Every so often I decide it’s high time I start learning some new skills. My first “learning binge” was a pretty successful one, as I accomplished everything I hoped I would. My second one took a little longer than I hoped, but in the end I still hit a couple of good goals. There are a few kinks I need to work out of both projects but they are more or less in the wild. This time around, there’s a list of things I want to learn and project I want to work on and release. Much like last time I will use those projects to learn new things, but there’s a new challenge: time management.
Do you know the story of Pixar? It’s a really interesting one that I strongly recommend you read all about in Creativity Inc. Here’s the gist: Pixar started off as a piece of hardware inside LucasFilms, and the team was tasked with pushing the technological envelope for live-action movies. When Lucas had to sell off that division, it was purchased by Steve Jobs and they tried for a number of years to sell hardware before pivoting and making their first featured length animated movie, Toy Story. It took about 20 years, but Pixar found its true calling. While I am not at all comparing myself to Pixar, I am taking an important less from them: you may not find success in your first iteration.
When I was creating the website for my new project WP in One Month, I wanted to make sure the home page was diverse with content, different sections, and a lot of information. As a WordPress developer, I could have built a completely custom page template with custom fields for each section, and I could have made use of one of the many plugins to do that. However, I also wanted to get the site up and running quickly. I was pivoting the business and wanted to focus more on executing ideas than on developing the website (I know many developers can relate to me here). I opted instead to build a simple child theme from the theme Ward and use a page building plugin called Beaver Builder. It saved me literally hours of development and gives me lots of flexibility.
I’m lucky to have a wonderful view from my downtown Scranton apartment. Across the street is a law office and sometimes I can see people working at their desks or milling around in the office. Last Saturday I was working on a pet project of mine, when I looked out the window from my desk and noticed someone in her office, working. On a Saturday! The horror! Then I thought back and realized that office’s light is on an awful lot – early mornings, late at night, most Saturdays (but rarely Sundays). How could someone work like this? Then I came to another realization: I noticed these things while sitting at my desk, working.
You have definitely been here before. You’re on a website for a restaurant or store you perhaps what to visit. You look for some information that will help you, but all you see is some blurb about the business, maybe a slider of images, and other miscellaneous information. But that’s not what most people need – especially if the business is a brick and mortar business. And while I’ve written about websites for small businesses before, I’d like to talk about 5 things every business’ website should show on the homepage.
Many people that visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL do so as a once in a life time trip. They spent years planning it, researching park hours, peak seasons, and must-see attractions. They learn about the best resorts and restaurants, the best shows and Meet-and-Greets. Then again, many people spend years saving up and then just go with almost no research. They do not understand that park hours change daily, may be extremely crowded in July or at Christmas and Easter, and may have an attraction down for refurbishment. Regardless of amount of research done beforehand, it seems that almost all Guests know or learn quickly about the FastPass+ program at the parks. This is why you don’t necessarily need them!
The other day I was working on a problem where I wanted to check if a website was using a specific browser (in this case IE) and version (in this case 9 or below). I came up with 2 functions that would serve an a nice, reusable check for both. These can also be extended to check for other browsers or versions, or even accept custom regular expressions.
A month or so ago my friend Jonothon Kneeper reached out to me about my morning routine, mentioning that he was compling data for a book he was writing. I’m happy to say the book, Win Your Day, is live on Amazon and you can get it for free today (Feb. 4th)! It has lots of great information from all sorts of folks on how they start their day. I’ve always had an interest in morning routines and have placed a big focus on mine as a way to make sure I start my day off right.