SetApp Review

SetApp is the Netflix of mac apps. for $10 a month you get access to an ever growing list of applications – currently 72.

These include some big name apps like CleanMyMac, Blogo, Uylesses, Alternote, iStat Menus, RapidWeaver, Hype ands Screens to make just a few of them.

What about value?

Well that all depends on how many and exactly which apps you use. A lot of the 72 apps they currently have are only $10-20 to buy outright while others carry a $100 price tag.

In my personal case for the 3 apps I use from the bundle it will be cheaper to pay for SetApp over a year then to buy the apps and any updates that come along.

There are some glaring omissions from SetApp a lack of a really good task manager for one.

Over the next few months I will be reviewing a lot of the applications included in SetApp as they are all included in the bundle price and some of them look very interesting.

HazeOver Review

I work mostly at night and into the early hours of the morning, my office sits next to the bedroom and having the light on can be a huge distraction for the sleeping family during the hot summer nights when they leave doors open to allow air to flow through the house.

Working with the ligth off makes my giant iMac hard on the eyes even on the lowest brightness setting. Enter HazeOver.

HazeOver is a small and simple application that fades background applications and ulimitately makes your screen dimmer. At first I wasn’t sure I would like the application but over the week I used it for I came to grow found of it and even started using it during the day as it provides a greate way to focus without using the full screen.

There are times you have to turn it off for example when compairing 2 spreadsheets side by side but this is easily done from the menu bar. The application costs just £5 from the Mac App Store or you can get it as part of Setapp.

Blogo: Revisited

A while back I reviewed Blogo and found it had great potenial but lacked in a few key areas. Well Blogo has changed a lot over the last year and I felt it was time to revisit the application for another review.I really want to like Blogo hence my constant returns but every time it proves to fall just short of the mark in a number of areas.

What brought me back this time was Blogo Pro is included in Setapp (I’ll cover that in a future post) and as it is included I thought I’d take it for another spin. This time around the application seems to be a lot less buggy and the saving is fast and realible to my website.The editor hasn’t changed that much however it is more responsive and the formarting bar appears the second you require it. I think I will be sticking with Blogo for a while now.

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.