Guest Post: How to Succeed and Expand as a Business in 2021 by Dustin Cisneros, CEO of RackNerd

Continuing our Opinion-Editorial and Guest Article Series, today we are talking about how to succeed and expand in the new year as a business. Seeing that a good part of the LEB community are business owners or entrepreneurs themselves, we hope that you’ll be able to take home some valuable insights from this article.

Looking for a VPS for your business or your idea? Be sure to check out RackNerd’s exclusive LEB offers by clicking here.

With 2020 changing the entire global economy, only those who were creative, and nimble enough to pivot, while maintaining a customer-service approach were able to survive or even turn it into a better condition for themselves. To expand further on this subject we are talking to Dustin B. Cisneros, a 13-year hosting industry veteran, who currently serves as RackNerd’s CEO to get his thoughts on this subject. In 2020, Dustin led the growth of RackNerd’s new office space expansion, spearheaded the growth of his hosting company to 15 (fifteen!) additional datacenter locations, all while hiring more local talent. In a year where a lot of businesses were focused on cutting back, RackNerd had its focus and dedication towards expansion and did a fine job at executing growth. Dustin’s company is an exemplary example of how it is very much possible to be successful even in these new times that we live in, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort and operate with the right information.

So what can you do to expand and ensure your business continues to prosper and stay relevant? Here are some important key points:

  1. Promote, and then some more! Promotion is key to expansion. How can you get your brand more attention? Is it more marketing, more collaboration or perhaps investing in building out a productive, and structured sales team? And start thinking, how can you keep attention in the noisy and evolving world that we live in? Who really is your competition anyway? I’ll tell you what is – the media, the news outlets, Instagram, videos on TikTok, COVID-19, lockdowns/country shutdowns, protests, stock market… just to name a few trends in the past year. You are competing for attention against all this noise and outbreak going on around us. If you don’t have a customer’s full attention, how can you expect for them to transact and exchange with you? I want you to get your wheels spinning and start getting creative, and ask yourself, how can you not only get, but maintain attention in your marketplace?
  2. Focus on creating a new tomorrow. What you did in the past may have worked at the time, but might not tomorrow. Be willing to let go of fixed ideas or considerations. For example, try a new sales approach, or try a new marketing approach – while keeping an open mind. What other ways can you increase your value delivery to your customers? Previous considerations that you previously completely disregarded or ignored in the past, may just be what will take your business to the next level in 2021. 
  3. Absolutely no job is beneath you. As a business owner, you should be willing to get on the front lines, and communicate with your customers to find out their needs and wants. Don’t hesitate to get your hands busy – after all, you might just learn a thing or two about your business. Stay in communication with your company – that includes your customers, your vendors, your partners, and your team.
  4. Be ready to pivot. In 2020 after COVID-19 hit, only businesses who were willing and creative enough to pivot quickly were able to succeed and come out on the other side of this. Whether you realize it or not – COVID-19 forced people to pivot and change the way they normally do things – not just businesses, but people! Don’t be afraid to embrace new ways, and invest in increasing your knowledge and creativity. That way, when a particular area is forced to pivot, you may just be ahead of the game already, or if not – you’ll at least be able to quickly pivot to your surroundings, and move forward as a business. Don’t forget, you are responsible for creating your own success and outcome!
  5. Never lower your target. Write down your goals every day, and don’t hold back! Ever see someone set a resolution for New Year’s, only to not follow through on them a couple of months into the new year? The biggest reason why one loses motivation is that their goals and targets are not large enough, and/or justification was made to lower the target. For example, is it your goal this year to add $2 million a year in revenue? In this example, you should then make it your goal to add $20 million a year in revenue and never lower the efforts required to reach that target. Now is not the time for negative doubts, thinking impossible, or emotions – set giant targets, and start taking action, while maintaining maximum discipline and following the other key points I mentioned in my previous guest post. As the old saying goes, “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.” Give this a shot today, and keep at it, you’ll surprise yourself when you’re working to your maximum potential!

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, own a small business, or are seeking personal and professional growth, feel free to e-mail me at or connect with me on LinkedIn if there’s anything I can help with. If you’re local in Southern California, please feel free to visit our office space – I am always happy to connect!

Let’s crush 2021 together!

Editor’s Note: The opinions and context above are solely those of the author, Dustin Cisneros of RackNerd, and do not represent the opinions, values, or positions of LowEndBox. If you or your company would like to take part in a Guest Post, Interview, or Op-Ed, please contact the LowEndBox administration on our Help Desk. 


I’m Andrew, techno polymath and long-time LowEndTalk community Moderator. My technical interests include all things Unix, perl, python, shell scripting, and relational database systems. I enjoy writing technical articles here on LowEndBox to help people get more out of their VPSes.

Can GSA SER post links on all websites?

I have a list of HA websites where I post links manually. Can I make GSA SER post on the same websites?

How can I have main menu item and first submenu both go to the custom post list? Using add_menu_page and add_submenu_page

I have a custom post type named slideshow. I’m using add_menu_page to add the main menu item, and add_submenu_page to add some submenu items. In the first call to add_submenu_page the slug property is set to the main menu name, which makes the main menu item and the first submenu go to the same page.

What I want is for the main menu and first submenu to be the normal admin post list table for my custom post type (edit.php?post_type=slideshow). I can only define a function that outputs custom HTML (the function create_dashboard_page). Is there a way to show the post list page instead? Or can I easily show the post list table in the create_dashboard_page function?

    'Slideshow Builder',
    'Slideshow Builder',

    'Slideshow Builder Dashboard',

    'New Slideshow',
    'New Slideshow',

function create_dashboard_page() {
    echo 'Can I have the post list here?';

post editor – WordPress Rest Api rest_cannot_edit

Hello I want to edit the post by rest api. i login succesfully with admin access but still i get

when logging in i get response

{'success': True,
 'redirectTo': ''}

But when i need to edit i cannot

{'code': 'rest_cannot_edit',
 'message': 'Sorry, you are not allowed to edit this post.',
 'data': {'status': 401}}

the endpoint is /wp-json/ldlms/v1/sfwd-topic/291

and the plugin is LearnDash Lms

php – Send attachment after form submission to user email and post data to admin

I have a form which on submit must send the data collected to the admin email (i grab it via post), and the user gets a gift – an email with an attachment is sent to him. How can i do this ?

Html code:

<div class="modal">
                            <form id="program-four-modal" method="post" action="makepdf.php">

                                <!-- Hidden Required Fields -->
                                <input type="hidden" name="project_name" value="">
                                <input type="hidden" name="admin_email" value="">
                                <input type="hidden" name="form_subject" value="Vreau cadoul - Lorem ipsum">
                                <!-- END Hidden Required Fields -->


                                <input type="text" name="NumePrenume" placeholder="Nume Prenume..."
                                    title="Nume Prenume" required><br>
                                <input type="email" name="Email" placeholder="E-mail..." title="E-mail" required><br>
                                <input type="tel" name="NrDeTelefon" placeholder="Nr. de telefon..."
                                    class="checkphone" title="Nr de telefon" required>

                                <div class="program-four-modal-send-wrapper">
                                    <button type="submit" class="program-four-modal-send">Trimite</button>


                        <a href="#program-four-modal" class="btn program-four-btn" role="button" rel="modal:open">I want the gift</a>

Here i grab the variables from the form via post. Currently both user and admin get the same email , .

Php code:


use PHPMailerPHPMailerPHPMailer;
use PHPMailerPHPMailerSMTP;
use PHPMailerPHPMailerException;

require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

// Grab variables
$subject = $_POST('form_subject');
$name = $_POST('NumePrenume');
$email = $_POST('Email');
$phone = $_POST('NrDeTelefon');

// Create PDF
$data = '';
$data .= '<h1>Your details</h1>';

// Add data
$data .= '<strong>Name</strong> ' . $name . '<br />';
$data .= '<strong>Email</strong> ' . $email . '<br />';
$data .= '<strong>Phone</strong> ' . $phone . '<br />';

    // Instantiation and passing `true` enables exceptions
    $mail = new PHPMailer(true);

    try {
        //Server settings
        $mail->SMTPDebug = SMTP::DEBUG_SERVER;                      // Enable verbose debug output
        $mail->isSMTP();                                            // Send using SMTP
        $mail->Host       = '';                    // Set the SMTP server to send through
        $mail->SMTPAuth   = true;                                   // Enable SMTP authentication
        $mail->Username   = '';                     // SMTP username
        $mail->Password   = 'password';                               // SMTP password
        $mail->SMTPSecure = PHPMailer::ENCRYPTION_STARTTLS;         // Enable TLS encryption; `PHPMailer::ENCRYPTION_SMTPS` encouraged
        $mail->Port       = 587;                                    // TCP port to connect to, use 465 for `PHPMailer::ENCRYPTION_SMTPS` above

        // Recipients
        $mail->setFrom('', 'Gift Form');
        $mail->addAddress($email);     // Add a recipient

        // Attachment

        // Content
        $mail->isHTML(true);                                  // Set email format to HTML
        $mail->Subject = $subject;
        $mail->Body    = $data;
        $mail->AltBody = 'This is the body in plain text for non-HTML mail clients';

        echo 'Message has been sent';
    } catch (Exception $e) {
        echo "Message could not be sent. Mailer Error: {$mail->ErrorInfo}";

Auto add (multiple) Custom Post Types to menu

I’m trying to add custom post types entries automatically as submenu’s to my main menu. I’ve managed to add one CPT “nestjes” by using the code below.

Now I would like to add two more CPT’s automatically to my menu on the same website: “poezen” and “katers”.
How do I blend in these variables in the code below?

Thank you for the help.

add_filter( 'wp_get_nav_menu_items', 'my_theme_nestjes_menu_filter',10, 3 );

function my_theme_nestjes_menu_filter( $items, $menu, $args ) {
  $child_items = array(); 
  $menu_order = count($items); 
  $parent_item_id = 0; 

  foreach ( $items as $item ) {
    if ( in_array('nestjes-parent-item', $item->classes) ){
        $parent_item_id = $item->ID;

  if($parent_item_id > 0){

      foreach ( get_posts( 'post_type=nestjes-post-type&numberposts=-1' ) as $post ) {
        $post->menu_item_parent = $parent_item_id;
        $post->post_type = 'nav_menu_item';
        $post->object = 'custom';
        $post->type = 'custom';
        $post->menu_order = ++$menu_order;
        $post->title = $post->post_title;
        $post->url = get_permalink( $post->ID );
        array_push($child_items, $post);


  return array_merge( $items, $child_items );

Motherboard post DB | Flash update has failed, but I have not updated bios

I own a server which resides locally in my house and I live alone. Last night the machine worked fine and this morning it would not boot. There was a black screen and code ‘db’ displayed on the board LED panel.

The code indicates ‘Flash update has failed’, yet I did not update the bios and cannot see a bios update utility on my machine. I booted on the backup bios and triggered recovery but would like to know what the cause might be.

spring – How to execute post request in java

I woudlike to send files using rest API :

String setTransferFile = "localhost:8080/api/transferFile";

public void callTransferFile(String nameFile) throws Exception {
        HttpHeaders headers = new HttpHeaders();
        nameFile = "readme.txt";
        HttpEntity<String> entity = new HttpEntity<>(nameFile, headers);
        ResponseEntity<String> result = null;
        try {
            result = , HttpMethod.POST, entity, String.class);
  "upload done");
        } catch (Exception e) {
            logger.error(e.getMessage(), e);
        assert result != null;
        if (result.getStatusCode() != HttpStatus.OK) throw  new Exception("upload impossible") ;

But I have always the error… when I try it directly with Swagger UI it works :

500 Internal Server Error: ({"timestamp":"2021-01-12T00:44:33.553+00:00","message":"No such file","details":"uri=/api/transferFile"})

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post processing – How do you compose the price for the end product if it needs more then usual amount of retouching?

If you shoot a session, where the end product will have much exposed skin (face/body), how do you compose the price for the end product? Do you have fixed prices? Or do you calculate retouching separately from the whole post-processing?

I’m new in this business and would very like to know opinions of those who makes photos for life.

A variant appearing to me as logical, is:

  • client pays for the shooting on the hour basis, like hours amount X hour price,
  • client pays pays for the end product depending on how many images should be delivered, like amount of delivered images X average price for one completely retouched and post-processed image, because of retouching of each image could take different amount of time.

So the price formula would be like b hours X c $ (for shooting) + m images X n $ (for retouching/post-processing).