Thumbtack Spotlight

Thumbtack is a website for finding and hiring local service providers. They recently featured Okay Plus in a “Thumbtack Spotlight” interview, called Web Design Meister.

It was fun being interviewed about the origins of my business and my perspective on client services.

If you want exceptional web design and development on par with much larger, more expensive agencies, along with very personal service that comes from working with a one-man shop, better try Joe di Stefano.

It’s true! Get in touch to discuss your design or development project.

Using a Custom Image Size In WordPress SEO Open Graph Tags

WordPress SEO is an essential plugin for any WordPress site. Although WordPress in general is pretty great for SEO, this plugin handles a ton of methods for improving your site’s SEO, from generation XML sitemaps to suggesting keywords for your content.

One area where the WordPress SEO plugin really shines is with Open Graph tags, which define how your content is shared with certain social networks, most notably Facebook. The WordPress SEO plugin will automatically generate the following Open Graphs tags for each page of your site:

If you have a Featured Image set for the post or page, the plugin will also generate an og:image tag. However, by default the URL of the original image will be used. This can prove to be problematic if the original image is very large, or has uncommon proportions. If you have defined a custom image size in your theme using add_image_size() you may wish to use that size instead. Thankfully, the WordPress SEO plugin applies a filter, wpseo_opengraph_image_size, to the value used when grabbing the image URL for the open graph tag. Add a hook in your theme’s functions.php file similar to the following:

In this example I’ve set the image size as ‘large’, which will be contained to 1024×1024 pixels. You can use any image size you want, but keep these requirements in mind from the official Facebook Developer blog:

Images must be at least 200×200 pixels for desktop web and ideally, 600×600 pixels or greater for the best experience across devices.

Images may not appear in the new design if they are smaller than 200×200 pixels, and rectangular photos may be cropped.

Image requirements include:

  • 4 Megapixel limit
  • 5MB limit
  • direct links to the image only
  • only JPG, PNG, GIF, or BMP file formats

Burlington Open Device Lab

Burlington’s Union Street Media recently threw open the doors on a public device testing lab. This is a great resource for web and software developers in Vermont.

Thanks to Union Street Media and the individual device donors for making this incredible asset available to the Burlington tech community.

Visit the Open Device Lab website for the location and a list of available devices.

Vermont Design Awards

Last night AIGA VT hosted the first annual Vermont Design Awards at the Karma Bird Gallery in Burlington. This curated design exhibition kicked off the first ever Vermont Design Week, which includes lectures, studio tours, designer-led panels, and community events.

There were over 200 submissions to the Design Awards in categories such as Video, Websites, and Publication Design. The judges whittled down the entries to a selection of 50 pieces which are on display throughout the week.

Our work for Photon Medical Communications was selected to be put on display, alongside great work from many other talented Vermont designers, such as Dave Barron Design, HMC Advertising, Dubko, DesignPartner, and many more.

To find out more about Vermont Design Week, read this overview from Seven Days, or visit the Vermont Design Week website.

Great Jobs in Vermont

Vermont has a burgeoning tech community, and there are plenty of exciting businesses that are currently hiring. However, our Green Mountain state still suffers from the perception that there are few jobs available.

The state recently launched a website designed to “bring more awareness to Vermont-based companies and job openings,” according to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

However, the site, as currently implemented, suffers from major technical shortfalls, and misses the mark on highlighting Vermont-based companies.

I was recently interviewed by Annie Russell of VPR on some of the issues with the site.