Websites

A peek under the hood of the website revamp

_Image by riversidetransport under a CC-BY-NC-SA license I am not a web developer. My HTML is rudimentary at best and you should be very afraid when I start poking at CSS and Javascript. Though things might be a bit prettier than they were, I’m going to take this opportunity to highlight the tools I used to give my website a makeover. Homepage For 5 years, I left up a “Coming Soon” webpage with some links to Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Planning for the inevitable

There is a small chance my website might temporarily go offline for the next week or two. I’ve been working with Site5 to transfer servers and downgrade my services, but communication has been spotty. Unfortunately, my account is technically up this week, and as luck would have it, I will be traveling when that occurs. If that happens, and my account isn’t extended, I won’t be able to deal with it as I’m traveling for work later in the work.

Site5 Issues

I’ve been hosted on Site5 for just shy of two years, and up until last week, the service has been great. Unfortunately, I’ve had 4 outages in the last week alone, and folks over at Webhostingtalkforums are saying similar things about Site5. I’ve only done a cursory glance at other webhosts, as I would have no idea where I would go. I see a lot of technical folks and blogs hosted at Mediatemple, but their reviews aren’t much better.

Lovin' Feedburner

About 6 months ago, I burned my blog’s RSS feed to Feedburner. I was using WP-Shortstat as a WordPress plugin, and the RSS feed subscribers didn’t look realistic (and they weren’t!) as it was over reporting on the number of subscribers. I’ve been happy with Feedburner since, and it provided a very simple view to my feed’s statistics, and there was a plugin to view the statistics right in my WordPress dashboard.

Website Updates

I updated the blog to WordPress 2.1 last night, which has a lots of little updates. The upgrade went perfectly, and my theme and plugins seem to work without any errors. I finally found the option in WordPress to update the feed to full posts instead of the summaries, which makes the blog much more friendly to RSS readers. A bonus effect is that it fixes the Daily Links post to post in bullet summaries in feedreaders instead of mashing the post in to one paragraph.

GoDaddy Follow-up

Let’s just say that I received such a form letter in response to my email, that I won’t even post it. Basically they implied it was a problem with my webhost since I don’t host with GoDaddy. It led me to firing back this, short and sweet: Your stock answer below does not answer either of my questions. Let me be clear as to what my questions are: Why did GoDaddy park my domain for a period of 6-12 hours on 1/9/2006?

GoDaddy Screws up

I have multiple websites through Dotster and GoDaddy, and typically register with whomever is cheapest, and then jump to a different registrar at renewal time to again keep costs down. I’ve been happy with GoDaddy’s renewal fees, as the registrars usually try to charge you double to renew vs. registering a domain, and GoDaddy usually charges the same price. However, with paulcutler.org up for renewal, they’ve screwed the pooch pretty bad on this one.

WordPress 2.0

I’ve upgraded the ole blog to WordPress 2.0 and the K2 theme to the latest, revision 151. Overall, I’m pretty impressed.¬†Visually, it’s much better, though the post editor is now a more WYSIWYG type, and there seem to be some kinks to be worked out with that, but I’m guessing it may have to do with a Firefox extension I’m using.¬†The plugins I use (FlickrRSS, Ultimate Tag Warrior) seem to work, and I’ve switched from Spam Karma 2 to Akismet for spam blockage.

Del.icio.us Bookmarking

As a (spoiled) multi-computer user, one of my small annoyances is keeping tracks of my bookmarks on different machines. I’ve tried the Firefox extension that syncs bookmarks via FTP with mixed success, and a while back I signed up for a Del.icio.us but didn’t make great use of it. Well, now Del.icio.us built a Firefox extension that makes it a cinch to keep track of all your bookmarks via their service.

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