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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How to Make your WordPress Blog Stop Working by Trying to Make it Run Faster

I finally found the time to update this blog, hopefully some fresh content will finally get me a third reader.

Why I haven’t posted since March, 2010:

I decided that enough is enough and after having been laid off by no less than three printing/marketing places, then suffering through unemployment along with the other thirty million Americans like me, I went back to college to get my BS. That is, an official BS, not the BS I usually deal in (HA!). Thankfully, I have been working during that time, and so was left with very little time left to write on this.

Why my blog went off the air:

I thought that the internet had, like, ghosts or something that would alert me to problems. Let’s say you installed a plug in on your WordPress blo, in order to make it run faster, as an “experiment in www”. Then let’s say that this plug in, out of the goodness of its heart, creates and deploys what’s called an .htaccess file all up in your server’s face to get it to do its bidding. Now, this is a long story, and I’m not going to bore myself with the details of it, but let’s say that the plug in did this WITHOUT TELLING YOU. I’m not mad at it (I am kind of mad at it). Now, when you put a(n) .htaccess file on the root folder of your webserver, usually that’s okay, it actually needs those instructions. But when you put that file in a subfolder on a server, and you point a URL to that subfolder, apparently you are then FORBIDDEN to enter. As in “403 Forbidden“. After a couple days, I was able to find the .htaccess file that was hurting me, hid it, and voila, my site pops back up. Thankfully this is my own thing and I’m not running it for someone else, otherwise I might be looking for yet another job. Thanks a lot, W3TC!!! But I will not give up on the whole CDN thing. Once I nail it down I can pretend to be cool by saying my website utilizes a cloud-computing architecture, or some such gibberish. {I did not know the word gibberish was spelled with a “g;”. I’ll be darned.}

Anyway:

Buried deep in this post is another reason I am back on this experimental blog. I DID in fact set up a site for someone else, and I will probably need to test some stuff out over here to make sure everything paechy before I deploy it on my client’s site. Here it is

StudioLazerus Logo

So, go check it out (yes, I am telling you what to do), buy some jewelry for yourself and your loved ones, and stay tuned to see the results of further experiments in www and in real life as well.

How to Make a Blog on WordPress using Network Solutions

WP_logo1- Buy a domain name (like www.jefflazerus.com)
2- Buy a hosting account on Network Solutions
3- Install WordPress out of the “Tools” panel in your account manager area
4- Login and post, but don’t expect it to work the same each time, and always expect some new useless (?) upgrade from WordPress at random times.

UPDATE 11/05/09:

Network Solutions now allows you to buy a WordPress hosting package, without shared hosting or the high end virtual server, for something like $4.00 US. If you just want WordPress on a nice stable platform, this could be a good solution. If I were going to add WP to a commerce site that already exists I would seriously consider this option.

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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 IBM.com. 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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