How to grow your first tomato plant

Tomato plants are great for a beginner. My dad grew some tomato plants when I was younger. I love the taste of a home grown tomato: its delectable. I also vaguely remembered how to look after a tomato plant so thought it would be a great first choice.

No one has ever trusted me with looking after any plant, let alone a plant that produces food. I wrote this post to show that even someone who has failed so much before really can cultivate a tomato plant, if they put their mind to it! It’s extremely rewarding and therapeutic.

The photos below show the growth of my tomato plant (sun baby) over a two week period of growing indoors. Its now up to my waist! From where the stem starts, its just over 2ft tall now. I sometimes take it to sit outside in the sun, but its mostly been growing indoors by the window. Its too big to go on the window sill now…

tomato plant growth after two weeks

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How to use regex in Google Analytics – a starter guide

What are regular expressions?

Think of regular expressions as maths for patterns. A regular expression is used to extract the data it matches from a larger set of data. Regex is a very good friend to programmers: it is the best friend of anyone working with large sets of data.

I know that some people feel like this when they see any mention of regular expressions:

A cat scared by regex

They’re not what you think. And if you’ve been using Google Analytics, you’ve probably written a regular expression without realising it!

youdontknowyouwroteregex

Anything you type in that red box is a regular expression. You probably just haven’t used the full power of regular expressions yet.
I’m not going to go into the endless possibilities of regular expressions (see the extra resources at the bottom of this blog post if you want to know the full beauty of regex), instead I’m going to teach you the very simple beginnings that will instantly empower your analysis.

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Track error pages in Google Analytics

Its important to track error pages and resolve them quickly: its a bad experience for users to get errors on your site. Its quick and easy to track error pages in Google Analytics: you won’t have to write any new code.

I’ve found that the most elegant, simple and useful way to track error pages is to use content grouping through the Google Analytics interface.

I will also explain how to set up an automatic alert for detecting error pages and how to work out why your users are getting error pages.

What is content grouping?

A feature in analytics that allows you to group pages that share a common trait either via the page, page title or screen name directly in the interface or by using tracking code to group your content.

This makes it easier to identify how different sections of your website are performing and content groupings can be applied to the behaviour flow reports; with a large website these reports become ineffective without content grouping.

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How to study for the GAIQ Exam

So you just found this nifty tool called Google Analytics? A week later you discover there is a proficiency test in it and are eager to take it in order to prove your mettle. Don’t – it is not necessary certification for working with Google Analytics. Passing this exam doesn’t mean you know everything about the complexities of Google Analytics or the analysis of data; passing this exam just shows you have a good understanding of the fundamentals.

There are a few blog posts out there about taking the GAIQ exam, and most consist of cramming in all the Google fundamental courses then reading up about all the definitions that come up. I’d like to propose a more effective alternative.

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