Miscellaneous Ramblings on Wordpress, blogging, blogs and blogdesign Thu, 10 Jan 2008 17:06:48 +0000 en http://www.peterandrej.com | Wordpress411861 on a dedicated server Thu, 10 Jan 2008 17:05:45 +0000 Peterandrej server_small.jpgJust writing this post to say that I’m currently working on moving my blog from a shared host to my own dedicated server, so I’m expecting some downtime and what not this weekend. Hopefully, everything should work by monday. But, you’ll never know.

The reasons for moving this blog over to a dedicated server is fairly simple:

  • I have a few websites, and constantly adding more, and they are spread all over the place on different hosts. I want them all on one server, so I can have complete control.
  • Shared hosting is not a good solution for blogs with decent traffic. I have a couple of websites which I expect to grow a lot over the next year. A dedicated solution is of course much better then a shared solution.
  • It costs more to have your own server then just renting place on a server and share the bandwidth with hundreds of others, but I guess that if you really want to succeed on the net you can’t be afraid to spend some money.

January will be a month with lots of work for me. I plan to do this:

  • Starting a norwegian blognetwork for norwgian blogs. I’m in the process of registrating the domain and designing the portal site for the network.
  • Writing at least one post every other day on
  • Developing the scripts needed for my blognetwork. Ad-scripts, counters, you name it.
  • Writing at least 10 posts on my fun-blog (
  • .. and of course: I have a few clients that will have their themes delivered and installed. As always.

Remember to enter my RSS-Contest, where you can win a free copy of the Fjords09 magazine theme for Wp. Other than that; bare with me this weekend. Hopefully everything will end well. After moving the blog to the new server I expect it to load much much faster, and be much more responsive in general. Images will load quicker, etc. I’m hoping this will be a right move for me and my business, but who knows?

Get your copy of the ultimate magazine theme for WP, Fjords09, topday! Free setup and install. Only $99 for a single license.

My office Wed, 09 Jan 2008 15:05:36 +0000 Peterandrej Another post in the “it’s all been done before, and you have seen this a million times..”, but actually; I have never written posts like this.

Ever wondered how the office of a professional blogger and web developer look like? Probably not, but here it is. This is my office:



What you can see here is my brand new iMac (2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM) with a secondary screen, and my Macbook (1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 1 GB ram). I use both computers actually, the iMac for most of my work and the Macbook to download music, movies and what not. And of course, whenever I have to visit a client (which I do from time to time) I take the macbook with me.

The iMac is connected to the internet on a different network then the Macbook, allowing me to download movies and what not without loosing any bandwidth when I’m working. Great. The secondary network of course also work as a backup in case one provider fu*** up, which of course can happen. I won’t be out of a internet connection no matter what.

The rare black box on the left side of my desk is what called a TV. I use this to watch news when I’m working, and actually play a lot of Playstation when I get tired of working. I just turn my head to the left and there it is. A playstation-break. My favorite games is the Gran Turismo and the Need for Speed series. In fact, I just play games like that. My favorite game of all time tough is Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Good for you to know:)

Lord of the Rings
If you study the pictures closely, you can see that the second screen is standing on something white. That is in fact a edition of Lord of Rings by JRR Tolkien, which actually belong to my girlfriend. Haven’t read it myself, but I’ve seen the movies. The reason for this strange arrangement is of course that the iMac is a little but higher then the secondary display, so in order to get them lined up perfectly, I needed something to lift the secondary screen - which is a “20 BenQ - up the level of the iMac. Wouldn’t you know it; the edition of Lord of The rings was the exact right height! Great book, great height of the edition!

Work from home
The office is a part of my appartment. We (my girlfriend and me) live in the center of Tromso in Norway in a two bedroom with parking (!). The second bedroom works as my office, and as a guestroom whenever we have people over. There are many advantages with having your work station at home, but there are good reasons for having a office outside your home also. The biggest advantage for having a office at home is the fact that you don’t have to go more then out of bed and in to next room to get to work. The big drawback is of course that whenever you are home you are also at work. In order to get some free time you actually have to leave your house. Which I do. I play a lot of pool billiards, almost every day.

So, that was my office. Feel free to comment on the mess on the walls, and of course all the garbage just laying all around.. I think you should see it as it is, so I didn’t clean it up before I took the pictures. You must also rememeber that I’m quite lazy.

Get your copy of the ultimate magazine theme for WP, Fjords09, topday! Free setup and install. Only $99 for a single license.

Fjords09 RSS-contest Wed, 09 Jan 2008 12:53:52 +0000 Peterandrej Everybody has done it; making a contest with a fine price just to get some attention to the RSS-feed of their blog. Now I want to do it also. Here is the Fjords09 RSS-contest! It’s easy to win and easy to get in!


How do you enter the contest??

This is the best part of it all; to enter the contest you just have to subscribe to my rss feed via mail. Easy as that. The winners will be drawn from the list of subscribers by mail so just subscribe and your in!

Subscribe here:

  •  Click this link to subscribe to the feed via mail..
  • Remember to activate it by clicking on the url you get in mail right after subscribing..You have to verify that your email work you see. Feedburner deliver this service. Which I highly recommend actually..
  • Thats all!

Why enter?
Yeah, I know. Everybody has done it. John Chow, Shoemoney, Problogger, and practically every blogger in the world. A rss-mail contest, with great prices. And it works of course. People want prices, and bloggers wants subscribers. The reasons for entering this contest are:

  • You get the chance to win a really great theme which just have been released. I actually sell this theme for $99, so the first price isn’t all that bad. Plus that I will change the header image for you, so you actually get a brand new professional magazine theme for free just out of the blue.
  • Subscring to isn’t all that stupid either. You get lots of great posts which focus greatly on wordpress and blogging and blogdesign. You might learn a lot if you are a wordpress blogger, and that might be the greatest advantage of this contest if you think of it.
  • Even if you don’t win the first price you could win a free copy (worth: $49) of the digg-theme for wordpress. 5 lucky winners will get this special theme.

So, enter the contest today by subscribing to the rss-feed by mail! Good luck! And remember to verify your subscription.

Get your copy of the ultimate magazine theme for WP, Fjords09, topday! Free setup and install. Only $99 for a single license.

Fjords09. A premium Magazine theme for Wordpress Mon, 07 Jan 2008 00:35:11 +0000 Peterandrej I’m excited to tell you that I’m ready to offer you a brand new magazine theme for Wordpress, with a classic but still modern look. The theme is a part of the on-going Fjords-series, which is well known in the world as a great series of themes. This is a special one, with lots of features:

  • Magazine look. You get those great little article images with each post on the front page. The theme is using Custom Fields to get this feature. It’s easy to add them too, all you have to do is a add the url of the image you want to use in the custom field box far down in the WP editor. User-friendly and easy.
  • Doesn’t require any plug-ins. Install and you are ready to go. (Oh, you maybe should create a own logo in the header tough, and guess what: the image files (.psd) are included!)
  • Doesn’t require you to make any “feature” categories or difficult installations. It looks like a magazine, but it works as a normal blog. It is just as easy to use this theme as it is to use the default theme which WP gets bundled with.
  • Ad spots. Finally, you are able to make money off your blog just like the pros! Think you can beat the earnings of John Chow? Well, here is your chance to at least try.. Ad spots are in the popular size 125×125px! And you can put as many ads as you want.
  • If you purchase the theme I’ll give you a free setup and install. You actually don’t have to do anything. Just sit back and relax, and see your blog reach a new level.
  • There is a Sitemap template ready for use. Great for SEO.


Front page:

Single page:

Bottom of front page:

I have even set up a working demo for you which you can see here:

As you can see the theme looks really good, and I’m proud to give you the following offer:

Single licence (1 install): $99
Multiple licence (as many installs as you want) $249

Ok! I want this! But what do I do next??

  • Make a payment of the licence you want (see prices above) to my paypal account with ID:
  • Write me a email to where you state that you have purchased the theme, and where you say if you want me to install the theme for you or not. If you choose to install it yourself (you do it exactly as a normal wordpress theme..) I’ll mail you the theme within 1 business day. If you want me to install it for you, forward me the info I need (ftp-login, and login to your WP-admin with admin rights (you can make as many users in wp as you want..))

    Whats included?

    • The theme itself..
    • .psd source files
    • a readme file where the features gets explained (I’ll offer support, so don’t worry..)

    In a few days this theme will also be available over at Unique Blog Designs. I’ll sell it over there also. If you buy the theme over at UBD, Nate Whitehill and his team will deal with the setup and installing. And support. If you buy it directly through me, I’ll do the job.

    So, what are you waiting for? Bring your blog to a new and higher level today! Get Fjords!

    The tools I use when developing web sites and wp themes Thu, 03 Jan 2008 11:28:03 +0000 Peterandrej In my job as a professional webdesigner I use a lot of different tools to get the results I need. I guess I use much of the same tools as many other webdesigners and coders, but there may be different. I’m a strong beliver in using tools that “does the job” without being expensive or hard to work with. “Whatever works” is the current statement of my life.

    Here is my list of tools that I use in webdeveloping. This is just my list, please feel free to give me a few pointers if you know of better tools I should check out.

    Firefox, Opera and Safari:
    Working on a iMac, Internet Explorer is not an option. In fact, I only use Firefox when I’m browsing the net, but I always check my websites in both Opera and Safari. I have to do that of course, there may be differences between how the different browsers displays a webpage. An example: Safari has a problem with transparent .png images. So, I have to develop webpages without transparent .png images. But thats not all. Internet Explorer doesn’t follow standards. In fact, Internet Exlorer is by the far the worst browser of them all. But, almost the whole world sadly uses this crappy product, so when I’m developing webpages I have to take IE’s many problems into consideration. Transparent .png (and images in general) is a problem. Padding in CSS another.

    Microsoft have no version of IE for Mac, so I have to check my pages in another way. Here is a great tips for you if you want to check your page in different versions of IE in a snap:

    IE NetRenderer - Browser Compability test

    I use this all the time. It can check your page in version 5.5, 6 and 7 of IE. Great tool. If you want to check your page in all available browsers, you may check out Also a great service, but here you have to wait half an hour for your snapshots to display.

    To transfer files I actually just use a simple plug-in for Firefox called FireFTP. It’s of course really simple, but it works just fine. The main reason for using it, as I see it, is that I can have it running inside firefox, reducing the number of window swapping and clicking around. I love this little plug-in, and recommend it to anyone who doesn’t transfer a huge number of files all day. Stand-alone ftp-clients may be better, but this is just so easy to use.
    Download it here.

    firebuh.png Also a great plug-in for Firefox. This one makes me able to quickly check the code of my webpages. If I’m looking for an error this one makes me able to find it extremely quickly. Another great feature is of course that you can use this plug-in to find out how other people have developed their pages. “How did they do this?” You doesn’t have to wonder anymore. Just check it. Uncover the secrets behind your favorite webpage, and learn from the experts. Often I just browse the net looking for ideas, and then I’ll certainly use this tool just to see how things are done. Often this leads to great ideas for my own pages.

    Download it here.

    Web developer:

    Much like Firebug, this plug-in for Firefox make you able to check your code. Quck links to both HTML and CSS valdiation services. With this tool you can also quickly check the css-file of a webpage (the css file is often hidden from your browser). Easy to use, and very useful.

    Download here.

    Perhaps my favorite plug-in for Firefox. It makes me able to check colors. Yeah, colors. When browsing the web for ideas, I often come over pages with great use of color. With this simple plug-in I easily can get the HEX-code of the desired color, and actually use it on my own pages. You may think of this as stealing, and of course: It is. But, stealing a color isn’t really a serious crime I think. I steal all the time.

    Download it here.

    .. And when I got the desired color, I can mix it and find other colors - with the HEX code (the code of a color - white is #ffffff, black is #000000, and so on..) easily available. The service is called ColorSchemer and is of course free. Great for making beautiful webpages this one. Make a color lighter or darker. Easy. Color and CSS has never been easier. Great tool.

    Smultron: the best HTML editor I’ve ever tested.
    Editing html and css files have never been easier. I covered this great free product in a previos post, which you can read here. Check it out. Only for mac-users, though.

    Photoshop. Of course.
    You can’t make great webpages or themes without Adobe Photoshop. Simple as that. This is the first product I install when I’ve got a new computer. Really expensive, but I’ve heard a rumor that the product may be available over at a pirate site of some kind. I wouldn’t know anything about that, though:)

    Stock.xchng - free photos.
    One problem when making themes for WP is of course that photos usually costs money, if you don’t use your own of course. Stock.xchng provide free photos. There are a huge number to choose from, in many different resolutions. I use this site a lot. Great quality photos for free. Love this.

    Stripe Generator - make those great backgrounds!

    This is a web-based AJAX powered tool that makes stripes. You know, those backgrounds with stripes. Those are actually something of a nightmare to make in a photo editor like photoshop. Almost impossible. Repeating stripes? A nightmare. Not anymore. Just add a few numbers and a few colors and you are done. Download the file in a snap. Free. I love people who make tools like this. Free web-based services doesn’t get better then this.

    We love WP

    Not a tool this one, but I use it as one. It’s a gallery of great webpages running wordpress. I often browse this site looking for examples of what WP can do when used properly. Here I can find great magazine sites, personal blogs and corporate webpages. I really need a site like this. Why? Well, WP can’t do everything, so when I’m thinking of a solution to a specific problem I look here to see if someone else has solved that problem, and then I just see how they done it. Yeah, I steal ideas. As a great designer said:

    Don’t worry if people steal your design ideas, worry when they don’t.

    I would love if someone stole my designs or ideas. That is a great compliment. So, just steal. I won’t be angry or come after you. In fact, I would be glad.

    I’m currently thrilled about the fact the WeLoveWP team included my blog in their 2007 Wordpress design roundup, a list of their favorite designs of 2007! A great compliment for me. Thanks!

    Another great resource for design ideas is DesignMeltDown.


    So that was some of the tools I use when I’m working. Feel free to give me any pointers if you know of other great services or resources I should check out!

    Happy Christmas. 10 nice christmas themes for your blog. Fri, 21 Dec 2007 10:17:01 +0000 Peterandrej Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to dress up your blog - Christmas Style. Here is 10 of the best Christmas themes for Wordpress. All free to download. Happy holidays!

    Red Christmas Ornament:


    Christmas 1 v1.2:


    V4NYChristmas4 v1.0:

    V4NYChristmas3 v1.0:

    V4NYChristmas2 v1.0:


    V4NYChristmas5 v1.0:


    Bobek’s Christmas-tree theme:


    Rahmat’s Free Christmas Gift theme for WP:


    Christmas Days from Design Disease:


    Christmas theme:


    Smultron: A great HTML-editor for Mac OSX Mon, 17 Dec 2007 11:31:43 +0000 Peterandrej I don’t use Adobe’s Dreamweaver. Some people may be surprised by this, since Dreamweaver is by many regarded as a industry-standard when it comes to webcoding, but I don’t use it. Why?

    • It’s too difficult for me to understand and use. Learning to use Dreamweaver is almost as difficult as learning to use Photoshop (which I use).
    • Dreamweaver is one massive program. It consumes lot’s of memory and machine power in general. It’s a html-editor on steroids I think. I don’t want to wait half a minute for my editor to start up if I just want to edit a couple of lines in a CSS-file.

    In comes Smultron. It’s one brilliant piece of software that makes me work very effective. In fact, the program doesn’t do much actually, but it does what it does - what I need it to do - very effectively and fast. In general you could say that this program only highlight and color html codes. Just what I need. Some coloring. Makes it much easier to edit html-documents. I love the fact that Smultron:

    • Starts up in a second. It’s really lightweight.
    • Supports tabbed editing. I could have all the files of a project open at the same time and just shift between them using tabs. Easy.
    • Can save whole projects as “projects”. What this mean is that I can save all the files for a theme for Wordpress in one “package” and when I open the “package” all of the files of that project gets opened. When I used simpler editors I had to open all the documents individually, and a theme can have a huge amount of files - so that took time. Not anymore.



    Of course, this editor requires you to know html and css and the codes you should use. The editor just colors the tags, but it’s won’t provide them, unlike a editor such Dreamweaver where you could actually do some “Drag & drop” editing. Of course, Smultron may very well provide html and css tags too, maybe from a list of some kind which you could find somewhere, but I don’t need those lists of tags since I code all for “hand” anyway, so I don’t look for such a function either.

    Anyway, if you’re a mac-user you should really look at Smultron. It’s free and is available in different versions, even for Leopard. Download it from this adress:

    Designing for the web. The process. How to & what to know. Sun, 16 Dec 2007 12:12:56 +0000 Peterandrej Designing for the web is different then designing for print. The main challenge is of course that on the web you have to know how the web works to able to design something that work. Knowing HTML, and the possibilites of HTML, is a big help. Lot’s of the designers I’ve done work for actually lacks basic HTML knowledge. That is usually a great challenge. Of course, also customers (who I don’t expect to know any HTML or even CSS), can be challenging. A usual conversation about a design may be like this:

    Client: We want this and this and this. And this! Yeah, and a little bit of that. And this one.

    Me: This, this, this and this sounds great! But, you can’t have that.

    Client: Why not? We really want that!

    Me: Yeah, I understand. But, you can’t do that with standard HTML or CSS. We would have to do a work-a-round which would occupide a lot of bandwidth and what not. I strongly advice you to to drop that. That don’t even seem useful to your visitors.

    Problem is, HTML and CSS got limits. No, of course not - you could do practically anything - but it’s not very smart to be too creative. The biggest, brightest and smartest expression still stands: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. As an example from the stand up of Chris Rock:

    You COULD drive your car with your feet. It’s possible. But, just because something is possible doesn’t mean it’s a fucking good idea to do it!

    So, I’ll tell you how you design a webpage. Understanding of course, that this is my method. You should develop a process that works for you on your own, but you might get some hints here.

    Know the basics

    As stated above, designing for web is different then designing for print. When designing for print you don’t have to worry about if the CMS of your choice can handle your design, if the code used on the web (yeah, I mean HTML, CSS, php, etc) can handle the functions you are thinking of having on your site - and stuff like that. Basically, if you don’t know anything about how the web works, you will never be able to make killer web sites - that works in all mayor browsers and for almost every visitor.

    Therefore: Read and learn HTML. You don’t have to be an expert. But you have to know the basics. A good place to start learning HTML is over at the W3C web sites.

    Design first. Code later.

    I always design my pages from scratch in Photoshop. It’s the way things are done. First, you design the entire website in photoshop, then you just simply slice the image into smaller different pieces - and code it all together.

    In order to do design a website using this method you have to keep your tongue in the right place. And you should be fairly good at math. And of course, you have to know where to slice up the image. If you look at my blog as an example, you might not see it, but it’s just a single image sliced into different parts of the same width but with different heights.

    All of the background pictures are 800 px wide. If we start at the top, you can see a logo and some subscriber-links. Background? 800px wide. I just used css and html to place the different elements and the clickable logo. Under the logo is a horizontal menu. 800 px wide. Under that one you got a new image. 800px wide. Its the image containing the grass-elements. This image, or space, is 120px high, and I plan to use it to maybe advertise my themes. Under the grass-element you got the bottom part of the “header”. This space contains navigation-links.

    The images looks like this:



    Horizontal menu:


    Possible ad space:


    Bottom of header area:


    Ok, that’s the images. And all of them are sliced from this sketch:


    The content area is simply a 10px high slice from the image above which is repeated down. It looks like this:


    And it all gets wrapped up with a footer. Which is 800px wide but only 80px high:


    Under this footer area you got a new footer area with lots of links to newer and older posts and stuff like that. I won’t provide you with the images of those because I’m sure you understand the process here. Slice. Place. Repeat process.

    In order to place images like I’ve done, you just make lot’s of different div.classes (that’s CSS) with different background images. It’s easy to code a site together when you make it like this. First a class, then another class under the first, then another class under that one, and so on.

    Things you might consider..

    I always make webpages that are kept on the simple side. I hate webpages that are unorganized or that use functions which are useless to me as a reader. As an example I hate all those gizmo-things bloggers are putting in their sidebars. They always slow down the entire site, and I really don’t care who your latest MyBlogLog-readers were.

    So, remember. Keep things organized and simple. Keep a standard layout, place links where they should be. I must be able to very quickly understand which site I’m on when I’m visiting your site for the first time. Animated gif-images don’t impress me. But, if you make a website which looks good in all mayor browsers and which loads quickly and is organized - I might be impressed and possibly scan your content.

    • Remember that most users still have a screen resolution of 1024×768px. You shouldn’t make your site any wider then 950px (remember the scroll-bars!) because of this. Horizontal scrolling by accident must not happen.
    • Most users don’t have a fast internet-connection. Because of this you must make your images as small as possible. Use the “Save for web”-function in Photoshop to do this the easy way.
    • Only display information which is useful for your readers. Keep the number of widgets in the sidebar to a minimum.

    Ok. That’s basically how I make websites. If you got some method on your own that I’ve never heard of, I’ll sure be happy if you posted a comment telling me about how you do things.

    My portofolio included in We Love WP Mon, 10 Dec 2007 17:34:14 +0000 Peterandrej We Love WP is a brand new gallerysite displaying beautiful sites. But, this gallery is just for those sites running Wordpress, making it somewhat more special. Anyway, my simple portofolio is now included. It’s not something I’ve worked on as much as I could have wished I had, but I really have not had the time to make anything spectecular, yet.

    Anyway, the guys of WeLoveWP actually have called it Peter Jenson, which is kind of funny. Peter Jenson. My real name is of course Peter Andre Jensen. Not a big deal, though.

    You could see the entry over at We Love WP, or visit the portfolio directly at:

    Just remember that the primary audience for that site is Norwegians, so you might not understand much if you aren’t a Norwegian speaking individual. However, you could see some of the sites I’ve made.

    Akismet, the only thing I would pay money for Fri, 07 Dec 2007 08:39:38 +0000 Peterandrej Wordpress is open-source free stuff. Free to use, free to develop stuff to, free. There are of course stuff that cost money, like premier themes, but in general - Wordpress is free of charge.

    But, I would have payed money for Akismet - if it wasn’t free. Akismet, the spam giant, is in fact the only program I would even consider paying for. Nothing else. I can develop plug-ins and themes my self, so I don’t have to pay for anything like that. But, if Akismet had cost money, I would have purchased it. No question about it. And:

    It would have been a brilliant investment.

    Akismet actually saves me huge amounts of money every day. If it hadn’t been for this brilliant program, I would manually have removed all the spam comments from my blogs. That would have taken me much time, time which I would like to spend on tasks that earns me money instead.

    Since installing it, Akismet has removed 70,539 spam comments!!

    I installed Akismet about a year ago, so that number is in fact really shocking. Thinking of it, spam is the main problem on the internet today. It should be the death-penalty for producing spam. I really hate it. If I had purchased all the Viagra I get offered in comment fields and in my mail, my dick would have been 70 inches long and 90 inches wide.

    Just to illustrate how big the spam problem is:

    Akismet have removed 70,359 spam comments from my blog in a year. Thats 193 spam comments every day! If we say that I could manually remove a single spam comment every second, it would take me 193 seconds - or about 3 minutes. This would mean that Aksimet have saved me 1095 minutes this year, and 1095 minutes is about 18 hours!

    18 hours! I charge $200 every hour for freelance design and code work. Akismet have in other words saved me $3600 (18×200) this year! Thats a lot of money!

    So, paying for Akismet? Yes, of course. Hopefully it will stay free, but if not: I would certainly have purchased a copy.