Category Archives: tutorials

Effective Ad Campaign: deciding your max bid for Google Adsense price per click (PPC)?

Are you looking to create an effective ad campaign? That can be a long worth while conversation. In this article, I’m going to focus on one aspect of creating an effective ad campaign: How do you know what to bid in Google Adsense for your max bid? Its a simple equation:

 PPC = M * WCR * ROI

If that makes sense to you, then you are all set and don’t need to read the rest of this post… Otherwise, continue reading.

In my experience, the max bid is a question that most small businesses don’t ask until they are filling out the Adsense forms for their ad. That’s easy to understand, there are a lot of things to consider when spending capitol to enhance your business, but in truth this one question that will determine how effective your campaign will be and the equation above will determine the right price point.

There are a few things you must know to make the right decision. Some are obvious and easy to determine like the sale price of your product and your costs to produce it. A more difficult number is your website conversation rate. This is the number of people that actually buy your product verses the number of people that see your site.

You also need to consider your return on investment. For every dollar you spend in advertising, you are going to want to earn that dollar back plus… what? Ten percent? Fifty percent? That would be your ROI.

Ok – lets run some numbers. Lets say your product sells for $15 and costs you $10. Your margin (M) is $5. You look at your site traffic and see your website conversation rate is 2%. And you already know you want a 50% return on your money or $1.50 for every $1 you spend. Great; now lets plug in the numbers to the equation:

PPC = $5 * 0.02 * 0.50

Your max bid for a click on a Google Ad is $0.05. In this case, Google Ads don’t make sense for you since a bid of five cents won’t put you on the page! Your numbers will be different of course.

PCI Compliance

If you have a server that is involved in eCommerce – you MUST be PCI complaint.  Here are a few steps to get a virtual private server running cpanel/whm PCI complaint:

Disable TRACE or TRACK method

  1. Access your Web Hosting Manager (WHM)
  2. Under Service Configuration, click the link for Apache Configuration
  3. Click the Global Configuration link
  4. The second option is TraceEnable.  Set this to OFF.
  5. Restart Apache

Disable weak ciphers

I logged into my WHM (11.24) > Apache Configuration > Global Configuration, and here is a direct cut and paste:


More to come…

iptables – quick how to block a port (and save it)

If you don’t know what iptables are – don’t bother reading this post.

I had a recent issue with the vncserver on my virtual private server – I don’t use the service and wouldn’t have turned it on, however the hosting provided I acquired the vps from included it in their base build, enabled and listening on both ports 5902 and 5903.  I turned the service off (using ‘chkconfig vncserver off’).  But, ever after that – my server was still responding to ports 5902 and 5903.

Ok – so if its not vncserver – I don’t know what it is.  But ‘netstat -tp’ didn’t reveal anything listening on those ports.  So rather than waste a lot of time trying to figure it out – I figured I would take the easy route and block the port.  This is how I did it:

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 5902 -j DROP
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 5903 -j DROP

I derived those commands from here: using input from Goran.

Ok – telnet to those ports no longer responds – great!  But then I rebooted the server (actually I just restarted iptables using ‘service iptables restart’).  Now my server is replying to those ports again.  DOH!

I realized I need to save the firewall rules after I ran them.  I read a lot about exporting and importing the rules using iptables-save and iptables-restore – but this seemed like overkill.  I finally found this:

‘service iptables save’

Volla – worked like a champ!  Hope it helps you!

How to set different prices for each store view in Magento

If you have more than one Magento website (say a wholesale site for retailer clients and a retail site for consumers) you may find yourself wanting to set one price for site A and a different price for site B.  Here is how:

Step 1.  In the Admin panel, goto System, Configuration, Catalog, then Price.

Step 2. Change Price from Global to Website.

Step 3. You should see “Website” on the price page for the product now, instead of “Global”.

Step 4. For each product you want to set different prices on – select the product, then in the upper left corner you will see the option to chose your store view.  Select the first store

Step 5. Set the price for the first store and click “Save and Continue Editing”

Step 6. Select the store view for your second store and set the price for that store

Step 7. Repeat step 6 until all of your store have the prices you want.

How to get emails from yourself using gmail and pop3

Google rocks in many ways – including gmail… but after moving a few of my clients to google hosted mail ( hosted using gmail servers), I ran into a snag.  Its not actually something I would have expected to ever hear… The actually call went like this:

Client: “I’m not getting all of my mail”

me: “Ok, what do you mean?”

Client: “I mean, not all of my mail is coming to my outlook”

me: “how do you know you are missing mail”

Client: “When I email myself, I don’t get the email – so I’m not getting all of my mail”

The first thing I did was log into the website and looked at the email online – and all of the emails the client sent to himself were there (I think there were over 10).  I can understand why the client came to the conclusion that email was missing, but it turns out it was only email from him to him.

Google has decided that you don’t actually want to get emails from yourself using pop3.  If you want email from yourself, either log into the website or use IMAP.  Well, my clients like Outlook, so the website is out, and IMAP puts their email in a new folder structure below the personal folders where they are used to getting it – not to mention the how the folder structure works with the label system gmail:  my clients just don’t like it.  So, it has to be pop and it has to be outlook – and it has to work, including emails to themselves.  I was surprised at how many of my clients called with the same issue.  I thought “Wow, these guys like to talk to themselves alot”…

Anyway… the answer is simple: when setting up outlook, you have to use “Recent Mode”.  Your next question, how do I do that?  Simple, but not intuitive – put “recent:” infront of your email address when you setup outlook.  ***Warning*** if you may end up with duplicate email from the last 30 days of email when you make this change – but if you want email from you to you using pop and gmail – you don’t have a choice.

So, your email address in the outlook email account setting page should look like this:


How to reset your GoDaddy VDED Simple Control Panel Password

After purchasing the GoDaddy virtual dedicated server (VDED) with the simple control panel, I got locked out of the simple control panel.  I could still SSH and FTP, but the simple control panel is a different login and mine wasn’t working.  I had to call support to get the solution – its a simple one and I’m not sure why they don’t just put it in the help center posts but I couldn’t find it there so I put it here… Hope this helps someone from waiting on the phone with support for 30 mins in the middle of the night like I did… Just run the following command from an SSH connection:


Creating HyperLinks in WordPress

This is a brief tutorial regarding how to create a hyperlink in your WordPress Post or Page. First we’ll talk about creating links to other sites – then we’ll talk about creating links to other area’s of your site.

Highlight the text you want to link:

MyLink –> highlightmylink

Click on the linkicon in the editor bar:


You will get a popup window asking for the information regarding where you want to link to:

Insert Link Popup

If you are linking to a page outside of your website – you should put the whole link including the http:// prefix. I also recommend you change the Target from “Open link in the same window” to “Open link in a new window”. This way, your visitors don’t leave your site when they click the link.

Relational Links:

If you are linking to another page on your site, you should only need to include the ‘rest of the link’ after your wordpress root. Why? There are technical reasons like less work on your visitor’s browser and less work on the server where your site is hosted, but here is the one I find to be the most of a hassle: if you ever move your site, relational links will continue to work – full links to your site will reflect the old path and will no longer work. For instance – let’s say, today you have wordpress installed in a subfolder – but you find you want to move it up to the root:

If you link to your about us page in a post using the full link –, when you move your site it will no longer work because the new path to your about us page is now To address that issue, you could update every link in your site, OR use relational links. Instead of linking to – you would like to /about. Now the link is in relation to where your site is – so when you move – it knows where to find the about us page.

You may be thinking, “but I’m never going to move my site…” — and you may not, but I’ve fixed many sites for site owners that had the same thought but found that they did need to move the site for whatever reason.

Now that you are convinced that relational links are the way to go – here’s how to create one:

If I want to link to my about page I would highlight the text –


Click the link icon – and put the Link URL without the http:// prefix or your wordpress root site:

AboutUs Link

In this case – you want the Target to “Open link in the same window” because you aren’t sending visitors to another website – just another great page on your site!