My aim of writing at least one new post month failed rather quickly. Although, let’s be honest, I can’t imagine anyone has visited my site in the hope of a new update.

So what’s new? Well, after a very quiet period of around 3 months with just one new project (rest of the time filled with dull change requests/maintenance work), I am now working on three fairly big sites; an equity firm, celebrity chef, and a chain of delis. I’ll blog more about these when they are live. I started these in June and it should keep me busy for at least another month.

Firefly Drinks

Firefly Drinks Desktop Website

URL
www.fireflydrinks.com
Designer
The Web Kitchen
CMS
WordPress
Host
Tsohost

The Web Kitchen created Firefly’s website over eight years ago. Amazingly it had aged fairly well but with elements of flash and a very old CMS it was difficult to maintain. Fortunately, the company was recently bought by Purity soft drinks and so they decided the time was right to freshen up the website.

The big “wow factor” aspect of this site is the ability to design your own Firefly bottle. Due to budget constraints, I had to use a few more JavaScript libraries than I would have liked but I am still very happy with the end result. The user uploads a photo which is then resized and turned black & white. They can then crop the photo, choose their bottle’s background and give it a name. I hooked the form up to Gravity Forms rather than code everything from scratch.

Firefly Drinks Mobile Website

The rest of the site is a fairly basic catalogue website. It’s a little bit content light at the moment but hopefully Firefly will add a few more news stories and pages over the coming months.

If you like the Firefly site then check out the new site for Juice Burst drinks, another Purity owned company. It was developed by a colleague at The Web Kitchen.

A quick update to my hosting setup. I noticed the other day month that CloudFlare offer a free package so I thought I’d give them a try despite not requiring them for a site of this size. I found it very easy to setup – simply change your name servers and go. I like that they offer free SSL (something I already had from Let’s Encrypt), basic DDoS protection and HTTP2. However, after a couple of weeks I decided to delete my account as I have a few concerns over the privacy side of things (I’m not the only one). That said, I would probably still suggest it to a client looking for a budget firewall. I am just being a little paranoid.

In that same post, I recommended TSO hosting and I still do. For the amount that they charge, it’s hard to find to a better host. I am starting to find a few limitations. For one, they don’t have WP-CLI installed on their cloud package. Fortunately it’s very easy to install it yourself. Firstly, download WP-CLI to the user root directory in the usual way:

curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wp-cli/builds/gh-pages/phar/wp-cli.phar

Then edit ~/.bashrc and add the following line:

alias wp='/usr/bin/php-5.6-cli ~/wp-cli.phar'

Finally:

source ~/.bashrc

That’s it. You now have WP-CLI on your TSO cloud package. One issue that I haven’t quite figured out is that when you install a new WordPress site, it will set the URL as domain.com/public_html but this is easily fixed.

In other news, I’m going back to University! I will be undertaking a part-time Masters in Information Security at Royal Holloway. It’s going to be a very busy couple of years.

Thanks for reading.