First post with Gutenberg

This is the beginning of the next chapter of publishing. I’ve been feeling relatively stagnant online recently, as a lack of recent blog posts shows. There hasn’t been anything I’ve been excited to learn, and with other interests becoming more of a priority, technology has taken a back seat.

Writing with the new Gutenberg experience, I feel inspired to learn something new. While there is a constant pressure to keep up with “the latest thing” in technology, this direction feels like more of a paradigm shift in the core of how WordPress will function in the future, and not just a fad.

I’ve gone back and edited some of my previous posts to learn how some of the content blocks work. You may seem some visual changes to various content types such as images and videos. I also started using a new theme to take advantage of some of the new features, and it just felt like the right time for a new design for this space.

It’s Not Perfect

At first, I was hesitant to test Gutenberg, because I’m not a fan of drag-and-drop designing. I’m a bit worried it will make a lot of websites look the same (more than they already do) and design will take a backseat to content creation. I guess trends are unavoidable.

I have noticed a few issues on the backend while writing that are not fully functional yet, but overall the experience has been an easy transition. For instance, the Preview button doesn’t work unless I first manually save my changes, otherwise , the preview page just shows the message below:

Please wait…

Generating preview.

Since it’s still a work in progress, I’m sure these minor issues will be worked out before the official release.

The Good Stuff

The blocks are intuitive both in creating and editing them, and it’s easy to move things around as you play with the layout. Once you figure out where everything is in the new editor, the experience of virtually front-end editing is quite efficient.

The editor is miles ahead of the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor that hasn’t really changed much in the last decade within WordPress. There still may be a temptation for some people to spend too much time over-designing the layout, but it doesn’t really distract me from the writing process.

Overall, I’m happy to say I’m glad I finally jumped on the Gutenberg train and am excited to see where it goes. Even in the early stages of development, I see a lot of potential for the future of digital publishing.

Front End Web Developer

I have been making websites since I taught myself HTML during the summer of 1995 and have a degree in web design, but since front-end development is constantly changing I decided to go through this course earlier this year.

It was challenging but rewarding, and if nothing else has helped build up my confidence that I actually know what I’m doing. My goal was to complete this by the end of the year. And after a few health-related setbacks, I’m glad I managed to finish it before the holidays!


Started: March 7, 2017
Finished: December 21, 2017
Hours Completed: 62


  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • CSS Layout
  • Responsive Layout
  • CSS Flexbox
  • HTML Forms
  • JavaScript Loops, Arrays, & Objects
  • CSS Selectors
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap 4
  • Fron-End Performance Optimization
  • HTML Tables
  • HTML Video & Audio
  • AJAX
  • Object-Oriented JavaScript
  • Accessibility
  • Website Optimization
  • Console
  • Git

Changing Direction

A little over a year ago I officially started my web design business, thinking I would grow it from a freelance side business to hopefully a full-time venture.

I got my two biggest projects in the last year, as well as a few small ones. I also got to speak last Summer at the inaugural Lehigh Valley WordCamp, which was both an honor and incredible pleasure. In addition, I have attempted to participate in the local WordPress community by attending some of the local meetups.

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Get a free ticket to WordCamp Lancaster

When they first announced WordCamp Lancaster 2017, I immediately bought a ticket. Then I applied to speak, got accepted, and got a free ticket. That leaves me in a position of having a ticket I don’t need.

Sure, I could ask for a refund. And sure, they’re only $20…


I thought I’d have a little contest and give my extra ticket away!

All you have to do is comment on this blog post between Friday (February 24th) and Sunday (February 26th) by midnight. I will choose a winner and announce it on Monday morning. Make sure to use a valid email address, because that’s the one I will assign the ticket to for the winner.

In your comment, tell me why you want to go to WordCamp Lancaster!

Speaking at WordCamp Lancaster 2017

I’m very excited that my talk was accepted for the upcoming WordCamp Lancaster!

You can read the announcement here and see the other speakers as well as buy tickets.

Work-life Balance and The Ups and Downs of Freelancing

“It can be difficult to maintain a healthy balance between our work and personal lives. I will share my own experiences of freelancing and starting a business while working a full-time job and having a family, as well as tips for improving your productivity.”