My Current Setup (August 2021)

Assorted / 24 August 2021 / 5 minute read

A quick look at what I'm currently using.

I've never done one of these "current setup" posts before. It's not that I'm against them, I've just always worried it would become outdated much too quickly. That being said, I see no reason I can't create one per year, even if it's just for me to look back and see how things have changed.

This post was inspired by Freek Van Der Herten and Adam Wathan.


Software & Tools

VS Code

Most of the time I'm writing PHP (for either WordPress or Laravel projects) as well as JavaScript. To help me with that I find VS Code to be the best all around tool.

I've given PhpStorm a go in the past but it's a real powerhouse and a bit more involved than what I'm currently looking for. Who knows, maybe one day...

VS Code using Ayu Mirage Bordered theme showing PHP

Coding Theme

I've tried light themes, like the one that was recommended by Adam Tomat on Twitter, but I find myself going back to the dark. Something about the colors just go better with my eyes.

I'm currently using Ayu (Mirage Bordered) as my theme in VS Code.

Coding Font

My preferred font at the moment, and has been for a while, is JetBrains Mono (which is, almost ironically, by the team behind PhpStorm).

Terminal

I use the terminal quite a bit, mainly for running Composer or Yarn / NPM tasks.

Most of the time I use VS Code's built-in terminal, but for running global commands I tend to open a MacOS terminal window.

Screenshot of a terminal window running Composer

Yarn

I use Yarn instead of NPM as I've always found it to be faster. I also use Yarn v1 as I don't need the complexity of v2 in my relatively simple projects.

Webpack

Webpack is module bundler. What does that mean? It compiles all my JavaScript (as well as my CSS, SVGs and images) into a ready to go format for the web.

Using Webpack gives me the benefit of using newer JavaScript in browsers that don't support it. This is achieved via Babel.

Mamp

Mamp is a local development server. It allows me to build websites using either WordPress or Laravel on my computer before I push it live to the internet.

I specifically use Mamp Pro which is a paid version of Mamp. I would highly recommend paying for the pro version as it offers some great features you don't get with many other tools.

Screenshot of Mamp Pro

MailHog

MailHog is something I use on my computer to "capture" all outgoing emails and show them in the GUI,

This prevents any test emails going to actual email addresses. We've all sent out emails from a local environment at some point when we probably shouldn't have. MailHog prevents that from happening.

Local

Local is another local development server, however it differs from Mamp as it's more of a fully fledged environment specifically built for WordPress development.

WordPress

I'm pretty sure everyone and their dog knows what WordPress is. It's a CMS (Content Management System) for editing content. It started out as a blogging platform, and still is at it's core, but over the years it's become a fully capable CMS.

Flywheel

Flywheel is genuinely the best WordPress hosting company I've ever used. From a streamlined interface to amazing support (and everything in between) I highly recommend them.

Laravel

Laravel is my PHP framework of choice for building custom web apps. This very website is built using Laravel (and hosted on Laravel Forge).

(In my humble opinion) It's the best PHP framework that currently exists. If you've not used it before, or you're a WordPress developer like myself, go give it a try. It's truly amazing.

Laravel Forge

This is one of new favourite tools. Laravel Forge makes it incredibly easy to manage your Laravel apps that are hosted on various cloud providers (in my case DigitalOcean).

Hardware

I'm an Apple user and am heavily ingrained in the ecosystem. I'm in too far to get out at this point, so I'm probably never going to try.

  • Computer: MacBook Pro
  • Phone: iPhone
  • Tablet: iPad Mini
  • Watch: Apple Watch (Series 1)

I'd love to get my hands on a Series 6 Apple Watch at some point. I've had my Series 1 since late 2015 and it's definitely showing it's age day-to-day.

Until Next Time

Overall I use a fair amount of tools and there are a few reasons for that:

  • I work on both Laravel and WordPress codebases and each one has a very different environment.
  • The modern web requires people like me, full stack developers, to be "jack of all trades" so using many different tools means I can more easily know when is the right and wrong time to use one.

This could very well be the first and last "current setup" article I ever write, so let's just enjoy it for what it is. Until next time!