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CSS Button Generator Saves Time

Good-looking buttons are a vital part of your website as it can raise a mediocre website to a really good one. I prefer being able to have my buttons all in CSS now that it is becoming a viable option, saving having to load extra images when not necessary. It is however very time consuming to write the code for a CSS button with gradients and everything.

Well, CSS Button is a free beta service that lets you choose from a pre-defined template or start from scratch to create/modify a button. It is much quicker than having to do it manually. Plus, the pre-defined templates are pretty nice and offers a good start for a lot of button needs.

Helpful Site: .htaccess Redirect Generator

Unless you work every day with servers and configuring Apache, chances are that you might want to look up the syntax for the different .htaccess rules that you may need occasionally. Here is a site that will help you do this.

The free .htaccess redirect generator lets you generate the code for your .htaccess file based on a number of different settings. It is then easy to duplicate and create more rules should you need to. In short, it just helps you get the job done quicker.

4 New and Exciting Features in WordPress 3.3

I’m a big WordPress fan and here at XLD Studios we use WordPress for all projects where it is appropriate (which is a lot). Of course I am excited to play around with new versions of WordPress to see if they manage to improve the experience and take more steps towards a more robust CMS.

So, today I wanted to share a few of the new really cool things that have been added to WordPress 3.3 that is coming out soon.
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Design Resource: Facebook Fan Page GUI PSD

I found this last week over on Smashing Magazine. They have a freebie design resource called the Facebook Fan Page GUI PSD. Basically, it is a layered Photoshop document containing all the Facebook user interface elements that makes it easy for you to design graphics for either Facebook walls or tabs.

What makes this helpful is that you get to design your graphic while seeing right away how it looks on Facebook’s design. What’s more, they are promising that with every change to the Facebook UI, this file will be reproduced 24 hours later.

How-to: Manually Select Posts on Frontpage Using Sticky Posts

Quite often companies would like their front page to display blog items but only the ones they specifically choose. There are a few different ways to go about doing this in WordPress which I will touch on first, however one of the best ways is to ask them to make the posts sticky and create a special template for the front page that only shows sticky posts and then another template for the blog that ignores the sticky status.

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BuddyPress 1.5 Is Available—Major Integration Improvements!

The BuddyPress team has released the latest version of BuddyPress, version 1.5, adding considerable improvements especially in the integration part. If you don’t know about BuddyPress, it is a major social plugin for WordPress, allowing you to use the user system in the front end of the website, complete with groups, forums and profiles.

New in 1.5 is apart from the usual ton of bug fixes and minor enhancement are a few more major features. First of all, they have reworked the default theme to behave and look better. Additionally, the integration with WordPress core is much tighter. BuddyPress now has support for the built in menu system and the admin bar.

Other news are a brand-new installation and update wizard as well as improved profile field management.

BuddyPress is freely available through the WordPress repository (you can install it from your dashboard like any other plugin). They also have their own plugin website with support and a community which provides both help and plugins for BuddyPress itself.

Orbit: A Simple and Slick jQuery Slider

[image title="Orbit jQuery Slider" size="large" align="center" width="650" autoHeight="true"]http://www.xldstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/orbit-slider.jpg[/image]

It feels like I am constantly wading through image slider plugins in search of the most versatile one for me. This time I feel like I have gotten closer to being able to stick with one. Orbit is a neat jQuery plugin that out of the box looks great on your page and uses a very simple markup.

After including the orbit files in the header of your page, all you need is a very simple markup that actually goes very well with the markup you might already have written prior to implementing the slider. Since Orbit is coded in a way that it determines the width and height of your images automatically you don’t need to add any special CSS to your stylesheet (other than including the orbit css).

What I like the most about Orbit so far is that it is simple and doesn’t interfere. I normally write my code first and include the slider later and I hate having to go in and add the necessary slider container CSS myself. With orbit, I don’t need to worry about that as the plugin will do that for me.

You can go and check out Orbit over on its project website where you’ll also find all documentation and instructions.

Free Basics of Using WordPress Webinar on September 14th

Together with our parent company, Bernskiold Media, we are hosting a free WordPress webinar aimed at WordPress beginners on September 14th. The webinar is perfect for you who do not wish to learn how to set up WordPress but just need to use it with a site that is already set up for you.

In this WordPress webinar will learn how categories, tags, posts, pages and media work and how you can add and manage them. Additionally, you will learn what some of the WordPress set up settings do and what happens when you change them.

It is free to register but as places are limited, we ask that you do register in advance here.

Simple WordPress Function That Prints Custom Field Value

Here is a nice WordPress theme trick for you. Quite often, pages can be enhanced a lot by using custom fields attached to them and printing the custom fields out to build up complex page templates. They can also be used to hold settings for whether to show something or not, in which case they need to be loaded and used in an if-statement. The standard code to get a custom field however, is quite long and contains just a few variable parts.

To make the including easier, I usually create a simple function and leave in my functions.php for projects when I need to include custom fields, either to print them out or use in an if-statement. In this article, I’d like to show you how that is done.

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15 Examples of Gorgeous Pricing Table Designs

Any business that provides a tired product or service needs to present this well for their customers. Pricing tables are far from a simple outline of what each product tier offers, but a marketing tool to make customers choose the “right” package that makes you the most money.

In this roundup, we take a look at 15 pricing table designs that all look gorgeous and drill down to what the main features of the tables are before finishing up with a conclusion on the current popular trends in pricing tables and what you should consider doing when in charge of designing such a table.

You can use this post in two ways, either as a source of inspiration for your project, or to learn what techniques are out there or why not combine the two reasons?

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