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cubicFUSION

cubicFUSION is my personal development playground. I always planned to make many of my projects public, but time is limited and running customer projects a priority.

I am still doing a big cleanup of my toolset and will see what I can actually share or reuse. Some of these might be useful, inspiration or just an archive of broken ideas  ;)

Admin Enhancer

The first public release is cubicFUSION Admin Enhancer. This is a free toolbox that adds useful admin features and resources to help you tweak the WordPress administration. I am always looking for ways to easily white-label the experience for my customers.

The first addon SHORTCODES converts all admin dashboard widgets to simple shortcodes. You can use those shortcodes within Elementor Pro or any other page builder, that allows you to create custom admin dashboards. This makes it easy to build white-label dashboards, while still reusing all those nice dashboard widgets :)

The plugin can be downloaded from the
Projects page or directly from the
WordPress Repository.

Enjoy!
Alex


Available Admin Dashboard Solutions

Dashboard Welcome for Elementor (Free)

“Dashboard Welcome by PowerPack Elements gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Elementor.

You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Elementor. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.

Dashboard Welcome for Beaver Builder (Free)

“Welcome by Beaver Addons gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Beaver Builder.

You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Beaver Builder. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.”

Divi Dashboard Welcome ($22)

“Divi Dashboard Welcome is a revolutionary plugin that FINALLY gives you control over the WordPress Dashboard Welcome screen for yours and your client sites.

This means you can get rid of the default WordPress “getting started” content, and add your own branding, or your client’s branding. This allows you to upsell your additional services, create a client support hub, provide useful links or videos, and so much more!”

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1. Build your own little cloud

Everybody seems to be searching for ways to integrate digital communication into their home-office environments or client/customer workflows. But many are not willing to pay huge monthly fees or rely on services like Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Slack.

For smaller teams meetings, or webinars for people up to 6, their is an alternative! You can easily use Nextcloud and its integrated Talk application for chat & webrtc video/audio streaming capabilities. Combined with the calendar app this becomes a very effective and low-cost solution.

2. Nextcloud Talk

Nextcloud Talk is a fully self hosted audio/video and chat communication service. It features web and mobile apps and is designed to offer the highest degree of security while being easy to use.

Talk makes it easy to call customers and partners in one-to-one or group-scenarios. Users can invite external chat participants with an URL into public rooms. The chat enables participants to easily exchange messages, links and notes.

Share the content of a single window or a full desktop screen for presentations with chat-partners. Manage participants by inviting, muting or removing them. Schedule meetings and be notified when they start. A lobby is provided for guests to wait until the call starts.

Calls are end-to-end encrypted so no communication can be intercepted. Chat logs are stored securely on your own server.

The peer to peer nature of Talk does inflate network traffic, creating one incoming and sending stream per other participant. This places practical limitations on calls that depend on network capabilities.

A typical private Nextcloud Talk setup should handle dozens of calls with each up to 4-6 participants, more if all participants have a good network connection.

Github

3. All the benefits of using Nextcloud & Talk

  • 100% open source
  • Self-hosted so no leaking of metadata
  • Encrypted, peer-to-peer audio/video calls
  • WebRTC for cross-platform support
  • Individual and group calls & chat
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Easy screen sharing
  • Mobile calls & chat with push notifications
  • Commands to enable integration with other tools
  • Webinars & public web meetings

4. Setting up Nextcloud

Nextcloud is part of many hosting offers and can often be installed with one single click. You will also find hosting providers, that are specialised on Nextcloud hosting and offer you a preinstalled setup to use.

But any decent hosting setup should be enough to roll out your own. Setting up Nextcloud is really easy, as it offers a simple guided installation process.

If you need help setting up your own private instance, get in touch and we can work something out. Depending on your server setup and apps you want, it should not take longer than 60-90 minutes to get it up and running.

Alex, Contact Me

5. STUN / TURN Server

Nextcloud Talk tries to establish a direct peer-to-peer (P2P) connection, thus on connections beyond the local network (behind a NAT or router), clients do not only need to know each others public IP, but the participants local IPs as well. Processing this, is the job of a STUN server. As there is one preconfigured for Nextcloud Talk, still nothing else needs to be done.

But in many cases, e.g. in combination with firewalls or symmetric NAT, a STUN server will not work as well, and then a so called TURN server is required. Now no direct P2P connection is established, but all traffic is relayed through the TURN server, thus additional (at least internal) traffic and resources are used.

Nextcloud Talk will try direct P2P in the first place, use STUN if needed and TURN as last resort fallback. Thus to be most flexible and guarantee functionality of your Nextcloud Talk instance in all possible connection cases, you most properly want to setup a TURN server. COTurn is an open source solution, that offers just that.

If you need to setup your own TURN Server I can help. There are pretty cost effective ways, to host your own.

Alex, Contact Me

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Heidelpay

ENGLISH: The heidelpay Group is one of the fastest growing German tech companies for international payment transactions. Founded by Mirko Hüllemann in 2003, the company relies on its own innovative solutions such as the secured invoice purchase, purchase by instalments, direct debit and online bank transfers. In addition, heidelpay also cooperates with more than 200 well-known providers of credit cards and wallet solutions.

As a payment institute approved by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin and with over 16 years of experience in e-commerce and at the POS in its favour, the heidelpay Group enables companies of all sizes to make payments worldwide. The full-service payment service provider covers the entire spectrum of electronic payment processing: from processing, procurement, monitoring and risk management to accounts receivable management. Its fully scalable and modular solutions are used by 30,000 national and international customers. The various payment methods are available for e-commerce, m-commerce and stationary points of sale. “

GERMAN: Die heidelpay Group ist eines der am stärksten wachsenden, deutschen Tech-Unternehmen für den internationalen Zahlungsverkehr. Das von Mirko Hüllemann im Jahr 2003 gegründete Unternehmen setzt dabei auf innovative, eigene Lösungen, wie Rechnung, Ratenkauf, Lastschrift und Online-Überweisung. Daneben arbeitet heidelpay mit über 200 namhaften Anbietern von Kreditkarten oder Wallet-Lösungen zusammen.

Als von der Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) zugelassenes Zahlungsinstitut mit über 16 Jahren Erfahrung im E-Commerce und am POS zu seinen Gunsten ermöglicht die heidelpay-Gruppe Unternehmen jeder Größenordnung den weltweiten Zahlungsverkehr. Der Full-Service-Payment-Dienstleister deckt das gesamte Spektrum der elektronischen Zahlungsabwicklung ab: von der Abwicklung über die Beschaffung, Überwachung und das Risikomanagement bis hin zum Forderungsmanagement. Die voll skalierbaren, modularen Lösungen werden von 30.000 nationalen und internationalen Kunden genutzt. Für E- Commerce, M-Commerce und den stationären Point of Sale stehen die verschiedenen Zahlungsmethoden zur Verfügung.

Heidelpay Academy


ENGLISH: On March 19th I took part in the Heidelpay Academy, to be able to support my customers in the integration of all innovative solutions offered by Heidelpay.

I have been a partner since last year and have already integrated direct debit via Heidelpay for a customer.

GERMAN: Am 19.03. habe ich an der Heidelpay Academy teilgenommen, um meinen Kunden in der Zukunft verstärkt bei der Einbindung der innovativen Lösungen von Heidelpay zu unterstützen.

Ich bin schon seit letztem Jahr Partner und habe bereits für einen Kunden das Lastschriftverfahren über Heidelpay integriert.

Heidelpay Academy

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AD Performance is your agency for professional web design,
highly profitable online marketing & sales consulting.

I helped redesign and shape the new look & feel. Lars Haupt knows his way around Elementor, that is why it was used to build out the complete website.

Logo was designed by me, Videos and Images optimized and a couple of specific plugins setup and integrated.

I wish Lars Haupt best of luck with his new home on the web!

AD Performance

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21. December 2019

Merry Christmas

Time to slow down and enjoy some time with family & friends.


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

“Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All the best wishes.

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18. November 2019

Structured Data – I love it!

You might have heard about Structured Data, Schema.org and JSON-LD.  

Search engines read structured data and use it to enhance search engine results. Structured data helps search engines to understand and categorize page content.

Example

This structured data, in JSON-LD format, describes a simple Article.

Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet. But not all structured data endpoints are actually used by Google, Bing or other search engines yet.

Allowed Structured Data

Google provides a detailed overview of structured data allowed and used for search results.

There are basic enhancements you can use, like the Article structured data above. There are also many other more specific uses, like Video, LocalBusiness, Events, FAQ, Job Postings, Recipe and so on. Bing also provides a basic overview, but their documentation is scattered and feels incomplete.

How to integrate Structured Data

If you use a modern CMS, many structured data endpoints are already integrated out of the box (Article, Website, Logo, Person …).

Also modular content management systems often offer additional functionality through plugins, those help integrate structured data directly. Some do it better than others!

But if you really want to dive deep and integrate all those little things, structured data is still far more powerful when added manually. Especially things like events, products, job listings, courses, Q&A can greatly be enhanced by hand.

Alex@portalZINE

Validating Structured Data

Google and Bing offer validation tools for structured data. Both integrate it into their Webmaster Tools. You can also use the JSON-LD Playground to validate the JSON-LD itself or RDFa Play, Structured Data Linter, Facebook Debugger, Schema.org Generator and many other tools.

Need help?

I am a huge structured data fan and have been working with it for years now. I am constantly looking for new supported structured data endpoints, to enhance my own or customer websites & data.

Google constantly updates their documentation and highlights experimental structured data endpoints. Like Speakable for example, that highlights sections of a websites that are best suited for audio playback.

Fresh structured data helps to promote your content and enhance SEO, directly enhancing your discoverability and your search engine position. Your content becomes more meaningful for search engines, making it easier for them to promote it to the right potential user. It also ties into the GO GREEN concept, as you are reducing bounces of your website for users getting offered the wrong content.

Things like recipes and how-tos are already pushed to the top of the search index. A perfect way to promote your website and get noticed.

Have fun using or discovering structured data!

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16. November 2019

Building Low Carbon Websites

I signed the Sustainable Web Manifesto a couple of weeks ago. The manifesto perfectly reflects how I have been handling my business and my projects.

I created a special “GO GREEN” subsection to talk about the topic in more detail and give you some more context about the areas I can help you with.

We all share and use the web, just as we all share and live on this planet. This manifesto is a public declaration of a shared commitment to create a sustainable internet.

https://www.sustainablewebmanifesto.com/
  1. CLEAN –  The services we provide and services we use will be powered by renewable energy.
  2. EFFICIENT –  The products and services we provide will use the least amount of energy and material resources possible.
  3. OPEN – The products and services we provide will be accessible, allow for the open exchange of information, and allow users to control their data.
  4. HONEST – The products and services we provide will not mislead or exploit users in their design or content.
  5. REGENERATIVE –  The products and services we provide will support an economy that nourishes people and planet.

“If we embrace sustainability in our work, we can create a web that is good for people and planet.”

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ConCoquo is a local cooking – school. Klaus Walter is a dedicated chef, who has been teaching for more than 15 yeas. Anyone can book one of the courses for himself, as a gift or for a group of people.

I helped update the websites design for 2020, updated the course listing and booking / contact integration. The new backend offers easy course and event creation now.

The website has new structured data for each offered cooking event, providing more food for the search giants!

What Klaus Walter has to say: “During our cooking evenings, you will experience how high-quality foods are transformed into a star-level menu. In a relaxed atmosphere I pass on tips and tricks of the star kitchen and you will see how well the dishes can be cooked at home. At the long table in the kitchen we enjoy the jointly cooked menu to which I recommend you the wine from my wine cellar. You can choose a cooking evening from the dates below.”

Concept & Design by GREENTONIC

ConCoquo – Kochschule Klaus Walter

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The most important aspect of a modern website, beside its unique design, is size & speed, as most of the traffic is consumed by mobile visitors. GREENTONIC and I help customers to build modern websites, that are slim, fast, sustainable, while still integrating all that the modern web has to offer.

GREENTONIC‘s key concept is sustainability, which encompasses consulting, concept, design and implementation. I have a close relationship with the agency and have done a couple of projects with and for them.

GO GREEN – Fakten und Wissen zu energieeffizienten Websites

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Together with my partners in crime (Dorit & Micha), we have finally opened our own personal online store.

We have been selling our single origin coffees (1st Single Malt Whisky Coffee, Basic – Single Origin Arabica, Kill me Quick Espresso -Single Origin Robusta), teas (Kräuterschorle – Kräutertee, Feuerkieker – Schwarztee) and rum (Fortune Teller – Double Aged Barbados Rum) using the Amazon Marketplace for the past 2 years.

No more Amazon

GreenApe has been a side project for the past years and I never wanted to deal with the maintenance of our own store. But its time to move on and do our own thing. Amazon has removed so many useful features over the years or added a new fee on top of other fees. Even though Amazon provides access to a large amount of customers, for small companies the fees build up quickly.

Our own

With our own store we can finally do bundles, coupons again and better optimized shipping. It will also allow me to better testdrive some new interesting features for my customers ;) Yeah its kind of my new toy or shopping lab! Its fun being able to work on untested new SEO features, structured data, merchant tools, shopping ads and tracking of all of those.

Locations

We have been selling in Germany for the past 2 years, but that might be changing in the future depending how well the new store shapes up :)

If you live in Germany, love good coffee, tee or rum … say Hi!

GreenApe – Makes Your Life Better
Homepage
Shop
Contact us

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