Making the move from Shared Hosting to VPS

After months and months of suffering through Godaddy’s terrible technical support and poor website performance due to their strict resource limitations, I finally decided to make the move to a VPS.

My main reason for wanting to make the move was because I was building a directory website with more than 100,000 entries by importing listings file by file, and Godaddy’s server made it impossible for me to import a file with just 200 entries at a time. The import process would get throttled every time leaving me with an Internal Server Error, and a partially imported file that I would have to clean up every time it failed.

Since I am living in Canada, I wanted to choose one in my own country this time. The cheapest and best I could find was one called OVH (http://www.ovh.com/ca/en/vps/) at just $2.99 per month for 1 GB or RAM, 10 GB of disk storage, 10,000 GB of transfer at 100 Mbps.

hosting-vps-classic

Anyway, I signed up for 3 months, which was quite an insignificant expense (less than $10) to try out their VPS. Unfortunately, I ended up almost tearing the hair out of my head because of their unbelievably poor documentation.

Because of that, my main reason for putting this article together was so that other people who want to make the move to VPS hosting can do it more easily by following the same steps that worked for me.

1. Purchase a VPS hosting package with OVM.

It might take a while for it to be completely set up. Wait until you are assignd an IP address which you can see by clicking the IP link in the left column of your OVM manager control panel or by clicking on the Infrastructure link and then your server name. You will get an email after your VPS has been set up, so you should be patient and wait for that.

2. Log in to Godaddy and go in to manage your domains.

Select a domain that you would like to use for your nameservers on your VPS. Click on the domain name and then on the settings tab. Scroll down to where it says Host names and click the manage link. Where it has a field in front of .domain.tld, put ns. So if your domain is abc.com and you put ns in the field, your name server would be ns.abc.com. Enter the IP address for your VPS in the IP field.

hosting-hostname
3. Now click on the Zone file tab and then click Edit.

You are going to add some A records. You will already have one there for @. Click on the pencil icon and update that IP address with your VPS IP. Then click on Quick Add and add another one. This one is an * instead of a @, and enter your VPS IP again.
Now go down to where it says AAAA Host (IPv6) and add in a @ and * again, except instead of the IP address, use the other number.
Click on the Save button.

hosting-zone-file

4. Now your work on Godaddy is done. Go back to your VPS control panel again and click on the Infrastructure tab and then on your server name.

You will see a lot of  useful information there about your server. Where you see some tabs at the bottom, click on Secondary DNS and then Add a domain. Add your main domain, abc.com, to the popup and click next. You should see your new domain added. Make note of your Secondary DNS URL.

hosting-infrastructure

5. Now click on the IP tab (at the top of the left menu), then click on your server to open up your IP list.

The important thing here is the reverse IP that you see under reverse. Click on that and replace that number with your new name server (i.e. ns.abc.com) and save it.

hosting-reverse

You are going to have to wait a while for all that to propagate, perhaps as long as a whole day. After everything is working, you should be able to use your own nameserver to point your domain names to your VPS. Let’s try it.

Go to Godaddy again and select a domain name that you would like to host on your VPS.
Where it says “Nameservers” click on the link that says Manage.
Click on the “Custom” radio button so you can add your own name servers.
In the first field, enter your new nameserver (i.e. ns.abc.com)
In the second field, enter your secondary DNS that you just made note of. In my case, it was sdns1.ovh.ca.

hosting-new-nameserver

Then click OK. Your domain is going to point to your VPS server space now, but it will also take some time before it’s going to work.

Go to your Plesk or other control panel and add a new domain. Enter the name of the domain and a new folder (myotherdomain.com) should be created to hold your website files. Once everything has been propagated, your domain should be pointed to that folder.

Congratulations, you have successfully set up your VPS server to host your websites! 🙂

Apple After Steve Jobs Death

Steve Jobs, Apple’s founding father, CEO, visionary of what Apple has already done and what Apple could do in the future, inventor, and sales genius, pose the question of, “What will happen to Apple, now that this visionary is dead?”

We can go back to the same old saying that, “No one is indispensible, no one, not even Steve Jobs.” This visionary has worked alongside of many geniuses in order to get his Apple Company up and running and keep it climbing to higher limits every year. Yes, even though this founding father of Apple got this company where it is today, something tells us that to do all of this virtually alone would be an impossible task for anyone, that is, except God himself, and we know that Steve Jobs, as great of a man he was, was not God. He needed a lot of help along the way.

Every CEO has a confidant to share their like dreams and desires for their company, and this person is always someone who shares exactly the same goals, and visions as the CEO. By now everyone within the Apple industry knows that they must keep Steve Job’s vision alive, and there is not anyone else to do this except for Steve’s long-time friend and co-CEO Tim Cook. Tim Cook had to follow in Steve’s foot print and believe, think and act as a clone to Apple and Steve Jobs in order for Apple to continue on its pathway to one of the greatest companies that has ever been known.

Because Steve Jobs is no longer on this earth, should pose no questions about the future of Apple. Steve Jobs was a brilliant man in business, and was not dumb in thinking that his rein would never end. He placed a genius in his CEO seat, and one that he could trust and feel confident in knowing that the Apple name would continue to reach new heights every year.

According to reports, investors and customers of Apple remain confident in the knowledge that Steve Jobs knew what he was doing when he place Tim Cook where he is today. Because they are of like mind and vision Steve Jobs know that there would be absolutely no problems in carrying on with business as he meant it to be carried on.

If Steve Jobs had no problems planning for Apple when he passed away, then neither should the company employees and public fret about what will happen to Apple. It is a sure bet that everything Tim Cook does for awhile will be put under a fine microscope, until he certainly proves his worth, with Jobs not at the helm.

If Steve Jobs trusted this man with his company then who do people think they are in questioning Tim Cook’s approaches to a business entrusted with his care from the perfection stand-point of Steve Jobs. Tim Cook and Steve Jobs shared in this perfection and attention to specific detail in any of the Apple products. Both Steve Jobs and now his successor Tim Cook is notorious at the bargaining table. Tim Cook has been deemed more of a people person, more of a person who stops and weighs situations before firing the gun.

So, the question still remains, “Will Apple survive without Steve Jobs?” Of course it will, and it will reach new heights every year, because Steve Jobs already had done the hard work of placing all the right gurus and key players in position before he died.

Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at hawaiivacations.org.

Canada’s most popular hosting companies

Having been working in the Internet industry for more than 10 years, whether it was for logging in and editing websites or setting up customers with new hosting accounts, I can say I’ve definitely had to deal with my fair share of hosting companies.

All the best and biggest hosting companies available now are the ones you see first when you do a Google search for hosting companies. Most of them have packages that are rich in features such as unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, more MySQL databases than you would ever possible use, and a free domain for the life of your account, and sometimes start for as low as $2.95/month.

Some of the most popular hosting companies out there now include:

Every now and then, I get requests from customers to recommend some Canadian hosting companies to them, and I’m happy to tell them that there are indeed Canadian hosting companies that are just as good as the American ones listed above. The two most popular I know of now are HostPapa and myhosting.

HostPapa


HostPapa 100% Green Energy Web Hosting

Click banner to check out HostPapa

Some of the reasons Host Papa is just as good or better than the others are:

  • 100% Canadian owned and operated
  • 100% Green Energy Web hosting
  • Host unlimited domains on one account
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited diskspace
  • Free domain for the life of your account
  • Cpanel control panel
  • PHP and more MySQL databases than you’ll ever need

HostPapa price breakdown

Sign up for Monthly cost
1 year $5.95/month
2 years $4.95/month
3 years $3.95/month

myhosting

Affordable & Reliable Web Hosting - Starting from $4.84 / Month
Click banner to check out myhosting

Some of the reasons myhosting is just as good or better than the others are:

  • 100% Canadian owned and operated
  • Host unlimited domains on one account
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited diskspace
  • Free domain for the life of your account
  • PHP and 3 MySQL databases
  • Ability to customize the plan

Myhosting is not as good a deal as HostPapa; however, unlike Hostpapa, they have a variety of different hosting plan options, including a VPS (Virtual Private Server) package that is one of the best deals you can possible get for a VPS.

myhosting price breakdown

Sign up for Monthly cost
1 year $6.95/month
2 years $5.95/month
3 years $4.95/month

Making the move to HostPapa or myhosting

The sign up process for either one is quite simple, with just a couple of forms to fill out, and you can pay using PayPal. Moving over your sites is then just a matter of downloading from your old Web host and uploading to your newly purchased HostPapa or myhosting account. If you have a database, it will take a bit longer because you’ll have to export your databases, create new databases through your new hosting control panel, and then import the info into the new database.

If you need help moving your site, let us know. We have tons of experience with moving sites between servers.

WordPress, my new favorite Blog/CMS platform

Since the days when open source CMS applications began coming out, I’ve always been a bit unsure about which ones were the best to use for what. At the beginning, none of them were really very good, but now they have evolved and improved so much, there are now too many good ones to choose from.

Drupal versus Joomla

For the last few years, two of the most popular CMS platforms have been Drupal and Joomla. You can even see many job offers today looking for people who can develop using Drupal or Joomla. They are definitely among the most popular, that’s for sure. However, I don’t like either of them, and find their admin systems, especially, to be clumsy and overly-complicated.

Website Baker

My first favorite CMS was one that was not well-known at all when I first started using it. After trying out all the most popular ones, though, and then giving Website Baker a try, I was hooked instantly. It was so much simpler than all the others, and I found, as a programmer, that I could do pretty well anything I wanted with it to create custom functions and modules for customers. Best of all, though, was the admin system. It was so simple, almost anyone could just log in and start editing pages instantly. It also had the ability to allow an editor to use multiple menus and edit multiple sections on a page right out of the box.

Unfortunately, Website Baker is not being supported very well these days, and production and updates are few and far between. I still like it a lot, but it’s now not my only recommendation for a CMS.

Another thing that Website Baker can’t do is enable you to add a blog to your site. Well, there is a simple addon for allowing people to comment on pages, but it’s as simple as it comes. Instead of using Website Baker for the blog part of the site, I would use Website Baker for the CMS, and then just used WordPress for the blog part of the site. That required two different logins into two different administration areas, so it was a bit inconvenient to have that kind of setup.

WordPress – the best solution for a blog and CMS

In the last year, I’ve been doing a lot of freelance work for a local company. When I first started, they told me that they wanted to create CMS sites for customers using WordPress. At first, I didn’t think that was going to work out so well, but when I started to learn more about WordPress and how it could be used as a CMS, I gradually started to convert. As a programmer, and by adapting the skills I learned while working with Website Baker, I was able to become quite proficient at using WordPress in a short amount of time.

The best thing about WordPress is that it can be used to both manage your blog and manage your website content. Of course, since it was first developed as a blog platform, that is where its main strength lies (WordPress is by far the most used blogging platform), but its CMS features are also good for doing what most people need done.

To learn more about WordPress, I recommend checking out the offical Wordpress site at http://www.wordpress.org.

In my next article, I’m going to share some information about some of the things I do when I’m developing a WordPress site. Stay tuned.

Website updates

Most Dominet Web Services partners have been working in the Web industry for at least 10 years. With that kind of experience and expertise, you can be confident in our ability to handle pretty well any kind of request for changes, updates, and fixes/repairs to your site.

For an example, some our customers have needed us to:

  • create a new page along with its associated menu button (global change to the navigation on all pages)
  • update text on some pages (for those who don’t have a CMS site)
  • develop a contact form and mailer for their contact page
  • make a change or alteration to a graphic
  • move their content from their old design into a new template
  • move their site from one server to another

We are able to do almost any kind of job like this. Just let us know what you need and we’ll let you know how long we think it will take and how much it will cost. Also, we would be glad to take over the regular maintenance of your websites if you have a need for it.

How to scale SlideShowPro movie to fill browser window

Here is a challenge that has stumped many users of SlideShowPro over the years, and it’s something that I have managed to figure out just recently with the help of a lot of research and trial and error. 

The situation is this: you or your client wants his slideshow to appear in a browser window and take up 100% of the width and 100% of the height of the browser window, no matter what size, and have the slideshow resize in real time as the browser window is dragged and resized.  Read More…

Checking browser compatibility with Browser Shots

For anyone who has been coding in HTML for any length of time, one of the biggest challenges has always been with trying to get a website to look the same in different browsers.

There was a time when you could program your site to work with Internet Explorer, and not have to worry too much about the other browsers; though, if you wanted to be considered as a professional company, you would have to try to make it look good in Netscape, too. Those were the only two relevant browsers. Read More…

Semantic Fanatics – people who take Web standards way too seriously

Working as a freelance website coder for 10 years now, I’ve long gotten used to relying on the Internet to have my questions answered and problems solved.

Now, I’m pretty strict to myself at trying to do my code properly. For instance, I would never add in a tag attribute without putting quotes around the attribute (i.e., width=”20″ instead of width = 20). That was one of the first things I learned in college when I started studying HTML — luckily I had a C programmer for a teacher who taught me high standards for coding. Read More…

Low cost templates instead of costly custom graphic design

Recently, a customer asked me how much it would cost him to get a new design for his site. There was a time when I would have told him that it would probably cost him at least $1,500 to get a decent design from a reputable Web or graphic design company. But now things are much different, and there are many cheaper options out there.

When I first decided that I wanted to go with the new company/website name, Site Fixers, one of the first things I thought about was how I could get a pretty decent looking website up there that would give the appearance of quality without the high cost that usually goes with it. Then I remembered seeing banners in the midst of my Internet searches that were advertising cheap templates, so I decided to look into it some more. Read More…

Getting the .ca domain name you want, and TBR unfairness

So you finally thought of the perfect domain name for your business or personal website, but when you go to register it, it’s already taken. Sound familiar? Well, you might think it’s time to go back to the brainstorming session, but it might be best to check out a few things first.

One thing you should try, at first, is to type the domain name into your Web browser, and see if there is actually a website there already. If it looks like there is a real website there, you’re probably out of luck. If it seems like it’s not really being used, and you see something like an under construction, page not found, or a parked page with just a bunch of ads, then try doing a WHOIS search on the domain name to find out some information. Read More…