I’m always interested when tech professionals show of “what’s in their bag,” so I figured a similar post accounting for my “digital tech” would be fitting. We all have different setups, and they work for us in different ways. Here’s my WordPress Development Setup.
My text editor of choice is TextMate. I hear people all the time talking about how great Sublime Text 2 is, but the main difference between the two is that TextMate is free. I’m all about supporting developers by paying for their software, but Textmate does the job for me, and I feel no need to switch editors.
I also use the Solarized theme for Textmate (which can be installed from the ‘Bundles’ section), to make my code extremely readable and pleasant to look at.
I try to avoid using FTP as much as I can (and stick to SSH and SCP), but sometimes I just need to download or edit a file, and using Cyberduck can be a fast way to do that.
As you probably already know from previous posts, my host of choice is Linode. I run Ubuntu Server from a command line interface, and I have to use the Terminal to edit configurations for my server when changes are needed.
I used to use shared hosting, but I had a bad experience with HostGator’s VPS offerings, and ever since then, I’ve taken to running my own Linux server to serve my sites. It took a good deal of research and learning when I first got started, but I’m now quite quick at troubleshooting the logs and resolving problems quickly – and preventing them from happening in the first place.
It seems the most popular way to run WordPress is with a LAMP stack (Linux Apache, MySQL, and PHP), but I choose to replace Apache with nginx for my web server. From what I’ve read, nginx is more lightweight than Apache, and can handle more concurrent connections more efficiently, so I’m sticking with it.
I use rtCamp’s Easy Engine as a starting point to set up each of my sites to work with nginx.
Although I do subscribe to Adobe’s Creative cloud, I haven’t gotten into Photoshop again. It was too complicated the last time I used it. I prefer to use the simple Mac app Pixelmator. It makes easy work of editing photos, and it has served me well.
I’ve recently switched computers. My last computer was a beast of a machine, with an i7-4770k, a GTX 770, and 16GB of RAM. That was a custom desktop I built myself, but I decided that I wanted to be able to go mobile with my work, or accompany my wife to a coffee shop so that we can change up our work environment, so I decided to switch back to a laptop.
I decided on a 2014 MacBook Pro 15 with only the Iris Pro 5200 graphics. I thought about getting the model with the additional Nvidia 750m GPU, but I’ve had bad experiences with Mac laptops with discrete graphics cards in the past, so I’m sticking with Intel’s integrated graphics on this one.
I’m very excited about the announcement of Metal for OSX, which will allegedly speed up the Adobe CC apps by 8x. That’s right, EIGHT TIMES more performance, with no extra hardware needed! I can’t wait to see how incredible this framework is.
The laptop has a 2.2GHz Core i7-4770HQ, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 256GB PCIe flash SSD drive. I purchased my MacBook Pro as a refurbished, open-box item, saving me approximately 45% off retail. The retina display is great for working in various resolutions, while not ever losing clarity (something that you simply couldn’t do before 4x displays).
And of course, I love my keyboard. I finally got into the mechanical keyboard scene by purchasing a Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate. I tried out both the Cherry MX Blue switches, as well as the Cherry MX Browns. I decided on the browns, and this keyboard is an absolute joy to type on.
I’ve swapped the “cmd” and “alt” keys in my System Preferences keyboard settings, so that this keyboard works just like any other Mac keyboard would.
I love the crispness of the retina display on the 15″ MacBook Pro, but sometimes I just need more screen real estate, and the Qnix QX2710 does that marvelously. I’ve thought about upgrading to Qnix’s new 28″ 4K monitor, or maybe even the 32″ 4K monitor, but in addition to the extra money I’d have to spend, I just don’t know if I’m going to want an external monitor in the future.
That’s my setup! It changes relatively often, and I’ll be sure to update this site as my setup evolves with my business. If I’ve missed anything you think is crucial to a setup, let me know!