The main reason for the lack of updates on this Blog for most of the summer has been due to procrastination over whether or not to move my entire site, along with four other domains, to the cloud hosting service offered by my web-hosts Hostroute, who I’ve been with since 2001. Their homepage boasts the benefits (greater reliability, super-fast, multiple backups, green), but to be honest I’ve never had any problems with them in the last 11 years, and was concerned by the fact I would have to do a manual move of all the files, emails and databases since the architecture was totally different. The pluses however were that I could control all my domains under one umbrella, have greater control over them (as well as saving money) and have the choice of php versions under each sub-domain which has been an issue recently with installed packages. (more…)
As part of the ongoing revamp of the site I decided I needed to get some matching business cards with the site details rather than my current work ones. I’d used Moo before when getting some mini cards to advertise the Warwick University Maths island in Second Life and was impressed with the quality (you used to be able to order cards through them direct from a Flickr account, don’t know if you still can). The cards can be designed online, with uploaded logos, choice of colours, fonts, layouts, you can even get a batch made with different front/back images (depends on whether you call the side with your details on the front or back when they’re two-sided!). (more…)
Spent a frustrating couple of hours yesterday installing YOURLS onto my website, although the end result was actually quite satisfying. YOURLS is a PHP based URL shortener (along the lines of bit.ly and tinyurl) that can be installed on any webserver running PHP. The installation itself should be straightforward, but I was using Softaculous (provided on my webhost, which is usually hassle free) and it was getting confused about me wanting to install it in a subdomain rather than under my root domain name. Eventually I did a manual installation and it all started working perfectly!
So now every post is assigned an automatic shortened URL, for example, my recent post on stick insects can be reached from http://go.dave-wood.org/c. Specific labels can also be added, so my page on Insect Locomotion is http://go.dave-wood.org/gaits as well as http://blog.dave-wood.org/maths/insect-locomotion/. I’ve also installed the YOURLS WordPress to Twitter plugin so now an automatic notification is sent to my twitter feed when I publish a new post. Not sure how well that’s going to work yet, so watch this space (hopefully something won’t go wrong and start spamming Twitter).
Haven’t worked out if it’s possible to display a post’s shortened URL in the post yet, it seems like a sensible thing to do so will look into that. Update: have now worked it out!