How to Make Your WordPress Blog Not Run Faster by Using a CDN That Goes Out of Business and You Suddenly Realize After the Fact That Maybe It Wasn’t Such a Good Idea In the First Place

My difficulty instituting a CDN continues

 

I had been using a CDN, the acronym for “Content Delivery Network”, to deliver the pictures on this blog to your browser. The reason for doing this is to speed up the load time of the web page and it certainly fit in my “Experiments with WWW” or whatever I’m calling it. A CDN stores your pictures/videos/whatever (content that is larger than the rest of the html in a site) and when the page loads your server doesn’t have to spend a bunch of time pushing that heavy content around, it can focus on the simpler and faster html  and associated scripts.

 

But, what happens when your CDN provider gets shut down and you didn’t even notice? Or get a notification? And what if that happens at exactly the same time that you upgrade your caching plugin, which leaves a file on your server that breaks the website? And not just your website, but the other three websites on the same host? What happens is that even if you put your server right side up again, all of the pictures that you call on the deceased CDN no longer answer.

 

Oh MY GOD this is SO boring!

 

The CDN I was using was called “SimpleCDN“. SimpleCDN logoAs I recall, they offerered 150Mb of storage, and up to a Gb download per month for $FREE. I’m using MAYBE 10% of that. I could pay some “cloud” service like Amazon $100.00/mo. And there are others, most of which are as expensive. SimpleCDN “fit my needs”, as they say. Apparently, SimpleCDN were using a hosting service then reselling it as a content delivery network. This article explains it better than I will, so you should read it if this type of thing is interesting to you. So the host shut them down. Hit the kill switch, with no advance notice. UH OH! Now you have subscribers who are using your service to run their websites, and they all go dark (sort of, I mean, their content wouldn’t be visible if the page tries to refer to stuff on the CDN server).

 

Two lessons I learned from this experiment:

 

  1. You get what you pay for. This is an immutable natural law. Whether it be for Graphic Design, a CDN, or a bottle of wine.
  2. If you want your blog to stay online, you MUST do some maintenance and pay attention to all the stuff you have tacked on to it.

 

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Before you make a claim, get the data.

Bronze statue of Karl Malone outside Delta Cen...


This  kind of post is always interesting to me. Someday, I’ll figure out why, but for now suffice it to say that when you claim to be an expert about something, at least follow your own rules. The article (a self-referential metablog which attempts to give you some rules for making a good blog) instructs the blog writer/manager to:

  • Use standard blog interface design principles: Increase usability among blog readers by sticking with what they know and use:
    • Incorporate the topical tags and categories for quick sorting.
    • Include relevant links to other related sites or blogs in the sidebar.
    • Customize your CSS to choose a highly readable font and size.
    • Include your authors’ names.
  • But they don’t include their author’s name. 

    I wish stuff like this didn’t bother me so much, I really do. Maybe I’m too much of a stickler, I don’t know. It’s all about credibility. To have credibility as an expert, you have to be able to prove your expertise. This blog only makes claims about what to do but does not show any evidence to support those claims. 

    Like last night, I was at a party where some friends were saying Karl Malone and John Stockton weren’t good basketball players because they never won the NBA championship. (No mention was made of Jeff Hornacek or Jerry Sloan or, god forbid, Greg Ostertag). This logic breaks down pretty quickly, and I don’t expect a bunch of guys talking about sports to use pure logic to understand reality after three or four beers, but it hits me the same way. Statistically, Stockton and Malone were two of the best players ever to play the game, Stockton to this day has more assists and steals than any player since. They were masters. The 1997-98 Jazz had a 62-20 record. If that sucks, I wonder what the definition of great would be?

    This article was conceived, written, designed and published by Jeff Lazerus. Contact me in any number of ways:

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    The Slovenia Report

    When I look over the Google Analytics for this blog, I look for anomalies. Right now, ANY VISIT to the blog is something of an anomaly, so I study them all and try to figure out the where/why/how of that visit. Yesterday’s post and comments are not so much an experiment as they are the logical conclusion of some actual deductive effort.

    Something that was great about the comments yesterday was learning how the companies I mentioned (and I did mention them PURPOSELY as bait, to get proof of my theory) used Google Alerts to monitor blog posts and news about themselves. 

    This morning, after looking at Google Analytics (because of an experiment my friend RT ran last night), I’m finding new direct visitors to the site many from Europe, and the biggest anomaly, visits from Slovenia. I know nothing about Slovenia, so now I am going to read up… and try to figure out what interest someone from there would have in my ramblings.

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    Seth Godin writes about me, so I should return the favor

    Seth Godin Action Figure - Painted Prototype W...

    Image by archiemcphee via Flickr

    Metablog (blogging about blogging)

    Seth Godin‘s blog is one of the most viewed on the web, so a personal blogger would be wise to model it. Of course, not everyone can be an internet millionaire/bestselling author, and use that cred to drive visitors to their site. (Jealous?) That said, Godin’s blog is frequently provocative, easily read, and contains quips that make you think (OH MY GOD! NO!), and a lot of other bloggers and writers refer to his work, especially in the marketing sphere. His blog is number one in Ad Age‘s top 150 marketing blogs list, just as an example; and Godin’s blog shows up repeatedly at the top of many other blog trackers and ratings from Technorati to Bloglines. If he wanted to sell ads, he could do VERY WELL. One of the reasons for the blog’s popularity, however, has to be because it is ad free — with the subtle exception of ads for his own books (which aren’t really ads, but just mentions), which really makes sense if you think about it. It would be weird if you didn’t talk about subjects that interested you enough to write an entire book about, in your blog.

    So, while I have resisted blogging about bloggers, I thought his latest blog post about blogging was interesting enough to put in my permanent record, check it out. 

    UPDATE: I just realized: This is a blog post about a blog post about blogging. <shudder>

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