My WordPress workshops in 2018

A couple weeks ago I shared my personal goals for 2018.

My first big goal is to raise $10,000 for charity bike rides coming up in the spring, namely the Manulife Ride for Heart; the Ride to Conquer Cancer; and the PWA Friends For Life Bike Rally.

To hit that goal, I’m going to be hosting a series of beginner WordPress workshops across Ontario.

Why across Ontario? Because I think smaller communities outside of the GTA don’t get enough attention when it comes to topics like this.

We’re all caught up in the tech bubble here in Toronto. But what about everywhere else? It’d be great to share knowledge with those smaller communities, squeezing in some roadtrips, and raising money for a good cause along the way.

Keep reading…My WordPress workshops in 2018

Guest post: How to help your clients with content creation.

As web professionals we tend to focus on design and development. The look and feel, the features and functionality. These things are important, but we can’t treat the content as an afterthought.

via Sell Your Service

I started thinking about this as I prepped for WordCamp Maine last year.

My talk was on busting through the content bottleneck, that horrible “waiting on” phase where site projects keep getting delayed.

I also wrote about it here on my blog.

At the time of putting that talk together I was thinking about content as a tough deliverable that the client was ultimately responsible for.

Since then, though, my thinking has shifted a bit.

I now see content as an opportunity for web developers to pursue, rather than as a hurdle to overcome.

You’ll find the details in my guest post: How to help your clients with content creation.

(Kudos to Mike Killen at Sell Your Service for the writing opp.)

Ten resolutions for 2018

Welcome to 2018!

Last year I published ten resolutions for 2017. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it ended up being a post that I referred back to throughout the year to see if I was on track with my goals.

Here’s how it stacked up:

Take better care of myself: I said that I’d change my eating habits and get more cardio into my routine. Both happened. I started following a ketogenic diet in the spring and jogging, including a couple of 5km runs. I’m down 25lbs from this time last year.

Attend more meetups: I got back into leading local WordPress meetups. WPToronto East meetups were small, roundtable discussion sessions hosted at Kobayashi + Zeitguys on the Danforth. I attended a few other meetups in 2017, but overall I’ve come to accept that I just can’t get out to as many meetups as I used to.

Create something new every day: While I did do more in 2017 than in previous years, I fell well short of my goal. I’m not giving up on this one yet though. (More on that down below.)

Improve my web development skillz: This was a straight-up fail. I started off with React For Beginners from Wes Bos but gave up a few weeks in. I made a few false starts later in the summer at working with Python and SQL.

Tinker with hardware: I wanted to do more hands-on work in 2017, specifically with Arduino and home automation. It didn’t take. Not even a little bit. I did next to nothing with hardware.

See more of North America: This was a success! I visited Sonoma County and Santa Cruz while in the Bay area for work; I checked out old downtown Gilbert in Arizona; and I went to Miami, Rochester, and Portland (Maine) for WordCamps. Plus I did some hiking in Maine, which was a nice experience.

Small road trips around Ontario: Another success. I got my G1 in February 2016 and my G2 in February 2017. Bought a used 2013 Honda Civic shortly after. Porthos — yes, we named our car — took us as far north as Tobermory, ON, as far west as Lake Huron, and as far east as Montreal, QC.

Spend more time with family: I thought that having a car would give me more freedom to see my out-of-town family. But it turns out that the biggest challenge wasn’t the distance; it was the time. On the flipside, we saw in-town family a lot more… but because of our roadtrips, we spent less time with them during the summer.

Read less fluff and more books: I started a list of books to read and it’s grown to over 200 entries… but I don’t think I finished a single new book in 2017. So that’s a great big fail on this one. By comparison, Matt Mullenweg read a whole bunch.

Write a book: I worked on a handful of Pro eBooks for the GoDaddy blog, and I got as far as outlining a book of my own, but that was it. I didn’t write or publish a book last year.

So that’s about a 50% success rate of sticking to my resolutions.

Keep reading…Ten resolutions for 2018

Guest post: A/B testing Give landing pages with Google Optimize

There are a bunch of testing tools out there, but for this article, we’re going to focus on using Google Optimize. It’s free and integrates with the rest of Google’s marketing suite, which is pretty fantastic if you’re already using Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager.

Another guest post for December! This time I’m covering A/B testing with Google Optimize. Kudos to the team at Give for the opportunity. If you’re looking for a donations plugin for WordPress, you gotta check em out.