Archive | December 10, 2013

CDN Glitches

Thanks for all the feedback on the first day running on a CDN. Several issues were noted and addressed.

The fonts have been restored. There were a couple of funny problems that occurred. Headlines are using Asap and body text is Almost Alike, two fonts available using the Google Web Fonts CDN.

The symbol font FontAwesome is, well, awesome. It’s included in the Canvas framework/theme that I’m using, The FontAwesome font is used as a source of small graphic symbols and icons for things like the Search magnifying glass () and the RSS icon(). Canvas embeds the font within their framework in the includes/fonts directories, but when the files are specified in the CSS files, they are referred to with a version number, as in src:url('includes/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.eot?v=3.2.1')

This doesn’t actually load a particular version of the file, but it means that caches will be invalidated and the file reloaded if the version number is changed. However, moving these files to a CDN threw some problems: the CDN is really an object store that returns a file if the name exactly matches the name under which the file is stored. So, the file “fontawesome-webfont.eot” doesn’t match one with “?v=3.2.1” appended to the name, and the CDN doesn’t return the file. [Update: I’ rethinking this. While I was getting “Aborted” error messages downloading the font, today it appears to be working, so this may be a misdiagnosis.]

The solution I chose was to locate the single line in canvas’ font-awesome.css.less file that specifies the source for the fonts, then override that file, using the custom.css file designed for just that purpose, and specify the font-awesome sources as the Bootstrap CDN source. See for their suggested invocation. Using the @font-face declaration of that file, added to the custom.css overrode the early declaration and loads the font, successfully, from the CDN.

Notes from Seacoast WordPress Developers Group, 4-Dec-2013

Seven people attended the December meeting of the Seacoast WordPress Developers group, held at the AlphaLoft coworking space in Portsmouth, NH. The main topic was “Best Business Practices,” which was a great topic but, as always, the conversations and netwokring and recommendations that went on around the main topic were also very helpful and informative. Among those tidbits:

  • The Ewww image optimizer can reduce the size of images and speed webpage loading with minimal quality change.
  • Matt Mullenweg delivers an annual “State of the Word” speech with lots of interesting insights.
  • Open question: What topics would YOU like to learn about? The group is about YOU. How can we get YOU to attend?
  • Which SEO are people familiar with? WordPress SEO by Yoast was the most popular mentioned
  • Question on speeding sites, and a recommendation for the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler

On to the main topic: “Best Business Practices” can easily degenerate into a “Client Horror Stories” session. Kudos to organizer Amanda Giles for keeping a tight rein on the discussions and getting us to focus on covering as much as possible. Andy provided a redacted proposal he had written up for a client and we reviewed and discussed it. There was a lot of good back and forth. Andy had some very insightful item in his proposal that made it clear what the client would see at each phase, what items were optional or deferred to a later project phase, and how client decisions could affect the outcome in terms of schedule and cost. This was a great launching point for a lot of discussion on terms, contracts (my stance: pay a lawyer for a few hours to draft a good contract!), how to handle open-ended items like design reviews and never-ending revisions, terms for stock photos and graphics, and so forth. The discussion was very worthwhile and everyone felt they had their questions answered and learned a few new things. What more can you ask for a meeting?

Our next two meetings are scheduled for TUESDAY (not the normal meeting night) January 7th and Wednesday, February 5th. Please consider joining the Meetup group to keep up on the details on upcoming meetings.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.