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Category: Blogging and Webmaster

Adding Plugins to WordPress – part 1

Adding Plugins to WordPress – part 1

Ok I am adding plugins back to this site.

#1 Akismit was a must right from the get go

#2 Yoast Seo was the next one to add.

#3 Google Adsense:   Never used the official plugin before,   I will update is there is anything interesting to talk about.

#4 Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

Blogging again and other updates

Blogging again and other updates

My Why: I have been struggling with the purpose of this site, then I realized that the site is for me and not really anyone else.  I use it as a tool to look back and remember what I was doing in the past or as a public tracker to hold me accountable.   It is also a place for me to test new server configs and other web experiments.

The Server:   I am still on Digital Ocean but I have streamlined and optimized my droplets.   I have moved keys sites to their own droplet and moved bunch of smaller sites on to one droplet.    In the mass reconfiguration I moved this site in a mad dash.  I did it quick and dirty and I did not reinstall any plugins or add any ads or other normal WordPress tools.  I am working on bringing some of these features back.

The Business:   I own and run a few part time companies.   I will say that things have been on the slower side for me lately.   I feel that I have spent too much time working in my business rather on it for too long.   This have left them in need of repair so to speak.  I am now in a rebuilding/redefining phase of the different companies.  I am pairing down the functions that I do not enjoy doing or don’t offer me growth (even if they are proven money makers) and investing in things that push me outside my comfort zone or are most important to me.

The Person: Me that is.   I am really working on me and trying to rebuild me in the image I have of me.   I have alot things I want to do  and running out of time to do them in.   I am trying to do the really hard stuff and define where I want to be and how to get there.  I truly believe this is a life long effort.  Next year will not be about me, it will be about the next generation.

NEXT:  Stay tuned

 

 

New Year, New Server with Digital Ocean

New Year, New Server with Digital Ocean

Since I moved to Digital Ocean My servers have been mostly rock solid except when I mess them up.   I have 4 servers currently running.  As I am looking to to focus and consolidate me efforts this year I am also going to consolidate my servers.  Besides consolidating, the other issues is the underlying OS is getting a little old and it is time for a refresh.

Currently I Have my main production server that really just serves 2 websites.

I have 2 testing servers

I have a sever for some random sites that I dabble in.

I am killing the random sites. I just don’t have the time to put into them right now.

My plan is to just run 2 Digital Ocean Servers.

Server 1 : Main Sites.

  • This Blog
  • Company 1
  • Company 2
  • Passion Project Blog

Server 2:

  • Non important landing page sites /feeder sites
  • testing projects
Focus and gratitude are my themes for 2016.

Focus and gratitude are my themes for 2016.

Reviewing the last year and pondering what I want to accomplish for 2016.

My Family has a HUGE project we are working on this year called Project Bubble.  This may take a few years, but I will share more when I can.

Personally, I always have a ton of goals and things I want to accomplish during the year. I could list them out, but that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I think it is better to explain how I hope to have a better year than 2015.

My First Goal is Focus:

I love bright shiny objects, the gotta have gizmo, or the exciting new business venture, but I am just spreading myself to thin. I stated off this year but shutting down a business and I will continue to cut things out this year, to focus on my top priorities.  I have outlined my top priorities and I have 5 of them right now.

  1. Project Bubble
  2. Self development
  3. Expand Business Consulting
  4. Passion Project (Content)
  5. Passion Project (Action)

My 2nd Goal is Gratitude

2015 posed a TON of challenges for my family and I, but when you really look hard it was filled with great success as well. My goal is to realize and appreciate the success as it happens.  I have a pretty great life and I need to realize it, in the moment.

Google Project Fi – Testing do you use less data?

Google Project Fi – Testing do you use less data?

My Project Fi testing and review.

I have wanted to test Google’s Project Fi service for a while. 2 things have been stopping me.

  1. I needed to buy a new phone that works with it
  2. I have unlimited data with T-mobile and I use alot of data.

With the a new Nexus 6P about to arrive at my door any day now, my first excuse was gone.

I currently commute 4 hours a day 3-4 days a week right now and I chew thru data like crazy while trying to pass the time or be productive. I hit close to 10GB a month pretty consistently. on Google Fi that will cost me close to $120 a month.   I have unlimited with T-mobile at $70 a month that works out to be $78 out the door.

Why would I ever switch?

  1. I think there is chance that I could use less data on Fi. Fi uses Sprint, T-mobile and WiFi hot spots and data is free over hotspots. and there are alot of hotspots along my commute. including Cablevison that runs its own mobile service over it’s wifi hotspots. as a Cablevision customer i get access to those hotspots as well.
    • Why doesn’t this work today?  it isn’t smart enough without google fi’s system.  EX: If i am on hotspot A and request a website, but since i am moving by the time the website comes back I am on to hotspot B. the webpage data thinks I am still at Hotspot A and can’t route it to me.  Fi’s could brain should be able to figure this all out.
  2. Improved Service coverage.  Since Fi uses 3 different networks at once, coverage should be better than t-mobile alone.  T-mo is pretty good in my area, but there are chunks of my train ride where data coverage drops out for good amounts of time. Not to mention no coverage in any of the tunnels or subways.  I am not sure is Sprint has coverage there either, but i am gonna test it.

 

Risks of going to Google Fi .

  1. They will screw up my google voice number.  I think this risk is low, but that is the number everyone knows and I do business on.
  2. The service will be shut down. It is called “PROJECT” Fi and the word Project doesn’t seem to inspire confidence that the service is a fully developed product that Google is committed to. The big G has a history of shutting down projects on a whim or because of “Insert corporate BS here”.
  3. Monitoring and Privacy – Google already knows more about me than I ever will, what is giving them this too going to change?

 

My Fi sim card will be here shortly. I am not letting go on my t-mo plan yet so I can test them side by side and let you know who comes out on top.

Switching from Chrome to Firefox

Switching from Chrome to Firefox

I don’t know when I maybe the full jump but 5~7 years ago I switched from Firefox to Chrome.  I am die hard google fan boy if you will, I love chrome and it’s integration with the apps and services that I use the most.  Lately I have been getting quite a few crashes with Chrome, and overall slowness in browsing the web and video.  I thought is was my internet connection or router and went down that path to resolving some of my issues.

I came was watching a recent episode of TekThing   I think it was episode 15 where they talk about making the switch back to Firefox.  Over the past few weeks /months  I have be trying out FF every now and then.

Where I really noticed the difference was with my lower end machines where I want to stream video.  I am a huge fan of Auto Racing and I love Motor Trend OnDemand  channel.  I was constantly getting Frame drops in chrome watching it full screen on my 1080p TV.  so I though what the hell and tried Firefox.  The videos were playing as smooth as butter.

Today on my main PC Chrome crashed again I am now going full speed in to using only FF.

It is simple to import everything over and get started.  So far it feels snappier and I am really liking the change.

Life of a blogger and being your own sever admin. – WordPress Multisite

Life of a blogger and being your own sever admin. – WordPress Multisite

As I have written about before, I run quite a few websites. Low traffic ones for the most part, but I still run them. I have move around from hosting provider to hosting provider. From Free hosting , to cheap hosting, to really expensive Amazon AWS to now Digital Ocean.

The move to Digital Ocean was easy for me, but it requires some real server setup(VPS).  I put everything on one Droplet and all was good.  but soon I was getting database connection errors .  I added/increased the swap space and this fixed the issues for a little while but it soon came back.

I seemed to find out that running WP Multisite with quite a few plugins is a little too intensive for a small droplet. I also need to build a little more protection for my main business websites so a little restructuring was in order.

I am now running 3 Droplets on DO.  1 droplet is bigger and hosts just 2 sites.  The 2 sites that actually get traffic and get me new business.  The 2nd droplet hosts all my other sites, if it crashed due to overload, it is not a big deal.  the 3rd droplet was what i started on that has the backup of all my sites and is my development server.

Additionally My site with the most traffic ad plugins on my Wp MU, I have taken off and put it in a standalone WP.

This fixed almost any and all errors I was getting.

Then I went a bit furthercdnCapture and moved alot of things to CloudFlare CDN.  WOW the reporting I was getting back was very very interesting.  I was getting strange massive spikes in traffic.  this is what was probably bringing down my sites before.  Google analytics were not showing these spikes.

I Hacked my own site.

I Hacked my own site.

I did something stupid this week. I took down my own site. I was using the config file from this site as example for my new site and My new site went up fast and easy. At the same time I didn’t realize I had copied the new file in to the wrong directory. Ouch! my site was down. even worse it wasn’t really down just blank content so my monitoring service didn’t pick it up.

DAUH!!!