All entries filed under “News”
Indulge me, if you will, for a little personal/business news.
EE Insider has been around for 5+ years. Since beginning it’s been a publication that is part of Mijingo, my business for creating quality learning materials for designers and developers.
For Mijingo’s entire existence it has been a side project, a thing I do during my downtime (with the exception of last year when I partnered with Happy Cog).
I was diligent in balancing everything; I worked every evening and weekend for a few years so I could continue to publish learning materials while maintaining a full-time job.
But I was pulled in two directions and saw the time I had for something I was passionate about diminish. I’m sure you’ve noticed the lack of posting here.
So I made a change.
Starting on Monday, June 30th, I will be working full-time on Mijingo, following my passion to build training materials that help people, and growing a business that means a tremendous amount to me.
I’m on day 3 of doing this thing full-time and I think you’ll like what I’m working on.
We’re taking a brief break from advertising while we retool some things but I do want to thank everyone who has supported EE Inside over the last 5 years.
and some others I’m sure I’m forgetting.
A big, extra thank you to Nevin Lyne and the team at EngineHosting and ArcusTech for hosting this site (and some others) for the last few years. They’re a bunch of great people who always want to see people in the community–and across the web–succeed.
In many places around the world it’s that time of year when you change gears from summer fun to back to school and learning. Even if you aren’t in school yourself or have kids that are, you probably know the feeling that the end of summer brings: time to get serious again about everything you want to accomplish this year.
Mijingo is packed with stuff for web designers and developers just like you. Use the coupon BACKTOSCHOOL when you check out, you will get 20% off your purchase.
This special coupon code is only good until Friday August 30th 2013. Load up on some courses right now.
A recommended course for everyone: Low’s Building an ExpressionEngine Add-on.
ExpressionEngine Add-on Developer of the Year Lodewijk Schutte teaches you how he develops his award-winning plugins, modules and extensions. In more than one hour of video, Low walks you step-by-step through his add-on development process.
It’s a wonderful way to learn add-on development from someone who makes his living from add-on development.
The sale is only until Friday, so don’t procrastinate!
I’ve been on a few podcasts recently and one of the highlights for me was talking to Thomas Borowski on his excellent Think, Make, Sell podcast.
You can listen to me talk way too much about my history, how I got started doing training materials, working on ExpressionEngine stuff, and my work at Happy Cog. All in all, it’s an epic run through what I do and how I started doing it.
If you’re into that kind of thing, please tune in and listen. Thomas does a great show and I encourage you to subscribe.
In a bold move, the EE Podcast (which I started back in 1901, I mean 2009) announced they are rebranding to cover a wider range of topics for web designers and developers.
From the transcript of Episode 100 of the EE Podcast:
After three years, 100 episodes, one live show and .net magazine accolades, Lea and I have decided to make some changes with this Podcast.
So this 100th episode is the last EE Podcast. We are rebranding the podcast as the CTRL+CLICK CAST and expanding our programming format to talk about other content management systems as well as industry culture, business practices and web design and development techniques.
Lea and Emily were kind of enough to ask me to be the final guest on the podcast. We had a good time talking about the past episodes and noted some of favorites (my favorite was when we had Rick Ellis on). I really enjoyed doing the EE Podcast back before I handed it over to Lea in 2011.
When you cover a niche, focused topic like ExpressionEngine it is difficult to continuously come up with new content, angles, ideas and topics over a several year run of a podcast (not to mention for a site like this).
And, you know, we all change during those years. Our work changes, our lives change, the stuff we care the most about changes. Sometimes more than one solution floats our boat and we want to talk about that, too.
Emily and Lea face so many things in their day-to-day lives of working on their business together outside of ExpressionEngine that I think it would be crazy for them not to reflect on those, share them, and use a podcast a way to help others. I’m happy they’re making the switch and I encouraged them both to do it when they asked me several weeks ago.
I’ve always been one to change my situation if I don’t like the freedom and enjoyment it allows me. I’m glad they did the same.
The good news is you’ll still be able to keep up with the new podcast right here at EE Insider. Emily and Lea will keep contributing updates when they release a new show. I hope you subscribe and tune in.
The EE Podcast will record its 100th episode in the coming weeks and I’m excited to be the guest on the centennial edition of the show.
I started the EE Podcast with Dan Benjamin back in 2009 and handed over the reigns to Lea and Emily a couple years later. As I’ve mentioned before, they took the podcast and made it better. It’s been rewarding to see it grow.
The 100th episode will be out on August 8, 2013 and is currently titled “Episode 100 Celebration!” I need to remember to bring my party hat.
Tune in and listen!
We are in our fifth year of EE Insider, after the site launched in January of 2009. In Internet years we’re aging. But with the update to EE2 and a planned refresh of the site design, we’re planning to be here, in some form or another, for much longer.
I want to thank the advertisers on the site who help, along with the readers and the community, to make keep this thing running:
- Structure - Travis has built the easiest way to allow your clients to manage pages (with hierarchy) in ExpressionEngine. I love Structure and use it on Mijingo.com.
- Pixel & Tonic - The longest running advertiser on the site and well-known for the add-ons Assets, Playa, Matrix and Wygwam. They make some of the hottest add-ons for ExpressionEngine.
- Solspace - By far, Solspace has the largest catalog of EE add-ons and is one of the original add-on developers. When an add-on comes from Solspace, you can trust that it’s going to work and that you’ll get the support you need. Their Freeform Pro module makes it simple to create forms for your website.
- Vector Media Group - Based in New York City, they are not only experts (and leaders) on ExpressionEngine, they are also experts in SEO. Matt, Lee, and the entire team at Vector Media Group are a valuable part of our community.
EngineHosting provides EE Insider with their fast and reliable hosting services. For a long time I ran this site on a virtual server I built and managed. That was a pain. I’m so happy to have the nice people at EngineHosting take care of this for me now. Check out their new Virtual Server Cluster plans, which start at $45/month and SSH access for basic tasks.
Coming off last week’s Engine Summit we’re already hearing chatter about the next big release of ExpressionEngine. For me, and this site, however, it’s been a long road to ExpressionEngine 2.
I originally built EE Insider in late 2008 and up until a month ago it was still running a 1.x flavor of ExpressionEngine. It was the last remaining site that I regularly interacted with that was running the old friend we all knew so well.
So, why did it take me so long to upgrade? I mean, goodness, it’s been almost 3 years since EE2 was released.
Here’s why I stayed on EE1:
- It was stable and worked perfectly for me at all times.
- I had add-ons in use that were not updated yet (back when I originally looked at upgrading)
- I had some functionality of the site that would require major re-working through an update. I didn’t see the investment as being worth it at the time.
- Did I mention it was stable and worked?
ExpressionEngine 1.6 and 1.7 were (and are) excellent releases. I depended on them over and over again for all sorts of sites. EE2 has certainly matured into a great CMS (I use it to power my e-commerce store) but there was the risk of disturbing something that works fine and gets the job done. I could still post content from MarsEdit, my guest authors could still log in and post their content (although they did comment how weird it was to see EE1). We could do the business of the site without any problems.
It didn’t take long for all of my add-ons to be updated (the most impressive part of the EE1 to EE2 move was how responsive and quick the add-on developers were) so that reason didn’t last very long.
Up until EE Insider moved to EE2 I had the EE Insider Tips section of the site where people could submit their own EE tips. This section, while starting strong, never took off and the interest wasn’t there to sustain it as a great catalog of EE tips and tricks. As time went on I turned off the ability to add new tips. Now you can’t even access the tips unless you come from a search engine (99% of the traffic) or from another link on the site.
For EE Insider Tips I was using a handful of add-ons to make the posting functionality work properly. I would have to decide it was worth the time to rework that section of the site that was performing so poorly. In the end I decided it wasn’t worth even having it running and I turned off the ability to submit new tips. Another reason not to upgrade wiped from the board.
After those reasons were no longer, well, reasons, I decided that I did need to update but was working on other projects that needed my attention more than upgrading software on a site that wasn’t broken. I also saw the pain and struggle that Ryan Masuga and the Devto:ee team went through when they upgraded their site. I didn’t want that pain. I don’t like pain.
But one big frustration I had was that I couldn’t try the latest and greatest add-ons from our prolific developer community. Sure, I could use them on other sites but there were add-ons I wanted to use right here on EE Insider.
A month ago Chris Imrie and Eric Lamb announced the Entry Analytics add-on. Eric writes for EE Insider and told me he wished he could see the analytics for his articles on the site. I broke it to him that EE Insider was still running ExpressionEngine 1. He encouraged me to upgrade. I told him I don’t have time.
But then I thought, hey, why the hell not? Why not branch the repository and test the update again? Sure, I’d have to kill some stuff on the site to make it happen but it would be a good time to prune the dead wood.
I went through and made a list of everything I needed to have and then completely disabled all add-ons. After the EE2 upgrade I looked at what was broken and then fixed only the stuff I needed. It was a liberating and refreshing exercise.
There was only one issue with the upgrade, which involved some entry content that contained single quotes being truncated during the migration. This could’ve been disastrous (and, frankly, it’s a little concerning that this could even happen) but fortunately I had a good backup and the ability to whip together a quick bit of SQL to migrate over just the truncated content from my backup.
The upgrade took less than two hours, including all prep, planning and backups. The content migration to fix broken content after the upgrade only took about an hour to determine the problem, test a fix and do the final migration. For a project I didn’t want to do it only took me about 3 hours to actually get it done. That’ll teach me.
Do I regret not upgrading earlier? I only have a few regrets over the last 38 years and none of them have to do with software. The time was right when I did it and it worked.
What’s next? With the big update out of the way, it’s time to shake the dust off the design and code and make them more modern.
In an announcement today, EllisLab and Gippy’s Internet Solution (DBA EngineHosting) revealed that they have settled lawsuits between the two companies.
As has been reported in the trade press, we have been involved in a business dispute with EllisLab, Inc. for some period of time, which led to lawsuits in Oregon and Minnesota. Today, we are happy to announce that we have resolved all of our differences with EllisLab, and ended all litigation between the companies.
We are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution with EllisLab so that we can move forward with business as usual at enginehosting.com. We wish EllisLab success in their future business endeavors.
As many in our community are aware, we have been involved in a business dispute with Gippy’s Internet Solutions, LLC/EngineHosting.com, and we are happy to announce that we have resolved all of our differences.
We are thrilled to have reached an amicable resolution with Gippy’s, and can retain undiluted focus on the things we make for you. Both EllisLab and Gippy’s remain strong companies and wish the other continued success as we move forward to best serve the needs of our community.
The fine people (Chris and Dave) at the Non-Breaking Space Show were kind enough to spend an hour chatting with me about how I got into web work, the tools I use, and my interest in different content management systems.
We talked about ExpressionEngine, Drupal and WordPress. We also discussed the things I like the most about ExpressionEngine and why I use it.
Finally, we geek out a little about the tools I use for stuff like my grocery list and to maintain my “paperless” office.
Sound interesting? Give it a listen.
Mitchell Kimbrough of Solspace has started a new series on the Solspace blog where he’ll be talking with highly respected members of the ExpressionEngine community about business practices.
He’s posted today a conversation he had with Vector Media Group’s Matt Weinberg on “the Sales Pipeline”. Give it a listen and let them know what you think on their comments.
I look forward to hearing more about business practices from the ExpressionEngine community.
Editors Note: EE add-on developers Eric Lamb and Ben Croker have a message and some audio for you to listen to. They sat down on Skype, hit the Record button, and shared their thoughts on ExpressionEngine and web development.
Hello EE folks,
Ben and I sat down recently to discuss some more of the comings and goings within the web development and ExpressionEngine communities. As has become the norm, we’re putting it out there so others can get an idea of our thought processes and how 2 professional ExpressionEngine add-on developers think.
This time Ben and I discuss EE Core, more StackExchange goodies, what happens when add-ons mature, the nonsense that is the Aaron Swartz case, feedback on returned add-ons, share some thoughts on MSM, SEO nonsense, and Web Producers and their importance for building quality products among lots of other topics.
Also, if you haven’t watched it yet, the Aaron Swartz keynote - “How we stopped SOPA” at F2C:Freedom to Connect 2012 is a definate must read for anyone in web development or who’s curious about just who this cat was.
As always, let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter (@mithra62 and @ben_pylo).
Eric Lamb & Ben Croker
Have a listen to their recording and be sure to give them feedback.
Check out the episode.
Ben Croker wrote an article dealing with building a RESTful API using ExpressionEngine and ExpressionEngine templates.
Ben walks through the process of taking URI segments, filtering channel data, and returning the information in JSON, all with standard templates and template groups.
He concludes with the following:
And this really is an API – a specification intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other. Granted it is not an ideal way to build an API – for that you would really want to build an add-on – however it very nicely demonstrates how API’s work and how EE template tags give us all the tools we need to build one.
Again, this shows the flexibility of ExpressionEngine, and how we can essentially manage our content however we see fit.
Philip Zaengle asked this on Twitter, and I thought it’d be good to hear how people handle this on their sites.
Typically, I would use Low Variables for something like a homepage, or the Pages module for a generic page.
There is also the Single Entry plugin that handles channels that are specifically meant to contain one entry.
Or, of course there is Structure for using the page based approach to managing your ExpressionEngine content.
What about you, how do you handle one off pages in ExpressionEngine?
David Dexter, creator of BrilliantRetail, has written an article for .net Magazine, where he covers building a powerful e-commerce site with ExpressionEngine.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a look at how BrilliantRetail works, check out David’s article.
And congrats to David for getting his article on .net!