The purpose of a blog, of course, is to communicate information. Because of this, I don’t believe that anyone should ever start a blog unless they have something worth writing about. Now, the apostle John once said that if he wrote about all the things that Jesus did, the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:5). We might say now that if we were to write all about all the things Jesus is doing in the lives of believers, the world wide web itself could not contain the blogs that would be written. • • • Read More • • •
In order to design a thing well, you have to know what it’s going to be used for. The practice of making generic templates is alright as far as it goes, but for a design to be excellent it needs to be made intentionally for the content.
One thing this implies is that for a website to be well designed at the start, the creator must know what he’s going to do with the website. When I started this website, I honestly wasn’t exactly sure when it would become. I just knew I wanted a place to write.
I actually thought I might be writing a lot of short, 50–100 word posts as commentary on various links. I did this a little at the start, but then tapered off. I also thought my posts would rarely exceed 1,000 words in length. This also proved not to be the case, especially in relation to my Calvinism and the Rest of It series. • • • Read More • • •
I host about a dozen websites. Some of these are hosted for friends and a few are hosted for myself. This site and the my podcast website get the most traffic by far and have grown in popularity to the point where they would likely make any shared hosting service rather sluggish.
When I first started making websites, shared hosting was about the only optio. At times of high traffic, even with a reliable host, my sites would often slow to a crawl. I had looked into hosting on a dedicated server, but the cost was far too high. But things have changed in the last ten years. • • • Read More • • •
I want you to imagine trying to have a conversation with a friend who has a tendency to speak very quietly, so quietly that you almost have to strain to hear him. Now I want you to imagine someone—no, three someones—shouting at you while you try to have this conversation. Last, imagine that a fourth person walking right up to you, between you and your friend, and trying desperately to sell you something you will probably never be interested in.
Putting it mildly, we might call this situation aggravating. But if these obnoxious people were a normal part of every conversation, we’d probably find a way to get used to it. We’d develop ways of quickly dismissing the interrupting salesperson and we’d learn to tune out the shouting. Maybe we’d even develop specially designed hearing aids so we could better hear the one person we’re actually trying to talk to. But I think we can all agree that this scenario would be less than ideal. • • • Read More • • •
Fun fact: search engines almost entirely ignore the words “and,” “the,” and “of.” They also don’t take to kindly to the word “it.” Why does that matter? Well, it means that “And the Rest of It” is a rather awful website name if my goal is to generate traffic.
Thankfully, that’s not my goal. I write because I love writing and want to improve, not because I want people to read all the wonderful things I have to talk about. I also don’t make any money off of running this website. That said, I’ve been encouraged to give my blog a little more publicity by people who say they’ve found my posts helpful. • • • Read More • • •
A poor craftsman blames his tools, but I think it’s safe to say that a good craftsman values them. The tools we use can make our jobs a lot easier or a lot harder. They can frustrate us or they can delight us. This post is the first in a series that will discuss the tools I use. If you have a use for them, give them a try. They might make your job a lot easier. • • • Read More • • •
Amazon has just launched a new service called Kindle Unlimited. In short, you can read any of 600,000+ titles on Kindle for $10 a month. Think Netflix for books. This is interesting in several ways. • • • Read More • • •
I saw two tweets recently that showed users on mobile devices are scrolling down even before the web pages are finished loading. This is especially interesting considering how many websites (even Apple and this site) are using animations to put content on the page as it loads. Users who scroll before the page loads will get a pretty poor experience since the animations will freeze during their scroll.
This is especially relevant considering the improvements Apple is bringing to scrolling in iOS 8.
If you’re using Android and the site isn’t working quite right, there’s a good reason for that. Put simply, there are too many devices and (more specifically) browser versions to test on Android. I gave this site a try in a couple simulators and it seemed to work reasonably well. But if you’re having difficulties with this site, let me know. Make sure to include what kind of device you’re using, what android browser you’re using, and what version of Android you’re running.
In other news, the site works fantastically on IE 10+ and fairly reasonably on IE 9.
Before the iPhone, the mobile web did kind of exist. It wasn’t anything like what it is now, though. Some websites would detect that you were using a mobile browser on something like a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile Phone and they would unceremoniously force you to their poorly designed mobile homepage, usually disregarding entirely whatever page it was you wanted to visit in the first place. Other websites would ignore that you were using a mobile device and remain frustratingly hard to navigate with your stylus. • • • Read More • • •