Jesse Lawson

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Jul 21 2018 in webdev/ JavaScript/
Easy JavaScript testing for CodePen →

Looking to do test-driven development in CodePen? Consider TaoJS! Tao is a very tiny testing tool that’s perfect for places like CodePen. Using it is as easy as 1-2-3! Add the CDN to your external scripts Put <div id="tao"></div> at the bottom of your HTML Write your tests in your JS editor! Add the CDN to your scripts Click on the gear icon next to the JS editor and add the following CDN link to your external scripts:

May 1 2014 in AngularJS/ NodeJS/ webdev/
DIY AngularJS SEO with PhantomJS (the easy way!) →

September 11, 2019: This is a super old tutorial. I don’t think you will want to use this anymore.

Setting up your AngularJS development environment needs to include SEO best practices. For JS-rendered applications, take a look at this solid solution using PhantomJS.

I’ve been tasked with recreating a website for a higher education institution and I want to capitalize on AngularJS technologies to provide a rich user experience. Unfortunately, one of the largest issues with using the SPA approach to business/corporate/education web design is search engine optimization; AngularJS, and any JS-rendered application framework, is not SEO-friendly. To get around this, we need a way to serve search engine bots a set of pre-rendered HTML pages. Our goal is to create a development environment for AngularJS SEO awesomeness. In this tutorial, we’ll walk through how to get PhantomJS up and running right alongside our app using our Yeoman AngularJS scaffolding that comes with small development server. We’ll go from having nothing to having a full development environment, complete with verifiable pre-rendered page cache for bots to eat up and enjoy.

Dec 1 2013 in webdev/ WordPress/
WordPress Asking for Local FTP Credentials on XAMPP Solved →

A few developers were asking why their localhost instances of WordPress were asking for FTP credentials when trying to install new plugins and themes. If you’re getting the dreaded “Please enter your FTP credentials” page and you’re running XAMPP for your local WP development environment, do not follow the popular StackOverflow answer that tells you to chown your wordpress folder to _www. Read more for the real fix.

Jun 24 2013 in webdev/ WordPress/
Custom Category Style in WordPress →

When I worked for an online newspaper, we put a customized header image at the top of every category page sort of like how NYTimes does it for their blog pages. These days, it’s a lot more attractive to use custom CSS styles for each category. In this tutorial, we’ll create a custom category style in WordPress so you can add your own CSS to pages belonging to a specific category.

Jun 24 2013 in webdev/ WordPress/
dropzone.js WordPress Integration Tutorial →

Over on the Hacks forum at, user Manwoll was looking for a way to add drag-and-drop functionality to a contact form in WordPress. Not a fan of commercial contact form products myself, I sought out a method of doing this that would most accomodate a theme developer who is working on a custom solution for a client. The solution involves using dropzone.js and some basic PHP, and the end-state is a fully-functioning drag-and-drop box on a WordPress page that uploads files straight to your WP uploads directory.

Jun 24 2013 in webdev/
WordPress Author Box without a Plugin →

In this tutorial we’re taking the custom author image function we created and turning it into a custom About the Author box in WordPress. If you haven’t already done so, go through the [custom author image tutorial][1] and follow the steps involved in creating our custom author image function.