How to transition your Toronto business online

Hello! Without a doubt, the covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption to the global economy including a fundamental shift to how small, medium and large enterprise businesses can conduct their day-to-day operations. The impact of social distancing and other quarantine strategies as dictated by the various health regulatory bodies have had a staggering impact on brick-and-mortar businesses without a doubt. This shift, albeit temporary or more longer term, has put an onus of importance on establishing or improving an online presence. Many grocery stores, butchers and other essential retail businesses have transitioned to an online e-commerce ordering system to accommodate the ability to delivery grocery and goods to their customers. Having an online business can be the deciding factor as to whether you can actually continue operating as a business. Your front doors to your showroom may be closed, but your customers still will be able to browse and […]

What is good web design?

Hello! Trends in web design have come and gone over the years, however there have been some recurring indicators that have manifested as good web design in different iterations as styles change, web development technologies change and the internet changes. CSS, HTML and Javascript frameworks have all come a long way in terms of front end development and the tools that the different technologies bring to the table that allow us to implement modern, interesting, artistic, clean and beautiful websites. But what makes good design? That’s the million dollar question! At Shift8, we have offered web design in Toronto for hundreds and hundreds of businesses across all niche markets. Each marketplace or industry has their own unique challenges, however there are common elements and expectations that we have noted happens for the most part across almost all of our projects. I will attempt to break down these challenges in order […]

How to Start an E-commerce Site in Toronto

One of the biggest roadblocks to starting a new business in Toronto is the upfront costs involved with opening a store or even securing office space. With today’s online economy, though, those expenses can be eliminated by opening an E-Commerce Site. These online sites provide you with a great virtual storefront that doesn’t come with a price-per-square-foot. It also allows you to market your products to people across Canada, North America, or even the world. You may actually be able to bring in many more customers and make a larger profit by going with an E-Commerce site instead of a traditional storefront. The biggest question most people have is simply “how to I get started with an E-Commerce site?” It may look like a large project at first, but selling online is actually pretty straightforward.   Become an Official Business It can be tempting to try to skip over registering […]

How to craft an XSS payload to create an admin user in WordPress

Hello! XSS (or cross site scripting) attacks are a common method to maliciously execute actions against a website installation. In particular this type of attack vector is useful when dealing with a CMS like WordPress where you have administrative user accounts to target. This means that if you are able to craft an XSS payload that will ultimately be executed by the administrator of that site, you can essentially do whatever you want. In javascript of course. What I’ll go through in this post is exactly how to capitalize on a particular (old) WordPress plugin vulnerability to deliver a persistent XSS injection (not logged into WordPress) that will later be executed by someone logged into WordPress with higher privileges, such as an administrator. Persistent versus Reflected XSS This is debatable, but to simplify things it would be easiest to describe XSS attacks as being two high level methods : persistent […]

Read and auto populate fields in WordPress Gravity forms with jQuery

Hello! When designing and implementing Gravity forms there may be occasions where you would want to auto populate multiple fields based on a preceding field selection. This was the case in our scenario where we wanted to populate the selection of a drop-down box based on a Google Map location field within Gravity Forms on WordPress. What we wanted was for the person to enter their location in a Google Map location field (within gravity forms) and based on that selection, read the respective City within that location and based on that selection, populate a drop-down box. Gravity forms already possesses the ability to implement conditional logic, however it largely is designed for the purpose of revealing/hiding/activating input elements based on preceding choices. We need to actually inject an input selection I’ll try to walk through the process to implementing this type of logic specifically with Gravity Forms. Get the […]

WordPress plugin to display your portfolio in a full width grid

Hello! We just released a WordPress plugin, Shift8 Portfolio, to organize your portfolio in a grid using bootstrap scaffolding! This is a very straightforward plugin that we decided to write for our own portfolio page. After using it ourselves it was decided that we needed to share it with the world 🙂 There are many many portfolio type plugins that already exist but the desire was to write something that was very simple and could be expanded later on to accommodate any changes in the custom content that needed to be created such as different sorting categories as well as different shortcode options that might be needed. There are a few interesting things that had to happen when writing this plugin that might be helpful to share for anyone who is interested. How to create a custom post type in WordPress Instead of using the built-in WordPress blog post type, […]

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 […]

WordPress plugin for a mobile friendly sticky navigation menu

Hello! Creating a unique, original and flexible navigation menu in WordPress can be challenging. There are many commercial and free plugins out there to establish navigation systems, however many of the commercial options seem to be “overkill” providing many bloated options with embedded CSS that can be difficult to adjust by a novice user. What we wanted to do is put together a very simple and clean navigation menu that sticks to the top of the screen and is mobile friendly in a simple yet flexible way. We created a plugin, which you can view by clicking here, to do just that! The plugin utilizes FontAwesome, Modernizr, Google Fonts and CSS from Codyhouse to put together a simple and clean navigation menu solution. Below I’ll walk through the different components that went into this plugin in order to tie everything together in an easy to use solution. Register settings to […]

WordPress plugin to integrate your Facebook page feed

Hello! We have created yet another WordPress plugin! We are highly motivated to roll out any and all WordPress custom development as a neatly packaged plugin for the general public to use. We have many more ideas and many more plugins in the works. Check out the plugin hereThis latest plugin, recently approved by the WordPress plugin auditing community, pulls your Facebook page’s feed and injects it into your site anywhere (by use of a simple shortcode). As with other similar Facebook plugins, this plugin requires you to generate a simple Facebook app with API key/secrets in order to connect and pull the data. The plugin utilizes the PHP Facebook SDK in order to connect and pull the data. I’ll walk you through the different parts of the plugin’s code, however if you’re interested click the SDK link to read more about how the Facebook SDK works. Load Facebook’s SDK […]

WordPress plugin to create animated full screen modal flyouts

Hello! We have recently created & submitted our first official WordPress plugin : Shift8 Modal. This is a relatively straightforward plugin that integrates the animatedModal jQuery library into WordPress as an easy-to-use shortcode. Submitting our plugin to the WordPress plugin directyl took roughly 7 days to complete. WordPress has pretty straightforward (though sometimes changing) development policies, standards and best practices to follow. Once approved, a WordPress team member provides SVN access to submit / commit your code to the plugin directory. This plugin is pretty simple in terms of what it does, but I’ll break down what it does. Load animatedModal.js and Animate.css The animatedModal library makes use of the (popular) Animate.css library as well. So we’ll need to load both as an enqueue within the plugin :

Without the above files, the entire plugin will not function properly. Depending on what other libraries you are using, you might […]