A Strategy for Styling Gravity Forms


Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of work done to the starter theme we use at WDS, known as wd_s. Everything from incorporating a pattern library, migrating our build system from Grunt to Gulp, and adding some really great menu enhancements are just a few that we’ve covered!

Another enhancement we wanted to make was to add a set of base styles directly into the theme for Gravity Forms. I decided to take this task on! Here’s the process I went through to make it happen:

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Happy 25th Anniversary For Dummies Giveaway!

WebDevStudios, For Dummies, WordPress For Dummies, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, giveaway, WordPress giveaway
It is the 25th anniversary of the For Dummies brand, and you know we’re celebrating! As you already know, we wrote the books on WordPress, and specifically, our COO, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, wrote WordPress For Dummies, WordPress Web Design For Dummies, and WordPress All-In-One For Dummies, the first of which has now been published for ten years.

We thought the best way to commemorate this momentous occasion, both for the For Dummies brand and for WordPress For Dummies, would be to host a giveaway! It has been awhile since our last giveaway, so we figured this was the perfect opportunity to bring it back!

First, though, here’s a little bit from Lisa about where she was ten years ago, and what led to WordPress For Dummies’ creation. There’s no doubt that the book is considered a highly valuable resource to WordPress newbies, and with the increasingly popularity of the WP platform, it will only continue to remain so.

Read ahead for a little bit of history, and enter to win some damn good goodies too!

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Integrating Sketch3 Into Your Photoshop Workflow


Sketch3 has pretty much established itself as the greatest app for designing web interfaces since…ever. It offers tools that support a solid design workflow and has tailored itself to the needs of web and app creators since day one. But you and Photoshop have been together for a long time, and, more importantly, your clients still deliver or expect PSDs when you’re in the design phase of a project.

I’ve known for awhile that I wanted to make Sketch3 part of my toolkit, but also that I will have to deliver PSDs for the foreseeable future. Creating a Sketch file concurrently with a PSD makes me hunch my shoulders in despair – I hate duplicating work (who doesn’t?). And I don’t really have a lot of time to spend on training myself on yet another product (who does?). Yet here are a few ways I’ve found that Sketch makes my life easier while also saving me time when I’m working with Photoshop.

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How We Built Skype in Media on WordPress


Last quarter, we were hired by Skype and tasked with building a smaller site, featuring Skype TX. Skype TX is “studio-grade hardware for the broadcast industry, which features peerless integration with Skype.” In other words, Skype Tx is powerful hardware and software for professionals in live broadcast situations.

Because of a hard launch date, this project had a super short timeline and we decided a smaller team would keep us agile. Jaimie would be our Project Manager, Simon would handle the designs/PSD, Damon would deal with the front-end development, and I oversaw the back-end development, as well as serving as a lead for the project as a whole.

I’d like to share our teams experience through building a new website for a pretty well known client.

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Oh Heyyy, WordCamp Buffalo 2016! Get Ready for WDS!

WordCamp Buffalo, WordCamp, WordPress events, learn WordPress, Brad Williams, Brian Messenlehner, WordCamps 2016, WebDevStudios

Spring is here, and here comes another awesome WordCamp! WordCamp Buffalo 2016 is coming our way on April 30th, 2016!

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 where WordPress nerds unite to share their skills, insights, and learn a whole lot from a bunch of other smarties.

Brad Williams, WebDevStudios, WordCamps, WordPress education, WordPress community, WordPress developers

But the real question is: Will WC Buffalo 2016 have a wing you can ride?

Both Brian and Brad will be there, so you’d better grab them and say hello–and you won’t want to miss Brad’s presentation, either. Check out the details for that, as well as a few other presentations that caught our eye below:

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Introducing the wd_s Pattern Library!

wd_s Pattern Library

We recently discussed the differences between a Style Guide and Pattern Library, and the opportunity for leveraging both inside of a WordPress theme. Today, I’m excited to introduce you to wd_s Pattern Library 1.0 🎉

Here is a list of features (which I’ll also cover in further detail later in this post):

  • 36 user interface patterns available out-of-the-box
  • An auto-generated colors swatches page, which watches the _color.scss for changes, and recompiles as needed.
  • A Typography page, which allows you to quickly test out typographical choices.

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Creating Better 404 Pages

Dilbert Website 404

404 pages–every website has one, and everyone has landed on one from time to time. The goal is to structure our information architecture and design so that no one ever lands one in the first place, but that’s only in a perfect world, right? We know there are way too many variables out of our control, such as users typing the wrong URL, someone sharing an article but failing to copy the entire website address, etc. The best we can do is make sure that our 404 pages at least offer a good user experience. To start with, let’s learn about creating better 404 pages by looking at what not to do first.

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Get Your Struggle Bus Out of the Mud

the struggle bus, procrastination, writer's block, developer stuck, stuck on a problem, rubber ducking, problem solving, the struggle bus, what is the struggle bus, how do i fix the struggle bus
Last year, at WDSCamp 2015, when we weren’t eating, throwing back beers, or, in my case, living in the lake, we did group presentations. We were assigned with team members who were folks on different teams; the idea was to shake it up and get us to interact with people who we don’t necessarily get many opportunities to work with while presenting on material that we thought our coworkers would find useful.
My group was comprised of Marcus, Justin, and myself. We all tried to find common ground for us to present on, which was a bit of a struggle–they are both superstar developers, and I am…well, not! Our typical workdays didn’t have a lot of overlap, so we needed to find a common ground.
And that’s when we came upon…the struggle bus.
the struggle bus, procrastination, writer's block, developer stuck, stuck on a problem, rubber ducking, problem solving, the struggle bus, what is the struggle bus, how do i fix the struggle bus

You might be familiar with the concept.

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