All Posts By

Sean OBrien

Posts by Sean OBrien

WordPress: Use shortcodes to display the time in any city

By | Tutorial, Wordpress

Recently on the new version of our agency website, we wanted to showcase the time in the footer of both of our offices, at different ends of the planet and completely different timezones; Brisbane, Australia and Warsaw, Poland.

Our site is built on WordPress and as we know, WordPress has a date function inbuilt that let’s you specify both the date format and time format, which then can be added to template files via the “get_date” function. The only problem with that is we can only specify one time; which is essentially the time our hosting server is using. We wanted to then show a second time for another city.

Wordpress time and date format

WordPress doesn’t have an option to do this but using shortcodes and some PHP, here’s the solution we are currently using on our site’s footer.

Brisbane Digital Footer

To achieve this, we’ve added 2 shortcodes to our functions.php file in our theme template. The first shortcode displays the time of our site using Warsaw local (GMT+2). The second, the time of our Brisbane office (GMT+10). To set the correct time we’ve used the PHP timezone function which you can input your own details to display any timezone worldwide.

To get the correct date output, we use “g:i a” which gives us a time like 10:52pm. To find a date format setting to suit your project use the WordPress codex on the formatting of date and time.

Now, you can add the shortcode right in to any WordPress page, post or widget and get the time output. The shortcodes to use are:

  • [date1]
  • [date2]

With a little bit of CSS styling using a class around the shortcodes you can format the output to any style you like. Or, if you’d like to just simply add it straight to a WordPress template file rather than use a shortcode, here’s an example of a snippet to use in your footer replacing a default widget input:

WAW

Let us know how you’re implementing the WordPress time or PHP time on your site.

Redesigning the world’s most iconic websites.

By | Design

Not every designer gets a chance to work on the design of popular brand or their websites. However, most of them have their own view of how Facebook, BBC, Twitter, Youtube and other sites should look. That’s why a lot of designers all over the world take their time to create redesign concepts for these famous sites.

The world’s most iconic websites; millions of daily page views, even billions of monthly users. These are the websites we spend most of our time on. But are they always the best looking websites out there? Usually brand websites that are platforms for a service are built over time, with gradual improvements in usability and features. This ‘tip-toe’ approach to design updates can leave some of the world’s leading websites looking a little tired.

Sites like Amazon and Craigslist have shown that familiarity trumps design for SEO every day of the week. These sites have A/B tested everything down to a tee and roll out new features so sparingly, they almost feel like they have had the same functionality for 10 years (probably true for Craigslist!).

We can only dream that one day design will triumph in the SEO battle and slowly, with beautiful websites like Apple.com this is starting to happen.

Here, we’ve collated a series ‘redesigns’ by graphic and web designers from around the world, who’ve taken the world’s most iconic websites, and given them a facelift, improving usability and beautifying them – not always sticking to the brand guidelines! Beautiful design without UX in mind is worthless, but these designs we’ve curated from Dribbble have managed to tick off both.

There are many more redesigns on http://redsgned.com/.

Amazon Streaming

Amazon.com

Craigslist

Craigslist redesign

Dribbble

Dribbble.com redesign

Wikipedia

Wikipedia redesign

LinkedIn

LinkedIn redesign

BBC

BBC Concept redesign

Instagram

Instagram Redesign Web

Apple Store

Apple Store Redesign

Dropbox Dashboard

Dropbox dashboard

Yahoo

Yahoo Redesign

Basecamp

Basecamp Redesign!

CNN

CNN Redesign

New York Times

NYTimes Rethink Concept

PayPal

Paypal Redesign

Google

 Google Redesign

IMDb

IMDb Concept

Reddit

Reddit visual exploration

MTV

Mtv.com Redesign

Bing Search

Bing Search Engine - Redesign

DeviantART Redesign

deviantART Redesign

These 10-Hour Youtube Videos will help you procrastinate right now.

By | Video

Got a favourite song stuck in your head? Or maybe just a few seconds of your favourite movie? Enjoy it in it’s full 10-hour looped glory on Youtube right now and help procrastinate from whatever important things you were doing today.

The 10 Hour Youtube video craze has been around for close to 5 years, started as an adatpion of an earlier YouTube trend, ‘X for 10 minutes’. X for 10 minutes didn’t get nearly as much traction as the 10 Hour YouTube video which has gained a cult following and eventually was noticed by large institutions enough for them to start sending copyright notices out. A 10 Hour YouTube video is just a short clip looped continuously for 10 hours.

It all started with a Youtube user named TehN1ppe who uploaded the first 10-hour video on 29th April, 2011 which was Nyan Cat 10 Hours which as of writing this, currently has 46 million views. This upload gave way to the 10 hour challenge where users would dare their friends or family to watch 10 hours of the same video non stop, filming themselves watching it; uploading the 10 hour video.

While TehN1ppe kept uploading more and more 10 hour videos, so did the rest of the world as the craze spread and there are thousands of 10 hour videos on Youtube right now. Unfortunately for TehN1ppe this all came to a grinding halt due to one particular video – 10 hour Bird is the Word. This is a cut of the famous song from The Family Guy cartoon which ended up with FOX Studios, the creators of Family Guy filing for copyright infringement and TehN1ppe’s Youtube account getting a ‘copyright strike’. This restricted his account to uploading only 15 minute videos, thus ending his 10 hour video career.

Fun fact: it takes TehN1ppe 12 hours to upload a 10-hour video, according to a Youtube comment that he answered one of his videos.

So if you have 10 hours (minimum) to spend today on Youtube, we’ve compiled the Top 10 best 10 hour Youtube videos for your procrastinating pleasure.

Nyan Cat HD 10 Hours.

Skype Call 10 Hours.

Arnold Schwzarzenegger speaking 10 hours.

Mario Kart ‘Invincible Mode’ 10 Hours.

Star Wars Cantina Band 10 Hours.

Star Wars Imperial March 10 Hours

Girls and Panzer (Katyusha) 10 Hours HD.

Vevuzela 10 Hours.

Rick Roll 10 Hours.

Badger Song 10 Hours.

25 Beautiful Color Palettes for your Next Project

By | Design

Colour is one of the most important factors in design helping to shape your audience’s perception about your brand and what you stand for. Which colour is right for my brand?

Psychology plays an integral role in persuasion yet it remains an aspect which has very limited data research behind it. The problem with reliable research data is because factors such as personal preference, upgbringing, cultural differences, context and experience can muddy the effect that individual colours have on us. This idea that ‘yellow’ or ‘red’ can evoke a strong reaction from a user is about as scientific as a Tarot card reading.

Where colour works best is in branding. In a study called Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that close to 90% of decisions about products are based on colour alone. In branding studies like The Interactive Effects of Colors have shown that the relationship between brand and customer hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the color being used by the brand; meaning, does it ‘fit’ to the product?

When you think about brands, it’s easy to see how colours effect us. High fashion brands like Chanel use black and white to convey sophistication, whereas Google and Facebook use bright colours to show fun, excitement and innovation. Another factor is the ‘name’ of colours. This study shows that people prefer ‘fancy’ names of colours; ie, choosing mocha instead of brown!

Everytime you see a colour, a chain reaction takes place within the hypothalamus in your brain. Hormones begin to release to your thyroid triggering emotions which will effect your behaviour. It’s been proven that 62% – 90% of all purchasing decisions are based on colours, so selecting your next project’s colour palette is an important step.

When selecting your next colour palette, make use of great online tools like Coolors.co. Experiment with each colour combinations and see what kind of emotions you can emit. Finding the right palette will help maximise your conversion rate.

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WordPress Showcase. The perfect way to get an SEO spike.

By | Articles, Promotion

I can’t say I’m one of the people who regularly visits WordPress.org – who actually does? (unless you’re about to download the latest version for a new project) However I was digging through the forums recently and discovered they now have a Showcase of WordPress websites there. Seeing as its relatively new, I figure they haven’t been berated with 1000’s of submissions a day like any good CSS gallery usually probably is.

So I decided to send in my personal windsurfing website I designed: www.seanobrien.com.au. Low and behold, I had an incredible spike in traffic on the first day it popped up, peaking at around 6,000 unique hits in the first 24 hour period. Considering my website is targetted mainly towards the windsurfing world and for my sponsors within the windsurfing world (a very niche group) – this was great publicity and I’d recommend to anyone to submit their new website to the Showcase. Albeit the site needs to be pretty nice to get selected …

Checkout seanobrien.com.au on the WordPress Showcase.

The WordPress Showcase is a really great resource for finding out who is using WordPress, what they’ve done with their site and of course to get some inspiration on your next design. WordPress is starting to become a major player in the CMS scene and more and more big brands, celebrities and people are starting to use the platform over Joomla or Ghost or other blogging platforms.