Next month I’ll be at WordCamp Milwaukee talking about WordPress themes in a session called Theme Choices, When To Have A Baby.
I’ll be talking about using a theme right off the shelf, hacking and forking themes, parent and child themes, starter themes, and theme frameworks. I’ll also discuss what functions should be in a theme, and when to use a plugin.
The organizers for WordCamp Milwaukee were kind enough to setup a coupon code for each speaker, you can use “Leuze” to save five bucks when you get a ticket.
I’m looking forward to yet another awesome WordCamp and also spending some time in Milwaukee instead of just seeing the city roll by on the train. If you’re going to be attending, you should definitely find me and say hi!
I have been using WordPress for about six years. Different themes, plugins, and code editors have come and gone through this huge learning process as I have developed hundreds of websites, but the one constant for me has been the Firefox add-on Firebug.
It’s the only tool that I have stuck with throughout those years because I have been able to learn so much with Firebug and build projects so much faster by using it.
If you have never used a web inspector like Firebug before, what it does is allow you to bridge the gap between the source code and the rendered out page in your browser. You can look at each bit of code interactively and see how it fits into the page, adjusting the code in the inspector and seeing the updates live in your browser.
This is as close as you can realistically get to a WYSIWYG experience like Dreamweaver when you are building something as complex as a WordPress theme.
Firebug Video Tutorial
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I’m speaking at WordCamp Minneapolis next month, my session is called Inspecting WordPress. I’ll be talking about using Firebug or other web inspectors to dig into a site and learn how it is put together, make CSS tweaks, fix bugs, and optimize a site.
Several of us from the local MSP WordPress user group have been busy organizing the WordCamp. Everyone’s been doing an awesome job, the schedule, venues, parties, and swag are all coming along nicely. I built the theme, designed by the talented guys at WerkPress, and I’ve been managing the site. We just posted the speakers and sessions, there’s going to be a lot of brainpower to tap into.
This will be the start of a busy WordCamp season for me. I remember five years ago wondering if there would ever be any WordCamps in the Midwest. Then in 2009 I went to Chicago for their first WordCamp, and we had our first WordCamp in Minnesota the next year.
Now in 2013 I’m wondering if I will be able to attend all the WordCamps in my area! After WordCamp Minneapolis I’ll be taking a break for a month, and then in June I’ll be heading to WordCamp Winnipeg, WordCamp Milwaukee, and WordCamp Chicago.
I’m really looking forward to all three of these. Even though I was raised on CBC over a pair of rabbit ears and it’s only 300 miles away, I’ve never been to Canada, so I need to fix that. Last year I missed out on the nearest WordCamp next door in Wisconsin because I was speaking at WordCamp NYC. I try making it to Chicago every year, to me it’s the Midwest’s WordCamp San Francisco and I like to think it’s just as awesome!
After all that I’m taking July off and doing some proper camping, with tents.
Meteor Slides recently reached a big milestone, receiving 200 five star ratings on WordPress.org. It has also been getting some great reviews via the new review feature in the plugin directory.
My robot minion Ampersand has been hiding out lately and I haven’t been spending nearly enough time drawing, so I dusted off my Wacom tablet and did some sketching. First I drew Ampersand going on a 5 star balloon ride after hitting 200 ratings and then I drew a spiffy new donate page with buttons for PayPal and my Amazon wishlist. My reading queue is getting out of control!
I just released a plugin update today, Meteor Slide 1.5.1, which includes a few bug fixes and some new and updated translations. It also has one new feature, a slideshow alignment option. Read the rest of this entry »
Next weekend, on October 13, the MSP WordPress User Group will be having its first WordUp Minneapolis conference. The event is from 9am to 4pm at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College downtown and costs just ten dollars.
The format for WordUp will basically be a mini-WordCamp. We had our first WordCamp Minneapolis in 2010 and WordUp 2012 will hopefully be a solid stepping stone towards our next WordCamp in early 2013!
We’ve got a lot of good sessions planned for users of all levels and interests. In my session I’ll be talking about creating easy to use post types, using existing plugins to build unique admin interfaces for the end user with custom taxonomies and metaboxes.
I’ll also be staffing the tech shop, it’s like a live support forum where you get your answer right away, but you have to be nicer, and no bumping! So if you’re in Minnesota and you’ve got ten bucks, you should definitely grab a ticket.