Easy Analytics Update

I have been working on an update to my Easy Analytics plugin for WordPress and it’s almost ready. It’s a very big change in that I have added the ability to pull page stats and store them in a custom table in the WordPress database.

I have attempted to use the Google Analytics API before with limited success but this time around I used a very good PHP library called GAPI (Google Analytics PHP Interface). It is free to use and made the whole process of getting the data from GA very simple and is allowing me to focus on the plugin interface and programming options.

The catalyst for this addition to EA came from one of my clients. The project required a WordPress theme that pulled the most popular posts into a page. That in and of itself is not a big deal as there are plenty of plugins that will pull the most commented posts from the database but she wanted to use her Google Analytics stats as the basis.

I took a look around WordPress.org to see what options there were for plugins and I found that while many would connect to GA and pull the data in for use, the formatting options were limited to a sidebar widget or they would only output a list of links. I wanted more control over what each post looked like.

Currently I have the data being pulled in and displayed, There is a noticeable load time for the page so I am working on a way to cache the data in the database so the pull only happens once a day – which will reduce load times and since GA updates on a 24 hour delay anyway it’s extremely redundant to query the server every time a visitor hits the page.

I want to make the system as automated as possible so probably the first time someone hits either the Admin section or the page itself the pull will happen and the database will be updated. That way there is no need to manually hit a button to update the stats.

I will keep you posted on my progress!

 

Spooferman

This was a very fun project to work on.

In response to many video parodies and tributes found online, Les Stroud tasked me with creating this portal for people to share either videos they created or found online.

I did all the artwork and programming on this project which included a custom built content management system for handling submissions, managing contests and many other features.

Technologies: HTML, CSS, PHP/MySQL, Javascript

Les Stroud Official Website

As the resident “web guy” for Les Stroud Productions, I was tasked with maintaining and improving upon the flagship website for Les Stroud.

Built on WordPress this site has seen many changes since I started working on it and is a great example of a “working” site. Many website are built and then left alone but this site is constantly evolving.

Whether it be the addition of jquery scrollbars and lightboxes, HTML 5 video fallback for iOS or Flash video on the homepage (with graceful fallback of course) this site is always looking to provide it’s visitors with a great user experience.

The original artwork was done by Luke Despatie & The Design Firm.

WordPress Functions

I found a fantastic article on some great default functions for your functions.php file. They’re not all for every occasion but a great place to start.

I pulled out the Google Analytics one in favour of my plugin Easy Analytics but that’s just my preference.

The Pharma Hack

This is a sneaky little WordPress hack that replaces your page title with an ad for pharmaceutical products. The best part (and the reason you may not see it right away) is that you don’t see it on your site, the new page titles only appear in search engine results.

Continue reading “The Pharma Hack”

The Design Firm

I just competed work on a WordPress theme for Luke Despatie & The Design Firm based on the very clean and elegant artwork provided by Luke. The theme itself has all the regular functionality you would expect of a WordPress theme with the addition of being able to update the full screen home page image and caption message via the CMS.

Easy Analytics

** EDIT – 02/08/13 **
I just committed a complete overhaul of my Easy Analytics plugin. It was in dire need of it and I am far happier with it. It is class based now with proper localization techniques, and a much better looking (albeit simple) interface. If you have it installed already, thanks and you should get the notification soon. If not, download it here.

 

** EDIT – 12/12/11**

I have just committed a slightly updated version of the plugin to the repository to allow for localization.

This is a very simple plug-in that allows any WordPress user to add the Google Analytics tracking code snippet to their site.

All you have to do is install the plugin, activate it and enter your UA-XXXXX number. It will output the snippet just before the </body> tag of your site.

For custom themes, be sure you call the wp_footer() function in your footer file as this plugin utilizes it to insert the code.

Download it here

Hello 2011

So 2011 is now upon us. I am very excited for all the things that are coming my way. Watching my little girl’s first year of life would top that list of course. I want to wish you all the best in ’11 and hopefully one day, someone will actually read this blog o’ mine.

Ryan

DVD Authoring and Adobe Encore

I am in the middle of working on a DVD for a client and there was a conversation about creating a Blu Ray disc as well.
So I did a little research and discovered that DVD Studio Pro does not author Blu Ray, only HD DVD. Well after a couple of clicks I found Adobe Encore and was simply amazed how easy it was to get building.
If you’re not familiar with it, Encore is Adobe’s DVD/Blu Ray authoring software and in my opinion is so easy to use you feel stupid for thinking that making a DVD was difficult at all.

I have some experience with creating DVD’s with custom menus in DVD Studio Pro and found the process to be not well documented.

The thing that I really love about the Adobe suites are how integrated the different programs are. In the case of Encore all the built in menu are built in Photoshop and there is even a button on the tool bar to edit the menu I Photoshop. That makes it so easy to edit a menu and learn the process on the go with the only prerequisites being knowledge of Photoshop and knowing the the naming conventions for creating buttons and replacement layers etc.

This next part is theoretical as I haven’t gone though this yet but it looks like I can create a Blu Ray disc and by simply changing a setting can use the same project to create a DVD. I would assume that the media would have to be transcoded to the correct size but Encore will take care of that for you. (please note that I haven’t taken into account the massive storage differences between the media so the content may have to change to accommodate)

The only hiccup in the process at this point is that I can’t burn Blu Ray discs on my Mac at home. I have been looking into the cost of a burner and they don’t seem that costly. If anyone has any experience with any particular models please let me know.

I’m working on a few personal projects to get more familiar with Encore and the overall process so I’ll let you know how it goes.