526 – My 2023 Current Setup
- WordPress Turns 20
- WordPress as a Dr. Seuss book
- Awesome Motive Acquires Thrive Themes
- WooCommerce Blocks 9.4.0 adds Local Pickup
Is there a plugin for that?
With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin form the repository.
For more great plugins, download my 50 Most Useful Plugins eBook.
Fonts Plugin | Google Fonts Typography is a plugin that will allow you to add any of the 1455 unique Google Fonts to your website.
My 2023 Current Setup
- 2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14”
- 2022 AirPods Pro & Sony WH-1000XM4 WordPress branded noise cancelling headphones
- 34” LG 5k2k widescreen monitor
- Keychron K2 Wireless Keyboard
- Slate gray Apple Trackpad
- 15 button Stream Deck
- CalDigit T3+ dock
- Uplift Standing Desk – 72″ wide with curved bamboo top
- Welso cheap-o treadmill
- Browsers – Safari, Chrome, Firefox
- GitHub Desktop and Tower for GUI based GIT
- VSCode for development
- Descript for editing podcasts
- OmniFocus and Asana for task management
- Local by Flywheel for local WordPress Development
- Hyper – Terminal
- SetApp (Bartender, BetterTouchTool, CleanMyMac, Dash, Default Folder X, Downie, Permute)
- Backblaze and Carbon Copy Cloner
- Day One
- Final Cut Pro and ScreenFlow
- Hey for email
- Sequel Ace
Other things mentioned:
Full TranscriptBusiness Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.
**Dustin:** In today's episode, we are going to talk about my current 2023 setup, my hardware, the software, the things that I use every single day, right here on Your Website Engineer podcast, episode number 526.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of your website engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzer. Today I'm going to spend some time just talking about my current setup and what I use for work and whatnot, and I'll tell you a little bit more about that in just a couple minutes. I do have four announcements and a plugin to share, so let's go ahead and dive into those.
The first one is all about WordPress turning 20 years old this year. Yes. Back in 2003 is when WordPress launched in May of 2003 and in May of 2023, it will be the 20th year of WordPress. And so there's a website out there, WP twenty.wordpress.net, and it's got a ton of information or will have a ton of information.
It's just a static site right now, but it does have five of the social networks that are there that you can follow, whether it be on Tumblr or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn.
And just keep you up to date with what's happening, what kind of parties, what kind of things and celebrations are happening. I have some scenes, some things about a new swag that has WordPress 20 on it, and some things along those lines. So I will keep you updated as the year goes on, as the next few months happen, and we will make sure that we are ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of WordPress when it comes to May. So that is the first announcement.
Okay, this is a really a news item, but I thought it was kind of fun to share. I saw it shared in Slack at work, and it's coming from chat, G P T, you know, the AI generating content, and people are using this these days to build plugins and write WordPress themes and all this kind of stuff.
Well, this one is explain WordPress if it was a Dr. Seuss book. So I thought, Hey, that would be kind of cool. That's kind of an neat way to ask. And so I'm just gonna go ahead and read this little poem here, and I thought it was just pretty good. So
WordPress is a platform for the masses,
A way to make a website with a less of a hassle
with themes and plugins and endless choice
your site can be anything with a one simple voice.
You can make a blog, an online store,
a portfolio, or something more.
With WordPress, the possibilities are grand.
Just pick a name and start building your brand.
Come one, come all to WordPress land
where creating a website is easy as a hand clap
just give it a try you'll see it's true
WordPress is the way to go, me and you.
So doesn't perfectly rhyme, but I thought it was kind of cool. It was kind of a fun way to just a poem about WordPress. So that was pretty cool. The next announcement that I do have though is, is a real one. It's a legit one and WooCommerce blocks, version 9.4, add support for local pickup. And so if you are a, a store that has local pickup, maybe you are a pizza shop or you, you're running a website where people can buy online and then pick up in the store, you could now add this as part of the woo commerce blocks.
There's a local section in there, local pickup section that you can give and, and you can actually have multiple different locations. So if you have a, a warehouse, In two different places they can actually pick. And that's all part of the checkout process. And so that's all configured within WooCommerce that it's been there for a long time, but it was never part of the blocks feature.
So if you wanted to have the Woo Commerce blocks as part of your checkout process, you couldn't ever use local pickup. But that has changed and that is now in there.
And the last thing on this list today is that awesome motive acquires Thrive Themes. I feel like we just talked about awesome motive acquiring something just a week or so ago, but they had now have Thrive Themes. And Thrive Themes is a popular brand among WordPress businesses because they have a suite of tools that do all kinds of things, and it's drag and drop and there's a lot of things that you can do.
I've been a Thrive Themes user for quite a few years now. I ended up, I, I interviewed the, the founder just years ago. This is probably back in, I don't know when they started, 2016, 2017, a long time ago, maybe even earlier than that. But basically I used the one called the Thrive Quiz Builder. That's what I use for my wife's websites.
But they have different ways that you can build, quizzes of course, but you can do Thrive Leads, so that helps you build your mailing list faster. There is Thrive Automator, which has smart automations between different plugins. There's a Thrive Theme builder and they've got a bunch of different things they can do AB testing.
They're really good with visual design and they have really good with speed optimization and . Everything is just super, super fast with Thrive Themes. So there's an article that I linked over on WP Beginner talking about this, um, how they've joined the Awesome Motive team and whatnot, and I don't think it, they've really said too much about what's gonna happen.
I think they're gonna continue to operate as a separate entity as of now. But they are joining the brands over there at Awesome Motive. So that is the big news acquisition story of the week. And lastly, I have a plugin that I wanna share with you real quick here as we get going. And this one is called Fonts plugin.
There's a ton of these out there, but this one looked really good. And it is a way to get any of the 1400 unique fonts from Google Fonts onto your website and to use them. And so you're not stuck with just using one font for your entire website. You can easily choose one font and for headings and one for content, and you can, um, so it's a, it's, it helps you to use those custom fonts and pull them in from Google fonts.
And so, like I said, there's more than a thousand Google fonts to choose from. You can also use Adobe fonts, type kit integration if you're using that. And it works with WordPress themes with no coding required. It's translation ready. It's, I mean, it is a good solid plugin. It's got more than 200,000 active installs, and it works with a bunch of themes that are out there.
So I wanted to share that. You can find a link to that in the show notes for episode number 526.
All right, today I'm gonna talk a little bit about my current setup and basically this comes in from a question. I lost a bunch of questions. When it came to people writing into the, Your Website Engineer contact form, for some reason they got filtered out of coming to my main inbox. And over the Christmas holidays I was, I was spending some time just kind of cleaning some stuff up and I found this whole batch of questions.
So I'm gonna throw some of those in throughout the next few weeks and just to have some questions to answer for content for the show. But this was a question that came in and it says, what sort of setup am I using a computer os browsers productivity? I quote unquote uses page.
There's a lot of websites and I'll probably need to take all of this information and go over and create a use page over on YourWebsiteEngineer.com. And so probably when this is published, but maybe by the next week I'll have it all linked in here and just kind of give you an idea of all the things that I'm using.
Basically, I'm thinking about work, right? I'm not thinking like, oh, well these are the, the saws that I use in my wood shop. It's when I'm sitting in front of my desk, what type of tools and what types of things am I using to stay productive and to keep my focus throughout the day?
So those, that's kind of the criteria that I was thinking about. And there's not really gonna be much WordPress stuff here. There's some tools that I use that are specific to WordPress, but most of the time, like I just love hearing these episodes. So I wanted to kind of go through and tell you a little bit about what I've got going on here.
I have a 2021 M1 MacBook Pro and it is the 14 inch and it is, I think, the perfect laptop. I have not found a single problem with this. Granted, I keep it docked most of the time, but whenever I'm out and about, like it is just a perfect computer. I love, it's got the touch ID when I am out and about. The screen is just like a really good size. I, I'm all for the smaller screens, especially when traveling. But yeah, it is a, a fantastic notebook and I'm actually, I don't even know if I need to upgrade anytime soon. We get new computers every couple years at Automattic and it's like, I don't know.
This one will probably last a really long time because it is a really good machine. So that's what's driving this whole thing. And then I have a, I've got a couple different headsets that I use throughout the day. I have the 2022 AirPods Pro, the ones with the wireless case that charges and I, I use those regularly.
That's, those are probably my go-to headphones when I'm on Zoom calls or team chats or things like that. But I also have a pair of the Sony noise canceling headphones. I think they're the WH-1000XM4's. And these ones have the WordPress branding on the side. It was a seventh year anniversary gift from Automattic.
And so this, these are ones that I pop on. I'm actually using 'em right now to monitor the, the podcast. So I wear them while I'm using the, while I'm using the Rodcaster Pro. They are in a corded mode situation right now, so I can hear what's going on with my mixer. But usually I take 'em off, and especially if the kids are home and I'm trying to edit something, I will pop these on and then just go from there.
I am looking at a 34 inch LG. It's called a 5K 2K widescreen monitor, so it's 34 inches. It's huge, and it is a perfect setup for me. I know that for in years past, it was like, well, if I have too big of a monitor, then I am too distracted with all the things going on. So, then I went to just a laptop for a while and then.
Back to a monitor, and I really like one screen, one monitor because then I don't have to, I don't use any spaces or anything. I just look at everything and I am using, and another thing that's on my desk is called the Stream Deck. I've got a 15 button Stream Deck. And I've got some shortcuts there to kind of range the windows exactly how I need them for coding.
I also on my desk, have a Keychron K2 wireless keyboard. It is one that is a little bit on the clicky sign, so you can hear that it's got a little bit of a click to it, and I like it. It's got, I believe, the brown switches, so they're not like extra clicky.
But I really, really like that as part of my setup. It's a wireless version and I ended up, the, the battery went dead and a few months back and I figured out how, which battery that I needed to replace it, and then I took the whole thing apart and then I cut the battery apart and then I re soldered the, the new battery into it, and now it lasts forever.
It used to last, like, I don't know, two or three weeks without a charge, and now I can get more than a month on one charge, which is really, really nice, so that I have that. And then I also use the slate gray apple track pad for my mouse. I, I really like not having to move a mouse side to side.
And I just, I, I like the track pad. It works well on my laptop and I really like it on my desk. Let's see. I also have the CalDigit T3+ dock, and that is Velcro to the underside of my desk right here on my left hand side. And that is really nice because my, my computer goes into there, my monitor goes into there, and then everything else that's connected to my computer on my desk all goes through the T3.
And then there's only one cable that I plug in from the T3 into my MacBook, which pulls it up on my screen and it charges it at the same time. The T3 also has perfect access for a, there's two USB plugs on the front. One USB-A one USB-C, so I can charge things and the other one is a memory card reader.
And so I can just slip in a memory card and I can read it right from there. And I don't have to worry about like plugging something on the back of my computer or whatnot. I end up, I keep my MacBook in doc mode. I'll put a picture here in the, in the show notes. I keep it in doc mode.
Vertically in dock mode. So I guess we call it closed clam show mode. Maybe that's the right word. And it sets vertically on the edge of my desk and just gives me a little bit more space on my desk. and then I have the Uplift standing desk. I got this a few years back and it's on casters, which is really nice in the fact that I can move it around if I need to.
At first, I thought, why would I ever move this around? Well over Christmas break again, I moved my treadmill, which I have a cheapo. I guess it's WESLO, WELSO. It's a cheapo treadmill, and I now, since this is on wheels, I can just turn it 90 degrees and I can then walk while I am working at my desk so I can raise my desk up to a higher level.
I can rotate it. Let's see, 90 degrees. And from there I can, if I'm on a call or like on a town hall or something where there's not a lot of participation on my half, I can just stand there and walk and I can just get extra movement throughout the day. So I try to get at least four sessions a week, at least of 45 minutes while walking.
And so that is something that, I'm looking to pick up a little bit more in the new year. So I've got that. And then the last thing that's on my desk that I use regularly, that's beneficial, I guess is something called the Analog. It's by a company named Ugmonk, I think is how you say it.
It's analog note cards. Basically, I can write down the things that I wanna do each day, and then I, it has a nice little slot in the front that sets 'em up at an angle so I can see exactly what I should be doing throughout the day. I didn't say about the audio equipment I have here. I do have a Rodcaster Pro that sets on my desk all the time with a Heil PR 40 microphone on a boom arm.
And that just all kind of sets on my desk and takes up space. But I only use it semi-regularly when I do these podcasts. And then my wife uses the, the whole setup regularly for a podcast on her side as well.
All right. When it comes to the software side of things, there, I, I started to go see what was open right now and then kind of add some of the other applications that I use on a regular basis. So, browsers, I use Safari, Chrome and Firefox. I use all three of those throughout the day. I do like Chrome and Firefox more for developing now.
Just their developer tools are so much better. Whenever I'm trying to look at something in Safari, it's like, who created these developer tools? It's really hard to kind of figure that out. So I use that. I do have one password. I probably use that about two to three dozen times per day, just looking up passwords to log into sites and whatnot.
I only really remember one password and all the rest of 'em in there. I have unique passwords. I have a recurring to-do list item on Friday to just go in and change some of my oldest passwords just in case, you know, so, and then delete the accounts that I'm no longer using and things like that. Um, so that's 1Password.
I use a VS Code for development, and that's pretty much open all the time. I use that for kind of a scratch pad too, or, um, you really get familiar with, there's a, there's a course that's called Make VSCode Awesome. I'll put a link in the show notes for that as well. But I figured out some keyboard tricks and hacks and things to do quickly within VS code, which is really handy.
So like Command L will duplicate a line, which is really handy if you're trying to make a, a list of things and you just need to duplicate one line and then make some changes. That's pretty sweet. I also have the ability to, let's see it's option and then the arrow keys, then that will ma move the line up and down.
It's called bubbling and that is super handy. So there's a lot of times where I'm like creating things in a different program and it's like, oh, I wish I this keyboard tool would work or not. So anytime I really need text, I just open up VS Code and start using it there. I use GitHub Desktop or Tower, um, you UI, or it's called Tower.
Both of those are like GUI interfaces for git, sometimes one works better than the other. I typically default the Tower, but sometimes you need to use GitHub desktop for certain things. So I just kind of use both of 'em. It just really depends on what I'm using it for. I use Descript for editing podcast. That's a newer tool for the repertoire, and it basically will turn all of the audio into text and so then you can read the text and then you can edit things there.
Not only do I do YourWebsiteEngineer.com, this podcast I do one called The Table Talk for my wife, and then there is the WP Briefing, that's Josepha's podcast through Automattic I edit that one every other week, and then Matt's Distributed podcast, whenever that one is available, I edit that as well.
And we run all of those through Descript and that just gives us a really good idea of the content that's there. It's really, really handy if you're doing an interview style work. So the last one that I did for Matt's podcast that hasn't released yet is one about our meetups. And so there was somebody that interviewed nine different people and then I turned, I took all the audio and turned them into transcripts, and then she was able to highlight the pieces that she wanted and then I could easily edit it from there, which was really, really handy. So Descript is a really cool tool for not just editing podcast, but it's also got a new engine in there to do video. And so if you want to edit video just based on text, you can do that as well.
I have a couple task managers that I use besides the paper that's on my desk here with the analog, but I've got all of my tasks, everything that I've ever thought of in OmniFocus and I, I.
Asana for work and for PharmToTable things, which is my wife's business. So she's got Asana there, and then I've got one for work. And so like between the three of them, I have plenty of things to do. So those are the ways that I manage all of my tasks. I use Local by Flywheel for local WordPress development.
Surprisingly I don't use it very often and before I used to keep it running all the time. And now I'm getting to the point where I just, I'll turn it off if I'm not doing any WordPress development because with the development of the agency dashboard where what I'm doing at work, that's all based on React, and so it doesn't need a WordPress engine to run at all.
And so I can spin that up and run that without using Local. So basically if I'm working on a local WordPress site that's open and running, but if not, I just go ahead and close it down and, and keep it turned off.
I use a program called Hyper which is a terminal, and this is really cool because it also gives you the ability to customize it.
You can do colors and all kinds of things. So my VS Code and my Hyper look the same, they use the same color scheme, which is really nice. I also use the terminal inside of VS Code quite a bit. So there's, there's two terminal windows in there and I'll use those for like starting the React application and then the other one for checking on get status and stuff while I'm developing and, and coding.
And then when it comes to, if I just need a standalone thing, that's when I'll jump over to hyper. I use Fantastical to keep track of all of my events, all of my things. And I've got multiple different calendars. I've got multiple different views and so like I've got a Dustin only view, so it's just all of my stuff so I can plan out my week.
And then I've got the Hartzler Headquarters one as I called it, and it has my wife's calendars and it has our calendars and stuff that's going on with the kids and whatnot. And so that keeps me really well organized and so I can see everything that's going.
I've have been a huge fan of Alfred for years and years and years, but Alfred, I don't know, there's a new one out there called Raycast.
And when I got this new computer, I went all in with Raycast and I ended up, I don't need nearly as many workflows as I did when I was a happiness engineer. And so Raycast fits the bill and it does exactly what I need. Plus it is a little bit more on the developer side, so it, it can be extended with writing some code and that's what I'm trying to do.
I'm trying to write more code, so I use Raycast for most things. That allows me to switch things quickly, command space, and then I can type in whatever application I'm looking for, and then it's an app launcher and it's a calculator and it does all kinds of things.
I am a subscriber to set app and a handful of ones that are there that I use as Bartender.
Bartender keeps my menu bar nice and clean. If you've ever had a Mac and you install a bunch of programs, there's a bunch of icons that run across the top menu bar area. And I honestly like get rid of almost all of them. It's really cool. It is one of those things that, it not only keeps it tidy, but you can also do some like conditional programming in there.
Conditional logic within Bartender. So right now all I have is the, I have something that's called Cloudup, which is just a service that allows, it's made by Automattic, but we can upload images and we can share them. I have that, I have the Automattic proxy and I have the date and time, and that is it. I, I hide everything else.
One thing that I do have is when the computer is on battery or if the computer's on wifi, then I will show those icons so I don't have to look for them. I guess if it's on battery, it's fine. If the battery drop drops below like 75% or 70% or something, then I will show it up there in the bar.
So then I don't have to always look at the battery icon or whether the battery's charged or whatnot. So I use Bartender. That's really cool. I use a better touch tool. This one does a lot of cool things. You can keep like your track pad or your mouse. You can customize it to do different things or share windows or rearrange windows across your screen.
A couple ones that I use is, I use three fingers and swipe down and that will center my window, whatever I'm looking at. It'll center it right in the center, which is pretty fun. And then I also do three finger double tap in a, in a browser will simulate command R, which is a refresh.
So sometimes, you know, if your, if your hands are off the keyboard and you don't wanna find the command R and you don't wanna move your mouse all the way up to the the refresh button, you can just double tap with three fingers and it refreshes. And that was a shortcut that I set up.
A couple more tools that I use from Setapp. I use Clean My Mac, weekly just to kind of get rid of junk cruft on my machine. I use a program called Dash, which is a really cool tool, think of it like loading the codex from WordPress, onto your machine and it, it has a bunch of different ones.
So it's pretty cool. Downie is a cool program that will allow you to paste links in and then you can download like YouTube videos and different things, which is really, really handy.
I keep rigorous backups on different things. So I have back blaze and I have Carbon Copy Cloner. Backblaze runs regularly, daily backs things up to the cloud. I use Time Machine to back things up to my cloud in my inside my house, and then I use Carbon Copy Cloner to do a weekly backup of my machine.
And so if there was a catastrophe. I would hope that I would never lose anything. And so that is the goal. I also have a Sonology that backs up everything that is, um, kind of like a cold storage type thing. And Backblaze also backs up the Sonology. So yeah, so I am really, I don't know, I don't ever wanna lose anything and so I probably have more too many things, set up.
They always say that data has to be in three different places to make sure that you never lose it. And so I think I am going well with that, that advice. A couple more things here on my list. I use Day One on a regular basis to kind of journal just thoughts throughout the day or like, here's kind of like my plan for the day and here's what I accomplished and kind of helps me keep some notes so I can write a decent weekly report at the end of the week to make sure that I'm am making progress and I'm learning things and whatnot.
I use Final Cut Pro and ScreenFlow, kind of a combination of them to do videos. When my wife does webinars, like she will use Zoom to record it, and then I take those Zoom recording and put it into Final Cut Pro and I basically will lay out a, the, the images of the slides.
So I take the PDFs and then I turn those into images and then take the talking head and then I overlay that onto the screen. I just think that looks a little sharper and a little crisper than actually just like Zoom, just putting your video on top of the top of the screen. You can't control it.
And if it's covering some words like, well, tough luck, well with Final Cut Pro, you can hide it if it's gonna cover up text, or you can make it that image smaller or whatnot. So I use those tools.
I use HEY for my email, which is made by the folks at 37 Signals who do Basecamp. And it's just kind of a strip down way to, to view your email. It's got an inbox, which is like priority inbox, and then everything else goes into a feed, and so you can read that at your leisure so it doesn't, doesn't clutter things up.
And it does a pretty decent job of making me kind of pay attention to email. I'm terrible at email. I don't, I don't like other people telling me what to do via email, so I basically am, like I said, terrible at answering email.
A couple more things on my list here. I use a, an app called Rocket, and that is a quick, an easy way to do emoji so I can do emoji in any application.
So Slack is pretty easy to get emoji because that's built into it. But if you wanted to do an emoji in an iMessage or in, you know, weekly report or something, you know, it's always a pain to you. Open up the emoji thing and get it there. Well, rocket allows you to, I basically use the colon, colon and then I type what I want and then it just appears.
So that's super, super handy. And then I use a program called SQL Ace. It is a free app that does database management, and it just does a really good job of allowing you to f. Figure out and write queries easily and see your data. And I use this exclusively with my local sites. Probably put, should have put this up here, but with Local by Flywheel.
But that is a, a way to view the data, try to figure out where your data is located in the database. When looking at a WordPress site, I probably go in there about, I don't know, maybe once. A quarter these days. But when I was a WordPress happiness engineer, I was doing the pretty much daily look, going in, looking for details, seeing how I could change data or whatnot.
So that is that.
And then I use Typinator as my text expander. So text expander a few years back went to a subscription model. I don't, I ended up, I don't really use it that much anymore Typinator as a happiness engineer, again, I was using the same phrases over and over and over again. Now I basically use it for e email addresses and home addresses and phone numbers and stuff like that.
Uh, so I don't use it very often, but it is a, you pay per license, so it's not a subscription fee which is good because I don't use it super, super often. So I think that kind of encompasses all of the things that I use on my computer and all of the, the pieces of the puzzle that keep, get me through the day.
There's probably things that I'm missing out, but I always kind of like to look at this every few years just to kind of see what's out there, what are the new tools and things like that.
That's what I wanna share with you today. If you do have a question that you wanna ask, head on over to yourwebsiteengineer.com/contact, and there's a contact form there and you can just zip that over. If you, there's questions about how do you do this or that, or any other thing, I'll be happy to answer those on upcoming shows, and that's what I wanna share in this episode. Episode number 526 of your website engineer.
If you're interested in sponsoring the the podcast, you can go ahead and find that over at yourwebsiteengineer.com. I'm looking for sponsors this year to sponsor content on this show, and that's what I wanna share with you today.
Take care, and we'll talk again soon. Bye-bye. For more great WordPress information, head on over to your website engineer.com.