EE upgrades aren’t just a matter of “fixing” problems or even staying up-to-date with the latest version. They are a business decision, both for you as the developer and for your clients. For the latest CTRL+CLICK, EE Coder’s Shawn Maida joins the show to offer his suggestions for making ExpressionEngine upgrades a smooth and painless process. Shawn explains how EE Coder decides if and when an upgrade is needed, as well as the detailed client communication necessary for a successful upgrade. He shares his upgrade workflow, how he charges for upgrades, and lessons learned from upgrading both in-house and inherited projects.
With the proper planning, prep and communication, upgrades can be an important part of your business relationship with your clients. Tune in now!
Are you a perfectionist? The likelihood of this personality trait in our tech industry is high and the pressure it builds can lead to procrastination, unnecessary stress, and affect our quality of life. In this week’s episode, creativity evangelist Denise Jacobs stops by to break down perfectionist tendencies, how the procrastination cycle begins, and how to alleviate these issues. We chat about being our own worst critic, touch on impostor syndrome, while Denise provides tips on how we can learn to control our perfectionist tendencies and exercises on how to break through procrastination to ultimately become more creative, efficient, happy web professionals.
Tune in now! Thanks to Visual Chefs for sponsoring!
Over the weekend, EllisLab release ExpressionEngine 2.9.2, just one day after the 2.9.1 release.
The release is noted as a “stability fix.” If you’re already running 2.9.1, the upgrade can be done by just changing out two files and manually updated your
app_version config item. No database changes or migrations.
Announced today at Derek Jones’ EE Conference keynote presentation:
EllisLab has publicly looked for a home for CodeIgniter for the last several months.
BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) is in Burnaby, British Columbia.
MojoMotor, the light CMS released by EllisLab in 2010, is now officially nearing end of life. Today at the ExpressionEngine Conference in Alexandria, VA, EllisLab announced that the product was no longer being actively developed and had one year of support left.
I don’t think anyone is surprised by this. Derek Jones even said as much at last year’s EE conference.
MojoMotor was announced with great fanfare at the EECI conference in June 2010.
Today, Erik Reagan of Focus Lab was reminded of an experience he had almost starting his own add-on development company:
Some choice bits from the article:
There were a few questions I looked at while planning Sidecar’s business. The biggest of which was our market and how to sell to it. The most obvious concern was how to support the software and not allow the cost of support to kill us financially.
At this point everyone in the EE world was selling a license for anywhere from $10 to $100 and support just came with the purchase. This seemed unsustainable so my plan was to sell the two separately. The license would cost $X and support would be some type of recurring cost model based on the amount of support a customer needed. Interestingly enough, EllisLab announced that type of model not long after. This supported my view of the unsustainable model.
Just before he informed the company that the project was going away:
After reviewing everything I realized the opportunity cost was exceptionally higher than the probable revenue from Sidecar. Focus Lab is too small, too young and way too interested in maintaining an exceptional level of quality with client services. Starting this add-on arm was possible, but only at the expense of our current services. That was unacceptable.
The whole thing is worth a read.
Fire up your update ExpressionEngines!
Today, EllisLab released ExpressionEngine 2.9.1. This is a security and stability release (meaning no new features).
This nugget at the end of the company blog post about the release should interest you:
This release contains quite a bit more security fixes than normal, but it shouldn’t cause alarm. We’ve recently opened ExpressionEngine up to white hat security researchers to report even the smallest issue. Most of the potential attacks found involve attacking yourself or the existence of a malicious admin, but we still recommend this update for all users. We’re committed to the hardening of our software to keep your data safe and remain one of the most provenly secure web platforms out there.
Read the changelog for the details on what was updated or check out their announcement blog post.
Ryan Masuga gave a sort of State of the State of Devot-ee & EE Add-on Development today on the website’s blog.
He introduced two major changes to how Devot-ee operates:
- Add-on sellers will be able to impose a download time limit on all purchases.
- Devot-ee is moving to a 70/30 revenue split with sellers.
Both make sense to me.
The timed downloads help address the ongoing support issue for add-ons. Effectively, a customer can purchase the add-on once and then the developers are on the hook for support for, well, forever.
The developers’ only recourse for recouping their time spent on add-on development is to release a paid upgrade version. They still have to support 1.0 of an add-on that is on 5.0. Not sustainable. Devot-ee is giving them a tool to try to help.
The revenue share is between add-on developers and Devot-ee. If you deem it too steep (it’s not), then you are not obligated to sell. Some add-on developers make the choice to sell add-ons exclusively on their own. Some others make the choice to sell exclusively through Devot-ee.
There was a good series of conversations on Twitter today about this. I am preserving as many as possible using Storify before they disappear into the dark canyons of Twitter.
Before you chime in, hear Ryan out. Read his post here.
What exactly is your role in a company? As a designer, are you expected to understand code? If so, what language? As a developer, do you have fundamental design knowledge? If so, to what extent? In this week’s episode, Anton Peck, UI/UX Director of OneFire Media, stops by the show to ponder the increasingly complicated and overlapping roles that web professionals are expected to have. We discuss the history of the web, realistic and unrealistic expectations of skillset, and the importance of communication whether you find yourself in a silo’d situation or have overlapping responsibilities.
Tune in now!
Val explains the differences between transforms, transitions and animations, as well as the roles CSS and JS can play in web animations. We discuss how CSS animations can enhance the interactive experience, as well as considerations for browser support and performance. Val also offers her tips for getting inspiration and tools to help you get started. Tune in now!
Thanks to Visual Chefs for sponsoring this episode.
Drew McLellan, creator of Perch CMS, stops by the show this week to explain how a side project evolved into a full-time product. We discuss the difference between client and product work, why he created Perch in the first place, how feedback altered the direction of Perch, his perspective on support (and whether or not you should pay for it), how they tackle comprehensive documentation, and what’s on the horizon for third-party devs, plus the future of Perch with more complex sites.
Tune in now!
DevDemon recently released their Subscription add-on for ExpressionEngine, which makes it easy to sell subscriptions through your ExpressionEngine-powered website.
I’ve been using this in beta over the Summer for some testing on a project of mine. It’s very flexible and, out of the box, it should do everything you’d need from a subscription add-on, including customizing through actions.
Subscriptions also delivers a very powerful Trigger and Action system. Utilizing almost 20 different triggers you can customize actions through an easy to use control panel. These triggers allow your administrator to modify and create new subscriptions without modifying template tags.
Visit the DevDemon site for all the details but here are my favorite features:
- Multiple plan levels
- Expiring card notifications
A nice addition to our selection of add-ons for EE and ecommerce!
If anyone would take a stab at a CLI for ExpressionEngine, it would be Rob Sanchez.
And he did.
The CLI right now is limited in functionality (empty cache, install add-ons) but Rob is asking for pull requests with additional commands.
Have something you want to see added? Code it and then submit a pull request to the Github project.
Thank you, Rob. This is a great addition.
We are less than 2 months away from the 2014 ExpressionEngine Conference in Alexandria, VA. It takes place October 5-7.
I attended An Event Apart in Alexandria a few years ago and it’s a great place to have a conference. Old Town Alexandria is filled with places to eat and drink. Looks like the hotel has some nice views of the Potomac, too!
The conference will feature more than 20 speakers covering topics from building add-ons to building a business.
Registration is open for both individuals and agencies. $495 gets you in the door for the event plus all of the recorded sessions.
This is a on-going series of entries where I highlight EE experiences.
Over at Mijingo I started a limited run podcast covering web content management systems and the people that use them. It’s called CMS Chronicles.
I recently released an episode on ExpressionEngine. I had two separate conversations with two veterans of the EE community: Matt Weinberg of Vector Media Group, and Anna Brown of Media Girl, Inc.
During the conversations we covered some basics about ExpressionEngine and how they each use it and have used it to do client work and grow their businesses.
Give it a listen and subscribe to get all future episodes.
Using technology to promote a business or a service isn’t that much different than using it to advance a social cause. Success in both is about choosing the right tools, crafting effective messaging, finding your audience and constant measurement.
For the latest CTRL+CLICK, digital strategist Aisha Satterwhite joins the show to discuss the role of technology in social advocacy. Drawing from her career working in advocacy, including her current role as a Vice President of Project Management at Blue State Digital, Aisha discusses how technology for social advocacy has evolved as tech has become more accessible, and how it complements on-the-ground advocacy. We also discuss the personal and professional challenges of engaging on social media about “controversial” issues. Tune in now!
Thanks to Visual Chefs for sponsoring this episode.
Client services vs. Software as a Service: what are the pros and cons? This week, Ryan Masuga, founder of Devot:ee and Masuga Design, stops by the show to discuss the nitty gritty of designing, developing, and launching his own web app, Lamplighter. We discuss its beginnings as Devot:ee Monitor and reasons behind the transition to Lamplighter, as well as the details on the app’s creation, pricing, customer service, marketing and future.
We also discuss what’s on the horizon for Devot:ee!
Tune in now!
Marcus Neto of Blue Fish Design Studio has a YouTube Channel with demos of websites built on ExpressionEngine.
There’s also a demo of ExpressionEngine 2.9 (the latest version as of this post) and one of how they built a business directory in EE.
Idea: a community channel of video walk-thrus of websites/features you built on ExpressionEngine.
Patrick Pohler penned an article on Medium on how to easily add an API to your ExpressionEngine add-on.
Adding an API can help you add-on be more useful and flexible because it can connect to other systems, and allow developer to extend it without hacking the add-on code.
So how are external apps going to communicate to our ExpressionEngine add-on? We’ll need to make sure we can expose API methods that respond correctly to GET and POST requests.
Patrick continues with API code samples for his “Mission Tracker” A-team sample add-on, including a detailed code walk-thru. Very helpful!
Read the entire how-to article