Why You Should Learn Another Programming Language

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If you’re a developer in the world of WordPress, you typically know one programming language: PHP. You may have some familiarity with Javascript, but PHP is likely where you feel most comfortable. That doesn’t mean comfortable is where you should stay, though. Let’s talk about why you might want to start learning another programming language, even if you’re not going to use it on a day-to-day basis for your job.

Let’s start at the beginning: How did you learn PHP? One of the greatest aspects of the modern web development world, especially for WordPress, is that there are so many different ways that you can gain entry. You may have taken a programming course in high school or college. You may have attended a local Meetup or WordCamp where you could learn from others who have knowledge that you didn’t have. Or you may have taken online courses to learn or sharpen your skills. Regardless of your background, you probably know PHP well (or well enough), but you also know that there are plenty of areas of the language that you don’t know well.

Why would you want to learn another language, when you may already feel like you could still stand to learn more about PHP? Well, there are plenty of great reasons, but I’m going to cover just a few:

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Design vs. Art: What’s the Difference and Does It Matter?


Design is a solution to a problem. Art is a question to a problem.
—John Maeda

Have you ever called your designer “a creative,” or asked them to just “use their imagination” when discussing new designs? Maybe you even came to them with a solution to a problem you hadn’t defined yet and asked them to make it look pretty. If any of those are true, it’s time to discuss the key differences between art and design, and why it matters to you and your company. Although art and design can look like the same thing, when you’re looking for someone to build your site with effective design, do the differences between design vs. art matter?

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A Change in Five for the Future at WebDevStudios

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For almost two years now, WebDevStudios has been participating in the Five for the Future movement.

During that time we have contributed thousands of hours to the WordPress community across various projects. Contributing to the WordPress community, and open source in general, is at the core of what we do at WDS. We have always been thankful to WordPress for allowing us to do what we love day in and day out, and contributing 5% of our company time back to the project is our way of officially giving back to this awesome community.

When we started participating in Five for the Future, we scheduled two hours per week for each employee. Our standard contribution time was every Monday, from 9 – 11 AM. Overall, this schedule worked great and allowed our team to start the week in a very positive and fun way. We still felt like we could do better, so we have decided to make a change.

Starting this Friday, WebDevStudios will dedicate one full day–the last Friday–of each month as our Five for the Future day!

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Brackets for WordPress: 2016 Edition

Brackets for WordPress: 2016 Edition

I have been an avid Brackets user since 2013. It’s a free, lightweight, open-source code editor that is perfect for beginners and experienced developers alike. One of my favorite features of Brackets is the number of extensions available to allow users to tailor their development experience. Today, I’ll share which extensions I use to make my job as a front-end WordPress developer easier.

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Why Enterprise Companies Should Use WordPress: Webinar Debriefing

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Since we’ve been posting about it constantly for the last month, you probably already know that we hosted our first webinar this past Monday. Brad talked about why enterprise companies should use WordPress, and detailed some of the basic misconceptions business owners have about WordPress.

In case you missed it, we have a treat for you!

You can watch it right here and now:

A few highlights:

“A lot of the reasons that WordPress has become so popular–there aren’t really restrictions. You can use it for whatever you want.”

“A lot of people think WordPress can’t handle a large load of traffic. It’s not true. WP can handle millions and millions of hits. Really, the only limitations of what WordPress can handle depends on what your hosting can handle.”

“WordPress is a platform that people can understand how to use. Your team will want to use the tools you provide them and manage the content and manage the media because WordPress makes it easy…If your platform is hard to use, your team won’t want to use it.”

Thank you to all that attended and to those who sent us questions!

We’ll be hosting another webinar, featuring our Director of Products and Pluginize go-to, John, so keep an eye out for more details on that in a few weeks!

Have more questions about the above webinar or topics you’d like to see addressed during one of these? Drop ’em in the comments and let us know! We want your feedback!

Stay Healthy While Working at a Desk All Day

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I consider myself lucky every morning when I wake up and get out of bed. I remind myself that I am a web developer, and every day is another day to make the internet better. I hope you feel the same. If you are a developer/designer, lead, project manager, or executive, you play your part in making the internet better, too. With these parts we play, we spend a good amount of our day in front of computers. Our time tends to be pretty sedentary. Some will counteract that with standing desks, but that is still not a lot. We need to take special considerations to stay healthy so we can keep doing what we do!

Here are a few ways I’ve found help me make my health a priority, while still working all the while.

Please note: I am not a licensed professional or “expert” on the topics that follow. Take the presented information as general information and things to consider.

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Upcoming Event: Why Enterprise Companies Should Use WordPress

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We’ve helped a variety of large companies, many of which are household names, make the move to WordPress. Our experience and passion for WordPress leads us to believe that open source software is the future for enterprise companies.

There are a lot of questions about how this works–how WordPress can scale, why WordPress is the best choice over, say, a proprietary content management system that they’ve had built in-house, and what WordPress is really capable of. We’ve also encountered a lot of misconceptions about what WordPress is and what it can do.

On July 18th, our CEO, Brad Williams, is going to share why WordPress is the best choice for enterprise companies, and talk about our experiences working in the enterprise space. He’s going to share some myths and talk about the realities of WordPress for large, international companies, too!

Whether you’re thinking of bringing your company site over to WordPress, or you’re part of the WordPress community and want to know what concerns enterprise company executives have about WP, you will definitely want to get in on this.

This webinar is completely free, and we’d love for you to join us:

Click here to sign up!

If you have any questions you want answered, please tag them on Twitter with #WebDevinar. Whatever we don’t get to during the Q&A portion of the webinar, we’ll answer in a follow up post.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Visual Composer: Taming and Customizing a WordPress Page Builder


Options are great. It’s always a wonderful thing to have options. I think most of us likely grew up being told that having options was important–for instance, fallback options, or when Plan A falls apart. Sometimes, though, too many options can create headaches and confusion. Maybe each new choice sitting in front of us looks as appealing as the one which came before it and in a mad dash to make the right choice, we create some kind of Frankenstein’s Monster combination of all of the choices.

We all know how that story turned out, right?

Hated fire.

Smashed things.

Threw a girl into a pond.

Please don’t throw a girl into a pond.

Instead, let’s focus on one choice– Visual Composer — and how we can tame this beast to turn it from a Frankenstein’s Monster into a Frankenstein’s Masterpiece.


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A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Bash & Shell Scripts

writing bash scripts, writing shell scripts, writing bash and shell scripts, brad parbs, WebDevStudios, web development tutorials, web development, development tips, programmer tips, programming tips, programming, programming tutorials, speed up your development, speed up my development, learn to develop faster
Optimizing your development workflow is one of the most important things a developer can do. Being able to leverage your tools quickly and efficiently lets you spend your time working on actual development–instead of fighting your tools or doing boring, repetitive things.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about getting set up with the command line and starting to use some of the tools that are available. If you have not read that post yet, I’d recommend doing so, or at least glancing through it before getting into this post.

The main reason I built vv was because I was tired of manually setting up sites on VVV for every new project. Most features inside of vv were built to automate something that I or someone else did manually with every new project. This mindset is important to get into when developing; it’s why we learn keyboard shortcuts, why we use things like theme frameworks, and even why we use WordPress. Doing things over and over again is boring.

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