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Web Development Q&A

Weekly Web Developer Q&A (5/20/2016)

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It’s once again time for our weekly Q&A. If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, Patreon, etc… check below. You may find your answer.

Before, I get into the questions a BIG thank you to everyone supporting the show on Patreon. You are awesome and allow me to keep serving our community. I really appreciate it and I can tell you by the messages I receive on a daily basis that you’re helping change people’s lives. So, thank you!

If you’re not a supporting listener and would like to become one, learn more about what Patreon is and the perks you can get here:

http://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon

Aight, onto the questions…

From Patrice on Patreon: I have to build a cooking recipe website. What would this kind of site structure [look like]? One page per recipe? How to classify recipes? Any advice?

So, I think you want to take a step back from the site structure and first think about the data structure. That’s because displaying the information (in any site really) is the more trivial part. Creating, updating, deleting, classifying, etc… those are the parts you really want to think through.

Because if you have those down, grabbing and displaying the data is simple.

Now, there’s always the question of “rolling your own” versus using something existing. In my… ahem… younger days, I was a “roll your own” guy. It’s fun at first but you give yourself a lot of extra work.

And truthfully, I think it’s better for the client for you to use something established.

If it were me, I’d use WordPress and create a custom post type called “recipe” and then use the built-in categories to classify them. That’d take me all of about 10 minutes to set up and then the create, read, update part would be done.

From there, you’d just need to find or build a theme your client liked.

And, chances are you could find and buy one for maybe 50 bucks that they’d be over the moon about, tweak it a bit and they’d have a better site than we could probably build on your own.

The ego won’t like that.

But, if you’re putting the client (not your ego) first… well.

That said, there could be legitimate reasons for rolling your own. Just to learn how to do it is a reasonable one. If you really want to go that route, then go watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfecHlJvHIM

It cover how to set up your data and object model and answers your questions with details and a step-by-step process.

Hope that helps!

From Edward on YouTube: I am moderately new what exactly do you mean by [niche]?

A niche is a smaller “part” of a market.

Let’s say you’re in the “health” market. There are all sorts of “sub-markets” or interests within that broad umbrella.

Someone could be most interested in bodybuilding…

Or weight loss…

Or longevity…

Maybe they’re an athlete…

Or they have a specific issue like diabetes…

Each one of those groups of people would be after vastly different things even though they’re technically in the same “market”.

Same with tech.

Web design is a very broad brush.

Someone could want just a simple static site…

Or a complex social network…

Or a CMS…

Or just a contact form…

Or their site made responsive…

There are all sorts of “sub-markets” under the umbrella of “web design”. And, it’s better for you to pick one and become an expert at it.

You’ll almost always get paid more.

It’s easier to deliver the final product (because you’ve done it 100 times).

And, it’s easier to get jobs as a “specialist” in whatever you pick.

Now, everybody has a little different definition and method for figuring out what niches exist within a market and which one is right for them.

Here’s mine.

You always want to start with an end result.

That’s because clients don’t care about what languages you use and all that. They care about THEIR end product. Their membership site. Their contact form. Their social network… etc.

These things are all end products.

Not vague ideas or languages like “PHP” or “jQuery” which don’t really mean much to them. “Contact form” means something. And, it’s tangible. They can see it and use it when it’s built.

So, that’s where to start.

What end product will/can/do you want to deliver?

Next and finally is WHO is it for.

For example, in the “health” market… let’s say you want to teach people how to eat in a way that they’re always ketogenic and burning fat. (This is kind of a thing right now in the health market.)

But, let’s say you have a special affinity for body-builders.

Your niche would be something like: “ketogenic diets for body-builders” or “fat-burning” for bodybuilders.

And the process might be a bit different for them versus everyone else since they a) have different goals and b) likely work out for hours a day.

So, you’d teach them differently.

And because maybe you’re a body-builder yourself, you can relate better to them. And, you have some unique methods that work specifically for them. Etc, etc.

So, this is what you want to do in your tech work.

Your niche could be…

Membership sites for new online business owners…

Contact forms for high-traffic websites…

Social networks for niche interests…

It’s WHAT you’re going to deliver and WHO you’re going to deliver it for. Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “but my stuff is for everyone”.

It’s like John Lennon said:

“Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.”

Aight, that’s quite a bit for one day so we’ll wrap it up there.

If YOU have a question, you can send it via email to john@johnmorrisonline.com, tweet me @jpmorris on Twitter or leave me a comment on YouTube.

(Keep in mind, I might not respond to these directly in those places because I collect them up for this Q&A. Also Patreon supporters get priority access so if you want to make sure you get your question answered, consider becoming a supporting listener.)

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

May 22, 2016

Weekly Web Developer Q&A (5/6/2016)

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If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, etc this week… then look below because there’s a good chance I’m going to answer it.

Crazy1985 via YouTube asked:

I am just going through the same thing and failed it, but I have learned that I need to learn more about specialising in something rather than being a Jack of all trades.

Not 100% a question, but something I wanted to dive into. The single most important thing you can do to have more success as a freelancer is to stop being a “jack-of-all-trades” and be a specialist.

As the saying goes: “It’s better to do one thing well than ten things poorly.”

1000 million trillion percent true. All your effort get focused and yields much more results than it would spread out among ten different things.

If you’ve never heard me say this… if you’re struggling with freelancing, this is the thing to go change right now.

Edward via YouTube asked:

Hello I am on my way out of the Army for medical reasons but I am going to school for web design and development  any advise on what I need to learn first that would help me freelance while still going to school.

I’m going to point you to this first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1LnG2pXu5Y

That’s my definitive answer to the “what should I learn first” question.

Thing is, it really goes back to the first question. There’s 1000 things you couldlearn… but only a handful that are necessary for the niche you go into. So, what you should learn first is what is absolutely necessary for you to deliver on projects for clients. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Dave via YouTube asked:

Hi John! So, I’m totally new to the world of PHP, Tables, Coding, etc. At this point, I am totally lost in this world, but starting to make sense of it all. I was wondering what a config.php file is, and is there a video that explains how to use these different types of files? Thanks so much!

It can be anything really.

It’s just a file where you put application data you’ll likely use in multiple places in your code… across files and classes etc. Then you can easily include and use that data. Database credentials are the common one you see but it could be anything.

That’ll do it for this week.

If YOU have a question, you can send it via email to john@johnmorrisonline.com, tweet me @jpmorris on Twitter or leave me a comment on YouTube.

(Keep in mind, I might not respond to these directly in those places because I collect them up for this Q&A. Also Patreon supporters get priority access so if you want to make sure you get your question answered, consider becoming a supporting listener.)

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

May 8, 2016

Weekly Web Developer Q&A (4/29/2016)

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If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, etc this week… then look below because there’s a good chance I’m going to answer it.

Jon via Patreon asked:

I have to say, after going through almost all of your videos that there aren’t many questions I have at this point of my own personal development. I guess the only thing I am curious about is what happens AFTER you win a freelance bid. How does working with a client remotely work, any tips on keeping them happy, how do you get paid, etc.

First thing… this is the most important part of being successful as a freelancer. Repeat clients and word of mouth is where the money is at. So, you’re right to think about this.

Here’s a few tips I think are important:

1. Remember, it’s always about the experience. It’s not just about the code and the product… it’s just as much (often more) about how YOU are to work with. I harp on it constantly and the trolls like to send me hate mail about it… but it’s 100% true. Communication, speed, reliability, not being a douche, etc. Make the entire experience a pleasure for your client.

2. Create and give your clients a delivery schedule. You likely offer a certain set of services that you provide to your clients. If not, you should. As opposed to do anything and everything. But, assuming you do… then you work those kinds of projects over and over and over. So, you know what the timeline looks like. Write it down and give it to them. Yes, add a little time to what you work with internally to account for unforeseen stuff, but giving them an idea of what’s coming and when to expect what… is yuuuuuuuge! 🙂

3. Create and USE a communication schedule. Look at your delivery schedule and note important points when you’d want to communicate with your client… pro-actively. The more you pro-actively communicate, the less you’ll have to deal with the 10pm emergency email. So again… write it down and follow it.

There’s a bunch more… but doing those things as a foundation will go a long way toward making your clients happy and wanting to hire you again and again.

Patrice via Patreon asked:

I have a question about preprocessor in CSS. It’s important to use it or not? What is the value to use it? Thanks you and have a great weekend.

I think of it like what PHP is to HTML. That’s not entirely accurate, but pre-processors are like scripting languages for CSS. They add functionality like variables and mixins and more that generally make writing CSS faster and easier.

The value is (in the right context) your CSS will be more DRY (don’t repeat yourself), more organized, quicker to write and easier to maintain.

Thing is though… pre-processors (IMO) shine most on large projects that have multiple developers involved. They can still be valuable on smaller projects, but no AS. So, do you HAVE to learn it?

You don’t have to do anything.

In fact, here’s a little secret… I rarely use them. But you know I’m and old fuddy duddy that likes doing things old school. I’ll get around to it eventually… but if you can write clean CSS code you can write clean CSS code.

And, if you can’t… you can’t.

A pre-processor will help but won’t magically fix that for you. In my opinion, it’s best to get really good at writing CSS before you start using a pre-processor because you’ll understand better how to use them.

But, once you’re a CSS pro and want to make your job easier… then go for it!

Will via Patreon asked:

Do you use task runners like Gulp and Grunt regularly? Do you think they are necessary to learn? I usually see these mentioned a lot alongside LESS/SASS preprocessors on job requirements but haven’t really got round to learning them just yet.

Nope.

I’ve actually never used either. But remember I’m an old curmudgeon who likes to do things the hard way. 🙂

It just goes back to an email I wrote earlier this month… everything is the next big thing you HAVE to learn. Heck, you remember “agile development”? For awhile there, it’s all I ever heard. My little brother even pestered me about it.

Now?

Crickets. I just read an article the other day titled, “Agile Is Dead”. And apparently has been for awhile. All the original “creators” have abandoned the idea and tons of enterprise companies that used it heavily are dropping it like a hot potato.
 
This happens over and over and over in this industry.

So, I never get super caught up in it. Sure, I might miss a few things here and there but I don’t waste a bunch of time learning stuff that is “dead” a year later.
 
Wait. See what happens. Then adjust if necessary.

Now, are gulp and grunt anything like this? Not really… but who knows? I’m always leery of the word “necessary”. There’s actually very little that’s “necessary”. Helpful. Valuable. Beneficial. Use those all you want.

Necessary, however, is often the domain of the “Medium.com Know-It-All”who writes an article about how every developer not learning Node.js is a loser… only to write another article a year later about how Node.js is dead.

<insert eye roll>

Brendan via email asked:

I have a pretty great understanding of HTML and CSS. But there is one issue that I have never been able to figure out… I cannot do margins or anything making the age compatible on any screen. I can make it look great on my main monitor but if i switch it to a different one it looks like absolute hell, and i’ve tried everything I can find and I can’t get it to work. It would be awesome if I could get some tips from you.

I’ll keep this one short, my man.

You need to learn responsive web design and I have a full YouTube tutorial series on it. So go watch these:

Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Web Design

That’ll do it for this week.

If YOU have a question, you can send it via email to john@johnmorrisonline.com, tweet me @jpmorris on Twitter or leave me acomment on YouTube.

(Keep in mind, I might not respond to these directly in those places because I collect them up for this Q&A. Also Patreon supporters get priority access so if you want to make sure you get your question answered, consider becoming a supporting listener.)

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

April 29, 2016

Weekly Web Developer Q&A (4/22/2016)

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If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, etc this week… then look below because there’s a good chance I’m going to answer it.

Knut via email asked:

I’m a student at a university in Romania. I study computer science and in about a month and a half i will have my final examination. The project I’m working on is a CMS for a website with stories about our town’s history. My question is, can you give me some advice about how should i proceed, like should i do it in plain php or use some framwork?

If you were building it to use for yourself or clients, I’d tell you don’t. There’s so many good content management systems out there already, I’d just pick one and learn how to code functionality for it.

But, sounds like it’s for a class, so…

I’d built it in straight PHP. The point of writing a CMS for your class is to learn how to do it and you’ll just learn a ton more writing it completely in PHP in my opinion. The framework route seems like it’d be “cheating” a bit. 🙂

So, for class… go for straight PHP. Learn the frameworks later.

Peter via email asked:

I’m a Kenyan studying Computer Science at a university in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. I’m now halfway through my third and semifinal year. I have a deep interest in programming. I would love if I ended up in the AI field of CS. So, I thought I should ask you, because you sound very informed about these things;  what would you do if you were an African seeking to establish yourself as a reknown programmer in an African country? Which programming languages would you learn first? And what kind of apps would you try to build in such an environment? I collect tips in your emails and videos but I thought I should try a shot at getting a more wholesome answer, and one answered with that context in mind. I will greatly appreciate.

I’m not sure it’s a ton different because of where you live.

You become a well-known developer by building things that people like, by being knowledgeable and willing to share the knowledge, by being easy to work with, by being a good communicator, by being responsible…

And all the things I drone on about constantly.

I don’t think that changes based on where you live. And, there’s not shortcut around it. So, if you want to be well-known… start building stuff, start working with clients, start creating helpful tutorials for people, etc.

The specific languages and apps don’t really matter.

It’s about being someone of value others as best you can.

Jacqueline via email asked:

I think I’m going to learn code through FreeCodeCamp.com. This website works by learning code then applying it to working on projects for non-profits. I thought this would be an effective way to find my passion/what I’m interested in as well as build a portfolio. However, I’m wondering if Udemy might be a more efficient way to learn code I need to get started. If I was to go the Udemy route, what courses would you recommend doing first? If you have time, I’d appreciate your input.

I’ve never looked at FreeCodeCamp.com so I can’t say much about it… but I love Udemy. It’s like a gold-mine of great courses especially for web developers.

What I like about it compared to some other sites is it’s a marketplace with tons of different courses from different instructors. So, it’s not one monolithic perspective on coding. You get a ton of different perspectives which I think is critical.

As for courses…

There’s a lot but the two main ones are The Complete Web Developer Course by Rob Percival and the Ultimate Web Developer Course by Brad Hussey.

They cover a lot of the same material, but in different ways.

So, you get those multiple perspectives. Plus, Brad’s course has a whole section on design and using Photoshop that Rob’s doesn’t. I recommend any new web developer take both.

Plus I’ve worked out discounts on both for you. 😉

Jon via Twitter asked:

Hey John, what is your opinion on coding boot camps for people just getting in to web dev?

I’m mixed on these.

Some are really good and very quickly get people to where they need to be. Others, maybe not so much. Plus, I generally think it’s unnecessary to spend the thousands these boot camps often cost.

The two course I mentioned above are “boot camps” themselves.

That said, there’s definitely value in the in-person, one-on-one help most of the boot camps have. And some people need that which is fine.

So, if you know you’re someone who needs or wants that in-person mentorship and you likely won’t make it without it… then it’s worth the investment.

But, if you’re someone who can be more self-directed and learn things without that hands-on help… then you likely won’t get near the benefit out of it.
 
Brent commenting on How to Write Proposals on Upwork asked:

Thanks for the video John, very informative and helpful. Out of curiosity, do you have any rough stats on how effective this approach has been compared to how you did it before using this approach? I’d be interested to see how this approach alone has helped improve your success.

Real rough… I went from not being able to get work to finally getting it. I mean, that was the biggest thing.

But, after learning that 3-step method I went from charging $25/hour to $90/hour in less than a year. I started getting so many invites that I had to turn my profile off because turning down all those jobs was actually hurting my rankings.

And eventually I did well enough that I was able to get off Elance.

There’s no question in my mind how effective the method is.

(By the way, if you want to learn that method I cover in my Patreon-only e-course this month which you can get access to by becoming a supporter listener of the podcast of $10/month or more. Info here.)

Kayla commenting on How to Build a Simple PHP Form asked:

Great video! Is it possible to do something like this in WordPress?  I’m trying to create a business plan online where users can fill out their information, the info will be save,  and users can view it later. Any advice? Thanks!

There are several good forms plugins in WordPress.

Gravity Forms is the most popular it seems, but Ninja forms is good as well. All of them do a good job of collecting the info. It does get a bit tricky when it comes to displaying the info, though.

For that, you’ll likely need to do some coding…

But, display is also the easiest part. So, you can save yourself a bunch of time by letting these plugins do all the back-end grunt work and then writing your own plugin that grab and display the data.

That’ll do it for this week.

If YOU have a question, you can send it via email to john@johnmorrisonline.com, tweet me @jpmorris on Twitter or leave me acomment on YouTube.

(Keep in mind, I might not respond to these directly in those places because I collect them up for this Q&A. Also Patreon supporters get priority access so if you want to make sure you get your question answered, consider becoming a supporting listener.)

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

April 22, 2016

JMS067: Using Flexbox to Build Mobile Responsive Web Designs

In Episode 67 of the John Morris Show you’ll learn how to use flexbox to build mobile responsive web designs, how to write job proposals on Upwork that win, the losing “WordPress is for suckers” mindset and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening – 2:56
  • Tools Not Code – 8:36
  • WordPress Is For Suckers – 23:34
  • Flexbox Examples – 36:03
  • How to Write Job Proposals on Upwork – 52:03
  • Weekly Q&A – 1:10:26

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

March 31, 2016

JMS066: The New CSS Grid Layout, Niche Down to Niche Up and More

In Episode 66 of the John Morris Show: the new native browser support for CSS grid layouts, getting started with web development, niching down to niche up and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening and Patreon [2:56]
  • Native browser support for CSS grid layouts [10:14]
  • Long-term thinking and patience [21:54]
  • How to get started with web development [42:57]
  • Niche down to niche up [1:01:25]
  • Weekly Q&A [1:11:06]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

March 11, 2016

JMS065: Why Mimic Donald Trump, Udemy’s Pricing Shake-up, Dominate Local Business Marketing and more

In this episode of the John Morris Show, why I think more developers should think like Donald Trump, Udemy’s new pricing bombshell, how to rake in clients from local businesses and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening and warning [2:56]
  • Udemy’s pricing bombshell [11:40]
  • Why developers should mimic Donald Trump [28:43]
  • How to create stunning business cards [50:52]
  • Raking in clients from local businesses [1:02:34]
  • Weekly Q&A [1:18:19]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

March 6, 2016

JMS064: Is Apple Wrong For Blocking the FBI? How I Make YouTube Thumbnails and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show, seven surprising Upwork proposal mistakes I see every day, Apple stands up to the FBI, how I make YouTube thumbnails and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • 7 surprising Upwork proposal mistakes I see every day [3:21]
  • Apple standing up to FBI over encryption [18:20]
  • How to win the mental game with Michael Phoenix [29:34]
  • How I Create Catchy YouTube Thumbnails in Photoshop [45:30]
  • Thinking of social media as branding [1:07:02]
  • Weekly Q&A [1:18:59]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

February 26, 2016

JMS063: Where Do I Start With My PHP Application, Tax Tips For Freelancers and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show, I cover the process I used to build my PHP applications and avoid “blank page syndrome”, I reveal my tax tips for freelancers, the art of being persistent, changes in iTunes podcasting platform that affect you and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening and my Freelancer.com rant [1:25]
  • iTunes new podcasting platform and how it affects you [10:46]
  • The secret to getting anything you want in life: be p________t [24:00]
  • Where do I start with building my PHP applications [34:24]
  • Tax tips for freelancers [51:32]
  • Weekly Q&A [1:07:30]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

February 20, 2016

JMS062: How to Create a Mobile App Landing Page in Photoshop and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show, how to create a mobile app landing page in Photoshop, the future of web design hidden in the history of architecture, calling myself out and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening and subscribe [1:25]
  • The Future of Web Design in the History of Architecture [4:51]
  • Calling myself out [18:28]
  • Design a mobile app landing page [28:51]
  • 5 powerful reasons to start saying no [45:21]
  • Weekly Q&A [58:25]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

February 12, 2016

JMS061: Unlock the da Vinci Code In Your Designs, Begging For Money, Be Negative and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show, unlocking the da Vinci code in your designs, begging for money, why you should be more negative and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening and Getting Views on YouTube [1:25]
  • The Genius of WordPress and Why It’s Doomed [15:53]
  • Why You Should Be More Negative [32:11]
  • How to Unlock the da Vinci Code In Your Designs [43:06]
  • Begging For Money [54:18]
  • Weekly Q&A [1:04:14]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

February 5, 2016

JMS060: How to Pick the Right Fonts, Don’t Be THAT Guy on Social, Bye Java and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show, how to pick the right fonts for your web design, bye-bye Java, 7 future web design trends, don’t be THAT guy on social when chasing clients, answering your questions and more:

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • You never go full caveman (ever) [1:25]
  • Bye-bye Java and 7 future web design trends [9:44]
  • 19-year-old dude syndrome (don’t be THAT guy) [27:58]
  • How to pick the right font for your web design [38:36]
  • How to make prospective clients like you [50:34]
  • Weekly Q&A [1:01:24]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

January 28, 2016

JMS059: The Sad State of Web Development and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show, how to deal with haters, the sad state of web development, how to meet new people and more:

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Here’s the line-up:

  • How to deal with haters [1:25]
  • The Sad State of Web Development [12:50]
  • How to Meet New People The Right Way [27:10]
  • How to Use White Space In Your Designs [38:47]
  • How to get back in the freelance groove after the holidays [52:45]
  • Weekly Web Development Q&A [1:01:06]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

January 20, 2016

JMS058: How to Pick the Best the Best Color Scheme For Your Website

In this episode of the John Morris Show, my big thank you to you, inside CES, how to overcome fear and be aggressive with your career, color theory and my process for picking a website’s colors and more:

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Thank you! Please listen to this [1:25]
  • Insights for Web Developers From CES [13:54]
  • Get Aggressive With Your Web Development Career [29:37]
  • Pick the Best Color Scheme For Your Website [40:37]
  • Advice for the Freelance Developer [54:56]
  • Weekly Web Development Q&A [1:12:41]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

January 13, 2016

JMS057: 4 Responsive Web Design Principles Every Web Developer Should Know

In this episode of the John Morris Show, I share the 4 responsive web design principles every web developer should know, CES, Oculus Rift, how I’m launching my wife’s freelancing career, answers to your questions and more:

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Dealing with depression during the holidays [00:47]
  • CES, Oculus Rift and how it relates to web development [13:00]
  • How to avoid being a “hard to work with” developer [22:26]
  • Responsive design principles every web developer should know[31:09]
  • How I’m launching my wife’s freelance career [44:19]
  • Answers to your questions [59:02]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

January 6, 2016

JMS056: Send Form Data Via Email, 2016 Web Design Trends, The Risk-Takers Mindset and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show I share the Web Design trends to watch in 2016, how to send form data via email, the risk-takers mindset and how to capitalize in a competitive industry and more.

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Before You Write Your New Years Resolutions [00:48]
  • Web Design Trends to Watch in 2016[13:57]
  • Risk-Takers Mindset and Capitalizing In a Competitive Industry [26:58]
  • How to Send Form Data Via Email [31:30]
  • 4 Trends That Will Disrupt the Way We Work by 2021 [40:54]
  • Weekly WebDev Q&A [52:00]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

December 30, 2015

JMS055: 6 Common PHP Security Issues and Their Fixes And More

In this episode of the John Morris Show I share what web designers can learn from the Miss Universe gaffe, 6 common PHP security issues and their fixes, is it worth trying Upwork, answers to your questions and more:

Subscribe to the Podcast

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Here’s the line-up:

  • Why Web Development in 2015 Is Different [00:44]
  • What Web Designers Can Learn From Miss Universe [9:58]
  • A Winning Mindset For Web Developers [19:31]
  • 6 Common PHP Security Issues and Their Fixes [25:20]
  • Is It Really Worth Trying Upwork? [33:03]
  • Weekly WebDev Q&A [40:14]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

December 22, 2015

JMS054: PHP 7, MVC, Writing Your Upwork Bio, Weekly Q&A and More

In this episode of the John Morris Show we dive into the new features in PHP 7, using the MVC design pattern, writing your bio on Upwork to get more clients, our weekly Q&A and more:

Here’s the line-up:

  • Opening and Managing Negativity in the Web Developer Community [00:37]
  • The New Features in PHP 7 [13:40]
  • The Thinking Trap That Stops Most Developers From Being Successful [24:28]
  • MVC: What You Need to Know [35:08]
  • Writing Your Upwork Service Description [48:27]
  • Weekly WebDev Q&A [1:03:34]

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

December 15, 2015

JMS053: How to Use a Queue To Speedup PHP Processing Tasks

In this episode of the John Morris Show we cover: how to use a queue to speedup the processing of tasks in PHP, the advice an ex-Microsoft engineer has for developers, what this year’s holiday means for web developers, the little-talked-about secret to success on Upwork and answers to your questions:

An Ex-Microsoft Engineer’s Advice to Programmers

I would advise folks in software to do one thing, and that’s write. Learn how to write … It’s actually useful. You need to know how to express yourself. And it’s really tough for a lot of engineers to step up and do public speaking… Once you create a successful piece of software, you’re probably going to be writing English as much as you’re going to be writing Java or Objective C. I’ve created multiple pieces of software at DocuSign that went viral, and people liked them and wanted to use more of them. And I probably wrote 10 times the documentation and explanation, and answered questions in paragraph form.

A comment on this post summarized it best:

You may be the best engineer in the building but if others else sell their ideas better than you, their designs will make it into the product.

Read the full article here

Thanksgiving/Black Friday Online Sales Hit $4.5B, 34% Of Purchases Made On Mobile

The first two days of the holiday sales period have netted $4.45 billion in U.S. online purchases, with mobile devices — led by smartphones — accounting for a record $1.5 billion of that amount, with $2.72 billion spent on BlackFriday and $1.73 billion on Thanksgiving. The figures come from Adobe, which has been tracking some 4,500 sites, including 80% of the top 100 retailers.

Mobile is still not as popular as desktop for buying things, but it’s definitely growing, especially as a place to browse. Mobile accounted for 60% of all online traffic on Thanksgiving, IBM said, up 14.8% on a year ago; and it took 54.4% of traffic on Black Friday, up 16.6%. On Thanksgiving, 40% of all sales were completed on mobile devices, another rise compared to last year, when one-third of sales were made on smartphones and tablets. Black Friday saw 35.3% of sales on mobile, IBM said.

Not necessarily a big shock or moral to the story here, but more evidence of what we know. Mobile is continuing to grow. Important to remember for web developers as you consider your path forward career-wise. Prob a good idea to be diving into mobile development.

Also important for site builders. If you’re making the shift to mobile-first… you’re playing an ever smaller game. You may not be tracking a ton of mobile traffic yet but I’m convinced that’s because your site isn’t optimized for mobile. So, people see it and click away. Stats show people browse and make decisions on mobile then pop over to the desktop to buy.

You’re losing before you start if you’re not going mobile-first.

A Destructive Mindset

I have NO coding experience and no extra $$$ to take any classes. I am a semi-retired female, unmarried, with SS income of too little. I MUST HAVE EXTRA SOURCE OF INCOME JUST TO LIVE.

A very dangerous way to think. You’ll likely have the money… it’s simply a matter of priorities. At some point, you just have to decide to go for it.

How to Use Queue To Speedup PHP Processing Tasks Part 1: Queueing Slow Tasks

Basic concept: Offload resource-intensive tasks to be performed after the initial script call. Store the necessary data in a database. Run a scheduled task to execute through queue at an interval. Clean up queue as you execute.

Example: Email Queue

Create a database table to store queued emails. Instead of sending emails immediately in scripts, send them to the queue. Every hour process 100 queue items. Delete or move to different storage as you send each email.

Here’s the full tutorial

The Little-Talked-About Secret to Success on Upwork

The secret is building your own audience outside of it.

  • You gain exposure not controlled by Upwork so not a slave to their algorithms
  • You build trust BEFORE they see your profile which makes you easier to hire
  • You set pricing expectations outside of the competitive enviro of Upwork

Here’s what I suggest you do right now:

  1. Decide video or written (video is better)
    Decide on a niche (membership sites)
    Create DIY tutorials for your potential clients

Always include a blurb at the end about: “Don’t want to do this yourself? Let me do it for you. Check out my profile here…”

Post once a week. Create a 3-month calendar of upcoming tutorials. Set time aside each week to knock it out.

Questions & Answers

I’m looking for tutorials courses to help me: 1) build a simple form to collect data (like a registrations page) and 2) send automated emails from a form submitted.

  1. Consider WordPress or an existing solution. Standard issues like this are handled much more easily. Doesn’t all have to be custom.
  2. How to create a custom PHP contact form with validation: http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/edu/website-design/using-php-and-mysql/how-to-create-a-custom-php-contact-form
  3. How to Insert Form Data Into a MySQL Database Using PHP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n35Jn2nP9iU
  4. JavaScript AJAX PHP mySQL create a Dynamic web Form project: https://www.udemy.com/javascript-ajax-php-mysql-create-a-comment-submission-form/

Is PDO the definitive method to connect to MySQL?

Not necessarily, MySQLi has some advantages and PDO has its own:

MySQLi

  • seems to be slightly faster
  • OOP and procedural

PDO

  • 12 different drivers
  • named parameters

Most important is the environment you’re working in and what you’re comfortable with. Both can do the job effectively.

Wrap-Up

Thanks for listening! If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the show shoot me an email at john@johnmorrisonline.com.

If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit.

Finally, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

December 1, 2015

[LIVE Q&A] Do you believe in the myth of the full stack developer?

In this week’s WebDev Q&A, I answer questions on:

  • Do you believe in the myth of the full stack developer?
  • How do I process checkboxes using PHP?
  • How do I use PDO in my web pages?

Watch below:

Links mentioned in the video:

When you said specialization: Does it mean you don’t believe in the myth of “Full-Stack” developer?

Not necessarily. It’s more about how it’s applied and then marketed then the languages you know. I build membership sites. That’s how I market myself. In that, I use most of the “stack”… I’d just never market my services using the words “full stack”.

Also, marketing yourself as a freelancer is much different than getting hired by a company. I would use “full stack” when looking to get hired because companies hiring developers DO know what that phrase means.

How can I make the file insert all the check-box values selected in my form as an array into one column?

First you have to set up your HTML correctly. Here’s a code example:

https://gist.github.com/johnmorris/8197182

Once you have this done then you would write your PHP script to handle the resulting array. You could serialize it. Depending on your application that might be sufficient.

But, if you want to be able to perform searches on these values then you’d actually store them in a separate table (a relationships table) and associate them with whatever object you’re creating with this form. Here’s a tutorial on that:

How do you use PDO in your web pages?

It’s probably best to just watch this tutorial:

If you get value from this video, please consider sharing it with another developer or group who could benefit from it.

November 24, 2015