Tag Archives: 30×500

Weeknotes 5

4th February 2019 – 10th February 2019

A long feeling week due to low motivation and a very long to do list.

Client work

Dealing with the host for my client with a recalcitrant Windows server is still ongoing, there were various updates for my other clients, and a rush build of a regular newsletter which I’d forgotten about and the details hadn’t arrived for anyway.

My projects

I moved my much neglected site about keeping my old Beetle running to new hosting without any problems, and installed a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for it via the hosting control panel, which worked straight off and was therefore very easy. Similarly, The Farm site also moved easily, which is testament to Haze building a straightforward site using WordPress for it.

Moving the site for my and David’s SEO services was harder. Although I’d been keeping up with WordPress and plugin updates, it turns out two of the plugins haven’t been updated for years and break with the current versions of PHP due to the way they access the database. I looked at re-writing them to use MySQLi instead, which I’ve done of the older custom sites I’ve build from before I started using PDO within PHP. However, a lack of time and worries about testing and making sure the plugins would be secure turned me off this. Fortunately I had a copy of the site I’d made while testing Cocoawget a few years ago.

So, I had a copy of the site that the tool had made link up properly, although some parts needed a bit of a clean up. I then replaced the contact form which had been using the Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin with some code I’d written for a client’s custom site which has Google Invisible Recaptcha set up with it. The recaptcha has greatly cut down the amount of spam we have been receiving from the site. Now I need to find time to re-set up the site either in a modern WordPress theme, or something else David can easily edit. This might call for a new Perch site.

I had an interesting talk with Elliot about whether it would be worth me offering a service to make static (non-database accessing) versions of WordPress sites. It makes them quicker, and more secure as the pages aren’t doing anything interesting, just sitting there, but it seems a route to a lot of clients that I’m unlikely to want to deal with. Still, I have another site to resurrect and convert to static, so I’ll see how I feel about the idea after doing that one.

I felt low on motivation all week, which might mean a cold is incoming or might mean it’s just a return of the burnout I’d been feeling for the last months. I also seem to have a mental block about falling over the line on the last bit of my mini-podcast notes tool.

Realising I need a change of attitude about pushing on and promoting my ideas, I signed up for the 30×500 course offered by Alex Hillman and Amy Hoy. It’s training for people to find ideas for things a community of people really need and will buy, and guidance on how to promote them once the product is built. I’m hoping it’ll give me a roadmap for where to put the effort in to promoting what I’m building, and guide me on finding more simple products I can make for the PPC industry. I’m only a couple of videos in to their course so far, so it’s very early days.

Next week I need to move this site to new hosting, resurrect and make a new, static site from the old Farm Hack Day site, and get on with some work on my projects and the course. Here’s hoping I’m feeling more up to it.

The Farm

Only 8 people along this week, as it was hammering down with rain early in the evening.

  • The rubbishness of big company’s mobile sites
  • Having a work queue
  • The advantages of being able to say “no”
  • Good and bad networking events
  • Making the most out of networking
  • DNS mistakes
  • Drupal
  • Learning to be better at business from clients
  • Beware clients who are worse at business than you are
  • SEO and good content
  • Changing when you bill a client
  • Symfony framework

Reading: I finished Jeeves in the Offing, which was a fine jolly tale but didn’t have enough Jeeves in for my liking.

Writing with: Still with the OHTO Capsule multifunction pen. The red refill has started playing up so I’m going to contact Cult Pens about it as I’ve tried everything I can think of to get it flowing again. I don’t use the red much, but it’s useful for highlighting bits of a to do list.