Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting

For my day job as web developer and digital marketing specialist it is important I have good quality servers that can handle traffic spikes as well as maintain a high level of traffic on a day to day basis. For this we have a number of VPS servers and spread out sites out across them – yet I run my personal websites on shared hosting.

OK so as a company we are effectively a shared hosting provider, renting a large VPS and dividing it up in the same way the likes of HostGator and A2 do. We do this because we want to maximise the revenue our hosting service generates while ensuring we provide better quality service to our customers than your typical shared hosting company.

The is nothing wrong with A2 Hosting and I love them however my company hosts upwards of 200 websites all of various sizes and requirements. Something A2’s shared platform could handle if we paid for 100 shared accounts and ensured each account was allocated on a different server – sounds expensive right? When you are dealing with numbers in the 100’s it becomes much more efficient and cost effective to rent a large dedicated server or VPS and run a shared hosting platform your self.

So why do I use A2 Hosting’s shared servers for my personal site and not run it on the company servers. Simple I want to keep a clear divide between personal and work. A2 Hosting have some of the best shared hosting I have ever used with fixed CPU and RAM allocations this stops 1 person on your server running away with all the resources and ensures your site is fast and online when it needs to be.

Not to mention the stellar support the guys at A2 provide.

I will write a full review of A2 Hosting’s shared platform in the future as well as a number of other hosts I have had experience we lately.

Twenty Seventeen: A Beautiful Theme

I have long been looking for a nice, clean and simple WordPress theme and until recently it never occurred to me to try the default theme that ships with WordPress.

After a short 30 mins having a look at the theme and setting things up on my staging site I realised this was the theme I had been looking for on my personal site.

At the moment not a lot has been customised from the default out of the box theme. It is visually stunning, easy to read and beautiful in its simplicity – exactly what I wanted. Something I never noticed at first is how lightweight this theme is, on my server with WP Super Cache enabled this theme flies and even when logged in as admin (no caching) there is no noticeable difference in page load speeds.

There are a few things I want to change, I am not a fan of the chunky sidebar and will be pulling that in a little as well as huge space on the left of a page taken up by the page title. Apart from them little gripes I am liking this theme and look forward to what Automattic bring us for 2018.

IA Writer: Back Again

I’ve always been one for switching my writing application. Every time there is a new update I just have to give it a try and once again I am back to IA Writer.

I don’t know why I keep switching away, every time I come back I am just in awe of how beautiful this application is. I love writing in it and what more I look forward to the next piece of content I can create.

IA Writer is the only application I use in place of Microsoft Word when it comes down to writing business documents because its PDF exports are simply beautiful and are something I am proud to send a client.

IA Writer creates plain text files saved in iCloud with no need to worry or even think about them. Plain text can be opened on any computer or device in a myriad of applications. This openness is what allows me to switch apps so very often but why. This look at it – beauty.

The most recent update takes things a step further. You can now add images to your documents and these are synced to iCloud with your text files so you can finally work across devices without any issues.

You can add CSV files and a beautiful table will be presented in your preview an export.

IA Writer truly has stepped up the game for writing apps and is an all time great.

Blogo Revisited

Blogo recently had a large update that fixed a lot of bugs and moved to a freemium pricing model. With these changes I thought it was about time I revisited the application and updated my thoughts on it.

With the new update the basic blog post management and creation is free for 1 blog. The image editor is also free as well as the improved Markdown support and WYSIWYG editor. For £7.99 a month you can manage multiple blogs and manage and reply to comments.

The writing experience is not on the level of a writing application like IA Writer or even Desk PM but it is still a huge improvement over writing in WordPress itself.

Blogo Editor

I’ve been in search of improving my writing workflow on WordPress for some time and nothing seems to cover what I want. For the longest time I have been writing in IA Writer and then copy and pasting my work into WordPress for publishing – not ideal. Blogo seems to be going in the right direction for what I want from a writing/publishing application but it still has a long way to do. It works better then Desk PM for publishing to WordPress however it still lacks so much when it comes to the writing experience.

Desk PM

I’ve always been looking for a great writing app that allows me to produce the large amounts of content I create on a daily basis and easily publish this to any number of the WordPress sites I regually post to. Recently I’ve been using Draft as I needed something web based however now I am back in my office full time I want something for Mac.

Initally I went back to IA Writer but really missed not having direct posting to WordPress so started to look around. I found Desk PM – a writing app made for both writers and bloggers.

Ok so what is that exactly. Well imagine IA Writer with a few publishing options and the ability to preview the post on your website. It is a full Markdown editor as well as a WYSIWYG.

Desk PM

So where does it fall short. Well it doesn’t allow full blog management like Blogo and the Markdown syntax is not faded as it is with IA Writer or even Gust. All in all Desk PM offers a good writing expirence but doesn’t come close to dedicated writing apps.

I recently went back to using Gust on my personal site and will probably provide an updated review on the plugin in a couple of weeks time after I have really tested the latest version as it seems to of improved a lot in recent releases.