Servage Magazine

Information about YOUR hosting company – where we give you a clear picture of what we think and do!

Chronological article list (Blog View)

Blog View vs. Front PageThis page lists all articles by date (blog-like) and is therefore a good alternative to the front page that sorts pages by popularity. If you prefer chronological listing of the newest articles you should use this page.

Promote your offers regularly

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 by Servage
Every business-owner knows how hard it is to get customers to buy something. It counts for retailers as well as online stores. Offline as well as online service providers. No matter the product, you are likely to find yourself in a highly competitive market, where other businesses are looming around like sharks, trying to get their share of the customers. Plenty of marketing methods evolve around spam, where businesses somehow send out information in bulk, to any recipient they believe could somehow remotely be interested. This is valid for email, flyer, posters, magazine or newspaper advertisement. Smart people have learned to optimize this process, using demographics and other user-derived information, so ...

Efficient web-based project management

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 by Servage
You probably know the hazzles of project management. Always trying to maintain the big picture, understanding the milestones and goals for the project, collecting information aboutproblems, solutions and progress. Some people keep all this stuff in their head, and the edge of explosion, some people use notes, some use Excel, some use apps. Some use great apps that really make your project management easier. There quite a few project management apps out there. Some free, some commercial. I've choosen two that I would like to present, because I think they can help you with your project management in an efficient way. One paid, and one free alternative. Basecamp 37Signals's Basecamp is ...

Local development with PHP and MySQL

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 by Servage
Developing quickly and efficiently is important to create value for your users. Having an environment which endorses swift programming and designing really helps you satisfy your customers better. So, how do you develop your web apps? Are you always working on the live code on the webserver? Or are you using advanced version control systems to roll out tested changes? Are you testing on a local machine, uploading your changes every now and then? Obviously there are some serious considerations and risk assessments to make. Please consider version control and some of the tools mentioned here. However, this article wont judge your development practices. This one os about development ...

Speed up your website – Part 6: Cookies & Mobile

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 by Servage
This is the sixth and last part of a simplified explanation of the “Yahoo best practices for speeding up your web site“. Read the fifth part here. The fourth part is about image related optimization. Reduce cookie size Basically cookies consume resources in terms of data in requests. The article "When the cookie crumbles" by Tenni Theurer and Patty Chi provide the following conclusions: Don't use unnecessary cookies. Think before storing useless data. Reduce cookie size to the minimum required. It helps response times. Restrict cookies to domains appropriately, so they are not affecting other subdomains unnecessarily. Set appropriate expire dates, to remove cookies as early as possible with regards to their relevance. Do ...

Speed up your website – Part 5: Images

Thursday, July 19th, 2018 by Servage
This is the fifth part of a simplified explanation of the "Yahoo best practices for speeding up your web site". Read the fourth part here. The fourth part is about image related optimization. Minimize image file size Avoid using GIF files. If you have GIFs, try to convert them to PNG, in order to evaluate if you might save some size. PNG files are more efficient in terms of quality and size. Most browser-issues with PNG are resolved, so there are not many things in favor of the GIF anymore. If you must use it, make sure to include the amount of colors in the color palette, which are necessary. ...

Speed up your website – Part 4: JavaScript

Saturday, July 14th, 2018 by Servage
This is the fourth part of a simplified explanation of the "Yahoo best practices for speeding up your web site". Read the third part here. The third part is about CSS related optimization. Preferably place scripts at the bottom Scripts block parallel downloads of multiple items in the browser. Therefore you might want to place the scripts at the bottom of the page, if possible. It is a problem if your scripts alter the content of your document on the initial load, since you might want those scripts at the top. Make JavaScript (and CSS) external Including JavaScript and CSS in the HTML document reduces the amount of requests, but also ...

Speed up your website – Part 3: CSS

Monday, July 9th, 2018 by Servage
This is the third part of a simplified explanation of the "Yahoo best practices for speeding up your web site". Read the second part here. The third part is about CSS related optimization. Include stylesheets in the head section Use the <link> tags in the <head> section of your HTML code to include CSS files. This enables your website to load progressively, instead of waiting for style information in the middle, or at the bottom of your page. It means that content can be rendered when it is ready, because the style information has already been loaded in the beginning. This makes the page appear to load faster. Do not ...

Speed up your website – Part 2: Server

Thursday, July 5th, 2018 by Servage
This is the second part of a simplified explanation of the "Yahoo best practices for speeding up your web site". Read the first part here. The second part is about server related optimization. I am aware that some settings are not available to all developers, depending on their development and deployment infrastructure. Use Content Delivery Networks Where possible you should take advantage of servers closer to your users than your own. TO get started quickly with some major improvements, try to load JavaScript sources like Google APIs, jQuery or similar code you might use in your project, directly from their servers, or suggested CDN. Add expires header to utilize ...

Speed up your website – Part 1: Content

Sunday, July 1st, 2018 by Servage
There are many ways to improve website performance. The "Yahoo best practices for speeding up your web site" is a very comprehensive guide to optimizing many factors of your website. However, the article is very long, and sometimes quite hard to understand, because the technical level of the article is high. Therefore I have collected the main tips of the optimization guide, and will present them in a series of more comprehensible articles. Make fewer requests Each page often contains multiple resources, which each generate a request. For example a basic HTML page with a CSS stylesheet and 5 images, generates a total of 7 request (one for the HTML, ...

Send PHP errors per mail

Monday, June 25th, 2018 by Servage
Error-handling in PHP can be complex, and getting a good way of having clear and good error reporting and maintaining security, by not displaying to much to the public, can be difficult. Maybe sending errors to developers per email could be a good tool for you. Check out the following example code: // Our custom error handler function nettuts_error_handler($number, $message, $file, $line, $vars) { $email = " <p>An error ($number) occurred on line <strong>$line</strong> and in the <strong>file: $file.</strong> <p> $message </p>"; $email .= "<pre>" . print_r($vars, 1) . "</pre>"; $headers = 'Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1' . "\r\n"; // Email the error to someone... error_log($email, 1, 'you@youremail.com', $headers); // Make sure that you decide how to respond to errors (on the user's side) // Either ...

Recent articles

Create your own WordPress plugin

You probably know Wordpress as a very popular blog or content management system. It has tons of features, and can even be extended with plugins - adding custom functionality. There are very many plugins available already, by individual developers and other web services, to integrate with and extend Wordpress. You can find a directory of most existing plugins here: Wordpress Plugin Directory Creating your own plugin Sometimes it's hard to find ...

Collection of CSS techniques

I've stumbled over a great list of cool CSS techniques I think could be useful some web developers: "CSS3 is taking web development and web design to a higher level. In this article, I have compiled examples of amazing CSS3 techniques that will probably become very popular when CSS3 will be fully supported by most browsers." Color animate any shape with CSS3 and a PNG Let’s start this compilation with an interesting effect created using ...

Remember to use secure passwords

It seems that the increasing amount of accounts, logins, services, increases the amount of passwords to keep in mind dramatically. All too often you see people using too simple, or same passwords, for many important services. Therefore I would like to remind about the importance of secure passwords, like in a previous article here on the Servage Magazine. It's important to keep focus on this issue, so users are always ...

Create nicer looking forms with CSS

Forms are one of the commonly used elements in HTML. It's a basic functionality for most websites to capture specific information via user input through HTML forms. So why do so many forms look really boring? Why are businesses still missing out on new customers because of unappealing order forms? It's amazing what you can accomplish with form design. It looks good, gives a serious impression, and attracts users. Examples The ...

Blueprint CSS Framework makes CSS styling easy

The last post about nicer forms introduced some simple CSS tricks to get nice looking forms. It also mentioned the Blueprint CSS framework, which is pretty nice. Blueprint is basically just a set of stylesheets (.css files) that you can include in your website to get certain default design and layout functionality. Why is this great? You often want to do similar things with your web projects in terms of ...