There's this new hosting around called Cloud Hosting (well it's new to me!). It's a different type of hosting than normal server hosting in that the site files are on a server cluster, so you don't get slowed down by a maxed out processor or someone else's poorly coded site (something we've probably all experienced on a shared host!).
Another nice point is the ability to run Windows and Linux scripts side by side, which is something I needed back in January for a site that needed Windows to auto update the database nightly into MSSQL (a supplied program from the database provider) but PHP to allow me to write the code, as I've long since forgotten ASP!
Finally, the additional bandwidth costs on this type of hosting are a lot less than standard hosting, around 50% of the cost. A friend who runs a popular entertainment site recently had a shock when a trailer they were hosting became a bit of an internet sensation sending visitor numbers soaring. The only problem is their 24 hours in the spotlight racked up bandwidth bills of almost £700 on their shared hosting account, and that bill was reduced by the hosting company in good faith. If they'd been on cloud hosting then that bill would have been around just half that.
As I mentioned Cloud Hosting is quite new to me, however a good friend of mine has started selling it through his hosting company who I recommend for all types of hosting. The packages are sold on a monthly contract and you get an inclusive bandwidth and space in that price, then any extra you need is charged for at the end of the month, a bit like our pay monthly mobile phone contracts.
So if you've got a site that can go up and down in bandwidth, or have large bandwidth bills, or you need to be able to run PHP and ASP together, then take a look at Cloud Hosting.
For a month where I thought life would start to slow down a little thanks to virtually completing the two major projects that had been hanging over my head for months before, this month has instead just flown by!
I mentioned last time that David and I had merged our businesses to form a company, which starts trading on 1st April. So we've been making a few preparations for that, getting the client list in check, getting the clients added to our online accounts system – Kashflow (read my review), and also sorting out the new company site, bank account, insurance etc.
We were also planning on using WHMCS to manage all of our hosting and domain clients, along with those on support contracts, however the main reason was for the automated billing, which I then discovered Kashflow could handle, so why duplicate the work and the cost!
In our personal lives things have taken a major turn in that we got engaged a couple of weeks ago and hope to get married towards the end of the year This is obviously a bit of a distraction, and also means we need to work even harder to save up for all the costs involved!
So yes, it's even more all go here than normal!
I mentioned a month ago or so that a lot was happening right now, the first step being our new dedicated server (which is ace and so quick!). The next, and more major step, is that on Monday David and I formed a Limited Company and will start trading under this from 1st April.
I've been a soletrader for almost 8 years now, and have thought/intended to go limited earlier however a lack of time and organisation just meant I never really got around to it. However, last year we were thinking about forming a partnership (and never got around to it!), so this year we're getting everything sorted, the new server, a new company and it'll be VAT registered too (VAT registration is not a requirement of a UK company under a certain turnover, but we've gone for it anyway), automated billing software for the client hosting and domains, and more.
There's so much to sort out now! New bank account, business cards (courtesey of Moo Cards), letters to write, client details to input, plus to still work full time!
March is going to be a busy month of sorting things out, but it'll be worth it
I've recently been finishing off a site where I needed a lightbox to simplify showing several photos for each product. I've used Thickbox in the past, as it comes with WordPress by default, however this is a custom built site. I already had the latest version of jQuery running for other functions on the site, so just needed to grab a copy of thickbox, upload that, add the necessary code and that should be that.
3 hours of going around in circles later… and still no joy! After checking over my code piece by piece, trying the code out of WordPress, trying the page on another server just in case, and trying every other option I could think of, I finally tried uploading jQuery 1.2.6 from my WordPress 2.7 folder on my computer, and hey presto, it all worked!
It seems that there is a minor change required for thickbox to work with the latest jQuery version. After a bit of searching around I found out that what's needed is on line 79 of the existing thickbox file you need to change the line
- Existing Thickbox Code
- TB_TempArray = $("a[@rel="+imageGroup+"]").get();
to not include the @ sign in it ie.
- New Thickbox Code
- TB_TempArray = $("a[rel="+imageGroup+"]").get();
Such a simple change that caused a few hours of frustration! So hopefully it may be of use to someone else
Last week I wrote about using WordPress for Project Management and it got mixed responses. However, I know how I want to set things up and WordPress is perfect for what I've got in mind.
Maybe I need to elaborate on a couple of things. At most we have maybe 3 or 4 people on a project, or sometimes it's just the two of us, so standard project management software is too excessive for our needs. All I need to do is create a post, write a to do list, add the initials after each item for the person who's dealing with it, and that's it. Then we can just make comments on the post with questions and/or updates about the work. The comments are timestamped which obviously helps, and I'll get an email for every comment. You can also subscribe to the comment feed for each post, so all everyone else will need is a lightweight feedreader and they can just add the comment feed for current work posts to keep up with the discussion.
It's simple, but that's all we need. Somewhere for me to list the work needing to be done that we can all access, and somewhere to share the discussion, where the discussion is logged for future reference.
Today I decided to try out a plugin called Allow Categories which allows you to restrict any non Admin to only see posts from specific categories. This isn't to try and hide our work from the freelancers that we employ, but more to simply reduce what they need to wade through really. The restriction/hiding of posts works fine, however all categories were still being displayed in the category list in the sidebar, so after various attempts I've managed to use a function to override the wp_list_categories() output, and remove the specific categories that shouldn't be displayed.
I've added my first actual project post for a new site that needs to be sorted out over the next couple of weeks. It took me all of a couple of minutes to type up what needed doing plus leave a comment with an update of what we were still waiting for from the client and what could be started.
Besides adding the other projects that are currently on, I just need to work out how I want the front page to work and look. So far so good