Quick note in case I spend as long as I did again.

A Client had some clouds on the background of his photoshop file for his website. They were to be positioned in the top right corner with the leftmost tip aligned to the right of a central content section. I separated off the clouds as another div layer, specified the width and height and specified it's left. It caused the horizontal scrollbar which is a bit annoying because you scroll to the right and theres nothing but some background image. Also the footer was at 100% so it got cut off if you scrolled horizontally.

Aim / Objective
To have a background of sky and grass with a centered content section (white semi-transparent layer) of 900 pixels width as shown in the following picture:
background of sky and grass with a centered content section (no clouds)

And I want the clouds as another layer ontop aligned to the top right:
background of sky and grass with a centered content section (with clouds)

To be honest I saw this on some Joomlaworks Blog who appropriately title it "A must see for professional webdesigners". If you're a developer relying on clients for your income, then at least watch some of this.

March 2011 San Francisco, CreativeMornings (creativemornings.com) was Mike Monteiro, Design Director, and co-founder of Mule Design Studio (muledesign.com). This event took place on March 25, 2011 and was sponsored by Happy Cog and Typekit (who also hosted the event at their office in the Mission).

2011/03 Mike Monteiro | F*ck You. Pay Me. from SanFrancisco/CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

So I'm starting to get the impression that I no longer tender for brand new projects competing with time and cost in order to win the bids. Recently, more and more people have been asking if I can take over a project that has been abandoned by its developer.

I've started writing this article because I find myself forgetting to ask something that could have saved an infinite number of man-hours (I exaggerate a little); but seriously, I needed a checklist that works for me.


Most Difficult?
My hardest project was (still is) one created by a PhD student who graduated and left the institution. It was a custom-built site written from scratch, and it's purpose was to manage Staff and Students within the Additional Learning Needs group. These are staff who take lecture notes for people of all disabilities and assist the students for the duration of their course. It had to allow for synchronizing with the official student record system and timetabling system (done via file upload). It included it's own timesheet / session management / invoicing system.

The website was held on a virtual host running PHP and MySQL. There was no documentation, logs, notes, and any code comments were in Hungarian (later found out it was slang or a dialect not understood by most Hungarians). Fellow students and system administrators could not accurately describe what the system was for and what it does. The developer had created the system to only last during one academic year, and the system itself only just about understood academic years (required tweaking twice a year). Then there were the error logs... some 20000 errors per use of a feature over 4 seconds. Do some developers never check the errors log?

By the time, I started maintaining the project, a revamp had been agreed with another web team. This has been delayed somewhat and still after 2 years there is no new site (blamed on the customer for not knowing what their application did in the first place... tut tut. How long have you been a developer? And this is new?).

To setup your store to use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) you will first need an SSL certificate. Many hosting companies will either provide (or can offer) "Shared SSL" or the option to buy a "Dedicated SSL" certificate.

Shared SSL means that your store will run using two domains your master domain name and shared secure domain which may be used by other customers of your hosting company.
Dedicated SSL means that you will have your own SSL certificate which enable you to run your store on one domain using http and https.