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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Next time I’m in London, I’m going to Ling’s place FIRST!

Image by technokitten via Flickr

Is it wrong for me to be such a fan of this person?

Wow! Jeff, thanks so much for your support!

You know, I met Seth Godin this week, I have a page on my site: /sethgodin.php

I must say, he has been very helpful, he even mentioned me in his talk in London. You are spot on with many other blog posts here, too. I found you as I noticed a visitor on my site, from here. Cheers!!

By the way, I am making some small improvements following Seth (and other) advice. I have better images and some better navigation. But, I insist, my website will always be personal 🙂

– Ling

Originally posted as a comment by Ling Valentine on Regular Guy’s Experiments in www using Disqus.

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Personally, I think Ling’s website RULES

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I can say “RULES” and not sound unprofessional, right?

Anyway: I first saw this website after a SethGodin post and was inspired! It is actually one of the most interesting sites I’ve ever seen, and considering the buzz about it, Ling is doing something right!

So I am reading this post, and couldn’t understand his point, except that it’s fun to pick on people (?). I mean, come on, “atrocity”? That’s a bit strong!

Here’s her reply (she replies to this blog post, which is also great), the key “take away” is in the first paragraph:

#51 Ling Valentine on 01.27.09 at 11:36 am
I am sure they do wonder where to go. I am sure I get a lot of drop off. 

But… if you keep optimising again and again for max superduperness and slickness, you end up with a mediocre but excellently planned site that inspires no one, yet offends no one. It may look VERY professional, but people buy on emotion.

Clearly, I am going for the 30% who love it rather than the 30% who loathe it or the middle 40%. At least I am targeting an audience and converting them.

I am in a hell of a sector, competing against real dealers with multi-million £££ dealerships, real cars and real people. Good job they are useless at their jobs. All I have is a website, me, a 130×80 oversharpened car .gif and some emotion. Yet I am converting big ticket items. For an average £250 lease, someone is committing to £10,000 over 3-years. Show me another website that closes that commitment and does it over 250 times a month? Just over half customers pass finance. The rest I discard (nicely). So, I have a further 250 in my sausage machine, being managed on their way to a new car. A big workload. And at the end (read the letters page) everyone loves it! So much so that 60% return again.

Without wishing to call anyone stupid, how can that be true if the website really is “bad”? It is bloody good! No one else manages these volumes, online, in the UK. Just because it doesn’t fit the “MacUser’s Guide to Coolness and super-conventional Website Design”

Add to this I am a Chinese female, not an average image of a car salesman… would YOU commit £10k to a crazy Chinese bird for the lease of a £25,000 Audi car that you have never seen???

…By the way, houses are only as good as the equity in them, and if someone will allow you to get it out of them. Many people have found this out recently. You cannot eat a house or pay the taxman with it. Cash is always king.

– Ling


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Web Credibility Guidelines from Stanford

Hopefully, this is not copyrighted. SEE THE REAL PAGE HERE.
And now, a table: {I’ll have to play with it, not looking too good inside of WordPress!}

Guideline Additional Comments
1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.
You can build web site credibility by providing third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present, especially if you link to this evidence. Even if people don’t follow these links, you’ve shown confidence in your material.
2. Show that there’s a real organization behind your site.
Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organization will boost the site’s credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce.
3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide.
Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear. Conversely, don’t link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association.
4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.
The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organization. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. For example, some sites post employee bios that tell about family or hobbies.
5. Make it easy to contact you.
A simple way to boost your site’s credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.
6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose).
We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like The visual design should match the site’s purpose.
7. Make your site easy to use — and useful.
We’re squeezing two guidelines into one here. Our research shows that sites win credibility points by being both easy to use and useful. Some site operators forget about users when they cater to their own company’s ego or try to show the dazzling things they can do with web technology.
8. Update your site’s content often (at least show it’s been reviewed recently).
People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed.
9. Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers).
If possible, avoid having ads on your site. If you must have ads, clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. Avoid pop-up ads, unless you don’t mind annoying users and losing credibility. As for writing style, try to be clear, direct, and sincere.
10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.
Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site’s credibility more than most people imagine. It’s also important to keep your site up and running.



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Make Blog on Network Solutions

Wreckage of a crash from Saragossa, Spain. The...

Image via Wikipedia

If you want to have “making websites” listed as one of your hobbies, or if you find yourself with this as your hobby regardless of wanting to list it or not… Network Solutions might be a hosting provider you should look into.

While I realize that no one actually reads my blog anyway, that it is far more of a journal than anything else, I may continue to take the 1st person POV just in case I die in a car accident and someone looks this up. Internet archaeology is going to be big in the future. I want to be a part of that.

Anyway, I’ve been hosting this blog and a couple other sites on NS for quite a while, and I am actually HAPPY with their service. Which, in the internet service provider business, says a lot. Of course, I am merely a hobbyist. If I were doing this professionally, my opinion might be different.

Maybe I’ll change the name of this blog to “Internet Hobbyist”. OR maybe I’ll just crack open another blog for that purpose.

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

Image by Zemanta via CrunchBase

PS- What the hell are these pictures Zemanta is delivering? I think their software is great, but the picture thing has a way to go.

PPS- Oh, I get it. I wrote “car accident”.

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