New Team Members!

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WebDevStudios (WDS) is growing, and we have added new talent to our roster of skilled professionals. Get to know the people behind the scenes (including me!). Here are the latest team members to join us.

Ashley Harrison, Project Manager

Ashley Harrison Project ManagerAshley became a fan and user of WordPress over eight years ago when she realized that web development and graphic design were great sources of income in college. Coming from a start-up agency, Ashley gained experience in project management, web development, design & branding, marketing, and event management. Always up for a challenge, Ashley is always willing to step out of her comfort zone to execute any idea a client musters up. She has a passion for creating a seamless and outstanding experience for her clients and team.

Ashley is the current President of Riverside.IO, a non-profit tech co-working space. She lives in Southern California and enjoys space exploration, yoga, traveling, painting and caring for her new puppy Marley.

Victoria Land, Project Manager

Victoria Land Project ManagerWith a background in design, marketing and tech, Victoria brings a unique blend of creative and analytical skills to the mix.

In addition to project management expertise, Victoria has a background in design, content management and training. Before joining the team at WebDevStudios, Victoria was a project manager for NIC, Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc. Throughout her career, she’s been a problem solver — one who focuses on delivering the best customer experience by balancing client needs and project deadlines.

Victoria has worked with a diverse list of customers and has led redesign efforts on high-profile websites for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and most-notably Pennsylvania’s official state website, PA.gov.

While completing her master’s degree, Victoria became enthralled with using WordPress and the open source community it provides. She attends WordCamps as often as possible and always comes away re-energized and inspired.

When she’s not helping her husband renovate their early 1800 house in historic midtown, Harrisburg, PA, she can be found visiting flea markets, thrift stores and junk shops and sharing her adventures on her blog (tourdethrift.com).

Laura Coronado, Communications Specialist

lauracoronado_profileAddicted to shoes, sales, and mascara, I run a fashion blog at LollieShopping.com. I credit WDS Director of Products, John Hawkins, as the inspiration behind my move from Blogger.com to WordPress. I also consider him and WDS WordPress Support Technician, Russell Aaron, among my dearest friends, having volunteered my PR and content management services to both of them, as they have led Las Vegas WordCamp events. When I applied for the position of Communications Specialist, both gentlemen championed my efforts, and I am eternally grateful.

Aside from wearing cute outfits, I am passionate about communications. I love to write blog posts, articles, video scripts, press releases, media pitches, email newsletters, social media and web content, and basically anything that informs and influences. I get excited about producing content that motivates a reader to take action.

When I’m not working, blogging, or shopping, I can be found out and about enjoying openings, tastings, and social events in Las Vegas, where I currently reside, or visiting Central and South Texas to be with my family. I also volunteer my PR and social media skills for Beep Baseball, which is baseball for visually impaired athletes. And, I freelance as a fashion writer for the “Las Vegas Travel Guide” of the Los Angeles Times. I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and consider both Austin and Brownsville, Texas my hometowns. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

WDS is currently hiring. Check here to see how you can join our amazing team!

Five for the Future: December Contributions

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Every month, WebDevStudios (WDS) participates in Five for the Future by contributing our team’s skills to enhance and strengthen WordPress. WDS team members are given carte blanche to work on whatever project they like, as a team or individually, so long as it aids in growing the WordPress pie and benefits the overall community.

We believe in giving back. Each month, we participate in Five for the Future by donating an entire workday to the WordPress project and encouraging our employees to do something that makes WordPress a better product. Here are just some of the tasks we accomplished during our last Five for the Future day, which took place on December 2nd.

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While contributing to Five for the Future is a lot of work, it’s also very satisfying. Our team appreciates being involved with the effort, and you can see their enthusiasm on Twitter. Just follow the hashtag #5ftf.

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Stay tuned to see how WDS contributes to Five for the Future next month, and heck, next year. Giving is an ongoing process, and WordPress is an ever-growing project. We’re happy to be a part of both.

WordCamp US Wrap Up – Best of the Best

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It was the best of times, it was the… well, it was simply the best of times at WordCamp US 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. Saturated with top notch WordPress experts and enthusiasts alike, WordCamp US (WCUS) was educational, informative, inspiring, and filled with opportunities to exchange ideas and make new contacts.

Lots happened. This blog post would be endless if we ran through it all. Instead, here are just a few of WebDevStudio’s (WDS) favorite moments, in no particular order.

1. A shout out from Cameron Barrett. In his presentation “WordPress for Schools,” Cameron mentioned how the School Wires to WordPress migration was built by WDS and saved Newark schools $158,000 in five years. We take deep satisfaction in having been a pivotal part of such an important effort and found Cameron’s seminar to be quite riveting.

2. WDS COO Lisa Sabin-Wilson’s presentation on BuddyPress as the Foundation for Training, Distance Learning and Support for Business and Government. Lisa educated attendees on leveraging the power of community with the BuddyPress plugin. She guided the audience through building portals for government, business operations, and training. As a team, we were really proud to see her onstage, sharing her skills and prowess.

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3. People we love repping our brand (and causing envy). WP Engine team member and food blogger Shayda Torabi sported a WDS cap at WCUS and caused other attendees to rethink their hat gear (or, at least, that’s what we assume Joe Casabona, who is standing behind her, is musing).

4. The After Party. Held at The Academy of Natural Sciences, WCUS’ After Party was unique and interactive. It included exhibits, live animals, and even karaoke. We had the place to ourselves. It was a blast.

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5. Bonding as a team. Our team members work remotely, sometimes out of coffee shops, but usually from home. It’s a rare occasion to spend time together. So when we have that chance, we take full advantage of it and have as much fun as we can, especially if it includes cheesesteaks.

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Another highlight from WCUS was Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word, in which the WordPress co-creator talks about what happened this year, what is set to happen next year, and announces that WordCamp US 2017 will be held in Nashville. Read a thorough overview from his speech here.

WordCamp US 2016 – Final Year in Philly

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It’s kind of a big deal, and we’re super excited to be a part of it. WordCamp US (WCUS) is happening this weekend, December 2-4, in Philadelphia, PA. It’s the last year that Philly will play host, so we expect this year’s WCUS to be especially eventful.

Not only does WebDevStudios (WDS) have 11 team members who are attending, but our very own COO Lisa Sabin-Wilson is a featured speaker, tackling the topic of BuddyPress as the Foundation for Training, Distance Learning and Support for Business and Government on Saturday, December 3 at 11:30 a.m. in Liberty Bell – Room 120.

Additionally, we have two team members who are actively involved in putting it all together. Both Brad Williams, WDS CEO, and Jodie Riccelli, WDS Client Strategist, have been co-organizers of WCUS for the past two years.Continue Reading

Create Faster Apps with AppPresser 3

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Last week, AppPresser 3 was announced with improved features and enhanced elements. Everything about it is new, making it more than just an update. AppPresser 3 is a whole new experience! See for yourself:

  • My AppPresser – This online dashboard makes it so easy to create, customize, and manage your projects.
  • Visual App Builder – Customize and add features to your apps. See results instantly. (We like to think this is one of the coolest features of AppPresser 3.)
  • Faster Performance – Need we say more? Apps perform better and load faster.
  • Better Offline Support – Even when offline, apps load at optimum speed.
  • Custom Pages – It’s super simple to create non-WordPress or offline pages. Add them to your app in just a few clicks.
  • Free Push Notifications – Stop paying a third party provider a monthly fee. Now, push notifications are included with AppPresser 3!

Get all the ins and outs of AppPresser 3 and watch the demo webinar posted at AppPresser’s website. Plus, read attendee submitted questions and see all the answers.

And if you’re ready to dive into AppPresser 3, read the latest blog post to learn about initial setup and the basics of building an app.Continue Reading

5 Signs It Might Be Time to Stop Freelancing

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It’s a story I think many of us in the web industry, and especially the WordPress industry, relate to: you love building websites as a hobby, and you’re good at it. You spend all your time reading up on the latest coding standards and trying out cool hacks to your weekend workflow. You build some sites for fun, some for friends and family, and people really love your work. You start going to meetups and WordCamps, getting a little more involved, and you see all kinds of folks making their income in all different ways, and you think, “Huh, I could do that.” So you take the plunge – you quit your day job and go full-time as a freelancer.

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WDS Camp 2016

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Last month, WebDevStudios hosted our annual WDS Camp. This gathering is one of the few chances the whole company can get together in person. While there are many advantages to being a distributed company, it is nice to see people face-to-face. Talking on Slack all day is great, don’t get me wrong, but being able to see everyone away from their computer gives you a whole new perspective on the crew.

Lake Harmony - WDSCampEvery year, a new location is chosen for camp. This year it was none other than Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania. Lake Harmony was the most beautiful backdrop. Being in the Pocono Mountains during fall creates ambiance and reminds you of how precious it is to have time together. There were a million laughs exchanged, a million ideas vocalized, and a renewed sense of optimism for the future of the company. On the flip side, there were secret passages, possible hauntings, and environments that could be out of an indie horror film. That’s the joy of the Poconos. It’s frozen in time in the most perfect way.

As planes flew overhead and cars were fueled to the max, the employees of WebDevStudios gathered together to laugh, plan, and strategize for the exciting things that are coming in the next year. The question you may be wondering is, what happens when almost 40 remote workers gather together in the mountains for one week? Well, I can tell you that it is not only entertaining, but it’s also life-affirming.Continue Reading

CPTUI Celebrates 2 million downloads!

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Hold on a sec, I need to dance.

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Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s move on.

In 2010, WebDevStudios released the first version of the Custom Post Type UI (CPTUI) plugin to the WordPress plugin directory. At the time, Custom Post Types were brand new to WordPress and creating your own post types required (and still does, really) a complicated chunk of code. With CPTUI, the hard part was done for you. CPTUI quickly became popular with developers as a time-saving tool. So much so, that in July of 2015, 5 years after it’s initial release, the plugin passed the one million downloads mark.

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How to Download FTP Files in WordPress

WordPress tutorials, WordPress how to, downloading FTP files, FTP files, downloading FTP files in WordPress, how to download FTP files in WordPress, learn to download FTP files in WordPress, WordPress FTP files, WordPress education, learn WordPress, WordPress 101, WordPress experts
Recently, I was given the opportunity to work on a really cool importing project that involved us pulling data from an FTP server and importing that into WordPress. It led me to look deeper into the Filesystem API; WordPress does this already, and I wanted to learn more.
There’s a couple of hurdles you have to get over if you’re not familiar with file manipulations, so let’s jump into it, and hopefully I can show you some neat tricks!

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Level Up With jQuery Dimensions

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It’s hard to believe that I’m well into my second year of being a front-end dev here at WDS. It has been an awesome experience and I’m truly blessed to work with such a great group of people. Halfway through 2015, I officially caught the bug known as Javascript and I started really trying to learn the language. This inevitably also meant expanding my knowledge of jQuery.

As a quick aside, you might be asking, “jQuery in 2016? Really?” My answer to this is HECK yes. According to BuiltWith, 80% of the top 1 million websites use jQuery.

Learning Javascript is more of a marathon than a sprint.

It’s becoming more and more clear along the way there are concepts and techniques that will really go far in leveling my skill-set as a front-end developer. Two of these concepts are dimensions and offsets. For me, it’s not so much about implementing the code for these concepts but having an in-depth knowledge of their meaning.

It wasn’t until recently that I started experimenting with the real power of each concept. Use them in conjunction and you can do some pretty crazy DOM manipulation!

For this post, we will focus on dimensions and follow up with another post on offsets.

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