Back to the world of Freelancing!

I finally made the time to bring this site and blog out of its long slumber and hibernation. When I started working for a small web development company, I never spent time on this blog. I had so many things to write here – but I never made the time to do so. Now, as I am back in the freelancing world, I have decided to bring it back to life.

When I started my career as a freelancer a few years ago, I did not have many clients. I realize now that I was not confident enough to quote the right price for the projects that came my way. So, I had very few projects that did not pay well. So, eventually I was frustrated and decided to take up a job at a company. As a front end web developer, I really loved the variety of work that came my way – simple and complex WordPress themes and updates, working with different content management systems, Magento and Drupal themes, hacking plugins, building jQuery modules etc. As much as I liked all that work, I always felt like something was missing. I wanted to be more than a front end web developer. I have a very good knowledge of PHP, jQuery and JavaScript. So, I wanted to write custom plugins and do both front end and backend work. This prompted me to quit my job and start freelancing.

I admit that I was scared to take the step and was not sure if I would do any better this time. But, I stuck with my decision. The first step I took was to attend the WordPress women’s meetup here in Seattle organized by Morgan Kay. That was the best step I took. Morgan is a fabulous web developer who specializes in custom WordPress themes and plugins as well. She passed on my information to many people who contacted her and gave me a good recommendation. So when I got emails from a couple of people asking to talk about projects, I was more than excited. When I went to meet my first few prospective clients, I was a nervous wreck. I kept telling myself not to blow this opportunity. I am now happy to say that I did well and now have a bunch of projects in my hand keeping me busy and my clients seem very happy too  Back to the world of Freelancing! A very big thanks to Morgan who helped me with the first step of my freelancing career.

In the past one and half month of being a full time freelancer, I realized that I like all the work that comes with freelancing – like finding clients & marketing as much as I like to sit and hand code websites. If I am continuously writing code for the sites, it feels monotonous after a while. Now, I have to focus on a variety of things during the course of the day which includes making calls to clients, taking care of finances, keeping up to date on latest design and web development tools along with actual designing and coding. It made me realize that I am a very good project manager as well.

So, as I go further along in my freelance career and make my presence known through this blog, I plan to write more about my experiences of being a freelancer and also about WordPress, CSS and jQuery. So, be sure to come back and check out this space!

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter and Google+.

Adding rollover images to WordPress menu

WordPress menus make it very easy to add navigation to your WordPress pages. You can have multiple menus on the same page. Although images for WordPress menus are not very SEO friendly and make it difficult to edit menu items, there are times when you would like to add background images to the menu. If you wish to use a specific font which is not rendered by the web, images are the best option.

To create a menu in wordpress, use <!--?php  wp_nav_menu( $args ); ?-->. For more information, see the WordPress codex on menus

Once you register the menus, you can see them on the wp-admin panel under Appearance->menus. Then add the pages you want on your navigation. Continue reading

US Flag – Using Canvas Tag

The canvas tag is a new HTML tag which is used to draw graphics using JavaScript. You can learn more about the canvas tag and its basic usage here. Since it is a relatively new tag, it does not render in all the browsers. For those browsers which do not support the canvas tag,  you would need a fallback image or code inside the canvas tag.

Here is the code to draw the US flag using the canvas tag mostly following the specs for the flag. See the final image.

Open an editor and create a new HTML5 document. You can copy the following code and save it as canvas_demo.html.

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Aligning check boxes vertically in IE using CSS

I just finished working on a project and while I was in the final testing phase, I realized that there were some check boxes in a form that were not displaying correctly in IE. I found a few answers on Google but, these did not fit to my CSS styling properties and I needed a quick fix without redoing a bunch of CSS.

So, I came up with a simple solution of adding a class to the check boxes.

Here is the my form. Just a list of the days of the week. I need them to display one below the other.

<form id=”stylized” name=”email_reminders” method=”post”>
<label for=”repeat_sunday”>Repeat:</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_sunday” value=”1″ />Sunday<br />

<label for=”repeat_monday”>&nbsp;</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_monday” value=”2″ />Monday<br />

<label for=”repeat_tuesday”>&nbsp;</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_tuesday” value=”3″ />Tuesday<br />

<label for=”repeat_wednesday”>&nbsp;</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_wednesday” value=”4″ />Wednesday<br />

<label for=”repeat_thursday”>&nbsp;</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_thursday” value=”5″ />Thursday<br />

<label for=”repeat_friday”>&nbsp;</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_friday” value=”6″  />Friday<br />

<label for=”repeat_saturday”>&nbsp;</label>
<input type=”checkbox” name=”repeat_saturday” value=”7″ />Saturday<br />

</form>

 

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Skype Extension for Firefox troublesome

I was working on a simple PHP form that would take in a phone number and other fields and add it to the database and eventually display it on the screen. As I was testing this form, I noticed that the phone number was getting added to the database but was not showing up on the screen. It seemed very weird. I could not see the phone number in PHPMyAdmin either. It showed up when I wanted to edit a record.

To make sure I did not have an error in my PHP code, I created a simple test.html with the following code in it:

<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ />
<title>Phone Test</title>
</head>

<body>
Phone Number: 123-234-3456
<br />
Another Phone Number: 980-989-9989
</body>
</html>

The first phone number did not show up but the second one was fine. If I replaced the dashes in the phone number with spaces, Continue reading