Once Upon a Theme

When this blog was created for the first time, I used free themes available on any sites. As time goes by, I want this blog to have some personal touch. So I learned to create my own WordPress theme. I created some themes and install it on this blog. Some people said it was good, but I personally thought that my themes didn’t have a good cross-browsers compatibility (although it worked on modern browsers).

Once again, I want to create personal theme for this blog. Creating theme from scratch is a pain. I must consider a lot of things, like cross-browsers compatibility, new features from WordPress updates, the upcoming HTML standards, and many many more. I decided to look for a WordPress theme frameworks.

Quick googling shows some great WordPress theme frameworks. They have many different interesting features. After I read and tried some of these themes, my eyes are fixed to these theme: Gantry Framework. This theme framework is created by Rocket Theme team for WordPress and Joomla publishing platform. This theme is easy to install, configure, and customize. Besides from that, here are some features of Gantry that I like best.

  • based on 960 grid system, make it flexible to create layout anything you want.
  • widget-based layout, you can put some things in widget and place it anywhere you want.
  • separation between Gantry framework and theme, you could update the framework without breaking your theme design.
  • home-page-post customization, you can create different layout of every page, post, category, etc.
  • it’s free, well it’s good :D

Another great thing about Gantry (and the other theme frameworks), we could customize our design incrementally. Just like what I did with this blog. For now, I used default Gantry style and just customize the header and page background. I have a plan to customize the style further if I have the chance.

I didn’t say that the other frameworks is bad. It was just Gantry get the job done for me. Whether Gantry works for you or not is depends on your needs. You must try and find your own framework that works for you. In the end, happy customizing your theme.. :D

The DZone Effects

Two months ago, I wrote a simple tutorial on how to create a Hadoop MapReduce program using Netbeans. Not a slightest clue in my head that this post will change my life. Okay, I’m exaggerating. I mean the post change the history of this blog.

The first day after I wrote the post, nothing special happened. But the day after, I was shocked when I checked this blog stats. This blog usually have about 15-25 visitors a day. So I was amazed when I saw 90 visitors that day. I started to investigate which post has the biggest contribution in delivering traffics. And I found out that it was the Hadoop in Netbeans post. I noticed that all of the traffic came from one site called DZone. DZone? I never heard that site before. When I was investigating the site, I found that it’s a cool bookmarking site for developer around the globe. And someone, later I known as mitchp, just share my post into this site.

The magic continued the next day. My traffic keep increasing. Then later in that day, I got an email from my hosting provider:

The domain arifn.web.id has reached 80% of its bandwidth limit (807.50/1000.00 Megs).

Well, my bandwidth limit was just 1 GB a month. So I double checked the hosting package and found that my bandwidth limit should be 2 GB. I contacted my hosting provider to make sure that they didn’t make any mistakes. They said that my bandwidth should be 2 GB and they will resolve it a.s.a.p. Okay, so I started installing WP Super Cache to prevent my site from being down because of the high traffic and low bandwidth limit.

The magic ended. The highest peak was on the third day, near 200 visitors. After that, the traffic declining and found its equilibrium state. But, this state is higher than my average traffic before. My average traffic now is about 20-35 visitors a day. Not bad, huh?

And now, I’m a fan of DZone. Some days ago, I found out that I’m not the only one who has this kind of experience. Yeah, of course. Jordi Cabot wrote in his blog about his DZone traffic experience:

Unfortunately, a completely different story is the mid and long-term impact. By this I mean the number of people that discovered my portal thanks to the link and that has become a frequent visitor of the site since then. This is very difficult to assess (there is no way to know if a new subscriber originally discover your site thanks to the DZone link or it is just a temporal coincidence that he/she joined the site around those dates) but if we look at the increase in the number of subscribers to the RSS portal feeds , my twitter account or the daily visits to the site, my estimation is that only a 2-3% of the original DZone visitors has converted into new portal followers.

I second that. Maybe it’s just a sweet temporal coincidence if my traffic growth above the average. But one thing that I can learn from this experience is that if you want to have a high amount of traffic, you should write a good post regularly. And I hope I can do that.

Do you have the same experience?

Read The Unread

Days ago, I accompanied my sister to rent some DVDs at one place. We didn’t have any account yet, so we decided to register as a new member. Because of my sister working outside town, she asked me to use my id as the registration id. So then, the clerk gave me a form and asked me to write down my identity there. After finished, I must sign the form.

My sister did the writing work while I was wandering watched the movies. After she finished, I got back to her and read the form. Below the entry, I found some terms of services and agreements. I decided to read it. The clerk was still waiting for my sign. Impatient, she told me to sign it right away. She even asked me why I don’t mind spending time reading the TOS and agreement. I replied to her that I need to know the agreement before I signed it. What if there were some points in the agreement that I didn’t agree? From the why she acted, I knew that no one bother to read the agreement first. And I’m pretty sure of it.

License agreement
License agreement

The situation made me think. Did everyone really care about agreements, terms of service, or maybe instruction manuals? We met them at various places and occations. Like when we’re installing software(s), do we read the licence agreement? When we’re using social networking services, do we read the terms of service and the privacy policy? When we’re using new hardwares or electronic stuffs, do we read the instruction and safety manuals?

If you’re dealing with software developments or services, thing like this become very important. You can’t just ignore this. If you done wrong with this kind of things, you may get yourself sued, wether by the service providers or by your own clients (Remember the Facebook case?).

So, from now on, I encourage you, and myself, to becareful about something that we didn’t read yet. Go and start read the unread.

1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou

I like this song.. It reminds me about my high school’s music festival couple years ago.. This song became one of the ending soundtrack of Rurouni Kenshin. Enjoy it..

P.S. You can read the English translation on the More below.

1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou

Sung by: Siam Shade
Lyrics/Composition: Kawamoto Makoto
Arrangement: Ishikawa Tetsuo

kowareru hodo aishite mo
sanbun-no-ichi mo tsutawaranai
junjou na kanjou wa karamawari
I love you sae ienaide-iru my heart

nagaku nemurenai yoru ga
kimi e no omoi
“”sore wa koi nan desu”” to sasayaku yo
tomedonaku katari kakeru
yureru kodou wa
binetsu majiri no tameiki e to kawaru

Give me smile and shine days
kimi no smile de
itetsuku yoru no samusa mo good, koraerareru

kowareru hodo aishite mo
sanbun-no-ichi mo tsutawaranai
junjou na kanjou wa karamawari
I love you sae ienaide-iru my heart

manatsu no ame no you ni
kawaita suhada
uruosu kimi no egao ga mabushikute

Give me smile and shine days
kyuu ni sumasanaide
donna ni konnan de nankan na kabe mo,
koeru kara

dore dake kimi wo aishitara
kono omoi todoku no darou
mitsumerareru to ienai
kotoba ga chuu ni mau

hanarereba hanareru hodo
itoshii hito da to kidzuku
motomereba motomeru hodo ni
setsunai kyori wo kanjite’ru my heart

Give me smile and shine days
Give me smile and nice days
moshimo kono ude de,
kimi to dakishime aeta nara

dore dake kimi wo aishitara
kono omoi todoku no darou
yume no naka de wa tashika ni
ieta hazu na no ni

kowareru hodo aishite mo
sanbun-no-ichi mo tsutawaranai
junjou na kanjou wa karamawari
I love you sae ienaide-iru my heart

My heart

(Source: lyricsdownload.com)

Continue reading