Learn Web Development For Free (Or Affordably)

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Learn Web Development for Free-500x360

Whenever people ask about my profession and I say, “I develop web applications”, I have to admit it’s an awesome feeling. It’s awesome because you see this instant change in their face and demeanor from politely making small talk to genuine interest. Naturally, I’m pleased and say this not to brag, but because I’ve earned it. Paid a dear price for it. Countless hours, weeks and months working late nights, obscene amounts of coffee, plus the very many times of sheer frustration where all I wanted to do was take the hammer to the computer. In many ways, I still pay this price because web development is ever changing and new things come along all the time. Not long ago, someone asked me what’s the best way to learn PHP. Well… for me, it was a 3-inch thick book that cost a pretty penny. Simply because there weren’t many choices then. Thankfully these days, it’s a whole lot easier to pick up and many times for free or at least, very affordable. Codecademy This is where I like to start people off. All courses are free. They use the read-learn-do method. You read and understand a short block of text, try your hand at it,

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6 Free Tools For Building An App For Your Business

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
6 Free Tools For Building An App For Your Business

For a long time, I thought creating apps for a business that is already online was a waste of time. Every smart phone has a web browser. Why would someone download and install an app to receive content that is already available on a website? One day, after downloading and registering to use an app, guess what I discovered? Yep! I could’ve visited their website to receive the same thing. Then it hit me… I wouldn’t have discovered this website if it weren’t for the app. Furthermore – did you get that part – I registered to use the app. That means I’m on their list. I eagerly did that on the app – something I’m not sure I’d do as readily on the website. Powerful stuff. Whatever reasons you may have for creating an app, here are 6 tools you can get started for free. BuzzTouch This is the tool I use to create our BlogEnergizer app. It’s not as visual as the other tools you may find, and it has a pretty big learning curve. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who wants to click a few things and have an app to show in 1-2 hours. However, if you

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4 Ways To Create Strong Passwords You Won’t Forget

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
4 Ways to Create Strong Passwords You Won't Forget

The very thought of creating a password can be such a drain. No wonder people default to what they know and re-use their passwords. Even when we know we shouldn’t do that – ever. So what are you to do? I’ll share some tips I’ve used over time but before we get to the how, let me advise – don’t attempt to remember all your passwords. Yes. Seriously. What you want to do is have ONE master password and then store everything else into a system like LastPass (what I use) and/or RoboForm (what I used). Once you got a password manager – both are free to try, then you can utilize the following techniques to create strong passwords for each site. 1. Use The Random Words Method I’ve written about this before and this is my favorite method. That’s because even when I don’t have access to my password manager, I can more or less recall the password. Here’s what you do. Come up with 2-3 unrelated words and separate them with a space, number or character. For example. Sunny(Paperclip)48 Pepper5Camera-Goat or P3pp3r5Cam3r4-G04t (if you really want to make it hard) It’s still doesn’t make sense but if you

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5 Ways To Backup Your Google Docs Documents

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Google Docs does a fantastic job of saving and maintaining your documents for you. However, as a small business owner, it’s only smart to want to store a copy (or copies) of your documents on your own drives – just in case. After all, a lot of time, hard work and resources have been spent to create and maintain them. Many people recommend syncing with Google Drive on your computer and other computers. Even I did. After some research, I’ve discovered I was wrong! If you ever open up the .gdoc and .gsheet files in a plain text editor, you will see they contain nothing but a URL to the document itself (and some document ID references). If you can’t find the document from within Google Docs itself I suppose this could be very helpful. However, seeing the file doesn’t actually contain the document contents, this is not going to help in the event the document gets corrupted or deleted completely. Here’s what you can do instead to backup your Google Docs documents. Download All Your Documents In Native Format Log in to your Google Drive, click on My Drive. On the top of the right panel, click the checkbox.

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9 Effective Habits of People Who Get Things Done

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
9 Effective Habits of People Who Get Things Done

No matter what you throw at them, some people seem to have the super-human ability to get things done. Not only that, they get it done fast! How do they do that when you’re struggling to find your energy from day to day? The good news is – there is no super human powers involved. Instead, just some simple habits that you too can cultivate quickly. 1. Eat Well You are already aware that getting things done requires energy. Thankfully, you can be in complete control of this. Cut out sugar laden food. Learn to choose and enjoy healthful, balanced meals. And get plenty of water. You’ll feel a big difference immediately, helps you be more alert, focused and able to get through your to-do list faster and precisely. 2. Shut The Door If your home office is in a room, make liberal use of the door. Make it clear to your family, when the door is closed, you are not to be disturbed – at all. Unplug the phone, silence your cell phone. Consider a do-not-disturb sign. If you don’t have the luxury of a home office, consider a noise reduction earmuff and tell your family when these headphones

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Why You Need To Write Shorter Posts

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Write Shorter Blog Posts

Early in the year, I took a piece of advice from a very successful blogger. That’s to write shorter posts. It’s been tough. Every time I focus on a blog posts, it tends to end up in the 700 – 1000 word range. I’m not accepting defeat yet because there’s lots of good reasons we should all write shorter.   1. Conserve Your Mental Energy Since shorter posts tend to be less intensive, they are faster to write and publish. This leaves you more brainpower to focus on heavier, more thought provoking stories that are longer. 2. Challenge Your Writing Skills I used to be a copywriter at an ad agency. Each time I presented the senior copywriter with my work, he’d take a pen and start crossing things out. Then, he tells me. Good, but shorter. Our copy winds up on product labels, print ads, posters, billboards and TV. You don’t have the luxury of time nor space in any of those mediums. It was downright challenging but I enjoyed it all the same because it truly forces you to become a better communicator. 3. Your Audience Doesn’t Have The Time Recent surveys show that 60% of Internet access is mostly

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How Password Protected Web Pages Can Work Against You

Friday, June 6th, 2014
How Password Protected Web Pages Can Work Against You-060614

Almost every week, I see people asking these questions. How do I stop people from downloading my videos? How can I protect my download products from being shared? How do I set up my content so only people with a password can view it? The list of questions varies but they all revolve around the same issue. Password protected web pages. When I started selling content online, I admit I wanted to put all sorts of restrictions around how my content can be downloaded and how it can be consumed. Big mistake. What ended up happening was, too much time, energy and money spent attempting to “protect” content. Too little left over for what really matters. Marketing, building the membership, the audience and meeting the audience’s needs. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you shouldn’t protect your content. You’d be losing money and that’s just crazy. What I am saying is… Customers expect you to create password protected web pages and areas of your website. Customers like it as well, because it’s fair to them. They forked over the cash, they should get it. Those who don’t, shouldn’t. However, the moment you start obsessing over things like: Restricting download times

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Maintain Multiple WordPress Sites With MainWP

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
MainWP-053014

Being a veteran WordPress user, I’ve tried a lot of different tools to manage multiple WordPress sites. Since 2012, I’ve used InfiniteWP and they are good! The main system is free which is awesome and no monthly fee (huge deal). The only issue is – their add-ons are very expensive. I missed out on their initial low cost deal. It’s my fault. I snoozed and I lost. Even so, I used it because it is good and it helped a great deal but I was always on the lookout for more pocket friendly alternatives. Not just for me but for you too. When a power WordPress user and developer recommended MainWP to me, I immediately paid attention. At that time, they charged $79 a year for unlimited sites, free for 5 sites and I think the extensions were $20 each. Not bad considering prices from the competition. Then they changed their entire model. You now get free unlimited sites. Overall, I’ve been happy enough with it that after 6 months, I moved all sites over to MainWP. Easy On The Wallet I already mentioned you can get MainWP free. If you need premium ticket support it’s $49.99 a year. If you want

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14 Action Steps To Secure WordPress Now

Saturday, May 10th, 2014
14 Action Steps To Secure Your WordPress Site

I’ve written a lot about the steps to secure WordPress.  It is a bit of a wonder that I don’t have them listed in one place for you to refer to over and over. Well, I’m rectifying that right now. Here are so actions, with updated information you need to take immediately. Install iThemes Security Before proceeding, please know that… WordPress security isn’t a set once and forget thing. It’s a series of steps, and layers of processes. Now that is out of the way, there are many different plugins out there for security. I like and use iThemes Security extensively. Mostly because it has a checklist of things that covers a lot of the common issues that I used to handle by hand. Great as it is, sometimes, on some servers it just doesn’t want to work nicely. It could be an incompatibility with other plugins or with the way a web host has configured the server. In these instances, my fallback is Wordfence. While Wordfence does not do as much but it has one really important feature – to block suspicious logins and brute force logins. Both are free though there is a Pro version for iThemes Security.

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NoiseHush Clip-on Bluetooth

My learning library is overflowing with videos, audios, audiobooks and more. The need to consume knowledge is real but who has time to sit around to watch and listen? It’s no secret. I leverage my workout time to gain back hours of my day. I’m still doing it. This is how I consume Coach Glue’s Sticky Passive Income course. It’s worked very well. What has not worked out well, is the hardware. You see, I have wired headsets. If you’ve ever done this yourself, you know it’s super easy to catch your hand on the cord while you’re walking or running. Thankfully I have not broken the iPad nor hurt myself all this time. I’ve been looking for the perfect wireless headset for a long time but they are either too expensive or just not very good. The answer came to me one day not in the form of a headset (surprise!) but a dongle, by NoiseHush. This device is a tiny thing – see picture below. It is bluetooth. That means, I first have to set it up to connect to the iPad. You can also connect to the iPhone, or Android device. Once connected, plug in your favorite headset into

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