How To Set Up Outline VPN in China

Internet censorship in China is among the most stringent in the world. Finding the best VPN can be quite tricky as an expat in China. When it comes to commercial VPN providers, you always have to deal with unexpected downtimes and connectivity issues.

However, it’s not a big deal for people like me, who can set up their own VPN/proxy servers without relying on service providers. But, how about others?

Meet Outline, a free and open-source tool that deploys Shadowsocks servers on multiple cloud service providers. Alphabet’s (Google’s parent company) Outline is the best DIY approach I’ve ever seen when it comes to implementing self-managed VPN or proxy servers.

Even though Jigsaw claims Outline is “built for news organizations,” I feel this platform is ideal for expats in China with little to no knowledge about how VPNs or proxy servers work.

Outline powers your own DIY “VPN” via Shadowsocks, an open source SOCKS5 proxy which, according to their official site, is designed to protect your internet traffic. I hope they’ll switch to ShadowsocksR at some point.

Technically, Outline is not a true VPN but a proxy server manager.

Keep in mind that https://getoutline.org/ is blocked in China. But, you can download the outline manager from Github. The client app for iOS is available on Appstore (I’m sure it won’t be available on mainland China store). Anyway, you still can find IPAs for Apple and files for supported operations systems here.

Download the outline manager from Github

Major features of Outline:

Let’s take a look at the main features of Outline by Jigsaw.

The Outline Manager

A kickass manager app that lets you set up your own Shadowsocks servers via DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and more.

The Outline Client

Built for Android, Windows, Chrome OS, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. Just download the Outline app, add the access key and click the big “connect” button.

Outline Client App On Mac App Store
The Outline Client App On Mac App Store

Possibility Of Streaming Netflix

It doesn’t work if you’re setting up a proxy server via DigitalOcean. I’ve tested proxy servers based on AWS to stream Netflix before (not via Outline). Few instances in US regions lets you stream Netflix without any error. Enable TCP BBR congestion control to make things smoother.

Use Outline client to connect other SS servers

Already own a Shadowsocks server? You could use the Outline client app and connect to it.

Speed

It depends on your server location and its specifications.

Security & Privacy

Outline gives you control over your privacy by letting you operate your own server and Outline claims they never log your web traffic (but Cloud provider does). Strong encryption (Shadowsocks) helps keep your communications private.

Setting Up A Proxy Server On Outline

With the Outline Manager application, you can create a server and share access with unlimited users. Let’s see how we can set up everything.

1. Download & Install Outline Manager

The process is straight-forward. Since https://getoutline.org/ is blocked in China, visit this link to download the Outline manager from GitHub. The manager app is available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

2. Choose A Cloud Server & Set Up

https://cloud.digitalocean.com and https://signin.aws.amazon.com are accessible from China. You won’t be able to access Google Cloud Platform from the mainland.

Outline Manager Screenshot on MacOS
Outline Manthe ager Screenshot on MacOS

It’s recommended to register an account with the Cloud provider of your choice before connecting it with the Outline manager. As you can see in the screenshot; DigitalOcean is partnered with Outline. So, setting up a proxy server powered by DigitalOcean would be the best approach.

Bonus: You can connect Outline with your existing cloud provider also.

Set Up Outline Anywhere

 

3. Use The Access Key To Connect

Once you finish the setup process, the Outline manager will generate a token (access key).

Add Access Key On Outline Client App

Now, download and install the client app. Use the Access Key (SIP002 URI Scheme) on the client app, and tap/click connect.

Cons of Outline:

  • Bandwidth limitations according to the cloud provider.
  • Your cloud provider may or may not store log and other traces.
  • Netflix streaming issue. I feel it can be resolved if you’re using AWS.
  • There’s a chance the Great Firewall of China may block Outline’s Shadowsocks protocol. They should either switch to SSR or something more complex /dynamic/secure in near future. Check Vini Fortuna‘s response to this thread. He’s the engineering manager at Google’s @Jigsaw in NY.
  • No mirror sites (yet) for mainland China users. GitHub can be slow at times. We definitely need a local mirror site or download mirrors to grab the releases from Outline.
  • You won’t like it if you’re used to the commercial VPNs. The outline is simple and pretty much relies on a minimal and limited environment. For the same amount, you might be able to access 10 to 15 servers of a Shadowsocks service provider like SocketPro.
Socketpro
Fast, Easy to Use Netflix Optimized. Get SocketPro Now.

Overall, I’m quite happy with what they’re doing. I highly encourage the readers of this blog post to test Outline at least once instead of relying on a VPN service provider all the time. Outline makes it easier for anyone to set up a proxy server and access restricted content.

More than sixty Internet regulations have been made by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government. I believe Outline is a great initiative that supports freedom of speech by helping anyone anywhere in the World to break the barriers without relying on a third party VPN provider.

Thank you, Jigsaw (Google)!

Invest in US Stocks From India

How To Invest in US Stocks From India

Investing in NASDAQ stocks isn’t easy for people outside of the U.S. You need to go through a lot of processes to start trading.

Especially for Indians, you need to deal with multiple legal and taxation related complications.

There’s a lot of people on Quora asking questions like:

  • How can a foreigner invest in US stocks?
  • Stock Market: Can Indians buy NYSE stocks?
  • What is the best way to invest in US stocks from India?
  • How to trade US stock market from India?

Ideally, you’ve to open a brokerage account with a U.S. broker (Kotak Securities, ICICI Direct, India Infoline, Reliance Money, and Religare, etc.)

Not to mention the minimum amount required to open an account with these brokers. Plus you’ve to deal with their transaction charges.

Altogether, It’s quite a pain in the a** if you plan to start trading on NASDAQ stock market from India. It’s about time to ignore conventional method!

Here’s a top-notch solution! It’s called “Hox.”

With Hox, you can now invest in Top US companies like Tesla, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix from India through your resident IMPS/UPI/Paytm accounts.

The company is registered as GASTTER GROUP LIMITED in New Zealand and obtained its Securities Exchange License from New Zealand Stock Exchange on August 30, 2018.

Using this platform, you can open an international stock trading account in under 5 minutes with 0 threshold fees.

How to Invest in USA stock market from India

Note that Hox works on Tether cryptocurrency. Meaning, you’ve to convert your Fiat to USDT to trade. Which is a simple enough process if you have got an account on WazirX.

Tether USD (also known as USDT) is a cryptocurrency issued by Tether Limited, whose value is backed by a stable currency: the US dollar.

How to buy USDT in India?

Use WazirX, one of the most trusted and cheapest places to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies in India.

Create an account on WazirX today and verify it to get started with Hox.

Once you’ve created an account, go ahead and purchase some USDT via peer to peer exchange platform.

What is WazirX P2P?

WazirX peer to peer exchange is a legal answer to RBI’s deadline on Cryptocurrency trading in India.

With WazirX P2P, a buyer and seller can buy and sell Tether (USDT) for INR directly with each other.

So, WazirX is the best choice for Indians who want to trade US stocks on Hox. Read this blog post by Naimish Sanghvi to get a gist of WazirX P2P.

WazirX P2P Exchange Review: Buy and Sell USDT with INR easily

Own USDT? Let’s Invest in The US Stock Market

Once you own USDT in your wallet, you could visit hox.com and start trading US (and Hong Kong) stocks.

Setting up an account pretty much straight forward. Visit this link to get started.

As shown in the screenshot, you can either register via email or mobile; it’s your choice. Hox.com will send you an email/text message to verify the new account. Here’s an example email:

You’ve to deposit USDT to your Hox to start trading. You can easily transfer WazirX USDT assets to Hox’ “Deposit Address,” these assets can be used to purchase/sell stocks.

Refer:

Buying American Stocks From India

Buy US Stocks From India

1. Visit hox.com.
2. Navigate to the Trade section https://hox.com/transaction/
3. Enter the stock ticker of the company.
4. Set purchase price and quantity (simple as that.)
5. Click Buy
6. Visit https://hox.com/asset

Note: If it’s your first time trading on Hox, the system will ask you to verify your phone number before purchase.

Here’s how the process looks like on iOS:

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try!

Disclaimer:

Due to the character of trading financial products it’s important to choose your investment strategy carefully. Ensure that you are fully aware of the risks using an online trading platform such as Hox.com.

Guide To Speed Up Site in China

How to Improve Website Speed in China

LAST UPDATED: January 13, 2019 | By Mighil

Yes, there’s a bunch of websites that discuss tips to optimize the speed of your website in China. However, few of them are brutally outdated, and the rest may sound complicated to bloggers and entrepreneurs with little to no experience.

I’ve prepared this guide for newbie bloggers and small to medium-sized businesses that run a website or blog, intended to cater both international and the Chinese users.

!Note: If you are planning to set up a brand new WordPress site, go ahead read my blog post on “How to Start A WordPress Blog in China.”

!Bonus: I’d bust some common myths via this article. E.g., “host your site in China for the best speed,” “WordPress won’t work well in China” etc.

Now buckle up and start optimizing your website for China.

0. Monitor The Website Performance

The first thing to do is understand your website’s loading speed in China region. Services like tools.pingdom.com and PageSpeed Insights (Google) are great. The only problem is Pingdom free version doesn’t allow you to test from Asia – China region and Google usually pings your site from US IPs.

Need an alternative? Here’s a list of free tools to test website load time from China

  • https://www.webpagetest.org
  • https://www.site24x7.com/web-page-analyzer.html
  • https://www.dotcom-tools.com/website-speed-test.aspx
  • https://ce.baidu.com/index/performance (You need to sign-up)

Usually, after a first test run, these sites will give you tips on how to improve the loading time. These tips are great, but you need to go further to optimize the site for China.

!Fun Fact: mighil.com loads faster than a digital marketing agency based in Shanghai that wrote an article on the same topic (real bummer, innit?).

Mighil.com Loading Time, Shanghai, 3.1 Seconds.
Performance Summary of Mighil.com.

Now here are some workarounds to make your optimize your website and the server so that the site content will render fast!

1. Reduce TTFB

Google defines TTFB as a period of “waiting”:

Time spent waiting for the initial response, also known as the Time To First Byte. This time captures the latency of a round trip to the server in addition to the time spent waiting for the server to deliver the response.

Read More About TTFB on Wikipedia

webpagetest.org indicates your site’s TTFB in the “First Byte” section of the results page.

There are “n” number of methods to reduce First Byte Time. But, I’d suggest finding the root of the problem before changing the host or purchasing a CDN service. You could initiate a chat with your webmaster or hosting provider first, get insights from them, then decide what to do next.

Here are some recommended best practices to reduce First Byte Time.

1. Improve the server configuration: These methods will vary according to what web server you are using. A lot of readers aren’t tech savvy, so it is wise to leave this duty to your webmaster. Ask your webmaster to optimize Apache or NGINX for better TTFB. Head over to https://stackoverflow.com to view recommendations and insights that may sound optimal for you.

2. Use a CDN: Using a good quality CDN can help deliver your static content, like images and scripts, faster to users via a network of servers worldwide. Aliyun (from Alibaba), Tencent Cloud CDN and Akamai are some of the best CDN service providers for China.

!Pro Tip: Do not have the budget to buy a premium CDN service? The cheapest workaround is to move your server to Hong Kong or Singapore region. Digital Ocean‘s Singapore node servers work flawlessly in China.

!Warning: Cloudflare CDN (free package) is known for its high TTFB. Do no use Cloudflare CDN’s free service to improve TTFB; it’ll work the other way around.

2. Reduce The Website Page Size

Waterfall Chart of Mighil.com, 138.32KB in Total.
Waterfall Chart for Mighil.com.

Yeah, it’s the modern age. Everyone has better internet at home or work. But that doesn’t mean you’ve to create a 10MB index page. The site load time will go up if you don’t reduce your web page’s size. It’ll affect your ranking also. Ideally, your website should load within 4 seconds at least (if it’s not hosted in China). You should compress whenever its necessary. Do not use a site builder like WPBakery if you are using WordPress. WPBakery’s CSS is quite bloated in my opinion.

3. Use lightweight WordPress Themes

WordPress, Joomla, and Magento are great content management systems and e-commerce platforms to manage blogs and e-commerce stores. For example, if you are maintaining a blog based on WordPress that caters Chinese audience, you should stick with optimal settings when it comes to the themes. There’s a lot of “heavy” WordPress themes that may potentially decrease the performance of your site.

But, WordPress is Blocked in China, right?

No. WordPress sub-domain loads blazing fast in China.

Or use Baidu; you can find mirror links to download WP package anyway.

WordPress is famous here, and I know few people who run a WordPress blog in China by throwing Cloudflare on top of it. However, a lot of Chinese web devs or companies don’t prefer WordPress in general as a CMS platform. They tend to build their own CMS based on PHP or Node.js etc.

And local bloggers in general, they prefer Chinese CMSs or blogging platforms over WP. I moderate Chengdu Living, an expat community-focused website based on WP. And it works well without a VPN. Same with this site, mighil.com. Feel free to check out my WP beginners guide for bloggers in China for more detailed info.

I’d suggest GeneratePress framework (developed by Tom Usborne) if you’re building a new site intended to the users in China. GeneratePress is insanely lightweight, and it loads very fast.

Look at mighil.com for example. My site is built on GeneratePress framework and powered by a San Francisco based server. Still, it promises a decent load time (2 to 4 seconds) in China.

Speed Up Your Site With GeneratePress

The best framework for any site in China.

Get it Here.

4. Usage Of Web Fonts or Fonts in General

Web font usage is another important factor when it comes to slowing down your websites in China. Don’t even think about using Google fonts or Adobe Typekit fonts. Both works if you’ve got an optimized CDN. But it is still not recommended to call fonts from GFW blocked resources. Here are a few alternatives:

Google Font Alternative for China

google-webfonts-helper” lets you download your favorite Google fonts for offline use.

Google Font Alternative for China, google-webfonts-helper by Mario Ranftl
Visit https://google-webfonts-helper.herokuapp.com/fonts/

Which means, you can download Google fonts to your PC in .otf formats, upload to your server and call them directly using @font-face in the stylesheet.

Adobe Typekit Alternative for China

Quite tricky. You should completely avoid Adobe Typekit and purchase the license for the fonts from the designers. Then you could download eot, ttf, svg, woff and woff2 files and use them within your CSS snippet.

Use System Font Stacks

The best method if you want the site to load even faster. A “system font stack” is a way of telling the web browser to use the font your operating system is already using. So, what’s your call? A website with custom fonts (that adds at least 100kb page-size + respective loading time) or the one that loads blazing fast?

Here’s an example code snippet you could use in the CSS:

body * {font-family: -apple-system, system-ui, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, "Apple Color Emoji", "Segoe UI Emoji", "Segoe UI Symbol";}

5. Inspecting Links To External Resources

Make sure your site(s)’ CSS, images, video files or JavaSCript does not load from external resources blocked by Chinese internet a.k.a the GFW. The best approach is to host everything locally (recommended) or use a CDN optimized for China.

6. WordPress Caching

Running a blog based on WordPress (CMS)? Make use of a caching plugin called Autoptimize developed by Frank Goossens (futtta). Autoptimize makes optimizing your site easy. It can aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles, injects CSS in the page head by default (but can also defer), moves and defers scripts to the footer and minifies HTML. The “Extra” options allow you to optimize Google Fonts and images, async non-aggregated JavaScript, remove WordPress core emoji cruft and more.

Autoptimize

7. Hire Someone

Last resort. Hire a web performance expert if you aren’t able to optimize everything by yourself. I’d also recommend this to people with little to no working knowledge of HTML, servers or CMS in general. I do offer such services for a price of flat 100USD per audit and 50USD per hour for on-page/server optimization. I provide custom speed up services for your site on any hosting platform: shared, VPS or dedicated (ranging from DigitalOcean to Aliyun).

Speed Up Your Site Today!

Get in touch with me to optimize your site and server

Send a message!

Koji: Gutenberg-Ready Theme

Free Minimal Gutenberg WordPress Theme

Looking for the best minimal WordPress theme compatible with Gutenberg? Here’s Koji. Developed by Anders Norén, Koji is a stunning light-weight theme that focuses on content. The Koji theme promises a pleasant browsing/scrolling experience also.

Note: This is not a promotion. I genuinely love this theme, and I’d recommend this to anyone.

Visit kaijudigital.org to view the demo of Koji. My Kaiju Digital project is based on this Gutenberg-friendly WordPress theme.

Koji is ideal for freelancers and bloggers who embrace minimalism. The theme emphasizes your content and loads blazing fast on modern browsers and all devices.

Why I use Koji

I was in search of a Gutenberg compatible theme that’s minimal. I love GeneratePress (which is minimal and compatible with Gutenberg as well), but I wanted something even light-weight and easy to use. I didn’t need a lot of options and customizations GeneratePress offered. Koji looked ideal for me.

I do recommend GeneratePress if you prefer to make money from blogging. It’s a great framework. I will review GeneratePress in detail some other time.

Koji is ideal for small personal websites like mine with lots of images and text-based content.

Clean Design, Speed & Typography

As you can see, Koji renders your system font stack which makes the website load faster on all devices. The smooth animations also promise a better experience for your readers. This feature makes Koji the best fit for photography based blogs and portfolio websites.

Gutenberg Support

It’s clear that the developer has built Koji with the new WordPress Gutenberg editor in mind. The theme has full support for blocks and editor styles. It also supports the classic editor.

What I’ve Done With Koji

I’ve edited Koji’s stylesheet a bit to fit my needs. I’ve also replaced some png files with Base64 strings. My site’s sidebar area and headings are styled to render Sofia Pro font. I’m not using the social icons that came with Koji theme. I use Lightweight Social Icons developed by Thomas Usborne.

PageSpeed Insights & Pingdom Website Speed Test Result

Keep in mind that mighil.com is based on CentOS 7.5, NGINX, MySQL, & PHP, and the server is optimized for better load time. I use Autoptimize plugin developed by Frank Goossens (futtta) to reduce the file requests and compress other stuff.

The speed score on Desktop
Mobile
The speed score on Mobile.

Here’s the Pingdom Website Speed Test Result:

Take a look at the Pingdom Page Performance Grades:

No, I don’t use a CDN service.

So, if you are looking to install a best minimal Gutenberg compatible WordPress theme, go ahead and get Koji for free from the WordPress theme directory, or install it through your WordPress administration panel at Appearance → Themes → Add New.


Need a hand?

Need help optimizing your WordPress website to achieve better load-time and search performance? Connect with me now.


Bash Script to Install WordPress on Vesta CP

How To Use Bash Script to Install WordPress on Vesta CP

The Vesta control panel (VestaCP) is an open source hosting control panel, which can be used to manage multiple websites, create and manage email accounts, FTP accounts, and MySQL databases, manage DNS records and more.

There are a lot of tutorials on how to install WordPress on VestaCP. The Vesta Control Panel comes with Softaculous, but you’ve to pay for the license to auto-install WordPress on your server using Softaculous.

If you’re looking for a free option, an auto install bash script would be the right choice to install WordPress on your server.

Note:

  1. You’ve to add a domain first (using the Vesta CP web interface).
  2. The script is only applicable to the admin group. i.e. username:admin.

Major features of the WordPress auto install bash script

I edited the bash script posted by @jetonr on GitHubGist. I modified a little bit for VestaCP admin group. The main features of the script include:

  1. Downloads the latest.tar.gz to the public_html of the user and domain you enter.
  2. Removes unnecessary files ( wp-config-sample.php, readme.html, license.txt and latest.tar.gz )
  3. Creates a secure .htaccess file & set correct permissions for the file.
  4. Generates a robots.txt file with right ownership.
  5. Creates a database with user and password you enter. Which will go to the wp-config file.
  6. Creates a wp-config.php file with generated configuration and SALT included.

How to use the WordPress auto install bash script for VestaCP

How to Automate WordPress Installs

Choose from the two methods below:

Method 1: Add this line your Bashrc file.

Stick with this method if you plan to set up a lot of WordPress sites. This method will make things easier the next time when you want to install WordPress.

What is Bashrc?

bashrc is a shell script that Bash runs whenever it is started interactively. It initializes an interactive shell session. You can put any command in that file that you could type at the command prompt.

On CentOS, you’ll find the bashrc file inside the /etc directory. Visit this thread if you can’t locate the file.

Edit the file bashrc file and add this line:

alias wpinstall="curl -L -o 'vesta-wp.sh' https://gist.githubusercontent.com/mighildotcom/7205442783534792a606df39629e22d3/raw/a02564e5eb9931da31e3f4988717b6119a82ea6e/vesta-wp.sh && bash vesta-wp.sh"

Save the file and run:

source ~/.bashrc

That’s about it. Just type

wpinstall

anywhere to begin the installation process.

Method 2: Download the script and run it

This is pretty straight-forward also.

curl -O https://gist.githubusercontent.com/mighildotcom/7205442783534792a606df39629e22d3/raw/a02564e5eb9931da31e3f4988717b6119a82ea6e/vesta-wp.sh

and

bash vesta-wp.sh

The script will do the rest. Good luck!

Hire me to optimize your WordPress site

How to Find Non-Teaching Jobs in China

How to Find Non-Teaching Jobs in China - Expert Tips With Resources

Find Non-Teaching Jobs in China

It is a fact that there are various kinds of jobs opportunities available in China. But, without prior knowledge about the current job market, it might be a bit hard for you to find non-teaching jobs in China.

This blog is not for “English teachers.” Do not read to further if you’re a native speaker of English with no little experience and want to teach in China. This article isn’t for you. 🙂

With a little bit of research, planning and hard work, it is possible for anyone to find and get a job in China.

Find a job in China
With Team ugChain, 2017

I’m Mighil, a Chengdu-based digital consultant. I’ve been living in China since 2015. When time permits, you can learn a bit more about me and my life in Chengdu.

Finding jobs in China

In case you don’t want to spend a lot of time on research, you can always try getting the help of headhunters or recruiting agencies to obtain employment in China.

Other than that, you can refer to various career websites, expat blogs and resources available online which would help you to find non-teaching jobs in China.

There are many prominent Chinese job websites (some have English interface) available for finding the right kind of non-teaching jobs in China.

If you’re a student or fresh graduate, you could also try enrolling for internships in various companies or institutions in China to find a relevant job.

Get ready to GET BUSY!
The subway routine

Given below are specific tips and techniques for the job seekers who want to find a non-teaching job in China.

Attending Networking Events

Understand the concept of ‘guanxi.’

Guanxi (Chinese: 關係) defines the rudimentary dynamic in personalized social networks of power and is a crucial system of beliefs in Chinese culture. Simply put, guanxi is a relationship in the business context, based on mutual trust and benefits.

You can try to build your networks by attending certain networking events some of which should be specifically related to China.

You can gain knowledge about a variety of contacts related to various job sectors such as the corporate sector, management, etc. through these events and meetups.

Using Job Websites

Job websites are one of the best ways to find a relevant job in any province in China. Go ahead and register an account in some of the popular job websites and search for the desired non-teaching jobs in China.

Such websites also allow individuals to gain access to specific contacts of in-house recruiters which are almost unavailable outside the mainland.

These websites also offer various tips and suggestions regarding how to get a job in any place.

Bookmark the websites below:

    1. https://www.zhaopin.com/
    2. https://www.51job.com/
    3. https://www.lagou.com/
    4. https://www.zhipin.com/
    5. https://www.liepin.com/
    6. LinkedIn (Yes, it works!)

51job comes with an English interface and every other site is only available in Chinese. I do offer job consulting and CV translation services if you’re interested. I’ll tailor your résumé in Chinese so that more employers will be interested in reviewing your profile. Based on my previous experience with Chinese companies, medium-sized companies ask for résumé in Chinese along with the one in English. Contact me by email to discuss further.

Find Non-Teaching Jobs in China
zhipin.com UI. open image in new tab for better viewing.

Websites like liepin.com, lagou.com and zhipin.com come with a real-time chat feature so that you can have a chat with the potential employer before applying.

Internship and Certificate Programs of Chinese Universities

A lot of universities in China provide a wide variety of certificate programs related to Chinese business, finance, sales, marketing, management, etc. Also, check whether your home-country has an internship program in China or not.

Internships in China
Internships in China – As seen on www.britishcouncil.org

Moreover, some of these universities also offer internship programs at large scale companies which will ensure a solid non-teaching job in the future.

Here’s Why You Should Move to Chengdu

So, if you’re a fresh graduate, you can try getting enrolled in any of these universities and attend such certificate or internship programs which would later help you to get non-teaching jobs in China.

Having a Basic Knowledge Of The Chinese Language

Although this may not be compulsory all the time, it is necessary for the individuals to have a little knowledge about the Chinese language.

Individuals who can speak the Chinese language tend to get more attention from the employment givers as a result of having a basic knowledge of the language.

Chengdu Expat, Mighil
Miss that pitch!

There are tons of Chinese courses available online for free. And there numerous apps for Android and iOS that’ll help you learn Chinese. Go ahead and start learning Chinese today!

Few resources:

  1. https://www.coursera.org/learn/learn-chinese-mandarin
  2. www.bbc.co.uk/languages/chinese/
  3. https://www.duolingo.com/course/zh/en/Learn-Chinese-Online

Finding Non-teaching Jobs in China

Legends say finding non-teaching jobs in China might seem to be a pretty difficult task and is almost impossible if you don’t have connections.

Don’t listen to them. There are various kinds of companies and organizations which offer good non-teaching jobs in China.

Given below are certain tips and techniques for specifically finding a non-teaching job in China:

Enhancing The Skills and Qualifications

Companies usually want to hire only those individuals who possess not only certain degrees or certificates but also specific professional skills.

Get One-On-One Consulting on How to Find A Job in China.

Having professional skills is one of the most important eligibilities for acquiring a non-teaching job in China.

You should have a look at your resume, analyze it properly and then add all kinds of professional skills that you possess, for instance, computer programming skills, projects, achievements, etc.

Do not boast a lot on your resume. It’s not a common practice here. That being said, it is vital to possess industry-specific professional skills for employment opportunities in China.

Analyzing The Various Jobs And The Skills Required for Doing Them

You should carefully examine the job description and match them with your professional skills to make sure whether that particular job is relevant for you or not.

For instance, engineering jobs require having certain software or hardware programming skills which should definitely be a solid requirement for applying for that job. Do not waste your time by applying to the wrong ads.

Again, you can start looking for jobs in various online websites such as zhipin.com, lagou.com in order to match your eligibility with the particular non-teaching job. Instead of searching the “job title”, use industry specific keywords.

Starting a Business

It would not be a bad idea to start your own business in China. There are various opportunities available for opening a startup business in China. With the advent of time, there has been a rapid increase in the growth and development of China.

This has opened a lot of opportunities for the various aspiring entrepreneurs for starting their business in China.

Technode - A curated guide to Beijing’s startup scene, part 1
The article is from technode.

If started in a proper and well efficient manner, you can accumulate a lot of income as well as profit from starting a business in China. China is one of the best places for starting a business of various products and services. There are many startup accelerators here and there’s a massive community for the same.

The Decision Of Moving To China

This is one of the essential points to remember before applying for non-teaching jobs in China.

You should make a firm decision of moving into China before applying for any job here.

How to survive your first week in China
How to survive your first week in China 😉

You should also make necessary arrangements for shifting to the country like getting a passport and the right visa.

The most important thing to do before applying for a job in China is to first spend some time in the country. Do it, this will give you a picture about how things roll here.

This would help you in gaining more information about the various kinds of non-teaching job opportunities available in China.

This would also help you to get information regarding the various kinds of eligibilities, certificates, degrees, valuable skills and experience required for finding and getting non-teaching jobs in China.

So, these are some of the various tips and techniques for getting a non-teaching job in China.

China is a land of opportunities. Without a doubt, it is a superpower has emerged to be one of the most rapidly growing and developing countries of Asia.

Need Help Translating & Formatting Your CV in Chinese?

This means that there is a bulk of job opportunities available in the country for the aspiring individuals.

With a little bit of planning, devotion and hard work, you would be able to find your dream job in China.

Don’t care what others say. Non-teaching jobs are abundantly available all around the world including countries like China too.

Old friends in China, Mighil
They all left China though.

So, what are you waiting for? Start today!

Go ahead… start your research and devote your time well to find a stunning non-teaching job in China.

Contact me by email if you need job consulting. 

SparrowX, Jekyll + Netlify CMS Boilerplate

Jekyll + Netlify CMS with SparrowX Theme

Update: demo link – https://sparrowx.netlify.com

The SparrowX

So, I’ve been testing Netlify last week and came across Netlify CMS. The CMS is pretty easy to set up, and it’d be a wise choice for people who don’t want to spend money on hosting.

But SEO… yeah that’s a problem when it comes to Jekyll themes. Sure, you can optimize Jekyll a lot, but it’s hard for people with no development knowledge to setup Jekyll + Netlify CMS manually.

My search for a clean, minimal Jekyll theme ended when I found sparrow on GitHub. Developed by lingxz, it’s a solid theme that can be used as a boilerplate.

So I took the base theme, improved loading speed, added many features for SEO and made it to a Jekyll + Netlify-CMS boilterplate.

SparrowX Jekyll Theme for Netlify CMS
Home page screenshot.

Legacy Features

  • Fully compatible with Github Pages
  • Configurable and responsive multi layer menu, adapted from slimmenu
  • Disqus integration
  • Font Awesome icons included
  • Google analytics
  • Social sharing using rrssb
  • 404 page included
  • Typographic optimization for Chinese fonts
  • Atom feed generated with jekyll-feed
  • Pagination enabled for blog using jekyll-paginate
  • Basic SEO with Facebook Open Graph tags and Twitter cards

New Features

  • Fully compatible with Netlify CMS (one-click setup).
  • Added new custom variables like updated, headerimage, feature-img, sitemap and tag.
  • The theme renders system font-stack.
  • Compressed JS.
  • Improved load time and reduced file requests.
  • _redirects feature

Website Speed Test

How To Use This Theme

Visit this page to read the SparrowX documentation for Netlify CMS.

Install

Just fork this repo and replace the posts with your own. Also, rename the sample poetry collection to replace it with your own collection, or just delete it if you don’t need to use collections. The example is poetry, but you can easily revamp this into essays, short stories, portfolio, or whatever your creative work is.

General configuration

Customize these values in the  _config.yml file:

title                    : "SparrowX"
description              : "A clean minimal Jekyll theme for SEO-focused writers."
favicon                  : "/assets/images/image.png" # You can use base64 encoded images.
url                      : "https://sparrowx.mighil.com" # the base hostname & protocol for your site e.g. "https://mmistakes.github.io"
baseurl                  : "" # the subpath of your site, e.g. "/blog" leave blank if no subpath

# Site Author
author:
  name                   : "Mighil" # appears in the footer and atom feed

Disqus

To activate Disqus, fill in your disqus shortname:

comments                 : true # set it to false to disable comments
disqus:
  shortname              : your_shortname

Google analytics

Enable google analytics by filling in your tracking ID:

analytics:
  google:
    tracking_id          : # add your google tracking id here

Collections

If you are using collections, be sure to replace this with your collection name:

collections:
  poetry:
    output: true
    permalink: /:collection/:title/

Pagination

Currently, pagination is set to a the blog page. Unfortunately Jekyll does not yet support pagination on multiple pages.

If you want to paginate on a different page, simply change the  paginate_path value in the config file and create the relevant page.

paginate: 5 # amount of posts to show
paginate_path: "/blog/page:num/"
timezone: # http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

Navigation

You can change the navigation links in  _data/navigation.yml.

Front matter defaults

At the bottom of the config file, you can also set front matter defaults so that you don’t have to repeat the same front matter for every post. This is an example:

# Front matter defaults
defaults:
  # _pages
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: pages
    values:
      layout: page
      comments: false
  # _posts
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: posts
    values:
      layout: post
      comments: true
      share: true
  # _poetry
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: poetry
    values:
      layout: post
      share: false

How tags work

You should create specific .md files within  /tag/ before using the variable.

Other Stuff

To enhance SEO, you can add your twitter username to  _config.yml.

You can also add an image path for the  og_image value in the config file, for a default open graph sharing image. This value can be overridden in individual posts by using headerimage variable.

Your default image Netlify CMS uploads will go to /images/.

For the various config options see the sample config file for the demo site

The color schemes and fonts can also be customized through scss, by editing the relevant variable in  _variables.scss.

Getting Started on Netlify CMS

Visit this page to read the SparrowX documentation for Netlify CMS.

  • Create a Netlify account if you don’t have one.
  • Fork SparrowX. (No need enable GitHub pages since we’ll be using Netlify CMS to fetch, build the repo and point the domain.)
  • Visit https://app.netlify.com/ and click “New site from Git”

Netlify deploy settings for SparrowX

  • Select  master branch to deploy. Use  jekyll build build command and set the Publish directory as  _site.

Netlify deploy settings for Jekyll

/admin/ directory explained

The /admin/ directory contains the  index.html and  config.yml for Netlify CMS.

Here’s how the  config.yml looks for now.

backend:
name: git-gateway
branch: master

publish_mode: editorial_workflow

media_folder: "images" # Media files will be stored in the repo under images
public_folder: "/images" # The src attribute for uploaded media will begin with /images

collections:
- name: "post"
label: "Post"
folder: "_posts"
create: true
slug: "{{year}}-{{month}}-{{day}}-{{slug}}"
fields:
- {label: "Type", name: "type", widget: "hidden", default: "post"}
- {label: "Title", name: "title", widget: "string"}
- {label: "SEO Title", name: "seotitle", widget: "string"}
- {label: "Author", name: "author", widget: "string"}
- {label: "Description", name: "description", widget: "string", required: false}
- {label: "OG Image", name: "headerimage", widget: "string", required: false}
- {label: "Updated Date", name: "updated", widget: "string", required: false}
- {label: "Body", name: "body", widget: "markdown", required: false}
- {label: "Tags", name: "tags", widget: "string"}
- {label: "URL", name: "url", widget: "string"}

- name: "page"
label: "Page"
folder: "_pages"
create: true
slug: ".md"
fields:
- {label: "Type", name: "type", widget: "hidden", default: "page"}
- {label: "Title", name: "title", widget: "string"}
- {label: "SEO Title", name: "seotitle", widget: "string"}
- {label: "Description", name: "description", widget: "string", required: false}
- {label: "URL", name: "url", widget: "string"}
- {label: "Body", name: "body", widget: "markdown", required: false}

You may edit this according to your preference.

The Netlify CMS Dashboard

The dashboard looks the way as configured on  config.yml inside  /admin.

Here are the basics:

Netlify CMS dashboard

Go ahead and test SparrowX if you’ve time. Thanks for reading.

My Top 100 Movies (Updated On October 2018)

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Cover: Hotel Rwanda (2004)

I’ll share the reviews separately when I get time. Guru (1997) and Amma Ariyan (1986) are probably the only Malayalam films I genuinely love. Guru’s story is influenced by HG Wells’ short story, The Country of the Blind. Amma Ariyan is more like a low-budget, black and white 2001 with several layers of meaning.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

  1. M
  2. The Big Lebowski
  3. Eraserhead
  4. Hotaru no haka
  5. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  6. Rashômon
  7. I’m Taraneh, 15
  8. Breakfast on Pluto
  9. No Country for Old Men
  10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  11. Guru (1997)
  12. The Thing (1982)
  13. Seven Psychopaths
  14. Marvellous (Brit TV movie)
  15. Peeping Tom
  16. High and Low
  17. Antikörper (2005)
  18. Baraka
  19. Pedar (1996)
  20. Heart is…
  21. Offside (Persian)
  22. Take Shelter
  23. A Clockwork Orange
  24. How Angels Are Born
  25. Chronos
  26. Tesis (1996)
  27. The Abominable Dr. Phibes
  28. Pulp Fiction
  29. Carandiru
  30. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
  31. Trainspotting
  32. The Fisher King
  33. One Hour Photo
  34. Hotel Rwanda
  35. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  36. Escape from New York
  37. Down by Law
  38. Dog Day Afternoon
  39. Django (1966)
  40. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  41. Sin Nombre
  42. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  43. My Winnipeg
  44. The Naked City
  45. Taxi Driver
  46. Man About Dog
  47. Fire (1996)
  48. Clerks
  49. Nosferatu
  50. Strangers on a Train
  51. Brute Force
  52. Gojira (1954)
  53. Memento
  54. L.A. Confidential
  55. Deep Red
  56. A Bay of Blood
  57. Dead Man
  58. Deja Vu
  59. The Seventh Seal
  60. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  61. Rebecca
  62. Tetsuo: The Iron Man
  63. Donnie Darko
  64. Kuky se vrací
  65. Onibaba
  66. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
  67. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  68. Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
  69. Nebraska
  70. Predestination
  71. Ordinary People
  72. The Drop
  73. Dancer in the Dark
  74. They Live
  75. Kwaidan
  76. Magnolia
  77. Nightcrawler
  78. Nil by Mouth
  79. The Book of Eli
  80. Trollhunter
  81. Videodrome
  82. Goodnight Mommy
  83. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  84. The Young Offenders
  85. Things Change
  86. Midnight Run
  87. Men Behind the Sun
  88. Sightseers
  89. Dead Man’s Shoes
  90. Casualties of War
  91. Rang De Basanti
  92. Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind
  93. The Babadook
  94. Amma Ariyan (What I want my mother to know)
  95. Housebound
  96. Primer
  97. TPB AFK
  98. Bølgen
  99. Ravenous (2017)
  100. What We Do in the Shadows