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

Have You Tried It on IE6?

About a year ago, I created a blog aggregator, or sometimes also called Planet. This planet display all the blog posts from my registered friends. At first, I did it alone. I maintained and designed it by myself. And then, my friend Andreas wanna help me maintaining the site. So I gave him a role as administrator. Some days ago, he sent me this email:

Rif,

Do you have opened the website in IE6? The layout and the design looks screwed :(

IE6 or Internet Explorer version 6 is a browser shipped with Windows XP. It was released in 2001. It has better CSS support than the previous version, at that time. The problem with the browser is it’s lacking support on the web standard. If you’re a web designer, you must know the designing problems in IE6 . This browser has bad reputation among web designers. Continue reading

Earn from Blog

About a year ago, I started an English conversation club with my friend in the college. Well, it’s not a real conversation club actually. Instead of doing direct conversation, we’re using instant messenger or irc. Later, I realized that I was doing it because of my own selfishness. I did it because I was lonely at my home, while my friends are on the other city. As expected, the club didn’t last in the long run. My friends became busier with their job and I couldn’t control them. Maybe they were eager to learn English, but they have their own business.

Now in my graduate college, I found that my classmates also trying to run an English conversation club. The great things about it, they are eager to learn how to speak and we can do it directly. We do it in Sunday morning under the tree in the campus’s park. I come twice and I started to love this club. And last day, we’re talking about my favorites: blog. Continue reading

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?

Why are you blogging?

writing So, why am I blogging you are asking?

I still remember the old days when I started to write blog. Like a child who found a new toy, I showed it off to all of the people. Not just showed off, but also tempted my friends to start their own blog. And I still remembered it clearly as day, one of my pals said these things. He said that what are blog used for? It’s just a narcissistic writing by some dudes, telling about their lives and bla bla bla. But you know that I don’t buy it, because you’re reading mine, right? And I don’t think I am a narcissist (0kay, maybe a little).

I’ll give you my story. It started some years ago. I was thinking it was cool to have a place where I can write some and access it from everywhere. Yes, I’m talking about writing on the clouds. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about what should I wrote. I just wanna write, that’s all. Continue reading