Tech Non-Profit Spotlight: Hack the Hood

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Prior to becoming a writer and communications dork, I was immersed in the non-profit world. From non-profits that focused on the arts to those that offered direct assistance to underserved communities, playing small time Wonder Woman (or trying, at least) was my life.

Although I’m no longer part of that world professionally, it’s still something I’m very passionate about, which is why WebDevStudios’  contribution to the community in both charitable and educational capacities appealed to me immediately. As giving back is part of the heart of WDS (and the big, squishy hearts of our wonderful team), it only made sense for us to turn the lens outward and shine a light on other people in the tech community who are passionate about the same.

As a result, this is the first of a monthly column focusing on different organizations who are doing the good work–the meaty, meaningful stuff–and making the world a better place.

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Using Git Flow and Forget to Branch? Stash it.


Here at WebDevStudios, we use a variation of the Git workflow known as Git Flow.

One of the benefits of using Git is quick and easy branching and merging without conflicts. Git Flow makes extensive use of branches to ensure that work that you are currently developing doesn’t break things that someone else is working on.

A lot has been written about Git Flow–the first time I learned about it was on Jeff Kreeftmeijer’s blog a couple years ago, but it was originally devised in 2010 by Vincent Dreissen. Since then, Git Flow has been added to popular Git GUI clients like SourceTree and Tower.

For those of you not familiar with Git Flow, I’m not going to go in depth about how it works, but I’ll walk through a really simple workflow example and how we use it at WDS.

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Lisa Sabin-Wilson Does the Design Bloggers Conference

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As many of you already know, WDS folks are regulars at the tech events around the world–particularly when it comes to WordPress. We love teaching, we love learning, and we love meeting people in our community. Recently, though, Lisa received an invitation to something unexpected, and it was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up.

Lisa was invited to speak at the Design Bloggers Conference later this month! Now, this isn’t a conference focusing on web design, but on interior design. It does seem a little outside of our purview, doesn’t it? Considering the new reports that WordPress is hosting almost a quarter of the sites worldwide, it may not be as surprising as you (and we) initially thought!

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Handling AJAX in WordPress in Style

AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) isn’t something that should be feared by anyone. It’s insanely powerful, versatile, and can provide your users cool experiences like processing forms without page redirection, dynamically loading posts while a user scrolls the page, and much more. Most of all, WordPress has a few nifty gems up its sleeve.
In this post, I’ll show you how I handle AJAX in WordPress:

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How to Set Up HTTPS on WordPress Multisite Without Headaches


Every couple months or so, Google seems to like to shake things up a bit and add some new criteria by which they rank sites. One of the most recent of these shakeups was that your site might now be ranked based on whether it supports https. This led to a massive freakout in which everyone and their mom tried to set up HTTPS on their site. Historically, getting HTTPS working isn’t as easy as all that and I’m sure many of you reading this post were either too intimidated by the process or started and then gave up.

Recently I got HTTPS working on my site(s), and I’m going to share with you how I got it working (for free).

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Best Command Line Tools

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As someone who loves the command line, I’m always striving to make my workflow easier, more efficient, and just overall better. Hopefully, by walking through my set up and my recommendations for the best command line tools, you’ll find some nifty tips and tricks you can adapt to make your workflow better too.

The command line is a scary place if you’ve never been there before. It is. You can do some really powerful and dangerous things to your computer. Today, we’ll walk through some of the things I’ve done to make my command line interactions more pleasant and powerful.

This won’t be an in depth look at everything you can do, but rather a glimpse into what I do. Don’t worry, those of you who are still learning; we’ll start with the easy stuff and work our way up to the more advanced business!

Disclaimer: I work on a Mac, and most of this guide will be centered around that. However, most of these tools will work on Windows and most flavors of Linux.

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WordCamp Maui is Almost Here!

wordcamp maui, wordcamp events, wordpress events, wordpress education, learning wordpress, webdevstudios, tracy apps, ben lobaugh, jack lenox, gregg franklin

It’s that time again! Another wonderful WordCamp is on the horizon–less than ten days away!

Although I find it hard to believe that any of our regular readers are unfamiliar with WordCamp (come on, now!), for those of you that are completely green: WordCamps are events held all over the world! The events are an awesome place where WordPress nerds unite to share their skills, insights, and learn a whole lot from a bunch of other smarties.

WordCamp Maui is on February 13-14th; it’s the first WordCamp Maui to take place, although it has been long in the works, and thanks to Jon Brown, it’s finally taking place.

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The WDS team will have one of our own in attendance: Developer lead Ben Lobaugh will be speaking! Details on the when and what are still to be determined, and we will update with more information once we have it (you can also always keep an eye on our Twitter feed for updates).


Interacting with External APIs – Saturday, February 14th, 9 AM 

Ben will be speaking on tapping into the resources available through external APIs (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc). Much of the functionality needed to interact with APIs is already included in the core through the HTTP class. In this session, attendees will learn the concepts behind pulling data from an external API, sending data to an external API, how to utilize WordPress caching to increase speed and functionality, and more!

Ben will be the first speaker Saturday morning, and you won’t want to miss it!

Other than that, though, we wanted to highlight a few other people and sessions that you won’t want to miss:

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Empowering Women in WordPress


When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, “What will I be?”

I used to think that the only jobs for women included only nursing, teaching, or being a mother. I had no clue that there would be something called the Internet, and that I would be making websites for it and teaching others how to code. Since its inception, the technology fields have always been under-represented by women, and there is a lack of positive female role models in the computer and IT Industry as a whole. One place where the balance is more equal is within the WordPress Community.

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CMB2 WordPress Plugin: What is it good for? Absolutely everything!

  • What happened to Custom Metaboxes and Fields for WordPress?
  • Is this an actual plugin?
  • Do I need to use CMB2 instead?

These are a few of the types of questions I get asked when talking about CMB2. I agree–it IS confusing! With this post, I’m hoping to shed some light on these questions, as well as properly introduce you to CMB2, and officially announce its release from beta! In short, CMB2 is a metabox, custom fields, and forms library for WordPress much like its predecessor, Custom Metaboxes and Fields for WordPress (affectionately known as CMB), but with some new bells and whistles and a new name.

The story goes…after having been burned by some issues with other custom field plugins, we determined it was best to stick with code that we had some control over. We fell in love with CMB because it was a library we could include in any of our projects and it would just work while letting us keep all of the field configuration in the code, and more importantly, in our version control system.

Quickly CMB became a large part of our process and projects at WebDevStudios, and we were actively maintaining it. We took over the CMB github repo from Jared Atchison in December of 2013. In fact, my very last post on this blog was about that event and the release of CMB 1.0.0.
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What to Consider When Creating a Multilingual Site


Multilingual websites are becoming more and more common these days as WordPress becomes increasing popular and even more powerful with an enormous community. When starting out a multilingual site, there are a number of things to consider and some important elements to keep in mind from the very early stages of the project. In this post, I’ll try and highlight just a few main things, as every site (or Multisite) installation will, of course, vary on a per project basis.

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