positive First Impression with Potential Clients »

The Ultimate Design Brief

Web Design ResourcesYour design can only be as good as the brief you worked from. The best projects are borne from briefs that are open enough to inspire ideas, while being specific enough to feel workable.
Unfortunately, clients who aren’t familiar with the design process don’t see carefully-written briefs as a high priority. This may be because they don’t have time. Quite often, it’s because the client hasn’t made fundamental decisions about the objectives of their marketing collateral.
This article talks about how to influence potential clients into writing detailed briefs that will allow you to write a winning proposal.

The Ultimate Design Brief »

Downloadable Web Design Proposal Samples

The first thing to make clear is that the below samples are not templates. Meaning, you can’t just take them and use them for your own proposal.
What they do is demonstrate how to effectively and professionally write a winning proposal.

Website Proposal for Company X

Web Design Resources

Rogue Element Sample Proposal

Web Design Resources

Sample Website Proposal

Web Design Resources

Gold Sample Proposal

Web Design Resources

Professional Web Design Proposal Sample

Twitter Design News

Sample Web Design Contract, Budget, Timeline & Proposal

Twitter Design News

A Sample Web Design Proposal: The Designer’s Blueprint for the Site

Web Design Resources

Free Web Design Proposal Contracts (I)

Web Design Resources

Free Web Design Proposal Contracts (II)

Web Design Resources

Free Web Design Proposal Contracts (III)

Web Design Resources

Proposal Apps and Services

Using a web based app to create your proposals is perhaps an option you should consider. There is of course, a trade-off in terms of customizability and originality when you compare templates to your own original documents, but what you get back in time saving may make it worth your while.
Below you will find the best online services for generating professional web design proposals.

Bidsketch

Web Design Resources
Bidsketch is a proposal-writing tool created specifically for designers. With Bidsketch, you can quickly and easily create elegant, customized proposals and send them to clients. You can also use Bidsketch to keep track of both existing clients and potential clients, so you can find the work you need to stay in business.
There are several professional-looking templates available for proposals, and you also have the option to create a custom template with a little HTML knowledge.
Bidsketch is not free, but you can try it for free for 30 days. The Premium plan costs $19 a month and the basic plan is only $9.

Try Bidsketch »

Proposalware

Web Design Resources
Proposalware has been developed and can be customised for almost all types of industry, so is not only restricted for web design proposals.
You can use this app via your computer or any smartphone, allowing you to send proposals quickly and timely and not wasting precious time preparing complicated forms and documents for every single contract.
This service offers a 60 day free trial and the premium package cost $10 per month and $100 per year.

Try Proposalware »

Video – iPhone Proposal Web Application ProposalWare.com

ProposalPad

Web Design Resources
ProposalPad is a unique system developed for web designers and graphic designers that makes it very easy to create FREE (with premium options) professional graphic and web design project proposals.
Its a very easy to use free service. All you have to do is upload your company information, color scheme, and logo initially, and you’re good to go.

Try ProposalPad »

Flowlett

Web Design Resources
Flowlett is a complete proposal management system that goes beyond traditional CRM and messaging systems to streamline customer interactions around proposals. Once you create a business proposal (example: Quotes, Agreements, Marketing Creatives etc.), you can use Flowlett to route it internally for reviews and approvals, using serial, parallel or hybrid workflows that you define dynamically.
Once ready to present to the client, you can use Flowlett to securely collaborate with your client to finalize it. Once finalized, your client can securely approve it online.
They do give a 30 day FREE trial, where after you can choose between the Standard Plan ($15 a month) or the Plus Plan (from $50 a month).

Try Flowlett »

Video – Introduction to Flowlett

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Source & Courtesy :http://speckyboy.com/2010/01/18/useful-web-design-proposal-resources-tools-and-apps/