I came across this site and it says my first pull request was four years ago to the Fuel PHP framework. As far as I remember this isn’t my real first pull request. Just the first on GitHub.

Back then I was big into CodeIgniter and they either used HG or Git, but the project was on Bitbucket. So I’m sure my true first would have been around a year or so earlier.

It is interesting thinking back and seeing how much has changed in the PHP landscape since then. Four years ago composer didn’t exist, Laravel didn’t exist, as well as many of the packages we rely on today.

Imagine all the changes that will happen over the next four.

Minimal Genesis: New WordPress Theme

I’m happy to announce my first ever WordPress theme which is modeled after a previous design of this site. It’s simple, clean, with a focus on typography and includes several post formats to make your site unique.

Theme Example
Theme Example

The theme came to life earlier this year when I wanted to rebuild this site. I am constantly changing the design and finally decided that I had spent way to much time looking for a perfect theme. All the theme markets focus on designs with lots of images and complexity. I wanted to go back to basics and have something that would look nice without images.

Minimal Genesis Theme Features

This is a child theme for the popular Genesis framework. The parent theme is a requirement and it is commercial. Genesis is widely used and has tons of nice features for your site.

This theme features everything included with Genesis as well as:

  • Post formats – Linked, Quote, Image, and Standard
  • All WordPress common features
  • Search Engine Friendly
  • Clean and Minimal

Post Formats

I view personal blogging as a journal. As such your theme should have the ability to support long-form posts, quotes, and links.

Link Post

Link Post
Link Post

I believe a link post should have the title linked to the actual site you are writing about. You can set this style up by selecting the “link format” in the post sidebar and then adding an extra field named “link” with the value of the url. Here is a screenshot of the custom field setting:

Quote Post

Quote Post
Quote Post

This is an example quote style post format. To set this up select the quote format in the post edit sidebar. Then have the quote as the first part of the content. To style the author name set the name to bold or em.

Featured Image

Featured Image
Featured Image

Featured images are supported and will appear above the title and be the full size of the post box.

Buy It Now

If you like this theme you can buy it now at Creative Market. If you’d like to give it a test drive check out the theme demo.

Twitter Cards for One-Click Newsletter Signups

Last week I moved my Laravel Newsletter off a self hosted newsletter application and over to Campaign Monitor. While I was working on the move I remembered a post by Ryan Battles on how to integrate one-click Twitter signup and decided to set it up.

Integration was super easy and in fact it would even work with the self hosted app Sendy if you have an SSL. I didn’t.

To get started I filled out all the instructions and downloaded Ryan’s free psd template. A few minutes of customizing and I was up and running.


I pushed the Twitter card live on November 28th and have already seen good results. In five days, around a holiday, I added over 100 new subscribers from just the card. I assume that is a decent number.

I am curious to see how it works over a longer time frame or if this is just a short term gimmick.

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Last month I took a 30 day blogging challenge. The goal was simple, write a new post every weekday for a month. Sounds easy right.

November had 20 weekdays and I managed to publish 16 posts. Which I honestly consider a success considering we had a holiday and I attended a conference. It’s the most posts in one month I’ve ever done on this site.

What I found most interesting is how much social media has taken over blogging. Instead of really thinking about an idea and putting into a long form post, I write quick 140 character summary and after 10 minutes it’s forever lost in the abyss.

Going forward from this I do want to get into a better blogging routine, not daily but at least two posts a week. I believe this will help me improve my writing and get better at writing longer form articles.

Have you ever tried a challenge like this? If so, what was your results? Would you be interested in doing it?

I’m still very much a beginner photographer but looking to improve. This post on creating better phone photos has a lot of inspiration:

Behind the emergence of a these incredible mobile photos are countless amazing photographers who – everyday – redefine and push the limits of this new art. And so – we asked the world’s best mobile photographers just how exactly they create art with their phones.

JavaScript Helper for Triggering Stripe Failures

Lately I’ve had to integrate Stripe a few times and I keep having to visit their test card page over and over to copy and paste failed cards. Today I finally had enough and threw together a little helper that you can add to a Laravel blade file.

With this when you view the credit card form you can open console and type stripeData. and have autocomplete of whatever failed message you want to test for.

I know this is super simple but it helped me so I think it’s worth sharing.

I had several people ask me to do an interview in my Artisan files series and it just so happens I had an empty slot this week so I was happy to oblige.