Chronicle II

I’ve been doing a lot so this is a long post, but I promise it’s image and action packed and a quick read! (RSS & email readers, you probably have to click through to see the pictures at the beginning.)

The Seattle spring weather has been incredible!

 

I also got spend a week on the East Coast for two weddings and some family time. That trip included my second ever time in the Big Apple!

 

But it wasn’t all play either. Here’s what I’ve been up to professionally.

Office Hours at The Hub

 

My amazing partner has been getting into embroidery so I had her make MRW Web Design a framed sign. It now advertises the business every time I offer my monthly “office hours” at the Seattle Impact Hub. Office hours are four 30-minute slots for getting free advice and support every month. They’re a really great way for the members of my coworking space to help and get to know each other.

So far, I’ve helped people figure out WordPress.com, consulted on search engine optimization and blog audience development, and helped people decide whether WordPress is the right CMS for them.

What I really want to do is give people free accessibility audits of their website but no one has taken me up on that offer yet. If you’re a Hub member, sign up to get one!

Watch my WordCamp Seattle: Experienced Presentation

In March, I gave a talk at WordCamp Seattle 2015: Experienced Edition about coding accessible WordPress websites. The slides from the presentation have been online for a while but the presentation video just went up on WordPress.tv! It’s pretty darn good with high-quality audio and video along with spliced-in slides and videos.

You can watch it below and see no one laugh at my Lego Movie reference. There’s also the accessibility information of course. This presentation is intended for a technical audience since it was presented to an “experienced” audience.

The video contains the 30-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute Q&A.

Speed Geek

In the first of these chronicles, I invited you to Speed Geek. It happened, and it went great!

One of the two sponsors, Percolator Consulting, wrote about each of the presentations in “What happened at Speed Geek?” Here’s the relevant sections:

If you don’t know what a Speed Geek is, here’s the gist: imagine a bunch of smarty pants showing off new tools, applications, and tricks (in our case, for nonprofits) in five minutes or less. It’s like speed dating, but for nerds.

MRW Web Design – Mark Root-Wiley shared Feature a Page Widget, a simple but powerful open source contribution that he designed after seeing a need in his client base and which has now been used by 9,000+ websites.

Since that presentation, the estimated number of active sites has ticked up to 10,000+ and it’s now available in four languages: Polish, Serbian, German, and—since Speed Geek—Spanish!

Here are the slides, though they may not make much sense without my fabulous narration!

Site Launch: EECWA

Equity in Education Coalition Home Page

In late May, I helped the Equity in Education Coalition of Washington launch their brand new website! They’re a fairly new organization so had previously relied only on their Facebook page for a web presence.

With a new custom web design from Noise Without Sound, they’re now putting out a great welcome mat for visitors on the web. Their new site includes important background information as well as a calendar of events and private discussion forums for their training participants and members.

Site Launch: WSCADV

WSCADV Home Page Screenshot

Yesterday, I launched a site that has been a long time coming for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It was a great experience working with their communications and technology team over there and I think the result is fantastic!

We gave their old design a facelift and made the site responsive, but what we really focused on was a near-complete restructuring of their website to make information more findable for visitors. This new website makes it clearer to new visitors what WSCADV does and helps returning visitors find more and better information faster.

Notable features of their new site include a powerful filterable Resource Library, a new “Project Portals” feature to give a home to each of the organization’s projects (examples: Public Policy and Domestic Violence Housing First), and a job board that allows for public submissions of relevant new jobs.

Since the old website was managed with HTML files, this new WordPress-based site has already enabled five different site editors to contribute to the content development and entry required to prepare the site. Moving forward, site management should be much easier for them!

New Plugin: Post Type Archive Descriptions

Partial screenshot of Post Type Archive Descriptions WordPress plugin

I also launched a new plugin: Post Type Archive Descriptions. This was some code I had been sitting on for years, but finally got around to releasing publicly. It’s aimed at people who build WordPress sites, but I promise it’s useful. I’ve been using a version of it on many of the WordPress sites I build.

Off for a Month

Phew! That’s it. The only remaining thing to know is that MRW Web Design will be closing down for a month while I do some traveling and refreshing. I’ll see you all in late July for more blog posts, websites, projects, and fun. Cheers!

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