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WordPress Debug Bar Cron

WordPress’ cron implementation is a powerful tool for scheduling events in WordPress projects. Its usefulness at times is only matched by the frustration inherent in debugging issues with cron. After my most recent frustrations implementing a WordPress scheduled event, I decided to build Debug Bar Cron, an extension for the fantastic Debug Bar that adds a panel of information about registered events. With 10up teammate Helen Hou-Sandi’s UI love, this plugin helps you easily visualize all of the WordPress scheduled events information to quickly see what is happening with these events.

The plugin focuses on providing developers with the most pertinent information regarding their scheduled events as easily as possible. The “dashboard” shows how many events are scheduled, whether or not WordPress cron ran on the current request, when the next event is scheduled to occur, and the current time for easy comparison for the event times.

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Quick Coding Tip: Body Class for iOS Devices (Cache Friendly!)

At 10up, responsive design is a hot request. In fact, over the course of the last year, we’ve seen this type of work evolve from relative indifference – when pitched – to a common client expectation.

It often makes sense to release a new “desktop” experience before rolling CSS3 media queries or other responsive techniques. Furthermore, you might invest in contextual layout for phone screens, but leave the “desktop” experience for tablet devices. While devices like an iPad or iPhone do a great job of rendering any web page (this was the original selling point!), there are cases where the layout calls for subtle changes. In one case, we needed to hide buttons that spawned unsupported technologies (e.g. Flash) on iOS devices. We also had to deal with a subtle but ugly iOS Safari quirk involving large background images.

It’s easy enough to write server side code (e.g. PHP) that changes the output based on the browser’s user agent, but if you need to work with page caching, server side code based on visitor specific properties isn’t an option.

The following simple JavaScript code snippet will add a “browser-ios” class to your body tag that will allow you to easily tweak elements with basic CSS, and without any server side concerns like page caching.

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Pulling back the curtain: thoughts on agencies

Back in February at WordCamp Phoenix, I participated in a panel on agencies, offering thoughts, experiences, and insights into the agency model. Great insights from my co-panelists, including WordCamp Phoenix’s lead organizer Dallin Harris, along with an engaged, packed audience, and superb moderation by Michael Eck added up to a fun and informative panel. Check out the video if you want some insight into the agency model, or a peak behind the current at the business of 10up and similar agencies.

Zack

Tonight, I will be speaking about how to find a good WordPress developer talk at the Portland WordPress User Group meetup. My goal is to help educate end users about what to look for in a developer. Additionally, I will be leveraging my psychology background in discussing the importance of the relationship between user and developer with regard to accomplishing goals.

WordCamp San Diego Talk: Caching for Coders

I am privileged to have the opportunity to talk about caching for WordPress sites during WordCamp San Diego 2012. My talk, titled “Caching for Coders: How, What and When to Cache in WordPress”, will introduce WordPress developers to core concepts for deploying successful caching strategies in WordPress. There will be an emphasis on getting rid of a “cookie cutter” approach to caching design patterns in favor of building caching patterns that fit the needs of  specific WordPress sites. I am most excited to discuss the often neglected topic of “when” to cache in WordPress projects. Not all caching strategies are created equal and I will be addressing some of the more successful caching approaches inspired by my work at 10up LLC.

This talk also gives me the opportunity to try out a new model for developing slides for a presentation. I am using HTML5 slides, which I am managing on a GitHub repo. Hosting these slides on GitHub allows me to effectively “open-source” the talk. Having GitHub as the center of development and discussion of these slides will allow others to contribute to the talk and hopefully let it evolve over time. Who knows what will happen, but I am excited for the potential that this idea has.

We’re Hiring a Marketing Coordinator!

Are you a tech-savvy, self-motivated marketing professional, or recent college graduate, with a passion for using online and offline tools to help companies better market their services and convert prospects into clients? Then you might be a great fit for 10up’s new Marketing Coordinator role! As Marketing Coordinator, you will be responsible for:

  • Scheduling introduction meetings with prospective new clients
  • Preparing one-page briefs on new project opportunities that will inform initial conversations with prospects
  • Developing lead generation channels to expand our prospective client pool
  • Collaborating with the strategy team to prepare proposals for new project opportunities
  • Maintaining, updating, and creating content for our website, including client case studies and blog posts
  • Building a content strategy for 10up’s Facebook and Twitter presences and managing interactions on those platforms
  • Preparing client status and billing reports
  • Managing basic operational tasks, including scheduling team trips and preparing monthly client invoices

While prior experience is great, enthusiasm and the ability to learn quickly on your feet will serve as great substitutes for experience. As with all of our positions, the Marketing Coordinator’s scope of responsibilities is expected to evolve over time, so you should have the willingness to be flexible and pitch in where needed. Ideally, after an initial training period, the person who fills this role will have the opportunity to take on more senior marketing and project management responsibilities, so excellent communication (both written and verbal) and organizational skills are required.

We envision the Marketing Coordinator position as a full-time role, but applicants seeking part-time work will also be considered. 10up is a distributed company, so you will have the opportunity to work from home, which is just one of the many perks we offer our employees!

Think you’re ready to join team 10up and help us grow our business? Then send your resume, cover letter, and three references to jake@get10up.com.

Maintaining a Beautiful WordPress Admin

Maintaining a Beautiful WordPress Admin UI SlideI taught a two-hour section of WP401 (Advanced WordPress Development) at WordCamp Phoenix’s classroom day this past Friday, speaking on the UI of the WordPress admin and giving some examples and best practices for integration of custom content types and post meta. At 10up, we strive to create seamless and usable interfaces for our clients, reducing the amount of training needed to get editors up and running and keeping the WordPress side of content management easy and enjoyable.

The slides, which are built on Google’s HTML5 Slides, can be found at http://slides.helenhousandi.com/wcphx2012.html. In it, you’ll find resources, examples, and best practice code examples.

Next Generation Web: What HTML5 and CSS3 Are All About

Here are the slides from my talk at WordCamp Phoenix 2012. Presented in the “Think Tank” track, it explores some ideas and concepts that underlie change in web development medium, and introduces coding techniques for the last HTML5 / CSS3 capabilities. Here’s the description from the WordCamp schedule:

We’ve all probably heard of HTML5, CSS3, Responsive Design, and other “future of the web” buzzwords. Maybe you’ve even dabbled in HTML5 doctype declarations and “header” tags, or used CSS3 rounded corners or gradients. But most of us have only scratched the surface of these technologies, and for good reason – not everyone is using Chrome 16 or Firefox 9 yet, and even they haven’t settled on uniform implementations. We’ll look at how Responsive Design is already beginning to change the way we approach building sites for different screen sizes, and peak into potentially transformative HTML5 techniques that are only beginning to appear around the web.