faqs

Can you post videos from your mobile/cellular straight to WordPress?

Oh yes! And here it is using the very great and very easily implemented TubePress plugin. Apologies for the vids themselves … either short, shaky or very rough. Do take the time to watch Alison Sykora cooking Wild Mushrooms, she was great and they were delicious!

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What can WordPress Do?

WordPress has a primary aim of publishing blogs, however given its highly adaptable architecture, it can be used for all sorts of things:

  • As a radio station with podcasts and streaming simulcasts
  • For the sale of goods and services, from cosmetics to trucks using services like paypal, protx and wordpay
  • To display your YourTube.com vids (or movies from virtually any thirdparty video streaming provider)
  • A portfolio for photographers, artists and designers which can be integrated with websites such as flickr.com
  • Publish a newsletter and administer subscribers
  • As an archive of material, both historical and ongoing, by date or category or anyother organising principle …
  • A diary. Synchronise with diaries on your PC or Mac.
  • A fixed, flat website. Seriously. People do.

So (he says facetiously) that’s a PodBlog, a CapBlog, a VidBlog, a FolioBlog, a SubBlog, an ArchiBlog, a SynchBlog and an UnBlog.

I like UnBlog most – and I think that’s because the idea of Blogs and blogging is becoming outdated. The way we tend to use WP for our clients is as a personalised internet publishing platform, or PIPP … Actually, that’s not a serious acronym, it just tumbled off my fingers in an unstoppable way … Personalised because we create a website which the client takes charge of him or herself. This isn’t so much a paradigm shift as a different emphasis on the important functionalities.

We’ll be adding to this list shortly.

What is WordPress Used For?

Not just blogs. Blogs are central to the application of course, but because of the way it is set-up and its extensibility, WordPress can be used in all sorts of ways.

E-commerce: Using a variety of plugins (mostly from NZ) WP installations can develop the ability to sell products through Paypal.com or a couple of other providers (in the case of the latter plugin). An example we developed is Pure Therapy, which markets Kirsteen Sinclair’s delicious products. We are also implementing a third-party booking system, called Caterbook for the Glendaruel Hotel. This exciting development will be online soon and we’ll blog it as soon as it happens.

Radio Stations: Using a plug-in such as PodPress WordPress users can syndicate podcasts to the likes of iTunes effortlessly, therefore it makes sense for internet radio stations to start to use this platform for all types of broadcast material. We are presently developing radiofyneside.co.uk alongside applications such as NiceCast and Garageband 3.

Portfolios: Some clients simply want a website they can administer. Often eschewing the blogging side of things, their focus is on static pages which present their products or services in a way which they can control and change as they need to. Examples in our portfolio are Gallic Books, The Walking Theatre Company and Stair Building.

Community: Making the internet accessible for communities in areas with patchy broadband coverage might not seem at first to be within WordPress’s purview, however, when considering a platform for the Colintraive & Glendaruel Community Council, the choice was a “no brainer”. Because WP is exceptionally light both for use and content creation, and because it is search optimised out of the box, we had no hesitation in recommending its use for this multi-user environment.

Blogging: Yes, the primary use does get a look in: Bookwoman, Net-five.com and our website are all examples of how the paradigm can be used to promote your core endeavour, whether its cycling ultra-marathons, improving audiologists’ ability to serve their community, or publicise your own products. In fact with Doodfood, Dunans Heritage Project, the Kames Hotel and VisitGlendaruel this represents the largest tranch of our work at the moment.

What is this WordPress Thing?

Designed for blogging, WordPress bills itself as “a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.” For us, this idea that the application is a “publishing platform” is key. We use it to publish everything from radio stations to portfolios. Or rather we implement it so that our clients can publish their radio stations, portfolios or blogs.

WordPress was originally designed as a blogging tool, but like many leading-edge web development firms we have seen this environment as a way of empowering our clients, specifically the self-employed, entrepreneurs, and SMEs, all of whom do not have the time or energy to devote to a specialised skillset. WordPress is like a word processor, and therefore accessible to everyone who knows how to use a computer.

Once WP is set up on a server the user logs in (often using the ‘Site Admin’ link at the bottom of the navigation menu) and begins creating content immediately. It is that easy. Our clients have remarked how straight-forward this system is. That’s a joy.

Better for us, is the ability to see how a client uses this tool, and design the website to reflect that use – this often also means we implement plugins for the client’s specific needs. For example, one client has a YouTube.com account with several pieces which she want to link to, or even better to display in her blog, DoodFood.co.uk. Her initial thought was, “No, they’ll be incompatible – they won’t play together” but once we had implemented the Embedded Video plugin she was away.

But blogging, how is that appropriate? The answer is simply that it need not be. WordPress allows you to publish entries ordered by date and pages outside of any timeline. Some clients do not use the blogging capabilities of WP at all and publish pages, like Gallic Books or the Walking Theatre Company, and others embrace the paradigm using the journal consistently, for example, Radio Fyneside and Colintraive & Glendaruel.

Why go very PINK?

A new day, a new theme. Well, not quite. We’re rather in love with this theme, in fact we’re blushing with pleasure … It is called veryPINK, it is on your screen now and it’s optimised for WordPress 2.1 (Sweet Ella!) and search engines. (more…)

v.ARBU?

The combination of this photo and our adaptation of the Hemingway Reloaded theme seems to us to encapsulate what print and web design means to Arbu: a joy to use because it is a joy to look at. With many thanks to Ingrid Meran, who took the photograph during her flight from Vienna to Glasgow in 2005.

If you would like a copy of v.ARBU, please email us here.

What is Hemingway Reloaded?

A wordpress flavour or theme. We have based the arbu.biz site on this theme as it provides a well-designed relatively neutral backdrop for the display of our design work in our portfolio.

What is a Content Management System?

Simply, a system by which you can administer your website yourself. That’s it. No more. arbu.biz uses WordPress, a fantastic weblog application, as its system of choice. We do so because WordPress is hugely configurable and very well supported in the Open Source Community. Using this system our clients are able to post news, information pages and pictures using one of the most user-friendly administrative interfaces available.
We prefer to use a blog application because of its intrinsic journal-like quality and the fact that any site using wordpress is “pinged” regularly for new content. In our view, this is invaluable in getting a site listed on the major search engines, because of course you can spend huge amounts of money on a design and find, that despite the fact the site looks wonderful, you aren’t listed on google – anywhere! Publishing this sort of weblog side steps this issue.
We are also committed to empowering our clients: either so that they can update their site easily, or that when they ask us to do something they know both how it will look and that it won’t cost them an arm and a leg in on-going costs.

Why Use a Mac?

Well, apart from anything else, Sophos says so. Saw this on the BBC news website, and to say we were surprised is an understatement. Sophos, a computer security firm, are recommending home users to switch to Macs. Why? Because the top ten threats to computers are PC-only, they say ” … all of the [top ten] malware works on Microsoft Windows; none is capable of infecting the Apple Macintosh operating system.” (more…)

Which Browser is Best?

The answer to that one brings the men in white coats. Internet Explorer used to be the unthinking choice, even for Mac users, but now there are a plethora of other options which are more or less standards compliant in a way the MS’s own is sometimes not.

  1. Mozilla‘s Firefox, Netscape, Camino or Mozilla are all good choices, with Firefox being their brand leader … Some thing to do with the name I think.
    1. Firefox is the choice here as it is becoming the default competitor with IE and therefore all developers, including the lazy ones who write code for IE have had to develop versions – the effect of an ad in the NYTimes eh?
    2. Netscape has one feature we really like – different users. We use this for making blog entries to our different blogs: this one is being made under the arbu user and our Dunans blog is under a Dunans user.
  2. For those still using Mac OS9 only the German browser for Macs iCab is still being developed – we’re presently deciding what we think of it, but we do like all the extra features…
  3. The Flock Browser is an interesting entry which purports to make your web v2 experience seamless: you can post to your blog from the browser as well as send pics to flickr. We haven’t used this one much, tho’ we like the idea in theory.
  4. Safari for Mac OSX users is (mostly) a shoo-in. Except that unlike Firefox which is cross-platform and therefore compatible with most everything, Safari still gets booted out of some of the less enlightened e-commerce & banking sites.
  5. Opera – another European entry and a worthy one at that. All the expected features, but like Flock and iCab gets booted out of commerce sites too often.

Then you ask, why should we have to become informed to make a good decision about which browser we use? Well, in our view your shouldn’t, here’s the “Any Browser” campaign that you might like to investigate.