Posts tagged Hostroute

Website Maintenance

hostroutelogoThe 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…)

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A Tale of Hotlinking

hotlinkjediFor the uninitiated, “hotlinking” (also known as inline linking) is where you embed an image in a web page, but instead of that image being on the same server, the page links to an image elsewhere on the web and downloads it from there each time. Great you might think, I don’t have to worry about storing the image on my server, and I’m not going to have lots of bandwidth problems since it’s not being retrieved from there either! Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that since it means that the person who is hosting the image is having to pay for the bandwidth each time that image is downloaded from your page (i.e. each time that web page is accessed). There is also the risk that the person you’re ripping off can have some fun… (more…)

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URL Shortener Installed

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 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 Specific labels can also be added, so my page on Insect Locomotion is as well as 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!

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Website Compression

I’ve been getting a bit frustrated with the performance of this Blog for a while, so finally decided to do something about it and using Google webmaster tools it was suggested to enable compression. This seemed a bit odd because I assumed that this was probably already being done, either as a default for my server or because it would seem a sensible thing for WordPress installations to do. Anyhow, a quick search came up with an excellent page at a site I hadn’t come across before, but I think I will make more use of it in the future. As well as a simple run through of how to set it up, there’s also a clear explanation of what is happening and why the fix makes a difference. Since this site runs on an Apache server all I needed to do was cut and paste a few lines into the .htaccess file for the directory and I was done… the improvement was immediate, and hopefully makes reading this blog a quicker process than before.

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