Category Archives: Web Hosting

Articles and discussions that do not fit in the main WordPress web hosting categories. Mostly for cross-category postings, it also includes some articles about how this website works, and some articles that await review and categorization.

Pods Custom WordPress Data Structure Choice

Custom WordPress with Pods

I have a new project to add structured content to WordPress for a client. I also need to update many of my own websites, especially this WordPress support website. I’m marking the relaunch of Shrewdies.net with a re-invigorated Pods CMS project.

Now re-branded as Pods Framework, this WordPress plugin is completely different from the Pods of my earlier articles.

Pods CMS (Content Management System) for WordPress is now called “Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields” and described as:

a framework for creating, managing, and deploying customized content types and fields.

I’ve continued to use Pods as a way to add custom fields to posts and taxonomies. Today, I’m configuring Pods to administer new content types.

Continue reading Custom WordPress with Pods

Shrewdies.net is moving

You can get support for any aspects of developing and running your website:

Let’s discuss How to Make a Website
An explanation of how Shrewdies Website Support works.
Shrewdies on Google+
My preferred social network, and the best format for detailed discussions. Please follow me on Google+ and share your questions, opinions, and experiences on any aspect of websites.
Shrewdies on Facebook
An alternative support platform. This is more suitable for sharing than discussion.

As I will not be posting here again, anyone who wants to keep updated by email should subscribe to my new update service:

Enter your email address:

Your email address is safe. I will never share it.

Read more about Shrewdies Update Service.

Simple Website Move

Though there are utilities that can drive a simple website move, they are often too complicated, or end up moving bad parts of your website that you want to lose.

It is important to plan carefully before you move any website to a new web-server, but there is one simple procedure that works in almost every case. I use it as my fallback procedure, amending where necessary, or replacing if the website move has unusual needs.

This is an instantaneous move that overcomes the biggest problem when moving to a new web-server – DNS propagation.

Read about simple website DNS propagation

Web Hosting For Dummies Soon

I’ve been a fan of the For Dummies franchise for many years.

Though I initially hesitated at the name – who wants to class themselves as a dummy? – I soon realized the books were for smart people who were being made to feel like dummies. I’ve met several successful businessmen who swear by these books. These are intelligent people who know how to make money. They do not want to spend hours learning about the technical intricacies of rarely touched aspects of web hosting.

They want to understand enough about web hosting to make sure it contributes to their business, not detracts from it. They want to know enough to manage web hosting effectively. That means knowing when to get involved, and when to leave it to experts.

When I started this site, there was no Web Hosting For Dummies book. That is about to change.

Read about the Web Hosting For Dummies Launch

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

Find Fast WordPress Hosting

Fast WordPress hosting means more than a fast server. Visitors need to find information fast, and that means a better search service than the default WordPress search.

WordPress Search Hosting

Rather than tweaking WordPress standard search with plugins,  I prefer to replace it completely with a faster search engine
Google are the fastest, most comprehensive search service, and integration into your responsive theme is very easy.

There are several ways to do this, but unless you are using a theme that you have written yourself, you should make changes via a child theme.

Continue reading Find Fast WordPress Hosting Information

WordPress Database With Pods Wings

I start my detailed look at the anatomy of our WordPress Pods plugins by showing you how Pods CMS makes the WordPress database fly.

Though we are all working with data at the heart of the WordPress database, we often take it for granted.

But data drives our content, our navigation, our presentation, our whole website.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we managed it properly?

I must confess, I love data. Actually, that’s as perverted as loving money – I actually love what can be done with data, rather than data itself. Structured and handled properly, application development, from the most basic WordPress plugin to a full blown web application becomes much more scalable and easier to manage if we get the data right.

WordPress Database With Pods

WordPress Database With Pods (click image for full size)

Our sample project Happiness Today, relies on data, just as it’s inspiration, Hello Dolly does. Whereas Hello Dolly data, the song lyrics, are hard-coded in the plugin, Happiness Today data is put where it belongs – in the WordPress database.

Each Pods project starts with data. This is the basic building block, known simply as a Pod. In complex applications, the hard part is learning how to structure data, especially if it needs to be split into different Pods.

Our example is very simple – every record in the Pod is just a lyric from the song. Experience tells me that I need keys to data in databases. In this case I use a simple line number identifier, which allows me to sort the records should I wish to output the whole song.

It is a good habit to always think of record keys when designing a Pod, or any other database. Pods helps us here by always creating a field called name, which will always uniquely identify records. With the Pod created, we simply need to add the text to each record, which we do with the standard Pods CMS record editing screens.

Job done, except that we need to get the data out. Continue reading

Join The WordPress Web Hosting Debate

One advantage of WordPress web hosting is the ease with which debate is encouraged through commenting.

Link Policy At A Glance

  • Contributors must add value
  • Sidebar link list for top posters
  • Nofollow removed on guests after 2 comments
  • Nofollow removed immediately for registered users

Then WordPress removes the incentive for you to contribute by adding a nofollow link to your comments! 😥

In turn, I remove that nofollow attribute, in most circumstances, so that you get search engine rewards for your valued contribution. 😛

I interrupt my series on the shrewdBar development of a Pods package to highlight the benefits you get from joining the web hosting discussion on this site. By discussion, I mean adding valuable questions, comments or theories to existing topics, or starting a new discussion on a web hosting, or WordPress, related topic.

I have updated my link policy today, to explain more clearly how you can get incoming links to your site.

I have also added a top contributors list on the sidebar, to give extra links for those who contribute most. Continue reading

WordPress For Dummies

The WordPress For Dummies book is the biggest selling book of it’s type related to the much sought, but non-existent, Web Hosting for Dummies. It has many topics in common with this site.

I leave it to you to decide if you prefer book, or website format. This book covers some aspects of WordPress in more detail than I do on this website, though if you ask the questions, I’ll try to give you the fullest answers I can.

This review is designed to tell you the topics covered by WordPress for Dummies. It is not an in-depth review, so please feel free to add your own opinions if you have read this book.

One review of the book comments:

I recommend it to anyone wanting to gain basic familiarity with WordPress (and related technical jargon), see whether it’s the thing for you and, if so, get started using it.

My view is that you would get a much better feel for this by joining WordPress.com and just doing it – you can always shout out here if you get stuck.

WordPress For Dummies Topics

After the foreword and introduction, WordPress For Dummies is divided into six parts. Here is a summary of the chapters:

I. Introducing WordPress

1: What WordPress Can Do For You
The benefits of WordPress and choosing between the hosted version at WordPress.com, or self-hosting with WordPress.org, in single or multi-user varieties.
2: WordPress Blogging Basics
Describing blogs and introducing blog technologies including arches, feeds, trackbacks, and spam. Also, a (very) brief look at business blogs, with the very important advice on the need to plan first (which is why we have shrewdies.com).

II. Using the WordPress Hosted Service

3: Getting started with WordPress.com
Creating an account and finding your way round the key features and initial settings.
4: Writing and Managing Your Blog
A wide-ranging chapter covering all aspects of publishing and categorizing content, links, and users. I feel there are management and planning of some aspects, especially categorization, that warrant a separate chapter. You should have a categorized blueprint before you even begin to think about starting a website. Having said that, the book is about the mechanics of WordPress, so it is unsurprising that management aspects are under-represented.
5. Enhancing Your Blog with Themes, Widgets, and Upgrades
Enhancements with WordPress.com are much less than self-hosted blogs, so themes and widgets are covered. Surprisingly, there are no shortcodes listed, which is the way WordPress.com exposes the plugins it installs for you. This used to be limited to just a contact form, but is much more extensive now – ask if you want a feature on this growing aspect of WordPress.com.

III. Self-Hosting With WordPress.org

6: Setting Up Blogging Base Camp
Registering domains, finding a host, and running the installation.
7: Understanding the WordPress.org Administration Panel
The options and settings that you have to manage extra to WordPress.com.
8: Establishing Your Blog Routine
Expands on Chapter 4 to cover extra options you have when writing your blog on a self-hosted site.

IV. Flexing and Extending WordPress

9: Media Management: Images, Audio, and Video
Inserting, aligning, and managing media files.
10: Making the Most of WordPress Plugins
What plugins are, and how to find, install, and use them.
11: Finding and Installing WordPress Themes
Unlike plugins, we already know what themes are from the WordPress.com chapters, but now we can look for more. Then a look at some premium themes, though since I’ve never seen a theme yet that does not need editing, I think a look at the editor might be more appropriate. But wait, the next part is …

V. Customizing WordPress

12: Understanding Themes and Templates
The structure of themes and how template files work together. How to use template tags in posts and sidebars, and which are particularly useful.
13: Tweaking WordPress Themes
The basics of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and where to look for more.
14: Beyond Blogging: WordPress as a Content Management System
A miscellany of extra features that take WordPress beyond mere blogging. With the advent of Pods, the CMS angle is largely outdated, but the points are still relevant to how you organize and optimize your blog.
15: Deciding to Bring in the Pros
Roles played by designers, developers, and consultants, and how to make the most of them.

VI. The Part of Tens

Chapters 16 to 18 feature lists of 10 WordPress web sites used as a CMS, popular WordPress plugins, and free WordPress Themes. Poor trees 😥

Finally, we close with an appendix: Migrating your existing blog to WordPress, and the index.

USA UK

Web Hosting Dummies Books

I’m bombarded for requests for web hosting books for dummies.

I love books. They make great gifts, and are easy to read when traveling, in bed, or by the pool.

We have no dummies here. We are all trying to be shrewdies – but maybe a good book can help us on the way.

Websites like this are great to get your questions answered, and share opinions and experiences. If you want to establish a clear plan for hosting your own website, it is better to use the guidelines here, and discuss your options on the forum.

However, sometimes it is just good to sit down with a book. They often add depth to a topic that is missing from discussions. I can see that many people are interested in “Web Hosting For Dummies” yet, at least for now, there is no such title.

So let me introduce you to some relevant titles in the “for dummies” series.

Best Selling Web Hosting Dummies Books

Title
(link to review)
Description US Store UK Shop
#1

WordPress For Dummies

A guide to WordPress blogging, with all the reference material you need to start creating blogs. Introductory guides to blog design and web hosting bring your website nearer reality. Just the thing for beginners who need to blog. WordPress For Dummies (USA) WordPress for Dummies (UK)
#2

Google Blogger For Dummies

Help for Google Blogger – introductory guides to creating blogs using the search engine giant’s free platform. Reviewers see this book about blogging, a blogging 101, as something of an aid to make money online. It’s certainly true that Google Blogger allows monetization, but the authors are wrong in suggesting that WordPress.com sites do not. Google Blogger For Dummies (USA) Google Blogger for Dummies (UK)

Most Relevant Web Hosting Dummies Books

Title
(link to review)
Description US Store UK Shop