This email was sent to the Branch early access and user list on March 20th. I thought I would share it here on the blog as well.
As most of us in the digital workforce are working from home, I thought I’d take a moment to share what we’re working on at Branch. It’s certainly not the easiest time to focus on work with the current news stream. All the anxiety and panic can make it very hard to think about work – does it even matter? However I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to shut down the entire world, so the parts that we can keep moving we probably should.
I was visiting family in Denmark last week and Bjørn and I were working together from a public library in Copenhagen. A few hours later the Danish government put the country under lockdown. My fiancé and I decided to see if we could get back to Scotland before all the borders closed etc. Things are changing very rapidly!
I hope you and your loved ones are safe.
Founder of Branch
Read on if you need a break from the news stream and want to learn a bit about what we have been working on at Branch lately:
Automated Lighthouse monitoring
We just released our new Lighthouse recipe that allows you to monitor your page speed, SEO and accessibility score after each deployment. We’re are pretty stoked about how this is working. You can set thresholds for your page speed, SEO and accessibility scores and your build will fail if the results dip below.
Lighthouse testing is something I’ve had on my wish list for a long time. Initially I thought testing would be a very important part of Branch, however most WordPress developers don’t test their code. And that is totally fair when you think about most of the WordPress brochure websites out there. Something like Lighthouse makes a lot more sense for a WordPress project, because you don’t need to write any tests yourself. The testing you get is almost free – there’s no “test writing cost”. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Bjørn just published a guide on how to set up Lighthouse for your project.
Something else we launched was our Bedrock recipe. This recipe will help you build your Bedrock sites before you deploy them. That involves installing the Composer dependencies and setting up the
.env configuration file for your site. You can check it our by browsing the recipes menu in your project pipeline.
Re-design and improved onboarding
After converting the entire Branch app to Tailwind CSS, we decided to spend some time improving the onboarding. That ended up as a complete redesign of the app. I’m really excited about this and the app feels much more polished and the navigation is much more intuitive.
We also re-designed the website using Tailwind UI. We are really proud of the result and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.
New build recipes
Recently we gave the build pipeline and build recipes a huge overhaul. Instead of the old textarea, build steps are now interactive forms with clear instructions on how to configure your builds. If you want to see how they look, you can watch the screencast in the announcement blog post (this is before the redesign – if you want to see how they look now, you’ll have to log in to the app).
Try (and use) Branch for free
Remember that Branch is free for up to 20 deployments per month. If you haven’t checked it out in a while, you should log in a give it a spin. Let us know if you need any help. You can just reply to this email.
Thank you and stay safe! 🙏