The Red Ant Media website is built on top of WordPress — a powerful blogging and content management platform. WordPress is an open source platform that is extremely customisable, enabling you to build rich, dynamic websites.
WordPress plugins used to customise our site are:
- Breadcrumb Trail »
Generates the site “breadcrumbs” that appear on the top of each page. Used for ease of navigation and to let visitors to the site know where they are in context to the home page.
- Change Permalink Helper »
Simply put, this plugin keeps search engines happy when they index your site. If you change the name (slug) of a post or page it searches the database to find the original ID and makes sure that the correct link is picked up. Also important for people who have bookmarked anything on your site — they will still reach the right entry even if it has been renamed.
- Contact Form 7
A simple and flexible Contact Form builder, with heaps of features and the ability to manage multiple forms at once.
- Custom Post Templates »
Allows for different types of post templates in WordPress. The Red Ant Media site is currently using two different post templates, “Portfolio” and “Page” (which is actually two sorts — “Products & Services” and “Design Blog” — but they kind of look the same!) .
- Get The Image »
Pretty much exactly what it says on the box. The Red Ant Media site uses this plugin to generate the thumbnail for the “sliding boxes” used on our Portfolio pages.
- Plugins Garbage Collector »
Keep your WordPress database nice and clean! This plugin will scan database and show the tables which do not belong to the core installation. Particularly helpful when it comes to identifying tables installed by plugins that have been deleted or are no longer used.
- Simple Image Grabber »
Similar to Get The Image, this is a plugin for processing images used on your WordPress posts and pages. The Red Ant Media site uses this plugin to generate the image list needed for the slideshows on our Portfolio pages.
- WP-Blocks »
Lets you put independent content blocks in your templates which can then be changed through the WordPress interface, rather than by having to code them in. Used on the Red Ant Media site in several places, most noticably the different text that appears at the top of the Portfolio pages, depending which category you are in (Graphic Design, Logo Design, Web Development).
- WP Compare Tables »
Easily place tables into your WordPress posts and pages. Red Ant Media uses this plugin on our site to quickly generate our price lists.
- WP No Category Base »
By default WordPress generates pretty URLs in the following manner “www.redantmedia.com.au/category/portfolio/graphic-design/”.
This plugin allows you to remove the “/category/” part of the URL so it can be listed as “www.redantmedia.com.au/portfolio/graphic-design/”. This shortens the URL and improves the structure, both of which are important for your SEO.
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Font Squirrel provides open source type faces that are licenced for use in commercial projects. They also provide both @font-face kits and an @font-face generator which remove the limitation of only being able to use “system fonts” on your website. The Red Ant Media website is typeset in Ubuntu, designed by the team at Dalton Maag. A copy of the licence and other information regarding the Ubuntu font can be found here.
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Coding & Programming References
We would like to extend a very big thank you to the following people and sites. Without their generosity in providing reference material, tutorials and examples much of the functionality on the Red Ant Media site would not exist.
- Build Internet »
Provided the code that creates the sliding animation effect on our Portfolio pages.
- Divine Developer »
Provided the function to limit the number of words displayed in our archives and search results.
- Elizabeth Castro »
Elizabeth Castro’s HTML: A Visual Quickstart Guides are the best resources available for anyone looking to learn HTML & CSS, as well as great reference materials for those who need to look up how to do something quickly and easily.
- jQuery Cycle »
jQuery Cycle provides the code for the gallery slideshows on our single Portfolio pages.
- PNG Fix »
Programming for Internet Explorer can be a little frustrating at the best of times. This fix allows for older versions of IE to correctly display PNG files with their transparency intact (rather than an annoying black background!).
- Soul Sizzle »
Provided the function to display a different number of posts or entries depending on what category you are looking at. For example Portfolio pages displays 12 posts, Products & Services pages displays 6 posts and our Design Blog displays 5 posts.
- Stack Overflow »
Stack Overflow is a fantastic resource in general, however their contribution to this website was a function that gets sub-categories in WordPress to look the same as the parent categories, rather than having to provide a separate file for every individual category!
- Transformation Power Tools »
Alchymyth over at Transformation Power Tools provided the building blocks for the code that became our Sitemap.
- WP Recipes »
Provided the code that changes a category ID (eg. “14″) to a category slug (eg. “graphic-design”). This was an essential function when it came to programming our Sitemap so that all the links in it matched the site structure exactly.
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