Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Orchard based website for

In august 2012 I blogged about the website for my wife's business, well, we're one year later and there's a new site. I'm even more proud of the results, especially since I'm not a web developer, not even a developer per se. Nevertheless, my wife and I managed to build this website with lots of effort and late night work.

check it out at

Special thanks goes to David Hayden, who translated the whole design into an Orchard template. I must say that working with David went very well. He did more than what was asked for and thought together to deliver the best result (that we could afford ;) ). David delivered in time, and was very supportive to get the final pieces together. Thnx Dave :thumbs:

The site is again build on the excellent open source Orchard CMS, version 1.7.2 this time. I've done the design myself based on bootstrap 3.0.

It is very rewarding to have an artist @ home. Ira does all the art work that I then translate into the design of the site. We've spent lots of time in the Calendar but the result looks great. 

The calendar is a timeline representation where the future events are displayed in artistic cards as shown above. Each future event is displayed in one of 3 different card designs. Using some clever CSS - well LESS to be exact - and well prepared artwork, these cards are stitched together in one fluent timeline. A hell of a job, but it looks great ;)

The bootstrap framework allowed me this time to have one design for all form factors. I've designed for mobile first and then went up in screen size. The previous site had 2 different themes which were served based on the user agent. But now, there's one theme to rule them all.

The new media features in Orchard 1.7 allowed us this time to work way easier with image galleries. Previously we did photo's kind of outside the orchard environment, this time, Ira can do all the editing, including image galleries within Orchard.

The site runs on windows azure this time on a pay as you go sub using a standard web site package. After 2 days, my bill is up to € 0,42 ;). Windows Azure works like a charm with Orchard and I'm glad I've moved from a VPS to it.


I'm glad the result is up & running, feel free to comment on the results. There's always room for improvement ;)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

HTML5 key for publishers in the digital era

I'm working for a couple of years in the media & publishing world already. One thing that I noticed is the vast amount of effort publisher have to do to get their content into a digital format. Typically authoring tools like Microsoft Word and other desktop publishing suites are being used to create the content. This content is then transformed into formats like DocBook or proprietary formats to drive the print process.

Publishers are in the midst of creating e-book variants of these to provide a digital copy and some even repurpose their content into online databases and dropping the book concept as a container of content.

Building responsive websites

Last evening I held a presentation showing how one can start building responsive websites.

The idea was not to give an in depth session but to inspire my colleagues at E2 Partners. I'm not an expert by far, but maybe my knowledge on the subject was just about enough to give them an appetite for more.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Safari Books is getting it right

Every now and then you see steps in the right direction in the media and publishing industry. Safari Books Online (O'Reilly and Pearson Education) created a new innovative online product called Safari Flow. The product is simple, smart and personalized with a capital P.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Architectural boosts for SMB companies

Many SMB companies today face similar issues as their bigger counterparts when it comes to effectiveness of their IT. They share the same problems of IT decay also known as technical debt. They also struggle to transform into the digital world of today.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lower eBook tax rates in 2015?

I'm working for a while now on eBook projects and recently I visited another customer who wanted to start to sell eBooks as well via his online shop.

When I mentioned eBooks have a VAT rate of 21% rather than 6% here in Belgium he was baffled and was wondering how his pricing should look like. Will that make the eBook more expensive than the print book or do reduced production - i.e. printing - cost fill this gap?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Is Microsoft going too far ahead?

It seems that Microsoft wanted to take the lead for a change in the technology landscape, not a bad idea. However they've put a lot of their prime products in the scale to wager with.