Sponsoring WordCamp Boston 2012

WordCamp Boston has a very special place in my heart, as I helped organize the first camp back in 2010, and then made it the first event that 10up would sponsor back in 2011. We’re excited to be repeating our Silver Sponsorship in 2012. You can expect to see 3-4 members of team 10up at the event, and, hopefully, at least a few of us speaking. With a first class organizing team behind the event, one of the biggest meet ups in the country behind it, and a good old New England passion, you can expect this WordCamp to be every bit as amazing as the prior two!

Team Rep and Community Things

About a month ago, Jane Wells posted surveys for various WordPress contributor groups, including one for core code contributors on wpdevel, in an effort to begin getting them more organized and select team representatives. I’m very excited to have been chosen as one for the core contributors group. We’ll be aiming to have regular cross-group chats and an in-person summit sometime in the near future. This is very exciting, not just for those of us representing the various groups, but for the community at large. Some of the things that I know I’m looking forward to are more communication and collaboration across groups (e.g. UI and accessibility, core development and documentation) and encouraging more people to contribute in whichever way suits them as the WordPress ecosystem continues to grow.

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WordCamp Orange County: Enterprise Class WordPress

I’m looking forward to meeting the Orange Country WordPress community in a few weeks (June 2-3) at their upcoming WordCamp, where I’ll be speaking.

Having taken the “fine-tuning administration” series as far as I can go (Hijacking WordPress AdminEditing the Visual Editor, and What Would Core Do?), I’m turning my attention to another topic that’s near and dear to me: WordPress as an enterprise caliber content management solution.

There’s no question that WordPress has won the hearts and minds of the publishing industry, with everyone from the New York Times to TechCrunch embracing the platform. And WordPress is used by many huge business organizations, non-profits, and government entities – but usually, for microsites, a blog, or another “piece” of their publishing solution. WordPress still faces resistance from many big institutions in many verticals when it comes to that “enterprise CMS” need – the content management system that’s at the core of the organization’s online presence.

At 10up, we’ve had some big successes helping large organizations adopt WordPress as their central CMS, but we’ve also seen huge prospective opportunities ultimately shy away because of lingering hesitations about WordPress’s suitability to the enterprise class title. Some of the concerns are legitimate worries about its functional suitability to issues that only concern huge, international entities. Other concerns are more organizational – can huge companies use a CMS owned and managed by an open source “community”? Is WordPress a CMS meant for the million dollar project?

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WC SEA 2012: There’s a Function for That!

On May 19th, I will be speaking at WordCamp Seattle. My talk is entitled: “There’s a Function for That: Doing More for Less with Core Functions”. It is exciting to have the opportunity to geek out about some of the hidden gems in WordPress Core.

I plan to curate a plethora of interesting, obscure and powerful WordPress functions to give them the attention and love that they need. Drawing from my experience with complex WordPress projects, I will introduce developers to exciting WordPress functions. WordPress Core has had so many brilliant developers contribute to it. Part of those contributions have led to an extensive catalog of powerful functions that are waiting to make developer’s lives easier. I hope to shed light on these functions to make developer’s work more agile, allow developers to do things the “WordPress way,” and help contribute to the cannon of poetic code in the world.

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Attending WebVisions Portland? I’ll be joining Lorelle VanFossen’s panel session to discuss the “insider stories, tips, tricks, and techniques” that we use to make your website awesome both inside and out. We’ll talk about all the emerging web technology buzzwords: HTML5, responsive, and CSS3 plus exciting ways WordPress can be extended and tailored through plugin and theme development. I look forward to meeting you there!

Video: Next Generation Web

The video from my WordCamp Phoenix 2012 presentation in the “Think Tank” track on “Next Generation Web” is up on This was a fun talk to give, a mix of theory on the evolution of web technologies, a high level technical overview and preview of some of today’s cutting edge open web technologies, and a sneak preview at what’s coming down the pike.

If you’re looking for a deep dive into the technical nuances of HTML5 and CSS3, this is not the talk for you. If you like thinking about technology trends, want a sampler of some hot technologies you can use today, and want to be inspired by what’s still ahead, I think you’ll enjoy the talk. You can find the slides here.

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.