How to Fix Your Permalinks in Google Cloud WordPress Deployment via SSH Due to Internal Server Error

Whenever I create a new WordPress blog on Google Cloud and then try to edit the permalinks it gives an INTERNAL SERVER ERROR.

This happens in every Google Cloud deployment of WordPress.

The reason is because you need to Enable mod-rewrite in Apache because the .htaccess files need to do what it needs to do. Here is now to fix it.

Step 1) Make sure you have enabled mod_rewrite in apache. This can be done by going through Compute Engine>VM Instances > identify the correct instance and to the far right on the line will be SSH. Click it and it will take you securely inside a command line interface. Run this command: 

$: a2enmod rewrite

Enable Apache AllowOverride

2) Check your virtualhost configuration in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and make sure that it is configured with AllowOverride All instead of the default AllowOverride None for your web root directory. This tells apache it is ok for settings in .htaccess files to override settings. Use this command to modify the file.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
Once you're in there, find the right spot and change it.

<Directory /var/www/>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride ALL <----(edit from none)
        Require all granted

After you’ve made that change, make sure to restart the server:

sudo service apache2 restart

Now, your .htaccessshould work. You can also make this change inside a virtual host, which would normally be preferable, but that depends on the way Apache is set up.


Best Alternatives to Microsoft Teams and Slack

It seems like in the business chat application world there are really only 2 big players – Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Here is a little list of other alternatives if you are looking for something different.


Confluence – Is It Really Worth $10 per user per month to Create an Internal Wiki on Their Platform?

For the past month or so I have been thinking a lot about internal communications at our company and trying to work out how we can create a central source of truth and information for all the products we create. This lead me to Confluence.

Confluence is a tool that allows anyone to create a wiki (that actually looks good) in a matter of minutes.

Confluence looked like a great solution and I even had a play around with the product as its free to signup and use for 10 people. However, I was simply shocked at the price of such a tool. I understand internal communication is very important, but should it really be valued at $10 per user per month?

I know Confluence hosts the platform and there are a lot of great features, but $10 per user per month just seems a little bit over the top for a tool that I could create using WordPress in a matter of hours (which will have a hosting cost, but at a fraction of the cost).

Why are so many technology companies especially paying for such a service? Is it because of the ease of use? Is it because of the templates?

You can’t even brand Confluence effectively for your company on the $10 per user per month.

Tech Video

Jeff Housenbold Interview – How Softbank Vision Fund Deploys $100 billion

I have been watching This Week in Startups – with Jason Calacanis – pretty much since the beginning. The video series / podcast provides a great insight in to some of the leading minds in the technology world.

Jeff Housenbold (Softbank Vision Fund) recently sat down with Jason to talk about the Softbank Vision Fund and some of its portfolio companies.

The comments about Growth vs Profit were very interesting and provided great insight.

Business Tech

iPhone 3G only $99, it’s Possible

Some hot news for those of us that have with held buying an iPhone (all 2 of you). Word on the street is that Apple has had an excellent 4th Quarter, and with sales of iPhones surpassing previous estimations, there is some wiggle room when it comes to price.

The iPhone which currently resides in an exclusive contract with AT&T, sells for $199 with contract. Millions and millions of people jumped on board with the first iPhone came out, and the second generation was just as popular. With over 15 million iPhone sold worldwide, it has dominated the mobile market. Outstanding sales have given Apple a cushion in case the current economic downtown starts to effect sales, they can afford to drop the price of the iPhone to $99.

What would a $99 iPhone do to the market? For starters, with such a low barrier to entry, the iPhone will clearly bleed further into the consumer market, even those on the fence would be tempted to purchase, and the market dominance would only leave true niche mobile companies like Blackberry able to withstand the onslaught.

Conjecture? Possibly, but only time will tell. Get those Christmas wish lists ready and stay tuned for more info!


EmbedIt WordPress Plugin Review

I adore WordPress, so much so that I use it to design websites that don’t even require a blog, just solely based on the CMS, ease of installation and abundant supply of options and plugins available for it. With all that being said, now and again I run into an issue with some stupid coding somewhere along the lines that won’t let me do exactly what I want.  Today I ran into a problem implementing a plugin that would allow me to place a Google Maps map onto a client’s website.  Google is nice enough to give the code out to hard code their maps into any site, but it requires the iframe tag which does not play nicely in WordPress.

After 10 minutes of searching the web and three more failed map plugins, it dawned on me that this was really stupid, I should be able to use whatever HTML code I want in WordPress, including the iframe tag.  This is how I found the EmbedIt Plugin.  According to their site, EmbedIt is a,

simple plugin that allows you to embed any html code in a post, deciding precisely where to embed it, allowing you freedom of coding your html without being annoyed by the wysiwyg editor.

  • embed Youtube videos into wordpress
  • embed ustream into wordpress
  • embed a custom Google Map into wordpress
  • embed whatever html code into wordpress
  • embed specific Adsense code into wordpress posts deciding WHERE it should go inside an article

The appeal to this plugin is that it will allow anyone to use any code they want without a funky plugin or breaking the framework in their WordPress theme.  EmbedIt utilizes the custom field in WordPress and is fully documented with screenshots on the official page.

My only complaint about this plugin is that you must submit a valid email address which grants the publisher of this plugin to send you an email now and again about new WP plugins he is working on.  I got the email instantly which has the link to download, but I still don’t like it.  I fully understand people take time to create these free plugins and never really get a lot of credit, but I think he’d be better off allowing free downloads and putting a Paypal donate button on his page instead of collecting email addresses.