If you’re seeing this post, then you’re viewing Exploration: Hawaii from its new host, MediaTemple! It’s been two years since this blog went live, and since then we’ve outgrown our previous hosting service, Dreamhost. They were an okay host, but I would often find that site load times would slow to a snail’s pace whenever there was a spike in traffic. And recently, we’ve been seeing lots of traffic spikes, thanks to you guys. I made the switch to MediaTemple because I know that they are a reliable host with top-notch service. I’ve been using them to host my other blog since 2010 and they’ve been great.
The main advantages of switching hosts?
- Speed, Speed, Speed. Exploration: Hawaii should now be significantly faster. Don’t blink because you might miss the site loading.
- Less downtime. We should be able to handle a much higher load of traffic. MediaTemple features bandwith that scales, and it scales very well.
- Hosting support. You actually get real people that speak English natively. In fact, the MediaTemple offices are located in lovely San Francisco. Many other hosts outsource support and you end up speaking to someone from, say, India. Tech and customer support at MediaTemple has been amazing.
I also had some time to make a few other enhancements to the site during the downtime:
- Contact form works again. Yup, we couldn’t get the contact form to work because of a server side issue on our old host. It’s fixed and now you can contact us directly via the contact form.
- Exploration: Hawaii is now CloudFlare and Railgun optimized, which means that the site is much more secure and uses up 60% less bandwidth.
- I’ve gotten rid of Adsense in posts. It was an eyesore. I really want the content to shine so I’ve gotten rid of them. In the future, you’ll be able to support this site through other ways. And it will be awesome.
- You can now not just Facebook “like” specific posts, but also send posts to specific people or groups on Facebook. It works quite nicely. Try it out!
With that said, some of you might notice a few “weird things” throughout the site, especially when looking at older posts. You might notice odd characters within the text of some posts. Why are you seeing this? It’s a character encoding thing. Older WordPress databases would be encoded in Latin1 character set. Current WordPress installs uses UTF8 in up-to-date MySQL databases. And so, when the migration takes place, symbols such as apostrophes and colons get converted to UTF8 which turns them into weird characters like “Â â €™ ¢” There’s not much that I can do about this, other than go in and edit individual files. You might also see some photos are missing if they contained a weird character in their file name. We’ll fix this, but it will take some time.
In the meantime, enjoy the new and much faster Exploration: Hawaii!