It’s Saturday morning, and I’m on the bus heading to WordCamp Vancouver. I’ve been to WordCamp 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018. At WordCamp I get to catch up with old coworkers, learn new things about WordPress, and find new awesome people to follow on Twitter. Some of my biggest influences, mentors, and clients have been people I was first introduced to at WordCamp. Even though it’s going to take me over an hour and a half to transit to downtown Vancouver, it’s worth it. I’m pretty lucky to work from home, so commuting to the big city one day a year isn’t a bad tradeoff.
This week I worked for seven different clients. In addition, I did some bookkeeping, found links to share on Twitter, followed up on multiple leads, researched a paperless office strategy, did some writing, sent an invoice, and worked on my plan to one day provide my clients with a dashboard to view their monthly retainer status.
I finished up my custom Gravity Form fields for Arc Insurance and sent the zip of that add-on to the client for him to start testing. It probably will need a few tweaks, but it feels great to hand it off to him and have it in a working state.
Teach for Canada
After a summer break, Teach for Canada is back on their monthly retainer, and this month we are focused on some improvements to their public facing WordPress site. The events system was built to sort events by the date they are published instead of when the event is going to start. The event date was set up to be broken into three fields for the year, month, and day. I was able to add a new field for tracking the date in a sortable format (Y-M-D) and modified the WordPress query to use that date and find only events in the future.
They also wanted some improvements to their newsletter forms. I added a new topic selection option to their embedded Mailchimp form and created a new popup to help encourage more newsletter subscribers. I’m not a huge fan of popups, but if someone does sign up I have the cookie set so they shouldn’t be bothered about it again for a long time.
I don’t market myself as an SEO expert, but even I know that it’s a good idea to have alt tags on images. Somehow the new theme YTM had developed by an agency last year ended up with most of their thumbnails having the word “Thumbnail” as their alt attribute and title attribute. This is a missed opportunity for SEO and an accessibility hindrance for people using screen readers. I modified the thumbnail generation function to use the alt and title values that the site editors have been assigning images for years. I guess it’s a good reminder that even a big agency may have mistakes in their development process.
I’m one stop away from my skytrain stop and then hours of sitting in university seating, but excited for whatever WordCamp Vancouver has to offer today.