The Rock and the Hard Place for WordPress

January 15 2020

Let’s imagine you want to start blogging, or need to make a small website. Where do you start?

For many years, the default recommendation was WordPress. It was “easy to install,” “easy to update,” and “easy to use” for people who weren’t familiar with CMS technology. But I’m not sure this is true anymore, and I no longer recommend WordPress to clients.

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Tools

It’s Alive! New Year, New Portfolio

January 6 2020

Several years ago, I had just launched what was (I think) the third version of my portfolio. If I recall correctly, it was built with Siteleaf. It was one of the first websites I ever made. I was pretty proud of it.

Of course, that version of the website wasn’t very good. So I re-made it. And then I re-made it again, and again, and again.

I don’t know how I got to this point, but I’m excited today to show off the ninth (!!) full re-design of my portfolio.

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News Work

Caching a Craft CMS Site With Nginx

December 13 2019

I recently wrapped up building my first client website with Craft CMS, and am very nearly ready to launch my new portfolio with the service as well. Craft is amazing, and completely blows away the competition for any sort of visually intensive website with complicated layouts.

That being said, one of the things I really like about the WordPress setup I use is my caching setup. I wanted something similar for Craft — something that doesn’t require a ton of work to set up or maintain.

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Development

Eleven Tips for Migrating a New Mac with Migration Assistant

November 17 2019

I did it. I caved and I bought myself one of the new MacBook Pros with the scissors keyboard switches. (Which hopefully mean I can leave the house with my laptop without living in fear.) But that meant I had to migrate all my files and settings to this new machine.

I like setting things up from scratch and starting with a completely new setup, but that’s rarely feasible these days. Between my Linux VMs, my Git repositories, and even all the fonts I have installed, setting up a new machine would be a laborious practice.

So I used Migration Assistant for the first time. I wanted to write some tips and tricks about this process, because Apple’s kbase article isn’t particularly clear. And next time I need to do this, I’ll refer to this post as a starting point.

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Technology

Apple’s New MacBook Pro

November 13 2019

As a designer, developer, photographer, and writer, almost everything about the new MacBook Pro appeals to me. I’ve been through four laptops with their terribly butterfly keyboard, and I cannot wait to get something more reliable. The developer in me is so glad to get the inverted arrow keys back, and as somebody who writes a lot of words every day, I’m thrilled to have a reliable keyboard again.

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Technology

Two Great Podcast Episodes About Getting More Productive

June 25 2019

Focused, hosted by David Sparks and Mike Schmitz, has quickly become the podcast I wish I made. Over the past few months, Mike and David have explored what it means to be truly productive. I used to be obsessed with this stuff, and I thought I had a lot of it down pat, so I don’t say this lightly: I’ve learned a lot on the topic thanks to these two.

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Miscellany

Thoughts on the New Mac Pro and Apple’s Pro Display

June 7 2019

I’m a Mac fanboy, and the new Mac Pro looks astounding. The Afterburner card, as Apple’s calling it, makes it possible to render three 8K video streams of RAW footage in real time. Mind-blowing.

Of course, the Afterburner is a module that can be installed after purchase, or when you order a Mac Pro. Every Mac Pro can be configured to the user’s needs. So while I don’t need to edit three 8K streams of video without proxy files, I definitely need a ton of RAM and some solid GPU options (seriously, Lightroom turns every machine into a jet at takeoff). I could see a future version of myself relying on a version of the Mac Pro Apple unveiled this week.

The display looks incredible too. The Pro Display XDR (seriously, why didn’t they just call it the Pro Display?) looks amazing. But it’s going to cost nearly $10k in Canada to get the display and the stand — because the stand alone comes in at $999 USD. And that’s without the Mac Pro. That’s just the monitor.

For some professional environments, that cost is minimal. But for me, it’s more than it’s worth.

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Technology Tools