wd_s Goes Vegetarian: Dropping the Hamburger Navigation Menu

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We all have to do things in life that we don’t like doing. That’s just how things work. Some unsavory things in life are unable to be avoided or altered and we just have to take them as they come. Luckily, there are still a great number of things in our daily lives that we have, if not partial control, full control over. So when the front-end developers at WDS began talking about upgrades and changes that could be made to wd_s, there was one item at the top of my list: the dreaded hamburger navigation icon.

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Welcome John Hawkins, our new Director of Products!

vegas geek, John Hawkins, WebDevStudios, WDS

It’s only February, and we already have news we are all too delighted to share!

Please join us in welcoming John Hawkins to our team! John, a long-time member of the WordPress community and old friend of the executive team, will be stepping in as the Director of Products. You may remember that we mentioned we’d be using our energies this year to focus on the products that we’ve worked on, and this is a major step forward in that direction. We’ve wanted to work with John for a very long time, and when the stars aligned in our favor, we jumped at the opportunity.

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10 WebDevStudios Development Resources To Up Your Game!

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Some people make health a focus of their New Years Resolutions–not that being healthy shouldn’t be on a persons mind, but I like to use the New Year as a way to clean out the cobwebs of development. To think over the past year and decide what processes worked and didn’t and then wipe away those that failed.

I usually start by cleaning out my git repos and local development. I like to think about any frameworks/libraries that I didn’t fully use over the past year and evaluate their worth. Some may have been used others are kicked to the curb. Now that I have a cleaned up development environment I like to see what new open source frameworks/libraries I could benefit from. 2015 was defiantly the year companies open sourced their code.

Its beneficial to create reusable code in projects so future projects can be more efficient. Over time we have created some open source development resources that you can add to your development tool belt. The list below contains plugins, frameworks and libraries that you can get from the WDS Github or WordPress plugin repo.

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Design and Photoshop for WordPress: Tips & Best Practices

Design and Photoshop for WordPress

Whether you’re a theme designer, freelance developer, creative lead, or any growing number of web-related job titles, chances are that you use Photoshop. Some, like myself, probably use it every day. If you’re designing the next big WordPress theme or slicing a designers Photoshop mockup in preparation for coding, there are some definite best-practices to follow that will help the transition into a WordPress site be more seamless.

Let’s take a look at some simple tips you can incorporate into your workflow that will have you moving between Photoshop and WordPress like they were the same program!

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Project Scaffolding with wd_s

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Part II of III in the wd_s Series:

A new project comes in: scoped, and all. Client provides Photoshop comps, sweet! Who is going to write the first line of code? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It could be you, and you’re setting the tone for the rest of the project. Project scaffolding can be fun, and can be daunting. Here are some things I learned getting wd_s set up on a new project recently:

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How to be a Better Developer

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Becoming a good developer is super easy, right? You just read all the right books, learn the right languages, read the right blogs, and 💥 you’re a developer! It’s nothing a four year degree from a technical college couldn’t give you, right?

Or maybe not. Colleges and universities are woefully behind on emerging technologies (where are you supposed to learn this stuff???), blog posts and books have inaccurate or outdated information, and, anyway, you’re not really a developer…you just mess around in code sometimes. There’s no realistic way you could ever claim to be a “good” developer–there’s just too much you don’t know.

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Great developers aren’t grown in a lab. You can’t download all the awesome information you want to know into your brain like you can in The Matrix. When I started out, I was really intimidated by all the amazing developers out there, the guys who speak at WordCamp US or even–gasp–present at actual PHP or JS conferences. I thought, there’s no possible way that could ever be me; I just don’t have the chops. It’s easy to be intimidated (and maybe a little awed) by the WordPress rockstars who have their names on all the cool plugins you use. And it’s easy to look at really big and complex plugins like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads and feel like there’s no way you could build something on that scale.

The key to beginning a journey to being a better developer is first by understanding that all those developers that you admire and respect started the exact same place that you did. Everyone starts from nothing. And, as hinted at above, most university programs are woefully behind the times when it comes to emerging technologies in web development–which is to say that most devs are, at least in part, self-taught. But that means that you can do it, too, if it is something that you choose to pursue.

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History of the WebDevStudios Internal Starter Theme: wd_s

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One of the most exciting things of my job here at WDS is getting to spearhead our internal starter theme: wd_s. It has come a long way since its inception (a fork of Automattic’s Underscores) and it’s a thrill to help mold it into something that our agency uses on every project. Though it hasn’t always been that way…

In the spring of 2013, WDS started to take on more enterprise level clients. Internally, WDS was also hiring more and more developers to match the workload. Our internal project workflow was also pretty fluid. Developers were assigned to projects based on individual availability. The first person to start a project would generally spin up a Genesis child-theme, or use our own premium theme Startbox, or maybe even choose a theme they were familiar with.

Shortly after I was hired, we kicked off a build for Securelist. Based on my availability, it was up to me to choose a theme. Naturally, I asked around to see how everyone felt. Because of some recent hires, not everyone was familiar with Genesis or Startbox. Given the size and scope of this project, we decided against Genesis and instead I opted for TwentyThirteen.

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Custom Post Type UI Version 1.2.0 Now Available!

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It’s been awhile since we last visited Custom Post Type UI on the WebDevStudios blog. We released version 1.1.0 on June 12th 2015. Not long after that, Custom Post Type UI surpassed 1 million downloads.

Since then, I’ve been slowly but steadily working on the next major version. Today, I am happy to announce the release of version 1.2.0. A mix of 21 new features, bug fixes, and updates have gone into this version. We will go over some highlights today.

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