The inaugural WordCamp San Diego was held July 16 and who should attend but Mr. WordPress himself, Matt Mullenweg. I was on the edge of my seat, like a fanboy at Comicon (okay, not that bad), listening to his responses during the townhall-style Q&A session at the end of the WordCamp. I have to say, Mr. Mullenweg projects a easy-going vibe that makes him seem approachable. Here’s my favorite photo from the session:
There was one funny quote from the Q&A I wanted to pass along:
You can’t meet the leader of the Free World with that hair.
Matt’s Mom on hearing her son was to meet President Obama
on the 5 of August 2011
in Web Design
I read an article today of all the factors to consider when selecting a hosting provider. They asked readers to consider 19 dimensions when making their decision. Yikes! Who would weigh that many considerations, especially when hosting is relatively commoditized?
In response, I’ve put together my own easy six steps to use when selecting a host:
How to Select a Host (In 6 Easy Steps)
- Determine the type of hosting you can afford each month.
- $5-10 = Shared
- $10-35 = Reseller
- $35-$100 = VPS or Cloud VPS
- $100+ = Dedicated (or more VPS / Cloud VPS resources)
- Find the best specs (storage, bandwidth, etc) you can for the money. The higher the numbers, generally, the better. But don’t be fooled by ‘unlimited’ offers. If your site lands on Digg’s homepage, you can bet your ‘unlimited’ plan will evaporate instantly.
- Determine what features are most important to you. Do you need a control panel (likely, yes)? Do you want one-click application installs (*cough* WordPress *cough*)? Do you want a bunch of email addresses, forwarders, subdomains and databases (see above, and likely, yes)?
- Start with the host with the best specs (#2), features (#3) and priced most competitively (read: the best value). Google the name of the host and add ‘reviews’ behind your search. Read a bunch or reviews, using your best judgement to spot trends, holes in their support, or overwhelming negative reviews. Please keep in mind that most hosts have negative reviews and people are more likely to post about bad experiences, than good ones. If you don’t like what you read, move on to the next competitively-priced host. Rinse and repeat.
- *TIP* If you find one that you would like to take a chance on, try to find a coupon code, special offer, or free trial. Google the name of the company and add ‘coupon code’, ‘special offers’, or ‘free trial’ to the end of the search.
- Purchase your new hosting plan and wait for the automated emails to roll in. Read the next series of emails closely and follow the instructions.
If you want my recommendation, I determined that I wanted a cloud VPS server with root access (which meant that I could install just about anything on a dedicated [virtual] machine). I clicked every link and paid advertisement for five pages into Google. In the end, I determined that the best value was Enzu.com. Their Cloud-2GB plan had awesome specs for the money. While there were a couple hiccups in the beginning, they were smoothed out. My cloud VPS is stable, returning pages quickly, and I couldn’t be happier.
Good luck to you on finding your new dream host!
References: How to choose a Web Host Company?
Talking with a friend the other day, a simple idea hit me like a lightning bolt:
WordPress (Automattic) has completely missed the boat on an obvious revenue stream. Why doesn’t WordPress.org have a ThemeForest/CodeCanyon-style marketplace? Apple has the App Store, Android has the Marketplace. Why doesn’t WordPress have the Last Word? The Word? The SolutionPress? (I’m spitballing here, but you get the idea).
What could be more trusted (and profitable) than buying the plug-in or theme straight from the guys who brought you the CMS you’re using?
Mr. Mullenweg, I’ll see you Saturday at San Diego’s first ever WordCamp San Diego. If we get a chance to talk, I’ll let you guess what I’m going to say!
As someone who has developed and sent HTML emails, I can tell you that this site, if kept up to date, will be a huge time saver:
Have you ever wanted a homepage that looked different than your blog page? Or have you ever installed a theme that had different page templates for the homepage, gallery pages, contact form and blog post? I sure have. For months I wondered how I could do it for my own themes.
Well, the answer turns out to be surprisingly simple. It’s literally four lines of code:
<?php /* Template Name: Snarfer */ ?>
You can read more about it here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Pages#Creating_Your_Own_Page_Templates
Here’s how I used this knowledge: while putting together a new site for a local san diego salon, I took the default layout file (page.php) and copied it with a new name (homepage.php). Then I added the lines of code above, except I changed the template name to ‘Homepage’. WhaBAM! A new template type to chose from when adding a new page. In the case of SuedeSalonSD.com, I only used the new template type once, for the homepage.
But as you can image, the possibilities are virtually endless!