Peter Neal

By Peter Neal

I'm a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

Find old P32s Sage One Payroll

Sometimes things are just not that easy to find in Sage One Payroll. We’re doing our end of year accounts and filing for 2014/15 at the office today and I had missed a few P32s across the year (not filed or printed – bad boy) so I thought it’d be really straightforward to find… which I suppose it is if you know where to look (just don’t ask Sage Help).

Find Previous P32s

Go to the Pay tab and at the bottom of the page you will see a table with all of your payroll months, you can just click on a month and access the appropriate P32 as you would following a normal payroll run…

Find Sage One P32s

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

WordPress Plugins: Smushit

wp smushit

People seem to have real problems with working with images and this is where WP-Smushit comes into play. Even if you don’t know how to properly optimise your images, if they’re under 1MB (assuming you’re a cheapskate and not paying for the plugin) then this will handle it for you. Simples.

wp-smushit
This is the benefit I got, less than 5%, but 5% is 5%. Every little helps.
I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

WordPress Plugins: Lightbox

I’ve used the wp-jQuery-Lightbox plugin for many years now, it makes images look nice on wordpress and effectively creates galleries out of individual images embedded in a page.

wp-jquery-lightbox

I’ve become a little complacent in recent months though, given that Jetpack enables pretty, nice, lightbox galleries; it doesn’t however do this for individual images. So wp-jQuery-Lightbox is a must.

Once installed. The only option I check is: Shrink large images to fit smaller screens, which makes it more compatible with mobile devices.

Anyhow, you can find it here, courtesy of Ulf Benjaminsson. Flattr him here.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

com.apple.lsdschemes.plist error in console

Problems, problems, problems. Sometimes your Mac is just sluggish and when you head over to the console to see what’s up you stumble across a weird, inexplicable issue like this:

LaunchServices: Could not store lsd-identifiers file at /private/var/db/lsd/com.apple.lsdschemes.plist error in console

The fix is relatively simple, navigate to the folder:

/private/var/db/

and then create the lsd folder and it will go away (you will need to enter your admin password).

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

Waiting Lists on Eventbrite

Benjamin Zephaniah
Our event An Audience with Benjamin Zephaniah

So this Saturday my work will be hosting a pair of events in partnership with Teesside University: An Audience with Benjamin Zephaniah and Words and Dub with Dennis Bovell and Benjamin Zephaniah. These are two very different style events: the first an intimate talk with the artist, it’s a ticketed event with a strictly limited number of spaces; the second is a concert featuring a range of artists, open to the public for which we’ve been running a RSVP list solely to give us an idea of numbers.

For both events we’ve deployed eventbrite, but it’s the management of the first event where we’ve been able to explore the full feature set for. With only 60 tickets we held half and the university held half, ours being managed by eventbrite (and publically facing) the University’s being managed by the amazingly capable Jane (if I’d thought it through more we could of used the multi event manager feature of eventbrite). Anyhow both allocation of tickets sold out pretty quick. And that’s where eventbrite’s waiting lists stepped in.

Setting it up

This is such a useful feature and can be enabled from the event page under

Order Options > Waitlist

Once you’ve enabled the Waitlist you’ll see two more options appear:

  • Waitlist Settings
  • Manage Waitlist

I went with the basic options:

  • Waitlist Trigger: When “Ticket” sells out.
  • Maximum Waitlist Size: 0 – which = unlimited
  • Attendee Information to Collect: Full Name, Email Address, Phone Number
  • Time to Respond: 1 Day – though maybe I should of set this to be less…

I also didn’t change the default email responses.

Eventbrite Waiting List
This is what your event will look like once it’s sold out.

Now what do I do?

But what wasn’t so clear was if the release of tickets (once I’d confirmed a cancellation) would be automatic. I’m still not sure, but you can however, force the release of a ticket to a specific member of your waiting list. To do this:

  • Go to Manage Waitlist
  • Select someone from the list and then click release ticket

And eventbrite will then get in touch with the attendee by email and they’ll have until the “Time to Respond” elapses before they lose the opportunity and the ticket is released back to you. Fab. No chasing. No calling. It just works.

More information can be found from eventbite here.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

coreduetd process run amock in El Capitan

Runaway processes are the bane of a functioning Mac; you find them in the console in their thousands when things go wrong. I’ve had a particular problem recently with the coreduetd process. Thanks to Gordon Mackay I’ve now a solution:

1. In the Finder menu choose Go -> Go to Folder… – or cmd + shift + G
2. Type: “/var/db/coreduet”
3. Delete everything in that folder
4. Restart – I skipped this part to no harm

Phew.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk

WordPress Cleanup: Database Optimisation

So the database is the most dangerous place non-experienced/non-technical users can mess around in. And I’m certainly not comfortable rolling around in there. So you have to be cautious and if you’re going to hand this responsibility over to someone else then you need to be sure they can be relied upon. So I proceed with caution, as should you.

I spent a lot of time googling, reading guides on database optimisation, etc and I finally I came across the oddly named Optimise Database after Deleting Revisions plugin now this only has 60,000+ installs acording to wordpress, whereas the WP-Optimise plugin had 400,000+ installs, however it was updated less than a month ago as opposed to over 7 months ago for the more popular plugin and that worries me.

Optimize Database after deleting Revisions

I generally won’t install a plugin without an official release via wordpress but I also like to have a read of the developers page and the more detailed that is, the more comfortable I feel. Finding video reviews by other bloggers, such as below, is also reassuring:

So suitably reassured I went ahead and installed the plugin.

Selecting Settings

The plugin is reassuringly neat and well behaved installing two menu options:

  • Plugin settings in: Settings > Optimise Database
  • and Tools (run the plugin) in: Tools > Optimise Database

This is even more re-assuring. I really can’t stand wordpress plugins that clutter up your dashboard menu, after all they’re mostly plugins rather than entire feature sets.

I opted for a relatively simple setup:

  • Maximum number of – most recent – revisions to keep per post / page: 3
  • Delete trashed items: YES
  • Delete spammed items: YES
  • Delete unused tags: YES
  • Delete expired transients: YES
  • Delete pingbacks and trackbacks: NO
  • Keep a log: YES
  • Number of excluded tables: 0

I decided not to schedule optimisation. With something that can screw your entire installation I think you should opt for manual control, plus it means you can always – and you always should – backup your solution before you run any optimisation (in case you need to restore it). I also wouldn’t run it just after I’ve updated wordpress, particularly a full digit update, without checking for an update to the plugin.

So here are my Results

  • 587 post revisions from 75 posts; I selected to keep a minimum of 3 revisions per post.
  • No TRASHED ITEMS found to delete.
  • No SPAMMED ITEMS found to delete
  • No UNUSED TAGS found to delete
  • 7 expired transients deleted
  • 1 Postmeta Orphans deleted

Size of the Database

  • 7.229 MB BEFORE optimization
  • 5.372 MB AFTER optimization

So I saved 1.857 MB or 25 percent of the size of my database for a process that took 1.4988 seconds. And this was just on my site, on my work site I saved 7.007 MB more than 50 percent of the size of that database!

Thanks

Thanks of course to Rolf van Gelder of CAGE Web Design for writing the plugin in the 1st place. Without people like this the wordpress community wouldn’t thrive.

I’m a small business consultant enabling small business owners to achieve sustainable growth, whilst working part-time at Tees Valley Arts. For more about me personally see peterneal.co.uk