Sand Dollars

Pippin Williamson has written another year-end review post about Sandhills Development — what they achieved and the struggles they encountered. This post is very detailed and lengthy as we have come to expect. Pippin notes his company has grown to 24 on the digital side, and 14 on the brewery side. 🍻

Pippin's breakdown of Sandhills' core product revenue is notable:

  1. AffiliateWP: $1,272,293.46
  2. Easy Digital Downloads: $1,009,080.44
  3. Payouts Service: $24,446.03
  4. Restrict Content Pro: $467,806.26
  5. Sugar Calendar: $6,282.75
  6. WP Simple Pay: $307,743.63

Among their 2020 goals, Sandhills is aiming to surpass $4,000,000 in gross revenue and maintain a 20% profit margin. 📈

Jason Bahl notes that if you're following the WPGraphQL project, this upcoming release “might be one of the more exciting ones yet.” 🥳

If you are looking for CSS animation libraries, here is a recent “top ten” list that goes into great detail. It's published on DEV, which I'm reading more and more these days compared to Medium, which I'm reading less and less. 👀

Burn After Reading

Here's another impressive “what we are reading” list from the regulars at CSS Tricks. It will keep you busy for a good chunk of the year! Chris Coyier, Sarah Drasner, Geoff Graham, and Robin Rendle weigh in with some worthy links. 📚

Cody Landefeld has put together a handy SEO guide for WooCommerce users. Cody advises you to start with the Yoast WooCommerce SEO Plugin, but there are many tips about speed and security too. 🛒

Cookie Beatdown

Thanks to the “SameSite” policy that is coming soon in Chrome 80, some potentially “promiscuous” ways cookies can behave will go away. 🍪

Troy Hunt argues on his blog that this change “takes us towards a more ‘secure by default' position but as with many changes that favour security, it'll also break some stuff along the way.”

On a related note, Google recently announced they are planning to “phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within two years.”

Hello Dollie

Dollie turns WordPress premium themes and plugins into “click-to-launch pre-made websites for customers.”

Hat tip to Bowe Frankema who alerted me to this. It looks great, and I'm looking forward to digging into it soon. 🎩

Congrats to Andrea Middleton and Josepha Haden for being nominated for the first Community Industry Awards (CMX) for their work in the WordPress community. If you have a few minutes, they could use your vote. 🗳️

Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge browser is now generally available. So far, it works just as fine with WordPress as you would expect.

HaPHPy Birthday

Drupal has turned 19. Congrats to Dries Buytaert and the entire Drupal community for their wonderful achievement. 🎂

WordPress and Ajax 3rd Edition is a book that is “being written in the open.” You can leave feedback in the form of comments so Ronald Huereca and Vivien Anayian can shape the book towards the reader. ✍️

Luca Mezzalira shares some tips on “micro-frontends” — an architectural style in frontend apps. There are four pillars in any micro-frontends project: definition, composition, route, and communication. 🏛️

How Am I Self-Hosted to Live Without You?

Barry Pollard examines when and how you should consider hosting your own Google fonts.

Zac Gordon outlines his plans at JavaScript for WordPress. More bootcamps and books are coming along with a platform for new teachers. Also mentioned: a focus on new speakers and MCs for conferences. 🎤

Brent Roose offers some benchmarks that feature the new preloading feature in PHP 7.4. Brent says, “I think it's safe to say that preloading… will have a positive performance impact, also on real-life projects built upon a full-blown framework.” 🚆

Dan Abramov recently published “Goodbye, Clean Code.” Attempting to be clever and code cleanly didn't turn out the way Dan hoped. 🛁

He shares his mistakes and considers when developers should think deeply about the impact of their work on others:

“I thought a lot about how the code looked — but not about how it evolved with a team of squishy humans.”

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

📹 I've been slow to get back to watching new videos in the new year. Here's one I appreciated:

  • Matt Medeiros made a tutorial about setting up a homepage with the Chaplin theme and Gutenberg.

🎙️ I've been trying to avoid the “Best of 2019” and the “What are you looking forward to in 2020?” podcasts, but it's been difficult. Here are the ones I enjoyed over the holidays and New Year's week:

  • Here's a great episode of the Women in WP podcast with Allie Nimmons talking about teaching yourself to code and building diversity within the WordPress Community. A more recent episode has a good discussion with Monique Dubbelman about (among other things) the Dutch WordPress community.
  • Richard Tubb spoke with Chris Brogan about dealing with mental health challenges as the owner of a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
  • Two great episodes of the Shop Talk Show feature Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier having good discussions: one is about the future of the industry (and alternatives to WordPress); the other is about when development just goes wrong.
  • Matt Mullenweg spent his first 2020 episode with Jason Fried, who is best known as the CEO of Basecamp.