Custom Unique URLs for Blogspot & Tumblr

2011 is the time to be unique. Starting from next year, many things would start afresh. New mobile numbers would start with 011 followed by 8 long trail of numbers. We have new KSSR for primary kids, among other things, but I’m not going to crap about primary or secondary education in this entry. I could go on forever.

For those who have their blogs hosted on blogspot or tumblr, why not get yourself a new blog address that’s not bound to you.tumblr.com or you.blogspot.com? You don’t have to move or tweak anything related to your blog content, you just change the address. You don’t even have to worry about losing readership as your readers will automagically load your new blog addresses when they go to your old URLs. It might, however, affect your page rank. Honestly speaking, I don’t give a damn about PR, so whatever. Any pro-page rank comment or smart ass comment will go down the drain.

Let’s keep this entry jargon-free, shall we? Here’s a (not quite) checklist.
✓ You’re a casual blogger who isn’t planning to make 1 million moolahs out of your blog
✓ You blog for fun, and you want to inject some element of fun into your blog, starting from your URL
✓ You want to change from a-super-lame-and-long-subdomain-name to one that just screams you

The most fun way to change your blog address is to get yourself a subdomain from freeDNS @ http://freedns.afraid.org. There are thousands of domains that you can choose to be a subdomain of, even http://yourchoice.afraid.org. Registration is extremely easy. You can start creating subdomains right away.

STEP 1: REGISTERING & SETTING UP A NEW SUBDOMAIN

So after you’ve registered and confirmed your e-mail address, welcome yourself to the simple and straightforward interface. First, you’ll want to choose your subdomain. Click on [add] and proceed with the next screen. At the dropdown for ‘Domain’, choose any of the suggested domains or click on ‘Many many more available’ and then the ‘Shared Domain Registry’. Find the domain you like from the extensive registry of domain names and click on the name that you want to bring you back the subdomain setup screen.

The subdomain can be anything you want. Your name, or whatever.

Blogspot Blogs
Here’s an example of setting up a subdomain name for blogspot blogs. Do ignore the crude name example 😐

My new blogspot address would then become http://whatta.shit.la

Tumblr Tumblelog
Here’s an example of setting up a subdomain name for Tumblr tumblelogs:

My tumblelog URL would then change to http://1827.bot.nu

Save and voila!

STEP 2: CHANGING EXISTING BLOG’S URL

Blogspot Blogs
1. From your dashboard, navigate to Settings >> Publishing.
2. Click on ‘Custom domains’.
3. On the next page, click ‘Switch to advanced setting’.
4. Enter your subdomain name that you’ve set up and save all changes. Just like that, you have a new unique blog address 🙂

Tumblr Tumblelog
1. From your dashboard, choose the tumblelog you want to edit (if you have more than one) and ‘Customize’.
2. Under ‘Info, ✓ the box ‘Use a custom domain’.
3. Enter your subdomain name that you’ve set up and save all changes. Just like that, you have a new unique blog address 🙂

There you go, one of my hobbies. I love how unique I can make my web addresses even when I don’t buy a new domain name. I also enjoy looking at blogs with interesting URLs. Enjoy your new addresses if you go through with the steps~

In which I may be the only one who cares

Warning: If you’re (a) Someone whose site is laden with google ads or whatever other type of sponsorships, (b) someone whose online presence is only (read that again: ONLY) for business and making money, (c) someone who obsesses over SEO, pagerank and all the publicity-related stuff, and/or (c) work for webhosting/SEO companies or similar sites, then please do skip this entry. Well, not that anyone reads my rambling. I just feel the need to put a warning there first.

Writing For People vs Writing For Oneself

People are hard to please. When you write for an audience, you lose your freedom of speech. What started out as ‘I write because I like this topic’ becomes ‘I write this because many people like it’. It’s horrible. It’s like you’re doing a 3000-word assignment and hoping to get A+, but in the end managing to scrap only a B+ at most (Oh my, why am I comparing this to assignments? I really need to get mine done ASAP.)

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to writing: People who literally begs for comments and reviews.

Let’s take good ol’ dumpster Fanfiction.Net. You find people begging for reviews everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Worse still, there are noobs who write comments like ‘I won’t update the story/add a new chapter until I get at least [insert number here] reviews, so READ AND REVIEW PEEPS. Kthnxbai!’. Seriously, what the effing hell is wrong with those people? That’s even worse than begging. Ordering readers you don’t even know to review your story, especially when you’re new and still struggling with grammar building readership, is a big no no. Ugh.

Right. I’m rambling. My point is that when we write for the purpose of meeting someone else’s expectations, our tone of writing is noticeably different.

The Web Hosting Scene

Why can’t we have subdomain hosting that rocks on the English speaking side of the world too? I don’t need more domain name. I want something nice and cool and isn’t long like thisismydomainlolz.TLD

I’m kind of dismayed that we don’t have services like the ones offered by Japanese companies like Lolipop, Chicappa (and all other services under GMO), Stepserver, Sakura Internet and some other hosts. They provide pretty list of domain names to choose from for your subdomain. It’s paid service, I know that. I also know that many people frown at having to pay for a subdomain hosting. Random reader who accidentally stumble upon this entry might think I’m crazy, huh.

Yes, we have many free hosting services. You can have subdomains if you don’t have a domain name but your host would have lame names that don’t mean anything to you. I wouldn’t want my site to be hosted on a subdomain with the word ‘host’ in it. It’s just so uncool. So not unique. If there’s a company offering paid subdomain hosting with great support, with choices of domain names that actually have wonderful meanings, I’d be glad to pay. What we have over here is domain name squatting. I fucking hate that lame ass strategy of buying domain names and keeping it, looking to sell it for 1 million bucks (excuse the exaggeration, please). At least develop the damn domain OR design a better looking ‘parking lot’ for the ‘oh so beautiful’ domain names. The closest I could find is the cute free hosting at Bubble.Nu. Some pretty awesome domain names available there.

The practice of holding back expired domains for years and years and years is another infuriating thing. After estdomains went poof, and the registrar of one of my domain names disappeared along with it, keeping me from renewing the domain (That guy I was dealing with was Malaysian!), I’ve been waiting for that domain name to be released. But nooooo, it just had to be kept. Fuckers.

Okay. Signing off now before I get more too aggressive offensive.

From MediaTemple to SharkSpace + WP Issues

queriesseconds

-Before moving to Sharkspace. With WP-Super Cache half-on. Last straw? Lol –

As much as I love Media Temple, the move just needed to be made because I won’t be able to support the hosting cost. Maybe I’ll go back to it after graduating and getting my first pay, but it’s goodbye for now. Anyways, after two months of hesitating, I’ve finally made the move. I’ve moved to Shark Space because observing it for two days shows that sites hosted by Sharkspace loads faster than some other hosts I’ve been eyeing. The move, however, is not flawless.

1. Missing visual editor in WordPress 2.8.4
I was frustrated when I couldn’t get anything done to restore it back to how it originally was. I tried re-installing wordpress, deleting and replacing wp-admin and wp-includes folder – nothing works. I thought it was permission problem. Checked the permissions and saw everything CHMODED perfectly. The SCP transfer from {mt} didn’t have trouble at all.

The only thing that worked for CT to restore the visual editor was to add the following line to wp-config.php

define( ‘CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS’, false );

I’ve never used this line before.

Oh well, I’m not the type to bother my web host until I’m damn sure it’s beyond my capabilities (but hey, Shark Space has this utterly amazing response time! I’m totally impressed~). It’s not pride. It’s just learning to be independent. For now, this seems to work. When things stop working, maybe then ‘ll find another solution or finally relent and plead for some help from the technical team XD

2. Missing directories for Add-on Domains & Subdomains
To avoid clutter, my add-on domains and subdomains are always placed outside public_html folder. The weird thing is… I couldn’t access the files inside the folders. They all seem to be missing. I thought I’d get 500 or 503 error messages when I tried to access some files directly (files that I know are there), but I got 404! I’ve deleted the domains and subdomains. I’ll try again and see what happens then.

3. SMF Database Restoration Error
Apparently, the new database doesn’t like all strings connected to the smf_shop plugin. Everything else worked fine. Just that one plugin. Something about MySQL version. I should have see this coming.  I was moving the databases from version mySQL 4 to mySQL 5. Ugh.

It would be wonderful if I can solve the missing post body problems with Junjou. If thep problem persists after the move, then maybe I’ll consider starting afresh with new content and keep the old entries in a subdirectory in case someone wants to access the old contents still.

Right. Back to work.

WordPress 2.8.1 and Disappearing Post Body?

I ran out of internet bandwidth while doing this, so the page load was SLOW. This is a problem on one of my WP blogs after upgrading to 2.8.1. The other blogs, while hosted on the same server, are all fine.

Right. A screencast, for once. This just shows how pissed I am right now at WordPress and whatever glitch it just put me through. It even pissed me off more than this pissy internet connection I’m experiencing (been two days). I was writing a new post at Junjou when this happen. The screencast shows only the editting, but the same thing happens when I try to publish a new post. Once I hit publish, everyhing would disappear, leaving only the title, catagories and tags.

Going to post revisions is totally hopeless because I’ll be greeted by blank posts. So far, Junjou’s the only blog experiencing this problem. I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s wrong with it. Could it be one of those many bugs in WP 2.8.1? Could it be one or some of the plugins? I don’t think the latter is the case because all of the plugins over at Junjou are almost the same ones I installed on Caramel Toffee. Losing a long post is so frustrating. I don’t feel like writing another version anymore.

On a happier note, I’ve just released a Tabula Rasa theme for Dreamwidth:

tabularasa-coloursburst

Live Preview: [info - personal] affogato // Info: Le Petit Graphix

I’m currently trying to make a WordPress version of it, one-column and two-column versions.

p.s/ I currently have over five Dreamwidth codes to give away.

Moving and Choosing a New Web Host is Taxing

Time for another long rant. I’m trying to save money by moving to a new host. Media Temple has been VERY wonderful to me that the only thing I worried about was money (hahaha). I worked last year, so paying for the site isn’t so bad. This year, though, I just did a little bit of work for very few clients before stopping completely. I’m in my last semester of university before I’ll be flying back to Malaysia for my last year teacher training (dread, dread, dread!). I like repeating that last sentence. It gives me a reality check aaaalll the time.

I actually have no idea why I’m being extremely picky about choosing a new webhost. Maybe I’m creeped out by the WP-Memory-Usage plugin showing me that on PHP 5.2.6, a very small blog like Caramel Toffee uses at least 20.2mb memory. Imagine throwing two more WP blogs, one Wacintaki Poteto board and one SMF board into the pit. The ease of mind only comes because I know at least 99mb memory is allowed by my current host. On Tektonic, I was always reduced to tears because of the VPS memory issues. On Hostgator, I was asked to either upgrade to a dedi or leave because of memory issue PLUS server load.

Oh, the heck? Caramel Toffee only gets 300 visitors at most per day. On normal days, it’s either 50 or 125 or so. Even Junjou only gets 500 to 1000 visitors per day and our forum isn’t as active as it once was. So what’s killing the memory? Poor scripts?

Oh, back to the memory usage stuff. On PHP 4.4.8, Project Catharsis uses up 15.6mb, but that’s understandable because I’m using NextGen Gallery plugin. I still need to be careful, though because Lax Host only allows 32mb memory limit. I don’t think I’ll move PC from Lax Host. It only costs me $10/yr with the free domain. The only dissatisfaction I have with Lax Host is that I have to manually CHMOD folders to 755. By default, new folders would be assigned to the permission of 775. I realised this when I was trying to get my CGI scripts to work. I kept getting 500 error page. Ugh.

I installed Akismet too late from getting Project Catharsis to accumulate over 1,800 spam comments labeled as ‘Awaiting Moderation’. Thank goodness for Akismet. Got it to check for spams, managed to get all messages labeled as spams and delete them all in one go. I need to remember to disable comments because PC is only using WP as a CMS, not a blog.

Basically, what I’m looking for in a new host and what I need are: Apache 2.2 or Litespeed, PHP 5.2.x, MySQL 5.0.x or 5.1.x, CGI/Perl, SSI, extra bonus if the server supports SQLite. If t supports multiple domain hosting, I want each domain to have its own root, not just an add-on domain where it points to public_html/addondomain. In other words, True Multiple Domain Hosting. SSH is a big plus because I’ll be needing it to do SQL dumps and direct file transfer from good ‘ol {mt} to the new host. From what I’ve read, most free site migration services only extend to sites previously hosted on WHM/cPanel. Well, what the hell? If I’m on WHM, why the hell would I even want to waste time waiting for them to migrate my sites when I could damn well do it on my own easily from the control panel? Somehow, the offer sounds very unattractive.

I’ve been offered reseller accounts, but I don’t need a reseller account. I don’t even need unlimited anything because well, it is limited (inodes, CPU, whatever else – what’s the point of having unlimited storage when you only have, say, 50k inodes?). I only need around 2-10GB of space with at least 10GB monthly data transfer (50gb-100gb at most).

Although paying for a whole year of hosting is money-saving, I don’t think I can do that. This is not about chucking out a lump of money. It’s about satisfaction. I like being able to pay on a monthly basis because then I could cancel my account and look for other hosts if I’m not satisfied (or need more features) after 3 to 6 months. I’m capricious that way. If I don’t like it, I move on.

I was seriously considering going for Vector Level until this evening when I get the glorious Page Load Error message. Their main site was (and still is at the point thentry is being writen) down. So much for still having 100% uptime for July (I checked their Pingdom). Hosts I’m still considering now are: Crucial Paradigm, Site5 and Webfaction. I’ve been considering A2 Hosting too, but then I won’t get the multidomain hosting that I want although their PHP memory_limit is set to an atractive 128mb. Aquarius Storage has 100mb initial memory limit which you can ask to be raised, and Pronet Hosting has the limit of 64mb, but the latter’s offering super cheap 1 year of shared hosting for signups in July – I figure they’re going to get heaps of signups. Then there’s AnHosting and Midphase, Pivotal Web and a bunch others which promise high performance hosting. I also looked at Malaysian hosts like DataKL, Mercumaya and Serverfreak, but of course they only offer yearly signup (like AnHosting and Midphase).

I need something of high performance because I’m developing something (more like experimenting) with RoR (pretend you didn’t hear that from me). Searching the web for something like ‘Top 10 Webhosts‘ is of no help. Most of them are listed as TOP 10 because they offer very attractive affiliate rewards. I believed them, once, and went for Hostgator. It brought me to tears six months later and I started cursing ‘unlimited plans’ like there’s no tomorrow.

This post is getting too long for my liking. I shall go back to lamenting and searching and comparing, then.

p.s/ Webfaction is winning my heart like WHOA at the moment~