Almost one year ago, I take a risky experiment. I tried to self-hosted my own WordPress blog and bought myself a domain name. As you can see right now, I used second level domain provided by my own country, that is web.id. With this domain, I played around with setting own blog into one of free hosting provider. Ever since that time, some of my friends asking me about this hosting and domain. How to get the domain, how to buy a hosting, and all of other questions. And this article was dedicated to them and to you who wanna host your own blog.
This article is about some considerations we need to take before deciding what kind of hosting and domain do you need.
This article is NOT about detailed instructions in configuring and setting blog on our own hosting and domain. I wrote about these at another site in Bahasa Indonesia. You can read about that there (send me a comment if you want me to translate it into English).
One day, when I surfed the web, I found an interesting site. This site has function like a normal blog, but the post written there was posted from various blog sources. Later, I knew that this blog is called aggregator. How this blog aggregator works? It works by collecting RSS Feeds from various blogs registered. The feeds then posted as normal posts in the aggregator. One of the differences is the article title linked to the “real” blog source.
When I knew that some of my friends also have their own blogs, I started to thinking about building this aggregator. The site that I found earlier is powered by Planet, a Phyton-based feed reader. I tried it, and ended up with failure. I just couldn’t configure and tested it properly. I didn’t have Internet connection and didn’t familiar with Phyton at that time. So, I tried to find alternative. I found WP-o-Matic plugins for WordPress. So I installed, asked my friends permission to grab their feeds, and hosted it. I called it Ilkomerz 41 Blog Aggregator.
Another problem arose. This plugin will automatically read and parse feeds from its registered blogs every amount of time. To make this fetching run automatically, it uses cron job. The WP-o-Matic has two options of cron job. The first one is UNIX cron job run by web hosting. Free hosting, like the one I use, doesn’t give cron job feature. So I go to the next option, web cron. It will automatically calling fetching script on the hosting.
I use the web cron option for some months until suddenly the aggregator was down. Well, it worked again when I send a support ticket to the hosting provider. I know that maybe it’s not because of the web cron spending too much resource. I suspected that because of the multi-user nature of the aggregator, the blog automatically sending email to the blog writer. The hosting may called it spam. So I killed the auto-email feature. I also shut down WP-o-Matic and switched it to manual fetching. I know that maybe it’s not because of the WP-o-Matic’s web cron, but I don’t wanna take the risk losing this blog for the second time.
Manual fetching was a pain. I must open my Google Reader, find if my friends have new post, and then login to the aggregator, fetching the post, and the post will showed up. I was thinking, there must be a better way to do this. Accidently, I found out that there are some webs that provide free cron job. One of them is SetCronJob. This site can calls the cron script url of the aggregator. So, I tried it yesterday. I registered the aggregator to the site. And now, my aggregator works well automatically. I don’t know what will come in the future, but I have a high hope for SetCronJob.
Do you have another opinions or experience? Feel free to share it.
I’ve been in blogosphere since 2007. From my first time there, sometimes I found a lot of blogs saying that blogger mustn’t copy paste carelesly another article to their blog. They were saying that blog content is a creation that must be respected. It means you couldn’t just duplicated blog content without authorization, reference, or at least a trackback.
WordPress has its own trackback system. If a blog content leave a reference to another blog (usually as a link), the referenced blog will be notified. The notification itself usually came as a comment on the referenced post.
I didn’t believe that someone could do something like that. Just duplicating blog content without reference or a trackback isn’t ethical to me. I wasn’t believe until couple days ago. Someone just copy-pasted my writing. For your information, I also write at another blog. In that blog, I wrote a tutorial on how to build your own WordPress blog. I divided the tutorial into several posts. Each post referenced (or link) to the previous and the next step of the tutorial. So every post got a trackback from another part of the tutorial.
My posting there got a trackback from another blog. It used to be the usual trackback. But when I checked it out, I found out that the other blog has my post written on it. Just exactly as what I wrote them. The trackback was sent from the link that I created to link my tutorial. So if I didn’t divide the tutorial and create referenced to the part, I’ll never know that someone copy-pasted my post. This other blog didn’t bother giving a reference to my post (not to mention my own trackback).
I was furious. But I controlled my emotion and write a comment to that blog. I wrote as polite as possible, telling him to give a reference to my post. The comment saved as moderated. I couldn’t expect more, and I left it.
The next day, an email came to my inbox. It’s from the copy-pasted guy! He said (I translated and edited some part of it):
I’m really sorry for the repost.
I’ll delete the post right away. I just doing your tutorial, thanks for the article.
From the tone, I guess he freaked out. So I calmed him and explained that I just need him to give a proper reference to my post. That’s it. I think that was the ethical way. And I didn’t hear from him anymore. The post also disappeared from his blog. I dunno if he is still blogging or not. If he’s not, maybe it’s my mistake too. Somehow, I’m feeling sorry for him. But at least, I got my own lesson.
Weeks ago, I decided to track the visitor of this site using free services from StatCounter.com. The free services limited to 500 logs only, but it’s fine with me. So, Let’s play statistics this time!
First things first, this is the image of the top ten country from where the visitors accessed this blog. The tracker caught more than 50 percent of the visitors came from Indonesia, my country. Maybe half among them were my friends (sometimes I forced them to take a peek at my blog, but it’s legal, right? ^^). Another reasons, I wrote some tutorials using Bahasa Indonesia, so they stumbled in this blog.
The second country goes to United States. That’s what I expected when I was thinking about writing in English. Another abroad country like Poland, Phillippines, Brazil, etc. were some side effects of this cause.
Next, this picture showed this blog’s popular pages. I was curious, why the number one page didn’t show up. After I checked the details, the page was CodeIgniter: Removing index.php. In the second position, here it comes the homepage. I promoted my blog a lot at mailing lists, Facebook, and Twitter. I assumed that its visitors came from my never-lasting-promotion-efforts. Four pages (including the number one) among the top ten were a tutorial post. From this I concluded that tutorial posts will attract more visitors.
Last but not least, from which search engine my visitors came. From the statistics, most of the visitors used Google search engine, even from various countries. Just about nine percents of them used Yahoo! search to stumbled at this blog. So, I’ll optimized my upcoming post to be indexed by Google.
Well, playing with statistics was fun. But I couldn’t concluded more than that. I’m still learning at this. So, why wouldn’t you give me some words?
A month ago, my friends and me started to hold a conference chat. In this chat, we’ll try to speak (or write) in English. The aim is to improve our English conversation skill. We’ve been using some chatting styles, and in this post I wanna share it to y’all.
Our first meeting, we were using conference chat provided by YM. Using this, we could invite any friends that we want to join. It has great features, like the normal YM chat, such as emoticons, voice chat, and so on. But the problem arise when one of the chatter has a bad connection. He/she got disconnected, but his/her name was still on the list. They couldn’t invited anymore. We’ve used this style for a week or two, then I was thinking about another style of chat. I was looking for an AJAX-based chat in a web page.
So, I googled and stumbled in Gabbly. I embedded it on my aggregator page. We tried it for one meeting. And we got a problem. Some of my friends couldn’t access the page at all. The page was too slow to load. So, there were not many people joined us that time. It made me think of another way. Something more stable and low bandwidth requirement.
Then I remembered IRC. Years ago, IRC was the main chatting style. And it still exists until now. So I found this server, TheOneServ. This server based in Indonesia, and I can register a channel for free. So I registered a channel for us. As for the client softwares, we can use ChatZilla (an add ons for Firefox). One of my friends asked me if she could use IRC client for mobile. I googled and found jmIrc. It’s Java mobile app. So then she finally can joined the meeting (and exercizing her thumbs too). Well, think we’ll stick with this old-style chat things for now.