YIKES Adds Election Day as Company Holiday

By Mia Levesque

October 5, 2016

After 20 Years in business, why not add a new holiday?

B the change It would be next to impossible to ignore the upcoming US Presidential election, but as business owners, Tracy and I both believe that business and politics should not mix. YIKES makes donations and offers in-kind services on a regular basis but not to political organizations or candidates.

That being said, we have always strongly encouraged our employees to vote, allowing people to do whatever it takes to make sure they exercise this very important constitutional right. Recently while thinking about the efforts to improve the voting process and make Election Day a national holiday, I realized as business owners, we could change our policy today!

We believe access to voting directly impacts communities. As a Certified B Corporation and PA Benefit Corporation, we incorporate into our mission the well being of people. The more people who vote, the better represented our local communities and our country.

Adding Election Day as a paid holiday allows everyone at YIKES the opportunity to vote. It also gives people time to volunteer on Election day – work at the polls, assist people who need help getting to their polling location.

We hope other businesses will join us in supporting #ElectionDayHoliday!

For more resources on voter registration, deadlines and rules, check out Vote.org, an excellent, non-partisan voter information portal that uses technology to increase voter participation.

Finally, I can’t resist ending this post with one the foundations of my education on the civic responsibility of voting.


Learn more about our sustainability efforts and B Corporation Certification.

YIKES Again Honored as Best for World – Workers

By Mia Levesque

September 9, 2016

Creating Most Overall Positive Employee Impact as Evaluated by Comprehensive B Impact Assessment

On September 8, 2016, YIKES, Inc. was once again recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by B the Change Media based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the independent nonprofit B Lab. YIKES is honored in the Best for the World Workers List, which includes businesses that earned a Workers score in the top 10 percent of more than 1,800 Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment. The full assessment measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment. The 124 winning companies in the Workers category come from 14 industries and 15 countries.

bcorp_logoYIKES would like to congratulate all the other honorees. View the entire list and see how companies are making positive changes through business.

The Workers portion of the B Impact Assessment assesses the company’s relationship with its workforce. It measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training and ownership opportunities provided to workers. The category focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility, corporate culture and worker health and safety practices. Honorees scoring in the top 10 percent set a gold standard for the high impact that business as a force for good can make on employees around the world.

Honorees are featured in the upcoming fall issue of B Magazine and on B the Change’s digital platform, bthechange.com.

Learn more about YIKES sustainability mission, including our B Corporation certification and our commitment as a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation.


B the Change Media was formed as a partnership between B Lab, the community of B Corporations, and Bryan Welch, former CEO of Ogden Publications (B Corp since 2010). B the Change Media is a multiplatform media company whose mission is to build the world’s largest engaged audience of people with a passion for using business as a force for good. B the Change Media has editorial and operating independence and covers compelling stories about business as a force for good, not just stories about B Corporations. B the Change Media has independent investors and is a subsidiary of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that administers the Impact Assessment and aggregates the B Corporation community. B the Change Media is a Pending B Corporation.

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good.  Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and society will enjoy prosperity for all for the long term.

B Lab drives this systemic change by: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing benefit corporation legislation to give business leaders the freedom to create value for society as well as shareholders; 3) helping businesses measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance with the free B Impact Assessment; 4) driving capital to impact investments through use of its B Analytics and GIIRS Ratings platform.

For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net.

YIKES Receives B Corporation Recertification

By Mia Levesque

March 14, 2016

As YIKES celebrates our 20th anniversary this year, we are honored to announce our successful recertification as a B Corporation. Since 2010 we have been committed to the ideals that the businesses have the power to make the world better.

Since 1996 our goal as a company has always been to build a company that balances the importance of community, environment, transparency, accountability, and excellence.  We believe that this balance, and not just bottom-line, is what makes a successful business.

As a Certified B Corporation AND a PA Benefit Corporation, we are grateful to be a part of a growing community of like-minded businesses dedicated to social change and to redefining what success means for business.

We recognize the potential to participate in creating a way for businesses to leave a positive environmental footprint and are excited to be a part of an international movement toward responsibility and sustainable practices. Becoming a B Corporation further solidifies YIKES, Inc. position in the marketplace as an socially-conscious organization.

Certification is a rigorous process, and we are proud to once again measured up. We encourage people to learn more about B Corporations.

Reflections on WordCamp

By Jodie Riccelli

October 26, 2015

The significance of Philadelphia hosting the inaugural year of WordCamp US is not lost on me. I remember my first WordCamp very clearly. It was November of 2011. I was new to my job at YIKES and fairly new to the WordPress community. Eager to learn everything there is to know about WordPress, I awoke early to board the train to Temple University. As I entered the building, Tracy (my boss) was behind the registration desk holding my badge. There were coffee and donuts and … hundreds of people I didn’t know. Armed with my It’s Always Sunny WordCamp t-shirt I just received and a stack of business cards, I proceeded to mingle around the coffee table.

My first thought was that people were so welcoming, but I also noticed that most people had computers with them. Being a less-technical person in a super-technical world has its advantages, preferring to write with a pen and notebook is not always one of them. Now panic stricken because I was without my laptop, I immediately began to think that people would notice I was a newbie. Did I stand out? Did my lack of a messenger bag or a backpack riddled with tiny pins make me look funny? (Pins are a thing in the tech community I have learned, and it’s awesome.)

The sessions were about to start and I got seated at my desk ready to learn. As it turns out, all the preconceived notions in my head were false. I met people of various skill levels throughout the day and many had notebooks just like me. The one common thread throughout the group was the desire to learn. WordPress had brought this seemingly random, diverse group of people together. Here they were growing, learning, and creating websites that now run almost 25% of the internet. I didn’t know it at the time, but that atmosphere would become a safe haven for me.

So here were are, four years later and I’m lucky enough to be part of the organizing committee for WordCamp US. Being accepted into this group of wonderful and brilliant people has been enlightening in so many ways. What stands out for me is that the city of Philadelphia has become part of the WordPress community. It’s part of the organizing team just as much as I am.

The home of democracy is the perfect setting to host an event for a software with democratic principals. When the announcement was made that Philadelphia was selected to host WordCamp US, I was excited and incredibly nervous. What could Philadelphia do to thank the WordPress community for this honor? As time progressed it became a bit clearer. The answer is to give back to the WordPress community. The city of Brotherly Love can easily embrace a group of people that proclaim, “Code is Poetry”.

Philly, get ready because WordCamp US is almost here. You can still purchase tickets and experience the same joy I did at my first WordCamp. Bring a notebook or a laptop and surround yourself with information and knowledge. Thank you for selecting Philly to host WordCamp in 2015 and 2016. We will do you proud, WordPress 🙂

P.S. There are still opportunities to sponsor this historic event! We would love to have you!

Easy Forms for MailChimp Plugin Gets an Upgrade!

By Jodie Riccelli

October 6, 2015

YIKES is excited to launch yikesplugins.com tomorrow — a new site to showcase our awesome WordPress plugins.

With the new site comes a brand new and improved version of our wildly successful Easy Forms for MailChimp plugin. For months we have been working on this new version, and we are excited to release the update tomorrow.

Making the Update

We want our current users to have as smooth a transition as possible so we have created guide to updating:

As always, you can submit support requests for the free version of our plugin to our Github Issue Tracker, and we will respond ASAP.

What’s new in this version?

Completely Rewritten Code

We make note of every support request and feedback message our users send us and have completely rebuilt the codebase to eliminate reoccurring issues. We also had the the code professionally reviewed to ensure it was the highest quality.

“This is certainly a well-coded plugin…it’s in the top 5% – 10% of plugins I’ve seen as far as code goes.”
Justin Tadlock, Co-author Professional WordPress Plugin Development

Brand New Interface

The plugin Admin has been completely redesigned with a streamlined interface.

new-yikes-mailchimp-plugin-interface

New Knowledge Base

We have created a Knowledge Base full of articles with step-by-step guides on plugin installation, use, settings and developer documentation.

New Add-Ons

We built fabulous free and premium add-ons to extend the base functionality of Easy Forms for MailChimp. Paid add-ons also come with premium support.

One add-on we know you’ll love is the Form Customizer. With it you can completely customize the look of your forms without needing to know any code.

Watch this video demo if it in action.

Visit our new plugins website to see all the free and premium add-ons available.

We are excited to release these and more great plugins in the future.

2015 NGLCC Conference

By Jodie Riccelli

August 10, 2015

About a year ago, YIKES attended an IBA event, where through networking, we learned more about becoming a NGLCC certified LGBTBE business. Since we had just completed our renewal of our WBENC certification, the process seemed similar yet more straight forward. A few weeks later we received our certificate officially declaring us a certified Gay and Lesbian owned business enterprise. It was a good day at YIKES.

NGLCC-Cert-YIKESNext week Mia, Tracy, and I are heading to the annual NGLCC National Business and Leadership Conference. This year it is being held in Fort Lauderdale. I’m not thrilled about the heat in Florida but I couldn’t be more excited about meeting with so many other like minded business who support diversity. This year’s annual conference boasts numerous sessions to engage and empower businesses.

The highlight however may be the key note speaker. When they revealed that Suze Orman was going to grace us with her presence at the conference, Tracy literally screamed from the back of our office. To be honest, I was super happy, too. There are two people that can tell me to do just about anything, Suze Orman and Coach Taylor. They just have that way about them. I expect to come back feeling inspired with great financial investments on deck.

Tracy is going to be on one of the panels at this years conference. The panel will take place on Wednesday, August 12 at 3:30pm and is called “Optimize Your Opportunities: Doing Business with Fellow LGBTBEs“.

Some of the other sessions we plan on attending:

  • Breakfast
  • B2B Boot Camp for Certified and Registered LGBT-Owned Businesses
  • Big Time Marketing on a Lean Budget
  • Global Focus: Equality Across Borders and Economic Development
  • and of course the Walk and Talks!

We want to thank the Independence Business Alliance, Greg DeShields from PHL Diversity, and all the folks at the NGLCC for championing diversity. We can’t wait to network in Florida!

My Top 5 Tech Meetups in Philadelphia

By Jodie Riccelli

July 27, 2015

My top 5 tech Meetups in Philadelphia for networking and learning (in no particular order):

1. #techinColor

Two years ago a group of like minded individuals got together to discuss promoting diversity in the tech community. What evolved from that meeting was an Official Philly Tech Week networking event attended by more that 100 people. During that first year, a brain mapping exercise was done to see what attendees would like to get out of #techinColor overall. The results led us to this past years Philly Tech Week speed networking event. Speed networking turned out to be incredibly beneficial to the attendees and the mentors.

2. Girl Develop It
If you are a female (or male) looking to learn about tech in any capacity, you have to check out Girl Develop It. Girl Develop It can be found in many cities throughout the country. Their website states is perfectly, “Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. Through in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and their every day lives.”

3. WordPress Philly
The Philadelphia WordPress Meetup Group is a group of WordPress enthusiasts in and around the Philadelphia area. I have had the pleasure of working with the organizers of this Meetup for WordCamp Philly. I can tell you that this is a devoted group of individuals who aim to provide education content in an exciting and mindful way.

4. Philly Burbs WordPress Meetup
I haven’t had the chance to venture out to burbs for a Meetup yet but other folks at YIKES have. The organizers of this group are some of the kindest and smartest folks I have encountered. Sessions cover everything from “Creating a Beer Fest Site with WordPress” to Web Accessibility.

5. Tech in Motion
The Tech in Motion group was a sponsor for a recent #techinColor event. They provide great Meetups to foster relationships within the tech community. Session include topics like “Reality, Musicality and Beyond: Drinks & Demos.”

I know there are so many more out there. I am anxious to spend the next half of this year discovering new Meetups in the Philadelphia area and meeting more people in our amazing tech community. I would love to hear about some of your favorite meetups or networking events. Feel free to leave a message in the comments below!

Our WordPress Monitoring Service Just Got Better

By Mia Levesque

July 9, 2015

Previously, our WordPress Monitoring Service included WordPress Core updates within 24-48 hours of release and once per month plugin updates. As of July 1, 2015 both WordPress Core and Plugin updates will be made within 24 hours of release. Also, if an update causes an issue for a monitored site, we will fix it.

Our YIKES WordPress Monitoring plugin, only available to our Monitoring clients, notifies us on Slack (our real-time communication tool) the minute a plugin needs updating on a site.

As WordPress experts, we keep tabs on and immediately address security issues.

Here are some examples of security issues we took care of while our monitoring clients relaxed.

  • Object Injection Vulnerability in WooCommerce
  • Critical Persistent XSS 0day in WordPress
  • File upload Vulnerability in Gravity Forms
  • Persistent XSS in WP-Super-Cache
  • Blind SQL Injection Vulnerability in Yoast SEO

If a plugin or WordPress itself has a critical security patch, we will know and will apply it immediately.

Pricing

$50/month per site or $500/year ($100 discount) per site.

If you’re not already on our monitoring plan, contact us to see if your site qualifies

#techInColor wrap up

By Mia Levesque

April 29, 2015

GirlDevelopIt
Our Event Partner – Girl Develop It

This year during Philly Tech Week, YIKES was proud to sponsor and help organize #techInColor for the second year in a row. This year’s event was held at First Round Capital on Thursday, April 23, 2015. Over 100 people attended, and the outcome was more than expected. Each mentor had 6 – 10 minute sessions with attendees throughout the course of the evening. Our mentor list included folks in web development, science, startups, and more. Additionally, we had small group sessions with group leaders who shared their expertise in various fields. Thank you to all the group leaders and mentors. Stay tuned for more #techInColor events happening this year, and be sure to join our MeetUp!

Mentors

  • Josh Angotti – Ask me anything about: Product management.
  • Jeffrey Becker – Ask me anything about: .NET development, agile software development, and how to level up as a jr. developer.
  • Ann Burton – Ask me anything about: Interviewing, resumes, and career development.
  • Ingrid Geronimo – Ask me anything about: Requirements gathering, testing & quality assurance, and how to build your technical confidence.
  • Shanice Graham – Ask me anything about: Digital Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, and Analytics.
  • Ian Leibovici – Ask me anything about: Digital marketing strategy, UX/UI Design, Information architecture and Design Processes.
  • Tracy Levesque – Ask me anything about: WordPress, web design and development, B Corps, Green Building and running a triple bottom line business.
  • Amelia Longo – Ask me anything about: Being a non-technical person in tech, authentic networking, targeted outreach for diverse audiences, or gender and the workplace.
  • Brian Lyttle – Ask me anything about: Python and .NET, working remotely, consulting, or working with large companies.
  • Erin (Cricket) Reichenberger – Ask Me Anything About: Microbiome, metagenomics, bioinformatics​, and programming.
  • Michael Riley – Ask me anything about: Growing a successful business/startup.
  • Zoe Rooney – Ask me anything about: Building websites, WordPress, Shopify, or running a small web development business.
  • Tiffanie Stanard – Ask me anything about: Owning multiple companies, technology skills for various industries, product marketing campaigns, branding yourself and your company, developing corporate partnerships, becoming an expert in your field.
  • Colby Tecklin – Ask me anything about: Videophones, video communication, general networking, communication tools, and customer service.
  • Corinne Warnshuis – Ask me anything about: Getting involved in the community and/or Leveling up your skills
  • Carlos Zuniga – Ask me anything about: WordPress Development, PHP Development, Internet Security.

Group Discussion Leaders

  • Sarah Gray – My Expertise: Hunting for software development jobs, community resources, open source software development with Python and and web development with Rails.
  • TJ Nicolaides – My Expertise: Front end development / Javascript / teaching programming / CakePHP
  • Michelle Rogers – My Expertise: Healthcare informatics – the intersection of health, people and information.
  • Kevin Taylor – My Expertise: Project management, group collaboration, and workplace learning and performance improvement.
  • Ani Vemprala – My Expertise: Launching a startup in Philly, building a tech/engineering team, interviewing at startups, your data & analytics challenges.
  • Elise Wei – My Expertise: Changing careers into software dev, SaaS, hiring, managing a team, being a new parent, getting involved in the community.

Platinum Sponsors

platinum

Gold Sponsors

Gold

Silver Sponsors

sliver

Zero-Waste Event made possible by:

bennett

Event catered by:

BC_logoMockups_030310a

Drinks provided by:

drinks

YIKES Makes Annual Best in the World for Workers List

By Mia Levesque

April 21, 2015

YIKES has been recognized as a great place to work with a spot on the third annual Best in the World for Workers list. See our score and learn more about the other honorees; we are in great company.

A business is more than a building, a service, or a product. A business is made up of people, and treating those people right is a crucial part of doing business the right way. That’s why we are proud to lead our fellow B Corps in working to create a better life for our employees as a 2015 Best for Workers honoree.

How are we Best for the Environment? We earned a worker impact score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on workers, the community and the environment. Every day, along with our fellow honorees, we are taking the lead in providing comprehensive benefits and wellness programs, paying living wages, and creating opportunities for employee ownership.

We take pride in smart, effective, creative web solutions, but that pride would be misplaced if we weren’t first and foremost focusing on the people who make it possible: our team. That’s one of the reasons we became a B Corp in the first place.

As a B Corp, we’re leading a global movement to redefine success in business so one day all companies compete to be not only the best in the world, but best for the world. We join over 1,200 other companies committed to using business as a force for good.

Check them all out at bcorporation.net.

 

WordCamp San Francisco

By Tracy Levesque

October 21, 2014

WordCamp San Francisco is the unofficial official and biggest WordPress conference in the World.

This year three members of the YIKES team will be at WCSF — Tracy, Carlos and Evan. Tracy will be giving a 5-minute lightening talk on Teaching People to WordPress.

YIKES is also proud to be a sponsor this year! If you’re there, find us and say “hi!” We’ll be giving away some swag and we’ll have a few t-shirts to hand out as well. 🙂

YIKES Philabundance Food Drive 2014

By Jodie Riccelli

October 21, 2014

Join us for our 2014 Philabundance Food Drive and help fight against hunger.

Join YIKES, Inc. again in collecting donations for the Philabundance food drive. Help us beat our record of almost 300 pounds!

High priority items for this year:

  • Jelly, Jam or Preserves
  • Proteins, Miscellaneous Shelf Stable (peanut butter, beans)
  • Breakfast Foods (cereal, bars, oatmeal)
  • Pasta, Rice & Dry Mixes

*Donations will be accepted from now until December 19th, 2014 at our office. We are located at 204 East Girard Avenue in Philadelphia. The office is open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm.

You can also visit our Virtual Food Drive and donate online!

PHLB Busy Season Community Food Drive toolkit.FY14 --1

Philadelphia Geek Awards 2014

By Tracy Levesque

August 19, 2014

On Saturday, August 16, 2014, the Annual Philadelphia Geek Awards succeeded as one of the best geek/tech events of the year, and it’s only August! A big congratulations to Geekadelphia and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for hosting an absolutely incredible evening. The afterparty at North Bowl, with late night snacks and opportunities to socialize with presenters and winners,  capped off  a great night. As a proud sponsor this year, YIKES, Inc. Co-Owners, Mia Levesque and Tracy Levesque attended, both for the first time. What did they think?

Mia:

The Philly Geek Awards offers the best of Philadelphia. Geekadelphia managed to not only bring together a diverse cross section of people from different social, cultural, and technology backgrounds, but also created an event that celebrated all things geeky. This provided attendees a unique opportunity to jump outside their bubble for an evening and plunge into a broader world of Philadelphia Geekdom.

The diversity of attendees, nominees, and winners was impressive and made me proud to be a part of the Philadelphia tech community. The wide range of award categories provided a glimpse at the incredible projects Philadelphians are working on.

Not only an inspirational event but pure fun, I am already looking forward to 2015.

Tracy: 

I absolutely loved The Philly Geek Awards. I found myself grinning the entire time.

It was cool to see what folks are doing in areas of geekdom outside of web development. It made me so proud of Philadelphia. I wouldn’t want to own a tech company anywhere else.

I was also thrilled to meet Kid Hazo. I’m a big fan, and we have one of his pieces up in the office. It was great to meet him in person.

YIKES would like to congratulate all the winners, nominees, and organizers. View all the winners at NewsWorks.

Mia and Tracy with Joel Hodgson from MST3K
Mia and Tracy with Joel Hodgson from MST3K

Saying Goodbye to Linda, Our Summer Unicorn

By Jodie Riccelli

August 7, 2014

It’s a sad time for YIKES. Our summer intern, Linda Gorman, is leaving to go back to college. Linda will be a senior at Syracuse University this fall. Prior to interning at YIKES, Linda studied abroad in Japan for a semester, tackled numerous independent projects, and interned at other reputable businesses.

While at YIKES, she was instrumental in supporting work on a wide range of projects, learning ColdFusion along the way. Her knowledge in a variety of technologies and her keen editing abilities were a great addition to the team. Linda is truly a tech unicorn with the ability to program in different languages, work proficiently with Bootstrap, test UX/UI, develop dashboards, and more.

While at YIKES, she discovered Indian Food, cappuccino potato chips, and Pho. We couldn’t be prouder. We wish her the best of luck in the upcoming school year. It was an honor to have her part of the team this summer.

Luckily we can continue to follow her successes on Twitter and her website!

As one door closes another opens they say. Therefore we are looking for interns! You can get more information on our jobs page.

Tech Unicorn by Phine. Can you spot all 8 technologies plus a bonus YIKES logo icon?
Tech Unicorn by Phine. Can you spot all 8 technologies plus a bonus YIKES logo icon?

YIKES Gets Serious About Contributing to Open Source

By Tracy Levesque

August 6, 2014

Inspired by Helen Hou-Sandí’s WordCamp Philly keynote, “How I convinced my boss to let me work on WordPress full-time,” we’ve decided to donate a collective 5 hours a week to the WordPress Open Source Project.

We want to give back to the project and community that provides a free, open source and fantastic software platform to build and maintain great websites. We decided to start with 5 hours a week with the goal to increase those hours in the future.

Tracy Levesque contributes time as the co-lead of the WordPress Training Project (aka Theme School). The project’s goal is to create WordPress-approved, classroom-style curriculum instructors can use to hold in-person WordPress classes and workshops. She is also involved with initiatives to bring more diversity to the WordPress Community and newly obsessed with designing Dashicons.

Programmers, Evan Herman and Carlos Zuniga, spend time combing through trac tickets, testing code and submitting patches. Evan also helps out on the support forums. He even received an in-person thank you at WordCamp NYC from a person he recently gave assistance to.

We are excited to make our commitment to helping build the software we use every day and supporting the vibrant community surrounding it official.

Evan working at WordCamp NYC Contributor Day
Evan working at WordCamp NYC Contributor Day