151: With Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara

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This week we’re joined by Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara of the CTRL+CLICK Cast!

We talk about keeping up with new technologies, Expression Engine VS WordPress, CMS alternatives to WordPress, the creative process for designing for the web, how to find work/life balance, and more.

Q & A:

  • 20:01 For years I have primarily used ExpressionEngine as my CMS of choice. While I still love EE, it isn’t right for every project, so I am looking to brush up on my WordPress chops. Do you have any recommendations on a few sites or other online resources that you use to keep on top of WP developments?
  • 25:04 Is WordPress usually the best CMS to use for client work? Are there better alternatives out there?
  • 41:58 When you’re just beginning a new design – when that completely blank Photoshop canvas is staring back at you – what is your thought process like?
  • 49:22 As a business owner, freelance creative who works from home, I often have trouble balancing my work life with my family life. Can you offer insight on how you balance work life and family life?


  • 40:48 E4H: Responsive Web Design Summit – Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web’s most notable experts in responsive web design and web performance for an all-new, three-day online conference, the RWD Summit 2015! Bring the experts to your desktop March 10-March 12, 2015 from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

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  • 46:12 Beanstalk – Beanstalk is a complete workflow for private teams to write, review and deploy code.

In November they launched their updated Code Review workflow. It’s a complete rethinking of how teams collaborate. Their review process is designed to start the discussion early and integrates directly with your branch, resulting in more feedback from your team.

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  • Grégoire Noyelle


    The management of WordPress home CMS style has change a lot since two years!
    You don’t need to use widget and you can make quite easily some page builder from a plugin or on demand with ACF flexible content. An other exemple is happytables who made a really simple WordPress back-office. And the REST Api will bring a lot of great things in the future.

    Love your show !

  • ashwhiting

    I don’t think it’s quite right saying that WordPress isn’t a CMS. It most certainly is. And I’d be a little worried if people were going out there naively telling clients that it isn’t.

    I agree with Gregoire… With the addition of Advanced Custom Fields, it actually is as powerful a CMS as any other out there I have used (And I’ve used a lot) – It’s way simpler, for example, than both Django and Joomla, which are both a nightmare to develop for and for the client to manage.

    The client-facing language of WordPress is what my customers love about it. That’s why they choose it over other systems. It’s simple to use and quick to understand, with a flat learning-curve.

    I do think that EE and Craft are both excellent too. And it really is a case of right tools for the job. We shouldn’t forget Drupal either. I used to get into software wars and what’s best when I was a kid starting out. These days, it just seems rather naive.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine to disagree and have an opinion on something, healthy even. It’s also fine to not like something as well. But in order to arrive at this judgement, then you should have a thorough, low-level, understanding of why you don’t like something.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is just because you don’t like a certain CMS, it doesn’t then, by default, make the CMS you do like better. I know it’s all subjective. But the comments accusing WordPress of not being a proper CMS are completely incorrect and made me roll my eyes.

    Oh. And for in-browser design accuracy – Font rendering, etc, Sketch will do that for you. 🙂

  • Jeff Gnatek

    I second both of the previous comments, the “WordPress is not a CMS” comment is totally bogus, perhaps you haven’t tried using the CMS in a while, but I’d rather use it over Craft or EE any day. I see you are talking to Marion Newlevant about twigs, and WordPress has that ability now with the Timber plugin. I’m sad to see people are pushing clients away from the biggest open source ecosystem available for small expensive options with very small communities.

  • chriscoyier

    I thought it was a pretty fair conversation. Of course WordPress is a CMS. I use it as one every day of my life. I have lots of video tutorials teaching people how to do just that. But I also think it’s fair to say that you have to do some pretty specific customization to get it to do all the stuff you want it to do. It doesn’t have a native concept of “editable regions” that some people think of as a CMS, and that’s fine. Different tools for different jobs.

    • ashwhiting

      Perhaps I misunderstood. But a lot of CMS’ out there will require specific customisation for each client. Some use twig templating, some, like WordPress, have their own methodologies… They all, inevitably achieve the same goal though. The management of content. That seems fairly obvious and it is.

      We are here to create the best things for our clients. Our clients aren’t there so that we can show off our CMS chops and flex our dev skillz by using something deliberately obscure that they might find difficult to scale in the future. It’s certainly not lazy for clients to “want a WordPress” – If that’s what they want.

      Not to mention. It’s free!!