In a perfect world, we would each have a single Google account. Everything we ever needed would be housed conveniently behind a single impenetrable login. But we live in an imperfect world. One which requires many of us to have 2, 3, or dozens of Google accounts. It can be hard to keep things straight. Over the past few years I’ve had a handful of accounts that I use on a regular basis (mostly for work). There are two main ways I’ve found to keep things tidy.

Option 1: separate Chrome windows

If you use Chrome, you can log in to the browser itself with…


We live in the age of options. The grocery store has an entire aisle of cereals. Phones come in multiple shades of black. And within 5 seconds anyone with a smartphone can pull up a list of all the restaurants around them. Life as a human has never been better. Or has it? Is having all the choices really all it’s cracked up to be?

I submit that it is not.

In the last two hundred years or so the number of choices people make in their daily lives has increased drastically. The Model T was available in a single…


I’ve been using Google Fi (previously Project Fi) for a few years now and it’s excellent but using it with Google Voice is tricky. This seems odd at first because you’d think two Google services would play well together, but they don’t for technical reasons that basically amount to “they’re the same thing”. Well it turns out there is actually a simple and elegant way to use them side by side. And no it doesn’t involve Hangouts.

A bit of background

A while back I got a GV number for my business and was disappointed to find out that linking a GF number to…


Are you using Wordpress and Timber to build a site? Need to replace the default search form? Here’s how.

Step 1: searchform.php

Create a file called searchform.php in your theme and put this in it:

<?php$context = Timber::get_context();
$site = new TimberSite();
Timber::render( 'searchform.twig', $context );?>

$site = new TimberSite(); allows you to get the home URL in the twig file.

Step 2: searchform.twig

In the /templates directory of your theme create a file named searchform.twig and put the search form markup in it. Below is the markup for duplicating the default Wordpress search form but this is where you’ll build your custom form.


There are plenty of great lightbox plugins out there, but you can easily make your own lightbox gallery using Bootstrap. No custom JS needed! All you have to do is add a few data attributes to your markup.

Here’s an example in Codepen. Read on for a step-by-step.

Step 1: create your gallery.

This is simply a grid of pictures. With Bootstrap it could look something like this:

<div class="row" id="gallery">
<div class="col-6 col-md-4 col-lg-3">
<img class="w-100" src="/image-1">
</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4 col-lg-3">
<img class="w-100" src="/image-2">
</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4 col-lg-3">
<img class="w-100" src="/image-3">
</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4 col-lg-3">
<img class="w-100" src="/image-4">
</div>
</div>

This…


About web design, not anything meaningful.

My sister is interested in web design/development and she recently sent me a bunch of questions about my experience. It struck me as good content so here it is.

You’re a front end, right?

Mostly, but I also do a lot of templating. Depends on the platform that’s used for the site. My PHP knowledge is pretty limited at this point so I don’t do much back end work on WordPress. But I’m pretty well-versed in Handlebars and Twig (those count as back end, right?).

Do you have to know Javascript?

You can build a perfectly good website without coding anything by using tools like…


AKA the Astra+Elementor Method.

UPDATE #2: since writing this, Elementor has added a Theme Builder. It’s a very powerful system that lets you natively use Elementor to build the header, footer, and various page templates. There’s no longer any need for the Header Footer Elementor plugin mentioned below.

UPDATE #1: a few times in this writeup I mention that the Astra theme enables the use of SCSS in the Customizer. Turns out it’s actually the magical Jetpack plugin that enables SCSS, not the Astra theme.

Getting started with WordPress can be tough. Being open-source, anyone can modify it as they…


Just kidding, I don’t even remember what the 7th one is.

Anyway, It’s been about a year since I quit my job to do independent web design and development. And that year has been one heck of a learning process, which I have been documenting in part with a growing list of lessons learned. The lessons range from being relevant only to very specific situations, to general concepts that should be applied to every project. So here they are in the order in which they were written down.

1. Don’t rely on the client’s internet connection to upload content.

Not much explanation needed. If your client is an artist with terribly…


I recently spent an entire day getting Git to work with my Media Temple Grid server, so I’m posting instructions here in case someone else runs into the same issues (read: I want to make myself feel like I didn’t waste 8 hrs of my life). The instructions below are detailed specifically for Media Temple Grid servers. If you’re using a different hosting service most of the principles still apply, but you may be better off following a more general guide. …


I’ve heard a lot about this place over the past couple years, and I finally got to see it for myself. 125,000 acres of gorgeous scenery surrounding the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Half in Tennessee and half in Kentucky, this place has something for everyone — hiking, biking, horse trails, swimming holes, waterfalls, overlooks, caves, you name it.

Diego Vogel

Design, code, nature. Founder of birdboar.co

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