Tools I Use

So first off, heads up: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Sorry not sorry. 🤷‍♂️


Macbook Pro 15″ – Total Mac fanboy, I know. But I’m very happy having this 15″ after working on both a 13″ Macbook and retina iMac previously. Best of both the productivity and portability worlds. (Also, space grey! ✨)

At home, my MacBook sits on a Rain Design mStand, which I’ve had for 3 computers now, and I still love it.

I currently have a 10 yo external Dell monitor that I’ll replace, eventually… This is the monitor I’m dreaming of. (But I’m making myself achieve some performance goals before I buy it!) 🤣

I ended up buying this 32″ 4K LG monitor on a recommendation/tweet from Wes Bos. I decided I could crush my single-USB-C-cord-for-everything dreams to save a few hundred bucks. 😃


Sublime Text – I like Sublime a lot. I know the cool kids are all on VS Code now, but I couldn’t switch for one reason… I didn’t find a replacement for my favorite Sublime shortcut/command: CMD-D to select “next-same-thing”. (Am I missing something here???) 

I’m now fully aboard the VS Code train. Change is hard! But I’ve adjusted well after a couple months.

Coda – FTP program with code editor built in. From the dark days of editing live sites on the fly! I know, I know. But I still love it for dropping in a robot.txt file or editing the wp-config file. 🤷‍♂️

Local – For local WordPress development. I have exactly 2 sites on Local by Flywheel (as of the writing of this post) but don’t think I’m going back to MAMP (after years of using it). I’m a sucker 🍭 for that super nice Flywheel UI.*

Hyper – Terminal for Mac, but prettier.*

Tower – Git app for Mac. I seem to init stuff on the command line, but manage repos long-term in Tower. Plus, pretty.*

Spark – Got over the look of Mac’s Spark is nicer-looking*, and works well-enough.

Dropbox – I have every-client-file-ever backed up on a Dropbox Pro account.

*See a pattern here?


WordPress – I ❤️ WordPress. I’ve been developing with WordPress for 10+ years and using it even longer and haven’t found an easier product to 1.) customize, and/then 2.) hand off to my clients.

WordPress Themes

  • _s + Primitive Sass Boilerplate (combined by me to create my own custom starter theme)
  • JointsWP (based on the Foundation CSS boilerplate). When a site needs “all the things”.
  • Beaver Builder – Drag & Drop WordPressing. I like to use this tool when I need to move fast & loose. Like a one-pager that needed to be up yesterday. 

Must Use Plugins

Web Hosting & Domains

I’ve hosted this site and my client sites on MediaTemple forever. Their Grid service is great for hosting a medium-size project or handful of small sites.

I’m now recommending WPEngine to my clients, after feeling (MT) was falling behind, in terms of service, features/functionality and performance.

For a single/smaller project I also recommend SiteGround, and have had a great experience with them as well.

I use to buy/manage all of my domains. Their support is great, and they don’t “play games” at checkout with tricky up-sells or add-ons you (probably) don’t need.


A Book Apart – Series
The whole A Book Apart series is excellent. Books by people at the forefront of our industry writing on the issues that matter. Book 7 in the series – Design is a Job, by Mike Monteiro – is one of my all-time favorite books, and not just in the “about websites” category. 💯

Digging into WordPress – Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr
This was my intro to WordPress development 10+ years ago. I dig it. 

Execute – Drew Wilson and Scott Long
A perspective changing read for me. Riffing on Yoda’s teachings, “Do or do not. There is no try.” 

HTML & CSS – Jon Ducket
A beautiful & thorough book about the basics building for the web. I got this after I knew HTML & CSS pretty well, but definitely wished I’d had it sooner. And I still page through it from time to time.


  • Web-related: Shoptalk Show, Syntax, Tools Day, PageBreak, RWD Podcast
  • Other: Hurry Slowly (work/life), Above & Beyond (trance music), This American Life (and others from MPR), FilmSpotting (film critique)