Updating the Site – Current WordPress Setup and Hosting

I was recently inspired to dust off this site and try and get into a regular cadence of posting.  About 6 months ago, this site got compromised as I had not remained diligent on updating the WordPress installation and plugins with the latest security patches. I was super busy at work and did not have time to figure out what was wrong so I just deleted the entire site until I could fix it. A couple weeks ago, I started with a fresh install of the latest version of WordPress 5.3, uploaded a backup copy of the database (backups are important!) to restore the existing content. WordPress does a good job of making this easy and I had the site back up and running pretty quickly.

Hosting –

I use for hosting the site and have been pretty pleased with the support they provide. I am on a basic shared hosting plan and once I implemented a few WordPress performance improvements the speed of the site is pretty good.

CDN – Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a reverse proxy service that offers a free tier that works well for personal sites like this. I used to use MaxCDN for standard CDN services but they moved to a per month subscription service so I am trying out Cloudflare to see how it performs. So far so good 😊

WordPress Plugins

I am only using a few plugins right now but some of them are very important:

  1. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
  2. Wordfence Security
  3. Jetpack by
  4. LiteSpeed Cache
  5. WordFence
  6. Yoast SEO
  7. MonsterInsights
  8. Cloudflare
  9. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
  10. Akismet Anti-Spam
  11. Classic Editor

I will do a detailed post in the future on why I am using each of them and the pros/cons of each.

WordPress Theme – Twenty Twenty

I installed the default twenty twenty theme and so far I am liking the clean layout and responsive design. I made a few small tweaks such as removing the background color but that was about it. I might try a few others but so far this is working for me!



Switching Webhosting to

After a short stint with Dreamhost I am moving over to Steadfast Networks for hosting my sites. I really liked the Dreamhost control panel and getting my sites setup and configured was easy but the server I was running on was sooooooooo slow! The billing disaster in January also did not help things! So I headed over to Web Hosting Talk to read some of the reviews and look for a new host. The hosting business is full of “fly by night” kind of folks so it was important to get some objective 3rd party opinions. The wealth of information on WHT is awesome! I decided to go in a different direction and look for a smaller well respected company that does not offer 1 million Terabytes of space for $10 a month. After reading the reviews I settled on a shared hosting plan from Steadfast. So far I have been really impressed.  The sites are much faster and the support tickets I submitted were handled almost instantly with 100% resolution! For a simple blog like this speed is not all that important but when you are playing around with a resource hog like Magento it makes a big difference!

I just switched the DNS so we should be live on the new server shortly!


Dreamhost Hosting

With my move to working more with php and ruby on rails I decided to ditch my windows hosting and move over to Unix and Apache. Most of the active open source projects run better on Apache and the mod_rewrite module is essential for creating easy search engine friendly links. I took a look at a bunch of different providers but settled on Dreamhost. They offer a ton of features for $11 a month and lit looks like they have a pretty good reputation. So far the migration has gone smoothly and everything is up and running. You can get a $50 discount on new hosting contracts if you use promo code: MYDREAM50