• WordPress at 20: (Nearly) half my life…

    18 years, 7 months and 20 days ago I published my first blog post on my first (public, at least) WordPress site. WordPress was not even 18 months old. Today WordPress turns 20 and for very nearly half of my life now I’ve been blogging with, building with and developing on WordPress. It’s been my […]

  • Archiving a large WordPress uploads folder

    Whilst trying to create an archive (.tar.gz) of a WordPress site uploads folder I was hitting issues with the command getting cut off for various reasons (poor connection, SSH host disconnecting etc). I also found that as the archive grew larger it took longer and longer to add files to it, making it more likely […]

  • How I use AI to become a better developer

    Over the many years I’ve been a WordPress engineer I’ve performed countless launches and migrations. It’s actually one of my favourite things to do. Often times that involves manipulating large amounts of data and as such I’ve learnt about a bunch of command line tools to help me process and manipulate data and assets. My […]

  • Convert PHP arrays to short array syntax in seconds

    Having just had to look this up, I thought I’d share how I did it. It’s really really easy. 1. Require code sniffer in your project (you are using composer, right?) 2. Run CBF using the DisallowLongArraySyntax sniff That will apply to everything in the current directory, so simply change the . to whichever specific […]

  • Copying theme options between Pantheon environments using WP CLI

    One of my tasks today was to activate a new child theme on a project. We’d already migrated the site to Pantheon (using their very straightforward migration plugin) and had activated the parent theme – in this case Newspack – to start playing around. The Problem My colleague Bart had completed initial work on the […]

  • Remembering things is hard. Or is it?

    As someone who has a terrible memory I was fascinated to learn about a method of Spaced Repetition via this amazing web comic-style thing. If you struggle to remember information, or just want a better memory, give it a go. Image credit: Image credit: Marco Verch

  • Learning by doing, and more…

    Last night my brain interrupted my enjoyment of Time Trap to make me ponder why I’m not particular motivated to learn new things. When there’s so much New to learn in web development all the time, it’s pretty important to keep up, but I haven’t been feeling up to it. Thankfully I remembered that I […]

  • Sabbatical day 1

    Yesterday was the first day of my 3 month, fully paid sabbatical. It’s a perk I’ve received, liked many others, for working at Automattic for five years. This sabbatical actually became available to me way back in November 2018 but due to poor planning and then the pandemic hitting it’s only now that I’m taking […]

  • Why is public money being doled out to politicians in Lichfield?

    This week, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet approved a pilot to hand £14,100 of public money to councillors to dish out at their discretion with a scintilla of oversight that leaves the scheme wide open to abuse, in a step that seems to be a solution without a problem. In the report to cabinet, a lack […]

  • I’m building Newspack

    As a freelancer at the time, contributing to Lichfield Live led to plenty of work in journalism from tiny startups like Hackney Citizen to established publications like Journalism.co.uk. I spoke at conferences and even once advised the regional editors at one of the UK’s biggest media publishers. Thanks to a recommendation, I won one of […]