Image of a meter showing quality levels
Image of a meter showing quality levels

When you post something on the Facebook WordPress group on Christmas Eve about the poor quality of plug-ins and it gets 131 reactions and 118 comments within a few hours, basically all in agreement, you know you are not alone in how you feel.

The post in question was about the poor quality of far too many WordPress plug-ins, including paid for premium plug-ins, not just free ones.

To be clear from the outset, I’ll continue to refer to plug-ins throughout this but I also mean themes and all other WordPress products, services and add-ons.

I’d been meaning to write something about this for a while, but I’ve been busy non-stop with a new WooCommerce site and my main business for months.

It’s clear from my own experience, and validated by many other people in the Facebook discussion on Christmas Eve, that too many…


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Are you ready to move away from Adobe but tied in to a 12-month contract? Don’t want to pay a large fee just to stop paying them? Read on to find out how you can end your subscription today — at no cost at all.

I’ve used Adobe software for decades.

In the early days it was a pirated copy of Photoshop that was passed around — probably on floppies (Google it).

Adobe, and other similar companies, knew people did this and were generally ok with the situation even if that couldn’t be their official line.

Back in the day…


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As I start writing this, I’m conscious that I may be taking advantage of the followers I’ve gained from my Macbook saga, who are presumably expecting more tech articles.

There will be more, but this isn’t one.

This is about something much more important. Something that affects all of us, in one way or another.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the last 14 years of being a sober alcoholic, it’s that we are everywhere.

And by we, I mean both sober and drinking alcoholics.

In the same way when you get a particular type of car you suddenly…


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Last year I wrote an article about my problems with a 15" late 2016 Macbook Pro with touchbar. It was long. It was angry. And I didn’t expect anyone to read it.

But they did. Nearly two hundred thousand as it turned out. And they still do, every day.

It regularly gets picked up and shared. Comments still get posted.

All this, long after my ordeal is over.

Why has this article proved so popular and why does it continue to be now?

Clearly because for other people their ordeal is still on-going.

One of the points I made in…


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All of us in business want to make more sales, generate more revenue and hopefully make more profit.

But the aims of a business have to align with the needs and expectations of the customer. That’s a fundamental part of the agreement.

As I discussed in my last article — Why I owned a Macbook Pro for a day — and what it says to me about the future of Apple — when you buy a product, you don’t only buy the product itself (or, in the case of software, a licence to use it), you buy the support service…


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Not what I did to my Macbook, but certainly how I felt…

On Saturday I bought a new Macbook Pro with touch bar. And on Sunday I returned it.

The only surprising part of this is the fact I returned it so soon.

I was expecting to keep it for maybe a week. Certainly no more than the 14 day return period Apple offer on all purchases.

You see, I never intended to keep this computer. I basically ‘abused’ their return policy whilst they repaired the second broken MBP I’ve had in a few months.

I don’t feel great about it, but I don’t feel too bad either considering my experience with…


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There’s nothing like death to ruin a good day. And this was a pretty great day.

I was working in the mountains of Malaga on a beautiful, hot, summer afternoon.

Alternating between the relatively cool workshop to drill or cut metal, and the warmth of the shaded veranda where I was assembling my project and, perhaps more often, puzzling over the next ‘design’ decision.

My peace was shattered by a Facebook notification on my phone. It was a message from a friend who I’ll just call B.

I’d known B online for a few years. I knew he had problems…


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You only get one life.

Two’s company, three’s a crowd. There’s no room in a relationship for excessive alcohol.

I tried to stop drinking — and failed — about four times. This time, so far so good.

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere. And?

If I hadn’t stopped drinking, I’d possibly be six-feet under by now.

The Seven Deadly Sins are almost compulsory for alcoholics. Not always by choice. Now I can choose my sins.

One over the eight was normal. It may as well have been just called nine.

I used to think three score and ten would be a good…


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I recently spent a lovely few days in Manchester with my girlfriend and my wife.

Don’t worry, that’s the same person — we were there to get married.

The trip was wonderful, but it did confirm that being treated as both an adult and a non-drinker can sometimes be very difficult.

We held our wedding at Manchester’s beautiful Town Hall. As part of the package all the guests had prosecco for the welcome and for the toast, and wine for the table. In addition we had a free bar.

Now here’s the issue: there were no adult alcohol-free alternatives.

We…


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Joseph Ducreux [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This year I’ve seen amazing growth, unlike any year before.

No, I’m not talking business, although we did have a record year.

No, I mean in my body.

It’s quite an incredible transformation. I spent my childhood and adult life until my 30s slightly underweight. I was known for being very thin. And I always wanted to put weight on.

Try as I may, nothing worked. I could eat literally anything I wanted (well, anything I had permission to eat, I didn’t go around eating people’s pets, or parts of airplanes like the oddballs on kids’ TV in the days…

John Risby

MD of The Alcohol-Free Shop (www.alcoholfree.co.uk). Proud father, husband and sometimes author of incredibly long articles. Malaga, Spain. Manchester, UK.

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