Onswipe iPad WordPress Theme

If you visit Natural Jenius on the iPad, you will notice our new iPad-specific theme powered by Onswipe.  Onswipe is a platform designed to make publishing look beautiful on tablet devices.  Their software powers the tablet-specific views for sites like Slate and The Blaze.  If you have a blog hosted at wordpress.com, you already have Onswipe ready to go, but if you have a self-hosted WordPress site you can install the plugin.

After installing the plugin, configure it from the Onswipe settings in the Appearance menu. You can choose how your images are displayed, change the font and select a color scheme.  Save your settings and that’s it.

Onswipe WordPress settings

Onswipe WordPress settings

Check out Natural Jenius on the iPad to see how it looks.  I will upload a screenshot later today.

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No Internet Explorer 6 Support

I am still tweaking the theme of this site and today I started verifying the layout of the site in other browsers.  I use Chrome daily, so the site naturally looked fine in Chrome.  Safari, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer 8/9 all looked fine too.  I had to fix a small Internet Explorer 7 bug, but it wasn’t a big deal.

Then I tested Internet Explorer 6.  Wow!  It’s been years since I’ve dealt with pre-IE7 browsers and I’d forgotten how bad it is.

Natural Jenius Rendered by IE6

I hate IE6

According to NetMarketShare, IE6 still has 8.6% of the desktop browser market.  I suspect this is primarily corporations reluctant to upgrade because they still use internal legacy web applications that will break on newer browsers.  (You shouldn’t be reading my blog at work anyway.)

For now, I have decided to drop IE6 support from this site.  The content is still readable, even if it looks terrible.  I will reevaluate in the future when I have enough visitor statistics to see how many are using IE6.

If you’re reading this in IE6, what are you waiting for?  Upgrade to Chrome, Firefox or Safari!

Behind the Scenes of Natural Jenius

I was going to spend the first post introducing you to the blog and telling you about me, but I blew my wad on the About page.  Check it out if you want to learn more about me.  Instead, I am going to give a few details about this site’s setup and my experience getting it up and running.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Software

We are running the latest version of WordPress (v3.2.1 at the time of this writing).  This is my first blog, so I don’t have any previous experience with blog software.  I chose WordPress because of its popularity and so far I haven’t been disappointed.  The setup was very easy and I had test posts in the system within a few minutes.

The theme, designed over the weekend, is custom for this site.  I’m using a few plugins, including Jetpack, Akismet and Quick Cache.  There are so many choices in plugins it’s hard to know where to start, but these seemed pretty crucial.

One of the benefits of WordPress is the massive amount of available information to solve almost any problem. The documentation is excellent, and there is plenty of extra help available by searching Google.  I definitely have a lot of reading ahead of me.

Hosting

GoDaddy is our hosting provider.  How can you go wrong with a company that spends millions on risqué Super Bowl commercials?  We already had an account there, so I stuck with them because it was the fastest way to get this joint up and running, but I’m not a huge fan.  Their site is plastered with so many ads and attempts to up-sell it’s like a used car salesman is my web host.  Their tools are as slow as molasses, and I’m on a shared host with over 6,500 other domains, which really slows the site down.

The biggest hurdle was that the domain wouldn’t transfer over to the host correctly, giving me the dreaded “Sorry, this page is not currently available” page.  I double-checked all the DNS settings and verified that the DNS changes had propagated to me.  No dice.  It was definitely something on their end.

On the plus side, their customer service is very good.  I had a real human, named Todd, on the phone within two minutes.  Todd found the problem immediately and told me that they were working on it.  By the time I woke up in the morning everything was working perfectly.  Thanks, Todd!

I will eventually move over to a different host when our current account is up for renewal.  If anyone can suggest a good web host, please let me know in the comments.