Need to send large files? For Free! is a great service- they give you a free trial- but then they want you to pay. It allows you to send files to people that are too large for e-mail, and when you don’t want to set up and manage an FTP site.

Just discovered a free site that does the same thing, it’s supposed to be ad supported, but, I just stared at a blank screen. It gives you options on how long you want your files to be shared until deleted and allows you to distribute the same file to as many people at once.

Continue reading →

How to pretend you are using Internet Explorer with Firefox

If you use a Macintosh or Linux, and run into a site that absolutely thinks you have to use Internet Explorer no matter what, this tip is for you.

First, we all know to use Firefox, the most up-to-date, modern, standards compliant, cross platform browser right?

Then we need to fool the site that is built by idiots- that think that you have to use IE (or Internet Exploder as most competent web developers call it) that you are using the inferior browser. The trick is a plugin for Firefox called a User agent switcher- the link is below.

Adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser.

via User Agent Switcher :: Firefox Change-arounds.

Install it through the automatic install, and then put the toolbar button in your toolbar by using the View>Toolbars>customize command- and then click the button before visiting an IE only site.

This will make Firefox tell the Explorer site that you are using their horrible browser- even though you aren’t. If the site uses the proprietary ActiveX technology- you’re hosed, but luckily- most don’t.

The plugin works by sending a message to the site that you are using IE- even if you aren’t. It makes Firefox pretend to be Internet Explorer just for that visit. Hope this helps.

There is no reason for any site to require a specific browser, ever. We have web standards created by the W3C to prevent this kind of nonsense. Please inform any webmaster that what they are doing is actually hurting their site and global harmony.

Continue reading →

Water and Stone Open Source CMS Survey

As professional web developers of both the Joomla! and WordPress Content Management Systems (CMS) we come across many different surveys and comparisons of the two. Water and Stone poses the question “What is the most popular open source content management system?” and actually uses statistics to provide an unbiased report.

If you’ve ever wondered if WordPress and Joomla! truly are the best pieces of software that we could be using, then take a look at this survey. In the first few pages you’ll read “that three systems have come to dominate the present market: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.” But don’t just take that as proof, look at some of the stats that are given throughout the 51 page paper.

Search Engine Visibility

The Next Wave’s core competency compared to other web hosting and design firms in the Dayton area is that we focus on getting our clients on the front page of Google. Sure, you can have a great looking website, but if no one can see it what’s the point? So, one of the first thing we looked for in this survey was any information on search engine ranking for WordPress and Joomla!.

Joomla! comes out on top with more than 1 million inbound searched links at the time of the survey, with WordPress right behind with 403,000. Notice phpnuke and MediaWiki with more than a million links as well, however these are “black hat” search engine optimization techniques that were implemented to create and keep inbound links permanent to skew search.

Do a search for “Content Management System”, and Joomla! comes up second in Google. A search for “Blog Software” (or a variant of that) and WordPress is right up there on top. This just shows that the websites that provide these two are strong in search engine optimization and Google loves to read from them. If you have a website powered by them, Google will love your site too (provided you continually update).

You can also see what people are searching for on Google, and the results that turn up for those searches. The top two systems? You guessed it, WordPress and Joomla! with a huge margin of difference from the third CMS on the list Drupal.

Ratings has a list of all of these and allows visitors to rate and comment on the various ones that are in use. For ratings, WordPress comes out on top with a rating of 4.4 out of 5. Joomla!’s up there too, with 4.2 out of 5.

Brand Strategy

“The open source CMS market is maturing and, with the increase in competition, the competitive landscape is changing. The historical leaders have been supplanted by new names. The data collected in this portion of the survey shows that in almost every way the mind share in today’s market is dominated by just three brands: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.”

WordPress and Joomla! are at the top of everything in this survey. Their branding is superb and still growing, their ranks and ratings are high above the rest of the pack, and both have HUGE community groups that help to make the two CMS’s more stable, more flexible, and even better for web development than other systems. The next time someone says that Joomla! and WordPress aren’t good for web design, tell them otherwise. The facts are there, leading edge developers realize these systemsenable amazing work for clients in at minimum- half the time as building a website from scratch.

Read this, read it again if you want to. Print it out and pass it to your co-workers or show it to your boss so that he/she will let you start using WordPress or Joomla!. And if you’re interested in learning more about the systems, come to our next Websitetology seminar and we’ll give you the crash course that will set your business on top.

Download: Open Source CMS Survey

Continue reading →