My latest mini-side project is a Chrome Extension that adds two additional methods to search: one via the search bar and one in the right click menu.

Similar to my “Search Funnel” Chrome Extension (also an app for Android and iOS), this saves you the step of visiting the website prior to searching.

Enhanced Search Bar (Feature 1 of 2)

This targets those who prefer keyboard shortcuts and minimize mouse usage.

Pro Tip: the keyboard shortcut to go to the search bar is Ctrl + L (Windows) or Command + L (Mac)

In the search bar, simply type two periods (“..”) and then hit space.

I previously wrote a tutorial on creating a simple PHP Contact form; this is Part 2 of 2 where I go over some more advanced techniques.

Issue: Who is the email from?

So far we can send an email, but it comes “from” whatever the default configuration was set up as. By this, I mean that the e-mail may come from While this is functional, we can change who the email comes “from”. This serves two purposes:

  1. Less of a chance it will end up in spam/junk
  2. It’s more professional if you use this code to email your users (and not just yourself)

The PHP…

This is a basic tutorial will show you how to create a Contact Form for your website that will send you an email. This is commonly used to collect feedback from users without them having to open their email client manually to send you an email. In this example, we’ll be coding in PHP.

Note: if you’re looking for a WordPress solution, I instead recommend using the plugin “Contact Form 7”. My tutorial is for those who want to type PHP code.

We need two web pages:

  1. The page where a user can enter data in (ex. …

Screen recording above is in slow motion to demonstrate the concept

Using a sequence of keyboard shortcuts to copy a formula across multiple rows/columns in Excel- instead of a mouse- is the greatest time saver I have.

My most common use-case is when I have a formula at the top right of my data that I need to paste it downwards, filling all cells in the right-most column. While this can be done with the mouse, I find it faster to use keyboard shortcuts.

In this example, I will assume the formula in Cell C2 needs to be copied down to through Cell C7:

You can get the last cell in Excel using the following line of VBA code:


However if your dataset was modified (specifically, if you deleted rows), then doing that won’t get the right value. It’ll return what the value was before the data was modified.

Instead, I use the script below.

Get the Count of Rows

I often need to loop through the entire dataset. I first select Cell A1, and then I continue down to the next row until there’s a blank. …

When I was first starting to write PHP, most tutorials I found placed the HTML output inside of the PHP. It’ll have an entire block of code that is only PHP, and it prints out HTML (and CSS and JavaScript for that matter).

There’s a better way though.

Take a look at lines 1 to 15 below. It does the same as lines 20–32:

The second section is easier to read (and write!).

A web server ultimately evaluates all of the code and prints out HTML. It doesn’t matter if you write the HTML in, or out, of the…

A best practice in how to organize your PHP files.

Final output of what we’ll be making

A friend of mine needed a PHP template, where he can easily modularize different parts of this site. By this, I mean he’d have a separate file for the “navigation” and he can just include that file in his code where he wants it to appear. Same thing for the “footer” and other aspects of the site.

As mentioned in my book on PHP, there are two common methods I use:

- “including” files where needed

- creating a PHP function, and calling that as needed

My book goes through…

My next side project will involve an e-commerce aspect. Ultimately I’ll have server-side integration with Stripe, but for a Minimum Viable Product (“MVP”) I figured I’d implement a client-side solution with PayPal buttons.

I’m using the JavaScript version, and it was pretty easy to integrate in my website. Using the code provided it came out like this:

Do you really need an *app*?

By “app,” I mean a program that you download onto your phone (or tablet) from the Apple/Google Store.

You can probably accomplish the same thing by making a website.

A website may be considered a “web app,” but for simplicity I’ll use the term “app” in this article to reference a “native app” — i.e. code written or compiled into a language native to the respective operating system, and thus accessible only by downloading from the Apple/Google Store.

First let’s go over the types of “apps”.

Who do I need to build an app?

You’ll need a team of people. Part Two of this series mentions that you’ll need someone with industry knowledge of what you’re building or who has an “in” with the audience/target market.

This is the third part of a mini-series for non-technical advice in app development. Part One can be found here and Part Two can be found here.

When I was an intern several years ago, I was the only technical person on my team. One day at lunch with a handful of coworkers, someone said “we should build an app”. …

Steve Sohcot

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