Contrary to the Rumors, Print is Not Dead

Posted by on November 18, 2013

As an avid php[architect] reader since 2005, I anticipated getting an issue in my mailbox. There’s a certain little thrill you get when a magazine you love appears in your mail. I had 4 years experiencing that thrill until October of 2009 when php|architect announced they were discontinuing print and carrying forward with “digital only”. I was seriously bummed. They gave good-enough reasons for the discontinuation of print – the rising costs of printing, while digital magazines were starting to really come into their own. While the iPad hadn’t come out yet, there were tablet-style computers, larger monitors (for desktops), and everyone had laptops. Still, maybe I’m old-school, but there was something to be said for unplugging and reading a magazine. I let my subscription lapse and moved on to other books, sites, and tutorials for my sources of PHP info.

When acquired php|architect, the first question I brought up was “how do we bring back print?” Having been a long-time advocate for print, Beth was quick to chime in on that as well. I started to explore what options were out there. It turns out, traditional print houses required insanely high start-up costs and there would be tons of waste. Then there was the fulfillment. For four owners and one over-worked, but much appreciated, Editor-in-Chief, stuffing magazine bags and mailing them out each month was an impossibility. There were some printing houses that would print AND ship, but the magazine costs would be about $15 per issue. Untenable.

It looked as though the printed php[architect] was going to be just a pipe-dream. However, in August, Eli dropped a bomb. It turned out, our book printer started working on a new Journals Printing product. It’s print-on-demand (POD) with complete fulfillment! What’s more, we could do this and price the issues at a reasonable (i.e. not ridiculous) price point.

We did a few test runs of the September and October issues. As the resident designer I have to say the cover is gorgeous in print. It’s actually a much thicker card-stock than the old print issue. It holds the ink better and has an almost buttery feel to the touch. It measures at 8.5″ by 11″, which is larger than the older print php|architect, allowing for better layout of listings, images, and other code samples.

As you know, in October we announced the return to print. This drew a larger positive response than we had ever hoped for. At a few conferences, people got to see the printed version up close. Even @skoop, who had previously said the print was too expensive, came around when he saw it in person:

Now that I’ve actually seen the new print format of @phparch, I am willing to pay for the upgrade. Beautiful!

See what others are saying about our return to print.

We’ve had many existing subscribers upgrade and a lot of previous and new subscribers have been subscribing outright to print!

We here at php[architect] are so proud to say, “We are back in print!”

November 2013 – Frameworks

The first print issue in four years is on the subject of Frameworks and has the following articles:

  • Functional Testing in Symfony2
  • Interoperability: The Future of PHP
  • Laravel – A Modern PHP Framework
  • Adianti Framework
  • The Confident Coder: Descriptive Naming Schemes
  • Education Station: Satis for Package Deployment Simplicity
  • … and finally{}: Making Friends

About the author—Kevin is the sole Designer/Front End Developer in the band of developers called He has spent half of his 20 year design career drifting between Web Designer and Developer and lives in both camps comfortably. Being an evangelist of clean design and clean code, he runs a local design meetup and speaks at national tech conferences.