Tag: How to

If you visited the site in the last 24 hours, you’ve probably grown familiar with that nice 404 Not Found error page. That was because I was moving hosts and basically botched the transition.

In December 2007 I started this site with webserve.ca. At the time I had no problems with the cost or package they were offering, and the fact that they could register a .CA domain name was great. Within a few months, however, I needed to open many support tickets with them. Their service was quite good, but the fact that I needed to ask them so often wasn’t. The biggest problem was that they blocked Googlebot in the firewall. This meant that for 2 weeks Google had no idea what was going on with my site, and my rankings suffered. Fast forward to last week, and an unannounced control panel upgrade left my with an inaccessible site. Even after the site came back, my statistics weren’t available, so I had no idea what was happening. That was the last straw, so I began looking for alternatives.

After a few evenings surfing the hosting review sites, I found bluehost.com, a popular service out of the United States. I read some reviews, opinions and comments, and decided it was a great fit for my blog. It’s all available on the Bluehost website, but here are the features that caught my attention:

  • Host multiple websites — link multiple domains to the same hosting account. Different domain, websites, databases, same account.
  • FTP users — give people select access to your disk space. My other provider didn’t give me this ability out of the box, and I’m really going to use this often.
  • Anonymous FTP — no password access. Similar to the above item, give someone access to a folder without having to share a password.
  • Per-domain stats — view stats based on single domains. This is a big one for me, as I use multiple subdomains, and this is very easy to view them separately.
  • Custom preference panel — Bluehost’s custom preference panel is the easiest way I’ve seen to modify databases, domains, everything related to your account. All the options are available from a single page.

I’ve now transferred everything over to Bluehost, and my Webserve account has been cancelled. During the transition, I had to remember to save all data from the site: MySQL databases and FTP files. Once I had double checked the connections and paths, the site was good to go, and I changed the domain name servers over. Badda bing, new host. Of course, I’d definitely do it differently during the second time around, but that’s another story.

So, after all this work, we now return to the regular blog programming.
[tags]websites, hosting, ISP, blogs[/tags]

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You might notice in the footer of my blog that there is a small item that says My MacBook has been on for 4 days, 20:18 hours. I thought that this might be an interesting thing to share with people.

If this is something you’re interested in putting on your site, here is how I’ve automated the entire process. I’m going to assume that you’re running OS X, and that you have a standard text editor to write basic code.

While originally I made it happen with Automator and an Appescript, helpful commenter phalkunz created an even more efficient method that I will build on.
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This is part 1 of upgrading your MacBook. Part 2 is moving the data to the new drive.

When you purchase a MacBook, the options for hard drive space are 80GB, 120GB, or now, 250GB. I went with the stock 80, but now, more than a year later, I want more. What to do? Why, install your own hard drive, of course! I picked up a 250 GB drive at a local store for $100, and am now in the process of moving all my extra items on this ginormous (for a laptop) drive.

Since I am certain there are more people interested in doing this, here is part 1 of a two part tutorial on what you need to do to get your MacBook up and running with a larger drive (part 2 is moving the data).

The first thing you will need, naturally, is a hard drive. As I mentioned, I picked up a 2.5″ SATA drive with 250 GB and 5400 RPM at a local store for $100. This is a very good price, in my mind, and it fits the bill nicely. Just remember that those are the specs you need to get: 2.5″ laptop drive, 5400 RPM, SATA connection. 7200 RPM drives also work.

With a hard drive available, you are now ready to begin replacing the innards to your computer.
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If you’re like me, you wait for a while whenever new technology arrives. We didn’t get a DVD player until they had been on the scene for a few months, and we didn’t have high speed internet until the price dropped way down. In fact, there’s probably a Betamax player somewhere in the basement.

I waited until Revision 2 to pick up an Airport Extreme base station. The gigabit feature was the reason I waited. I probably didn’t notice much difference since there are only 2 wired computers on the network, and only 1 has Gigabit ethernet, but waiting for Product 2.0 is generally a good way to go. The router I was replacing is an Airport Express base station that has been my entire wireless setup since 2004, and it has been an excellent solution. With the Airport Extreme, I played around with the settings, and learned that I had better reception for my iPod touch if I used Wireless G with both routers instead of a single Wireless N base station.

With that in mind, here is a tutorial for using two Airport base stations to create a single distributed network.

Steps

  1. Configure Main base station
  2. Configure Remote base station

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Starting a website and blog has been a very interesting learning experience for me. I’m continually looking for ways to improve the blog and make it more enjoyable. That includes writing good content, and checking the stats at the end of the day.

I’ve noticed recently that the file admin-ajax.php has received a very high percentage of my web views. By the name, I could tell it was from the admin interface, and now I know it is the autosave function that calls a new page every time it saves the current blog post. This meant that when I leave the editing page open for an extended period of time while I’m writing, admin-ajax.php is hammering my web server. This has ruined my web stats, as it skews the data, but I have found a solution.

It turns out that disabling autosave completely isn’t that difficult. If you follow this, you must remember that WordPress will no longer save while you write, meaning you can lose work much easier.

To disable WordPress autosave, you must access your website FTP and edit wp-admin/post.php and wp-admin/post-new.php. In post.php, edit line 102 that says

wp_enqueue_script('autosave');

by adding // to the beginning of the line. In post-new.php, edit line 6 in the same way so it reads

//wp_enqueue_script('autosave');

An example of the actual code is in the photo in this post.

If you ever want to restart the autosave function, just remove the // in both files.

[UPDATE]: I just noticed that autosave is also enabled for creating Pages. To modify the page editor, make the same changes to wp-admin/page-new.php and wp-admin/page.php.

[tags]Wordpress, autosave, website, blogs[/tags]

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