Trevan Hetzel

Single page WordPress themes with Timber, Twig and Backbone

I wrote an article nearly a year ago about building a front-end WordPress theme using Backbone. Since then, I’ve done a lot more research and experimenting and have come up with a pretty solid way of developing “single-page-esque” WordPress themes with Backbone (or React/Flux, Angular, Ember or any other front-end framework). My big hurdle earlier in the year was the concept of server-side vs. client-side rendering. I couldn’t think of a good way to serve...

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New WordPress plugin: Smooth Directory

Check out my second ever WordPress plugin, Smooth Directory, now live on WordPress.org! I’ve kind of been developing this business directory plugin alongside the Smooth Calendar plugin I launched yesterday, working on the same client project. Smooth Directory solved my needs for a simple business directory, so hopefully it can solve yours as well. Full details are available on the WordPress plugin page or on GitHub, but the quick rundown is that it’s a very...

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New WordPress plugin: Smooth Calendar

I’m excited to announce that my first ever WordPress plugin is now live on WordPress.org! It’s called Smooth Calendar and it’s the smoothest calendar plugin you’ll ever use (see what I did there?). I built the calendar a while back for a client and just got around to polishing it up to make it public. It’s built using the WP REST API, it’s responsive and it…well it just works. As a theme developer myself, I...

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Browser trends from a Shark Tank traffic spike

For the past year I’ve been working with Rent Like a Champion, who recently sealed a sweet deal with Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca on ABC’s Shark Tank. I started contracting with them a little over a year ago by completely redesigning their website and coding up the front-end responsively. We had no idea at this time last year that an airing on the show was in our near future. But fortunately, when word came...

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Managing critical CSS in a WP theme

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest in front-end performance trends, you’ve no doubt heard of, and hopefully played around with, “critical CSS”. If you haven’t, go check out Scott Jehl’s article on perceived performance first. Basically, to help with a site’s perceived performance, you can inline in the <head> only the styles that are critical for rendering the above-the-fold content that a user first sees upon visiting your site. Then, the full stylesheet...

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