How to update WordPress and WordPress Plugins

As promised, here is a video outlining how to update WordPress and WordPress plugins.



On Monday, May 9th, 2011, I accepted a position on the Web Application Services Team of ConocoPhillips on Bartlesville, OK.

If you would like to read more about what went into the decision, please go to my personal blog at

Your first question is probably what does this mean for Two Miles Solutions, LLC…

Customers that have currently active projects will be contacted separately and will be handled appropriately.

Two Miles Solutions, LLC will no longer be a custom development shop. The Two Miles Solutions, LLC website will become an online store for products we have already developed or will develop in the future, but we will no longer be building custom websites or software for companies.

We are still researching companies that will be able to properly service our clients but have yet to find someone who does exactly what we do. Companies in the Madison area that do things similar to what we do are:

– Astuteo web design:

– EXP Design:

– Homepage Construction Company:

As new resources become available I will make them known. Please check the website for more details as time progresses.

For customers who have WordPress based websites, you will definitely want to check the Two Miles Solutions, LLC website as I will be publishing video tutorials to the website that walk you through aspects of maintaining your website that Two Miles Solutions, LLC traditionally handled. I will also be notifying you of configuration changes that I will be making so that you will be more in control of what goes on with your accounts. As a final measure, I will be writing up documentation for each of my customers that outlines what their solutions entail so that if you need changes in the future you will have all the information that they you need.


Book Review: The Go-Giver – Bob Burg & John David Mann

0907gogiverI received this book from a networking contact of mine who wanted to help me make the best run at my business possible.  It sat on the shelf for quite a while until just recently when I was looking through my book collection looking for a book to read.  I’m really glad that I picked it up.  The Go-Giver is written in the style of such great books as Raving Fans and The Wealthy Barber.  It starts of with the reader meeting the main character, in this case Joe, who is told that he needs to meet with a certain guru to get where he wants to go.  The guru teaches him the 5 principles of stratospheric success and Joe’s life and business are transformed.  While not a new method of teaching I loved this book and learned a lot from it.  The 5 principles are easy to grasp and sink your teeth into, but you don’t feel like you are sitting in a lecture hall.  Ever since reading HTML Goodies in college (the book that taught me how to write my first website…look at me now!) I have always loved books that sought to teach me something that did so through story or conversation.  If I am learning something, I want it to be engaging, I already went to school, I am learning now because I want to, please make it an enjoyable experience.  The Go-Giver delivers, and not only in the business realm, these principles can be applied to all areas of life.  I loved this read and would recommend it to anyone who wants to take their business or their life to the next level. 

Overall I give The Go-Giver 4.5 out of 5.0, you should definitely check it out.


4/23/2010 – Follow Friday

follow_friday If you are on Twitter, you are probably familiar with the concept of FollowFriday or #FF.  The idea behind FollowFriday is that you share people in your network that you think that others who are followers of yours should be following.  I don’t think this should be limited to just Twitter, that is why I have decided to start featuring 2 people on my personal and business blogs that I feel you should be following.  So without further ado, two people you should be following are:

Enjoy getting to know these guys, let me know of anyone you think I should be following.


.NET Style Properties (Getters/Setters) in PHP

DSC01202 On any given day, I can be programming in one of many languages (C# .NET, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, & HTML [I know I may be pushing it calling CSS & HTML languages], and soon Visual Basic .NET because of a collaborative project).  Don’t get me wrong, I love that part of my job.  It keeps me sharp.  Sure there is the occasional mishap where I forget that the . is the member accessor in the .NET languages, but it is the concatenation operator in PHP and I will throw the occasional $ into my C# code…

Another thing to know is that I am an object oriented programmer to the core…I am currently cleaning up after another developer who was not an object oriented guy…grr…there is data access code everywhere and he didn’t know the definition of object…finally I just took the functionality down because it was so bug ridden that whenever I would fix one bug, it would expose another.  One thing that has constantly bugged me since I started coding in PHP that I didn’t like its method of using __get and __set for getters and setters (mainly because I still use a modified version of Hungarian notation, but that is a discussion for another blog post, so I didn’t like what the getters and setters would look like).

Then, tonight, as I was coding, I had an epiphany, I could use PHP’s optional operator syntax for a function to get something close to what I would want.  So, where I would have coded this before:

   1:  <?php
   3:  class Test {
   5:  private $m_intId;
   7:  public function setId($value) {
   9:  $this->m_intId = $value;
  11:  }
  13:  public function getId() {
  15:  return $this->m_intId();
  17:  }
  19:  }
  21:  ?>

where I would do the following to access it $objTest->setId(1); or $intId = $objTest->getId(); (I would have to explicitly call the getter or setter)

Tonight I realized, I could code it this way:

   1:  <?php
   3:  class Test {
   5:  private $m_intId;
   7:  public function Id($value = 0) {
   9:  if($value != 0) {
  11:  $this->m_intId = $value;
  13:  } else {
  15:  return $this->m_intId;
  17:  }
  19:  }
  21:  ?>

Now, I can access the id by doing the following: $objTest->Id(5); or $intId = $objTest->Id();

What are your thoughts developers?


Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Fan Pages

So you are a celebrity, band, or business owner and you want to create a Page for your business.  What a lot of people don’t know is that it is against the Facebook terms of service to promote your band or business with a Facebook personal profile.  So now what?  That’s where Facebook Pages come in.  This tutorial will walk you through creating your own Fan Page.

You can create a page in one of two places:



After you fill out the basic information for your page you may be directed to the Ads and Pages application, if not, you can access it by clicking the button shown in the picture below.


After you are directed to the Ads & Pages application, click the pages link to access your page.


After clicking pages you will see a list of pages that you are an administrator for.  You have a couple options, if you click your page name (#1) you will be directed to what users will see when they see your page.


If you click Edit Page (#2) you will be taken to the admin screen (expanded view below).


Edit the settings to your liking as well as add users who you want to be able to administer the page.  When you are done, click the view page link at the top of the screen.  You will be taken to a page like this.


Make sure you write something about your company in the box on the left, then click the info tab to edit your information.


Once on the Info tab click the Edit Information link and you will see a screen like this.


After you edit the basic information, click on the Detailed Information header and you will see a section like this.


Once you are ready, publish the page by clicking the link at the top of the page.


Now tell your friends about your page and let them become fans.  After you have 25 fans, go to and you can set a vanity URL for your page.


Please let me know if this tutorial has helped you out or if you have any questions.


Seven Questions about the last year

On December 29th, 2009 Michael Hyatt posted a very thought provoking article on processing what the last year has contained.  You can read it here.  The gist is that there are 7 questions you should ask yourself about the last year.  This post is my attempt to process these questions for myself from a business perspective.   I will be doing resolution/goal setting posts next week, but here is a look back.

  1. If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be?
    I would have to say suspense.  Two Miles Solutions, LLC will be celebrating its 3rd birthday in March of 2010 so we are still on that upward curve where you don’t know sometimes where that next paycheck is coming from.  This is especially true given what the economic climate in our country was this year.  All that being said, Two Miles Solutions, LLC is ending the year on a great foot and things look very good for 2010.
  2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
    – Gaining a deeper understanding…this was a year where I grew a lot as an individual, from a business owner perspective, I have learned quite a lot about the politics that you have to play as a business owner sometimes and as much as you try and stay out of the BS, it finds you.  I have learned how to use a lot of cool tools this year and have developed quite the toolbox for myself to help other customers.
    –  Survival of the Fittest…as most of you know this was a tough year economically for a lot of people because of the recession, many businesses shut down, but Two Miles Solutions, LLC is still alive and kicking and looking forward to what 2010 will contain.
  3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of?
    I think the first thing I have to say is that I survived.  A lot of business owners I know had to close shop this year.  I am proud to say that Two Miles Solutions, LLC is right on the verge of some really cool things that look to be shaping up for the 2010 calendar year.
  4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
    This one is a personal question that I don’t feel I should post for the world to see.
  5. What disappointments or regrets did you experience this last year?
    There are a few projects that I worked on this year that should have gained traction but for one reason or another didn’t.  All four projects hold the promise of residual income that will allow me to spend less time working and more time with my family, but for reasons I can’t elaborate to the entire world (most if not all of them completely out of my control) none of them turned out the way we expected.  Things are looking better for 2010 on all four projects, but we will see.
  6. What was missing from last year as you look back?
    Sleep.  Most people who know me know that I don’t get a whole lot of sleep.  I hope to change this in 2010 and going forward.
  7. What were major life-lessons you learned this past year?
    When with your family, you need to disconnect from the office.  This is a huge thing for me given that I work from home.  What this means for me is that sometimes I leave my cell phone in my office so that I am not checking my email at the dinner table.
    – Sometimes you just need a break.  As much as I would like to think that I am superman, I am not, sometimes I just need to stop and relax.

Hopefully, you found this post insightful, I would recommend doing the same as you get ready to start the new year and set goals for the upcoming year.  You can’t figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.


Social Media Profiles: To link or not to link, that is the question…

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Digg, StumbleUpon, Flickr, Google Profiles, MySpace, the list goes on and on…  If you have no idea what I am talking about, read no further, but if you have profiles or pages on at least 2 of these sites, please continue to read.

Are you still with me?  Good.  I’m glad you came.

As a part of my job, I set clients up with blogs and social media profiles to help them get their name out into cyberspace in a way that their customers can find them.  A lot of times, I am dealing with someone who does not sit in front of a computer all day so in order to help them better manage their online presence, I recommend them linking their Social Media profiles.  For a typical business, I recommend they have a Facebook Fan Page for their business as well as at least a Twitter account, and most of the time, depending on who they are trying to reach, an account on LinkedIn.  All three of these websites offer some degree of interconnectivity, see graphic below…

social media mess

Not only that but as you can see from the graphic, there are services like and that allow you to aggregate your profiles (the list of applications here is endless) and there you are standing off to the side trying to coordinate this mess.

What is the typical person to do?

First off, what are all these things?  (Starting from the top left)

  1. Twitter – this is what is called a microblogging service.  It gives you 140 characters to broadcast your life to people who have decided to “follow” you…
  2. Facebook Profile – this is a social networking site where you can connect with friends.  I have over 700 friends on Facebook, but here is the kicker, I either know every single one of the people or have done business with them at some point.  Facebook DOES NOT allow you to have a profile for business entities…that is where the next item comes into play.
  3. Facebook Fan Page – this is Facebook’s answer to the business world.  Using a fan page you create a Facebook presence for your business.  This is the officially accepted way of doing the Facebook thing for your business.  With this page, you do not have to be friends with all of your business contacts, but they can become fans of your organization and can receive your updates.
  4. Me – substitute your picture if you would like, but the center of your social media universe, if all is in check, is yourself.
  5. LinkedIn – this is a business network social media site.  In the Madison, WI area LinkedIn is pretty active.  I have both business contacts and personal contacts on this site mainly because some of the people I went to college with who are now in the business world are on LinkedIn.
  6. Aggregate services like & HootSuite – these services try to bring some semblance of order to your social media world.

Now that I have given a brief explanation of what these services are, I will now address the main focus of my blog post…should you link your accounts?  Built into each of these services is the inherent ability to link to other accounts…for instance your Facebook Fan Page can be linked up with your Twitter account so that if you publish a status update it will automagically be published to Twitter, the same thing is true for your LinkedIn profile…throw a couple blogs into the list with plugins that update your statuses who knows where a status update could end up.

If you are just getting into the social media scene then I would recommend just linking your few accounts and going for it.  For more advanced users, or those who are like me and have profiles that are a mix of business and personal (I know, shame on me…), I recommend using a service like or  Personally, I use  They do not have support yet for Facebook Fan Pages, but I am online enough that I can update that status manually.  Here is how my accounts are set up.

  • Facebook profile: This is a primarily personal account, but since I am a business owner and friends of mine are business people, I have a lot of connections.
  • Facebook Fan Page: This is strictly business, no personal information is posted to this account.
  • Twitter: what is this account not…personal, business, ministry, you name it, it’s on there for me.
  • LinkedIn: again another amalgam between personal and business due to the nature of the friends and colleagues of mine who are on these mediums.

Throw on top of this that I currently run 2 blogs (a business and personal blog) and will soon be running 2 more (ministry related) my ducks must be in a row.  That is why I recommend NOT linking your accounts unless you absolutely have to or are not online very often (I disabled the Facebook Fan Page link to my Twitter account, but I keep LinkedIn linked to Twitter because it gives you the choice on whether or not you want to publish).  This will keep you from inadvertently posting a status update to the wrong site.  Instead I use hootsuite because it gives me this cool little area:


What this allows me to do is be selective of my account updates because I can choose which networks I want my update to go to.

Hopefully you found this post to be informative, please discuss in the comments.


.NET: One line could save your 64-bit bacon!

I have a customer that recently had to purchase a new computer due to her previous computer finally biting the dust.  Knowing what programs she was running on her computer, I advised her that she should purchase a 32-bit version of Vista (then upgrade to the 32-bit version of Windows 7 when it came out).

She bought a 32-bit machine that was running Vista and everything seemed fine except the OS was corrupt.  So she took the computer back in to have it replaced and they gave her a shiny new Windows 7 machine (she was only days away from the release of Windows 7) .  She asked them to give her the same computer, but they gave her a 64-bit version of Windows 7 so when she went to install her programs she ran into a ton of problems because the programs were not written for the 64-bit versions of the operating system (a lot of legacy applications are not written for 64-bit operating systems, this isn’t Microsoft’s fault, this is a fault of the application programmers).

I have a small application that I wrote that for ease of use and not having to install any other programs, I chose to use Microsoft Access as the database for the application (say what you will, it was a side project that turned into something I could sell), but there is no 64-bit JET driver for reading Access databases so for 64-bit operating systems, I was hosed, until I found out that one line could change everything.

In the csproj file of your C# .NET application, in the first property group, add this line:


So your property group should look something like this:

<Configuration Condition=" '$(Configuration)' == '' ">Debug</Configuration>
<Platform Condition=" '$(Platform)' == '' ">AnyCPU</Platform>

That one little line saved my bacon and allows me to sell that piece of software for $10 to anyone who runs a 64-bit operating system.  I’m not saying this will solve all of your problems, but it helped me.

Related Links:

UPurMEMORY – memorization utility ($10.00 USD)
Windows 7 Home Premium (upgrade)
Windows 7 Professional (upgrade)
Windows 7 Ultimate (upgrade)

Related Posts:

What’s the big deal about Windows 7?


PHP Coding: chmod() my new best friend

phpFor all of you coders out there, I just found a new best friend, its name is chmod().  For those of you familiar with Unix/Linux this command will look familiar.

Background: I was implementing an online store for a customer who already had an existing website, but wanted to be able to sell her goods online (I’m trying to keep things vague on purpose when describing the website).  I built her a custom content management system for her online store that allowed her to upload pictures of her goods and input pricing data.  My code would take the image she uploaded, save it, then copy it and resize the copy to make a thumbnail image.  For whatever reason though, her web host was locking down permissions on the first file.  This became problematic because it doesn’t do any good to have a file that you can’t read…

Solution: After using the move_uploaded_file() command I used the chmod() command to reset the file permissions.

Here is the format of the chmod() function: chmod($filename$mode );

I also ran into a gotcha that I didn’t expect…when specifying the mode, do not specify it as a string, (ie. “755”), instead you specify it as a number (ie. 755), even further though, you have to throw in a leading zero (ie. 0755).

Hopefully, you found this post helpful, happy coding.