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Email @ 50: Email Development

By:Nick Stewart on 8/6/2021

Email development has always been the bane of a web developer's existence. You have to use outdated methods and don't have access to the full modern web to create a nice looking email that thousands of people will see. It's like asking a Nascar mechanic to create a car using only tools from the 90s - it can be done but its more than a pain.

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PHP, Javascript & React
Developing the New via.studio
Developing the New via.studio

By:Alec Robertson on 6/14/2021

A deep dive into creating a fast, user-focused experience on the latest web technology stack for the new via.studio website.

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Dive into the Sanity Structure Builder

By:Mark Biek on 6/13/2021

Sanity is the super fast, super customizable CMS that we're using as the backend for the new via.studio website. One of the more powerful concepts that Sanity is the ​Structure Builder which gives you the ability to customize how content is presented in the Sanity admin.

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What's the JAMstack?

By:Alec Robertson on 6/13/2021

As a front-end developer in 2020, it is time that I fulfill the FEDeral mandate that I publish words regarding the JAMStack. If you follow too many developers on Twitter, it’s likely you’ve heard about the Next Big Thing in web development, but I’d like to put this trend (fad? movement?) into context to better understand what’s truly new about this approach and whether it’s worth using.

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Wordpress to Sanity Data Script

By:Nick Stewart on 3/11/2021

One of the biggest challenges of moving from one CMS to another is getting your existing data to the new platform. In our case, we were moving our existing WordPress platform, which had been around for years, over to the Sanity.io platform.

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Building a Wordpress Theme with Timber

By:Alec Robertson on 10/6/2020

Timber is a plugin that allows Wordpress to render files written with Twig, a PHP template engine. We built a recent project with it and found that it greatly simplified the theme-building experience. Let's dig into why Timber is so useful for building Wordpress sites and how you can get started with it.

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Custom Dev
Pitfalls of Custom Development
Pitfalls of Custom Development

By:Mark Biek on 7/28/2020

There is a very well known concept in development circles called Not invented here syndrome or NIH. It describes a developer’s tendency to write something from scratch when there is an existing solution they could use instead.

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WooCommerce Tips

By:Nick Stewart on 7/8/2020

Here at VIA, we have many clients that use WooCommerce, which is also our preferred eCommerce solution. Over the years, we’ve found a few helpful tips and tricks that make developing for WooCommerce a little bit easier.

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My (Current) Favorite QA Tools

By: Alexandra Ponce on 6/23/2020

Quality assurance testing is a crucial step in building and launching a website. It ensures an experience that is accessible, intuitive, and functional.

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A custom ecommerce experience with Shopify

By:Mark Biek on 6/15/2020

Why Shopify? Shopify is one of our favorite hosted ecommerce platforms. It does a great job of making it easy to manage products, product variants, coupons, refunds, etc etc etc.

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Introducing VIA Studio's WordPress Plugins

By:Nick Wunderlin on 6/8/2020

Over the past year, the VIA Studio development team has carefully crafted and published five different WordPress plugins to help developers and webmasters get the most out of their sites and other commonly used services. Check out VIA Studio’s Plugin Library! Lead Integration: Gravity Forms + Salesforce WordPress Plugin Have you experienced frustration trying to connect web forms to your CRM systems? We feel your pain! This is what led to the development of our Gravity Forms to SalesForce plugin.

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Organizing Web Styling

By:Alec Robertson on 5/26/2020

An overview of different approaches to organizing CSS.

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A Brief Overview of WCAG 2.1

By: Alexandra Ponce on 5/6/2020

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 are a series of guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for making web content more accessible on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Following these guidelines helps ensure content is more accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities, such as blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, and photosensitivity.

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How To Adapt Your Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By:Nick Wunderlin on 4/28/2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19 is currently impacting just about every aspect of daily life. There is no clear timeframe for when we can go back to normal and it might take a long time.

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Using React and Redux to build the Kentucky Performing Arts ticketing experience

By:Mark Biek on 1/14/2020

When planning the KPA ticketing app, the first big decision was deciding which technology stack to use _______ Given the complex and highly-interactive design, we needed something that was going to be developer-friendly while letting us build an application that was highly responsive to user interactions. Nothing’s more frustrating than a slow user interface! VIA has mostly standardized on ReactJS for smaller interactive user experiences as well as single-page web applications so it seemed like a great fit, even though the ticketing app is just a small (but critical!) piece of a much larger site.

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User Experience
The Dramatic Uptick in Shopping on Mobile is all about Comfort
The Dramatic Uptick in Shopping on Mobile is all about Comfort

By:Ben Wilson on 11/25/2019

The rise of mobile purchasing has changed the game for the long haul.

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Nativescript with Vue.js

By:Nick Stewart on 11/22/2019

At VIA, we’ve been experimenting with the many different solutions to creating mobile applications with web technologies. We’ve done simple applications that wrap a webview (FacePaint Peggy) to more advanced hybrid applications using libraries such as Cordova and Vuetify.js, and naive builds with React Native.

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Handy Features of PHP 7.x

By:Mark Biek on 9/20/2019

New and interesting PHP features

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Nova

By:Nick Stewart on 6/28/2019

We are using Nova and loving it. Our developer discusses the uses and benefits of this CRUD admin layer, and how it's improved our process.

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Introduction to the Hubspot API

By:Nick Stewart on 6/20/2019

The HubSpot API has been a great new tool to work with, as it offers an easy-to-use API and a clean interface.

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SVG Morphing

By:Nick Stewart on 6/12/2019

Although SVG morphing is awesome, it's sometimes difficult to do. Thanks to MorphSVG and GreenSock, SVG morphing can be a much smoother process!

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An intro into the Javascript Notification API

By:Nick Stewart on 5/31/2019

A brief intro into the Javascript Notification API - what it is and how to use it.

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Analytics for Testing

By: Rebekah Beran on 5/24/2019

Having Google Analytics can give you a detailed peek into the usage of various platforms, providing valuable insights of your audience.

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Hosting a ReactJS app (with routing) on AWS S3

By:Mark Biek on 4/8/2019

As you may or may not already know, it’s super simple to host a static website from an AWS S3 bucket. It’s fast, cheap, and you can even use a custom domain.

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React Higher-Order Components (HOC)

By:Mark Biek on 3/11/2019

What is a higher-order component in React? The official definition is: A higher-order component is a function that takes a component and returns a new component. Whereas a component transforms props into UI, a higher-order component transforms a component into another component.

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CSS Animation and Shadows

By:Nick Stewart on 2/18/2019

You really shouldn't animate box-shadows if you don't have to. However, it can be done, and here's how.

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Bootstrap 3 Vulnerability

By:Nick Stewart on 1/31/2019

Earlier last year it was made known that Bootstrap 3.x suffers from a XSS vulnerability. This vulnerability allows malicious users to target the data-attribute and href attributes and pass code through. Here, you can access the progress on the fix.

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Programmatically Controlling Events Calendar Pro

By:Mark Biek on 1/28/2019

If you’re not familiar with The Events Calendar Pro from Modern Tribe, it’s amazing and part of standard install when building a WordPress site. Note: We’re not in business with Modern Tribe.

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A very basic intro to React redux-saga

By:Mark Biek on 1/14/2019

Today, we’re going to do a very brief introduction to Redux-Saga and why it makes React+Redux apps much easier. To save space, we’ll only be showing the important bits of our app code.

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Sharing Is Caring: LESS Mixins Edition

By: Natalie Miller on 12/3/2018

Here are a few handy mixins to make your life LESS difficult.

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Analytics
Integrating Shopify into your Custom Website, and Keeping Google Analytics Happy
Integrating Shopify into your Custom Website, and Keeping Google Analytics Happy

By:Ben Wilson on 11/15/2018

Have you integrated Shopify into a website you’ve built? It’s super easy to do with Shopify’s excellent documentation, support and infrastructure. Here at VIA Studio, we use Shopify primarily for sites that don’t need a lot of custom functionality, but need to function flawlessly and look good.

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Powering up the WordPress Admin with React

By:Mark Biek on 11/6/2018

Custom post-types are part of the bread & butter of WordPress. We use them everywhere for things like products, events, or just about anything else needing special treatment.

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UI Animation in eCommerce, Some Do's and Don’ts

By:Morgan Plappert on 11/2/2018

Applied with intention, animation can enhance your eCommerce UI by making it fun and memorable and drawing the user where you’d like them to go. Applied haphazardly, however, UI animations can be intrusive and annoying to a user.

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Announcing the Launch of Our Second Fundraising Tool

By: Natalie Miller on 8/29/2018

After the successful launch of our eCampaign fundraising tool for Louisville's Fund for the Arts, we've expanded the system for another nonprofit.

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The Gutenberg Editor: What You Need to Know

By:Nick Stewart on 7/30/2018

Big changes on how you interact with content are coming with WordPress 5.0 this fall. Here's what we know so far about the Gutenberg editor and what it will mean for your website.

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After Effects & CSS - learn both!

By: Natalie Miller on 6/20/2018

Adobe After Effects and CSS Keyframes might seem like different worlds, but learning both can help your team bridge a big communication gap.

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We Made You an Open Source Salesforce Command-line Tool, You're Welcome

By:Mark Biek on 5/7/2018

Easily explore the Salesforce REST API with our new command-line tool.

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Creating Face Paint Peggy

By:Nick Stewart on 4/25/2018

Recently we launched Face Paint Peggy, a simple HTML/Javascript game that showcases the power of creating mobile games with web technology. The game is available on Android and iOS for free.

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Debugging a ReactJS Chrome Extension

By:Mark Biek on 3/5/2018

Simplify debugging your React-based Chrome Extension using the handy remote-redux-devtools library.

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Recursive asynchronous calls with JavaScript and ES6

By:Mark Biek on 1/30/2018

ES6 generator functions make recursive asynchronous calls (relatively) easy.

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Website Accessibility: Testing (Part 4 of 4)

By: Rebekah Beran on 1/11/2018

Part 1: What is Accessibility? Why should I care? Part 2: Assessing Your Accessibility (What to Fix) Part 3: How to Fix It? Part 4: Testing ⬅YOU ARE HERE Now that you’ve assessed your website and have made some improvements on your findings, it’s time to put it to the ultimate test. During my testing experience, I’ve grown very fond of accessibility testing tools.

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Website Accessibility: How to Fix It? (Part 3 of 4)

By:Nick Stewart on 1/4/2018

In Part 3 of our ongoing series on Website Accessibility, Nick Stewart gives us a brief lowdown on how to code semantic HTML for current accessibility standards.

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Website Accessibility: Assessing your Accessibility (Part 2 of 4)

By: Rebekah Beran on 12/28/2017

Part 1: What is Accessibility? Why should I care? Part 2: Assessing Your Accessibility (What to Fix) ⬅YOU ARE HERE Part 3: How to Fix It? Part 4: Testing So you’ve heard talks about “Web Accessibility” lately – and maybe you have already read our part 1 to Website Accessibility to learn more about it – so the lingering question is, how do you know if your site is accessible? You could do a Google search and read through the all of the information from W3C or Section 508, but let me save you some of that time! This post will rundown which areas to examine, what to look for, and how to tell if improvements are needed. We’ll group these into two parts, each with their own sections and questions to ask yourself.

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Website Accessibility: An ongoing series (Part 1 of 4)

By:Ben Wilson on 12/14/2017

Accessibility for the web (or any digital content) is a complex topic for content creators, marketers and anyone with something to say online. There are a handful of accepted standards and practices, but nothing official.

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Integrating Salesforce with WordPress

By:Mark Biek on 10/30/2017

Here at VIA, we love to build things. So, when the Center for Non-Profit Excellence approached us about a project, we jumped at the chance to build them a new, custom Salesforce integration for their WordPress website.

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Website Hosting: It's Not as Complicated as You Think

By: Natalie Miller on 8/22/2017

We're really satisfied by WP Engine's hosting, and if you don't know what that means, here's a basic overview.

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Tips for creating a Canvas game for Android

By:Nick Stewart on 8/9/2017

With the help of our excellent illustrator Pat, we will soon be releasing Face Paint Peggy, an HTML Canvas game for Android mobile phones. The object of the game is to catch “drops” that are of a certain color, progressing through levels where drops move faster and more drops are on the playing field.

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Easy WordPress REST API debugging

By:Mark Biek on 8/7/2017

Debugging a WordPress REST endpoint (or any other endpoint) doesn't have to be difficult.

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Creating an AWS DynamoDB table from the command-line

By:Mark Biek on 7/31/2017

One of the great things about the AWS command-line tool is that you can do pretty much any AWS operation with it. For today’s example, we’re going to show you how to easily create a new DynamoDB table.

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Custom Bootstrap Shortcodes for WordPress

By: Natalie Miller on 6/27/2017

Bootstrap shortcodes are a quick way to make your WordPress content more dynamic.

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WordPress REST API: Secure ajax calls custom endpoints

By:Mark Biek on 5/9/2017

Here’s a handy guide to making secure ajax calls to custom REST endpoints. As you may have heard, the WordPress REST API is now included out-of-the-box as of WP 4.7.

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Fixing Two Basic Email Quirks

By:Nick Stewart on 3/29/2017

Working with emails is like traveling back in time - here are a few tips to help you develop emails for older mail clients.

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Custom WordPress Welcome Emails

By:Mark Biek on 2/1/2017

The default WordPress “new user registration” email is boring, but it doesn’t have to be! The default “new user registration” email Anyone who’s developed for (or used) WordPress knows that you get a pretty basic email when you register as a new user. It includes your login name, a link to set your password, and that’s it.

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Responsive Cropped Images in WordPress

By: Josie Flynn on 12/19/2016

Optimize your custom image sizes.

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Search is hard, unless you’re using Algolia.

By:Mark Biek on 11/17/2016

Search is hard Look, sometimes it’s enough to slap Google Custom Search onto a website and call it a day. For simple content sites where you just need the basics, that can be the easiest way to go about it.

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How a Classically Trained Illustrator Made Besties with an FED

By: Natalie Miller on 11/8/2016

Here at VIA we all dig each other (right guys?), but sometimes working across departments can be a challenge. Like Liam Neeson we all have a very particular set of skills; at times, blending very different skill sets can be a challenge, but when done right it is sure to pay off.

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Easy Responsive Featured Images In WordPress

By: Josie Flynn on 11/1/2016

Providing the best image for every situation.

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Better Partial Templates in WordPress

By: Josie Flynn on 10/19/2016

Make your theme modular and easy to debug

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Vue.js, jQuery & IE9

By: Jerrod Long on 10/6/2016

Regular readers of our blog might know that our development team has been digging into an emerging Javascript framework named Vue.js. Vue is similar to React and shares many of its features, such as single file components.

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Laracon 2016 Recap

By: Jerrod Long on 9/19/2016

Thanks to the fine folks at VIA I was able to attend Laracon2016 and it was awesome. Some of the things I learned: Taylor Otwell is a rockstar, the PHP community loves stuffed elephants, Laravel 5.3 & Vue.js 2.0 are spectacular, and PHP7 is fast.

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The Tickspot API and command-line cUrl

By:Mark Biek on 9/16/2016

Sometimes you want to pull some basic data without writing a bunch of code and that’s where command-line cUrl is super handy. Let’s try it out! Currently at VIA, we use Tickspot for time-tracking.

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A Clever Mobile Image Orientation Display Trick

By: Joel Eckert on 9/7/2016

Utilizing the orientation of your mobile device as a control mechanism for a string of images can be pretty awesome.

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Getting creative with Act-On | Marketing Automation Software

By:Nick Stewart on 9/1/2016

How we crafted a creative solution within software constraints.

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Escape from Project Hell

By: Pat Sheehan on 6/14/2016

“If I recall correctly, I had made a little game demo where there was a character (dude on a horse) that you could move around. Shawn saw this and was like let’s turn this into something, so he started on the graphics and I started on the game engine.” – Nick Stewart And that is how ”Escape from Project Hell” began.

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Hosting environments vis-a-vis development workflows

By: Jerrod Long on 5/18/2016

This post will explore hosting environments, development workflows, and what we at VIA do when the best solution to a problem lies outside our standard tools and practices.

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The Q&A’s of Quality Assurance

By: Rebekah Beran on 5/10/2016

You may have heard the term ‘Quality Assurance’ at one point or another, but what exactly does that mean and why does it matter to you? The answers here can vary, so for the sake of this post, we’ll narrow our focus down to the wide world of web design and development. This includes everyone that interacts with the web, the designers and developers, the clients hiring them for their work, as well as the users that interact with that final product.

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Your git history is important

By:Mark Biek on 3/9/2016

Crafting expressive project history using git rebase

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How Quality Assurance Creates Better User Experiences

By: Rebekah Beran on 2/29/2016

Standing up for the design and development team.

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Optimizing your theme for WordPress 4.4’s responsive images

By: Natalie Miller on 2/23/2016

There are a few things theme developers will want to modify to get the most out of this new feature.

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Meet the Intern: Nick Stewart

By: Josie Flynn on 4/15/2015

Nick Stewart came to us from Jeffersonville High as part of a technology internship program. Nick’s continued to intern with us now that he’s moved on to attending the University of Louisville and majoring in Computer Information Systems.

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Configure PHP CodeSniffer for Mac OS X

By: Joel Jacob on 3/3/2015

PHP CodeSniffer is a tool that checks code against a defined set of rules, covering anything from whitespace through doc comments to class naming conventions and beyond. We've been using it for about a year and it's worked out great. Our team now has a unified coding style and the CodeSniffer tool ensures that we're always following it.

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Building The Actors Theatre Humana Festival Mobile Site

By: Josie Flynn on 2/12/2015

Every year, the Actors Theatre of Louisville presents the Humana Festival of New American Plays, consisting of 7 shows all running concurrently for 3 weeks. Many attendees are in from out of town and only have access to their mobile devices, so mobile traffic tends to increase.

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Migrating from SVN to Git

By: Jason McCreary on 1/30/2014

A look at VIA Studio's recent migration from SVN to Git and how we converted over 100 SVN repositories to Git and improved our development process.

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Configuring WordPress for Multiple Environments

By: Jason McCreary on 2/8/2011

As a <em>production-ready</em> system WordPress can be difficult to setup in multiple environments. Take a look at how we setup our WordPress projects to in multiple environments and shared across our team. All with ease of migration and without plugins.

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RSS In Plain English

By:Jason Clark on 10/29/2008

Even though RSS has been around for ages now, people have a difficult time understanding it’s power and simplicity. This is the best video I’ve seen describing RSS in a non-technical way.

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Development Solutions for Foxhollow.com

By:Nick Stewart

Between merging the data of two product databases, implementing a new POS system, and other considerations, we had to find backend solutions to make the frontend possible. See how we did it!

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