Happy 15th birthday WordPress! #WP15

Happy Birthday WordPress!

The Kuala Lumpur WordPress Meetup Group (WPKL) threw a birthday party for WordPress’ 15th anniversary. Sam, Rindy and I put a lot of effort into planning and organizing the party, and I’m just so happy that it turned out great 😊

In the beginning, we bounced around ideas of making the party a paid event to ensure attendance. Our previous meetups always only had 40-50% attendance rate. But a fee would have been a turn off, so we needed a better plan…

I was definitely going to sponsor, and I posted our tentative plans to our Facebook group. I also asked if anyone else would be willing to sponsor. Amazingly, 3 other members immediately pledged to sponsor.

We were still short of the amount budgeted, but luckily I had an idea and reached out to some old contacts. Amanz Media agreed to chip in as well, and Mindblow agreed to donate their old review units to be given away as lucky draw prizes.

Finally, we decided to print some t-shirts for the event. Sales of the t-shirts would also go towards funding the party, and would qualify buyers for the lucky draw.

Now we had a party! Thanks to the generous sponsorships, we could make it a free event. And because we had some awesome prizes to give away, we could ensure a pretty good attendance. Thanks also to Exabytes who offered to host the party without hesitation at their awesome Easy Space.

Thank you sponsors ❤️

Chan MKong a.k.a. MK
Suraya Zainuddin
Suzaidee a.k.a. Dee

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I published something on ClickWP that I think will be helpful to many bloggers.

WordCamp Kuala Lumpur 2017

WordCamp KL took place this past 25 November at Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang. It was a long 7 year wait for the official WordCamp to return to Malaysia, so I was eagerly anticipating the event.

Between the first WordCamp and this one, anyone could have organized another WordCamp. Unfortunately our local WordPress community appears to be very scattered and isn’t actively meeting up. I regret not taking a more active role too.

So you might expect that this WordCamp be a rather small and muted affair. In fact, this WordCamp was pretty big. 16 speakers, 14 talks and almost 200 delegates from 10 countries around the region. Hats off to the organizers, especially Sam Suresh for making it all happen in the first place.

We filled up the grand ballroom

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Convert a WordPress website to a static website with the Simply Static plugin

A static website is an ideal format to archive a WordPress site because it is a plain HTML copy of the website. It doesn’t require PHP and MySQL, so the website is hack-proof and very fast. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to convert a WordPress website into a plain HTML, static website with the Simply Static plugin.

Step 1: Prepare your website

Since the static website will not have PHP, it won’t be able to process dynamic actions like form submissions. Disable or replace comments and contact forms with hosted alternatives (e.g. Disqus and Wufoo respectively).

Infinite scroll and dynamic “Load more” post functionality will be unavailable too, so convert your pagination to plain next/previous or numeric links.

Update the content to be an evergreen version of the website. Maybe you want to remove the dates from your posts. Remember, the website is going to stay like this forever (or for a very long time at least).

Deactivate all unnecessary plugins. You won’t need security and utility plugins any more.

Finally, backup your website. You never know when you may want to revive it.

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An unsolicited testimonial for my favorite web host, Kinsta:

I’ve used other WordPress hosts, but Kinsta has been the best by far. My site is always online and speedy without even really trying. I have never experienced caching issues like some other managed hosts and I’m never worried about getting suspended for exceeding resources like on shared hosts. Their support team is small but they’ve never let me down. They may cost slightly more than other hosts, but they have been worth every penny. I can’t recommend Kinsta enough.

I’m speaking at WordCamp KL

WordCamp returns to Malaysia with the 1st ever WordCamp Kuala Lumpur, happening this 25 November 2017 at the Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang. I’m proud to be a speaker at this inaugural event, 7 years after WordCamp Malaysia.

Unfortunately I don’t have much time to prepare an original talk, so I’ll be presenting something you may have heard before: Why your WordPress website is slow and how to fix it.

There are a whole lot more interesting topics scheduled including some from international speakers, so please make sure to get your tickets while they are still available. WordCamp KL is a great way to get involved in the larger WordPress community here in Malaysia and beyond.

I want to also appreciate the efforts of Sam Suresh of mu dot my who was the driving force that applied for and volunteered to be the lead organizer for this event. I think I’m not wrong to say that WordCamp Kuala Lumpur would not happen if not for Sam. Big thanks also to Nazrin, Rindy and Liew CF from the organizing committee who are putting in the hard work to bring it all together.

See you at WordCamp Kuala Lumpur 2017!

Why I no longer recommend SiteGround

The above is a common sight if you have a moderately successful website on SiteGround. That’s the screen that SiteGround replaces your site with when you exceed your account’s resource usage. It’s something I’ve experienced regularly over the past 3+ years with dozens of customer sites.

Basically, all shared hosting accounts on SiteGround have a limit for the amount of CPU time and RAM that you can use. SiteGround will send you 1 warning when you are at 90% of that limit, and when you exceed the limit you will get another email notifying you that your site has been temporarily suspended.

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Enable HTTPS on localhost with BrowserSync

I wanted to get my local development site working with SSL with BrowserSync recently and managed to figure it out.

Here’s what you need to do. Read More »

1Password makes passwords easy

Passwords suck, but they’re a fact of life. So most people remember 1 or 2 passwords and use them everywhere. You use the same password for Facebook, Instagram, your Gmail … and maybe even your bank?

If one of those sites got compromised, you could be screwed because you used the same password everywhere else. The smart thing to do is to use unique passwords for each site. But nobody can remember so many different passwords!

So don’t. With 1Password, you only remember a single master password. 1Password will remember the rest. I made this video to show you how easy it is.

1Password can literally log you into websites with your fingerprint. (Watch the video above)

I love love love 1Password and couldn’t live without it. I use it to store my passwords, medical information, memberships and lots of other stuff. I hope this video gives you an idea of how 1Password can immediately help you to improve how you handle passwords.

1Password is available for Mac, PC, iOS and Android and only costs $3 a month. Learn more and signup at 1password.com

Thoughts from 5 years of running an online business

ClickWP turns 5 years old today. Here are some random, not very organized thoughts in conjunction with the occasion.

5 years is a small milestone, but I’m proud of it anyway because I’m still in business when many don’t even survive the first year. And it feels like it’s just hitting its stride.

ClickWP is my 3rd business – my previous businesses were a freelance web design agency and then an online marketing consultancy. 3rd time lucky right? In retrospect it took me several years to figure out my strengths and develop a compelling business offer.

There is no substitute for hard work to make money online. You need a business model where an exchange of value to happen. “Internet marketing” and other get-rich-quick programs are not legitimate business models.

ClickWP is one of the earliest companies offering support and maintenance for WordPress. We opened for business earlier than market leaders WP Sitecare (2012) and WP Curve (2013).

Being an introvert has been a speed bump in ClickWP’s marketing. We don’t blog or send out emails regularly, don’t have a podcast, have not done guest posts or interviews, so ClickWP is not top of mind when people think of WordPress support companies.

I’ve intentionally kept ClickWP small and flexible. In some cases this has caused me to leave money on the table, but the benefits far outweigh that. Besides, ClickWP has provided for me, my family and my team well enough. I can’t complain about my financial position.

But to be honest, it’s been difficult to grow as well. I’m not very good at managing people and good help has been hard to find and expensive. This means I still do most of the heavy lifting in my business, and there’s only so much I can do myself.

Despite all this, I’m really happy with where ClickWP currently is. I’m not really bothered about ClickWP not being more popular or bigger than it currently is. It serves the needs of our customers well, and most importantly of my family*

Operating an online service business is a great way to make friends around the world. I am blessed to have made new friends in Australia, both East & West coasts of USA, Europe and even way out there in Hawaii.

I started my own business because I wanted to avoid having to work on projects or with clients that I didn’t agree with. This has been a big success. Many ClickWP customers have become personal friends of mine.

But the number one reason why I started my own business was so I could be present and involved in my children’s lives. I’m proud to say that I’ve been working from home since before my eldest was born, and see my 2 boys every day. And my awesome wife too.

The past 5 years have been an awesome ride. I’m looking forward to many more.

ClickWP celebrates our 5th birthday with the new Foundations Plan and our first ever sale

* Paul Jarvis articulates this in a much better way than I ever could – I don’t actually care about growth