It’s been an amazing year across the board. Here is a quick recap of some of the things I did in 2012. I don’t keep a journal of every little detail, but here are some of the things I remember specifically setting out to do, sort of organized by month. So much more to report, these are just the highlights.
In January of 2012, I updated Digging into WordPress, including new printed books for 3.3. Additionally, I posted new content at DigWP.com, Perishable Press, and elsewhere. It was a busy month and a great way to start the new year.
In February, I began an overdue redesign of Perishable Press. This actually was more of a complete site overhaul than a simple theme redesign, including giant steps like combining two installations of WordPress, streamlining the vast collection of alternate themes, and restructuring/optimizing thousands of WordPress permalinks and other URLs. While working on this project, I continued to do business at my design company, Monzilla Media, continued working as editor for Smashing Magazine’s WordPress section, and kept up with the usual slew of tasks inherent in working online.
In March, I continued and eventually wrapped up my extensive overhal of Perishable Press, but the new theme was not well-received, so I spent an additional few weeks creating yet another new theme (named “Volume”). Beyond the site redesign, lots of little things happened in March, and I won’t bore either one of us with the details. Suffice it to say that it was a busy month trying to stay on top of everything.
In April, I turned 40 years old. If you’re thinking, “man you’re old” — just wait, you’ll (hopefully) get there too ;) Also in April, I updated a few of my WordPress themes and plugins, wrote some new articles, helped people with web design, and updated the DigWP.com site. Then suddenly it was May..
Instead of making much forward progress in May, I unexpectedly found myself migrating all of my sites to a new server. Media Temple decided to upgrade their (dv) servers, which required a lot of folks (including myself) to commit extra time and resources for a complicated and tedious server migration. So that was a lot of fun, but the end-result is a better server :)
In June, I spent about a week bringing together all of my online demos and tools. Then, beginning on June 6th, I started writing my new book, .htaccess made easy. So most of June was a balancing act between everyday tasks and finding time to work on the book. It was a good month.
In July, I worked on my book with nearly every second of free time. While the world was out playing in the Summer sun, I was glued to my monitor working on my book. I could not have done this if it weren’t for the many, many activities that my wife had planned for the kids, who seemed to enjoy their busy Summer break from school. While working, I was aware of the sacrifice required to achieve my goals, so I took some time out to enjoy life along the way.
August is my favorite month, and web-design is my favorite thing to do. In 2012, the stars aligned and I was able to spend the entire month finishing up my book and then designing its companion site, htaccessbook.com. Even with all the usual drama associated with working online, the routine, schedules, and so forth, August turned out to be a pretty great month.
In September, everything with the book and site came together (as planned), and I was able to launch the project on time and on budget on September 6th. So, along with launching a new project comes all sorts of other tasks such as spreading the news, social media, blog posts, and in this particular case, preparing the book for print. After the book was launched, I worked diligently to catch up with other responsibilities that I had let slide a bit while wrapping up the book. So Perishable Press, DigWP, and now htaccessbook.com all received some new content, maintenance, and so forth. September was literally a blur of activity. Just not enough time in the day.
In October, things were finally caught up and back on track, and WordPress had released yet another update, so it was once again time to update Digging into WordPress to version 3.4 and order some new printed books.
After the DigWP book update, I spent some time updating my WordPress plugins and releasing some new ones that I had in the works. It was good to spend some quality time on the WP-dev side of things, but I had forgotten how much work it actually takes to develop, launch, and maintain plugins, not to mention the extra time required for support, questions, etc. It can be frustrating when people don’t read the readme.txt file, but beyond that October was a good experience; plus, I now have a completely revamped collection of WP plugins. Win-win.
Getting a little closer to where we’re at currently, November was another busy month, with two new sites in development, xy.css (responsive grid design) and WP-Mix.com (code snippets site). In between moments working excitedly on those sites, I managed to keep up with the usual biz, and even revisited an old series with a new post. So that was a lot of fun, but November was focused primarily on the WP-Mix site. I also updated a few of my WordPress plugins based on recent feedback.
This month has been another blur of activity, but mixed with some definite chills. I like to work hard all year and then spend some extra time enjoying the holidays. The relaxing days have been nice, but most of this month has been spent diligently wrapping up my new site, xy.css (soft-launch today!). To be honest, I actually started working on xy.css back in 2011, but wanted more time to refine my technique before sharing it with the community. It’s all about responsive, grid design and bringing together the latest and greatest design techniques into a single, powerful foundation. I’ve already posted like five new articles on the xy blog, and much more is on the way.
Much has changed since I first got into all of this back in 2000, but most of it is all good. Things now are changing at a faster pace, and the online market is now (over)saturated with all sorts of garbage, commercial interests, spam, and superfluous nonsense. There are more challenges now than ever before, and there are entire governments that want to regulate our online activity and censor what we read. Going forward, it is mission-critical that the Web remain 100% open and free for everyone. Please stay informed and get involved in 2013.
All that said, I want to wish you and your family a safe and prosperous New Year — Here’s to 2013!!!