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Laravel DOM-PDF Error – No block-level parent found. Not good.

I received this error when using a system called FusionInvoice. This relates to DOM PDF which is a Laravel vendor to allow PDFs to be created.

Error said something along the lines of  ‘No block-level parent found. Not good.’.

To fix this error, I went to my file structure and edited /vendor/dompdf/dompdf/

Look for:


Replace with:


This should fix the issue

Change Australian mobile numbers to +61 in PHP

Recently, I was using Laravel to build an online ordering system for a restaurant. The website required users to sign up and type in an SMS verification code to activate their account. Using Twilio, we wanting the phone number to come up as the business name instead of a phone number. When signing up though, Twilio required the phone number to be in international format (Eg. +6140122222) instead of 0401222222. So, we faced the dilemma of either using javascript to replace it, or just do it in PHP so that the user will not know any different.

It was really quite easy,

$phone = '0422222222';
$formatted = substr_replace($phone,"+61",0,2);

The phone number will be displayed like +614222222 in the $formatted variable.

Obviously this will work for other countries as well, but might be easier in Australia as we only have one type of mobile number starting with ’04’.

Hope that helps!

WordPress SMTP without any plugins

WordPress is a very good CMS, BUT! I hate plugin bloat. I’ve seen so many websites use a huge amount of plugins to cover every little feature, which contributes to speed issues and can cause problems down the track.

There are heaps of SMTP Plugins for WordPress available so that you can use AMAZON SES , SendGrid, MailGun, etc. The easiest way to set up SMTP is to add this snippet to your functions.php file, this will ensure that WordPress uses SMTP instead of the standard PHP Mail.

Add this to your functions.php file and configure how you need to. Then save it.

add_action( 'phpmailer_init', 'setup_phpmailer_init' );
function setup_phpmailer_init( PHPMailer $phpmailer ) {
    $phpmailer->Host = 'HOSTNAME'; // eg.
    $phpmailer->Port = 587; // could be different
    $phpmailer->Username = 'ENTERUSERNAME'; // SMTP Username
    $phpmailer->Password = 'ENTERPASSWORD'; // SMTP Password
    $phpmailer->SMTPAuth = true; // Set to true if login is required
    $phpmailer->SMTPSecure = 'tls'; // enable if required, 'tls' is another possible value

Hope that helps!

Jquery Date Range – Restrict To and From Dates easily

Recently, I had a request from a client to have a datepicker that restricts dates based on the start date. Using Jquery Datepicker, I created a TO and FROM date, where by:

  • The Start date must be 14 days or more from today
  • The End date must be 7 days after the start date
  • The End date can only be maximum 28 days from today

To do this, I created two fields, one for the start date, one for the end date, then JQUERY did the rest.

To start, download JQUERY UI from here and include it in your project.

<label for="suspstartDatePicker">Start Date</label>
<input type="text" id="suspstartDatePicker" name="suspendfrom" class="form-control-lg" placeholder="Suspend start date">

<label for="suspendDatePicker">End Date</label>
<input type="text" id="suspendDatePicker" name="suspendto" class="form-control-lg" placeholder="Suspend end date">

Then I added Jquery UI Datepicker in the footer of the page, below the JQUERY UI js script.

dateFormat: 'dd/mm/yy',
changeMonth: true,
minDate: '+14',
onSelect: function(selected) {
var date = $(this).datepicker('getDate');
var limit = $(this).datepicker('getDate');
date.setDate(date.getDate() + 7); // Add 7 days
limit.setDate(limit.getDate() + 35); // Add 7 + 28 days
$("#suspendDatePicker").datepicker("option", "minDate", date);
$("#suspendDatePicker").datepicker("option", "maxDate", limit);
dateFormat: 'dd/mm/yy',
changeMonth: true,
multidate: true,

Hope this helps!

Complete installation and set up tutorial for Sendy with Amazon SES

Sendy is an affordable alternative to using the likes of Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor and other cloud based email marketing tools. If you find that you are sending thousands of emails per month and are looking to reduce your spending on email marketing, Sendy is your answer. Sendy isn’t necessarily as aesthetically pleasing and easy to use as some of the cloud solutions, but it is a self hosted solution which requires a one time fee (currently $59 USD) – it then uses Amazon SES to send emails and currently Amazon SES charges $0.10 per 1000 emails. Cool Huh?

Watch the below video and learn how to set it up completely.

Find out more about Sendy & Purchase

Simple WordPress User Restriction Tutorial without using Plugins

When you need to restrict users in WordPress, there are heaps of plugins you can download. Personally, I think too many plugins is a bad practice in WordPress, it can lead to “plugin bloat”, where your website can be slowed down and you’re reliant on too many plugins to make your site work.

In the video below, you will see how I manage user restrictions quite easily using a must use plugin in WordPress and a few minutes of my time.

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Load an AJAX PHP file from WordPress

On my website, I have a caching plugin called WP Rocket, which is an awesome plugin, but one downside is that if you have dynamically generated content, it will be cached.
For example, on my website, I have a cool PHP widget that figures out the current time, and then displays a message based on the time. With caching, that plugin will no longer be dynamic because it will just show the result from the time that it was cached.

Read More