I got really behind with weeknotes because of a triplet of urgent work that came in and overwhelmed me. So here we go catching up
Projects: what I’ve been up to
I’m still working my charity microsite build. I’ve also been working on:
- a small WordPress site build for a local charity project
- some modifications to a website that I look after for a national charity
- a small database and data-importer that was being built into a WordPress site that I look after – this had a tight deadline for a launch at a conference
- dealing with a client site that got a proper, targetted DDoS attack, and the clean-up and fall-out from that.
I also took part in the one-day do_action charity hack day in Cheltenham last Friday where 4 teams built 4 websites for 4 local charities. HUGE thanks to Elliott Richmond for putting this on.
I also took part in a productivity challenge last week in Amanda Appiagyei‘s Facebook community group. I see a lot of coaches marketing their wares and services and I’ve always liked Amanda’s unpretentious and genuinely helpful approach that seems to focus on YOU. She’s very generous with her time and experience too. Her productivity challenge was really helpful for me. If you need business skills, ideas or coaching look her up!
Posts: things I made
- No real posts this week, but I was on a podcast! I was interviewed a while ago by Keith Devon for his Pricing WP podcast. We talked about pricing in the charity sector, my thoughts on his conversations with Jonathan Stark about value-based pricing and some general stuff about how my business work. Hopefully the interview is interesting.
This week I learned
- The government are extending the clamp down on IR35 contracting rules. If you do contract or freelance work you probably need to be aware of this. Some links to follow to find out more:
Today, native MySQL database tools.
If you use WordPress and PHP a lot it’s likely that at some point you’ve had to modify stuff in a database, and PHPMyAdmin is a tool that is really widely used.
But setting up locally – or setting up your own install of it on a server – can be a bit of a pain. And I’ve always struggled to get to grips with the security of it.
So for a while I’ve been using SequelPro as a desktop client for managing databases. After using PHPMyAdmin it took a bit of getting used to but I now much prefer using a native Mac app.
But it seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit. I was getting annoying errors from it and chatter in the dev communities I’m in is that is has kinda died a death (this may not be true, but it seems to be).
So I looked into alternatives as and when found them. Initially Table Plus, which was recommended by Laravel creator Taylor Otwell. Table Plus isn’t free, but isn’t expensive either. It connects to a range of different databases, not just MySQL/MariaDB, which is great, but I found the interface clunky. Annoying tiny things, but enough to drive me mad with frequent use.
I then discovered Querious, which also isn’t free, but isn’t expensive either. It feels more like a souped-up modern version of SequelPro and the interface just felt much more solid to me. So that’s what I’ve settled on.
SequelPro is in the trashcan. I will miss typing “pancakes” into Alfred.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my work and products and side projects and lately AND about school communications. So here’s a little write up of my SchoolBot chatbot/school-CMS/parent information system project. If you know of a tech-savvy, forward thinking school that might want to try this out do let me know or put me in touch. Thanks!
Pins: things I read and remembered
Here’s what I bookmarked this week:
- Dot Env Files: The Silent Killer | Tighten – Examples of how .env files can kill your Laravel app and some ways to prevent it (including a neat package)
- Home | GridPane – WordPress control panel thing like SpinupWP. Gets rave reviews!
- 7 Bash history shortcuts you will actually use | Opensource.com – Some neat command-line history shortcuts for those who use terminal/command-line (via @changelog)
- Using CSS Custom Properties for better UX in Frontend and Gutenberg – felix-arntz.me – Good article on using CSS custom properties in WordPress
- A conversation with Ross Wintle | Pricing WordPress – Because you have to bookmark a podcast episode that you appear in yourself!
- Shape – 1000+ Icons & Illustrations – Nice resource of vector icons and illustrations with amazing introductory pricing
- What’s Trending in Type · Typewolf – Interesting site of curated stuff with good typography. Nice! via @websmyth
- 7 cultures that digital needs to thrive | Platypus Digital – Great post from Matt with ideas on how to make a good digital culture within your organisation
- Dubsado | Business Management Solution – Interesting looking business management/CRM tool used by Amanda Appiagyei
- School Website Design, Primary, Secondary & Trusts – PrimarySite – I’m investigating school comms – this looks like an interesting service!
- Focus and Deep Work — Your Secret Weapons to Becoming a 10X Developer – A truly excellent article on why and how to achieve “deep work”.
- SVGOMG – SVGO’s Missing GUI – Online SVG Optimisation Tool via @keithdevon
- gomakethings.com – This, on coding, is kinda hilarious and true. Especially the second bit after the fixed-up code. 😂
Have a great week!