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Blog Redesign

I’ve been getting more readers recently, so i figured it was time to spruce the place up a bit a little.  For the last couple of years, I’ve been using a practically unmodified version of my own starter theme. It’s hard to find time to take care of your own site, but I replaced that starter over a year ago with something more modern, with Sass and logical template parts.

This new design is a blog-centric variant of my new starter, that takes a few cues from the typography of Medium (although not quite as polished).

It is mostly clean and lightweight, with a few visual flourishes. You also may see some of my photography grace the header from time to time.

You called it Gutenberg for a Reason.. That Doesn’t Make it Revolutionary. (An open response to Matt Mullenweg)

Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic and founder/director of the WordPress Foundation, recently wrote a blog post entitled “We Called it Gutenberg for a Reason”, which attempted to address the widespread concerns voiced about the direction of the new WordPress editor. In general, the post made a lot of big promises about how Gutenberg would solve everyone’s problems. Unfortunately, many of those claims don’t live up to reasonable scrutiny. So, I find myself writing a response to the post, voicing some of the issues I find with what I see as an overly optimistic view. read more »

Introducing WP Utility Script Runner

At my day job, I often need to run a snippet of custom code once (and only once), and view or download the output. These snippets include things like:

  • Importing data from a spreadsheet
  • Generating a report about site usage
  • Invalidating passwords and notifying users
  • Deleting duplicates from a record set
  • Regenerating Thumbnails
  • many, many more…

WordPress doesn’t offer a good solution to this need, that addresses both the need for simplicity and security as well as providing a full-featured framework… So I built one.

WP Utility Script Runner

Raw First Impressions of WordPress page builders (NSFW Language)

I gave a presentation this year at WordCamp Boston, titled “Picking a Page Builder”. You can see the slides here:

I’ve never really incorporated page builders into my workflow, so in preparation for the talk I decided to do a blind review of 7 of the most common page builders. I recreated the homepage for the site in each builder, without reading any documentation, or taking any tours of the builders.

I chronicled the results in the slideshow above, but I also wanted to share the raw notes i took while building in each one. These notes are not a full review, and you’ll see that some of the ones I rated highly got harsher comments when using… mostly that was because the super obvious issues that i noted in my scorecards sometimes were so bad that I wasn’t as nitpicky with the fine details.

It should also be noted that because I used no documentation and took no tours, these notes may be incorrect about some features of the various builders, and should not be taken as guaranteed facts. My notes speak more to the discoverability of features than their existence. This is simply my live chronicle of how well was I able to figure each builder out, and how far could I get in a couple of hours.

Caution: these notes are unedited, and may contain harsh language read more »


Improving WordPress Pt 4 – Where Gutenberg Lost Me (Open Letter to Core)

Gutenberg is the code name for WordPress’s new visual editor, which is designed to add block support to WordPress.  Gutenberg is not currently earmarked for a specific release, but signs seem to point toward WordPress 5.0.   It has a promising UI, and has been through a fair number of iterations already, but as work continues, I find myself more and more disenchanted with the solutions they’ve proposed.  I find myself constantly taken aback by the incredible number of flawed premises that comprise the project. read more »