Of Web Hosts And Blogger Friends.

I’ve found that the hardest thing about choosing a Host for my blogs is that unless you follow someones recommendation you don’t really know how good any particular host is. Even when reading a review you sort of wonder as to how biased the author is. What is the motivation behind the post, is the author being honest or is he merely promoting another affiliate? Shit, he may not even use the host and the whole review is centered around the fact that it pays the best commission.

This brings me to the crux of this post. I want to talk about LunarPages, and yes that is an affiliate link but I figure if this post encourages someone to join then at least I will get some credit for it. I originally moved to LunarPages  from my Australian host because they were more price competitive and they were also offering a free domain for life. I have had no problems at all with them until recently when they moved me from my normal server because my CPU usage went through the roof.

WTF, was the first thing that popped into my head and I immediately started searching the net to find out what might be the cause. I happened to stumble across several comments left by others who were actually suspended by their hosts. It then came to me that LunarPages could have done the same thing to me and they would have every right to do so as my high CPU usage was affecting the performance of other uses sharing the same server. Instead of doing that, moved me to another server to give me time to solve the problem.

The trouble is that every time I make a particular change I have to wait 24hrs to find out if it has any effect. Luckily for me Stratos offered to help after I left a comment on his ‘When Things Get Extremely Wrong‘ post. Knowing how smart Stratos is, as he’s developed Blogger Buddy as well as some nifty WP plugins, I jumped at the chance. He has already worked out that I have too many plugins but is currently trying to suss out which ones are chewing up all the CPU. I have deleted the least necessary ones and have already noticed that the blog loads a lot faster. Hopefully the culprit was amongst those, I reckon I have to just wait and see.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I find myself lucky that LunarPages has at least given me the opportunity to fix the problem rather than just cut me off and leave me hanging, which apparently some other hosts are prone to do. I reckon that if I was based in the state and there wasn’t the time difference, I could have picked up the phone and talked to one of the technicians and we could have nipped the problem right in the bud, but being and Aussie I am stuck with conversing through emails. Lucky for me Stratos came to the rescue.

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Bloggers Needing A Little Prompt For Their Next Blog Topic

Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of the computer staring at the monitor with a blank look on your face wondering what your next post is going to be? I remember doing a post not so long ago about what to do when you are running out of topics to write about. Where that post may provide a solution for some people it may not solve the problem for all bloggers. So what do you do.

Enter The Prompt Writer! This blog is run by Christine Senter,  a professional freelance writer who is quite happy to share the knowledge she has accumulated over 20 years with all bloggers. Her posts are succinct and easy to read and those who are willing to learn from them are bound to come away with a wealth of knowledge.

Hop on over now and check out her post Creative Ideas For December, or perhaps her post on Finding Ideas For Great Articles is more to your liking. So, if you are searching for a little extra creative juice perhaps it would be a good idea to bookmark her blog for those times when that screen is looking blankly at you.

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WordPress 2.7 Rocks

I’ve installed the latest WordPress 2.7 on this blog and one other basically so that I could test it out before converting all my blogs. I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive at first because I did read a couple of bad reviews, mainly on how the new dashboard was awful and would take a lot of getting used to. I can safely say that apart from the initial shock of seeing the bulk of the Dashboard on the left hand side, I had no trouble at all acclimatising myself to the new layout.

That aside it has so many new and modified features. At the top right you will find a tag called “Screen Options” where you can select what options are shown on your screen, and I find that a great addition. Word Count is now directly below where you are typing the post, which is where it should have been from the beginning.

One of the best features is the “Sticky Post” feature which allows you to select a post to remain on your home page for as long as you want instead of having it disappear into the archives. This is a real asset if you are promoting a particular affiliate or just want to give that special post that you have worked so hard on that bit more exposure. To access this feature go to the ‘Publish’ section and where it says ‘Visibility’ click edit and presto, you are presented with the option to make it ‘Sticky’.

If you haven’t installed it yet I reckon you should do so because as far as I am concerned I would never go back to the old version. WordPress, you still Rock!

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