Making a Plugin the WebDevStudios Way

making a plugin the webdevstudios way

We make a lot of plugins at WebDevStudios. Whether adding functionality to client projects, creating open source plugins to give back, or developing premium products, we are always spinning up new plugins. To speed up this process, we created generator-plugin-wp, a Yeoman generator which streamlines all parts of the plugin development process.

I’ve talked about it previously in my posts Get a Plugin Kickstart with Yeoman & generator-plugin-wp and Recent Changes to generator-plugin-wp. In this post, I’m going to walk through the actual process of creating a plugin with this tool.

Before you get started, you will want to install Node, and then use NPM to install the generator and a few other CLI tools that are necessary for its full use.

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Using Sass Mixins to Power Your Projects

sass-mixins

If you’ve followed along the WDS blog/Github/Twitter etc, you’ll know pretty well by now we’re a team that uses Sass as a part of our daily workflow for front-end styling. Sass is a powerful CSS preprocessor tool and it’s awesome. If you’re late to the game or new to front-end development there are lots of great resources for getting started with Sass. 

Please note: This post will assume that you have at least a basic understanding of Sass and have used it at least a handful of times.

Today, we’ll be skipping over some of the basics like variables, nesting, and partials and get to some of the more intermediate working of Sass, specifically mixins, and we’ll touch on placeholders briefly as well. Mixins are a fantastic way to create and package blocks of reusable code so that you don’t have to continuously write out items that can become repetitive and sometime tedious (not to say they’re not important).

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Oh Hey PressNomics 2016!!

PressNomics, PressNomics 2016, AppPresser, WebDevStudios, WordPress events, WordPress businesses

It’s that time of year–when all of the conferences have really started to kick off full force, including one of our favorites: PressNomics is in just a few days, from March 3-4th, 2016.

For those of you who aren’t familiar:

PressNomics is a conference that was started by Joshua Strebel, CEO of Page.ly, in an effort to create a space where the economics of WordPress could be discussed by the “who’s who” of WordPress business owners and innovators.

WDS has attended for the last few years, and our own Dre is known as “The Godfather” of PressNomics. After all, the idea for PressNomics was inspired by some good old-fashioned Skype brainstorming over whiskey and “Josh-tinis” (ingredients: top-secret) about what Joshua and Dre would like to see develop in the WordPress community. While Dre was focused on WordCamp San Diego, Joshua stepped forward to make their vision a reality, and PressNomics was born.

Will we see you there? If so, make sure to let us know! Brian, John, and Scott from AppPresser will be there to hang out with the WordPress minded folk to skill-share, network, and examine the industry that has been born of our favorite platform’s flexibility. If you can’t go (boooooo!), live vicariously through the event over @PressNomics or by keeping tabs on the hashtag #PressNomics. See you there!

Welcome Our Newest Dev, Kellen Mace!

kellen mace, webdevstudios, WordPress develoeprs

We have yet another new member that recently joined our team–please join us in welcoming Kellen Mace, our newest developer!

A little bit about Kellen:

Kellen is a lifelong learner with a fondness for interesting projects that push his creative and technical limits. He loves building and launching software that clients find both powerful and easy to manage.

Kellen started his career in the healthcare industry, but discovered a passion for tech, especially the creativity and problem solving inherent in web development. Eager to learn as much as he could on the subject, he completed coursework through a number of online educational services including Harvard University’s edx.org, Coursera, Lynda.com, Codecademy, and Code School. He ran a business for the next several years building WordPress-powered websites and custom themes and plugins, providing solutions to clients, and learning a great deal in the process.

Kellen has also released a theme and several plugins that are available on WordPress.org, and is a WordCamp conference speaker.

In his spare time, Kellen can be found going on adventures with his wife Meghan and their ridiculously cute two year old Desmond, reading, exercising, enjoying the outdoors, and rocking out on guitars, drums, keyboards, and digital audio workstations.

You can follow him over @kellenmace and find more of his social links here. Say hello! Oh, and guess what? We’re still looking for more back-end developers…come join us and build rad stuff!

Music to Code

screen of code

One of the best aspects of my job is the problem solving. Sometimes it is just a matter of “How do I get that hero banner to overlap the hero text?” while accounting for all the browsers and screen sizes. Other times, it is chunking logic of code so that it makes sense not only to me, but the next person that might have to use it. Spinning a problem into a challenge is even a means of problem solving, and that alone can be fulfilling. Properly triaging, recreating, dissecting, and fixing a bug involves many levels of problem solving. You get the idea.

One of my favorite things to do while problem solving is listening to music. I believe it can enhance the process, but in moderation. Obviously, blaring Carly Rae Jepsen is dance worthy (definitely encouraged), but it is distracting, and can influence productivity. I won’t bore you with reviewing the countless studies on the effects of music on the brain, but here are a few if you’re inclined:

I believe there is a certain genre of music that is mostly conducive to problem solving and coding, and I like to label it: ambient. Ambient music is subdued, while slightly engaging. At least, that is my definition. Here is Wikipedia’s:

Ambient music is a genre of music that puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. Ambient music is said to evoke an “atmospheric”, “visual” or “unobtrusive” quality.

Wikipedia.com

Throughout the years I’ve found albums and artists that help me stay in the zone while writing code and designing, and I would like to share a few.

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Getting Sass-y with Color Functions

Getting Sass-y with Color Functions text overlay over background of code

I love me some Sass. I also love the color purple, as you’ll discover below. I think part of the reason I dig SCSS is because you can dip your toes in gradually, which is less overwhelming. As time goes on, you get to continue to discover new things as you dive deeper (and brain space allows).

Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom?” ~Maya Angelou

Don’t be gloomy; be Sass-y. Sass is powerful because it can increase your code efficiency and helps introduce more modular elements that can be incredibly helpful for using across larger projects.

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Welcome Two New Members to Our Team, Jessica and Chris!

Jessica Perez, Chris Olbekson, WebDevStudios, work remotely, developer jobs, back-end developer jobs, dev jobs, WordPress jobs, WordPress companies

In addition to our exciting news in welcoming John Hawkins to our team, we also had two other folks join WDS this week! Meet Jessica Perez, our new Project Assistant, and Chris Olbekson, our new dev!

Here’s a little bit about both of them:

Jessica Perez

Jessica shares a passion for crafting, exercising, reading, traveling and snowboarding; with a special interest in people watching. She finds a way to balance that while managing an active family with three young children, a dog, and a high maintenance husband.

Her professional experiences comes from the home lending industry, where she worked over ten years as a liaison between brokers and lenders. She was responsible for the organization and administration of all home loans through her team. This included accurate recording of data, effective scheduling, and appropriate team communication. After taking a break to raise and establish her young family, she has decided to reenter the workforce with WDS. Applying her special ability to organize, schedule, and execute tasks should make her invaluable asset to WDS. She’s ecstatic to immerse herself in the latest online technologies like WordPress and it’s open-source community!

You can follow Jessica @mrsperezbox.

Chris Olbekson

Chris is a native Texan and lives in Houston and has been passionate about computers since the early eighties when his dad brought home an Apple II E. Prior to working on the web he was an Executive Chef for various local restaurants including a stint as Houston Texans Executive Chef. Chris enjoys traveling to and speaking at WordCamps and discovered WordPress in 2008 when he needed a website for his freelance it consulting business. Since then he has built hundreds of client websites, contributed patches to core and released several plugins and themes. When Chris is not working with WordPress he enjoys fixed gear cycling, and Texas High School Football where he serves on the board of directors for the Football boosters at his sons school in Bellaire, Texas.

You can follow Chris @chris_olbekson.

Join us in welcoming them to the team!