Another Comes Into the Fold…

So I got an email from Sean just after I posted on A Girl finding her new found freedom.  He had a domain but hadn’t been able to figure out how to effectively migrate from blogger.

A Girl’s success gave him renewed vigor.  I exchanged a couple emails and bootstrapped the blog last night.  This morning he got the content moved over but we had some issues getting the feed and redirects done.

Yeah, some of that was my fault, I screwed up his URL and did .org instead of .com, and missed something in the Template.  Thankfully though he couldn’t get the template to go in correctly.  We went back and forth in emails and he gave me admin access to go take a look.  Well it took me a couple minutes of looking around but I got it straightened out.

Sean has now officially crossed the fold to the dark side.  I put a fresh batch of cookies on the counter.

So, I hinted at it a little bit in the post about A Girl, but I think I’ll let a little more out of the bag now that I mainly just need to finish up things like the Terms of Service documents and some how-to guides and other general information.

So, any gun bloggers out there, or people interested in gun blogging that don’t want to deal with Google blogger, I am finishing an alternative.  You will be able to import all your content from Blogger, and there will be a how-to guide to redirect your traffic.

I have no idea how many are interested in such a thing.  If it is popular enough I am probably eventually going to move into a full virtual host and will resell hosting and support.  Is there any interest in such a service throughout the community of bloggers wishing to ditch specific services or ease the time they spend on it?

Welcome to the Darkside…

So last week A Girl made a comment about something going wrong with blogger.  I made a comment which resulted in an email.

The email basically said, I would love help.  Not that she really wanted to completely blow this popsicle stand, but well there have been some issues with Google as of late.  I promptly said, I’ll just get it all set up and surprise her.  Well about an hour of my time and I had it relatively ready.  Then all we needed to do was port everything over from Blogger and redirect the traffic headed to blogger.

This morning she finished the last step which was a redirect.  She has herself a new shiny blog that even still has the new blog smell.  That’s not to say that any of the content is gone it’s all there.

She thought she may have messed something up when blogger all the sudden started sending everyone to blogspot, but nope, it’s working just as intended.  She now has freedom and power at her disposal.

So go give her a nice house-warming.  We’re still unpacking, but she’s enjoying the new place.

Welcome to the Dark Side A Girl, we have cookies, they’re on the counter!

*If you would like to ditch blogger, I am more than happy to help.  At this point though I do not want to be buying everyone and their mother a domain name.  If you have a domain and want to move, contact me, we can hash something out.  I’m not going to do everyone’s for free, hours of time do add up.  That said, this weekend I’m going to kick off a site for gun bloggers that will behave much like blogger.  You get a sub-domain and I will help your migration if necessary.  That keeps my costs to purely time, and a minimal amount at that.

If you want full hosting though, please do contact me, we can probably work something out.


CloudFlare Review

So a friend of mine ended up having his site offline last night after a DoS attack took his web hosting offline.

About 3 months ago I decided to give CloudFlare a shot.  After 3 months I thought I would give a quick overview of how it went and what differences I have actually seen.

Page load speeds, there was a noticeable difference when I migrated the site.  I left a archived version of the site available for tracking down broken links and the like.  So this was equivalent of me flipping the off switch.  Using the archived site is unbelievably slower than what it was prior to migration to Word Press.

Bandwidth usage proves this.


I did the change over in the beginning of April.  Sitemeter and Google Analytics both have shown at least a steady and slightly increasing traffic over those months, with January being the largest.  So I could say that effectively CloudFlare has cut my bandwidth down by 1/3.  CloudFlare’s analytics are accurate as well and provide some extra differentiation.


One downside though is as you can see above, AWstats is no longer accurate.  You can see the number of Unique visitors is no longer accurate, however you can see that the number of visits does reflect that number.

When I first did the change over I did have some weirdness and problems.  Mainly that my hosting provider was reacting to CloudFlare like it was a DoS attack.  The majority of the requests are forwarded through their network for speed reasons.  So the number of high hits from their services made them look suspect.  I got the issues straightened out and things have been much more stable since.

When my hosting provider did have a hiccup, the site content remained available.  While I couldn’t post new content, I wasn’t loosing viewership which was a huge plus.

There are also numerous apps that can be installed with CloudFlare to aid in thinks like link tracking and malware detection.  There is also a service to help monitor for people scraping content, including people hot linking images.

Overall I have found the service worth the setup time which actually was amazingly simple.  I’m not quite big enough to find their pro services worth it, however I do see how they might be beneficial if I had considerably more traffic.

The only setup required is to point your root DNS entry to CloudFlare and enter your DNS info that your hosting provider has into CloudFlare.  If you have a full website and you’ve had downtime from service issues, CloudFlare can help mitigate that.

Well, that’s neat

During my lunch I did some browsing around and I found a really nice proof reader that has a plugin for WordPress tied into Jetpack.  Not only does it exist for WordPress though but someone created a plugin for Live Writer.

I know more often than not my writing leaves something to be desired.  This I attribute to the fact that my brain will mentally fill in words that are missing when I wrote it.  It usually takes at least 24 hours before my brain will actually catch missing material.  That’s a bit of a problem with how fast some information flows within the blogosphere.  I don’t exactly have an editor to proof my work before I hit the submit button.  Hopefully this will help with some of those deficiencies.

My brain is actually really good at filling in other people’s mistakes.  I have to seriously slow down my reading to catch mistakes.

In other news a couple of weeks ago I finally ditched the big beard since summer was finally showing up.  Normally I go bald specifically because I’m already bald on the top of the head anyway so I might as well just embrace it.

This limits my ability to have the big fat beard, which I do enjoy though it does make soup a serious pain. It just looks weird being bald and having a big bushy beard.  Also it’s really hot during summers out here and it’s just not necessary.

Now normally I go with what some would call the JayG look, bald and goatee, but that’s relatively common and frankly I just like being different.  So instead I’ve gone with the below.

With the hat on:


With the hat off.

imageYou can’t see it, but I’m flipping someone off in this picture.  He said something about a blinding light coming off my head.  I told him to just stop staring into the sun.

I still have the beard, doesn’t look scroungy, and still allows me to be intimidating if necessary.

So what say you?  Should I just go back to the goatee, or keep the trimmed line running back?

For those of you using Google reader…

I apologize.  I don’t know what the hell just happened but for some reason Google reader appears to have “reposted” a bunch of older content.  This may be because I finished at least getting temporary categories in everything tonight so clean URLs was turned back on.

I checked both the raw feed and feedburner, neither has all the “new” posts in it.  So I’m sorry if this threw you off or was a disappointment.  Hopefully as I continue getting the bugs squashed in this new toy things will be more stable.  Overall I’m liking WordPress considerably more.  Doubly so with the much better integration with Live Writer.

If you see weird behavior though, please let me know so I am at least aware to look out for it and I might be able to fix it.  This migration has caused some weird issues.

Windows Live Writer

So during the conversation with Joe last night some other things came up including Windows Live Writer.  My blogging lately has been a little lighter than usual because I’ve gotten tired of fighting Word 2007 and getting my images and video embedded.  Often this would result in me doing A LOT of work by hand.  It’s not difficult but time consuming.  Well, as late as I got home last night I went and grabbed Windows Live writer.

Setup was a breeze, for the most part.  My issue was a bunch of features I know my blog supports, but Writer doesn’t see them?  Quick search of the internet reveals there’s a Windows Live Writer plugin for Drupal.  Drop it in, enable, BAM everything is working.

I must say this is the ultimate is WYSIWYG editing, even more than that, it doesn’t do the weird formatting problems that word would do when posting through the BlogAPI.  Both of the previous posts today have been through WLW however I didn’t let it go fully hog wild.  I normally would post a draft and then do a final review before sending a post live.  The one thing I have discovered that doesn’t seem to be working correctly yet is the meta words that I tie into every post.  Categories are working correctly, but alas the important tags for the search engines are not.  At least that is a very simple and easy thing to take care of.

One thing I absolutely love is how easy it is to use pictures from online, including from other services such as flicker.  I however have a photography blog where I post hobby pictures I’ve done.  Tied to that site I run a Gallery for putting my pictures on.  To make life easy I prefer to just upload all my pictures there.  WLW makes that cake to do so.

Hopefully this wonderful little tool will allow me to write more blog posts in the evenings now.  If you haven’t tried Windows Live Writer I highly suggest you give it a spin.

A picture of the hill at the Boomershoot site I took yesterday.