Adding a security certificate to a WordPress website

1) In the htaccess file, replace the text with this:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]


2) In the wp-config file, add this:

define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

3) Force SSL across the site by setting this in wp-config too:


Artballs helps bring aPIERtite success – 10,000 attendance for Easter weekend

aPIERtite facebook event flyer

The eye-catching branding and illustrations we produced helped bring 10,000 people to the event win Hastings Pier on the Saturday.

Artballs produced the branding, illustration and design for aPIERtite on Hastings Pier event.

Following this success, more events are now planned for the coming months and we will be designing more artwork for these events.

Watch this space!

aPIERtite on Hastings Pier, design by Nathan at Artballs
Showing how eye-popping the poster design is, even on a drab day before the event!

Bat for Lashes in Pitchfork Magazine

Pitchfork Magazine have these amazing feature articles. This is perhaps one of the simplest, but also my favourite. The Pitchfork design is eminently readable online. The choice of font/size etc make reading long articles very easy. The gentle manual movements in the photography/illustrations really enhance the whole experience of reading these articles.

This article is a couple of years old, but still one of my favourite designed pages on the web.

Jetpack contact form placeholders

Jetpack is rapidly zooming beyond its early reputation as the slow boat to China, and becoming a plugin to be reckoned with – as a suite of goodies rather than a single function plugin.

Today I tried out the contact form in Jetpack. Previously, I have almost always used the magnificent Contact Form 7, and the premium Gravity Forms for meatier interactive form content.

The Jetpack form is really easy to construct (or use the default form), but I wanted to use placeholders instead of labels. Leaving aside the controversial issue of accessibility (which is improving all the time), there appeared to be no easy way to do this in Jetpack.

In the end, a simple JQuery solution did the trick. This will actually work on other forms, but the previously mentioned ones already have built-in placeholder capability.

jQuery(document).ready(function($) {
 $('#my-field-id').attr('placeholder', 'My placeholder text');

The above checks that the page is loaded, then dives in and looks your ID or class with the attribute of placeholder and puts in your text.

You can hide the labels if you want, with a bit of CSS. This is best done with a minus text-indent, or the trendy new clip technique. Ideally, don’t use display:none as this will completely hide the label from screen readers, meaning especially blind or partially sighted people using specialist browsers probably won’t be able to use your form.

Missy’s website now live!!!


Missy wanted to be Cynthia Rhodes when she grew up. Life not always throwing the right kind of lemons, she instead trained in ballet, gymnastics and dance (as well as a good healthy dose of Fine Art Theory and History thrown in) – and has become one of the Southern Hemisphere’s top cabaret pole dancers.

It was clear early on that Missy is definitely not in the tacky plastic shoes, flat alcopops and bad r n b school of pole dance. It was clear we going to have some fun creating a look that instantly shows this distinction.

The site feel takes a lot from the silent movie era. It is hard to say exactly how this came about, but we talked a lot and had a common love of Weimar era styling. In fact, her formidable Art History knowledge, insight and sense of aesthetic set the tone and benchmark for this project. Whilst we didn’t want to directly copy a particular vintage design, the sense of romance and drama and magic of was definitely high on the list for the new website look.

The site homepage sets the stage for what Missy is about. Instantly distinctive, with an elegant image of her effortlessly posed on the pole. It is one of the most minimal homepages I have produced, with hardly any text – letting the imagery speak. On pressing Enter, the homepage flickers and fades away in almost the blink of an eye to show the new page. It is

The site details are based on 1920s ornamentation. The thumbnail images on the news page are small porthole pictures in Black and White. They softly saturate to full colour when you roll over them.

The menu bar takes cues from early movie theatres, and the calendar and gallery are styled in a panelled ‘leather’ upholstery.

Technically and artistically, this has been an extremely challenging site to make. The lack of text on the homepage is anathema to modern SEO compliant sites. I took a cue from live performance and theatre to get around this. The homepage is actually a ‘curtain’. When you enter the site, the homepage magically fades away to reveal the news page. The site, and search text is, essentially in waiting behind this curtain.

This site is the first one I have produced with the new WordPress TwentyTwelve as the parent theme. This particular theme is actually so new, I had to search around to find a download link for it. TwentyTwelve proved to be a perfect partner to the project for its own elegant and lean coding.

The calendar uses coding for perfect visibility on Google’s event searches.

Back to Missy, she is an extremely enigmatic person and performer. Her work on the pole is distinctive and quite unlike other performers. Go and see her in a show (check out the calendar page!), or if you are a promoter, hire her now, you need her in your show!

See the Artballs portfolio for Missy here

Sapphira’s Pro Showgirls

We created a new look for Sapphira’s Pro Showgirl night at Red Bennies in Melbourne. We’ve taken Sapphira’s neo-burlesque style further and created this distinct artwork.

The night was one of the biggest nights ever at Red Bennies. Whilst a photo wasn’t taken, Prince himself passed a giant A0 version of this poster a week or so before when he played there!

Sapphira’s Showgirls is pretty much the most popular burlesque class in Melbourne right now, with classes in many major districts. For more info, check out:

To see more Artballs design for Sapphira, click here.

Sapphira Gift Voucher

Sapphira’s Showgirls Burlesque Academy has launched a new gift voucher scheme, and asked Artballs to produce their voucher. Wanting something distinct, we produced the voucher with novel skewed name boxes on the back. 30% off Mega Sale


Shameless promotion for one of my clients, but it’s too good an offer not to shout about!, the South London based Fashion Emporium are having a huge sale on House of the Gods clothing. This isn’t shabby old stock from a past season, but brand new season stock. It’s a new site and they are feeling generous, so drop by, choose some stuff and use the coupon code: hogs30 at the checkout to get your discount!

Hurry, as a massive discount like this won’t last long! House of the Gods Mega Sale

A surprise from Sapphira’s Showgirls

I’m really quite touched to have received this photo, taken in Red Bennies, Melbourne by Sapphira and her Showgirls!

Thank you!

Artballs has been working with Sapphira for some time now, upping the game with new designs for her posters and website. People have really noticed – especially the posters put up around Melbourne. We’ve made two sites, and, and posters, xmas cards etc. to promote her business.

Sapphira by Artballs

Australian Burlesque Festival 2012 Pre-purchase passes available -10% discount!

The Australian Burlesque Festival is the bigger than ever this year – covering 6 cities and ten shows.

Special pre-purchase passes are now available for Melbourne and Sydney, saving you 10% on the price of the shows.

This years festival features top international stars:

And homegrown stars:

And of course, the festival hosts:

Discount festival passes are available here.