168: Rapidfire 45

01:07:11   Download

Another RAPID-FIRE for you this week; nothing but questions from our dear listeners and answers from your favorite podcast’s hosts.

We answer questions about hosting client sites pre-launch, CSS animation libraries, dealing with burnout, merge conflicts, deploying WordPress sites, code portfolios, the importance of blogging and where you should publish your content, metrics to consider when re-designing a website, working with WordPress’s REST API, and more.

We talked about (roughly in order):

Q & A:

  • 3:26 I’m a bit confused about how can a client have remote access to a project during development, before it goes live. Is it a personal server on an old PC, a paid web hosting service, a free web hosting service, a repository (like GitHub) or something else?
  • 11:31 I just started with a new agency where I’m leading the entire team. I’m trying to push doing more CSS3 animations on hover effects and not worrying about supplying older browsers with that animation. The team has used GreenSock.js to handle animations cross browser. I argue that using a library like GreenSock is fine for large complicated animations but hover effects and minor effects we should move to pure css3 and keyframes. Am I going overboard with this thinking or should I back off and let the team continue to use something like GreenSock?
  • 19:25 I have been actively working in some area of the web industry for the last 12 years. Currently 30 years old and have my dream job as a Director for a great company. I have always had times of feeling burnt out and needing to take a break over the years. Now with a young family, house, hobbies etc. I find that these seasons are turning from weeks to months. Any tips on how to break out of the rut? How do you guys continue to stay excited about the industry and furthering your knowledge and skill sets?
  • 25:30 We use git for version control and follow the git flow model, mostly. We’re getting into a bit of a kerfuffle with our compiled CSS. A few developers might be working on the front end, on different branches, with SASS which then compiles to a CSS file. Then BOOM SHAKE THE ROOM, we have a merge conflict. All the .scss files are fine but that compiled and compressed style.css is an abomination. How do you lot deal with this kind of thing? It’s been suggested that we .gitignore style.css and compile on the server when we push the site but I’m against that for some reason or other. Is there a better way?
  • 33:00 How should I handle the wp-config.php file when deploying a WordPress site? I use Beanstalk and I’m working alone. I’m struggling with this because there are essentially three different versions of the wp-config: local, staging and production. Should I put it in .gitignore and just manually create it on the staging and production servers?
  • 36:48 GitHub has always been a standard for developers and having an online code portfolio. However I like CodePen much better and seems to have a great user base. How do you decide which platform to use, or should I focus on platform for code bits? Secondly, for blogging, should I use a platform like CodePen blogs since I have no audience, or should I do my own thing?
  • 44:34 I’m redesigning and reengineering an organization’s website from scratch. I have clear design goals but want to show objective engineering gains as well, what are the best metrics to compare before and after a redesign? Page-size and load time are obvious, but what other ones should I be thinking about?
  • 50:15 How did the trend of photoshopping your face into an astronaut’s helmet start? I see this in a lot of profile pics. I’m considering joining the craze but I’d like to know the full history before jumping in. Is there something that I’m missing?
  • 52:48 I learned web development and templating through WordPress, like many other people. With the coming WordPress REST API, I’m looking to play around and learn another method for front end development that pulls site data from the WordPress REST API’s JSON output, and therefore I don’t have any backend prerequisites. If you could go completely greenfield with no client requirements, what route would you most want to take to learn a new thing?
  • 1:00:43 What are your thoughts about how one should effectively serve retina images? I read this old blogpost by Jensen in which he was able to bypass the use of retina.js, cookies, or extra server-side stuff to serve high-res images on Retina screens. What IS the best way and what makes it the best way?

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Also, you might like Chris’ other podcast, CodePen Radio.

  • awesomephant

    Is redesign.codepen.io the secret subdomain you mentioned?

    • chriscoyier

      It is! But I’m afraid we’re going to have to lock that down. It’s pretty far from ready for user testing. If you’re interested in being a tester though, lemme know.

  • Doug McClure

    You should use the sound bit of Dave saying “pew pew pew” as your new rapidfire clip. Great episode!