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September 28, 2009

Network Solutions offers dedicated WordPress hosting package

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ns-hosting-wordpressRather late to the blogging party, and deciding that a dedicated blog hosting package is better than a generic one, Network Solutions has announced its nsHosting for WordPress package that’s supposed to make it easy to set up and maintain a WordPress blog.

According to Network Solutions’ senior director of web presence, Navin Ganeshan, customers have been asking for WordPress. This strikes me as a little odd, given that the couple of times I’ve set up web hosting on a standard Network Solutions account, WordPress has always been an installation option, but perhaps it’s just about marketing to a certain audience. read more

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June 22, 2009

5 Tech Things Every Blogger Should Know

Where 15 years ago, having a Web site was something of a badge of nerdiness, today having a site doesn’t require much technical knowledge at all. Someone with almost no technical expertise can set up an account on WordPress.com or Blogger and be blogging within minutes.

However, this doesn’t mean that a blogger can get away with being a technical dunce. Though getting words on the Internet is pretty simple, building and growing a blog does require one to know a bit more than how to flip on a PC. Social networking sites make it easy to get online, but blogging, especially over the long haul, takes something more.

So what are those things that every blogger should know? There are many, definitely more than what is on this list, but here are five things every would-be blogger should know before, or at least shortly after, getting started. read more

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February 9, 2009

5 Bookmarklets to Learn More About a Site

There are many reasons one might want to learn more information about a site they are visiting. Perhaps the site is a competitor that is beating you in the search engine rankings. It could be that the site is a spam blog or other site warranting an abuse report to their host. Maybe they are just curious to find out who is hosting the fast-moving server, making them want to switch to their host.

Whatever the reason, cutting through the veil of a site to learn what makes it tick can be a tricky feat, especially for those who are not familiar with the inner workings of the Web. Navigating through a mess of Whois results and DNS information can be very useful, but also intimidating.

So how does one learn more about a site, preferably without being inundated with confusing information? Here are five simple bookmarklets that can teach you more about a site with just one click. read more

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Movable Type Monday: Easy Installs, BetterFields, Contact Forms, and More

Happy Monday, folks! If you’ve ever struggled to install Movable Type, you may have a new option soon: Six Apart has announced that MT will soon be available under the Parallels Application Packaging Standard. This will allow hosting companies to offer a simple install to their customers. If you have a Plesk control panel you’ll be able to install MT with the click of a button. MTers have always been envious of other open source projects that could be installed through things like APS. Hopefully this means we’ll see MT on other hosting platforms as well. read more

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February 3, 2009

Is Google Analytics Slooowing Down Your Blog?

Google Analytics LogoIf you use Google Analytics to track visits to your blog, you might be surprised to know that you may be experiencing severely retarded (no pun intended) page load times, at least in Europe. That’s according to a recent study conducted by Royal Pingdom.

The folks at RP found that during peak hours of Web usage in Europe, the Google Analytics Javascript loaded nearly twice as slowly – 97% slower than usual, to be precise – as it did on average in Europe during all hours of use.

in general, GA actually loads slightly faster in Europe than in the US, but it also experiences a much greater percentage rate of slowdown in Europe during peak hours relative to its average performance.

As Royal Pingdom puts it: “[W]hile the European load times are significantly faster on average than the North American ones, the performance is much more uneven over the course of the day.”

The difference between the maximum and minimum load times for North America is 27%, but in Europe the difference is 97%.

See the Royal Pingdom post for several intriguing data graphs supporting their conclusions.

Update: I’ve clarified above that the figures above refer to load time during peak hours relative to average load time, and that GA actually loads slightly faster overall in Europe than in the US.

Do you think Google Analytics is worth the trouble? Why or why not?

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August 18, 2008

10 Rules for Finding Good Domain Hosting

I purchased my first domain in the year 1998, almost ten years to the day. I set up my site with a small but now-defunct hosting service called 9NetAve. Though I had been creating Web sites for three years up to that point, it was a major step forward and new territory for me.

Since then, I have worked with over 2 dozen hosts (not counting copyright issues) and have set up a variety of sites and blogs for me, my friends and my clients. Most of my experiences have been good though I have, on a few occasions, been severely burned.

But for anyone looking to host their own blog, perhaps to move up from a free hosting solution, finding a good host can be a daunting decision. Many simply go with the first name that comes to mind and hope for the best while others make their decision purely on price and take a serious gamble with their site.

For those seeking hosting for the first time or looking to move to a new service, I am offering my ten rules of finding a good host. read more

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