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Continuous Deployment

Continuous Deployment

Automating tasks has been a key focus for me the past year, resulting in learning how to write PHPUnit tests, figuring out how to setup the test suite for WordPress plugins, and today… continuous deployment!

An article by Steffen Bewersdorff on CSS-Tricks was instrumental (seriously, likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise) in helping get continuous deployment setup for this site, and hopefully more.

What is continuous deployment?

Continuous deployment allows for build and deployment processes to be automated, so every time a change is made and the trigger to deploy occurs, those processes run and perform the deployment in the background, without any human intervention. This is a big time saver, and removes an opportunity for human error.

First setup

I don’t use package managers or have any build processes (I’ve yet to see or be shown any value), so it’s just a deployment process for me, which while technical, should be pretty easy for a true developer to handle (especially if following along with Steffen’s article).

My development process follows Steffen’s directions nearly identically (without the build step): SSH in GitHub Actions to send the files over to Hostgator (even on a shared server!). Now, whenever I make a change (theme style, new plugin, or core/plugin update), I need only commit the change to the production branch, and GitHub Actions does the rest.

A small warning

As you automate more and more things, don’t forget to actually go to the site and check it out. Automations typically will alert you if something goes wrong, but it is possible for the automation to succeed, and you’ve introduced something that breaks the site in a different environment.

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

Been A Long While

Yeah, it’s been a long while: 3.5 years ago I started a full-time job as lead web developer for a creative agency… that kept me pretty busy. And stressed.

I’m back in the free world, enjoying it, and getting healthy; well, as much as can be expected with COVID-19 running wild. I’ve learned and done a lot the past three years; here are some highlights:

  • customized and managed a WooCommerce store making millions in annual revenue
  • integrating unit testing for WordPress plugins (here here)
  • performed code reviews and educated junior devs on best practices
  • performed analysis and optimized server performance and page loads (including a complete site rebuild to remove a page builder)

As for what’s next: I’m not really sure. I mean there’s certainly contract web development work, and right now I’m learning continuous integration with Travis CI, but beyond that, especially post-COVID-19? Let’s just wait and see.

Glad to be back.

WP Engine’s User Portal Now Uses Two-Factor Authentication

WP Engine’s User Portal Now Uses Two-Factor Authentication

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller and his defensive line had one mission in Super Bowl 50: shut down Cam Newton and annihilate his once mighty Carolina Panthers offense. And they succeeded, delivering blow after crushing blow to defeat the Panthers 24 to 10 and claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy (with Miller earning Super Bowl MVP).

The moral of that story: a strong defense wins.

You might ask yourself, what’s that got to do with managed WordPress hosting? Quite frankly, a lot.

continue reading on WP Engine’s Blog

How Attackers Gain Access to WordPress Sites

How Attackers Gain Access to WordPress Sites

WordFence conducted a survey with a simple statement: “If you know how your site was compromised please describe how the attackers gained access.” The answers were free form text, so we manually categorized the answers. If the respondent expressed any doubt in their answer, we categorized them as uncertain.

Of the 1,032 survey respondents who answered this question, 61.5% didn’t know how the Attacker compromised their website. That is a not a huge surprise given that the large majority of respondents cleaned their sites themselves, but it is troubling. It is impossible to be confident that you have cleaned your site completely or that the vulnerability doesn’t still exist without knowing how the site was compromised in the first place.

For the site owners who did figure out how the attackers entered, here is what the breakdown looks like:

— continue reading on WordFence

50% of people do zero mobile searches per day

50% of people do zero mobile searches per day

Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search, let slip a couple of interesting statistics at the Re/Code conference – none more so than that more than half of all searches incoming to Google each month are from mobile. (That excludes tablets.) This averages out to less than one search per smartphone per day. We’ll see why in a bit.

— continue reading on The Overspill

Wayne Yung

“I highly recommend Caleb for any web developing or programming needs.  He’s very professional, knowledgeable and more importantly provides the best customer service.  The level of quality he provides definitely sets the bar for this industry.”

— Wayne Yung, Co Founder of Hawkers Asian Street Fare

Adding a Pinned Tab icon for Safari

Adding a Pinned Tab icon for Safari

With the release of Mac OS X 10.11, Safari finally got pinned tabs. While all other browsers use a site’s favicon for the pinned tab, Apple deemed that “not esthetically pleasing enough” and created a new type of icon for it, which they call a “mask-icon”. By default, they’ll use the first letter of your domain if you don’t have such an image. You need a black SVG image, a hover color and some time to do a tiny bit of coding.

continue reading on yoast.com

Joshua Wilson

Caleb’s experience with WordPress goes beyond competence or even expertise — Caleb Stauffer has reached the fluency that allows for fluid creation of never-before-used tools and plugins to meet the needs of his clients. His command of the platform and its underlying code convinces me that there is no client need that Caleb cannot accommodate with multiple solutions, which he conveys clearly, concisely, and kindly to his clients. Not only does he communicate the WHAT, he communicates the WHY, and brings his clients to a place of understanding where they can make informed and confident decisions. Top coder, great educator, and expert problem-solver.

— Joshua Wilson, Associate

PHP 7: 10 Things You Need to Know

PHP 7: 10 Things You Need to Know

Are you a web developer or a website owner? Do your sites run on PHP-enabled CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or Magento? Then I have good news for you: the feature-complete beta of the new PHP 7 was recently released. The 7.0.0 major release contains so many cool features that we decided to dedicate a whole post to it. But first, we need to slide in a few reminders.

continue reading on Hongkiat.com

therealtymedics.com

therealtymedics.com

From start to present day, working on this project has had it’s challenges, but it’s definitely been fun, keeping the site up-to-date with the movements of the growing business. Recently, the site has moved to WP Engine (read on why I recommend WP Engine), and we’re currently making several facelifts to the site, including a separate theme to serve mobile devices.

I have been working with Caleb for more than 2 years and everything has been amazing!  I have used many different developers for different websites over the years and none of them came close to the level of experience and customer service as Caleb Stauffer.  I am a customer for life.  Thank you!

— Ben Sencenbaugh, Vice President at The Realty Medics

spiderwebshade.com

spiderwebshade.com

While I wasn’t part of the initial design/development process for this project, I’ve made a lot of enhancements to this international Jeep accessory manufacturer’s e-commerce website, and am currently serving as the active developer for this project: making feature changes and keeping the site in tip-top running shape.

Caleb and CSS have been a huge help to our business over the last 8 years.  It is very comforting to know that we have an attentive, trustworthy and extremely talented person at the helm of our businesses backend system.  We would recommend Caleb and CSS to anyone.

— Chris Plaisance – CEO – SPIDERWEBSHADE, Inc.

What you need to know about HTTP/2

What you need to know about HTTP/2

Look at the address bar in your browser. See those letters at the front, “HTTP”? That stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the mechanism a browser uses to request information from a server and display webpages on your screen. A new version of the reliable and ubiquitous HTTP protocol was recently published as a draft by the organization in charge of creating standards for the internet, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This means that the old version, HTTP/1.1, in use since 1999, will eventually be replaced by a new one, dubbed HTTP/2. This update improves the way browsers and servers communicate, allowing for faster transfer of information while reducing the amount of raw horsepower needed.

continue reading on Engadget.com