Converting A Site To HTML 5

HTML 5

As you may notice, I’m using a new look here on GoodBlimey with a theme that now supports the modern HTML 5 markup language. What this means is that the site can now move forward with new techniques and be more visible with search engines and basically have etter use of semantics and markup to provide for a better website experience. It also means that rich content like audio and video can easily be added and controlled.

Speaking of adding video content, since previously I was using Flash Video (.flv & .f4v) for all my videos on this site and Mattplays.com, that means I’ll have to convert all of said videos to different formats to ensure that different browsers and mobile platforms can view them. Those formats are H.264 (.mp4), OGG Video (.ogv), and WebM (.webm). Each video has to be converted three times, and since I had well over a hundred videos to convert, it took days even on a fast processor that I’m on, which is an Intel i5-3750K processor overclocked from 3.4GHz to 4.3GHz.

Then all those converted videos, over three hundred of them, has to be uploaded to the server, which takes just as long.

Finally, the code of the site has to be updated to reflect the use of HTML 5 to harness the different formats to be used by different browsers and mobile platforms. There would also have to be code to identify what browser is being used, and serve up the right format that browser supports in order to play the video the visitor wants to watch. PHEW!

The tools that I’ve used to accomplished all these tasks are:

  • Any Video Converter – converts OGV and WebM (can also do MP4 but I prefer Handbrake)
  • Handbrake – converts to MP4
  • FileZilla – FTP client to upload videos to server
  • VideoJS – Javascript package that identifies the browser being used and serves up the correct format

Build a Website (for Beginners)

Not everyone has the time to learn HTML and CSS, the code that are used to structure and design websites. Many people just want to put one up with no fuss and be done with it. Fortunately, today there are many options to create and build a website without any technical knowledge at all, just a little bit of time and motivation is all that’s required.

There are 3 different options to choose from when you decide you want a website. The complete site building service, the web blog service, and the hire a web designer service. Many of the services in the first two categories I list below as options are free.

Site Builders:

Site Builders allow you to create a complete website, allowing you to focus on creating the content, choosing a look (theme) for your site, and arranging the different elements as you see fit. Many offer more advanced features if you so choose to use them, and some require payment to use certain features. Which one is the best? That’s up to you and what you’re looking for; so check out each one and see which fits your goal best.

Weblogs:

Weblogs, or more simply just blogs, are the popular diaries and journals of the internet where people post about just about anything. Blogs are handy in providing an outlet for anyone to get their word out there for friends, family, or strangers to read. It’s a great way to share travel stories, personal hobbies, thoughts about your favorite team, and much more. Blogs also let you share photographs, music, videos, and other rich multimedia on the web. Visit the Wikipedia entry on the subject to understand what a blog can encompass. Below you will find many services that offer blogs, many which are free and easy to use.

Hiring a Web Designer:

Hiring a web designer, while it can be expensive, can go a long way towards a strong internet presence. A good web designer creates a clean, usable website that is naturally optimized for search engines such as Google. They focus on standards-compliant coding, proper use of whitespace, make sure their site is accessible (for disabled people using assistive devices), and know how to use typography and bold to highlight content.

Unfortunately finding someone such as this is difficult in a sea of bad web designers who think if they just know a little HTML and CSS that that is good enough. Turning to your uncle’s friend’s former roommate for a website design just because it is convenient and cheap can be more harmful than good in the long run.

This is why, when it comes to your money, it is a good idea to shop around and find someone who is good at his craft and is good with working with people who aren’t so knowledgeable when it comes to websites. If you decide to go with this option, do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask for examples of past work. Most web designers love to proudly show off their portfolio. See if their style is good enough for you, and then go from there.


New Look, Construction Underway

You may notice the site now has a much cleaner, simpler look compared to the previous cluttered, busy design. I got tired of the previous design and intend on working on this new look. So if you see things changing around, don’t fret, I’m just sprucing it up according to my tastes and to also give you a better experience exploring this site.


FingerGaming.com – Gaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch

FingerGaming

I’m announcing my new website I’ve just finished putting together and now unveiling to the public, FingerGaming.com. FingerGaming.com is all about gaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch, now that Apple’s new App Store is open to the public and cranking out games every single day. Mobile gaming a rapidly growing industry, and FingerGaming.com is going to be a part of that by covering everything games on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The reviews, the main features on the site, will feature videos I’ve recorded of me playing these games, screenshots, price, link to the developer of the game, and of course my thoughts on the game itself.

Already we’re seeing a slew of very fun, polished, widely talked about games. You have my personal favorites, MotionX Poker, a dice poker game with achievements, dozens of dice you can unlock and use, and gameplay mechanics that take advantage of the iPhone (multi-touch, accelerometer support, vibrate, etc.) There’s also Galcon, a fast-paced space strategy game that is incredibly addictive and easy to pick up and play. Labyrinth is an age-old game, with a modern approach. It’s the wooden box in a maze with holes that you have to tilt the iPhone/iPod Touch to avoid. It’s simple for everyone to pick up and enjoy, with over 500 levels to play through, with more that you can download over time.

All of these games can be had for $10 or less, some are even free, such as the excellent Aurora Feint. Portable gaming has never been this powerful, and intuitive, and now it’s here. Visit FingerGaming if you want to be part of this wonderful new world.