Tag: web development

Why is PHP still being used to create websites?

This was pretty epic. A real drop-the-mic-er. It was this answer on Quora I saw the other day from Vakrokh. The question was: “Why is PHP still being used to create new websites? Why aren’t all new sites using more modern frameworks such as Django or Rails.” I love how these guys just throw “modern” in there. As if “modern” automatically equals “better”. Anyway, here was Vahrokh’s answer: “PHP is not still being used. ‘Still’ is a word suitable to 2012 PHP, when it has been under an heavy rework and to end users / programmers it looked like it was

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All the web development you’ve learned will be obsolete in a year

You ever watch the movie, Twister? There’s a scene at the end where they’re trapped in this small shed, tied to some pipes as a Tornado rolls right over them, tearing the shed to pieces. Debris everywhere. Legs flying in the air. Complete chaos. But, there’s a moment where, Helen Hunt, one of the main characters, can see all the way to the top of the tornado. And, it’s nice calm, blue sky. Almost peaceful. That’s sometimes how I feel. As I’ve talked about… all the chaos and change coming so rapidly in our industry. There’s so much to learn

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What’s your biggest fear about becoming a web developer?

Serious question. I made it into a Quora question, I’m asking you to answer: http://qr.ae/TUIJa1. Please answer it over there and not in a comment. I’m building this as a resource I can point people to. Because, I get a lot of this kind of stuff. And, I want to show people they’re not alone. Appreciate it. Later, John

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Forget responsive web design. Just use HTML tables

Well then… My message, yesterday, sparked this doozy from PJ: “If you just stuck to tables this entire time, imagine the years of frustration you could have avoided by ignoring floated divs, Bootstrap, flexbox and now CSS Grid! These ‘new’ methods add no additional benefit to the client or user, and the syntax is not any better either! I use floated divs and flexbox only because I was gullible enough to drink the koolaid. But if I had used tables all this time, really nobody would have noticed, and I would have been more productive.” Bahahahahaha! Wait. No. Don’t do

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The cut-throat developers coming for you

Let’s talk competition. This follows on from my post from yesterday, but there are two big trends, in my mind, that are ramping up the competition you’re going to face as a developer. And, it’s only gonna get worse. First, is this the flip-side of what we talked about yesterday. All the new technologies. All the new languages. All the new frameworks. By the time you get one thing figured out, there’s three more new ones to learn. When you’re in this industry, it can be overwhelming, frustrating and a little bit scary. That’s one way to look at it.

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Not sure I’ll be a developer in 5 years

It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come. Back when I started in this developer thing, we were still using ugly-azz tables. There was no CSS. Most web pages were mainly just text. The fancy ones had a few images. Then, this thing called “Web 2.0” happened. PHP became a thing. JavaScript became more prominent. Before I knew what had happened, the internet as a I thought I knew it had completely changed. Today? It’s even worse. The kind of change I went through over a few years… Happens every couple months now. Take responsive design. That first article by

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Most Rich Tech People Had Wealthy Parents

This is another Chris Hawkes video. The gist of it is to go through all these rich tech people and show how they all had already rich or successful parents. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs and on and on. Okay? I never get the point this kind of stuff. He makes some awkward point at the end of it about… (I’m paraphrasing here): “This doesn’t mean you can’t be super successful, but most of these people we look up to had a lot of help.” Great. So, what? What’s somebody supposed to do

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The One SPAM Email That Actually Works (To Get Freelance Clients)

This is a SPAM email I just got: Subject: Can you answer me soon Greetings, You may be completely unaware that a few things you’re doing in your website may be boring your visitors half to death. And a visitor who’s bored is a visitor who’s gone. I’m a Web designer, one simple secret will help you identify any snooze-inducing issue on your website and I will quickly eliminate them. My portfolio is ready for viewing if you’re interested. Besides the price, I cater to what my client wants and that’s why my clients love the service I provide. Let’s

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The Most Vile Client I’ve Ever Dealt With

One of the tougher clients I ever dealt with was one of these “enlightened” types who likes to run around singing koombaya and telling everyone how “centered” and “ego-less” they are. Of course, they’re usually the most intolerant… And judgmental people you’ll meet. Anyway, her site had this weird setup where people could only access a certain lesson for 72 hours or something like that. And, she hired me to write the plugin that did all this checking and whatnot. So, I did. And, a few weeks later, she came back and said she was having problems with the timer

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The Poor, Stupid, Ugly Developer

It was my junior year of high school. I remember it vividly. The moment everything switched. Up to that point, I was the class mule. The butt of every joke. Picked on relentlessly. Ugly, poor, stupid. Whatever they could think up… I got attacked with it. For over 10 years of my life. After awhile, you start to believe it. You start to believe something is wrong with YOU. And, there’s nothing you can do to change it. Then, I grew three inches and put on 30 pounds of muscle in one summer (with a lot of hard work in

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The Code That Stopped An Entire State’s Phone Cards From Working

Job security is mostly an illusion. Any company can go out of business at any time. I was just reading this story the other day from this guy named Steve. This was back in the early 90s. He was working on this project that affected the entire state of Utah. And, had a project manager who didn’t know his arse from… Well, you know. For example… They had no systems for testing. None. Everything was just rolled live immediately. Bug fixes were just tested on production servers. And, his project manager thought it was no big deal. He talks about

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Overcoming Pricing Insecurities and Raising Your Freelancing Rates

I stumbled across this on Instagram: “Every Monday I send out invoices and ever since I raised my rates, Mondays have also become absolutely the hardest part of my week. As much as I love money, ASKING for money from the clients that I have actually provided something of value to makes me really uncomfortable.” Ain’t that the truth. At first, it just feels weird. And, there’s all these insecurities around, “Am I worth it? Do my clients feel like they’re getting their money’s worth? Are they eventually just going to drop me, because they feel like they’re getting screwed?”

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The Moment Every Developer Must Conquer

These are the most important posts I write. I got this YouTube comment from Sir Joelsuf: “I feel like I’m not learning enough and not doing enough. Its been pretty overwhelming. I wanted to replace a full time job with freelancing but its not working out. Working full time wasn’t either and I was getting nowhere and wasted 8 years of my life at a really bad job. I guess I’m at a crossroads.” This happens to every developer. Every developer I know anyway. There’s that moment… when things aren’t going how you imagined. You’re starting to doubt if you’re

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The Dev Job Rejection That Would’ve Killed ME

I remember when I worked at the pizza joint back pre-coding days. I was in a similar boat. I’d stay up late hitting my head against the wall trying to figure all this coding stuff out. Already tons of self-doubt. If that had happened to me? I don’t know, man. That probably would’ve been it.

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The Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make (Part 1)

Let me tell you about Ted (name changed to protect the guilty) Ted decided he wanted to be a freelance developer over 5 years ago. And, Ted did what most developers do… he went about figuring out what he needed to learn, taking a bunch of courses and getting good at web development. And, he did get good. He could crank out websites. Build professional level applications. He learned all the languages. Everything you’d need to do in order to do web development for a living. YET, five years later, he still had not got a single paid client. Not

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Nobody cares about your code

Take my Mr. Mom mini-van. It’s only a couple years old. 2015 I think. Not even a year into owning it, it suddenly started leaking. Talk about annoying. This is WHY we bought a new van… to avoid this nonsense. So, I took it to the shop and it turns out the oil filter had cracked (er something). It was from the last place that did an oil change. They’d put it on too tight. So yeah, never going back to that place. But, there’s the thing… I didn’t really care. I mean, I got it. But, I didn’t care

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Output the last row inserted in MySQLi

MySQLi makes grabbing the last inserted row easy. After running your insert query, you can do this: $id = $mysqli->insert_id; Then, you can query for that row like this: $result = $mysqli->query(“SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE ID = {$id}”); And, fetch the result as an object: $user = $result->fetch_object(); From there it’s a simple echo to output it to your page: echo $user->user_name; (Although, you’ll want to use htmlspecialchars or htmlentities to escape the output and prevent XSS attacks. But, we’ll save that for another day.) Simple. Anyway, in the newly released Module 3 of PHP 101, I show you

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Simple input filtering in PHP

Here’s one I don’t see talked about much: $name = filter_input(INPUT_POST, ‘name’, FILTER_SANITIZE_STRING); What this does is grab the “name” element from your POST array and run it through the the filter: FILTER_SANITIZE_STRING… which removes all HTML tags from the string (since we know a person’s name doesn’t have HTML in it). It’s a really simple way of quickly filtering your data. Here’s another: if ( ! $email = filter_input( INPUT_POST, ’email’, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL ) ) { die(‘Invalid email’); } This one validates the submitted email address. And, returns false if it’s invalid. Again, a very simple way of quickly validating

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Why I don’t use PHP frameworks

“They all suck!” That’s straight from the horse’s mouth. Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP. He went on to say: “While they all suck. Everyone needs a framework. What everyone doesn’t need is a general purpose framework. Nobody has a general problem. Everyone has a very specific problem they’re trying to solve. And a general purpose framework, while it can solve it, it usually solves it in a way that you get so many other things that you don’t need… that ends up being done on every request.” He goes onto recommend using “targeted frameworks” for targeted problems: “Usually, I

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Prevent SQL injection attacks with prepared statements

Bit of a hot topic lately in my inbox. Here’s what an old, vulnerable query might look like: $expected_data = 1; $query = “SELECT * FROM users where id=$expected_data”; $result = $mysqli->query($query); The problem here is we’re injecting user-submitted data directly into our SQL statement without any sort of escaping or validation. So, a hacker could enter something like this in our form: 1; DROP TABLE users; Changing our full query to: SELECT * FROM users where id=1; DROP TABLE users; Which, as you can probably see, will execute the SELECT statement but then drop our users table. No bueno.

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Like taking code from a baby

Remember that post a few days back… Where I said this: “Especially considering I basically had to harass them to get paid each month for the work that I’d done (probably Bernie supporters… ya know).” Heh. Those of you who been round these parts a bit know how that went. This is ONE of the responses I got: “I am a supporter of Bernie Sanders. One od the few USA politicians I have respect for. Since John Morris really likes to throw around really stupid and insulting associations regarding Mr. Sanders, I do not want to have anything to do with

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Sherlock Holmes’ coding secret

I’ve been on this obsessive Sherlock Holmes kick lately. (I know, I know… NERD ALERT!) One of the funny things about the show is how they try to “visualize” the way he thinks. He’ll have all these obscure details in his head that he’ll parse through and eventually put together to have his big “aha” moment. And his big “secret”… Is the ability to simultaneously hold the big picture in his mind… While he dives into weird details to find new clues. (The episode on “The Woman” is particularly… ahem… “entertaining”.) It’s very much like being a web developer. Building

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The Jon Snow of web development

I had this client once. Pretty well-known online. And, I helped them build, what turned out to be, a very successful membership site… from scratch. I actually built an entire custom WordPress theme just for their site. And, I stuck around for several years helping with any issues, adding new features… I even helped out in their support. But, I always felt like the Jon Snow of the group. They had little get-togethers and I was never invited. They’d take their team on vacation… but not me. Always shout out their “team” on social media… but not me. (I mean

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The one JavaScript framework I WOULD use

It’s this simple. Include it in your project like this: < script src=”https://unpkg.com/vue/dist/vue.js” > Then, write your HTML like this: < span class=”app” >{{ message }}< /span > And, your Javascript like so: var app = new Vue({ el: ‘#app’, data: { message: ‘Hello Vue!’ } }) That will output “Hello World” to your browser. Seems simple enough, but here’s where it gets fun. Now, open up your console and type: app.message=”What’s up?” And, hit enter. See, how your text now changes to “What’s Up?”. And, how easy it was to do? That’s what VueJS can help you do. And,

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The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients

What makes clients willing to pay $5,000, $10,000 even $20,000 and up for your services? Download and install my mobile app and I’ll show you. It’s free. Just click the button below:

Clients Like:

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Oliver Wainwright

Oliver Wainwright

I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!

Lewis Howes

John is amazing at building membership sites. He converted one of my sites over from it’s existing (hardly working) platform over to the clean and simple to use WishList membership platform. I highly recommend using John and WishList for any of your membership site needs.

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

Sukh Plaha

John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.