Posts by Matto Tomato

TTYL

Hi all, time flies! I’ve gotta say thanks for coming to my site and am glad that my previous posts help!

I’m super busy with work and am so excited to try out many web development/security deals I’ve bought on Black Friday! It will take sometime before my next post~ Likely Jan 2019. :X

Talk to ya soon!

Why I chose Astra Theme over Neve Theme

Raise your hand if you are you a WordPress Designer or Developer! Choosing the Theme to work on for web design project was very much time-consuming in the past until the appearance of page builders such as WPBakery, Elementor, Beaver, Visual Composer etc.

And honestly, I’m tired of the search for a suitable Theme and crack my head figuring out how it works. I will love to stick to 1 powerful theme for all projects if possible.

Several results appear in the google search; multipurpose and light weighted for my upcoming projects. The top 3 that appeared the most are:

1. Astra, US$59 per year, unlimited websites
2. Neve, offer US$59 (US$118) per year, unlimited websites for Business plan
3. OceanWP (I’m skipping this because it’s too pricey.)

I purchased both Astra and Neve to try them out for a single project. And both are impressive for its compatibility with Elementor, but it didn’t take long for me to decide on sticking with former one.

Why?

Neve is missing out a number of essential design elements for Woocomerce, and header, footer settings. the alignment for responsive menu isn’t intuitive as it claims.

1. Cart Icon Option

There’s no way to change the look of the entire shopping cart in Neve at the moment. Astra offers:

  • 6 cart icons to choose from
  • customize cart menu buttons: colors, button radius
  • toggle display of cart total quantity & value
Cart icon option in Astra Customizer
Editable cart menu & button

2. Display Out of Stock Status

It’s important to clearly state that your product is sold out in the product listing and description.

Out of stock status

3. Custom Layout – Header & Footer

I was blown away by this feature while reading Astra‘s documentation. Typical themes limit the design to 3~5 pre-set footer layout via widgets and customizer. Hence you may notice most websites contains a footer with 2~5 columns and plain background.

Astra not only offers similar options in the customizer, it also allows designers to change the look with page builder! No coding, no additional plugin, no limitations.

Heya, I’m still working on this article. Please wait patiently for the full article. Thanks!

How to hide Google reCaptcha badge in your WordPress site?

Running a website will encounter a lot of spam, it can be in your blog comments, product reviews, and contact form, etc. One of the solutions is using Google reCaptcha to identify and block them.

The latest Google reCaptcha v3 is excellent for user experience since genuine customers are no longer required to authenticate themselves as “I’m not a robot” or answer challenging maths question.

 But recently my client noticed that a reCaptcha badge appeared on the bottom right corner of their website. 

Ref from Oohsg

And how do we hide it?
*Note: Removing the badge will remove it’s function. So we’ll be hiding the badge in this guide instead.

You can enter this css code into your website:

.grecaptcha-badge {
visibility: hidden;}

Where do I put the code in?

You can enter the code in the “Additional CSS” tab in “Customizer”

Click "Customize"
Click "Additional CSS"
Paste the code here and publish your date

Once you’ve published the update and the badge should be hidden. Badge be gone! And that’s it for today’s guide!

Is the technology for unmanned store ready?

Automation is definitely the way to go in future once the infrastructure is ready. Pioneering new ideas requires time, $$$ and talented people. The cost of implementing+maintaining equipment & technology is way more than hiring a cashier.

Do consider if your pocket is deep enough when making a decision on experimenting such business model.

• Unmanned store does not go inline with China’s consumer shopping habits and lack of customer experience. 
• Taiwan 7-11 halted due to lack of human touch & customer experience.
• Japan uses technology to increase cashier’s efficiency + technical support right beside the store.
• Singapore redesigns the vending machine concept.

What idea do you have in mind? ?

Reference article
【無人成本反更高】燒光 181 億台幣後,中國「無人商店」只能走向泡沫化?

5 reasons why you should have a website for your business

Heya! The past few weeks were really hectic yet fulfilling. I just completed the website and training for a wonderful group of beauty lovers + several meetings weekly hunting for new projects. Check them out at https://lovebb.co/.

Sometimes I will meet clients who ask for advice if they should have a website for their business. My answer? YES, you must have a company website” if you want to obtain more customer and grow your business.

Yes You Heard Me

Online shopping has been causing a big hit to the economy over the years, many businesses raised and shine while those which couldn’t react on time simply closed down. A businessman running a very very traditional family business in Malaysia told me it’s either a “DO OR DIE” situation for their factory now. Facing competitions from an online marketplace such as Taobao, Shopee, it’s difficult to compete against global vendors by slashing price unrealistically with brick & mortar stores.

*Thumbs up in realizing this and step up to learn about online business! And it’s actually not that difficult to work on.

Cost to own a website is inevitable and it’s not pricey if you do research or ask around for quotation. And here’s 5 reasons why having a website is profitable and cost-efficient:

 1. Available 24/7

A web store always accessible for customer to purchase online without rental space! Customer can complete their purchases without having a sales assistant stalking customers around the store, they can send you a text via email or live chat if further assistance is needed.

2. Full control of your content

Marketplace / Social Media has several limitations in listing your company profile and products. Owning a website has full control of your content, and you can offer better customer experience thru web design or plugins!
– Customized look and feel
– Multiple shipping options
– Personal front page
– No commission fees
– Skip paying for ad space in the marketplace or boost ranking to be seen
– Plugins & external services: inventory management, SEO, analytics, POS system
– Keep your customer informed of the latest news

3. Branding and credibility

Online shoppers often search for testimonial and reviews on the web before making a purchase. You are a step further against competitors without a website, it opens up opportunities in getting noticed by potential customers and even business partners. E.g. distributor, manufacturers, tech services etc.
– Build and connect with your fan base without a hefty cost
– Points your customer to your social media profile
– Show up on search engine – Accumulate reviews

4. Target a larger market, globally

Sell your goods to the world! You are no longer limited to selling within your country only. You will be surprised that there are many customers who are happy to pay for the shipping fees.

You can also leverage from this using drop shipping method, reducing the cost for import and ship directly by manufacturers.

5. Data data data!

The most vital part of the online business is data collection, there’s tons of information you can generate from your personal website and strategize your business with it.
– generate sales report
– analyze your website performance
– review marketing campaign
– build a personal fan base
– compare yourself against competitors

So how should you start?

Having a website is simply one of the first steps for business digitization. Review your budget and skill sets.

If you’re:
– a tech-savvy
– have some design sense
– low budget
– have free time
There’s an abundance of resources to guide you through the entire process. Or most directly, ask people around who are in the field to guide you.

If not, hire an experience E-commerce consultant (like me!) to work on digitizing your business. The cost varies, but it will definitely worth the effort to remain competitive in today’s market.

Have fun while facing multiple challenges to achieve your goal!

Photoshop CC – Removing Number Sequence for Export Layers to Files

As a designer I often have to edit and export images in batch with Adobe Photoshop. By default the function “Export Layers to Files” will add a number sequence for each file.

This is unnecessary for such scenario and a waste of time to rename very single file especially if you’re exporting 50~80 images per batch. And I did painstakingly renamed every single file when I was a junior designer. ლ(ಥ Д ಥ )ლ

How to remove the number sequences?

This default setting can’t be changed in Photoshop’s main menu, you need to change the coding in the script instead. And here’s the way to change it:

  1. Locate the file “Export Layers to Files.jsx”
  2. Find it at [your drive]:Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Presets\Scripts
  3. Optional: Copy and paste the file “Export Layers to Files.jsx” as a backup somewhere.
  4. Now open the file with Wordpad.
  5.  Search for the line fileNameBody += “_” + zeroSuppress(i, 4); and add // infront like this, 
    // fileNameBody += “_” + zeroSuppress(i, 4);
  6. Next, search for the line fileNameBody += “_” + layerName; and change it to fileNameBody += layerName;
  7. Save the file and close it. 
  8. Run Adobe Photoshop and export accordingly. 
 
*Updates on 17th Nov 2019 
There seems to have some changes with Photoshop CC 2020’s script.
Download this script file if you’re using the latest Photoshop CC 2020 here.

Point to note:

Adobe tends to overwrite the script file during software update. Just keep an extra copy and overwrite the file or re-do the above steps will do.

The misconceptions of starting a business

Disclaimer: I'm not a certified financial adviser, analyst, lawyer nor an economist. Everything I spoke or written is based on my experience and knowledge over the years. The contents on this site are for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting, or legal advice. I can’t promise that the information shared on my posts is appropriate for you or anyone else. By using this site, you agree to hold me harmless from any ramifications, financial or otherwise, that occur to you as a result of acting on information found on this site.

Many people think of setting up a business as their path to financial freedom and obtain more free time for other means. Thinking that they may become the next billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, Brian Chesky, Jack Ma (馬雲), Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.

Yes, it’s possible to obtain wealth running a successful business. But take note that being wealthy may not result in financial freedom or lots of free time. It requires a lot of effort to become rich, and even more effort to maintain the wealth.

If you already have a substantial amount of funds, perhaps you can consider investing your money on assets instead. Earning recurring dividends or rental fees may be a better option especially if you don’t have a passion to serve.

Myths about running your own business:

1. I will have more flexible time
It’s true that you will manage your time, but flexible time doesn’t = more free time. Running a business is a 24/7 full-time work in the initial state. It will usually take 3~5 years to hire people to run your business.

2. I will earn more money
Chances to earn more money is certainly higher than working for others. The stake of losing every single cent is extremely high too. Only 3% of the new startups made it to the fifth year.

Point to note: do not take Multi-level Marketing (MLM) as a business, most of the MLM schemes I know are more like a commissioned based employment WITH NO BASIC SALARY to me.

I recommend watching the documentary: “Betting on Zero”, ”零成本“ by Ted Braun if you wish to find out more and determine if this path is good for you.

Screen shot from Netflix

3. I have a unique business idea
In the modern world with 7.7 billion population, it’s hard to believe that your idea is unique. Have you encountered a new business that you’ve thought of in the past and think “Hey, I had this idea too!”. The key difference is that someone executed it while you’re thinking in your mind without action.

4. I can make my own decision
Some people tend to think that his/her superior should have listened to their proposal and not losing the opportunity. Or he will have done better if he’s in this position. It’s debatable as there are 2 sides of the stories to hear. Sometimes an idea is rejected not because it’s not good. It can be due to lack of fund, manpower or even power struggle among the management to execute the proposal.

We’re kinda like a frog in the well when we do not have access to internal news and data of the company. You will learn to see the big picture when you’re a business owner. There will be times where you must make sacrifices for the best in your company.

“Businesses, like babies and books, need nurturing, time, energy, love, planning and, yes, money to develop, grow and prosper”

Rachael Bermingham

What does it takes to start a business?

Starting a business requires time, effort, knowledge and financial risks, sustaining it is the hardest part.

Roles you are expected to take on.

The cold hard truth about running a business, especially if you are doing alone. You have to be a:

1. Salesperson
2. Marketing
3. Accountant
4. Administrator
5. Graphic Designer
6. Customer Service Officer

7. Personal Relation
8. Purchaser
9. Analyst
10. Human Resource
11. Trainer
and many more!

I’m saying this not to scare you off, the main purpose is to help you be aware of the roles involved. Running a business is more like a team sport, you will eventually burn out yourself even if you are capable of doing everything alone.

Hire a professional to get things done will speed things up. I will cover more on you should focus on and which part of work can be passed on to others at the minimal cost in the future.

Experience, Knowledge & People

Other than self-discipline. You need at least 1 of this to begin and obtain the other 2 to grow.

1. Experience
Work experience, market insights, connections. Proactively taking new challenges and work on new projects, clients to polish your skills. If you spent 5 years doing the same thing without becoming more efficient at work, it’s equivalent to no experience. The conclusion is: What can you do? Who do you know? What value can you create for your business and client?

2. Knowledge & Skills
Technical-know-how, it’s recommended that you know how to run a business + good management skills. Without these, the likelihood of hiring incompetence worker is very high.

3. Team: Employee, Mentor, Business Partner
You need a team to run a business. This usually requires money to hire great talents. Or find a suitable business partner or mentor who has 1~3 key factors. Beware of partnership though, it should be contracted to avoid dispute in future.

MAKE A PLAN
NOW

You do not need a super detailed plan to start. Simply define what drives you to start a company. Keep in mind not to lose your way. Know the product you are selling, set a short term goal and long term goal for your business. STAY FOCUS.

1. What are you offering?
e.g. Retail Trade, Customer Service, Consultancy, Research etc.

2. Which industry is it?
e.g. Food & Beverages, Finance, Technology, Fashion etc.

3. Who is your target audience, what is the demand?
e.g. Public consumer, Government, SME, MMC

4. Competitors
Understand how do they operate, their sales etc.

5. Rules & regulation in the country where your business operates
e.g. Tax, law, licensing etc.

It’s easy to be inspired thru reading success stories of others, bear in mind stories are crafted to inspire others and/or boost their profile. Many details on how much they had struggled during the initial stage are often mentioned in merely a few sentences.

Execute your plans diligently, review your setbacks and continue to improve your skills and knowledge. I do wish you good luck and all the best in your future endeavors. Donate and give back to the one in need if possible too. Cheers!

Have you been pwned? Simple steps to check if your personal data has been compromised.

Yes, another reputable company was breached, again.

Right after Dropbox, the news of Yahoo data breach which affected about half a billion user accounts is a wake-up call to everyone.

As a frequent online shopper and a geek who pokes around the latest digital services every day. I had signed up for so much stuff on the internet, it’s impossible for me to remember those that did not catch my interest.

Then I came across this site,  https://haveibeenpwned.com/ by Troy Hun that actually works for me. This site consolidated a collection of compromised sites and allows me to check if my data has been compromised.

Apparently, no signup or registration is required, simply enter either the email address, user ID and click “pwned?” to check.

And wala! My account was breached (why am I not amazed), the site also provides informative details of the attacks. It appears that the result will remain unchanged after I’ve done the necessary actions or deactivated my accounts, so not to worry too much. Keep calm and move on. I signed up for the “Notify Me” to get notified when my account is compromised in the future.