Eliminate Conflicts Between Superfish and Meanmenu CSS

Out of the box Superfish CSS and JavaScript interfere with Meanmenu styling. This tutorial will help you get around that. I will use the basic demo files included in the Superfish download to demonstrate.

Step 1. set up Superfish in your web page as documented here in the “Quick Start Guide”. Use the basic superfish.css included in the Superfish download.

Please note, for this tutorial locate your menu <ul> inside HTML5 <header> and <nav> tags.

<header>
	<nav>
 		<ul class="sf-menu">
			<li>... </li>
			<li>... </li>
		</ul>
	</nav>
</header>

The reasons for this will become apparent as you work through the tutorial.

Step 2. Set up Meanmenu in your web page as documented here.

Step 3. Test your setup by resizing the width of your browser to 480px or below. You’ll see Meanmenu does not look like the Meanmenu developer’s demo. Instead, you’ll see something like this:

Superfish conflicting with Meanmenu styles

The “drawer” style drop downs are overlapping each other and the color scheme has been altered. The Superfish CSS and JavaScript are interfering with the Meanmenu styling and function. The solution to this problem is to re-target the Superfish CSS style declerations to eliminate this interference.

Step 4. Remove “sf-menu” class from <menu><ul> so that this:

<header>
	<nav>
 		<ul class="sf-menu">
			<li>... </li>
			<li>... </li>
		</ul>
	</nav>
</header>

Becomes this:

<header>
	<nav>
 		<ul>
			<li>... </li>
			<li>... </li>
		</ul>
	</nav>
</header>

Step 5. Declerations from the superfish.css that previously targeted “.sf-menu” now need to target <header><nav><ul>. So, for example, this:

.sf-menu, .sf-menu * {
	margin: 0;
	padding: 0;
	list-style: none;
}

Becomes this:

header nav ul, header nav ul * {
	margin: 0;
	padding: 0;
	list-style: none;
}

All refrences to the class “.sf-menu” in superfish.css need to be changed to “header nav ul”. Try running a find and replace in your text editor.

Now Meanmenu should be functioning more like the demo, however, re-targeting these declerations has broken the Superfish menu dropdown rendering!

Step 6. Add this to superfish.css to fix Superfish rendering:

header nav ul ul li { 
width: 100%;
float: left;
display: block;
line-height: 1em;
}

Step 6. If you followed the Superfish Quick Start Guide you’re calling Superfish with the following:

<script>// <![CDATA[
        jQuery(document).ready(function() {
                jQuery('ul.sf-menu').superfish();
        });
// ]]></script>

You’ll want to target the new containg elements like so:

<script>// <![CDATA[
        jQuery(document).ready(function() {
                jQuery('header nav ul').superfish();
        });
// ]]></script>

Step 7. You’ll notice the Superfish arrows are showing faintly in Meanmenu, you have the option of shutting them off with the following:

<script>// <![CDATA[
	jQuery(document).ready(function() {
		jQuery('header nav ul').superfish({
			cssArrows:  false
		});
	});
// ]]></script>

Step 8. Finally, you may notice that in Meanmenu the area around the plus signs that show the submenu items when clicked don’t line up with the top level menu items. Look for the following decleration block in meanmenu.css and adjust the height value:

.mean-container .mean-nav ul li a.mean-expand {
	margin-top: 1px;
	width: 26px;
	height: 32px; /* Adjust height of expander (+) button area */
	padding: 12px !important;
	text-align: center;
	position: absolute;
	right: 0;
	top: 0;
	z-index: 2;
	font-weight: 700;
	background: rgba(255,255,255,0.1);
	border: none !important;
	border-left: 1px solid rgba(255,255,255,0.4) !important;
	border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(255,255,255,0.2) !important;
}

Fractalsponge’s Amazing 3D Art

Star Destroyer

The image above is of a 3D model created and rendered by CGI artist Ansel “Fractalsponge” Hsiao and is one of a collection of Star Wars inspired spacecraft featured in the gallery section of his website. I came across Hsiao’s site while looking for a cutaway view of the Millennium Falcon on Google image search and was blown away by the hyper-detailed nature of his work. Anyone with an interest in Star Wars, 3D rendering or science fiction in general should have a look.

Tip: click the down arrow icon at the lower left of the gallery images for a hi-res view, many are over 4000×2000 pixels in size. Enjoy!

What To Do When Windows XP Support Ends

Windows XP "Bliss" wallpaper

Windows XP support will end April 8th, 2014. Since Microsoft will not be providing security patches for XP after this date the concern is that businesses and individuals still running this operating system will be vulnerable to targeted hacking attacks. To avoid potential security issues XP users should consider an upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 or the purchase of a new computer pre-loaded with a more recent version of Windows. Those who want or need to wring the last bit of use out of their older hardware and XP operating system should be sure to take the following precautionary steps:

  1. Stop using Internet Explorer. Since many viruses and malware exploit computers through the browser it is essential to install a browser that will continue to receive security updates. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are two excellent alternatives to IE.
  2. Make sure you have adequate anti-virus software installed. Many free programs are up to the job of protecting your computer but a payed security suite may be preferable for protecting an out of date OS. Many anti-virus software makers will support XP until 2016.
  3. If you’ve been running Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your PC keep in mind that support for the XP version of this product will end in April as well. A good free alternative to Security Essentials is Avast! 2014 Free Antivirus. Those interested in a payed security program might look into Kaspersky Internet Security 2014.
  4. Take special care to keep non operating system software up to date. Programs such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader and Sun Java should be set to update automatically or be promptly updated manually when warned to do so.
  5. Dump Outlook Express and Outlook 2003 as both these email clients lose security updates after April. Consider switching to Mozilla Thunderbird or using one of the web based email services like Gmail or Microsoft’s outlook.com.
  6. Switch to a limited user account. Home users should change their user accounts so that only a seldom-used administrator account can install or modify software. Everything else, especially Web and email use, should be done using limited accounts without administrator rights. Limited accounts limit the damage malware can do.

Web Hosting?

Web hosting server room

Mary Ann emailed today with a question regarding web hosting and domain names. I thought our correspondence might be of interest to others considering the purchase of these services.

Hi Dan,
in my new adventure I have discovered I do not have web hosting. We are in the Des Moines and Indianola area. What are you charging for web hosting. I have one domain name and bought four other domain names. You know they were on sale, of course and I sure didn’t know what I was doing. I want to keep one for sure and another as a “proxy”?
Mary Ann


Mary Ann,
I do not provide hosting and would advise against purchasing hosting from a web designer/developer since most are acting as resellers for the major hosting companies. I think you can get a better price by going directly to the source. What you may want to do is purchase a shared hosting plan from a volume operator like GoDaddy or Hostgator.

If you purchased the domain names from a company that also provides hosting I would consider buying hosting from that company as well. This way you won’t need to “move” the domains and billing is simplified.

You will want to devote all your effort and content to one domain per particular business. Duplicate content hosted on several domains will not help your search ranking and might even hurt it. I’d advise choosing one domain to host and develop your site on and letting the other domains expire, unless you want to hold onto the other domains for separate business ventures in different fields.

Buy the least expensive Linux based hosting plan offered (not Windows based hosting). This will be adequate for small business usage and you can generally upgrade easily if necessary. Check my Resources page for info on choosing a domain name and links to hosting providers.
Dan