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Dev to Live Environment for WordPress

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I’ve had several requests for the notes from my talk with Jeff MacGregor at the WP Jax Meetup about setting up a development environment for WordPress and the process we use to go live. So with that in mind, I’m making our slides available below.

This process works with the free plugins discussed. I personal prefer to use a site manager and simply “clone” the site from dev to live. I’ve used ManageWP and InfiniteWP. My recommendation on which I prefer would be based on the task at hand, type of sites you plan to manage, how many you are managing and what features you most need.

 

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Reading: A Non-Negotiable

I just finished a quite lengthy, but deeply profound article by Christopher Butler on Smashing Magazine on the current state of content and information in our world: Content: A Blessing, A Bubble, A Burden. The inundation of information (in particular, digital information) in our lives has reached climatic levels. Yet the quality, and usefulness, of that information has perhaps reached an all time low. As we create content, for business, product or idea promotion, or even for self expression, we are participating in this influx, striving to have our voice heard.  Whether on a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, comments, reviews, updates, forums, etc, it all adds to the pile.

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Let us challenge ourselves to thoughtfully put ourselves out there, not blindly.

A starting foundation for such quality expression is the discipline of reading:

… there is no writing without reading. Perhaps better said, there is no good writing without reading. If you want to write, or need to write — the two need not be in agreement — then you must make reading a part of your life. (If you are thinking to yourself, “I don’t like to read,” then I promise you right now that’s not true; you just have yet to find what you like.)

Any aspiring writer, whatever their purpose, must actively seek out content, in any form, that covers the topics they’re interested in, even if they do not need to cover those topics in their writing. Reading is about exposing yourself to the ideas of others in order to enrich your own thinking — which need not be truly novel to merit writing about. There is an art to revealing ideas through the written word, one that good writers practice primarily with restraint, reserving the majority of their knowledge as an unwritten foundation for what they actually put to words — the tip of the iceberg. Because reading will supply much of the knowledge that makes up the background of your writing, it is indispensable.

I am convicted and inspired. I simply could not say it better myself.

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Launch of Campaign Website for Melvin Usery

This week saw the timely launch of my most recent project. Melvin Usery is running for re-election as Port Commissioner for the Ocean Highway and Port Authority in Nassau County, Florida. It is my honor to assist his campaign in marketing and promotion. Visit www.melvinusery.com to see the latest portfolio work by Open Sky Web Studio.

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Responding to Change

Keeping up with technology, code and design news is a daunting task all by itself.  But with the help of a good feed reader, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my day.  Inherent in the process of drinking from this fire hose of information, however, is the need to selectively monitor and limit what new ideas out there are worth implementing and will bring tangible value to my customers.

One innovation I’ve had my eye on for a while now is the move to Responsive Design for website implementation.  This is a fairly new concept, that has so far been only implemented in a limited way by most designers.  But it’s gaining steam and I feel soon it will be an option for my clients as well.

The basic idea is this: let the website’s components automatically shift and resize when being viewed in different ways.  This means a website viewed on a desktop monitor will have one layout, but the same site viewed on mobile device, phone or tablet would automatically move the placement of things like navigation, sidebars, images, etc and scale so as to remain readable and accessible on the smaller platform.

With strategic changes in how the side is designed and coded, and a willingness to give up a bit of control over the layout, you’d only need one site to be accessible everywhere.  The alternative to remain relevant in a mobile world is to build a different site for each device size and orientation – for most people, this is just not practical!

Open Sky is looking forward to offering responsive design to our clients in the upcoming months so stay tuned! Want to know more of the nitty gritty for this innovative design methodology? Read Responsive Design

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Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center

Open Sky Web Studio is now partnering with Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center for the rebuild and relaunch of their website.   It is their mission to serve our communities through health education and resources. Northeast Florida AHEC features an effective Tobacco Cessation program and training opportunities.  They serve Nassau, Baker, Clay, Duval, St. John’s, Flagler, and Volusia counties. It is our goal to make turn their website into an effective tool to accomplish this task.  We’re so pleased to be a part of this mission!

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Welcoming New Client Nextage Realty Pros

Open Sky Web Studio is pleased to announce a new project with realtors Nextage Realty Pros of Lakeland, Florida.  Nextage Realty Pros strategically services all of the Polk County area.  When their new website launches it will feature both informative area information guides, focused listings and easy to use MLS searching.  We are so excited to work with them and look forward to a successful project together!

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