WordPress

Building Your First Widget

I spoke today at WordCamp Chicago, talking about building widgets. In my session we learned how to build your first WordPress widget and went step-by-step through the best practices for building a simple widget. We discussed when a widget should be built into a theme or plugin, and when a widget should be its own plugin. You can check out the slides if you’d like to.

The plugin that I used as an example is a simple plugin that allows you to add your name to a sidebar.

my-name-is

The example code is up on Github for themes and plugins.

2193294-inigomontoya1

Hopefully everyone who attended is ready to avenge their fathers, or unleash their own widgets out into the world!

Speaking at WordCamp Minneapolis 2014

wordcamp-mpls-2014-badge-speakerI’ve been so busy lately with client projects, helping organize WordCamp Minneapolis, and getting settled into my new office, that I almost forgot to write about it on my own blog!

WordCamp Minneapolis 2014 is this weekend, April 26-27th, and I’ll be speaking on Saturday. My talk is called Don’t let your site jump the shark, it’s in the design track and I’ll be talking about using animation on websites successfully.

The schedule is full of awesome talks, this is going to be the best WordCamp Minneapolis yet, so if you haven’t already, you should get a ticket!

WordCamp Season

This summer’s WordCamp season will be off to a slow start. I’m taking the train to WordCamp Chicago in June, WordCamp Milwaukee in July, and hopefully one more WordCamp in August to round out the summer. I was bummed to hear that WordCamp Winnipeg won’t be happening this year, my passport is burning a hole in my pocket. But it sounds like there might finally be a WordCamp Omaha in 2014, which is great news since it fell through last time!

But it should be a busy summer; I’ll be speaking at another WordCamp(stay tuned), releasing a big update for Meteor Slides, rebuilding this website, launching a new personal sci fi blog, doing some camping and canoeing with my family, and hopefully finally making it to Gen Con for the first time!

WordCamp Milwaukee session slides and links

WordCamp Milwaukee Badge

Here is some info to go with my WordCamp Milwaukee talk on Theme Choices, When To Have A Baby.

In this presentation I talked about developing with different types of themes including parent themes, child themes, theme frameworks, and starter themes. Some of the specific themes I talked about were TwentyEleven, Thematic, Hybrid, Genesis, and Underscores.

I also talked about splitting up design and functionality, and when to use a functionality plugin. View the presentation slides to learn more.

Speaking at WordCamp Milwaukee 2013

wcmke_2013

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!

Inspecting WordPress With Firebug

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

In this Firebug screencast I talk about Firebug and other inspectors, show you how to use Firebug to inspect a site, tweak CSS, fix JavaScript bugs, and build faster sites. Watch the video below or read on for more info.

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