James Evers-Swindell

Articles

My thoughts on all things WordPress and the world of front end web development.

Tiny helpers is a useful website bookmarking online tools for developers

I recently came across Tiny helpers via a recommendation from the Front End Happy Hour podcast. In its own words it’s “A collection of free single-purpose online tools for web developers…” and several of which I have found quite useful. If you have some spare time take a look and see if there’s anything that

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Easy local development for WordPress and PHP

Ask someone how they setup their local development tooling and you’ll get a different answer every time. We all have our own ideas and opinions on what suits our needs best and that’s fine. However it can be incredibly difficult as a beginner to know where to start. So I’d like to offer a suggestion

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Improving image management with lazy loading

Having previously written about the benefits of using the WebP image format, I wanted to follow it up with some additional thoughts on improving page load times further with a technique called lazy loading. In the original gallery example I had 10 images with a combined size over 8MB and a rather appalling 40+ seconds

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Keep your WordPress admin area tidy

The WordPress admin provides a rich editing experience with a variety of features and tools at our disposal. However there are times when these features just aren’t required for our websites – so wouldn’t it be nice if we could hide them? Less clutter keeps us focused, so fewer menus and options should make our

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A few ingenious CSS approaches from Chris Coyier

Chris Coyier has been at it again – he continues to deliver more excellent and thought provoking content around CSS and I wanted to share some of it with you. One idea in particular that has really caught my attention in recent days is his post concerning list marker alignment. It’s accompanied with a great

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Have you restricted access to your WordPress REST API?

If you are unsure what the WordPress REST API is, or you know you aren’t going to be using it, then you should consider limiting access to it. Put simply the REST API is an endpoint which other applications and services can use to retrieve data from your WordPress website. By default it exposes posts,

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Turning my business card into a digital flip card

I keep seeing flip cards all over the internet at the moment. I know I’m probably late to the party on these but I thought I would have a go at turning my business card into one for a bit of fun. For those of you that aren’t familiar with flip cards — well they’re

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How much difference does WebP actually make?

WebP as Google puts it is “a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.” If you undertake regular website testing you have probably also seen it recommend by Googles Page Speed Insights tool among others. I wanted to illustrate the difference it makes to our websites speed

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Managing ordered lists

So apparently the ordered list element has reversed and start attributes. I never knew this before, so decided to have a go myself. Full credit for bringing this to my attention goes to Robin Rendle’s post on CSS Tricks. See the Pen Managing Ordered Lists by James (@jamesevers) on CodePen.

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How to downgrade WordPress to a specific version

Have you ever needed to rollback a WordPress installation to a specific version? If so, WP Downgrade might be the plugin you’ve been missing. It allows you to simply specify the target version of WordPress you want to install. You can then click Save Changes and initiate an update from the provided prompt. As always,

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A quick update

With so much uncertainty at this time I wanted to confirm that I am still working remotely as normal. I am still available for projects, so if you’re in need of a Front End Web Developer and require help with WordPress, Gatsby or CS-Cart get in touch. I would also like say thank you to

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Improved website page speed can lead to a better user experience and increased sales conversions

It’s a distinct possibility that your website will receive more visitors over the coming weeks than it has previously due to current restrictions in the UK. So make sure your websites page speed is the best it can be, and give your users a good experience. You’ll also be maximising your potential sales and conversions.

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Are your image uploads harming your websites performance?

WordPress makes it easy for us to upload images to our websites, but I wonder how often we stop and consider the impact of these images. Your websites page load time is a key metric that isn’t going away anytime soon, and we’ve seen time and again that lowering it can improve conversions and other

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Why you should enable Two-Factor Authentication

To follow up on my previous post regarding the use of passphrases over passwords, I think it is also worth mentioning that an excellent way to improve security is to combine passphrases with the use of two factor authentication. Also known as 2FA. Two factor authentication is effectively a code sent to your phone via

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A few great reasons to use WordPress for your websites CMS

If you’re looking to create a new website in 2020 make sure you consider WordPress. Whether your building a website for yourself or your business it’s got some great options to help you achieve more online. Did you know WordPress is the CMS of choice for over 30% of the web? It’s also open-source, has

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The different types of website you can build with WordPress

The first thing that springs to most peoples minds when thinking of WordPress is blogging, or a personal website, however there’s a lot more you could use it for… You could build a website for your business or professional services. Just be mindful of the theme you choose and how it will deliver your content

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Essential WordPress plugins to help with your website: UpDraftPlus

This week I wanted to focus on essential (in my opinion) WordPress plugins that you should consider when building a new WordPress website. These suggestions are made with everyone in mind, so if you are a DIYer, a web designer or an agency, these should be useful to you. Now I strongly believe if you’re

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Essential WordPress plugins to help with your website: WordFence

WordPress sometimes gets a bad reputation for security but I believe it’s quite often unfair, and that the real issue is in providing better information for everyone about correct WordPress setup. Making sure you have the correct file permissions, unique database prefixes, properly generated salt keys (yes that’s a thing), secure and unique usernames and

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Essential WordPress plugins to help with your website: WP-Optimize

Today I wanted to talk briefly about improving the performance of your WordPress site. It’s important to remember that page speed has a direct relationship to bounce rates and conversions on your website. So if your website load times are slow your going to loose potential customers and revenue. The best way to achieve a

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Using Varvy to help with SEO and page speed

If you want to make sure your website is checking the right boxes when it comes to Google’s guidelines on SEO and Page Speed try checking out some of the helpful tools from Varvy – https://varvy.com/ It’s a really helpful indicator to see if you might need to make any improvements to your site. If

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Choose your WordPress plugins wisely!

Remember to be selective over the plugins you choose for your WordPress website. One of WordPress’s biggest appeals is the vast array of plugins available to help achieve the functionality you want. There’s a plugin to do pretty much anything you can think of on WordPress, and there’s definitely a temptation to keep adding plugins

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Are you using a passphrase?

As a front end web developer there’s a lot I can do to help maximise how secure the websites I build are from a technical standpoint. However I also think part of that is a responsibility to remind the users, customers, and owners of these products just how important good password practice is. I think

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