Need to Build a Dashboard using PHP quickly?

August 24, 2014 Leave a comment

PHP Dashboard Version 2.0

 

Are you trying to build a dashboard using PHP. Try this script – PHP Dashboard Version 2.2 (Responsive) – from Codecanyon.net (I wrote it!)

With this script you can create beautiful responsive, themeable dashboards controlled by a single JSON string in PHP. This PHP dashboard script is very easy to use – simply initialize a PHP variable ($json) and include this script. All chart tiles and dashboard carousels are controlled by a single JSON string. Currently, dashboards can be made from any chart in the Highcharts (www.highcharts.com) library. This library is extensible to include other types of charts (for instance, Highstock, Highmaps, D3 js which are coming Soon!) Themeing is also configured (background image, font color, etc.) in the JSON string. This script also includes a code generator that automatically generates PHP scripts to render dashboards standalone.

Luis
510-914-2372
luis@luisphpmysql.com

PHP Dashboard Script Link: http://codecanyon.net/item/php-dashboard-new-version-22-responsive/8423769?ref=data_ninja.

 

Top 10 Reasons to Start Up that Web Venture Now!

November 9, 2013 Leave a comment






‘Twitter IPO: Riches, Relief and $25 Billion Riches’


WSJ.com Nov 7, 2013

If you have a web idea, here are the top 10 reasons you should start up that web venture NOW!


Number 10 – Your idea WILL WORK! Ever pick up a newspaper or magazine and hear about a web idea/venture (that YOU thought of before) just get launched and sold for a billion dollars (can you say Groupon, Twitter or MySpace). YOUR IDEA WILL WORK, you just have to “build it and they will come…”

Number 9 – The software is FREE! – What’s the cost of the software you will need to build your site? How about FREE!!!PHP, MySQL, Drupal, and many open source scripts you can use to jump start and build your web venture are all available to you for FREE!

Number 8 – Hosting is cheap and scalable Hosting sites like Siteground.com, BlueHost.com, even GoDaddy.com have very reasonably priced hosting packages (< $5/month) that you can use to initially launch your site. You can pay a little more for more capacity and bandwidth. This allows you to postpone heavy investment in the clusters of load balanced servers until your web venture is super successful with super serious traffic.

Number 7 – Viral Marketing is all you need to drive SERIOUS user volume to your site – The viral marketing tools that you’ll need to “market” your new site are at your disposal today. VerticalResponse.com, ConstantContact.com, LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Craigslist, all allow you to drive serious user volume to your site without paying a dime for expensive print ads, direct mail campaigns and other traditional advertising.

Number 6 – You can make REAL MONEY! Even if you don’t cash your venture out for a billion dollars, people are making a living (a GREAT living!) with their web ventures today. The cash you can generate from your web venture rivals (more often exceeds) the cash flow from any fulltime job or “bricks and mortar” business.

Number 5 – Large Companies still laying low Large companies are still laying low with this economic recession which mean you will not have to compete with them as you start your new venture. Contrary to conventional wisdom, economic downturns are the best times for startups. But do it now, sleeping giants will only stay asleep for so long.

Number 4 – The World is your Oyster The web has broken down all geographical barriers for transacting business. Anyone with an internet connected browser can access your web venture. Paypal and Authorize.net allow you to accept payments from anyone in the world. Search engines, listing sites, etc. are all global. The world is truly your oyster (see my blog (Going Global!) for more on this.

Number 3 – Seed it yourself Because infrastructure and marketing costs are minimal, you can start your new venture on your own dime. This allows you to keep 100% ownership of your venture for a while longer until it becomes a going concern and generating real revenues. This could equate to hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, when it finally is time to bring in the investors.

Number 2 – Cash out Strategy – There is a real “jackpot opportunity” (trust me…more LinkedIn stories coming!) for any successful web venture. We are in a transitional phase in history where what used to be good business investments are no longer not. Real estate is no longer what it used to be. Neither are stocks, bonds, etc. (Even the banks themselves are different!!!) Very few, if any, “traditional” investments are currently showing cash flow or equity growth. And because of this there is lots (trillions of dollars) in investor money sitting on the sidelines. What does this mean? If your website shows steady cash flow and growth potential, you won’t need to find investors to cash you out, THEY WILL FIND YOU!

Number 1 – THE WEB IS STILL THE NEW FRONTIER The next google.com, facebook.com, ebay.com, groupon.com etc, could be your idea. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the success stories coming out of the web. The web is truly the new frontier and there is a “land grab” going on for anyone willing to put a stake in this “virtual ground” and claim it. Why not you!

These are the reasons why you should start up that web venture in TODAY!

Need help putting the pieces together. Call me and let’s get it started!!!

Luis
510-914-2372 (*area code from Cal days, I now live and work in SF)
luis@luisphpmysql.com

*I want to know what you think about of this posting. Comment on this blog posting.

How to “Web-ify” Your Brick and Mortar Business

May 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I get calls all the time from people with successful “brick and mortar” businesses asking me to build them a website in order to “web-ify” their business. Web-ifying your business is more than just building a website. It’s coming up with a web strategy that creates a “money machine” that is your website.

Here are a list of questions to ask yourself when starting to “Web-ify” your business.

Your Customers
1) What is your current sales process?
2) Who are your customers?
3) How do you sell to them now?
4) How are orders taken and fulfilled?
5) Do you have a focused territory?
6) Do you have a mailing list?
7) Do you have both street address and email address?
8) How large are these lists?
9) How can your website increase your reach?

Your Competitors
10) Who are your competitors?
11) Do they have websites?
12) What can you do differently to differentiate your web presense from theirs?

Your Suppliers
13) What is your current fulfillment process with them?
14) How can the web improve your process with them?
15) What tools do they have that you can incorporate into your website to automate manual processes?

Your Marketing Plan
16) Where do you think the next opportunity is in your “space”?
17) What compeling reason can you use to get all your customers to visit your website during its initial launch?
18) What compeling day to day triggers exist to keep you “visible” to your customers thru mass mailings / email blasts / viral marketing?

With answers to these questions, you will be able to forumulate a complete web strategy, and then start to assemble all the tools you need to successfully execute on that strategy and grow your business.

Need help? This is what I do. Give me a call today.

Luis
510-914-2372 (*area code from Cal days, I now live and work in SF)
luis@luisphpmysql.com

*I want to know what you think about of this posting. Comment on this blog posting.

Cost of a Great Web Idea…PRICELESS!

January 10, 2012 3 comments

WEB TRENDS

In 1997, just like today, people were coming up with creative ways to change the world (and make lotsa money) using the web.

Just the other day, I was cleaning out my filing cabinet and found an old client file from back then, that had all the invoices for what they spent setting up the infrastructure for their new web idea.


Boy, the world has changed since 1997. Here’s a list of a few of the main items and how much my clients spent.

Infrastructure Cost of Launching a Website in 1997
Server – $10,000
Software Licenses (Operating System, Web Server, App Server, etc)- $30,000*
Internet Connection (T1) – $750 per month
TOTAL – $40,000 (one time) / $750 (per month)

Infrastructure Cost of Launching a Website in 2011
Server – $0 (you can use hosting for your new web venture)
Software Licenses (Operating System, Web Server, App Server, etc)- FREE** (open source)
Internet Connection (T1) – hosting ($5/month)
TOTAL – $0 (one time) / $5 (per month)


This is more proof that building the NEXT BIG THING on the web is JUST ABOUT the IDEA!!! and just like the commerical says…


What’s the cost of a great web idea…- Priceless


Let me know what you think,
Luis
510-914-2372 (*area code from Cal days, I now live and work in SF)
luis@luisphpmysql.com




* Windows NT, IIS 3.0, NetDynamics 3.0
** Linux, PHP/MySQL, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, etc. all open source and useable for FREE!

Wanna create a money machine? Combine Drupal and Salesforce.com

January 8, 2012 4 comments

WEB STRATEGY





Wanna create a money machine? Combine Drupal and Saleforce.com together.

Salesforce.com is the leading CRM (Customer Relationship Mangement) tool, capable of managing customer relationships for organizations of all sizes. Everyday I see large Fortune 500 companies (Genentech, Oracle, Dell, etc) and startups alike use it. Schools and universities (UC Berkeley, Stanford), government agencies (state, county, city governments), non-profits, all use it, as well. Everyone knows how important CRM is these days.

Drupal is the leading open source content management system, capable of creating any kind of web portal, tailored to YOUR business, for use by YOUR cutomers. Its architecture and community are world class and what makes Drupal unique. (See my recent work to give you an idea of the types of sites you can create with Drupal. See my blog post on Drupal Bay Area to see all the different types of organizations using Drupal.)

Put the two together…and voila! You have your MONEY MACHINE!!!

Here’s how the machine works. Salesforce.com’s prospecting tools drive new visitors to your site and turn them into registered users. Marketing campaigns can turn registered users into purchasing users, purchasing users into upgrade/renewal purchasers, and so on. A custom interface can be build between Drupal and Salesforce.com to work as a feedback mechanism so as Drupal moves your customers through your pipeline, Salesforce.com is triggered to kick off the next marketing campaign. You can do this for every product, program or service your company offers.

My prediction is, with the internet’s reach, the cost of developing websites going down and CRM becoming mainstream, these money machines will be how ALL BUSINESSES will compete in the future.

Wanna build one for your company? I want to help you. Call me.

Best,
Luis
510-914-2372 (*area code from Cal days, I now live and work in SF)
luis@luisphpmysql.com

P.S. What do you think of this posting, feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2011’s List of Top PHP/MySQL Open Source Scripts

January 1, 2012 2 comments

Here is my list of top PHP/MySQL scripts that I was asked most often (in the order of how often I’m asked about them) in 2011. Wanna compare these scripts? Click here.

Top 10 Open Source Scripts of 2011
– Drupal (#1)
– Joomla (#2)
– WordPress (tied #2)
– SugarCRM (tied for #3)
– Saleforce.com (though not open source, used along side open source scripts – tied for #3)
– Magento eCommerce (#4)
– MediaWiki (#5)
– Mambo (#6)
– phpBB2 (#7)
– Dolphin (#8)
– Bugzilla (#9)
– PHPauction (#10)

Honorable Mention
– osCommerce
– Xoops
– ViPER Guestbook
– TYPO3
– SMF
– PHP-Nuke
– Gallery2
– FAQMasterFlex
– Coppermine Photo Gallery
– dotProject
– PHPList
– phpFormgenerator

Top 25 (Drupal) Contributed Modules (version 6.x)
* for complete list of modules/themes available (in Drupal) see right nav – FREE “Cheat Sheets”

- Views
– Content Construction Kit (CCK)
– Token
– Pathauto
– Administration menu
– FileField
– ImageAPI
– ImageField
– ImageCache
– Date
– Google Analytics
– Wysiwyg
– IMCE
– Webform
– Chaos tool suite
– jQuery UI
– CAPTCHA
– Poormanscron
– Advanced Help
– Nodewords
– Link
– Lightbox2
– Image
– Backup and Migrate
– jQuery Update

Happy New Year!!!
Luis
510-914-2372 (*area code from Cal days, I now live and work in SF)
luis@luisphpmysql.com

Have a web idea? – STEP 1…you need a good spec!

December 3, 2011 2 comments

WEB 101

Help me…help you…
-Jerry McGuire

Thru my ads (go Craigslist!) I get a lot of requests for quotes to build the next NEXT BIG THING (the NEXT facebook, youtube, myspace, etc.) Most folks have really great ideas but are not sure how to articulate their ideas to engage developers, get accurate time/cost estimates, find investors, build a team, etc.

Here’s an example of an email I recently received…

‘Hey Luis, great CL ad. I want to build a website that does everything youtube does, but instead of videos, I want people to enter their music. How much?’

Yikes!

If you have a web idea (even if you are not a web programmer) you need to have a good spec to get everyone on your team on the ‘same page’ (literally!) In Hollywood, to make a movie, you need a good script. During the dot-com era, to build a dot-com, you needed a good business plan. In today’s Web 2.0 era, where it’s all about the IDEA (not necessarily the amount of money you invest, can you say Twitter…), you need a good spec!


What does a good spec have?
You can go crazy with specs. In a prior life, I worked for a large insurance company’s IT department, where the specs were so big and thick, (as a developer) I couldn’t tell what they were trying to build sometimes. It got lost in the pages. You don’t need to have a big thick spec to get your idea across, it just needs to have three things that are well thought out:

1) Site Map – a sitemap is a spreadsheet, word document, even a piece of paper with all the pages on your site and how they link from the Home page. It should look like a HIERARCHY with the home page on the top, all the pages the home page links to on the second level, all the pages from those pages on the next level on so. This is important because it tells you (and everyone you need to support your web idea) how many pages your site has and how they are linked to each other. Here’s an example:

2) Page “Wireframes” – for each page in your site map, you need to have some kind of a drawing that describes VISUALLY, what’s on that page. If you know how to use a graphic program like Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, great!…use that. If you don’t, you can also use MS Word, Excel or even a paper and pencil (use a ruler and write neatly) to draw up the page. Don’t worry about colors, fonts, etc. What’s more important, it needs to have all the components of the page in a visual. Here’s an example:

3) Page Narrative – for each wireframe, write a short NARRATIVE description (bullets okay) of what the page does. Don’t be technical! This should be an easy to read description, so that everyone can understand what the page does. It can be brief but needs to be complete.



How many pages?
Budget one or two pages for the site map, a page for each mockup and a page for each narrative. In other words a 10 page site should have a little more than 10 pages.


“User Stories”
Test your spec by writing down a complete list of scenarios of how people will be using your new site. These are called “user stories” in some software development methodologies (scrum, agile, etc), “use cases” in others. Here are examples of user stories:

- New user registering for account
– Existing user updating their information on the account
– New user purchasing something
– Existing user purchasing something
– Existing user returning something
– etc…

For each user story, walk thru your wireframes and make sure all the pages, entry fields, links, buttons your users will need to complete the story is in your spec.


No lose ends!
Final step, tie up all lose ends. The common thing about bad movie scripts, bad business plans and bad specs is they have lose ends. In a spec that means, features that are inconsistent with other features, features that are mentioned but not detailed out, etc. Tie up those lose ends and you’ll have a great spec that anyone can work with!


Need help with this? I have examples, just email me. Also need someone to do this for you? I write specs too!


What do you think about my definition of a good spec? Send me your comments.

Best,
Luis
510-914-2372 (*area code from Cal days, I now live and work in SF)
luis@luisphpmysql.com



*sorry about the top subheading…Jerry McGuire is difficult not to quote…

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