Introducing the Chicago ExpressionEngine Meetup

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, February 02, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 3 comments

ExpressionEngine logoExpressionEngine is a content management system from EllisLab which we at Dunkirk Systems, LLC have used to develop several blogs and communities for clients. Like any tool, it is good to know others who work with it to share experiences and learn from. This is why I took the initiative to start an ExpressionEngine Meetup group in Chicago.

The first Meetup will be on Tuesday, March 23, at OfficePort Chicago in the Loop. We launch the first meeting of the Chicago ExpressionEngine Meetup with Michael Boyink, principal of Boyink Interactive and the founder of Train-ee, a leader in ExpressionEngine education.

For more information and to join, visit the Chicago ExpressionEngine Meetup at Meetup.com.


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Selling The Web Design Business Kit from SitePoint on eBay

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 06:54 AM with 1 comments

It has served me well, and now it’s time for it to be in the hands of a start-up Web design and development business. I am talking about The Web Design Business Kit from SitePoint, which I have just posted for sale by auction on eBay. Below is a photo of the 2 binders and CD-ROM which make up the Kit.

The Web Design Business Kit from SitePoint on eBay

The Kit consists of processes and procedures for owning and operating a Web design and development business. It is a step-by-step process that takes you through the business process of building a Web site and is supported by documentation and files in Excel and Word you can use right away in your business. Note the files are in Australian MS format but can easily adapted to US format. I purchased the Kit brand new a few years ago and learned quite a bit from it. The version 2.0 of this sells for almost $250.00. The content in the Kit is timeless.

The auction closes next Monday night, February 1, 2010, and bidding starts at a penny for this great buy.


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Tips On Reporting Web Site Errors

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, January 18, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

In the ever-changing and rapidly-developed world of the Web, errors happen. From browser incompatibilities to outright bad code, bugs occur and can cause everything from minor discomfort to outright pain for the Web visitor. Like any good Web consultant, we here at Dunkirk Systems, LLC want to fix them as quickly and efficiently as possible. And in order to do so, we need as much information as can be provided to me to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

partial screen shot of Web site error message

The following is a list of types of information needed in order to research and fix a Web error, as well as detailed information for each area. Though it may not be possible to provide all of the answers to these questions, as much information as possible will help in getting the Web page or site back up and running properly.

Where are you and when?

  • Computer type – PC, MAC, mobile device
  • OS – Windows, OS-X, Linux, etc. and what version
  • Monitor/screen resolution
  • Browser – IE, Firefox, etc. and what version
  • How connected to the Internet – work, home, public WiFi
  • Any plugins or toolbars in the browser that can impact behavior?
  • Any popup blockers?
  • Date/time error occurred - not always vital, but can be used to check against Web server

What are you doing?

  • What link/URL are you accessing?
  • What were the steps that lead you to the error?
  • Does the issue happen every time or just on occasion (e.g. when first opening the browser)
  • Have you been able to recreate this issue on another computer?
  • Have you recently cleared their browser cache? If not, do so and try again

What happened?

  • Details of the error
  • Screen shots of the entire desktop, not just the window at issue
  • Any error messages that appear in the browser or on the desktop that the user observes but does not appear in a screenshot

What were you expecting?

  • I ask this as there may, in some cases, be an issue with expectations

As you can see, there are a lot of issues that can play into a Web site error, and the number variables in play with the Web will only get larger as the number of devices and ways people connect to the Internet are created. Help us help you, as well as everyone else, build a beautiful – and functional – Web experience.


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