Free Month Web Hosting from HostGator

I don’t put my stamp of approval on too many things, but I do need to tell you about the hosting that I use and highly recommend – HostGator.

I have been on the web for over 10 years now, and seen a lot of hosting companies come and go, and used several. Never have I had the experience that I have had with HostGator. It’s been, in a word, fantastic.

Remember to use the coupon code "ILIKEWORDPRESS" for your first month free!

Support

Number one, their support has been great. I have experienced a handful of isolated problems over the last 3 years I’ve been with them, and all were handled promptly, professionally, and FAST. There’s nothing worse than having a client call in the middle of the night crying, “my site is down!” In those situations, I need the problem handled quickly, and HostGator has never let me down.

Features

What a hosting company can do for me is important. I need technical goodies, I need plenty of bandwidth and storage space, and I don’t need to be nitpicked over how many databases I use. HostGator shines in that department. Unlimited storage, unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited MySQL databases. Of course, ‘unlimited’ doesn’t always mean unlimited. If your account starts hogging server resources, you’ll garner some attention.

That said, I’ve never had it be an issue. On one of my Baby accounts, I run 35 sites. Admittedly, they’re not high-volume super popular sites, but they get their share of traffic.

Special Deal for ILikeWordPress.com readers

HostGator has allowed me to offer you a special deal! Use the coupon code “ILIKEWORDPRESS” and get your first month’s Baby plan hosting for only $0.01!! That’s right – ONE PENNY. How cool is that?

Go ahead and get signed up – click any of the links to go to HostGator, or one of the banners, and remember to use coupon code ILIKEWORDPRESS at checkout for your discount!

Protecting Your WordPress Blog From Hackers, Crackers, and Jerks

The last few days have seen a rash of hacker attacks on WordPress blogs, with isolated reports going back a month or more. Without exception, as far as I can tell, the successful attacks were on blogs running outdated older versions of WordPress. The latest exploits involve hidden admin users and permalinks polluted with javascript code, outlined in these posts on the WordPress support forum:

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/307652
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/297639
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/307518

WP 2.8.3 and 2.8.4 are NOT vulnerable to this exploit. If you’ve been hacked any time in the last month, and you’re running pre-2.8.3 software, the monkey’s on YOUR back. If you were hacked and running up-to-date version of WP, send the details to security@wordpress.org please.

If you’ve been lax and haven’t upgraded to the latest version, don’t do it until you’ve determined whether or not you’ve already been invaded. If you have, clean it up first, then upgrade. (Be sure you read the “Beyond Upgrading” section at the end of this post) Read more

Using My Way Links To Build Incoming Traffic

This isn’t strictly WordPress related, but if you are an avid blogger and use your blog(s) for income, then you might want to check out Jonathan Leger’s My Way Links program.

One thing that we’re all looking for as bloggers is traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. To get that traffic, we have to rank well in search engines for the things we write about. One of the biggest boosts to that ranking is incoming links, meaning links on other sites that link to pages or posts on your site.

Those can be difficult to get. For a lot of us, it’s not all that important. We’re content to let the community decide the worth of what we write, and link back to us every once in a while.

If you depend on your blog for income, you can’t afford to do that. A lot of your time is spent on SEO strategies. That’s where the My Way Links program comes in. You can build a variety of incoming links from authority sites at a quicker pace than you normally would be able to. You’ll want to use it in moderation of course, but a tool like this is invaluable when it comes to getting high-quality inbound links that will help get your blog found in the Big G.

I wrote a short note about this on TheFastLane blog also, entitled SEO Linking Strategies. You might want to check it out also.

Why I’ll Probably Never Visit Your Blog Again

In my office, I run on a 8mbs cable connection. In other words, about a bazillion times faster than dialup. I don’t pay the extra money for this kind of speed just because I want the technology. I do it because page load times make a difference in my day.

So when I visit your blog, and I’m stuck waiting on an adserver to spit out an ad, and nothing else on the page is loading, what do you think I’m going to do? Right-o. The little ‘x’ button up in the corner. I’ll say goodbye to what could possibly have become one of my favorite blogs. But I’ll never know, because I refuse to wait for 30 seconds or a minute for your network adserver to respond.

Now, I’m not against ads. Not at all. Not even close. I help people monetize their blogs quite frequently. Advertising of some sort is the life blood of a working blogger.

But do it intelligently.

Hire a developer to rework your templates so the ads load LAST. If you’re with a network that requires scripting in the <head> area of the page, switch networks. Pretty radical? Why? They’re not doing you a favor when their servers are overloaded or slow to respond. You’re losing readers.

Work with your ad providers to provide reader-friendly advertising. You never know – you just might gain more readers and make more money in the process.