Top 7 Technical Mistakes Bloggers Make

This is a guest post by Ishan Sharma. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

It’s easy to get lost when you are new. After all, there’s too much to manage! You have design, content and what not. In all this mess, it is easy to make small mistakes.

Recently, I had a very bad experience when a friend’s blog got messed up because of some configuration problems and we had to setup WP and design from scratch! So I thought about writing a post that would save bloggers from making common mistakes and here they are:

Woman With Laptop

Using A Free Service
Using a free host like Blogspot and WordPress.com seems good from far. But there’s a big problem with this option! You don’t own your content, the host does! Recently, blogger blocked and even deleted a lot of blogs. Among the victims was a customer who had 60,000 subscribers! Now, blogspot team is either nuts or using bots(which is likely high, considering it’s a property of big G) for blocking blogs.
In any case, the point is that you can loose a lot if you use a free platform. Consider getting a self hosted WordPress blog and while doing that, avoid the following mistakes:

Using “Cheap” Hosting
Many bloggers would move to a hosting company but would look for cheapest or worst – a free host. And the features they get are:

  1. Regular outages.
  2. Awful support.
  3. Slow loading times.

Remember, you get what you pay for. Do not fall for the “unlimited bandwidth” and other tall claims! Before buying hosting, research well and shortlist 2-3 hosting companies and then compare them. It is also advisable to contact friends using different hosting companies.

Using Your Host As Domain Registrar And Vice Versa
Keeping both hosting and domain with same company is a really bad idea. Yes, there may be some discounts involved but it’s a bit dangerous.
Imagine something bad happens with your hosting company and there servers crash! Now, if you have both domain and hosting with them, your site will be completely down.

If you have domain with a different registrar, you can at least redirect it to a new page explaining something bad has happened. It won’t retain all the visitors but hey, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush!

Wrong Permalink Structure
No explanations for this one, just a quick question: Which one is better and easy to remember out of the next two URLs?

  • http://myblog.com/?p=123
  • http: //myblog.com/my-post

Of course it is the second one unless you have got a super photographic memory! Not to mention that it is also better for search engine bots(and they don’t have photographic memory even if you have! 😉 ).

You should always use a informative permalink structure for post. In WordPress, this can be easily changed by going to Settings → Permalinks. Set the structure to custom and in the text box, enter /%post-name%/ for structure like the second example. For more permalink structures, see WordPress Codex.

Using Too Many Plugins
Plugins add lot of functionality to WordPress. But the main problem with them is that it is easy to get carried away with them.
This was a mistake I made when I was new to WordPress. I fell in love with lot plugins and in first month, I had some 60 plugins active at one time. Now, you can imagine how slow the blog would have been. Thankfully, I realized it soon and uninstalled several useless ones. Now, I have around 30 plugins and performance is better.
As a rule of thumb, you should not install more than 25 plugins unless absolutely necessary and delete the inactive ones.

Not Tracking Stats
If you don’t know your stats, you are missing a lot. Using stats you can know where your visitors are spending more time on your blog, from which page they are leaving the blog, bounce rate etc. With all these data in hand, you can tweak the blog and significantly improve your blog and your readers experience.
And another thing is tracking feed subscribers. For this, you can use FeedBurner. You can use your platform’s default feed without any problems but FeedBurner has lots of advantages. First of all, you can track number of readers(although inconsistently). You can offer free e-mail subscriptions and also add AdSense to monetize your feeds.

Not Taking Backups
Taking backup is something you should start doing today.
Anything can go wrong at anytime and having a backup locally(i.e. on your hard disk) may be the only security measure. You should setup a automatic backup for your blog using a plugin like WP DBManager. For detailed tutorial, take a look at this tutorial: How To Backup A WordPress Blog.

These were top 7 mistakes that new bloggers tend to make. Do you have any tips for new bloggers? Do share with us in comments.

About Author: Hi, My name is Ishan Sharma. I am a teen entrepreneur and I love blogging and WordPress. I blog at Blogging
With Success
about Blogging Tips and WordPress. If you need any type of help with your WordPress blog/website, I can be found at WordPress Blog Experts.

HostGator New Discount Coupon: Valid For Any Hosting Plan

As always we try to bring discount coupons / offers / coupon code / promo code for valuable products and services.

Use “TechnotipDOTorg” (without quotes) to get $9.94 off of any hosting package that you purchase from HostGator.

What I like the most about HostGator?

24×7 Live Chat with support team/Billing department.

Quick response to support tickets.

Their “Hatchling Plan” costs $4.95 per month.

And with “baby plan” which costs $7.95(if purchased for 3 years) you can host UNLIMITED Domains and have UNLIMITED databases– This is the number one reason for me to prefer HostGator.

Update: You will also get $100 Free Google Advertising Coupon / Adwords /Google Search Marketing Coupon code along with the hosting. After signing up for the hosting, visit your cpanel and claim your $100 Adwords coupon(There is a link at the top left sidebar to claim your coupon).

If you have hosting needs, then its a good idea to give HostGator a try. You have nothing to lose, after-all your first month bill can be exempted by using the coupon code “TechnotipDOTorg” (without quotes), if you like it – you can continue or else there are many other hosting companies.

10 Ways To Make Your Blog Load Faster and Save Bandwidth

This post is part of Saturday, Sunday Series for Newbie Bloggers. You can contact me, if you have any questions.

Sridhar
basic-blogging-Question
Q. I have been tweaking my blog to make it load faster, but nothing seems to be helping. And eventhough I don’t have heavy traffic to my blog, often times it goes down 🙁 Can you please suggest me something to over come my problem? Am I missing something or is it normal with all blogs. And I am hosting my blog with basic hosting package, so is that the problem?

To make blog load faster
1. Remove any extra widgets you are using on your blog.- Twitter updates, Facebook fan widget etc
2. If you are running banner ads, make sure you host all the images on your domain.
3. Make less http requests from any webpage.
Ex: Instead of using “http://yourdomainname.com/images/123.jpg” you can use “/images/123.jpg” in the img tag.
4. Use less images. Having one or two images for a article helps, anything more will really slow down the site. Use multiple images only if highly necessary.
5. Move all the CSS and JavaScript codes to an external file. And make sure to optimize them – remove extra spaces, delete the useless codes and make the scripts small and smart(good coding).
6. If you have any badges and banners which does not provide any value to your visitors, then remove it mercilessly.
7. Optimize the images that you are using on your blog.
8. Use Gzip compression. Add the following code to your .htaccess file if your web host have content compression (gzip compression) turned off. You can test it using http compression tool.


# Turn GZip compression on (as per http://tr.im/fnn6)
<Location />
# Insert filter
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
# Netscape 4.x has some problems...
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
# Netscape 4.06-4.08 have some more problems
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
# MSIE masquerades as Netscape, but it is fine
# BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
# NOTE: Due to a bug in mod_setenvif up to Apache 2.0.48
# the above regex won't work. You can use the following
# workaround to get the desired effect:
BrowserMatch \bMSI[E] !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
# Don't compress images
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \
\.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary
# Make sure proxies don't deliver the wrong content
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary
</Location>

9. Do not make use of lot of javascript codes to track your visitors. Try to stick only to the necessary things. And do not forget to test your sites performance using Webmasters tool.
Goto Webmasters Tool -> Labs -> Site performance.
optimization-tips-webmasters-tool
Here you can see the performance over view graph and lot more information like: Load time of certain pages from your blog, You can install a 1.5MB add-on to evaluate the performance of your pages and get suggestions on how to improve them, it also reports – what is consuming more time to load and what you can do to improve the performance etc.
10. Above all the speed of the servers where you are hosting your blog is very important – without which any tweaking will go in vain.

Bonus tips:
1. Use only the necessory plugins and remove the rest.
2. Do not use Widgets. Use handcoding and put the things into the WordPress theme directly – reducing the number of calls.

Have a backup of your blog, and if you are comfortable: Use DataBase cleanup plugin, Database optimizer plugin, delete the extra post revisions, use static links – this helps very little, if you already have Gzip compression enabled or Super cache plugin enabled.

Final Thoughts from Matt Cutts:



Hosting
Invest in a good hosting company. See to that you are paying atleast 5 to 6 $ per month for your basic hosting package. If you go far a cheaper web hosting, then the problems are mostly obvious. I suggest going with Doreo host, Blue host, Host Gator, MediaTemple etc. And a basic package is all needed in the initial days.

If you are hosting at a decent hosting company, and still facing this problem, then you must consider evaluating your blogs log files. It contains information about what is consuming the bandwidth. You can mail your hosting company support team and can ask them to check it for you and to report the possible problem. In most cases it would be a plugin problem or a faulty code introduced into the CMS. Or sometimes if you are using some automated scripts to handle some tasks, all these could create some problem, if there are some bugs.

A good hosting company should be able to help you with this – if not, you know, its time to move on. And there are plenty of good web hosts to opt.

Happy Blogging!

Related Read: 20 Tips To Optimize Your HomePage

Free Hosting + Free Domain from DreamHost — Hurry!!

This offer seems to be unbelievable! But its by DreamHost, and its a valid offer.

Note: This offer is valid only for the first 1000 GeoCities users. So do not waste your time. Read the complete step-by-step explanation below and hurry up to register an account with DreamHost.
With this offer you will get a 2 year plan (which would otherwise cost $214.80) hosting totally free from DreamHost!

1. Copy and paste below code into a text editor and save it with the name promo.html (not a mandatory name, used just to illustrate)
<html>Dream HostI'm off to DreamHost!</html>

or else

Just right click on this index.html link and click “save Link as“, rename it as promo.html and then upload the file to your geocities account.

2. Log into your geocities account.

3. Click on “Manage” tab.

4. Now click on “Easy Upload” link.

5. Use the Browse button and select the promo.html file that you had created in step 1. Click Upload Files.

Dream Host part:
6. Go to Dream Host Signup page.

7. Click on “Host a domain“(as low as $5.95/month) link.

8. In the “I would like to pre-pay…” section, select “Two Years” plan ($214.80 ($8.95/month), 18% discount + no setup).

9. Next goto “Configure my first domain…” section and select the first option –> “Register a new .com/net/org/info domain for me. (Free with hosting.)

10. In the same “Configure my first domain..” section, pick a new available domain name @ “Pick First Domain to Host: www” . Remember, its irreversible. We can not modify the domain after we are done with the application.
Also pick a UserName in the same section – “Pick First Server Username“.

11. Fill the contact info @ “My contact information…” .

12.Finally…” Give the link of this article/post in the “How did you first hear about us?” section. please 🙂

13. Here is the important thing:
In this section – “If you have a promotional code to redeem, or would like to let us know the email address of the person who referred you to DreamHost, please enter it here:” enter the URL of your geocities page with the promo.html page(which you created in the step 1 and uploaded in step 5 🙂 )

14. Check the “I agree” option and hit “Proceed to Payment” button.

You will receive a confirmation email from Dream Host, and a invoice which reads “All paid up – Thank You!” . Owo..you are done with 2 years of Free hosting with Dream Host + a Free Domain Name registered in your name!

NOTE: If you have a @ symbol in your geocities URL then you should replace it with %40 symbol. For more info, read 57th and 60th comment of this article.

What Dream Host promise on their blog is:

In honor of WebRing” or something, we are now offering to the first 1000 GeoCities users who sign up TWO YEARS of a completely free DreamHost account (including domain registration)!

No strings attached.

All you have to do is verify you are an existing GeoCities customer by creating a page on your GeoCities account (or editing an existing page) to have the phrase “I’m off to DreamHost!” on it!

Then when you signup for us, simply put the full URL to that page as your “promotional code” and you’ll get a 2 year plan (normally $214.80) free!

And we promise to never shut down.

With this Free account, you will get Unlimited Disk Space, Unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Email Accounts, and unlimited FTP Accounts. What else can you get for FREE 🙂

Another important thing to clarify:
Question is : Can I move my other existing domain to this free dreamhost offer ?

Yes, you definitely can!
Go ahead and move your other blogs in 🙂

Thanks a lot for the help guys: Arpit, Amit, Harsh Agrawal.

Free Domain and Hosting — Interview with HyperWebEnable

HyperWebEnable is a web 2.0 company offering reliable web services and online advertising based on the foundation of robust web techniques. HyperWebEnable is located in Bay area, California.
hyperwebenable-logo2
As far we know, hyperwebenable provides free domain(also free renewal) [www.yourdomainname.com] and free hosting. Seems to be unbelievable right? But its true. They have some innovative concepts, which enables them to give all these for free.. We were excited to talk to the CEO of the company Mr.Lakshman Kumar. And here is the interview with him. You can also ask him questions in the comment section, if you have any!

1. We are curious to know about your service. Please explain briefly.

Hyperwebenable.com is the service which provide users with complete
website for the blog rather than sub domain. We provide complete domain to the user like yoursitename.com; While most other blog services provide sub domains like
yourblogname.freeblogservice.com. We want to provide maximum service to the bloggers by providing email services and add on features for their blog.

2. Whats the long term benefits for you, as a company?

We are a fast growing business. With 500 domains currently registered
under our service and 4 million monthly impressions and growing, we foresee a bright future down the road.

3. What are the common mistakes that people do, after registering their domain from you?

The most common mistake they do is not updating there blog often and do not generate any traffic for there website.

4. How big / small is your company?

We have 3 team members in US and we have 3 developers in support center in Hyderabad in India.

5. Can we know about the configuration of the server you use to host the websites?

All our servers are quad core Intel dedicated servers .

6. We see that you have partnership with Guruji. Ghost, VYEW, CPME2PLaY. Can we know whats the benefits of these partnerships for you as a company and for your customers?

We have partnerships with other companies to provide more services for the user like ghost for webOS service and vyew for web conference service and guruji for search service to the bloggers.

7. Do you think, a serious blogger who want to earn his living from his blog should go with his own domain & hosting or he has to obtain it from HyperWebEnable?

We are providing all the services free and also we provide support if your blog has issues. Why pay money for services that we already provide for free?

8. What about the uptime records of your servers?

we are maintaining 99.6% uptime for our servers until now.

9. We can see that, there are some very good blogs using your services. And we have also seen them getting lot of traffic. And we have heard that, you provide lot of support, tips and tricks to get traffic and build the site. Can we know more about this?

When we provide the domain to our customer we also provide them with tutorials and optimization tips for SEO. For generating traffic the most important thing is to get link backs and the easiest way to get the linkback is by submitting links to blog directories and link share with other members.

10. Please share about your business model.

Our business model is, we provide complete services to the bloggers and in turn we place 2 banners in your website which generates revenue to provide the service.

11. Is this your full time job?

No I work full time in a company. I spend 3 hours for hyperwebenable and we have full time team of 3 people in Hyderabad .

12. Whats your advice for a person who is new to blogging and want to create an account with blogspot.com or wordpress.com ?

Most blog service have very few features, compared to ours. They do not provide email and they do not provide ftp service and you can’t add more features like forum or cms for your blog. Most of all we provide the kind of support and flexibility that most bloggers miss.

13. Share some of the strict rules(policies) that your customers should follow, inorder to be your customer?

Only one simple rule is to be active and generate good traffic for the website provided by us.

14. Earning opportunity using your services?

User can earn money from the blog provided by us. May be by placing some Google ads or any other ads in their website. We do not have any restriction on the number of ads or type of ads they put on the website.

15. What are the future plans for HyperWebEnable?

We are planning to grow faster in coming days and reach 1000 websites in end of this year and also planning expand our services to wide range of people.

16. Why do you think people should use your service?

Our service is more flexible and transparent compared to other blog service and we provide more control to the users, on their website.

17. Is there any fixed number of ads served by you or is it fluctuating?

We usually place 2 banners in the website provided by us.

18. Under Whose name will the domain be registered?

The domain will be registered under HyperWebEnable.

19. If someone already have a website, and needs to terminate as he is not able to pay for his domain and hosting. In such case will you provide free hosting, for already existing domain and transfer the hosted files to hyperwebenable?

Yes we will provide free hosting service even in such cases. But the site will come under our terms and conditions of service.

20. Presently your Office is located at ?

We do not have physical office every one works at home its virtual
office every one is connected by Internet by VOIP services

21. Do you read blogs? Which are your favorite?

I do not have time to read blogs and I do not have blog of my own.

22. By your name, you seem to be an Indian. Can you please share about your past and present life with our readers?

I am Indian, I am from a village of Andhra Pradesh. I am presently in
silicon valley in california USA. I have done by computers engineering from SV university in Andhra Pradesh. Later I worked in Hyderabad for couple of companies like Orillion, ADP wilco and Wipro for 3 years.
I have moved 2 years back to USA and I started hyperwebenable.com
service on first quarter of 2008.

23. How does your day look like? You seem to be a busy man!

My day starts with going to my full time job and back by 7:00 at evening and at evening I start working on hyperwebenable.com for 3-4 hours and talking to Indian team.

24. Whats your opinion about Internet Business and the real world jobs? Which one do you prefer and why?

Running internet business takes more time to earn revenue to survive but once you get enough revenue to survive its always better then the normal job. You can work on your choice of time.
But normal job we have to travel to office and work on the office timings.

We had a nice time chatting with Lakshaman Kumar, CEO of hyperwebenable. For more details and latest updates about the service visit hypewebenable. Hope you enjoyed reading the interview. And please pass this interview link to all your friends whom you think it will be of some use(Free Domain & Hosting 🙂 ). And please share your thoughts in the comment section.