SiteGround WebHosting Review – UPDATED 2017

Honest SiteGround review after having tried several VPS hosts as well as dozens of regular shared hosting companies.

In about 2010, I moved to VPS and never looked back since I run a dozen serious websites with thousands of hits/day. I was very happy with Linode and never thought to go back to shared hosting.

Why no shared hosting? Because it’s slow, frequent down-times, poor SEO, and actually expensive when you try add every necessary features (dedicated IP, SSL, add-on domains) and still lacks many features like caching, compression, file_upload limits, CURL, etc. Back then, almost all shared hosting was eventually oversold and constantly went down. DreamHost, Lunarpages, 1and1, GoDaddy, ANhosting, Midphase, Bluehost, Hostgator, etc and etc…ALL the EIG companies…all of them had problems no matter how much they tried to promise the 99.9999% uptime.

So why did I take a chance on shared hosting again if I’m happy with my fancy 4-core VPS at Linode? Continue reading SiteGround WebHosting Review – UPDATED 2017

How to Find Writing Consistency and Motivation for Blogging

I’ve written probably 300-400 pieces (about 20% of them 10,000-40,000 words) in the past 10 years with thousands of social shares across them. I’ve got some tough answers but I’ve found them to be most true.
 
The first part is you have to like writing. If it’s not fun to you, if it sounds like work…there really isn’t much strategy to help you want to do it. It’s like trying to make a game out of eating something you hate. Sure, you can try mixing it into other foods and what not but you’ll never like the way it tastes. And you can’t just be about the money, that’s just not enough motivation (even money can’t make lawyers love their jobs). Those who write only for the money, will never last long. Just my two cents.
 
The 2nd part is that you have to write from the heart and write from what you know. Most bloggers I see don’t have enough experience about the thing they’re trying to write about, they don’t have any strong opinions or knowledge about it to share with the world. Imagine trying to write a movie review about a movie you either didn’t watch, or didn’t finish, or kinda fell asleep while you were watching it. Your review would not only lack substance but also lack heart. You may even try to write your movie review based on what other people were saying about it (regurgitating information). If you want to be a real writer and write a lot, you need to have a lot of opinions on the topic.
 
The 3rd part is this is a real strategy of mine is that I write ONLY when I’m inspired. I might be inspired for 8-days straight…if so, I write every minute of all 8 days. If I’m inspired at 3am in the middle of the night, I wake up and write it. F**k sleep. And if I’m NOT inspired, then I don’t friggin write anything. I don’t care if I’m not inspired for 6 months. Being a good writer is like being an artist…so treat yourself like an artist. I know some people try to do that thing where you write consistently. IMO, doing that only makes you hate writing even more. If I were you, just write only when you’re inspired and if you’ve lived an exciting life, you’ll have more written down than what you release and so you always have a bank full of pre-written articles. Even now, I have 200 unreleased articles…I could be lazy for 1-2 years and still have unreleased “masterpieces”. Think of like how musicians are with their unreleased work.

How Do You Stay Motivated?

I do what I want. I think so many people don’t and that hurts their consistency in the long run. If you hate blogging, don’t force yourself to write. If you hate videos, don’t force yourself to get in front of a camera. Forcing yourself to do anything never works because you’ll quit in the long run and likely not be as competitive against someone who does love it. Try sticking only with tasks that you like doing and focus extra hard on that. I’ve been monetizing online for over 10 years now and that’s stood out more than most other things I’ve tried. Believe me, the excitement of making money online wears off once you actually start making it.

For those who wonder: but who gets tired of making money?

Well, some people are really in it to pile up a bunch of money. But others, like myself, just want free time or freedom to travel and work remotely, quit our jobs and that sort of stuff. And once you have enough money to stop working and travel…you’re going to start scheming how you can do even less! It’s like “yay, I don’t have to work anymore but damn…do I really have to keep writing blogs?”

Linode – VPS Hosting Review – Updated 2017

I’m incredibly happy with Linode VPS Hosting for the past 5 years. I honestly don’t even like telling people about them because I don’t want this company to grow, get bought out, or decrease their quality of service like GoDaddy or any of the EIG hosting companies. Linode has 0% downtime or constant upgrade/migration issues and what not. It has been one of the best decisions of my life.

But they’re not just great on their own but also compared against others like Digital Ocean, Dreamhost, Lightsail, OVH, Ramnode, Scaleway, etc. Please go see for yourself. They’re consistently topping benchmark charts for performance everywhere and even their $10 VPS plans are out-performing $20 VPS plans from other companies. They have  better CPU, better features, better performance. Some people may complain about their GUI but I actually like it better.

In any case…here’s the one reason I feel they’re the best. Every person that I’ve hired to work on my server or website has ultimately switched over to Linode. It’s the funniest thing. Programmers, designers, sys admins….they’ll tinker around and then tell me they’ve decided to give Linode a try.

Anyway, if you’re interested to see why they’ve been the best for years, here’s my Linode referral link

 

———– My original review below ———

After having so many problems with VPS.net, I decided to go looking for a new VPS host. A lot of things had changed since I first got a VPS and so I had to read up a few guides. I had many concerns that ultimately lead me to choosing Linode.

 

VPS vs cloud

So there’s all this talk about cloud hosting. It’s unlimited, scalable, and has virtually 100% reliability. You only pay for what you use…but then that part scares me. I get constant spikes in traffic here and there, and I hear busy websites might end up paying more for cloud. The support guy at my old webhost told me VPS is faster than cloud. I was already happy with VPS service so I figured to leave it as is. I used VPS because it was fast and cheap, I never cared so much for root access or having complete control to my server.

Managed vs Unmanaged

Managed was having a support guy available whenever you need to make changes or configure your server, etc, etc. But I only need the server to run. I’m not hacking into it regularly and so un-managed made more sense (and was $100 cheaper per month).

Different Hosting Providers

The big names floating around were VPS.net, Amazon (cloud), Slicehost (now Rackspace), PRGMR, Linode. Amazon had cloud which I didn’t want. Rackspace only offered “managed VPS” solutions which started at $150/month — too high for me. VPS.net was shitty. PRGMR was ultra barebones which scared me a bit. Linode was the popular one and highly recommended. I also found many benchmarks where Linode performed well. After reading around, I decided to move my website to them and I’ve been very happy since. I hired a server admin to migrate my site over and was very glad to hear him say the new Linode VPS was much faster and more responsive than the old VPS.net server.

LINODE WINS. (goodbye VPS.net)

MY LINODE REFERRAL LINK

MLM are SCAMS, not real businesses!

I absolutely hate and never recommend MLM’s (multi-level marketing, aka “pyramid schemes”). None of them last long…and a business model built around saturating your market as quick as possible is never going to last. How long would Starbucks last if they put a franchise on every corner? Any business that makes more profit from enlisting you into the business than actually selling a product or service is not a real business. And likewise….what the hell company do you think wants to ever share profit? If you had a cash-generating machine, how much percentage of it would you like to give away? So then…why do MLM’s try to give away so much commission? — that’s right, because that’s where their money comes from. It’s scam no matter how many loopholes they exploit.

Seriously! They’re not contributing any real value to the world…it’s a scam! It’s a middleman that offers no value competing against other over-priced middlemen [preying] catering to customers that have financial problems/fears instead of real customers that actually need a service/product. And the only reason they even have a product/service is to exploit a loophole by pretending they’re a real business!

How do you collect customer emails?

It isn’t creative but perhaps a bit non-conformity. I hate leveraging freebies as a way of getting the email. You stake the entire value of your newsletter on the freebie and many people would rather just search up the topic of your freebie than give their email address away.

My thing is this: write amazing blogs that people never want to miss out on. Put out fresh insightful stuff that stands above the same’ol same’ol and people will drop their email without you having to promise anything in return.

Obviously, it takes a while to get here but it’s much muuuuuuch better in the long run. Sure you can start a new site and get a few emails by promising some secret ebook thing, but you’ll only get cold leads that’ll buy just your first layer product….think like the folks buying impulse aisle products.

But if you have great content, you’re more likely to attract the loyal fans that’ll stick around long enough to buy your upsell stuff, which is where the real money is at.

The last thing you want is 10,000 weak leads costing money on your email list that never buy anything and then mark you as spam 3 months later. I almost celebrate when people unsubscribe. If they’re not falling in love with your content, they’re probably not going to convert.

FREE Web Hosting Control Panel Review

This guide was intended to help beginner/non-experts find a good control panel for managing their websites and web servers. About myself…I’m extremely tech-savvy and know my way around many web technologies. Of the few things that I don’t do, programming and operating from the command line is one of them.

When it comes to finding the best web hosting control panel, I care about one thing only: CAN YOU DO IT WITHOUT BOTHERING YOUR SERVER GUY?

Most control panels are not good enough. Either you’ll have to bother your server guy, or you’ll have to learn. Learning is great if all you want to do is maintain web servers. But it’s horrible if you’ve got other things to do like RUN A PROFITABLE BUSINESS. If you’re running a business like me, it’s really hard to go away from anything but cPanel. But let’s try anyway… Continue reading FREE Web Hosting Control Panel Review

Open-Source vs Proprietary (closed-source)

Which is better?

The free-for-all community driven software or mature enterprise-grade production-ready commercial software?

Those supporting open-source software claim it has the obvious advantage of being free but more importantly, is developed by more community experts with more contributing hands. It’s likely to grow and fork faster into more exciting projects.

Those support proprietary software claim it’s more mature, secure, has more consistent support, and far more likely to stick around when there’s money in it to pay for top-level developers.

IMO, the answer is both. Having both open-source and proprietary around forces both of them to be better. They’ll compete and force each other to evolve faster. And both will steal the best from each other. Open-source will borrow from the most consistent and time-tested features of closed-source. And proprietary will take inspiration from the best of open-sources experimental features. For this reason, you’ll notice many companies with the freemium model.

WordPress Redirection Tips – HTaccess vs Plugins

Some people have asked which WordPress plugin is best for redirection, to avoid 404 errors, or maybe after a change in permalinnks (url structure), or migration to HTTPS.

Of all the WordPress redirection plugins, IMO Safe Redirect Manager is the best. Other plugins are consumer grade, but this one is enterprise grade (and the fastest).

It’s always better if you can do you WordPress redirects via:

  1. main server config
  2. htaccess
  3. using a plugin

You only need one of those solutions, and preferably in that order. 1 is ideal if you have VPS and direct server access since it’s the fastest. 2 is for most people on a shared hosting account with htaccess. 3 is the slowest and only recommended if you don’t have access to 1&2, ORRRR you want to track stats.

If you DO want to track stats, my advice is:

Make sure it’s really worth it to you because redirect plugins that track stats will slow down your web page load a lot (even on VPS server). You could always use your Google Search Console to get the same info.

FYI: SRM doesn’t track stats so you’ll need to try one of those other consumer ones with all the fancy options.

Make Money with Wordpress