New Company Site Launch for Shift8 Web

Hello! We are excited to announce that we have created a brand new website for ourselves! Sometimes its difficult to focus on ourselves when we are so often focused on our clients. With new and exciting projects on the horizon, we thought we would take the opportunity to chip away and eventually launch a new website for ourselves. While previous site was on the Drupal CMS, we decided it would be nice to migrate back to our old friend, WordPress. Though our site may seem kind of simple, there’s a few interesting things that we did that we wanted to share. Mobile Detection with jQuery Why does anyone ever need to detect for mobile devices anymore? Don’t we just use media queries? Well, yes that is the best practice answer. But throw in multiple layers of caching like Memcache, Page caching, Object caching and Varnish caching and you will soon […]

Use PHP to set up a RESTful API with simple authentication

Hello! It is sometimes necessary to bridge different web applications together in order to transmit or receive information and process it. One scenario could be a mobile application that connects to a web service to pull or push data in order to update the app or provide “real time” services with centralized data. One of the PHP frameworks we have been working with lately is the aptly named Slim. The Slim framework is a very lean PHP framework that allows for a straight forward path to creating the commonly needed building blocks to produce dynamic web services. First, before we do anything, it would be ideal to set up a web site to host the Slim based API service. In the interest of security it is a good idea to force SSL for all requests. That means you will have to purchase an SSL certificate for your website. This will […]

Load testing your web application

Hello! These days with so many (buzzword) cloud services, the standard vanilla LAMP stack is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Or at least more obfuscated / confusing. Its important when building your web application to consider things like analytics, metrics, reporting, capacity planning and scaling. You need to be able to scale your web application outwards, but you also need to be able to have a methodical system in place through which you can identify the weak points or bottlenecks in your stack. Identifying the bottlenecks are important because they help you determine what your “ceiling” for the maximum number of requests your web stack can handle before it buckles under the load. Typically these types of bottlenecks appear in the classic or common end points within a standard web stack : web and database services. Identifying bottlenecks With apache or nginx , there are many tools available […]