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Author: Tommy

Why I Use Dreamhost

I have been using Dreamhost as my main hosting provider for over since the fall of 2006.  This was shortly after they had some major outages.  The problems were fixed and they were very transparent about the issues.

Doesn’t that seem risky?

Well ok, maybe.  But I planned to move a couple domains over to Dreamhost, see how it went and make my decision from there.

Why was I looking for a new provider?

The current hosting provider I had at the time was more expensive than other similar hosts out there.  I still use them for a couple of sites, since their uptime has been excellent, but as I planned to build more sites, I could not afford a set price per domain.  Dreamhost offers multiple domains – as long as you are within your alloted space and traffic restrictions.

So what are the restrictions?

Well – when I signed up, I got 4,000 Gig of bandwidth [traffic] and 250 Gig of disk space.  It grows each week – and I barely scratch 1% of my available resources.  [I don’t build huge sites…]

Now – They have unlimited bandwidth and disk space for $8.95/month – and unlimited domains.  I recommend that you check Dreamhost out.

Other ‘ease of use’ benefits

Most hosting providers offer some type of installation services.  Dreamhost offers a 1 Click Install for quite a few open source programs, including WordPress.  Since WordPress is my current choice of software, this is a great benefit.  Install once, then everything else from within the WordPress site.  Excellent!

My Latest Experience

Just yesterday (which is what finally prompted me to write this) – I upgraded a site for a customer… WITHOUT HEEDING THE WARNINGS about backing up your site before upgrading.  Well, yep, I overwrote the wrong files.

Dreamhost has automatic backups (like all other hosting companies) – but, without cost, I was able to restore my latest backup, right overtop of the mistake.  Within 10 minutes, the site was back online and my client never knew that anything had even gone wrong.  Save my butt?  You betcha!

If you are looking, you should check out Dreamhost.

Buffalo Juice Hot Wing Recipes

History

In 2007, I was brain-storming domain names… and really, I shouldn’t be doing this, because I know that I get domains and don’t find time to develop them into anything interesting.  In this case, www.buffalojuice.com was born, with a lean towards hot wings.

Well, I finally got some inspiration and a ‘semi-free’ weekend to give this site some of my time.

Kick-in-the-pants!

So, besides a free weekend, what caused me to get going?  Well, I found a free theme, Journic (see below), that just looked like fire, hot sauce, something with a kick!  So, I grabbed it, made some mods and started adding recipes to the site, along with a few articles that pertain to cooking hot wings!

About the Theme & Source Files

I can’t remember how I found Journic, but the site and creators don’t seem to have control of their domain any longer.  I left the links in the CSS, but not in the footer.  I like the artsy ‘feel’ to the site, maybe it is the watercolor look to the header, or the bold styling.  Either way, it works for me as a hot and spicy recipe site.  Here is a link to one place that still has the source files (Journic : Free WordPress Themes)

WP Plugins

There are ‘standard plugins‘ that I use on most sites, so check them out, but also here are the special plugins that I am using for this site and why.

  • Old Post Promoter – This plugin will take the oldest post and make it the newest post, on a schedule that you can set.  I am using this plugin so that the front page updates with new recipes.  I anticipate that I will not add recipes on a very regular basis, so this should make it stay a little fresher.
  • Page Links To – This plugin allows me to send some traffic directly to another site – even though the link points within the Buffalo Juice site.
  • Sociable – by Joost de Valk – This recipe site is one that ‘shares’ well.  I don’t believe that all sites should have social sharing buttons – but this site is made for sharing.
  • WP Polls – I don’t run many polls on sites, but this little bit of interactivity might keep a user more involved in the site.

Final Thoughts

Interestingly enough, a couple of days after I created the base of this site, I noticed that my brother had posted a Curry Rub recipe on his Facebook account.  Pretty cool coincidence, I thought.  So, we posted his recipe and he has another lined up, Joe’s Kickin’ Chickin’ Wings.  I’m looking forward to that!

Any Questions or Comments?

WP Standard Plugins

Whatdo I consider Standard Plugins?

For me – these standard plugins are the WordPress plugins that I use on almost ALL of the sites that I create.  I can’t say that each one goes on all sites, but you would find the majority there.  Why – because these plugins give ‘something’ that can help me with all the sites that I create, for myself, or for clients.

If you want to know what is driving visitors to your site, or help yourself out with administration, these are great plugins.

NOTE:  Last Updated on September 6th, 2009 – I will re-post an update time when I add/update/remove plugins, although I may not mention what was changed.

By the way – I don’t link to these plugins, because you can install them from your WordPress dashboard and get the most up to date version (plus a little oversight on developers) since it is located in the repository.

WP Plugin [Standard] List

  • Aksimet – from Automattic, the makers of WordPress.  This adequately eliminates spam from my websites.  I have much less to handle.  There is nothing more I can say about spam elimination.  A few comments will slip in that don’t belong in the comments, but since I don’t have to spend hours, the occasional errant comment is no problem.
  • All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.  This plugin is consistently being developed.  It gives you excellent control of keywords, titles, meta-tags and more.
  • Full Comments on Dashboard – simple, it shows the full comment on your WP Dashboard.  I hated having to click through to a comment to read the whole thing, when I have the ability to approve it right there.  Imagine this scenario, a spammer can realize that MOST web administrators approve comments from the dashboard – especially if they are a large blog with many comments.  So, write a good comment – until you hit the character count, then add your spammy links… webmasters are bound to approve a few of these, right?
  • Google XML Sitemaps – within a day of creating a new site, you can see your latest article(s) in the search results.  And – driving traffic already.  That is proof enough.
  • WordPress Database Backup – We all know that we should.  Most of us don’t.  Plenty of us lose entire bodies of work.  This plugin makes it simple and automatic – right to your email.  Every site, every time.

That is my current list.  Got suggestions? Something I might like?