Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

WordCamp Providence: Timber

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Jared Novak presented How we Built 17,170,200 Websites in 6 Months at WordCamp Providence. I was sure to attend this session as I would be hard-pressed to create 10 websites in that time span. How did he do it?

Novak is a partner with Upstatement. Their client, RandomHouse wanted to create a website for each book that was published. The challenge was that they publish about 15,000 books per year; ~41 books per day.

So, now we know that the 17,170,200 mentioned in the title of the session is the possible number of websites that could have been built, not the actual number of websites that were built, with the solution that Upstatement provided RandomHouse.

Novak admitted that he likes to, “make things that make things”, so he decided to create a tool that would help RandomHouse roll out a website per book on their own.

Upstatement used the Twig template engine and created Timber as the interface for hooking WordPress and Twig. Upstatement created different frameworks (content blocks)  – one column, two columns, sidebars/no sidebars that RandomHouse could choose to include/not include in a website in order to make each book’s design unique.

Timber is available on gitHub.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

WordCamp Providence: JavaScript, Backbone and Underscore

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

While at WordCamp Providence over the weekend, I attended a presentation by K. Adam White entitled, Evolving your JavaScript with Backbone.js.

K. Adam talked about the use of JavaScript in WordPress, and what a great thing jQuery was and how jQuery changed WordPress in a good way. Now jQuery usage has evolved into Backbone and Underscore, and they will change WP in an equally good way.

I learned lots of technical gobbly-gook which is of no interest to my clients… A couple of take-aways are:

  • Backbone.js v 1.0 is now bundled in the core WordPress starting with WP 3.6
  • 12.5% of code shipped with WP is JavaScript
  • WordPress moving more towards JavaScript-driven product than PHP-driven product
  • Backbone.js is a library of models, collections, views that provide structure to programs
  • Backbone complements jQuery and Underscore JavaScript libraries
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

WordCamp Providence: Saturday Keynote +

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Saturday I attended WordCamp Providence, in Providence, RI. It was a full-day schedule, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an After Party starting at 7 p.m. After a long week of work, I was concerned about my attention span. No need… Each session I attended kept me energized, and looking forward to the next. Either I chose lucky or all the speakers were awesome!

Frederick Townes Mashable

Frederick Townes, Saturdays Keynote Speaker

Frederick Townes (Mashable, W3 Edge, Placester, +) gave the keynote. The take away was:

“It is all in the design.” Referring to the technical and functional design more than esthetic design.

Author of the hugely popular WordPress plugin, W3 Total Cache and co-founder of multiple businesses, Townes believes that the longevity, sustainability and success of his plugins and businesses are based on the attention and effort given to their fundamental design. His most recent endeavor is the Placester website for real estate professionals. Placester.com took over three years to develop and recently launched. Trivia: What made him write W3 Total Cache? He saw a need, thought it might be unsolvable, liked the challenge, and gave it a shot….2.5M+ downloads later…

After the keynote, the sessions began. Four sessions per time slot were offered. Sessions were color-coded by audience type: Beginner Developer, Intermediate Developer, Advanced Developer, and Enterprise/Marketer.

I attended

  1. Evolving your JavaScript with Backbone.js
  2. How we built 17,170,200 Websites in 6 Months
  3. Getting SASSy: Fun with CSS Preprocessors
  4. Employing Best Security Practices for WordPress Sites
  5. Borrowing from the VIPs
  6. WebGL? Introduction to using interactive 3D Graphics in WordPress
  7. Closing Wrap Up – Anything and Everything WordPress

I’ll write more about the sessions I attended later this week.

    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  

    WordPress Backups

    Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

    Last week, I received an urgent email from a client about her WordPress website. (She manages everything on her website and had contacted me once to do some “heavy lifting”; customizing the WordPress theme and making a WordPress plugin work to her specifications.) Anyway, a portion of the email is below:

    “… a friend hosts my website, had hardware issues, looks like everything is lost., I am sick to my stomach.”

    My eyebrows raised of course, when I read “a friend”, and I, too got that uncomfortable roll in my stomach.

    So let’s talk about hosting and backups…

    IF you choose to have a friend host your website, a friend who is not in the hosting business, then you need to backup your WordPress files and database on a regular schedule, no matter what your friend tells you about their back up policies. Hosting with a friend is not a situation that I would recommend. You don’t want to start hating on that friend if your website or blog goes missing, and it wouldn’t go missing on purpose, so then do you hate on someone for an accident? It gets too messy. Save a friend and spend some money on hosting your website.

    IF your friend works for a professional hosting company, and you host your website or blog with that hosting company, the situation is much better. Your job, then, is to check out the company’s reputation and their backup policies.

    When you host your website with a professional hosting firm, you do not have to backup your own WordPress files and database. A professional hosting firm should be doing daily backups of your website.

    Daily backups are frequently “incremental”. Incremental backups copy only the files that have been altered and added since the last backup. So, when the incrementals are restored, the entire website can be re-built. Generally, a “full” backup is run one day per week. A full backup back ups the entire website and blog and the database.

    Daily incrementals and once-per-week full backups done by a reputable hosting firm have served me well whenever I have had to rebuild a WordPress website from scratch.

    If you still would rather have your own set of backups…You can use a WordPress plugin that backs up the files and the database. CAUTION: Be careful with these. If you can find a WordPress Backup plugin that purges previous backups, then try it out, keeping an eye on the disk space being consumed by the backups. One full backup doubles the space you are using in your hosting account. Two backups triple the space. Three backups quadruple the space, and so on and so on.

    Sample WordPress backup sizes

    Is a full backup every 24 hours necessary? Each backup is 85MB.

    You might find yourself being charged extra for hosting because the backups are expanding out of your allotted space.

    Do you want to pay for additional space just to be holding backups? If you are willing to pay more, then pay a reputable hosting company that will automatically and professionally complete your WordPress backups, or, pay your WordPress webmaster to create and download special backups, or, check out a WordPress backup service like VaultPress. Don’t take up any more of your time worrying about your WordPress backups.

    Oh, and if you host your website with Adventures Online, rest assured that daily backups and weekly full backups are being done by professionals, not to mention the local copy of your website that is kept on the in-office production system.

    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  

    Getting to Blog Worthy Presentation

    Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

    Getting to Blog Worthy is the name of the presentation I recently gave to twenty eager bloggers at the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce in Marlborough, MA.  Kudos to the Chamber for recognizing the importance of blogging and offering this seminar, and,  kudos to the attendees who showed their Boston Strong by carrying on as they had planned despite the unsettling shutdown of multiple cities and frightening news reports out of Boston. SO, we took control of this one hour and decided to have fun.

    After introducing myself, everyone filled in a personal profile – to be kept private and used as a reference during the rest of the presentation.  Next, together, we took the “Is it Blog Worthy or Not” quiz (list of ten blog titles).  It started out bumpy, but, everyone got the hang of it by the time we got to the eight title – and – most were surprised to learn the definition of blog worthy just through these mini discussions of blog titles.

    After that, we looked at Google search results which set the stage for keeping our eye on the prize. Why get blog worthy rightWe went on to talk about the attendees’ areas of expertise, their target audiences, and their current business goals. Next we explored strategies for finding topics to write about, keeping the content relevant, and keeping their target audience coming back.

    We talked about blog SEO, Google+ and Google Authorship and the types of posts that will get you higher rankings. Finally, two scheduling strategies and one blog scheduling tool were introduced in order to keep ideas fresh and the blog posts coming.

    Some Take-Aways…

    • Blog-worthy content is content that will compel visitors to take the “call to action”
    • Blog-worthy content can be written in such a way that you help your blog get better rankings in the search engines
    • Blog-worthy content changes depending on your area of expertise, your business goals, your target audience
    • If you’re blogging, it is worth while to set up G+ and Google Authorship in order
    • ‘Evergreen’ blog posts can help you preserve your ranking

    Want to know more? Call me…508-480-8833. Circle me

    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •