140: With Justin Sainton

This week we’re joined by Justin Sainton. Justin founded Zao, Portland’s premier WordPress Agency. He is also the Lead Dev for WP eCommerce, and a WordPress Core Contributor, so we joined him for a Halloween-themed deep dive into some spooky questions about WordPress development!

Warning: this episode contains some spookily-scary soundbytes; listener discretion is advised.

We talked about (roughly in order):

Errors and Omissions

Q & A:

  • 22:06 How much does A/B Testing help in eCommerce, and which tools or plugins do you use to A/B Test?
  • 34:30 I’m working with someone on a WordPress site to clean it up and install a new theme. Here’s the problem: they’ve got hundreds of posts and pages chock full of inline styling… and there are so many <span>s! It’s bad. Please tell me there’s a good way to strip all the cruft from these posts and pages in bulk!
  • 38:20 I was thinking about managing CSS / JS for WordPress (as you guys were talking about recently), and avoiding extra http requests. This plugin (AutoOptimize) may be worth a look.
  • 41:35 I have a question about Bower and WordPress. I installed Codekit 2 and fiddled a little with Bower components, which I haven’t done before, and I installed WordPress, all good except that the WordPress files are in the bower_components folder. I’m pretty sure you are not supposed to use bower_components folder as the root for your WP projects, so what do I do? Do I take it out? In that case, what’s the point of using Bower to install WordPress?!
  • 47:46 I’ve been working on overhauling our site using WordPress, WooCommerce and the woo canvas theme with a child theme. I’ve been nothing but happy with WooCommerce, however, I suspect Woo Canvas may be sacrificing performance for the sake of convenience. Other than saving me development time is there any security or performance advantages to using a child theme or will a lean custom theme perform better and be just as secure?
  • 57:00 I have questions relating to WordPress and theme/plugin functionality in response to this article. While I sort of agree with the thesis of the argument I have a hard time wanting to use any plugins to create taxonomies or CPTs. What are your thoughts on this?


  • 28:51 Environments for Humans: SASS Summit – A full-day deep dive into Sass–setting up from workflow foundations to learning the cutting edge Sass stuff coming in version 3.4. Join us for a day of Sass experts discussing the state of Sass and deep diving the features that make our workflow easier: from building style guides, coding complex RWD layouts, and much more. Bring the experts to your desktop November 6th from 9AM to 4PM (CT).
    • Use discount code SHOPTALK for 20% off! Get your tickets for the 2014 SASS Summit now!
  • 45:39 Media Temple – For years, Media Temple has been the premium web hosting choice of more designers, developers, and creative professionals than any other platform. It’s all managed through their own simple, custom control panel, and backed by Media Temple’s famous 24/7 live support. Virtual Private Server solutions are also available with their DV and DV Developer hosting plans. Also, check out their new managed WordPress hosting which includes 3 WordPress installs with unlimited bandwidth!
    • Special discount for ShopTalk listeners, use promo code SHOPTALK for 25% off your first month of web hosting. Go to mediatemple.net and enter your promo code upon signup.

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