Web Development

Do we need an IMDB for websites?

Do we need an IMDB for websites? Over the course of my 15 year career as a web developer, I’ve had a hand in dozens (maybe hundreds) of websites. A handful of the top sites I’ve worked on are seen by millions of people; and much like the clapper loader, child wrangler or caterer on a big budget Hollywood film, no one would be the wiser.

Unlike an obscure Hollywood professional, the behind-the-scenes work of a web developer is rarely credited anywhere. Occasionally, our names will be buried on an “about us” or “team” page no one ever visits, sometimes we’ll leave fingerprints in an HTML comment. But the fact that’s there’s no generally recognized method for crediting the hard work that goes into web development (or other creative professions for that matter)… is a little weird and disheartening.

For coders — who don’t have pretty pictures and mockups to post in a fancy shiny portfolio — the de facto industry standard for building reputation and gaining attribution seems to be a github profile. In theory github can be a low friction source to evaluate the work of a potential hire. However, in practice there are many reasons an excellent, experienced developer might have a sparse github profile. For starters, github profiles are public and paid work is usually the intellectual property of the client paying for it, not open for public posting. Secondly, coming up with unique ideas for projects, or extra free time to contribute to existing projects can be a daunting task for a developer who’s busy balancing hobby projects against paying bills and having a life. A sparse github presence should not be seen as an indication of… anything, really.

The IMDB Model

IMDB has a lot of features, some of which might or might not make sense for website listings: user ratings, trivia, things like design and feature history, etc could be interesting for larger well known sites. But the feature I’m most interested in for the purposes of attribution is the “cast and crew” listings.

Essentially, listing every “crew” member of a web team would be a great way to present the type of recognition that I believe people in the industry deserve.

Potentially, more importantly though would be the ability to reference an individual across all the projects they’ve ever worked. On IMDB when you click through to a crew member’s profile you can quickly see all the projects they’ve ever been a part of. This could give employers and colleagues a unique view into someone’s body of work and career progression. A listing like this could fill the gaps between a resume and a github profile. If it works for Hollywood, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for Silicon Valley.


In 2011, an organization formed to promote the idea of a included a humans.txt file with all websites.

It’s an initiative for knowing the people behind a website. It’s a TXT file that contains information about the different people who have contributed to building the website.

I recall some minor buzz around this initiative and it looks like they had aspiration to make it a W3C standard. But the buzz seems to have died off very quickly, their website hasn’t changed much since mid-2011.

Humans.txt is the ideal vehicle for the type of information an “IMDB for websites” would need to know about the development team. The service could use humans.txt as a starting point to validate a website, then parse the file itself to suck in data for the listing. From there, unique individuals could be cross referenced using their twitter profile.

That’s it

I’m sure there are a tonne of challenges, as well as interesting directions and potential features, etc…this is admittedly not a fully formed idea.

What do you think?

(crossposted to medium)

Web Development WordPress

Dear WordPress Get Your 💩 Together


Get your shit together!

It is 2016, there is no excuse for allowing any plugins with insecure code to make their way into the plugin directory. Full stop.

The story about Custom Content Type Management stealing admin credentials and other shenanigans, is utterly pathetic. I’d bet this incident is just the tip of the iceberg.

If there is a plugin review process, I have seen no evidence of it. In my experience, plugin updates are made live immediately after updating the repo, regardless of if the plugin has a site crashing bug or a security issue.

The plugin directory situation has gotten so bad that people are starting to avoid installing free plugins.

Fix it. Please.

Everyone who loves WordPress

PS. I stole the emoji graphic from the great article on The Oral History of the Poop Emoji.

Apps Web Development WordPress

TeeVee for WP: building Apple TV apps with WordPress Plugins

Imagine you create tonnes of great video content every day and publish it all through WordPress. Your viewer can watch your amazing shows everywhere…on iPhones, iPads, iMacs, but not their TVs. Wouldn’t it be great to have a branded Apple TV app so that all your viewers could watch your content in full screen glory? Well I’ve got just the WordPress plugin for you…

Behold, TeeVee for WP!

A straightforward WordPress plugin I created to allow content creators to use WordPress as a data source Apple TV apps. TeeVee for WP attaches video metadata to blog posts. The metadata is used to to generate TVML ((TVML is this cool little XML apple created for basic layout – check out Apple’s documentation for more information.)) which gets ingested by a custom/branded TvOS app.

Screenshot 2015-12-06 21.01.03

On the xCode end you simply create a new TvOS single-view application, with an AppDelegate that looks something like this:

Modify the `TVDomain` to point the domain where TeeVee for WP is install and the rest is show business.

The project is up on github here:

Contributions would be much appreciated.

If you have any questions or suggestions hit me up on twitter at @ohryan or email me [email protected].

Tips & How To's Web Development WordPress

How To: Tweak Disqus CSS for Twenty Fifteen Theme

After installing the twenty fifteen theme I found that disqus’ comments were butting up against the edges of the layout.

You can fix this by adding the following Custom CSS


@media screen and (min-width: 59.6875em) {
	#disqus_thread {
		margin-top: 8.333%;
		margin-left: 8.333%;
		margin-right: 8.333%;

@media screen and (min-width: 38.75em) {
	#disqus_thread {
		margin-top: 7.6923%;
		margin-left: 7.6923%;
		margin-right: 7.6923%;
Web Development

How to Set Responsive Text Alignment in Bootstrap 3

Bootstrap is great, almost perfect. One thing it’s missing is responsive text-align.

So I created a simple .less file that uses Bootstraps breakpoints and class naming format. It allows you use set specific text-align for specific breakpoints.