Dear WordPress Bloggers

18 Mar

Dear WordPress Bloggers:

As a PHP developer and someone with quite a few years experience with WordPress, I would like to offer you some advice on how to run a WordPress Blog that loads quickly and looks good.

Examine Plugins and Themes Closely

If your blog is lacking a feature or option that you’re unable to code yourself, please spend some time and research any plugin that you may want to install to provide that feature or option to you.

Take a careful look at the information provided by It shows active installations, last update, and even reviews of the plugin. Make sure to have a look at all of this information and consider whether or not it would be a good idea to install it.

I’ve seen far too many blogs with plugins installed that have been abandoned for several years that end up getting compromised and the end result is a hacker wreaking havoc on their WordPress site.

My advice on plugins is to only ever use plugins you truly need.

Plugins for Things That Exist Elsewhere

You know what will really slow down your admin section? Installing a plugin that shows the full Google Analytics Dashboard in your admin backend. If you find it truly inconvenient to log into Google Analytics, then who am I to stop you? Plugins like this offer no value other than convenience and have to load in a ton of extra scripts so that all the features work.

Sending Mail Through WordPress

If you have a newsletter or something of the sort where you need to send mass mail to all of your readers please consider using a dedicated service for sending mail.

Some examples are SendGrid, Amazon SES, and MailGun.

Using these services not only offer a lot more insight into your mailing list, but also keep the load of your hosts server. All of the above service providers have excellent delivery rates and all offer their own brand of stats and reporting on open rates and the like..

“Theme Developers”

If ever someone tells you that they will build a theme for you on the cheap, maybe dig a little deeper and ask some questions as to how the theme would be developed. I’ve seen far too many sites where a “theme developer” has installed a third party theme (Not one they’ve created) and used a page builder plugin to tweak the theme to a customers request.

Generally these people install a ton of bloat to support the various components that the page builder requires to operate which means when you load up your site, there is almost always a ton of bloat included.

Poorly built / coded themes are yet another reason a lot of WordPress sites are slow as molasses and take upwards of 30 seconds to load.

Cache Cache Cache

One great way to keep your site quick and your web site load low, is to cache all the things. There are a couple excellent plugins for caching with very simple options to follow. Personally I use WP Super Cache as I feel it offers effective caching and pairs nicely with CloudFlare.

In the End………

As the end of the day, it’s your web site. I can only give you the tools and experience. It’s up to you what you do with it. The faster your site loads, the more people you can serve and the more ad revenue you can make.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will answer them as soon as I can!

Industry Standard: The Advanced HVAC Story

19 Sep

So for those of you that have visited us over the last couple of weeks or so, you would have noticed that our kitchen is torn apart and is in the process of being renovated.

During this renovation a breaker was tripped and as a result, our outdoor AC unit would not power on. Knowing that I know absolutely nothing about electricity, I started to google around for a reputable HVAC company that could come and have a look at what had happened and get it resolved.

Advanced HVAC had a paid google ad that allowed you to text them straight from the ad, so that’s what I did.

As you can see, the gentleman on the other side of this conversation mentions their hourly rate is $95/hour. So in my head I said “Ok it’s probably going to be under an hour, so $95 + Tax is likely what it’s going to cost me.” To me that sounded fair.

So they schedule a “call out” for me for between 1:00PM and 5:00PM.

About an hour after the initial call, they called again to ask if they could come closer to noon as they were finished up early. I told them it wasn’t an issue if they wanted to show up earlier and so they confirmed they would be at my house closer to noon.

The technician didn’t arrive until 1:45PM (Closer to 2PM for those who know how to tell time). He wen down, flipped a breaker, went out to his vehicle, wrote a work order, and demanded I pay them over the phone before he left my house.

I called and spoke with someone at their offce to arrage for payment. When I mentioned the invoice seemed higher than it should be, he told be it was “industry standard” to charge a “call-out” fee. This is a fee to simply send a truck to your house. Then on top of that, if you want the guy to come in your house and do something, well that’s $95 per hour. But if they just come by, $95. I thought that was a load of shit, so I called a couple other HVAC companies. Lo and behold, this is not an industry standard. It’s some made up charge to charge me 4 times the cost of flipping a switch.

The labour portion of the invoice was $35!!!! Be careful of companies like this who are not up front about their pricing.

Thanks Advanced HVAC! I will most certainly not be calling you guys again!

Fuck Off Rogers

11 Jun

Another anti-competitive and anti-consumer move is approved by our useless telecom regulator.

Rogers was given approval to purchase AWS-1 spectrum from Videotron the other day and this should have never been allowed to happen.

Rogers is already insanely spetrum heavy and is nowhere near reaching their network capacity.

Shit like this makes my blood boil. This spectrum should have to be surrendered by Videotron and put back up for auction for the smaller carriers. This bull shit with big companies getting bigger while the little guys get screwed every which way by the big 3 douchebags is enfuriating!

The CRTC needs to get off its ass and keep working towards fixing this broken system! I’m so tired of seeing anit-competitive behaviors like this from companies that keep claiming they have enough competition here in Canada.

Rogers, Bell and Telus own every other small brand in Canada aside from regional carriers like Sasktel and Freedom Mobile.

So fuck off Rogers! You lie through your teeth!

You Deserved To Be Scammed

27 Jun

I’ve read a lot of posts like this one that details a person being scammed by someone over the phone into paying their back taxes using gift cards and cannot believe how incredibly stupid some people can be.

People are receiving calls from someone claiming to be the Canada Revenue Agency who are looking to collect on back taxes you owe or something to that extend. You are then threatened with jail time and RCMP attention if you do not make some form of payment arrangement. This all sounds terrifying right? I guess it would be, until they tell you their method of payment is iTunes or Visa gift cards…..

Who the hell in their right mind goes out and buys over $20K worth of gift cards to repay any form of debt? No business or debt collector is going to call you looking for gift cards…. What use does a business have for iTunes gift cards in place of cash?

If you were scammed by these people, you deserve it because you must be absolutely oblivious.

That’s all.

Dear America: Fix this Shit!

22 Feb

Dear America:

Your country has been under a microscope for a long time. People look to you to be a global leader in social and economic issues and yet not a day goes by that the whole world doesn’t wonder why the hell you haven’t done anything to get your gun laws in line!

I’m getting really tired of reading about people who can simply walk into a store (or a BANK!) get a gun and proceed to shoot people without so much as a god damn drivers license.

I hate that because of your gun control laws six people are now dead for absolutely no fucking reason!

Do you as a country not see what a massive problem this is? This event just goes to show that someone on a whim in your country can pick up a gun and travel to several different locations, and shoot / kill several innocent people!

Is this not enough for you to say to yourselves: “Ok maybe we should make gun ownership a bit more difficult and restricted so that some psycho can’t just walk in, buy a gun, and fucking kill people!”

Events such as these bring nothing but hurt and sadness to your own people and yet you still have the audacity to quote your constitutional right to bear arms?!?! Maybe it’s time that right is modified to allow you to bear arms in the face of a tyrannical government or something more specific because you as a country are like ┬áRalphie in “A Christmas Story” people keep telling you that you’re going to shoot your eye out and you keep telling people “Fuck that, I still want my guns”.

Gun control needs to exist for the same reason speed limits exist. Because without them, nobody can hold you accountable for being a twat with your Car(s) / Gun(s).

Fix it America. Fix it as soon as humanly possible before more lives are wasted by senseless gun crazy ass holes.

This rant was inspired by the following Huffington Post article.