The Eighth Fourth

Avatar of Chris Coyier
Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

It just so happens the United States birthday is the same as CSS-Tricks birthday! It was on this day, eight years ago I first launched the site. Since then, I do a bit of a commemorative post each year.

Typically it’s accompanied by stock photography fireworks, but it seems like animated fireworks would be far more fun! Here’s some by Mr. Jason Brown:

See the Pen 4th of July Fireworks by Loktar (@loktar00) on CodePen.

I’m still living in Milwaukee. I wrote those same exact words last year and went on to say that if all goes well I’d own the house by next year. Well, all went well and I do own it. As I sit here in my attic workspace I can look over to the park across the street where families are having 4th of July picnics. Earlier today, the Farmer’s Market was set up there. Later tonight, people will gather to watch the fireworks from Summerfest, just up the bay. It’s a pretty nice little neighborhood here. Crossing my fingers the house maintains or gains value.

CSS-Tricks is going well. No massive spikes in growth or anything like that, but from what I hear the average blog business is in serious decline, so staying steady is great.

By far the biggest change this year is bringing on more people! Just look at all these fine folks. They are helping me run the site, produce more content, and keep the content we have up to date. It’s been going great. There are little new things like author-specific pages where you can see work each author has specifically done. Those will get nicer and more useful over time.

I’ve failed on a couple of important things. I have ideas for new courses in The Lodge and just haven’t found the time. We have some new ideas for that though, so I’m optimistic we can bring all the current members some pretty cool benefits soon.

We have a bit of a plan to get merchandise sales back going again as well. Merch has traditionally been a cash-loser around here, but I feel like if you wanna wear a dang CSS-Tricks shirt you should be able to, dangit.

Dave and I are still publishing new episodes of ShopTalk Show weekly. We have a brand new theme song, produced by Chris Taylor, who wrote about it. We wanted something a bit shorter and folksier to freshen things up a bit.

We’re in the early stages of planning some differently themed episodes for the next “season” of ShopTalk, so stay tuned!

Both CSS-Tricks and ShopTalk are using Syndicate Ads now to book sponsored spots. They have been great to work with. The idea is that you get to tell your own story with the sponsorship, and we chime in with a personal touch. You might have noticed I attach a small audio clip to the sponsored posts, which is my own personal explanation and endorsement. If I’m not able to muster the words, we don’t do the spot, so it helps keep us honest. The performance of them has been great, so I hope it’s a win all around.

Most of my time is spent working on CodePen. We’ve had a number of big releases this year. It may seem like it’s been quiet the last few months, but it really hasn’t been from an internal perspective. We’re working on yet another big awesome database migration. We’re in the middle of a big redesign project. We have a few other things up our sleeve as well, not to mention a roadmap a million miles long.

Focus and persistence. Seems like they have been working!