New House and More!

Its been a crazy month, and I’m a little late writing this post, but I’m excited to say I am once again a homeowner! April and I bought a house in Glenside, Pennsylvania and are absolutely in love with it!

Buying this house brought back a lot of memories of my old house in Indiana. I loved being a homeowner and couldn’t wait to buy another house.

Glenside is a great little town just north of Philadelphia. It has a small town feel, but is only 30 minutes from downtown Philly. The new house has an amazing kitchen, all new appliances, plenty of room for the entire zoo, and a monstrous backyard.

We closed on the new house on April 1st. Shortly after arriving at our new home that same day I got down on one knee and proposed to April (and she said yes)! She is the love of my life and I wanted the house to be ours from day one.

Its been a wild month and we can’t wait to finish moving into our new place!

Professional WordPress Plugin Development Has Hit The Shelves!

My latest book, Professional WordPress Plugin Development, has left the warehouse and is in stock and ready to order! The book is also available in DRM-Free PDF and Kindle formats. I co-authored this book with two amazing developers, Ozh Richard and Justin Tadlock.

Pro WP Plugin Dev BookI am really happy with how the book turned out and know it will be a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn, or expand, their knowledge on WordPress plugin development. The book includes 80+ fully functional plugin examples and tutorials for download. I find myself consulting the book on a daily basis for code snippets and examples.

Professional WordPress Plugin Development covers a wide range of plugin dev topics including plugin foundation, creating widgets and shortcodes, custom post types and taxonomies, users and roles, coding standard and styles, and action and filter hooks. The book also dives into some more advanced topics like the HTTP API, JavaScript and Ajaz, Cron event scheduling, the Rewrite API, and even an entire chapter dedicated to Multisite plugin development! For more information check out the post Ozh wrote that details everything the book covers.

Want to win a FREE copy of the book? I’m giving away three free copies to three random fans of the Professional WordPress Plugin Development Facebook page. Simply like the page and you’re entered to win! I’ll pick the winners on Monday.

SitePoint Podcast Wins Podcast of the Year Award!

The SitePoint Podcast, which I’ve been a co-host on since the beginning, won the Podcast of the Year award from .NET Magazine!
I’ve been doing the SitePoint Podcast with Kevin Yank, Patrick O’Keefe, and Stephan Segraves since the first episode back on November 10th, 2008. It’s amazing to think we’ve been doing the show over 2 years now. I couldn’t be happier with how the podcast show has grown over the years.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for the SitePoint Podcast, our loyal listeners, our editors, and everyone involved in the podcast since the start!

Here’s a shot of the SitePoint Podcast hosts at Blog World Expo 2010.

BlogWorld Expo 2010 Recap! What Happens in Vegas…

Last week I attended BlogWorld Expo 2010 in beautiful (and warm!) Las Vegas with April, Brian, and Robin! This was my first visit to Las Vegas so I was very excited for the trip. My Company (WDS) redesigned the BlogWorld.com website and also sponsored the event.
BlogWorld Logo

I was lucky enough to record LIVE episodes of the SitePoint podcast at the event! Kevin Yank flew all the way from Sydney, Australia, along with Shayne Tilley and Luke Cuthbertson, to represent the launch of the new SitePoint venture Learnable! Patrick and Stephan, the other two hosts, were also there so we recorded a bunch of one-on-one interviews with attendees and also did a live recording with all four hosts! It was awesome hanging with sitepoint and podcast crew.

We also hung out with some great WordPress friends! Josh and Sally from Page.ly attended (and had a killer house party!). John Hawkins of 9seeds was the resident “local” giving us tips on places to check out and eat. Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner.com was also there and did a great interview with me. We also hung out with Andrew Powers and Adam Munns of PageLines.com

We had a WordPress dinner Saturday night with Lisa Sabin-Wilson and her husband Chris, Grant Griffiths and Clay from Headway Themes, Cory Miller and Matt Danner from iThemes, and I even met Brian Layman (who mentioned WDS in his presentation!), and Tracy Childers of Wishlist Member.

I was also invited to a few hotel suite parties by Darren Rowse of Problogger.com and SitePoint/Learnable. There is nothing quite like a Vegas hotel party!

Overall I had an amazing time! Can’t wait to attend next year! A photo gallery from the adventure is below:

25 Pounds Lighter and I’m Eating Hooters Wings!

Back in July, April and I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change. We had just recently moved to King of Prussia, PA and decided it was time to get in shape! We joined the local Ballys Gym, started eating super healthy, and completely changed our lifestyle. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I expected.

Hooters logoIn just three short months I’ve lost over 25lbs! My initial goal was to hit the 200lbs mark. As a little incentive I wanted to treat myself to a reward, and that reward is a delicious dinner at Hooters! I love wings, and Hooters wings are some of my favorite, so this was all the incentive I needed to get my rear in gear and lose the weight!

As luck would have it I just hit the 200lbs mark this week, which is the same week that I’m going to Las Vegas for BlogWorld Expo! So tonight I get my reward dinner at Hooters that was three months in the making! Sure it’s completely unhealthy, but I’ve earned it!

As a side note I wrote this blog post 30,000 ft in the air on my flight to Las Vegas. I love technology!

Best Wings in Philadelphia?

Last night April and I decided to try the winner of the “Best Wings in Philly” as awarded by Philadelphia Magazine.

Cinnamon Wings

The winning wings were from Teresa’s Next Door Bar in Wayne, PA. When I heard the wings were cinnamon I was a bit skeptical, but being the best wings in Philly I had to try them.

The first thing I noticed is the wings are whole wings. So even though the serving is only 5 whole wings, it’s actually 10 traditional wings. When the waitress brought the wings we immediately smelt the warm cinnamon aroma. Even the guy sitting next to us asked if they were cinnamon flavored.

The wings were extremely delicious! The meat was juicy and cooked perfectly. The cinnamon was better than I expected, but I still felt like I was missing out on my normal hot wings.

Overall the wings at Teresa’s Next Door Bar were really good and I would recommend them to anybody. Now I need to go back and try the hot wings!

The Big 30 – Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my 30th birthday and amazingly it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure I’m an old man now, but I certainly don’t feel like it. I guess turning 30 is just a state of mind. As they say you’re only as old as you feel right?

I spent part of the day waiting for FiOS to be installed in the new house. After the install was complete we had my birthday dinner at Hooters, which is pretty much a tradition at this point. All in all it was a good birthday!

I found this quote online that seems appropriate:

Everything I know I learned after I was thirty. – Georges Clemenceau

WordCamp San Francisco 2010 Recap

WordCamp San Francisco has come and gone and here I am a month later writing a recap about it. I had an awesome time in San Francisco, not only for WordCamp, but also hanging out in California for a week!

WordCamp Day 1 was held at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. The location was really nice and had plenty of room for all 700+ attendees at the event. I attended a few sessions throughout the day, but spent most of my time (as I usually do) chatting with fellow WordPress junkies in the hallways and outside.

For lunch we had an amazing BBQ buffet and some live jazz to enjoy while we ate outside. At the end of the day Matt Mullenweg gave his annual State of the Word address. However the best part was yet to come, and that was the afterparty!

The WordCamp after party was held at the Automattic lounge on Pier 38. After passing through security (yes security) we were treated to an open bar and a nice assortment of snacks including fresh made crepes! I knew we were in trouble when the drinks were being made at about a 90% alcohol and 10% mixer ratio.

I would share all of the photos from that night, but it would look more like the credits from The Hangover, so instead I picked my favorites of the bunch to share:

Photo credits to Chris Cochran

Professional WordPress Has Hit The Shelves!

I’m extremely excited to announce that Professional WordPress, a book I co-authored, has hit the shelves at major book retailers nation wide! The book is also in stock on Amazon.com!
Professional WordPress BooksThis journey started in April of 2009 when Matt Mullenweg posted a blog post that Wiley was looking for WordPress enthusiasts to author a new book. I emailed Carol Long that night and before I knew it was one of the co-authors chosen for Professional WordPress along with Hal Stern and David Damstra!

The entire process was quite a learning experience since I had never written a book before. Luckily Wiley/WROX has an amazingly talented staff that helped guide us during this book writing journey. Hal and David were also great co-authors to work with during the process.

Professional WordPress is a book written by programmers for programmers. We take a more in-depth look at WordPress to help explain how WP works from the inside out. Learn how to create powerful plugins to handle any task. Explore how to build amazing themes using the latest features in WordPress. Learn how to use WordPress as a CMS. We even cover WordPress in the Enterprise and migrating to WordPress from another system. This book has something for everyone so make sure you pick up a copy today and help support your favorite WordPress hackers!

Keep an eye on this blog as I’ll be giving away a few copies of Professional WordPress in the coming weeks!

My Interview on the WordPress Weekly Podcast

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Chandler on the WordPress Weekly Podcast! It was great to be back on the show, even though the spotlight was on me this time. I’ve been participating on the WP Weekly podcast since the start (episode 1) so it was fun to reminisce a bit about how we both started into WordPress and how the podcast came to be.

Hal Stern also joined in at the beginning of the show to discuss our new book, Professional WordPress. Jeff and I also discussed many different topics including the challenges of running a business around open source, secret projects in the works, my thoughts on WordPress and how it compares to other open source CMS solutions, and much more! Be sure to check out the episode and let me know how I did!