Blog Archives

Which is the best self-hosted WP host?

Image representing Bluehost as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I did some research because I am thinking of moving to a self-hosted WP host. It seems based on other people’s shared experiences that the top two are HostGater and Bluehost. Both seem to offer great performance, reliability and service. I have had clients who used MediaTemple and it was very slow. One client in particular moved from MediaTemple to Bluehost and their site was instantly responsive without any other changes.

Has anyone used HostGater and Bluehost that had a bad experience? I want to stay away from GoDaddy because of their questionable business practices.

Blogs that are short and spammy here at WordPress

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Image by Muy Yum via Flickr

In the last 24 hours I have seen a proliferation of blog posts that are exactly the same as one another. Sometimes the blog post which is only a few sentences is repeated word for word with as many as 10-20 different blog names/authors. This has to be an automated operation and abuse of WordPress.

I let WordPress know that this is occurring but its a hard problem for them to fix. Everyone is free to scrape content, but I imagine its hard setting a hard limit of scraping that you can enforce. For example, one webpage called techmeme I think used to make it very easy to submit things to your blog/Twitter feed. It has some interesting stories, but because it is so easy lots of people were using it. I noticed that on Twitter and stopped using it. There is no use to repeat something that hundreds of people are already repeating.

So I have decided that creating original content really is a better way to build an audience than sharing educational resources I find. I have learned many things reading other websites, but not everyone seems to appreciate less common resources. To me, if something is worth learning about it is easy to motivate yourself to learn. However I see that other people sometimes prefer to be led through learning something. So that is a change I am going to do in editorial content here.

Lubith: A dead-simple tool for creating your WordPress theme – TNW Apps

Unfortunately you can only upload these themes to your own self-hosted WP installation. Still the fact that you can easily create themes is fantastic. I wish that WP.com would buy this company and allow us to make our own themes.

via Lubith: A dead-simple tool for creating your WordPress theme – TNW Apps.

WordPress Tag Surfer – the new time consumer (via Kickstand’s Korner)

I get caught up with the tag surfer too. Have you checked out the Readomattic? I think that’s a better way to keep up with all your tags.

Wordpress Tag Surfer - the new time consumer I used to spend hours each day reading about the latest technology and gadget news and well written features. Then a few weeks ago Gizmodo ruined its layout. It suddenly became difficult to keep up with the hottest gadget news, browsing a site harder to navigate than a double-decker bus. It wasn’t just me – many complained about this change to an un-broken format, but the Gizmodo team seemed reluctant to admit that all the time and effort designi … Read More

via Kickstand’s Korner

The Pros and Cons of Tumblr for Small Business (via OfficeAid Administrative Support)

This isn’t functional or stable enough to suggest it for business use. It is very popular for youth audiences however. So if you customers are in the 20-14 range, this might be worthwhile for you.

The Pros and Cons of Tumblr for Small Business More and more businesses have started using social blogging platform Tumblr of late, which may have you wondering, “Should I be on Tumblr, too?” Well, if you’re a small business owner with your finger currently hovering over the “Start posting!” button, there are a few questions to consider first. Is Simple Always Better? Compared to platforms like WordPress, Tumblr is dead simple. It’s easy to set up and customize, and one can start posting with … Read More

via OfficeAid Administrative Support

The downside of being hosted with WordPress.com

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.

Image via Wikipedia

Generally WordPress is very good. It has some odd things however, and I wanted to share one of the biggest ones for me. It seems that you have two options when you have comments.

  1. To have anyone comment, and all pingbacks to post automatically.
  2. To have to approve each comment, and have to approve all pingbacks.

Now clearly with the volume of Spam I get, over 11k in the past 2 years I can’t allow just anyone to comment. However every-time that I link to an older post I have written I have to approve it.

Now naturally I ask the spam people if they could change this behavior. They said that it was up to WordPress to offer this as a feature. I asked WP technical support and they confirmed that those were my two choices.

I think that there are 3 things that cause people to want to move to a self-hosted situation.

  1. More control over the plug-ins or ways that a blog functions. If I had a self-hosted blog then I would have a choice of discussion plug-ins. So then I could theoretically change or find a better way to handle pingbacks.
  2. More control of the themes/css/java. It is amazing the kind of beautiful blog themes that you see on the web. Unfortunately even the premium themes are boring/disappointing. It is frustrating that you have to pay for a CSS upgrade. Part of what makes a successful site is how it looks. I understand that WP needs to make a profit, I wish they would explore the advertising aspect more. Like if they help their customers gain an audience then that advertising money should be credited to them. For their immediate need, they could offer a partnership ad program where someone could pay $30 a month and then half of the money raised from ads goes to them. That would ensure the payment that WP needs, and also provide an incentive for the blogger to make good content. Things like java and stuff are expected by surfers, so the lack of things like flash and more advanced things don’t help people stick at a site. I paid for the No-ad upgrade, but I had no way to know if WP was making more or less money by me doing this. If the monitzation had been more transparent then we could make better decisions on our resources/times.
  3. More control over performance, analytics, heat tracking, or really the wide range of functionality that a normal site would allow you to have. You can’t use many tools like Google’s Website Optimizer or any way to do things like A/B testing/multivariate testing. Really if you are trying to ensure a SLA or quality of service there is no way to enable this. For that reason alone you can’t really use WP for a business purpose.

Replacing your Profile Photo on WordPress and other sites

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I updated my links tonight and switched some older photos to the newest photo of me. It was pretty easy. I updated my Digg, Flickr, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon photos. WordPress took the longest time to update my profile. When I uploaded the photo it said it would take a few minutes to propagate throughout the WP universe. That isn’t unreasonable in my opinion. I have made many comments and interacted heavily with others, so nothing is instant in life except perhaps death.

I am going to work on my Digg profile next. I am not sure that I will be able to keep up interest in Digg. I used to go there everyday before the version 4 redesign, but lately the stories have been very poor. I think perhaps a Reddit profile might be more interesting. Has anyone switched from Digg to another sharing service?

Open Web Analytics vs. Google Analytics vs. Piwik – StumbleUpon

Open Web Analytics – StumbleUpon. According to this side by side comparison it has far more than these other services offer. If I had a self-hosted WordPress site I would be using that package.