Finding a coworking space in Karachi

Coworking Space for Freelancers in Karachi

Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan, and it has thousands of people working online. There is a very strong need for decent coworking space for freelancers in Karachi. This post is an attempt to bring freelancers and entrepreneurs together to build a coworking space in Karachi.

As someone who works from home, I can confidently say that it is not as easy as you would think. While working from homes gives you a sense of freedom, it also comes with its own disadvantages.

We recently had an interesting discussion on the topic at Pakistani Probloggers. Many group members showed interest in paying for a coworking space. I also talked to a couple of entrepreneurs who wanted to cash in the opportunity. Talking to these folks, I have found a few key points that need to be considered.

  • Freelancers want a coworking space in Karachi for 5000 – 10,000 PKR per month.
  • They want a place that is open 24/7, has uninterrupted power supply, and fast internet connection
  • The space also need to be comfortable and relaxed.
  • Entrepreneurs who want to invest, find it challenging to offer these features at this price

To build a coworking space and boost the remote working culture in Karachi we need both parties to find a middle ground. We need freelancers to increase their budget to at least 10,000 – 15,000. At this rate, a business can have a chance of covering their costs and even make profit.

We also need the entrepreneurs to think out of the box. They can lower their operating costs by providing add-on services. Like a small cafeteria inside the coworking space, conference room, team spaces, special corners at higher rates, extra comfy chairs, pick-&-drop services, and so on.

Freelancers who would like to show their interest in a coworking space can sign up here.

Your information will not be shared. The data will only be used to show investors and business owners that there is a market waiting for them to jump in.

Entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses who would like to start this thing, here is how we can help you.

  • We can help you promote this coworking venture on social media. Believe me we are good at it, we do this for living and you will get all this promotion for free
  • We already have communities like Pakistani Probloggers with more than 10,000 members. Most of them are freelancers and many of them are doing really well in their respective fields
  • We will share the data to give you an estimate of how many individuals have shown interest in paying for a coworking space in Karachi.

If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below or use the contact form to reach me directly.

My new phone Google nexus 5

My wife bought me a new phone as an early birthday present (my birthday is on 16th May, in case anyone wants to buy me a gift ). Its a Google nexus 5, with 16 GB storage and its white. Its very light and comes with android KitKat. It is also very clean, there is no software bloat, just the usual Google apps.

Performance is very smooth. Camera is good enough for personal use. Its just the perfect fit for me.


Working on ThemeLab

Our parent company, WPBeginner has acquired ThemeLab. It was an active WordPress blog ran by  Leland Fiegel. He usually published how to articles, tips and tutorials about WordPress. Leland also distributed several free themes, many of them are still used on blogs.

Syed Balkhi, CEO and founder of WPBeginner outlined plans for ThemeLab in the announcement post. We had ThemeLab for a while and our development team was working hard on creating some amazingly beautiful themes to go with the launch. Meanwhile, our editorial team worked on the content.

These days, we are working on rewriting and updating old articles, at the same time we will be publishing new content as well. There are some very useful old posts, that we need to update with new screenshots and information. Going through old content, also reminds me how much WordPress has changed over time.

We have retired all the free themes distributed by Leland. ThemeLab will continue to offer free themes. Right now you can download Slipstream our first free theme for personal blogs. It is fully responsive, mobile friendly, comes with ThemeLab about widget, and it is super fast.

If you really want to try something even more awesome, then get ModernMag. It is beautiful and unlike other WordPress magazine themes, it is extremely simple to setup.

WordPress themes need to be simpler. The users want themes that look like their demos without going through too many complex options. Hopefully ThemeLab will be able to fulfill that need.

Image file size display in WordPress media uploader

WordPress Idea: Displaying Image File Size in Media Uploader

Many web publishers and bloggers are concerned about the page load speed and time. It is common knowledge that speed affects how search engines rank a website in search results. One of the heaviest element on any web page is often images. The more images you use the more time it takes for a page to load completely.

I noticed that when we upload an image in WordPress using the media uploader while writing a post, WordPress shows us image dimensions right below the filename. Today, I submitted an idea to display image file size as well. Even though most users are now used to optimizing images before uploading them to WordPress. However, sometimes you may upload an image without optimizing it first. This tiny little text could be a nice reminder to check your image size before you finally insert it into post.

Here is a mockup of my idea:

Displaying image file size in media uploader

If you like this idea, then I will need your help. Please visit this idea on WordPress Ideas and vote for it.

Update: I submitted a feature request ticket to the core trac. It is currently marked for future release. QasAshraf is currently working on a patch.

Shortcode Output Appearing On Top of Post Content in WordPress

While browsing WordPress support forums, I often see threads where users are asking the question ‘Why my shortcode output jumps to the top of the page content?’. Users asking this question are using a shortcode which outputs something and instead of appearing at the exact position where shortcode is placed, their shortcode output appears above rest of the post content.

The problem is actually very simple. The function executed by shortcode should return the output instead of echoing it.

Example of a shortcode using echo to display output:

function bad_shortcode_function($atts, $content = null) {
echo ‘<p>This is the output of shortcode</p>’;
add_shortcode(‘bad-shortcode’, ‘bad_shortcode_function’);

The code displayed above would echo the given output but when you add more content to the post or page where shortcode is placed this echo will not appear where the shortcode is placed. The correct way to use shortcodes is to use return. Like this:

function good_shortcode_function($atts, $content = null) {
$string = ‘<p>This is the output of shortcode</p>’;
return $string;
add_shortcode(‘good-shortcode’, ‘good_shortcode_function’);

Now if you want to output multiple lines of HTML you can add multiple lines to your output string like this:

function good_shortcode_function($atts, $content = null) {
$string = ‘<p>This is the output of shortcode</p>’;
$string .= ‘<p>This is the second line of output appended to the first string</p>’;
$string .= ‘<p>And the third line</p>’;
return $string;
add_shortcode(‘good-shortcode’, ‘good_shortcode_function’);

Hopefully this will help some new plugin developers and WordPress users who are trying their hands on shortcode for the first time. PS: if you recently worked on some awesome shortcode, please feel free to share the snippet below.

Translating Web Apps into Urdu

Urdu language was born out of several languages. Mainly it borrowed its vocabulary from Sanskrit, Hindi, Persian (Farsi), Turkish, and Arabic. Urdu is extremely flexible in adapting words from other languages. For example, currently in every day Urdu language, as well as Urdu literature, words from Western languages are commonly used. Words like editor, president, university, college, school, and many others, are commonly used and understood.

The reason that why several literary giants, newspapers, and educational experts, prefer to use English words instead of finding their Urdu replacement, is simply because Urdu is not designed to invent or make words up as you go. When you are finding a translation for a word like University in Urdu, you are basically looking for a word from any of the Urdu’s parent languages such as (Arabic, Turkish, Sanskrit, Farsi, etc). These other words are not as commonly spoken as the original English language word, hence trying to translate these words into Urdu is basically an attempt to make Urdu a much less practical language.

Urdu is a very practical language, mainly because it can swiftly and smoothly accommodate new words. Let’s take a look at some examples. I was looking at how some people are trying to translate Facebook. There was this phrase:

{name1} shared {=a link}.

Some suggested translations for this sentence were:

‎{name1}‎‏ نے ‎{=a link}‎‏ بانٹا۔

‎{name1}‎‏ نے ‎{=a link}‎‏ کی تشہیر کی۔

‎{name1}‎‏ نے ‎{=a link}‎‏ کا اشثراک کیا۔

‎{name1}‎‏ نے ‎{=a link}‎‏ مشترک کیا ہے۔

For any Urdu speaking Facebook user, these words make no sense. Simply because Sharing is a web feature, Facebook users associate this with a feature provided by the Facebook. This feature is common in thousands of other web applications, and every Urdu speaking internet user knows what sharing means. Insisting on translating this into a Urdu word would cause confusion.

Since there is no organization or authority that can validate and recommend people to stick to one word for a web feature, and since translating web applications has been democratized, translators are going to submit multiple translations for each sentence.

Now let’s take a look at who is actually translating web apps into Urdu? These are usually people who self-driven and motivated to keep their language alive on the web. Many of these users think that translating means they should literally translate everything, even if translating means rendering the web app practically useless for the average user. This means that there is a much greater chance of Facebook starting using sentence:

‎{name1}‎‏ نے ‎{=a link}‎‏ بانٹا۔

For an average Urdu speaking Facebook user, this sentence is not only incorrect, but it is also confusing, and they would find it hard to guess whether it is the same sharing feature or something else. Same goes for the rest of the translations. The most accurate, user-friendly, and ideal translation for the sentence would be:

‎{name1}‎‏ نے ‎{=a link}‎‏ شیئر کیا

In this sentence the word Share is written as it is in Urdu alphabet, making it easy to understand, user-friendly and practical.

I believe that there is no need to reinvent words that are part of the lives of Urdu speaking internet users. Words such as copy, paste, submit, email, web page, and many others are part of our every day lives where we use them in our every day Urdu fluently and with in context. These words are understood, recognized and are already part of the vocabulary. I feel that our fear of importing too much Western words into language are baseless and unrealistic. Trying to combat this battle will drive people away from using Urdu on their web applications.

If we just want to translate web applications that no one will use, then sure go a head, use alien-sounding, Persian and Arabic words for common tasks, functions and features. But if we want people to use web applications in Urdu then we must make translations smooth, fun, easy and practical.