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Just use the damn defaults!

I have been making websites for myself and others for 10+ years now. If there is one thing that I have learned it is that you can waste a lot of time messing with the default settings. People, myself included, fuck around with themes, layout and minor details without having any users. It wastes time and makes sites slower and less secure.

If you’re using WordPress, use the default theme. Upload your logo and all of the content for your about, contact, services, etc pages. You might surprised how good it looks. Most themes look good with content. Sure there might be things. We’re currently using the default Twenty Nineteen theme. Rather than removing the title of the homepage with code I just removed it from the page in wp admin. Quick and dirty wins the race.

Just launch. Your product will sell if it is good enough. If it doesn’t, it probably isn’t because of your fonts. Solve your biggest problems and then worry about the shade of your business card.

Update: Case in point; less than an hour after posting this I decided to make the blog our homepage. If I had made the code change it would have been in vain.

DuckDuckGo should rebrand as Duck

DuckDuckGo it doesn’t roll off the tongue like Google it. Duck it? My mum might do that.

Google actually gave DuckDuckGo the domain duck.com in 2018. Assuming that there wasn’t a clause in that agreement and there aren’t other trademark issues, they should rebrand as Duck.

It would be easy for existing users to associate Duck with DuckDuckGo. The logo could remain the same. For new users Duck would be more trustworthy and easier to remember. Especially for those that don’t speak English. Another benefit would be more traffic from Google and other search engines for general “duck” related searches.

Duck enthusiasts need better privacy.

How to link to a specific part of a YouTube video

On desktop you can use the share button but on mobile you don’t get the option. Fortunately you can add a code to the link to let YouTube know where to start from. Just add ?t=00h00m00s to the end of the link where h = hours, m = minutes and s = seconds.

Here is some sage investment advice from Ray Dalio at the 27 second mark

https://youtu.be/tZyWVxGXPHo?t=27s

And Warren Buffet’s response at 4 minutes 17 seconds

https://youtu.be/JvEas_zZ4fM?t=4m17s

Please note that Facebook Messenger and some other apps give a thumbnail preview. The recipient needs to click the actual link. If they click the image it starts from the beginning.

Bloggin’ aint easy

A while ago I listened to Penn Jillette on Tim Ferriss’ podcast and he claims to have missed less than five days of journaling in 34 years. Likewise many bloggers have ridiculous streaks and machine like output. It’s cool for them but I’m happy with keeping my posts sporadic as long as I feel the overall body of work is good. While part of me respects these peoples’ consistency, another part of me can’t help but yell NERD! 

The right way to disable CSS animations

Sometimes I want a way to disable all CSS animations on a page. This is useful for end-to-end testing, automatic screenshots, or reducing motion sickness risk. This recent CSS Tricks post suggests disabling animations & transitions while resizing, to reduce needless browser work. This is an excellent idea! Here is the usual way of disabling animations:

Continue reading “The right way to disable CSS animations”

CSS snippet for better mobile screenshots

A useful tip when adding screenshots to posts or talks is to put them “inside” a device. This gives the screenshot some context.

Even though this screenshot already contains Android top & bottom bars, with the added outline it’s immediately obvious it’s from a phone.

The Economist on mobile is mostly sticky bullshit

The Economist on mobile is mostly sticky bullshit

To add the outline to images I use a simple CSS border:

.phone-border {
  border: #111 solid;
  border-radius: 1rem;
  border-width: 2rem 1rem 3rem 1rem;
}

To take this further you can also make them responsive! So we see phone screenshots on phones, and a fake laptop screen outline on big/wide screens. This assumes you are using responsive images so you get desktop aspect ratio on bigger screens.

@media (min-width: 800px and min-aspect-ratio: 16/9) {
  .phone-border {
    border-color: #ccc;
    border-width: 1rem;
  }
}

 

TIL 4

Today I learned that Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until 1945. It was then occupied by the United States and the Soviet Union following WW2. Dad told me this after having learned it himself minutes before (I’m assuming via Wikipedia).

TIL 3

Today I learned that sporadic posts are easier to achieve than daily posts 😉

Also, in France the government allows just two sale periods a year.