Ramblings from my life - especially web development with Laravel, WordPress and PHP.

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An introduction to website loading time optimisation

Introduction Nobody likes a slow website - with the fast-paced world we live in, users don't have time to sit and wait for your website to load. The average size of a web page from the top 1,000 websites is now 1.62mb (source). The larger the size of the page, the longer it's going to take to load - and with more mobile devices than ever being used, you can't be sure your site…

Ditch FTP and deploy your PHP website with Capistrano

Introduction The way developers deploy code to web servers is changing. Gone are the days of remembering which files you've changed and manually dragging and dropping files around an FTP client. This deployment method is risky - it's easy to miss a file and therefore break your entire application. FTP is also insecure - no encryption is used when sending your login credentials to the server, or for file transfers. Also, what happens when a visitor…

Setup a Postfix (outgoing mail) server for PHP on Ubuntu

Almost two years have passed since my last blog post, so I thought something nice and techy would be good to get started with again. I'm new to managing my own server, I've always left it to WHM and cPanel to look after everything. After signing up with Linode and getting a basic web server up and running (Apache, PHP, MySQL) on an Ubuntu, I hit a problem. I wasn't able to send email from PHP.…

Heart & Sole Web Conference

On Friday night I headed over to Portsmouth straight from work to attend my first web conference / meet-up style event. I was a little unsure of what to expect from the night because a) it was the first event the organiser has put on, b) the tick price was incredibly low compared to other events and c) I hadn't been to anything like it before. The evening was aimed at bringing students and industry people together…

BBC Radio 1 - Access All Areas

Monday was the start of the BBC Radio 1 Access All Areas week - where they give the listeners to see what goes on behind the scenes at Radio 1. They've held interviews and live web chats with DJ'S and the Newsbeat teams, live streaming web cams and the breakfast show with Chris Moyles has been on tour broadcasting live from different locations across the UK. If that wasn't enough, on Saturday this weekend, for lucky…

Doing a 300ft bungee jump in Bray, Windsor

Last Friday (22nd October) I headed up to Bray (near Windsor) to do my first ever bungee jump with a few other friends. This wasn't just any bungee jump, at 300ft, this was the highest bungee jump in England. We arrived up in Windsor quite early, and ended up having breakfast in a nice little cafe outside Windsor Castle before heading over to the jump site. When we arrived they were still setting up, and despite…

Testing in Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer. You either love it or hate it. If your a web developer like myself, the chances you are to hate it. With three different versions currently in use (that all render pages slightly differently) and a fourth in development, it can often be a nightmare getting your page to look and function correctly in all versions of IE, as well as the other major browsers. IE6 has a notorious reputation for being the worst…