Easiest and Fastest Way to Backup Your WordPress Website on Google Cloud

Quick video that shows you the easiest way to backup your WordPress site on Google Cloud.

The WordPress site already needs to be running on Google Cloud to easily create a snapshot.


Remote Work with Matt Mullenweg (This Week in Startups Interview)

Remote work is the topic of the moment!

Matt Mullenweg has been leading the remote work movement for many years via his company – Automattic.

Here is a recent interview on This Week in Startups with Matt when they talk all things Automattic and remote work.


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.


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.


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.