I’ve been totally swamped this year not only working on projects for clients but trying to keep up with some of my own. This seems to be the year of WordPress and I hope the trend continues.

I’ve been trying to stay inspired and have been learning a lot of new things which I always enjoy…. some of what I’ve been up to lately….

Digital Ocean

I moved all of my sites and client sites to Digital Ocean’s cloud vps servers and I’m much happier with my web hosting. At $5 for a 512mb RAM server it can’t be beat. So now I have a couple 2GB RAM servers and a 512MB server running a forum type site I maintain for its users. I monitor it all with New Relic‘s server monitoring app. Before I took the plunge into managing my own server for live sites I started a couple just to play around with. Also if you really want cPanel type hosting you can buy a cPanel license or use a free panel like webuzo or Zpanel. I recommend a Centos 6.4 image if you’re going to use a control panel.

They have linux servers already set up with a WordPress installation if you’re looking to rapidly setup a WordPress site. You can also do some other interesting things there like install the image with Docker configured on it, then import this Nginx WordPress setup from Github for a super fast WordPress setup.

If you’d like to signup under my referral code, I’d more than appreciate it. :-) I’d never refer you to something I wouldn’t use myself. The only restriction there that I’m not thrilled about is the single IP per server limitation. Which for the price I can work around but I’m hoping it will be changed in the future.

https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=4c9c1a73e0c1

I’m also running my sites through CloudFlare‘s free CDN.

If you have a small to medium sized business and would like premium managed WordPress hosting for your site at a bargain rate (I keep my servers running with plenty of overhead) contact me.

Synched WordPress Staging Sites

My main client has a rather large WordPress site that we’ve been building and constantly modifying and upgrading for the last 6 months. I used this free plugin called SitePush to setup a staging site for them. This way I can make my changes on the staging site and then push the changes to the live site after I’ve completed them rather than messing around on a live site, or having to manually set up and move a dev site. You don’t have to subscribe to pricey hosting companies or buy any expensive plugin to have this feature for yourself. You just need to take the time to properly set up the configuration and sites with the free SitePush WordPress plugin. I set it up and tested SitePush on one of my own sites first. Then I set up a default WordPress install on my client’s site and pushed the front end to it, made my changes and pushed it back. Awesome.

http://wordpress.org/plugins/sitepush/

Landing Pages

I’ve done a ton of landing pages this year, someday I’m going to make a gallery of most of them. ┬áMy main client wants all of their main pages to be conversion oriented landing pages. Some of them have turned out very awesome. WordPress with a good Bootstrap theme such as Verendus is pretty much the ultimate landing page creator. What I strive for is to create an attractive page that catches the surfer’s eye, holds their attention, is easy to navigate and last but not least converts. I usually at least have a custom page template that’s a “clean” version of the theme that I’ll use. Sometimes I’ll make a special template just for the page integrating jquery UI elements or php coding rather than add another plugin for them. The twitter Bootstrap framework allows for rapid html/css development and I do most of the coding right inside the WordPress text editor. If you’re interested in having me build custom landing pages for your business contact me.

FlyByWire Band Site

I made a site for the Australian rock band FlyByWire and launched it right before they went on a tour of China and played before millions of people in huge stadiums there. It was fun and went rather quickly. Includes an audio player, WooCommerce digital downloads, MailChimp subscriptions, Events plugin for concert dates, FancyGallery, full screen HD backgrounds, Facebook comments and more. I’d like to improve the front page sometime and probably will when I get a chance.

So that’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to lately, now I need to get back to work! Happy WordPressing.