Not Everyone Needs a $10,000 Website (and that’s OK)

Let’s set the stage. You want to take a trip to the Grand Canyon with your family of 4, but plane tickets cost $1000 each. Plus there’s the hotel for a week and food, not to mention other expenses. Instead, you decide to take a few extra days off work and drive there because it would save you literally thousands of dollars. What if someone told you that if you can’t afford to fly, you shouldn’t go? Now think about this: you just started a business and you know you need a website but you can’t afford a $5-10K one. Someone you know says they can make a website for $500 using WordPress and a page builder. Are you wrong for accepting that? I say no.

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WP Engine Easter Egg Saves You 20%

I got a hot tip in my inbox today from one of my favorite hosting companies, WP Engine. For a limited time, when you visit their website and put in the Konami Code (below), you’ll save 20% on your purchase. To activate this discount, enter the following code using arrows and letters on their keyboard when viewing their website:

Cheat Code: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a 

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You Don’t Need to Save Lives to Find Meaning in Your Work

My wife and I do very different things. I sit in front of a computer all day, get to work pretty much the hours I’d like to work (within reason), and I don’t have to put pants on. Erin is a nurse, who works 12 hour shifts, taking care of the some of the sickest people in the hospital. Her bad day is much worse than my bad day. But when I say that, she tells me I shouldn’t devalue my work, and that I can still talk about my bad days to her; it’s not a competition. I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago, when in the Post Status community, we were presented with this question: Do you ever struggle with feeling like the work you do* isn’t meaningful (eg compared to doctors etc.)? How do you cope with that? The conversation was great with a wide range of answers. I’m lucky enough to not have to struggle find meaning in my work, and here’s why.

*This is a community made up mostly of developers and designers.

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You Need to do More than Build it to Make Them Come

In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, there’s this iconic scene where Kevin Costner’s character is standing on his land in a corn field, when he hears a voice say, “If you build it, he will come.” Confused, Costner keeps walking, assuming he’s hearing things. Then he hears it again. “If you build it, he will come.” Then again. And again. Eventually he gets the hint, and is inspired to build a baseball field on his land, beginning a journey of catharsis he needs for guilt he feels after the death of his estranged father.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I feel this is a sentiment felt by myself and by others when we build products on the web. If I build it, they will come. After all, it works for Google. But building it, much like in that classic movie, is not enough. It takes a lot more work.

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Check out my Podcast Gear

This summer I started two projects that require me to be in front of a microphone: WP in One Month and How I Built It. It’s a lot of work, but fun and rewarding. One important aspect of recording is making sure you have the right hardware and software. It can take a lot of research and get a bit pricy, but the quality of what you put out makes it worth it. I’ve spent some time finding the right tools; here’s my current setup.

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Why Open Source is so Important

This is the transcript I gave for the above talk. View the slides here.

Have you ever been on Spaceship Earth in Disney World? It’s “The Golf Ball” in Epcot Center and it’s one of my favorite rides on the property. If you haven’t, Spaceship Earth is not some crazy thrill ride like a roller coaster you’d find at Dorney Park. It’s a journey through the history of Earth; specifically how we communicate.

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Asking, How Did You Build That?

If you visit Florence, Italy, visiting the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, more commonly known as the Florence Cathedral or  Il Duomo, is a must. From its completion in 1436 until the advent of modern-era architecture, it was the biggest dome in the world. Even better, it’s completely self supported. All without the help of modern technology. How?

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