When working on software development projects, there are certain things that I think every project needs. Sure, each project is different so there’s definitely a difference among projects, but in my experience there are a few things that are crucial to both managing a project and completing a project.

Honestly, when it comes to writing posts like these, I think our natural tendency is to do so from the perspective of a freelancer or someone who may be subcontracted or self-employed.

Though I tend to fit in the latter camp, I’ve found that the following tends to be true regardless of where you work – be it a big corporation, a small team, or even on your own.

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With the recent change to WordPress.org requiring themes to use the WordPress Theme Customizer in their work, WordPress designers and developers have been talking about it and discussing it for several weeks now.

And rightly so: Many of us are fans of the customizer, many are not, some fall in between, and some wish that there was a compromise.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s fine (though maybe I’m biased because I tend to be a fan of the Customizer), but whatever the case, this doesn’t change the fact that there’s a lot of education that needs to happen around how to use the API – which isn’t terribly difficult (in comparison, to say, the Settings API) – and how to make the transition over to it.

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One of the APIs that I find myself working with more and more for a variety of projects is the Google Maps API. Specifically, the Google Maps JavaScript API.

The Google Maps JavaScript API

Though we can do some really cool stuff with it, it’s not my favorite API to work with. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t find it particularly intuitive and it takes me longer to read through the documentation to figure out how to do something that seems as if it should be simple in comparison to some other languages’ documentation.

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There have been times where I’ve considered pulling code down from the WordPress plugin repository or from GitHub because the way in which I write my code now differs from how I wrote my code when I was working on those projects.

GitHub Profile

And surely you know what I’m talking about: It’s not that the plugins don’t work and it’s not that they necessarily cause problems for anyone, but the open source nature of what they don’t necessarily represent what we’re capable of doing now or how we’re capable of doing it now.

Does that make sense?

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Earlier this week, I wrote a post about how we use the term “WordPress Admin,” how I suspect that we’re using it incorrectly, and I discussed the significance and importance of consistency of terminology when working with customers and clients.

The post generated far more discussion than I would have expected, which is a good thing, but one particular comment struck a chord with me:

Tom,

I sent a Jr. level WP developer through your TutsPlus course on plugin development. You use the word “Admin” more times than I could count! You even use it for file names, etc.

What’s up with that, brother? I respect you so I had to chime in with that lil’ observation.

I love comments like this because not only does it hold us accountable to our own actions, but it also gives us an opportunity to show that throughout the course of whatever it is that we’re doing now may not what we’re doing tomorrow.

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/ May 7, 2015 / Comments Off on Using SiteGround For WordPress Hosting

Using SiteGround For WordPress Hosting

As if this is actually news to anyone, one of the number one choices that has to be made when hosting a website is where to actually host the site. And there’s no shortage of hosts from which to choose.

For beginners, it’s easy to look for cheap hosting, for more advanced users, it’s easy to look at managed hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and for some businesses it’s even best to look for reseller hosting.

Regardless where you fall, hosting is one of the most critical components that comes with running your own website – especially as it starts to grow beyond a basic blog and/or a basic site.

Over the years, I’ve experienced a number of different hosts – some great, some not so great – and I’ve usually blogged about a number of them. But as this site has continued to grow and as Pressware has continued to grow as well as head into a different direction, I opted to change hosts sometime ago.

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I think one of the more popular discussions that comes up among developers (and designers) from time-time is how to be productive as possible. Personally, I’d go as to far as to say that it gets harder and harder each year (let alone each, say, quarter).

By that, I mean we try to use tools such as IRC, Skype, and Slack to mitigate the amount of email that we have, but they also require that we divide our time between focusing on our tasks at hand and then mulitasking between however many other applications are open (such as Twitter, Facebook, email, and whatever else).

I’m not knocking this at all! It just doesn’t work very well for me. Anyway, just as others like to share their tips for how to be productive, I thought I’d share the ways in which I try to achieve developer productivity (because that in and of itself is a challenge enough) rather than, say, general productivity.

So here are a few things that I do – and I’m curious to hear yours, as well.

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Comments are closed. The winner has been selected and contacted. Thanks to all who participated!

Back in December, the team at ThemeFuse was kind enough to offer a giveaway and have offered to do the same again this month.

ThemeFuse Theme Giveaway

Since I try to take advantage of certain opportunities that help benefit those of you who are budding and/or experienced WordPress bloggers, designers, developers, and so on, I thought that it would be a good idea to go ahead and take them up on a second offer.

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I could completely be in the minority in what I’m about to say, but when I see phrases such as “The WordPress Admin,” I cringe a little.

Maybe I’m being a bit legalistic, but hear me out: All throughout the backend of WordPress, we see the phrase “Dashboard.” In fact, it’s the first menu item that we see.

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/ May 1, 2015 / Comments Off on Mayer For WordPress is For Sale

Mayer For WordPress is For Sale

A little over a year ago, I released Mayer For WordPress and have been selling it on WordPress.com ever since.

Mayer For WordPress

For those who are unfamiliar with the theme, it offers the following features:

  • Mobile-ready on all devices
  • editor-style.css so that all of the content you write in the Dashboard looks exactly as it will on the front-end
  • Designed specifically for the single-author blog
  • Offers no more options than necessary to get your blog looking at exactly like the demo
  • ..and much more

Not long ago, I placed the theme on GitHub. In fact, for those who have been reading this blog long enough will recall that I used to run it on this site.

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