How To


Shipping Address Missing from WooCommerce Order

By | How To | One Comment

I was recently contacted by a client with the question, ‘Why is the Shipping Address not appearing in Orders that were manually entered in WooCommerce?’

Initially I chalked it up to the fact that I had recently updated WooCommerce (a regular activity) and I had somehow broken their installation.  Turns out, this was not the case.


WooCommerce needs a Shipping Line item (even if it’s $0) in order to display a shipping address.  So the solution to this problem is relatively simple:

1. Add a New Line Item to the Order

2. Select ‘Add Shipping Cost’

3. Save the Order

4. The Shipping Address will now appear on the Invoice and Delivery Note.


Happy WooCommercing!

OS X Tip: Hide Current Window

By | How To, Technology | No Comments

I was messing around on my computer today and randomly clicked the OS X desktop while holding down the Option key.  The current window disappeared.  My old way of doing this was to minimize the window using Cmd + M.

It appears that to quickly hide the current window (in most programs) all you have to do is hold the Option key and left mouse click on the desktop.  Window hidden.

If you have multiple windows open then you’ll have to perform this action multiple times with the window ‘active.’  It will not work if you see ‘Finder‘ in the title bar.

Hex to Pantone

By | Design, How To | No Comments

As a designer I’m often finding myself dealing with color.  I say dealing because it’s a big deal if it doesn’t match when printed and it feels like you have to make a deal with your computer just to make this happen.  This post isn’t about getting around all of the hassle, but instead it’s converting from Hex to Pantone. Read More

Where did the Black Nav Bar in Gmail go?

By | How To, Software | No Comments

Do you use Gmail and logged in today only to find that your navigation bar for other Google apps/services was missing? Took me a minute, but found the answer so thought I’d share.



Turns out that Google thought they’d get some screen real estate back in your browser window and replace the black nav bar with a single button. If you use Chrome, you’ll find a similar button on the far left of your bookmarks bar and is labeled ‘Apps.’


A Photo Lesson: f/1.4 vs. f/5.6

By | How To, Photography | No Comments

Thought I’d post about f/1.4 (wider) vs. f/5.6 (narrower) lens apertures. I’m not going to get into the science behind this, but instead show a practical difference in how your photos will look.

If you look at the image above you’ll see a fairly sizable difference. Here are some more details:


– blurred background (known as bokeh)
– darkened image borders (known as vignette)


– sharper background (wider area in focus = wider depth of field)
– corner exposure more uniform (less vignette)

Why use f/1.4?

This setting means your aperture is wide open on your lens. This will let in the maximum amount of light and result in a very shallow depth of field (high bokeh). This is a perfect setting if you want your subject to really stand out and you want to get that ‘artistic’ look of a photograph. It’s also great in really low light as you can keep your ISO low and your shutter speed fast. I really like to use this when taking portraits.

Note: not all lenses can go to f/1.4. As a matter of fact, most lenses can only go as wide as F/3.5. I think it’s worth the investment to get a lens that can achieve f/2.8 or wider and you’ll be able to achieve these nice photographic styles.


Why use f/5.6?

I used f/5.6 as the example in this post because it just happened to be what I shot today, but for all purposes this could be any of the smaller apertures like f/8, f/10, f/11, and above.


I use the smaller apertures if I want to capture the background because it’s just as interesting as the subject; or it happens to be the subject. Definitely use f/8 and smaller if you’re shooting landscapes.

A couple more thoughts

If you’re shooting with a larger sensor camera (e.g., full frame or APS-C) you will likely still find a nice background blur at f/5.6.

The closer you are to your subject, the narrower your depth of field will be. This is true for all apertures, but is more pronounced the wider you have you lens open (smaller aperture numbers).

Having “File Permission” Issues with WordPress on your VPS?

By | How To, I'm a Nerd, Website, Wordpress | 5 Comments

When I first installed WordPress on my new VPS server I wasn’t able to upload photos. All I saw was this.

‘An error occurred in the upload. Please try again later.’ Ok.

I did a lot of reading, but couldn’t really find anything. I knew that if I set my folder permissions to 777 that it would do the trick, but I also knew this wasn’t the right solution as this effectively makes it so anyone can access that folder.

End of the day I contact the service folks at my service provider Knownhost who gave me an excellently easy solution in their response. Their service team is awesome.

This is actually a known issue with WordPress using mod_php (DSO) as the PHP handler; in essence, your files (owned by your account) have limited permissions to the webserver (the account “nobody” on a cPanel server) which actually executes PHP code. The better solution (not 777 permissions) is to change the PHP handler to SuPHP, which causes PHP scripts to be run as your account (not as nobody) and thus prevent this issue. You can find an overview of the various common PHP handlers at which does specifically address the problem of uploads via PHP script while using DSO.

In shared hosting environments (like DreamHost, who I gather you recently left), SuPHP is by far more common as it prevents certain potential server compromises (related to the fact that under DSO PHP scripts are executed using an account other than your own; especially coupled with 777 permissions, it’s possible for an attacker to modify or inject a PHP script to run arbitrary code, and then gain access to every file which the webserver user can access). We default to DSO on our VPS’s simply because it’s much faster (when used appropriately).

There you have it. I flipped one setting in WHM and everything was working beautifully again.


To do this: Access WHM > Go to Service Configuration > Configure PHP and suEXEC > Change your PHP handler to suphp. Save.

Massive Denial-of-Service Attack on Apple

By | How To, I'm a Nerd, Technology | No Comments

In the form of iOS 7 downloads, that is.

For those who didn’t know, the high anticipated iOS 7 was released for your i gadgets just a few short hours ago. The problem is that it appears that a lot of other people know this too and has effectively killed the ability to update due to service availability errors.

If you’re like me, you’ll be able to download the software, but upon installing and verifying the update you’ll receive an error message: “Software Update Unavailable.” It doesn’t mean it won’t work later, but for now the millions of folks with iPhones and iPads are launching an unintended denial-of-service attack on Apple.

Since you’ll be waiting a few hours, might as well remember the following before updating:
1. Update to iTunes 11.1: take advantage of the new iTunes Radio and have the ability to download the software to your computer if you’re having problems directly in your device. I couldn’t find this on Apple’s site so I got mine by following the link here:
2. Back up your iPhone/iPad: You never know if the update will kill your data.

If you get permissions errors after installing iTunes 11.1 (like I did):

1. Quit iTunes
2. Open the ‘Disk Utility’ program
3. Select your hard drive from the list on the left side. It’ll be the second one in the list, most likely labeled ‘HD.’
4. Select the ‘First Aid’ tab in the window area on the right. This will most likely already be selected.
5. Click the ‘Repair Disk Permissions’
6. Wait
7. Once the process is complete, Quit the ‘Disk Utility’ program.
8. Restart your computer
9. Enjoy!

[thank you to flickr user johnwayne2006 for the rotten apple image]