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» About the Website

    As you may have noticed, I recently redesigned The Silicon Kid website. This page provides a few of the more technical details about the new website.

    Development and Maintenance

    This website was developed by me (Matthew Purcell, aka The Silicon Kid). It took a long time, as I wanted to get it right before putting the site live!

    A problem on the old website was that given my schedule I was unable to keep the site up-to-date with the latest columns and also moderate comments as they appeared. To alleviate these problems I have outsourced the on-going uploading on regular content (i.e. The Silicon Kid columns) to one of my colleagues, Matt Hall.

    If you notice any problems with the content on this website (e.g. typos) please let us know on .

    Hosting

    This website is hosted by HostingMatters in the United States. They are a fantastic hosting provider with competitive prices and excellent customer service. In particular, HostingMatters provides clients with access to cPanel which allows us to administer almost every aspect of the web hosting ourselves (such as email addresses, MySQL databases, DNS delegation, etc.) making things very efficient and easy, rather than having to email a support person every time you want a configuration item changed on the site.

    Content Management

    wordpress_logoThe new incarnation of The Silicon Kid website uses WordPress 2.7. I selected this CMS as the system running the old website wasn’t really meeting my needs, and WordPress offered a lot more features which would be beneficial to the purpose of this site. Additionally, there are a range of ways you can extend WordPress and integrate with other services. In particular, this website is integrated with both Twitter and Flickr to pull content from these services and aggregate it into the blog.

    This website also employs a number of WordPress plugins:

    • Auto-hyperlink URLs: Automatically turns URLs into clickable hyperlinks.
    • Automatic Timezone: This plugin was essential to ensure that WordPress automatically adjusted for Daylight Savings Time.
    • Category Order: WordPress has a fairly byzantine method of ordering categories. This plugin provides a nifty AJAX based drag-and-drop interface for ordering categories, making it much easier.
    • Email Spam Protection: Uses a Javascript function to encode email addresses for spam protection.
    • Flexo Archives: The standard WordPress archives widget displays all years and months. Since my archive dates back to September 1998 this was a very long list. This plugin provides a Javascript based collapse/expand widget for the archives, being much neater and occupying less space.
    • Google Analyticator: Provides the code required for Google Analytics to operate on the website.
    • My Page Order: Yes, WordPress also doesn’t order the pages very well (like the categories). This plugin also provides an AJAX based interface for ordering pages. Top stuff!
    • Flickr Photo Album: Probably the most feature-rich Flickr integration plugin for WordPress. This powers the widget on the front page, and also allows Flickr images and galleries to be inserted directly into WordPress.
    • Twitter Tools: Provides integration between my Twitter account and WordPress, automatically posting Tweets as blog entries.

    Graphic Design

    The theme used on this site is One-Theme, with the blue style applied. This is an excellent theme, which also includes various extensions for WordPress. I have made some fairly significant modifications to the original theme to make it fit more closely with The Silicon Kid branding and purpose of the website.

    You will notice quite a few icons throughout the website. This is the Nuvola icon set which you may recognise from Linux desktop environments such as KDE and GNOME. These icons are used as-per the conditions stipulated in the GNU LGPL 2.1 Licence Agreement.

    The Flickr and Twitter mini-icons which you see are part of the AODdesign! High Gloss Web 2.0 Icons collection.

    The new Silicon Kid logo was custom-designed by LogoWorks.com. I was very happy with their easy design process and fast turnaround with an excellent end product. Highly recommended for your graphic design needs!

    Search

    A key feature of the new website is our new search engine, provided by Funnelback. This is an enterprise-grade search engine, the same as used on Australia.gov.au and other major websites. I would like to thank Funnelback for their support and providing this website with such a powerful search engine. For more information on Funnelback, please visit http://www.funnelback.com.au.

    Page Last Modified: December 20, 2008