This is a video that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages, so found the time yesterday to view it. It’s very good, very thought-provoking, very practical.
This afternoon I moved my blog from the subdomain blog.garethjmsaunders.co.uk to become my main website here at www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk.
If you are subscribing to my blog then please update the RSS feed to https://www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/feed/.
In the meantime, I’ve got a redirect in place to forward all traffic to the new location.
It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while as my main website wasn’t really offering anything more than I already had on my blog. I also wanted to simplify things significantly ahead of another web host move.
This evening I was reading an article by Giles Fraser on The Guardian website and I was intrigued to understand how they coded the drop-cap at the top of the article:
I smiled when I saw, at the top of the HTML code, written in a comment in a combination of text and ASCII art:
WE ARE HIRING
Ever thought about joining us?
What a terrific idea! Brilliant targeted advertising.
At work yesterday I discovered that the localhost Apache web server on my PC wouldn’t start; it was running XAMPP.
Each time I tried to start Apache from the XAMPP control panel I got these error messages in the console:
08:59:34 [Apache] Attempting to start Apache app…
08:59:35 [Apache] Status change detected: running
08:59:35 [Apache] Status change detected: stopped
08:59:35 [Apache] Error: Apache shutdown unexpectedly.
08:59:35 [Apache] This may be due to a blocked port, missing dependencies,
08:59:35 [Apache] improper privileges, a crash, or a shutdown by another method.
08:59:35 [Apache] Press the Logs button to view error logs and check
08:59:35 [Apache] the Windows Event Viewer for more clues
08:59:35 [Apache] If you need more help, copy and post this
08:59:35 [Apache] entire log window on the forums
Reinstalling XAMPP didn’t fix the issue. But this did, spotted on the ever-wonderful Stackoverflow:
- Press Windows + R to bring up the Windows Run… dialog.
- Type services.msc and click OK.
- Scroll down the list of services to find World Wide Web Publishing Service.
- Right-click it and select Properties.
- Change the Startup type to Manual.
- Click Stop and wait for the service to stop.
- Click OK.
That fixed it. Now Apache is running, as evidenced by the green light on the XAMPP control panel:
Over the last few months in the evenings and at weekends, I’ve been working on redesigning the Pittenweem Properties website for friends here in Anstruther. The site launched a couple of weeks ago.
Pittenweem Properties offers high-quality self-catered holiday accommodation and property management services in and around Pittenweem. They currently manage properties in Carnbee just outside Anstruther and Pittenweem. But their portfolio is growing and for good reason — the properties they own and manage are to a very high standard and in a beautiful part of Scotland: the East Neuk of Fife.
WP Booking System
The site was quite fun to build.
We used Trello for communication and project planning, WordPress (of course!) as the content management system, and the Divi theme from Elegant Themes which allowed me to very quickly design and build the site. I also changed the built-in projects custom-post-type to properties using the method I blogged about in March: changing the Divi projects custom post type to anything you want.
For the booking calendar we turned to a premium theme: WP Booking System which we found intuitive and offered most of the features we needed:
- Multiple booking calendars.
- Submit booking requests via form.
- Display anywhere (on page or within widgets) using a shortcode.
- Customisable display features, including splitable legend for check-in and check-out).
If this plugin had also allowed online payments, say via PayPal, then it would have been absolutely perfect but as it is we’ve been really happy with the functionality and usability of this plugin.
There is a free version of the plugin, but it offers only one calendar and has customisation limitations. The premium version costs only US $34 (approx. GBP £21.50).
While the site is now live there are still a few bits and pieces to do, such as keep an eye on analytics data and try to improve search engine rankings.
Websites are never really finished, are they?
It was a fun project to work on. Time to focus on optimising family finances and admin, and cracking on with writing my book.