So what was notable about 2015?
I built the new FIR Podcast Network website. This was a pro bono project that had been hanging over my head for more than a year. The original concept was much too ambitious, both for my development skills and for any pro bono undertaking. When my husband, who was originally going to do the fancy custom development, dropped out of the project, I re-imagined it as a much simpler arrangement, giving each podcast in the network its own category and restricting the podcast hosts to posting in their own categories. Blubrry PowerPress makes it possible to connect the podcast feeds from each category to iTunes. You can read more about what was involved in the project in my FIR Podcast Network portfolio entry.
I hooked up with an amazing designer, Danielle Avila-Johnston. I understand the principles of design, can mostly cope with Photoshop, and have a fine art background, but I am not a graphic designer. Danielle and I have worked on several projects since we did Kia Miller’s Radiant Body Yoga site early in 2015. One day when we aren’t quite so swamped with client work, Danielle is going to create a logo for me and I’m going to build her a proper website.
I became the go-to person for help with Modern Tribe’s Events Calendar Pro. I started working with TEC on Kia Miller’s site and my exploration of ways to customize the widgets and photo view started me on a journey of getting to know the plugin pretty well. Thanks to links from the Modern Tribe support forum, my TEC tutorials are some of the most-visited posts on this site. Expect more tutorials in 2016, because I’ll be working with the new ticketing plugin. (And somewhere in my copious spare time I want to actually build a horizontal widget, because it will be easier to have people download it than to answer all the questions.)
I finally rebuilt the WP Fangirl site (the one you’re looking at now). I’d spent years meaning to update my old portfolio site, but never quite gotten it done. The imminence of Mobile-geddon spurred me to get it done at last. In the course of doing it I also split up my old multisite install and put each of my domains on a separate WordPress install. That resulted in new designs for other sites that had been on that network, like Rhymes with Sketch. I was going to write some tutorials about that process, but didn’t have the time. (It involved a lot of exporting parts of the multisite database and importing them to the new sites.)
I signed up for Sridhar Katakam’s tutorials. I’d already made good use of the previously-free tutorials for the FIR site, the Radiant Body Yoga site, and my own portfolio. It was obvious to me that membership was going to be worth the money, and so it has been. The GenesisWP Slack channel that Sridhar started has also been a valuable source of community and information.
I visited two WordPress Meetups while traveling: the Reno WordPress Meetup (in Reno, obviously) and the Route 66 WordPress Meetup in Glendora. I’d like to visit more meetups. My experience prior to this was mostly limited to my own East Bay WordPress Meetup and the San Francisco WordPress Meetup, which I haven’t been able to attend since moving to Oakley. I’d like to visit the Sacramento WordPress Meetup, but it’s tough to make that drive at the end of the day. (Still easier than getting to San Francisco, though.) While I’m not keen to do a lot of traveling, I do want to make a practice of visiting WordPress Meetups when I’m out of town.
I attended WordCamp LAX for the first time. I’d attended WordCamp SF every year since 2009, but there’s no longer a WordCamp SF because it’s been replaced by WordCamp US. That meant finding another nearby WordCamp. I was unable to go to WordCamp LAX in 2014 because I had to be at quite another conference with my husband, but this year I made it. It was a great event and I definitely plan to go again next year, even given how much I hate driving in Los Angeles.
I spoke at the inaugural WordCamp Sacramento. The organizers emphasized local and first-time speakers, which gave me an opportunity to present before my colleagues and on live streaming video. I’ve written about my presentation here and posted the video, if you’d like to know more. I definitely plan to attend again next year, whether or not I’m speaking. It was a beautifully-run event and you would never have known this was the first time the Sacramento WordPress Meetup had done such a thing.
I’ve been working with two of my former Mediabistro students. I taught introductory WordPress classes through Mediabistro for about 18 months, and that resulted in quite a bit of business over time. I’m now working on my second project with Elizabeth Nix, who is a great copywriter and content strategist, and got enlisted to rescue an e-commerce site by Christine Ciarmello, who is about to go back to her day job at Sunset Magazine.
I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I have five major projects underway right now. One is almost completed and the others are in process. Plus I have an appointment to talk about a sixth project next week. I’m not sure when I’m going to find time to document my workflow so that I can delegate some of the jobs (it would be great to have a project manager), but business is good.
OMG, I almost forgot the WP-Tonic Panel. Somewhere in the middle of the year I started participating in the WP-Tonic Live panel on the last Thursday of the month. I’ve had to miss a few due to schedule conflicts, but it’s been great fun and I’ve had a chance to meet some wonderful members of the WordPress community. There’s a YouTube channel and a podcast, so you can tune in whichever way you like.