Category: Web Development

Web Development is a category I started in mid-2015 after I decided that I wanted to write about what I am passionate about. It introduces something quite new to my blog, and I haven’t always felt up for writing about technology or code, but I’ve always been a fan of documentation and leaving valuable comments in code, so I think this will be an interesting dabble into writing on this topic.

My first post was CSS Adventures: Converting from Stylus to Sass, but I soon found that a couple of older posts fit quite well into the category.

I spent Friday in Perth at Mixin Conf. I had such a great time listening to all the speakers and chatting to people in the community. I also got to meet some of the people from the Mixin team who were actually pretty stoked to have someone visiting from Sydney and also be so pumped about the conference. 😄

Read my recount of the day and my summaries of all the talks!

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I was approached by the team at Webucator recently to have one of my blog posts recorded as a training video. They cooperate with bloggers to record training videos related to web development, computer programs, business skills, and more. One of my CSS Adventures posts on Classes, IDs and specificity was chosen and I was happy for them to make it into a video. Check it out – they did a great job.

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I had the opportunity to attend my first conference this week – Web Directions’ Respond conference. I was lucky enough to also have my ticket paid for by work. It was an enlightening and very valuable experience.

Among some of the greatest quotes in history – ‘CSS is a hack’ (Simon Knox), ‘Bootstrap, the McDonald’s of frameworks’ (Chris Wright), ‘Flexbox, aka CSS’s I’m Feeling Lucky button’ (Chris Wright again), ‘Don’t use JavaScript for something you can do in CSS’ (Jen Simmons), ‘W3C – I still call it 3 toilets’ (Russ Weakley) – we all learned an insane amount about web design and development, were adequately mind-blown, and had some mind-bending conversations with other people in the field.

I’ve written a bit about the conference and some takeaways.

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A write-up of my new design, which I have named ‘Flores’, after the island in Indonesia. I run through some of my font choices and design decisions. The colours, overall, are the same.

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I have been doing a handful of presentations recently – one at work, one at the SydCSS meetup, and most recently, for Girl Geek Sydney. I spoke the other night about how blogging isn’t what it used to be, and it’s not what most people these days think about it, either.

This post is about the presentation I did at the Girl Geeks meetup. It is a brief reflection on that presentation (which could have been better!) and also includes the slides!

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Fighting WordPress is a lot of fun. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m reluctant to move 1000 posts and 23,000 comments to another system, and also sitting on the fence about whether discussion (for my old posts in particular) is important to keep.

I have spent more of the last year trying to de-bloat WordPress than figure out a better setup, and I’ll be honest – it actually is fun and it doesn’t bother me at all. Rather than talk too much in numbers or technical jargon, I’m going to give a quick run-down on what I have done so far to reduce plugin use in WordPress.

Why use plugins?

Plugins are good for the extra bits and bobs that you can’t do yourself, they are good for connecting to social media, allowing your blog to communicate with other channels, etc. There are so many plugins out there for almost any purpose… it’s like Apple’s ‘there’s an app for that’ – WordPress has its own ‘there’s a plugin for that’.

Why should you not use plugins?

I suppose it is more evident as a developer, but, some plugins:

  • require more database queries,
  • require more JavaScript calls,
  • add extra CSS files to your page load,
  • load images and other source files,
  • add new tables to your database that are not deleted when you delete the plugin,
  • run in the background every time a page loads, even though you don’t need the plugin.

It’s mainly a performance issue, and it can be hard to pick up if you have no idea how. Most modern browsers have developer tools available – right-click, Inspect Element will often fire it up if you have it enabled, otherwise just do a search on the internet! – and these tools can give you an insight into how your webpage loads, what is being loaded, and how large it is.

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