My blog

Here you’ll find all the things I write about. I blog both about what I do professionally and random things personal to me.

  • ‘Write alt text like you’re talking to a friend‘ This article by Scott Vandehey has got to have the best instructions on writing alt text I have ever seen. A few takeaways: What are you waiting for? Go read it!

  • Local development environments are as unique as the developers that work on them. But that’s not exactly right. Local development environments should be as unique as each group of developers that work on them. Every developer on a team should be spinning up the same environment in the same way. I’ve been using Local as…

  • I’ve avoided namespacing for years, thinking it was this big complicated beast. While working on my new WordPress starter template, I decided to use it in an attempt to better organise my code. Turns out it’s simpler than it looks. Namespacing is just a way to organise your code. You’re essentailly saying this code is…

  • Local development environments are important to have as a web developer and WordPress is no exception. I have used Local by flywheel for many years now because it is extremely easy to get started and has a really nice user interface. You install the program, click a few buttons and an environment is set up.…

  • leaddev.com

    I stumbled upon a few videos on Youtube from LeadDev today (thanks algorithm!). And I’ve been on a bender the whole day. The channel has really great talks on engineering management and technical leadership. Here are a few of my favourites that I’ve watched.

  • What I plan on learning in 2024

    I am a huge advocate for learning. It is my number one value when it comes to life. So it is only natural that I have some learning goals for 2024. There are 4 main things that I want to learn deeper in 2024. Before that though I want to share my learning process. How…

  • I first joined Diabetes Australia in 2018 as the only web developer. I was promoted three and a half years later when we hired our first junior developer, who became my first direct report. My very first direct report ever. And so, I was thrown onto the management track. I was an example of ‘a…

  • During my career as a web developer, I’ve noticed that a lot of the job is coding. But a lot of it isn’t either. As much as I would love to sit at my computer building out features from fully thought out ideas, beautifully designed for every situation then sent to the test team to…

  • This is a follow up post a previous post where I had posted about my web development process. That post was more around how I think about building things for the web. This post will be demonstrating a practical example. I will be walking through how I approach building a list articles in a bento…

  • My web development process

    When I was first thrown into leading a team and was mentoring our first junior hire, he asked me a question. “Hey Paul, what’s your approach to building websites?”. I explained to him the gist of how I approach things but also promised to write it out in a bit more detail. That was 2…

  • “Learn more” links

    The phrase is most dangerous when used alone because of its ambiguity and poor information scent. It creates uncertainty, because users don’t know what to expect if they click, I used to work with a dynamite content editor. The two of us would engage in a long and bloody war against the words ‘click here’…

  • Ramen and Omurice

    I love watching videos of world class chefs working in their restaurants, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Recently I watched two videos, one about a ramen shop, Ginza Hachigou, the other about an omurice (egg served on top of fried rice) restaurant, Kichi kichi omurice. Both restaurants are extremely popular with…

  • HTML is a fundamental technology of the web. It is literally the language that makes websites work. You can have a website with no CSS, it’ll just look like a formatted text document. You can have a website with no JavaScript, it’ll just not have any interactivity but the content will still be there. You…

  • One of the first things we learn when becoming a WordPress developer is how to load scripts and styles using the wp_enqueue_scripts hook. We can take this one step further and, instead of loading these assets on every page, we can conditionally load them only on the pages that need them. This means less things…

  • I just picked up and read Twenty Bits I Learned About Making Websites by Dan Cederholm. It’s a very short read but really fun and nostalgic. Dan does a great job keeping things really casual. A few takeaways Content is king Semantic HTML, performance and accessibility aside. A website is only as good as the…

  • A quick tip when building your theme is to separate any logic to the display of your data. For example you might have this code (taken from the codex) in your single.php to loop through and show the categories for a particular post But by putting the code inside the template you’re mixing logic (looping…

  • Why are we doing this? How does this help our users? Is there a simpler way?

  • I’ve recently built a couple of block themes in the last few months, the first was for this website and the second was for Molten, a theme that I built for restaurant owners and people in the food and drink industry. Building block themes has been an interesting and pretty good experience overall but there…

  • I recently rebuilt my website with a custom block theme and using full site editing (FSE). Before that I was using GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks. They are really great products and I have nothing against them. I chose to rebuild my website as a way of learning more about FSE, that’s the only reason, nothing less,…

  • There are a two types of websites where WordPress is a match made in heaven, besides your typical blog. They are marketing and eCommerce sites. There is also a third type of website that WordPress is a surprisingly good match for, directory websites, and while I wouldn’t call it a match made in heaven, it’s…

  • I love WordPress, I think it is one of the best content management systems you can use. But that doesn’t mean that it is the right solution for every type of website. It is important to pick the right solution for your website. By knowing about other alternatives to WordPress you can make a more…

  • WordPress is a good CMS and can do a lot of things. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. As with anything there are a few things that are not so good about it. Knowing the pros and the cons of the technology will help you make a better decision whether or not WordPress is…

  • Picking a hosting provider for your small business website doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you are willing to spend a little bit of money, not too much but a just little bit. Good hosting gives you the piece of mind that your website will run smoothly when you need it to. There…

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