Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching

As I’d spent most of my web development career working in the higher education setting, I’d never had occasion to do certain things my peers working within the commercial sector might do, like eCommerce sites. Overnight I finally got myself a small taste of this, connecting friends existing WordPress-based website up to Woocommerce for their first item they’re needing to sell online.

I’d love to say all was smooth sailing, however it wasn’t. It was not the install that let me down, but rather an old version of PHP that was causing me problems and leaving me with the WordPress ‘white screen of death’, that is, a plug-in is ‘Not. Happy, Jan!‘. I’m not sure why hosting services insist on installing bog old, and insecure v5 PHP, when they have available v7.x for you to use. Once my friend provided me the hosting creds, I logged in and swapped over to v7.3. This seemed to work for a bit, however the Avada theme was having issues and couldn’t save, so I was forced to downgrade to v7.2 which proved more stable.

Once all was looking hunky dory, I could finally get around to testing and finalising the two pages and associated form. I ended up having to create a password protected page with a form, as this event required personal details to be provided, after they submitted I then had the form redirect to the Woocommerce product page. All worked quite nicely once it was determined the product page must be a public not a private page or a 404 was generated; we were wanting it to not be visible but restricted.

Hopefully people’s orders go through okay, pity I can’t attract a commission per ticket though 🤔

Two weeks off

Well, today I turned 21 (again). Groundhog day is at play it would seem, got to love that. I awoke to an email from one of my favourite department stores, Myer, giving me a $10 gift voucher. Yay! I already had $40 in vouchers with them, so internet shopping was definitely order of the (birth)day given today was also the last day of Myer sales.

I found myself two pair of chinos that would look damned fine, with discount applied I was only out $32. I figured given today’s sales I might also spoil myself by heading in-store to check out what I might like for my birthday. As it would happen, there was 40% off Calvin Klein Jeans, plus an additional 10% off atop this, so I managed to get a great pair of jeans for $107. As I was heading out of store I saw an amazing orange shirt, that was the end of me, as I then headed around store and found two additional shirts, another $60 with all the discounts applied. Then down to mens fragrances, the Issey Miyake Wood & Wood somehow made it into my bag for $158. Well I always was good a rewarding myself for my birthday haha.

Tomorrow begins two weeks off work, I have been looking forward to this for months as I have been so exhausted. The past few weeks alone I have been waking earlier than normal (normal is 5am), some mornings at 3-3.30am, which absolutely throws me out for the rest of the day. I have sat at work like a zombie some days, even coffee unable to rescue me. It all came to a head yesterday, Saturday, when after seeing Maleficent 2 I came home, went to bed just after lunch and was up/down till 8pm before finally going to sleep.

I am hoping these next few weeks to both rest and set a trend for going to the gym. Despite my joining the gym some months ago I actually haven’t gone now for almost two months, mostly as result of getting sick each time I start going. Cross your fingers for me I do not again get sick as I attempt going once more, I will be so annoyed if my body crashes as result going on leave (hear that happens!).

A little blue, a little green

I have to admit, my experience working with WordPress themes leaves me looking a little green. I am used to developing and designing that which I work with, so when I have to start working within other environments and other’s code it’s suddenly a bit of an up-hill climb. Thankfully though, I do adjust quickly.

I recently assisted a friend who referred her coaching client to me for a small website development project. She needed help to redesign her website and enhance its functionality. Little did I know when taking on this project her website was in need of some viagra, it was suffering from performance anxiety, it just didn’t like staying up (sorry, couldn’t help that one haha). I would never approach a new client with immediate effect of trying to move them from their chosen hosting, in this case she was with Wix, but every time I was attempting to surf her current website it was down; I needed to convince her of the need to move.

After determining that her website had been suffering this problem regularly, I convinced her of the need to move, presenting her with three options for WordPress hosting. Whilst it would mean busting her original budget when factoring in my own development costs, which I was going to keep low to help out, she understood the importance moving would mean to her business in the end – visibility.

Bluehost was chosen as the preferred hosting platform in the end. After a few weeks of my developing part-time (nights and on the weekend), Karen signed-off on my efforts and was happy to launch. I swapped over the DNS entries at her domain registrar from Wix to Bluehost, and then the fun began.

The WordPress site had been developed using a temporary domain, thus all the images and sliders were using this address. Unfortunately updating the relevant URL and site address within settings didn’t update everything across the site, I then needed to update links throughout all the web pages and update sliders too. Then, once the SSL got fixed (OMG! painful), I had to fix once more. I was never more grateful that Karen’s site was a small one, had it have been a larger one I’d’ve been crying out for a better solution to update things.

A should out to the Avada theme, version 6 is just a dream to work with. As I said, I was a tad green working with WordPress and themes, and working with Avada I have learned so much. I still have so much yet to learn, they have a great site to reference. I totally recommend this theme, it made building this website so much easier, especially the responsive development.

Cuttin’ it with Avada

I’m currently developing a WordPress site with one of the more popular WordPress themes, Avada. The client didn’t have much of a budget, so initially I was looking at free options, I thought Gutenberg might allow me some measure of being able to develop her site nowadays without the need for a commercial theme. How wrong I was. I apologise to my neighbours, for their ears heard were bashed regularly at my utter frustration with those free themes and Gutenberg.

I relented and paid for Avada, I had helped a friend last year with an earlier version of this theme to develop her business website, my first time ever using it, so I wasn’t entirely experienced using. Thus, developing my client’s site this time around using the latest and greatest release Avada with a live editor has been a much better experience. All the frustrations I’d been experiencing with the free themes quickly melted away and suddenly progress was being made, designs were being realised and I was moving forward.

That being said, considerable time has still been expended working on implementing things for what is just a small site, really highlighting how little time I have spent working with WordPress. I have quite enjoyed crafting responsive solutions to problems I have faced, I do wonder if others implement in quite the same way. Due to my using different backgrounds depending on the background, and laying content out differently, I am having to replicate structures and content for each mobile/tablet/desktop and specify container is for which device.

The lessons I learn on this project I will hopefully be able to translate to a larger project I’m being considered for later in the year. Thankfully the budget there will be much bigger and plug-in options greater.

Watch gets an upgrade

Is Apple planning to notify Apple Watch Series 2 owners their services will be end of life? watchOS 6 has been delayed for this and Series 3, and today watchOS 5.3 received a point release update instead.

This concerned me as a series 2 owner, enough to relent and upgrade myself today to a series 5 GPS model. I had wanted to upgrade this year anyway, however wasn’t that impressed by the series 5 update, it didn’t have much differentiation over the previous model. I had intended to then wait till next year expecting my watch might continue to be better supported, seems it’s coming to end of support soon.

Now upgraded, the experience is off a watch that is certainly faster and responsive to my input. The increased screen size is nice making use easier over my older model. I did have issues with sync of exercise tonight, some 10k missing steps not going through until I restarted the watch. Glad that was sorted as the activity was going nowhere, I knew I’d move but was seeing no increases in my stats; I ended up with 23k steps once all was resolved.

Updating the old iPad Pro painful

My old, and I say this tongue in cheek, 10.5 inch iPad Pro has sat in a draw since earlier this year when I upgraded to the 11 inch iPad Pro as I liked the new snap to body Apple Pencil 2. I have been meaning this whole time to prepare it for sale and procrastinated all the while.

Now, I have both the iPad Pro and iPhone X that I must sell as neither need sit in my drawers and gather dust when they might best be used by another. Tonight, I got the older iPad Pro out of its drawer to apply the very latest iPadOS 13.1 so its future owner would have the latest and greatest. That was the intent anyway.

After charging the iPad to full I told it to set to download the update, it refused. The iPad was not connecting to my network for some reason. After some wrangling I eventually settled upon testing its network settings under the General menu area. Thankfully, this got me going straight away and download of the update commenced.

Strangely enough doing this then had effect upon my new iPad Pro, I then needed to reset its network settings before I was allowed to download app updates, weird 😤 After the update was applied to my older iPad Pro I had the problem with it showing a menu item that I needed to apply settings and had to supply my iCloud password, I did this a few times before finally we got there. Well I assume I’m there, seems flakey. In any case it’s going to be reset to factory default so unimportant.

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