Start Online Courses ?

Using your skills for profit is a common trend with all of the best side business ideas. If you’re an expert at something, there’s likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field—just like you. Take your skills and turn them into an online course that teaches others how to get the same results you’ve achieved in your life, career, or business.

once you’re ready to start teaching your own online course, I recommend using Teachable, the easiest and most affordable platform to use for creating, hosting and selling your online courses. They also have a ton of free educational resources about how to get started with creating an online course (yes, even as a side business idea) 

Start a Web Development ?

As a web developer, you’ll build incredibly valuable skills that are in extremely high demand. You can get up to speed on building websites in as little as a few months with inexpensive or free online education programs like Treehouse, the Web Developer Bootcamp.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. And over time, you’ll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.

Start a Web Designer ?

Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don’t Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.

Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.

Graphic Designer ?

While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and even more easily accessible tools like Stencil and Visme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can earn a side income doing things like designing (and selling) images like these motivational quotes that can be printed onto posters and sold on platforms like Etsy. Or you can find a local startup, small business owner, or photographer who could benefit from some extra help designing or altering images.

Start a Blog ?

Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers (including yours truly) are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And we’re growing our blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.

If you want to speed up the process of launching your blog, I recommend setting up quick, affordable and easy website hosting with a company like Bluehost, Godaddy, TMD Hosting choosing a simple WordPress theme and working on your first post, in order to set the precedent of prioritizing your time on creating content, connecting with (and building) your audience. Then once you’ve been able to build a community around your blog, you’ll want to invest in really understanding your readers—so that you can give them more of what they want.

wordpress

What is WordPress ?

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system based on PHP & MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. It is most associated with blogging but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, and online stores.

WordPress is, by far, the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS), used by approximately 75 million websites. WordPress is free to install, deploy, and upgrade. Thousands of plugins and templates power a flexible and simple interface, which reduces development costs and deployment time.

In simple words, WordPress is a web software to create websites quickly and easily. … Everything from simple websites to blogs, to complex portals and enterprise websites, and even applications are built with WordPress. WordPress is used by 58.6% of all the websites whose content management system is known.

Simply put, WordPress is software you can use to create your own website, blog, or even an application. Since it was first released in 2003, WordPress has matured into a highly flexible “content management system,” or CMS. And today, it powers more than 50% of the entire web—including some of the most popular websites you’ve probably heard of.
WordPress enables you to build and manage your own full-featured website using just your web browser—without having to learn how to code. In fact, if you’ve ever used a text editor like Microsoft Word, you’ll be right at home with the WordPress Editor.

So, how does WordPress work?

To begin using WordPress, first you’ll download the software, install it on a web server, connect it to a database, and then start publishing your content on the web. It may sound complicated, but the entire process takes about 5 minutes. And once installed, it enables you to use a simple, web-based editor to publish content and build your website. There’s even a hosted version at WordPress.com that allows you to create a new WordPress-powered website in just a few seconds.

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator is the original and best plugin for importing, merging and displaying RSS and Atom feeds on your WordPress site. It’s the most comprehensive and elegant RSS feed importer for WordPress.

AUTOMATICALLY IMPORT RSS FEEDS & DISPLAY THEM ON YOUR SITE

No limit on the number of sources to import from.

No limit on the number of items to import.

Automate each feed’s import with individual or global schedules.

Multiple templates  to display items across your site.

Choose to show, hide and/or link the author, source and publish date for every template.

Show or hide pagination on your templates, and display specific pages.

Use our [wp-rss-aggregator] shortcode or Gutenberg block to display items.

Feed auto-discovery (add sources without the exact RSS feed URL).

Open YouTube, DailyMotion and Vimeo videos directly.

Limit the number of feed items stored for better performance.

Limit the number of feed items fetched per import for better performance.

Create a custom RSS feed from imported items to use elsewhere.

Extendable via action and filter hooks.

Click here to learn more about the free WP RSS Aggregator plugin.

NEW SINCE V4.13: TEMPLATES, GUTENBERG BLOCK, IMPROVED LOGS

Create as many templates as you need to display feed items in different ways across your site. Be it on the homepage, in a sidebar, or in the footer, you can specify which template to use and which sources to display in each individual area.

Our brand new gutenberg block ensures seamless integration with WordPress. Choose the template to use and the sources to display, then you’re all set (plus a few other customisation options). If you are using the classic WordPress editor, we’ve got you covered. Click on the WP RSS Aggregator button in the TinyMCE editor to open our shortcode modal. It has all the same options as the block, ensuring that no functionality is lost no matter what you use.

Debug logs are an important part of any site. From time to time, some feeds may have problems that are hard to find. With our new and improved logging system we are reducing the time it takes to find the problem and making it easier to figure out the best solution.

WHO IS THE PLUGIN FOR??

Importing and displaying RSS feeds is helpful for many types of sites:

Curate news, videos and more from the top sources in your niche.

Add related posts from other sites to your site.

Curate job, real estate or other listings for your market or niche.

Embed videos from other sources (Youtube) to engage more visitors.

Aggregate podcast episodes related to your hobby or profession.

Writers, display your works from multiple sites in your portfolio.

And much more…

rss feed

What is RSS ?

Before we get started, I will give a brief introduction about what is RSS feed and the significance of RSS feeds.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, but it could also mean Rich Site Summary or Real-time Simple Syndication. It is an XML-based content format that updates the user on the latest news, articles, headlines and content from all of their favorite websites.

Since it has been around for a long time, many have assumed that RSS feeds have withered away in time, just a little bit at least. But I’m here to dispel such faux nonsense. In fact, there are quite a lot of professional WordPress developers who are developing a slew of RSS feed plugins even as I speak.

So yes, RSS feed isn’t really going anywhere anytime soon. Imagine the kind of traffic bloggers and site developers can attract with this wonderful method especially if you’re running a WordPress site. Which is why I have proud to share this list of possibly the best WordPress RSS feed plugins there are today.

Find Out Which WordPress Web Hosting Company Offers the Cheapest and Reliable Web Hosting Solution

I have been looking for a good WordPress web hosting company that offers cheap but reliable WordPress web hosting solution for quite a while. The keywords here are cheap and reliable and for some reason these two words do not want to go together very well.

If you are willing to pay big money then you have nothing to worry about… your options are endless. My focus is finding that sweet spot where reliability meets affordability. I update this page with my findings on affordable WordPress web hosting solutions. Hopefully this information will be of some help to someone looking for a good WordPress web hosting company.

Little Background

I am very strict when it comes to the reliability of the web hosting company. Server uptime and the server response time is very important for anyone who has a website doing whatever business that they are doing. If your site is down when a visitor or customer goes to your site then you are losing traffic and business. In addition to losing temporary customers, if your site goes down frequently then there is a good chance that your customers will get annoyed and will try to avoid coming to your site in the future.

Most web hosting companies guarantee 99.9% Server uptime but in reality a lot of them do not deliver 99.9% server uptime that they guarantee. Most of the time you won’t even know that your site was down and you lost customers. None of your visitors complained doesn’t really mean that your site was up 100% that month.

I am particularly interested in a reseller account. A reseller account that allows you to create multiple cPanel based websites. The ability to create multiple cPanel based website is really useful as each website has individual cPanel control panel for administration purpose. Not many of the cheap web hosting companies offer reseller account with the ability to create multiple cPanel based websites.

When I First Started

I was with Surpass Hosting and even though they have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, recently my site has been going down frequently. When you complain to them they reply to you with the result of the UNIX ‘uptime’ command which shows the length of time the system has been up, saying our servers were up all month! The system was up all month doesn’t necessarily mean that your site wasn’t down (The CPU load could have been at 100% so it wasn’t processing any other requests and hence your site was not accessible).

I have decided to change my web hosting provider and after doing some research I found that Web Hosting Buzz offers the cheapest reseller hosting solutions and looks reliable (from their server uptime data). So I decided to give web hosting buzz a try but it didn’t work out very well (read below for details).

Update (3 Months Later) – Migration to WebHostingBuzz

WebHostingBuzz offers Reseller accounts from $5 per month with some great features. They have 99.9% server uptime gurantee. You can check their server uptime history from WebHostingBuz Server Uptime figures. WebHostingBuzz website has Google page rank of 7/10 (Page Rank reflects Google’s view of the importance of the web page). I tend to use the website’s page ranking as a trust factor. A website with high Google page rank is less likely to be a fraud.

Web hosting buzz offers pretty cheap reseller account but is it reliable? It looks reliable from the Server uptime data but I will have to see how I go with them to be sure.

Update (6 Months Later)

The reseller account wasn’t doing it for me so I decided to give WebHostingBuzz.com’s Virtual Private Server (VPS) a try as my traffic has gone up heaps since I first signed up with them. The VPS upgrade was a disaster… they probably put me on an overpopulated sever so my site response time was horrible. After having a chat with their support team they made it seem like it was my fault for using WordPress. Over time my site is going to grow so it is important that the hosting solution is scalable and Web Hosting Buzz’s VPS was just a mess not to mention that they were charging $8 per month extra for using cPanel! I knew it was time for me to look for another hosting solution.

Update (7 Months Later) – Migration to InMotionHosting

I started looking and InMotionHosting seemed to be a good hosting provider so I signed up with them and now I am really happy with my site response time and InMotionHosting charges less than WebHostingBuzz for the same plan. I later upgraded my hosting plan to a dedicated server.

Update (1 Year Later)

I am still with InMotionHosting and everything is going well. I have also signed up with MediaTemple to host some of my other sites and they seem to be really good too.

Update (2 Years Later)

I needed another hosting account for one of my new sites so this time I signed up with West Host after taking Yoast’s advice and West Host seem to be good too.

Update (3 Years Later)

My hosting needs continue to grow. This time I wanted to try the new cloud hosting solution mainly because it can be scaled very easily. Cloud hosting’s scaling and self healing abilities make it a very compelling solution for my needs. One thing to keep in mind is that the cloud hosting may not be suitable for people who are not familiar with UNIX systems (unless you go with a managed option which can become very expensive).

Update (4 Years Later)

I have signed up for an account from WPEngine. It is not working out very well at the moment based on how much I have to pay and what I get. I might cancel this account.

Update (5 Years Later)

I have singed up with Hostgator and Bluehost this year.

Update (5 Years 6 Months Later)

I had to get rid of my hosting account with West Host. They were having a lot of outages on my server which brought the site up-time data below 97% and it went on for a few months. So I decided to move away from them.

Update (6 Years 4 Months Later)

GoDaddy recently acquired MediaTemple hosting. I have a thing about Godaddy doing webhosting (I don’t like their hosting) so I switched my site that was on MediaTemple to DreamHost.

Update (7 Years Later)

I have created a test account with A2 Hosting. Their WordPress hosting looks pretty good. I particularly like how their SSD (Solid State Drive) hosting option looks reasonable.

Update (7 Years 6 Months Later)

I purchased hosting from A2 Hosting for one of my small sites. However, I am not very satisfied with their server performance. So, even though I am using it for one of my small sites, I wouldn’t recommend users to buy hosting from them.

It looks like A2 Hosting has picked up their game. I ordered a new “Turbo” WordPress hosting plan from them (for a new site) and it has been working really good so far. The server’s performance is very good. Ordering and installing SSL certificate was a breeze. The SSL certificate pricing is very affordable. Server response time is really good (given it is a shared hosting). The uptime was 99.98% for the month, this is real uptime as I use external tool to check all my site’s uptime.

Update (8 Years Later)

I have received a few complaints about Bluehost from my users. I have had a bad experience with them also. So I have cancelled my account with Bluehost.

Update (10 Years Later)

I purchased hosting from TMD Hosting, Rain Cloud Hosting, looks pretty good so far.

How to Fix the Unable to create directory Error in WordPress

If you are seeing any of the following errors when you try to upload/import media into WordPress’s media library then this tutorial is for you. It will show you how to fix this annoying error.

  • Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads
  • Unable to create directory /wp-content/uploads/ Is its parent directory writable by the server?
  • Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2013/02

I personally faced this issue a while back and wrote a quick fix tutorial on this subject. However, a lot has changed since then so it is time to publish an updated version of the tutorial.

There are a few different possibilities for this error to show up. I will try to cover all the possibilities so hopefully one of them will help you fix the issue.

Fix #1: Update/Change the Uploads Directory Settings

This is the easiest option to try and solve this error so you should try this one first.

  1. Log into your WordPress admin dashboard
  2. Go to Media Settings menu (Settings -> Media)
  3. Enter wp-content/uploads in the “Store uploads in this folder” text box
  4. Save the changes by hitting the “Save Changes” button and you are done
  5. The important thing here is to make sure you only enter the following in the “Store uploads in this folder” field:
  6. wp-content/uploads

Fix #2: Manually Change the Folder Permission

If the above fix doesn’t work then try this option. This method requires you to change the file/folder permissions on your server. If you don’t know how to do this then read the tutorial on how to change permissions.

  1. Change folder permissions on the wp-content directory to 775 and try the upload again
  2. If it fails, change the permissions to 777 and try again
  3. if it still fails then do step 1 and 2 for the “wp-content/uploads” directory too

Once you can successfully create the folder and upload the media, be sure to return the permissions on wp-content directory to 755 (your folders should have a permission of 755 for security reasons).

Fix #3: Use This If Your Server is Using Ubutu

The webserver (Apache) runs as user www-data and group www-data by default on a Ubuntu system. If the files/folders are not owned by this user (www-data) then the webserver will be unable to write changes to them.

Change the filesystem permission on the folder (where the web application wants to write to) to the “parent directory” as mentioned in the error message.

For example, do (prepend with sudo if you’re not the current owner and need to elevate your own permissions in order to do it):
chown www-data /path/to/directory

to make www-data the owner which makes it writeable usually, or another approach via groups:

chgrp www-data /path/to/directory
chmod g+w /path/to/directory

Fix #4: Try This If Running PHP in Safe Mode

If your server is running PHP in safe mode then know that it won’t allow you to create files or directories if your PHP scripts and upload directories belong to different users. So try one of the following solutions:

  • Change the owner of scripts and upload directories (your hosting provider can do this for you)
  • Disable PHP safe mode (your hosting provider can do this for you)

Fix #5: Use This for XAMPP (LocalHost Installs)

If you have installed XAMPP to run WordPress on your local PC for testing and you are seeing this error then try the following.

Reset the ownership of the WordPress instillation to nobody. You can do this by running the a command in the command line/terminal.

  • Windows System: Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt
  • Mac: Applications ->Utilities -> Terminal

The command you need to run is the following (change “wp” to the actual directory name in your installation):

sudo chown -R nobody:staff /applications/xampp/xamppfiles/htdocs/wp

Hopefully one of the above solutions should help you fix the unable to create directory error in WordPress.

Please feel free to share any other techniques/fixes for this error in the comment section below.