Category Archives: Best Hosting

The best hosting tips and techniques come from Shrewdies. Our website is full of help and information to support all webmasters, and particularly those who host their own WordPress sites.

These articles are a selection of the best of Shrewdies.

Improve WordPress The Shrewd Way

You might think that once you’ve deployed WordPress, your webmaster duties are over. Nothing could be further from the truth – it’s time to improve WordPress the shrewd way.

Let’s not settle for mere shrewdness. Let’s improve WordPress the Shrewdies Way.

If you follow the flock, you’ll react to visitors, react to downtime, and react to everything else that affects the smooth running of your website. Be shrewd, and anticipate what you need to do today so that you do not have fires to fight next week.

You’ve already made a start if you’ve followed my preparation and deployment guidelines. Now we start a cycle of growth by turning the deployment plan into an improvement plan. Just as the deployment plan made installation and launch easy, our improvement plan makes managing growth easy. If not easy, at least less challenging than it would be without plans.

Specifics of improvement plans vary enormously from one website to the next. The common approach is to be flexible – change routines as soon as you realize that they are not providing more value than they cost. The easiest way to do this is to vary the interval between improvement cycles. If you check something once a day, but consistently change whatever you are checking 4 or 5 times a month, move to weekly testing.

Read more specific ways to improve your website

Deploy WordPress The Shrewd Way

Deploying WordPress is a cinch if you’ve prepared properly.

If you do not have a deployment plan, please read my WordPress Preparation pages. Most of the steps apply to any platform, so still prepare a deployment plan even if you’re not using WordPress.

Deploy WordPress: Installation Checklist

Now it is simply a question of following the steps:

  1. Add domain to server
  2. Check DNS settings are correct with domain registrar
  3. Switch on CDN and cache service, Google Analytics, and Webmaster Tools in CloudFlare
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Change WordPress settings per Shrewdies configuration guide
  6. Add WordPress plugins per Shrewdies functionality guide
  7. Select and clone WordPress Theme per Shrewdies format guide
  8. Create Google Custom Search Engine, and apply to website
  9. Configure FeedBurner service
  10. Configure taxonomy per deployment guide
  11. Create Admin pages per Shrewdies configuration guide.
  12. Configure widgets and menus per Shrewdies format guide.

Deploy WordPress: Next Steps

I am currently reorganizing this website to bring all the above guides into one easy-to-find section. I’m also working on a new guide for deploying a live and a development server, with quick ways to switch between the two – ideal if you need to revivify your site without disrupting the live version. Please subscribe to our free update service to make sure you are notified as I publish these guides.

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Much of the information you need is already here, so please search for it using the boxes near the top and bottom of every page. If you cannot find what you need, please ask in the website support forum. You can also use that forum to share your opinions and experiences of deploying your own website.

Preparing For WordPress – Do Not Rush It

I’ve lost count of the number of website owners who have come to me for help after rushing into making a website without proper preparation.

I also have to admit making mistakes as a webmaster myself. After a quick chat, requirements seem simple, and I have deployed WP sites in the past without a plan. It is so easy to install and get started with WordPress, but rushed deployment can be a disaster waiting to happen.

The Webmaster Role In WordPress Preparation

Actually, the webmaster role in preparing for WordPress is the same as any other platform. You must insist that the owner has a deployment plan, even if the owner is yourself.

A deployment plan describes the scope of the website project, and a schedule of tasks required to complete it. Though it describes the specific tasks you need to take to install and configure WordPress, it goes beyond that. By making the boundaries and expectations clear, your deployment plan stops you wasting time on tasks that are not relevant. What is the point of configuring spam filters and discussion settings if the owners have no intention of inviting the community to deface their creation with comments?

There are hundreds of decisions to be made when you deploy a website, and thousands more when you operate and improve it. If the purpose of the website is clear, you can make these decisions easily.

Now, it is mainly a management task to complete the deployment plan, and so I cover most of the detail on Shrewdies Web Business Management website. However, the plan will be better if you are involved in the preparation of it. I will link to relevant pages on that website that every webmaster should be aware of.

Read more about preparing for WordPress

Help Yourself to a Website the Shrewdies Way

Do you want a shrewd way to create your own website? Let’s do it better, let’s see how to build your own website the Shrewdies Way.

Build Your Own Website: Preparation

Everyone assumes that building your own website starts with registering a domain name at GoDaddy.com or other domain registrar. It does not.

If you have an existing business, then domain name selection to match your business name is important, but let’s take a step back.

You must advise on the strategies needed to plan information, ecommerce, and community aspects of your website. You must assess the server requirements to handle projected traffic. You need to ensure that deployment timescales are important.

See how to plan, deploy, and improve your own website

Your Website from Shrewdies: ShrewdSite

ShrewdSite is the working title of our relaunched, managed WordPress website service.

If you want to go it alone, or if you are tied into a current hosting plan that you cannot transfer, this article is not for you. The rest of this website is full of good advice and guidelines to help you deploy your own website. You can search for specific topics easily, using the search boxes near the top and bottom of each page.

We can help you manage your own self-managed website, or advise you what you should instruct your technical support to do. We can even provide detailed installation and management plans for your website. The core of our business is to help website owners manage their own resources to run their websites how they want to. Shrewdies managed websites are for busy web business owners, who need to devote time to running their business. If you want to manage your own website, please follow our guidelines on this website. If you need help interpreting our guidelines for your specific circumstances, please ask in the website support forum.

See how to get Your Website from Shrewdies