I hope this short essay helps anyone trying to monitor site uptime or pipe any kind of alerts into Teamwork Chat.
I worry that Vimeo Pro Pricing is so good that eventually Vimeo will remove the basic Pro account for new users. Get Vimeo Pro now at 30% off.
Editor's note: Service interruption notifications are the unloved sibling of newsletters and welcome emails. They just don't get enough love—and for the most part are fairly terrible, anonymous, vague and menacing messages, often from a no-reply address. There is a better way.
While software is our main business now, we have some hosting clients for special services. Every once in a while of course there is either expected or unexpected downtime. We strive to let our clients know about these issues in advance (planned) and in real time (unplanned). We don't try the tricky move that many hosts do of just trying to hide downtime.
Latest version of FV Flowplayer (2.3.13) brings detailed video stats into your Google Analytics account.
Basic Flowplayer version tracks number of seconds played for each users, which then gives you an average value in Google Analytics Events list. However this takes place when you stop the video or leave the page and it's not 100% reliable.
That's why FV Flowplayer now tracks the following events:
History of article updates
- January 19th, 2015 - fix for WP4.1
- February 20th, 2015 - figuring out the true cause
- So how did this issue really started?
- Users - how to really fix your broken WP Multisite
- WordPress Multisite changes a lot with little notice
We recently found our users were having difficulty resetting their passwords. As many of our users are paid owners of our WordPress video player FV Player Pro, it is essential they are able to log in to manage their licenses. Log in issues were a very big deal for us and we had to stop the presses to get it working right. Much thanks to Klaus for helping us track down the bug.
We love Satollo and loved Hyper Cache (we're longtime paid users and supporters of his Newsletter technology as well). Strangely, sometimes good developers do bad work. The latest version of Hyper Cache (version 3) is a prime example of what can go wrong with rewrite upgrades.
Since we were struggling with Hyper Cache we decided to take a look at WP Rocket who is the hot new caching kid on the WordPress block. Sadly WP Rocket is not a good replacement for us for now. We test and compare Hyper Cache and WP Rocket below.
... and what can be done about it
Many successful WordPress site owners have moved their sites over to WPEngine for their high performance and high speed even under very heavy traffic.
WP Engine is able to provide this kind of speed thanks to their "hand-built a WordPress-specific EverCache system" and "a fully-managed CDN service" (for more info see WP Engine's articles on speed and infrastructure).
The challenge: keeping my IP address up to date
I recently wanted to find a way to keep dynamic DNS updated for a smart DNS service at home (to keep MOG, Pandora and LastFM running without using the hassle of a VPN). It turns out my home DSL router's IP address changes all the time and I was updating my DNS mapping service multiple times per day.
It was a bit of a hunt to find a suitable dynamic DNS solution as dyndys.org went (expensive) paid at $25/year recently. After looking at some of the competitors, I finally chose DNSmadeeasy to avoid creating managing more logins. We already have work accounts and DNSmadeeasy includes dynamic DNS with every name in your account (fabulous value if you need a lot of dynamic DNS). If you are looking for free dynamic DNS, the amusingly named http://afraid.org appears to be the last good free solution operating.
While on Afraid.org's site, I found a nice quick Bash script which could be customised for DNSmadeasy. Unfortunately I couldn't get Curl to work well in bash, with DNSmadeeasy's update command failing (personal data removed) even with -d data variables or with a simple http command:
All the NSA needs are local encrypted copies. LastPass helps the NSA actively while 1password helps the NSA passively. Help to pick your poison.
If you use an unpaid dropbox account, be very careful. The support demands currently exceed supply and you are unlikely to get any help.
Dropbox Support, Feb 19 12:18 am (PST):
Thank you for your support request. Recently, we have been receiving a high volume of support requests and haven't been able to get back to you within a reasonable amount of time.
The volume of inquiries we receive on a daily basis prevents us from responding to all requests. Although requests from Pro and Teams users will be given priority assistance, we will do our best to get back to other inquiries when possible. If you are not a Pro or Teams user and you're looking to resolve your issue before we can respond, you may want to check out:
If you need to restore a large number of files and are unable to do so, please visit the following instructions to help us speed up the restoration for you:
If you are still experiencing problems, please reply to this message. We will try our best to get back to you, however we cannot guarantee a response. We're very sorry for the inconvenience.
The Dropbox Support Team
We use Dropbox a lot and this is a worry for us.
Mimicing such tracking tomfoolery on small successful sites will not make you more like the "big boys". It will just drive people to your competition.
WordPress cache plugins were in really sad shape by the summer of 2012. WordPress 3.3 and WordPress 3.4 have changed some important parts of these plugins and they started to collapse. The first one to go was W3 Total Cache (at WordPress.org) which has been getting about 50% broken ratings since last fall. After spending months learning how to use W3 Total Cache just right (it's a complicated beast), we had to pull it off all our sites. Fortunately the much simpler WP Super Cache (at WordPress.org) remained bullet proof.
This spring and summer WP Super Cache broke too. Garbage collection does not work reliably any more, leading to people getting served week old pages. Donncha first suggested it's impossible to make WP Super Cache work for all hosting out of the box. Strange as for more than five years WP Super Cache did just that. The real answer came a bit later. WP Super Cache is a free plugin and Donncha just doesn't have time anymore.
I have hardly any time to devote to this any more. One of the dangers of becoming a father I'm afraid.
We've struggled to get garbage collection working properly to keep our clients' sites cached but reliably up to date. For the moment garbage collection still won't run reliably on at least Informed Comment. As JuanCole.com is one of the most read political sites in the world, this is something which needed to be fixed right away. It turns out there is a third WordPress cache plugin out there, Hyper Cache (at WordPress.org). We know the author of this plugin Stefano Lissa from his Newsletter Pro plugin which we use for a few clients. Lissa's code is good, he can handle sophisticated tasks while keeping the code structured enough for external teams to find and repair bugs and he answers his email.
So while HyperCache is less well-known than the big two, it seemed worth a try. We think long and hard before changing horses on core functionality like caching as we have years of experience with our core plugins. Usually our philosophy is better the devil you know is better than the one you don't.
In addition, WP Super Cache has mod_rewrite capability which means no PHP has to run (and hence presumably no CPU) to serve cached pages. We put a high value on Super Cache's capability to bypass PHP processing. But to our surprise testing last year had shown to Hyper Cache to be a bit faster than WP Super Cache. Other testing had shown Hyper Cache competitive. What is also worth noting from the other two tests is that in a comparable environment W3 Total Cache is in no way superior to either WP Super Cache and Hyper Cache, just more complicated. Complicated is bad: KISS is the best development rule ever written.
We still didn't really believe these results and thought there must be something strange in the test environment. We wanted to test against a real site and a real server that had been online.
We still had a testbed server available with Informed Comment on it and no traffic. The nice thing about this test bed is that it is a very limited 768 MB VPS with bare bones Apache and mod_php on it. I.e. we knew that if we gave it a good effort we'd be able to saturate it with proper external testing from LoadImpact. Our main dedicated servers with nginx would cost hundreds of dollars per test instead of $15/test. Based on past testing, we far prefer real web traffic than synthetic benchmarks like ApacheBench.
Here's what we found with 500 concurrent connection test. First the results for WP Super Cache.
Now from the challenger HyperCache.
Basically the results are identical. Both plugins allow the post to be downloaded at a fairly constant 1.8 seconds per load.
Let's hope WordPress stops with the eye candy and deals with its more substantial core issues soon.
We've found that even WordPress sites which are principally already UTF-8 have the odd Latin1 table sneaking into them. Here's how you find them.
Trouble with your IMAP after a server move? Here are the setting you need to change in Apple Mail to save messages properly.
For years we had our sites all on Cartika Hosting and we loved it. For about five years I think. We recommended Cartika Hosting to all our clients and put up a lot of sites on Cartika.
The disk space limits and even bandwidth were always pretty tight in comparison to what you could get with Dreamhost, Bluehost or Hostgator. But we didn't mind.
What we wanted was quality and security and for that we were prepared to pay a significant premium over discount hosting. We called it "business quality hosting", after a rough ride with our own site Foliovision on Dreamhost for a few months with our client sites on Hostroute.
A question which constantly comes up on forums and recently on TidBits talk is how to choose a web hosting company.
The rules are surprisingly simple.
Number one: avoid the bottom tier budget webhosts: they sell on unlimited bandwidth and disk storage. It's simply impossible to fulfill those unlimited promises with quality service
This would include popular hosts like
- Dreamhost (enter promo code FREEIPFORLIFE to get a dedicated IP for life: $4/month value)
The above names are actually the best of a bad lot and at least try to serve some customers sometimes unlike the real fly-by-nighters. If you insist on cutting your hosting budget to the bone, your chances of not losing your website or your business go up if you use one of the three above.
We no longer recommend Cartika Hosting and would actively discourage people from using H-Sphere as their web hosting control panel. H-Sphere makes migrations difficult and expensive, even within H-Sphere.
Installing WordPress to Cartika hosting is no different than installing it on any other web host. The focus of this article is in showing the specific sequence of steps which needs to be done in order to quickly and properly install WordPress in Cartika's Control panel.
One of our Typepad to WordPress clients would really like to rank higher with her nice new WordPress weblog. She is hosted at Bluehost.com. Her IP number is 188.8.131.52. I ran a quick check to find out what other websites are on that IP.
Here is just a partial list of her neighbours: