Performancing Metrics

Archive for March, 2007

Finding Web Hosting

Lorelle is having issues with her web host, and wanted suggestions on what host to switch to. People have many answers, but they are sometimes conflicting. Is Dreamhost good or bad?

No, I’m not moving Lorelle on WordPress. In spite of the limitations, I adore blogging on my WordPress.com blog.

However, for over three years I’ve been dealing with a web host from hell for several of my other blogs.

It began with promises of less than 24 hours to activate my site and transfer the domain which turned into six weeks of hell, excuses, and lousy customer support. The horrors continued with massive site downtimes, excuses for lousy service, failure to upgrade PHP, MySQL, and Apache so I couldn’t even have permalinks until recently, copy and paste online technical support, and then the killer of lowering the database access level without warning by over 75% and claiming that one of my blogs crashed the shared database and I was to blame. They lowered the number. They continue to blame WordPress and my blog for being the troublemaker. I’ve had WordPress experts go in and dig around and all come up with the answer that this web host sucks.

Well, I suggest that web directories are a helpful tool in assessing if a host is good or not. I suggest checking out the Web Hosting Directory that Blog Flux has as a good start. There are more and more reviews on there each day about different companies.

It definitely helps to get an overall picture of a host before signing up with them. While I am sure everyone has a recommendation on which host to pick, I am more interested in why people pick a certain host. Did you deal with their customer service early on, and have a great experience? Were you given a test account? What made you pick a host, other than cost?

Categories: Blogging Tools

The 9 Essential Posts that Every Blogger Should Know

Having trouble thinking about what to write about next? Writers block is something we all have to deal with. I try to keep a few ideas in reserve for when this happens, and so that is why I really enjoy the article on North x East which lists the nine essential posts that every blogger should know.

  • The Speedlinker
  • The Quoter
  • The Entertainer
  • The Questioner
  • The Updater
  • The Newsreader
  • The Recycler
  • The Guest-Poster
  • The Announcer

Even better, the post links to Blogging Pro as an announcer…though I think we here are examples of many types of posts. A great article none-the-less.

Categories: Blogging Tips

How Many Blogs Should You Run?

Darren Rowse answers another reader question today with “how many blogs should you run?”

This is a subject I have found to be quite subjective, but honestly, the best answer I could give would be to say that it is best to run one or two great blogs, than a dozen mediocre ones, and from what I read in Darren’s article, he more or less agrees with me.

It was at about this time that I realized that my strategy was somewhat flawed (for me) for a number of reasons:

  • I couldn’t sustain the load
  • I couldn’t sustain my enthusiasm
  • The traffic didn’t come
  • The money didn’t come
  • The money came from elsewhere

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Theme: Green Peel

Considered by the creators as the best free theme for WordPress, Green Peel, is a green theme coded by XHTMLThis and The Big Chris.

It looks like a nice two-column theme and if you are interested in simplicity, Green Peel might be for you.

Categories: WordPress Themes

How Much Would You Pay for a WordPress Theme?

The title of this post is the same question that is being asked at WPDesigner.com today in hopes of judging a fair price for what I assume is a custom WordPress theme. I have priced getting one created before, and the price for me has ranged from about two hundred dollars, all the way up to around three and four thousand dollars. While a non-unique theme, slightly modified was more in the ten to hundred dollar range.

The poll on WPDesigner only allows you to chose one of four choices being either, five dollars, ten dollars, twenty dollars or forty-five dollars. Currently, there are less than twenty-five voters, but so far the consensus seems to be that twenty dollars is pricing it right.

Have your say at WPDesigner.com.

Categories: Blog Statistics, WordPress Themes

49 Most Downloaded WordPress Themes

Hongkiat has a list of the current top 49 themes by download from Themes.WordPress.net. The list includes some of my favorites, as well as some that I think shouldn’t be on the list, but if you are looking to get a good theme, or avoid themes that everyone and their brother are using, this list might help you there.

I look forward to seeing what this list looks like in half a year, or even a year from now. Hopefully, one of the themes released from the Bloggy Network will be in with such a great group of themes.

Categories: WordPress Themes

Targeting & More Targeting

Over on Tech Soapbox, Ahmed, one of the owners of the Bloggy Network, has written up a short post on why lower traffic blogs can be just as profitable as blogs getting thousands of uniques and continues to prove that it is just as much in the niche you chose as the traffic and other metrics you place on the blog.

The sites that generate the most amazing ROI are usually the ones that are most targeted. For example, we have a rarely updated site based loosely on finance. Today it generated a pithy 28 pageviews. The earnings for today: $18.18.

While that was a super-freak earnings there, the site averages a CPM above $100 (both this month and lifetime – it has been around since early 2005).

Don’t pass on something just because it doesn’t have the potential for 10 million pageviews. You can get by with 1000 sometimes.

A great reminder to those always following the lead of other bloggers and blog networks in hopes of making it big.

Categories: Blogging Tips

Top 30 WordPress Plugins in Blogosphere

Stasys of Staska.net has compiled a list of the top thirty plugins used by bloggers after looking over all the top plugin lists.

The list is based on the Lists of favorite WordPress plugins, made by Lorelle last month. Lorelle found 48 lists with a total of 280 plugins that were recommended by other bloggers to their readers.

So I went through all those lists and compiled a spreadsheet of the mentioned plugins to see which of them were the most used in blogosphere.

An interesting idea, and project, though the results leave us with very few surprises. Plugins like Akismet, Google Sitemap Generator, and Related posts take the top spots, with many other well known plugins to fill out the ranks. I found the position of some to be a bit odd, considering them being worthy of a higher or lower spot in the list, but all in all it is a great read, and I suggest you check it out.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Download of the Day: ScribeFire (Firefox)

LifeHacker has chosen ScribeFire for Firefox as their Download of the day, and I must agree with them.

Formerly known as Performancing for Firefox, the tool allows you to easily post to your blog from a browser window. Here is some text from LifeHacker on the plugin.

Like its predecessor, ScribeFire opens a split panel that provides a full of text-editing tools, complete with rich/source editing tabs, a live preview, a post history and more. You can easily drag and drop text, images and links to the ScribeFire pane, making it super-easy to reference other sites and info within your blog entries. The latest version, 1.4, promises improved support for Blogger accounts and better file uploading. It also supports the new WordPress API.

In addition to Blogger and WordPress, ScribeFire works with Jeeran, LiveJournal, TypePad and Windows Live Spaces. This killer extension costs nothing; it requires Firefox 1.5 or later.

I haven’t really given it much time or attention, and so I’d love to hear the opinions of others. Is ScribeFire as great as some people make it sound, or does it have too many drawbacks?

Categories: Blogging Tools

WordPress Official Plugins Directory Review

Thomas McMahon of BloggerDesign has posted his first thoughts on the new Official Plugin Directory and he is not impressed.

When I first read last week that WordPress had launched an official plugins directory I was excited. There are lots of good plugins out there that are not in any sort of searchable database other than a search engine. However, the WordPress plugin directory isn’t living up to my excitations yet.

I’ve got the plugin uploaded and ready to go, I think. But I have no idea what to do next or how to get it into the WordPress official directory. The whole ordeal isn’t user friendly and I can see how quickly it’d deter plugin authors from uploading their plugins. That is unless I’m the only one who doesn’t get the whole SVN thing.

I think the official WordPress plugin directory is a great idea, but I think it’s confusing and annoying to get a plugin listed. I’d recommend wp-plugins.net for a large database of WordPress plugins that is extremely easy to get included in.

I haven’t tried adding a plugin to the directory yet, but so far the user side experience is not too bad. I agree with Thomas about the limited number of plugins currently listed, but I hope time will rectify that. I have said a billion times that I always thought that WordPress should have its own Plugin and Theme directories.

Categories: WordPress News