Merry Christmas and 2012!

From everyone on S2R and here on Hostcult, have a awesome Christmas and New Years!

Cloudflare Review Part 2

So a couple of months ago i did a test and review of Cloudflare, it was getting popular and i wanted to check it out, so why a second part? Well 2 reasons, first instead of using it for a week, now i've used it for a couple of months on a couple of my sites, so i have a better view of the service, second cause i still have a couple of gripes with Cloudflare but also some nice tips to share.

My Hits with Cloudflare!
So like i said i've been using Cloudflare for a while now and i would say, its still a hit and miss for me, but mostly a hit, even with hosting your DNS through Cloudflare (and therefore losing control of your DNS ), but to be honest, unless you are paying for the really good DNS hosting, Cloudflare's DNS service is far superior, i know, cause i've used a lot of free and paid dns hosters and hosted my own and i checked it here, with just a couple of tweaks/added services their DNS could compete with the best.

Now in terms of site performance i would say its pretty spanky awesome, i've had sites that were literally hanging for dear life bashing the server and just by turning Cloudflare on, it not only relieved a lot of the stress on the server but also turned the site speed way up, that's by far the best thing about it, how much performance and how easy their CDN/Proxying system is.


My Misses with Cloudflare

But there are still today a couple of gripes, the first and largest is with their security settings and their intermission publicity type of thing they do when they block a user, as far as feedback from my visitors, i would say 100% of my visitors freak out when they reach a site and they are greeted with the cloudflare "you might be infected"! its just a fact, they expect to see a site, it really doesn't matter if they are infected, their network is bad or they have an unlucky ip, its just not standard web usage to go to a site and be greated with something else, it feels like a pop ad or intermission ad to force someone to do something, what sites like wiki-whatever.info/exclusive-experts.com (i made them up, but you know what kind of sites im talking about) do all the time while spamming Google, its a disaster in terms of usability and no type of customization will ever change my mind, people never expect a warning from a site, even Google disabled their "you might be infected" because people freaked out even if it was with the best of intentions.

There are also some misses with the "html,css,js..." optimizations, with external objects (javascript mostly), with search engines, 1 of my site was heavily penalized while switching to cloudflare (and yes turning it back after a week made it slowly return to normal, it was weird and it was reported to cloudflare staff), but 2 other saw a huge increase on traffic (I MEAN FREAKIN 400% more 300.000 users HUGE WAY!), probably due to getting faster, hehehe so again hit and miss.

What is the Cloudflare Structure?
Cloudflare seems to work a bit like this, they get datacenters on popular internet hubs around the world, popular in the sense that a lot of traffic goes through them, i would bet that altough they spend quite a bit on hardware, that they dont pay or pay very little for bandwith and do what most large providers do and have peering agreements, thats were the free cloudflare users come in, altough clouflare provides a free service they kinda need those users to have enough critical mass for these peering aggrements to be worthwhile for both parties, so altough we arent paying they need the free users, note that this isnt something evil, its awesome win-win for everyone.

The Economics of Cloudflare
How do they get paid! Humm i would say affiliates (through their detestable intermession security warning and through some of the plugins), and of course paid accounts, on this i wonder why they start the price at 20$, maybe they think most of their free users have only 1 site, and if they have more they only have to pay 5$ for each after that, well in my case at least for now its simply not economicaly viable to pay for clouflare pro, for 20$ a month you can buy yourself a whole lot of hosting, even with the added savings of a Pro account.

How do I use Cloudflare
  • Basic Security Level: Essentially Off (because the bonus of blocking potential bad users doesnt outweight the really horrible spammy intermission alert)
  • Caching Level: Aggressive
  • Minimim Expire TTL: 4hours (but adjust this to the update schedule of your site)
  • Auto Minify: JS=OFF CSS=ON HTML=ON (avoid the JS, until now it hasnt work in any of my sites and also makes Googles PageSpeed Apache Addon freakout)
  • Rocket Loader: OFF
  • Outbound Links: OFF
  • E-Mail Address Obfuscation: OFF
  • Server Side Exclude: OFF
  • Always Online: OFF (still a good feature, it only shows a bar on top saying that the site is currently offline, i just turn it off as a personal preference)
  • IP Geolocation: OFF
  • Browser Integrity Check: OFF
  • Hotlink Protection: OFF
Conclusion!
Yeah i disable most of the features, dont get me wrong if you need it or its good for you, please turn it On, still the only feature i really cant live with is the Basic Security Level for the reasons i already ranted about hehehe, but hey, freaking thumbs up for Cloudflare its free and it works pretty damn good, my only real gripe is with the security warnings, i would prefer pure blocking than any kind of  warning, the more transparent and white-label the better and im really waiting for their announced new pricing scheme to see if i can get a few pro accounts for a couple of my sites, but even so Cloudflare isnt perfect, well damn if it isn't pretty close.

4Kun! Halloween Competition


Yay we are starting a quick and dirty competition on 4kun imageboard, best picture, best halloween picture and just a random draft, with prizes, yay, so come on over and get your feet wet on the very first 4Kun! Scary Halloween Competition ^_^ and by the way have a Happy Happy Halloween!

Google Adsense is Ridiculous!

This shit keeps getting worse, talk about monopoly, i follow google adsense rules to the letter and i still keep getting the "review of your account we found that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our program policies", the fact is that im always in compliant, but since there is no recourse with Google, there is no one on the other side, i have no choice but to NOT use Google Adsense on that site, its silly, stupid and arrogant.

Why? Cause they give you no choice! and i quote "Your AdSense account remains active. However, if we continue to find problems, we may disable your entire account. Therefore, we suggest that you take the time to review the rest of your network to ensure that all of your other pages are in compliance with our policies.", the sites in question, are pretty big sites, galleries, blogs and directories, there is no adult content or linking to adult content, but Google decided that it links to Adult sites!

What? what are the urls of these sites that Google considers to be adult sites?

Who? are these sites, it could be any comment on the blogs/galleries or site on the directories, this is the 4th site that was found in "violation", well last time i checked the internet is all about linking, then all the fucking internet is found in violation of google adsense policy! they dont give a fuck, they change the rules in the middle of the game all the time, im a tiny client on their list, but ill tell you this, I keep finding myself getting more and more stressed with Google's bullshit and that has consequences, not today, but some day.

New Site - Eleito


Eleito is on its second incarnation, the first version was a bit to sparce and boring, and i wanted Eleito to be like a mixture between a political news blog, but also a good source of news and information around politics in Portugal, so now its a popurls like portal with all the news from all the parties in Portugal (if you are on a party that is not there, just contact us), as well as news from the major news sources, joined with our own editorial and in the future we will make more in depth articles.

Ohh and for short news bits we have our own twitter account, you can check it here eleito por todos.

New Site - Luz Portugal


Huhumm, new site, its called Luz Portugal, and of course its about Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal, its kinda a portal of sorts, i know there are a couple of sites kinda like this, but i wanted to make one that is nice to look at and nice to use, mixing helpful information and funny and interesting things about Praia da Luz, hehehe cool humm.

Google Vs Web Developers


 With the recent news about Google's App Engine pricing, i kinda want to give my own 2 cents, not only on that but also on Google's attitude towards web developers in general.

So just incase you werent following up, Google on its spree of canceling products, decided to not cancel the App Engine product but instead turn it into a enterprise product, the App Engine is basically a scalable hosting solution, were you can build websites or applications.

So when the App Engine debuted it was touted as a one stop app hosting solution, were you could build your web applications quickly and they would run on Google High End Systems, kind of like Amazon Cloud offerings but simpler and easier to use, well it wasnt really easy, you have the choice of Java or Phython (pretty much) and the system is a bit trickier, but at least it was cheap and once you got it up and running, it was pretty cool, so that premise brought a bunch of developers to the App Engine, hey it wasn't perfect but it was pretty easy and cheap.


 So fast forward to now and the App Engine is a completely different beast, by switching their pricing model the App Engine has become way more expensive (mostly because before you paid for what you used and now you pay for what you need to use, even if you don't use it, big difference) and im not saying like 20%, im saying 200%, and so Google's answer to the outcry was:
  • Pack Up and Go, well that would be great, but most cant, cause to make the site or application you had to custom build it to fit App Engine, even if the languages were universal, moving away turns out to be a costly en-devour, so Google has you locked in (whenever i see Google announce another fake information liberation campaign i cant help but chuckle),
  • Optimize your Code, if you optimize your code you can make a lot of savings, yeah im actually all for that, but to me, like many other developers, we optimize code for performance and for security, optimizing code to run cheaper is for lack of a better word idiotic! developing something is most of the times a hack job that you perfect and improve with time, with App Engine your code better be perfect from the get-go or you gonna have to...
  • Pay More, you betcha, this one is easy, pay enterprise level prices or fuck off.
 So basically Google did a bait and switch, pulled in all this small developers that had the time, interest and risk to create stuff on an untested new platform as the App Engine (cause understandably Large Companies seldom risks trying new things), but now that the system is somewhat stable and ready for prime-time, those same developers get shafted, so in the end whats the point of having a scalable hosting solution if a developer cant afford it.


But this wasn't the first time and it wont be the last, Google's only interest is Google bottom-line, that's it, developing anything on top of Google Services is a huge risk, they also recently disabled a ton of API's, that a lot of sites depended on and were created on top of, also pushing Google Chrome Only/Optimized features, as well as a bunch of other services.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing Google for doing it, i'm just saying that when Google says they are making new tools for developers, new API's, new hosting platforms, support open source, supporting webmasters... that you should take those offers with a huge grain of salt, for myself, well im off the App Engine and most of my apps wont be moved over, im keeping to what i know, i learned this lesson before, with Ning, with several Hosting Providers and such, never build anything you don't have absolute control of, lesson learned.

New Site - Kity


Awwww, its a site about kittens, and yeah i know kity isn't quite the correct spelling, but i don't care, and yes its supposed to look like a sickly sweet eye candy orgasm! haahah its wonderful, guaranteed to lift anyones spirit hahahaha (or at least mine hehehe) ^_^

Site Update - Smutish

Smutish was always kinda the black cheap of the family, kinda weird design, no real purpose, it was a experiment left abandoned to itself, still people seem to like it and wanted more, so after a bit of tweaking its finally something pretty cool, its still the same posting cute naked people, but now its simple, clear and way faster and with HUGE picture sizes hehehe, enjoy!

Moving to Addthis


Oh this is funny, remember when there were like all this influx of buttons to save/post/share/like and then came the aggregation buttons, like addthis and addtoany or sharethis, all of this was a freaking drag on webpages and i was never a big fan, cause they weren't really very useful, sure 1 or 2 people might use it, but the vast majority doesn't, and why make your pages load like shit just to make life better for a couple of visitors?

Most people that use delicious have and use other ways to bookmarks, users of stumbleupon probably have the bar installed, so there wasn't any point, that is until facebook started with the like buttons, those seemed to be way more practical and a stronger promotional tool, same goes later on to the tweet buttons and now the google plus button, so we are back to the same problem, although the buttons are more useful and practical its still at least 3 or 4 hits to different places dragging your own pages down (ohh and the tweet button is kinda the worst of the bunch).

That is were addthis comes along and just adds these buttons to their standard setup, so now instead of all those hits you are just hitting the addthis site, add to that asynchronous loading and you are pretty much having the best of both worlds, adding to this the fact that i dont need to hardcore parts of the template or some referral on the buttons to make them work properly, makes addthis even more practical, so expect some more buttons popping out of s2r sites hehehe.

Blogger FAIL with 503 Errors


This is getting ridiculous, but Google Blogger is having a fit since Saturday at about 11:30am CST, random actions give you random 503 errors (by the way 503 Service Unavailable: The server is currently unavailable. Generally, this is a temporary state), from settings to posts, practically everything is being affected, comments as well, hell this post gave a couple before being able to post, and worst is that although there is a huge amount of posts on twitter and Google groups and help regarding this in the last 24hours, but there are no updates on this on Blogger Status or Blogger Known Issues, such a dumb fail again from Blogger >_< but well kinda getting used to the Google wall of silence.

Most likely Blogger hosting system is under some form of unscheduled maintenance or just failing all over the place from overload or just plain fail, pretty much after they announced the new interface (that is a mix bag, for one hand is nicer and cleaner on the other hand its difficult to read and slow as hell to use) for anyone using the draft panel.

Downtime - Hentaish and Neechan


Txxxa this sucks but seems the filesystem on that server has gone awry, so we are in the process of fsck, this is gonna take some time (its been down for 5 hours already), sorry about that everyone, but shit happens with moving parts, now depending on the outcome, we can be back in a couple of hours (problem resolved, RAID worked), or if we have corruption, ill have to bring from the backups, the hosts or mine whatever are the freshest, from what i checked, my backups are from this Saturday, so not so bad if they come from me ^_^

Ill update with more news in a couple of hours, sorrryyyy ^_^'

Update 1: Yep still going at it, that's what happens when you put several Tb in one place, still no major issues until now, 8hours of downtime... this sucks... a bit hehehe

Update 2: Final stretch on fsck, its been down for almost half a day 11hours >_<

Update 3 - Final: Yay every site is back online and working fine, still 13hours of downtime... tsss wasn't pretty...

Free Hosted DNS Review YAY... I think...



So i got an e-mail from EveryDNS warning that they are moving on from the freemium model into the dyndns paid DNS (they were merged or acquired some time ago), that's cool, i guess, i was only using them as backup DNS for Hostcult, since that domain runs pretty much all our hosting (so if it fails 90% of my sites start failing), before i was just using my domain registar DNS ( ResellerClub ) and they pretty much failed a lot on me over time (with glitches, maintenance, performance issues), so having a backup DNS was a pretty good idea, so with this e-mail from the now defunct EveryDNS, i think i have a opportunity to check my options (and in the process share them with you all).

So why not choose a professional/paid DNS? well if i don't find a good alternative, them ill probably pay for it, but DNS is such a thing that 95% of the time im running it myself on each server, i only really need dns for off server domains or for my main hosting domain, so checking the free alternatives seems like the place to start, so i'm doing a showdown between: Hosted VS ResellerClub VS InternetBS VS NameCheap VS CloudNS VS Hurricane Electric VS PointHQ VS XName VS CloudFlare.

Added info for the tables:
Europe Avg: A 24 hour average from my computer in Europe.
Monitoring Avg: A weekly average from Pingdom DNS (From 2 locations in Europe and USA), 5min intervals.
Monitoring Spike: The worst performance for that week from Pingdom DNS (From 2 locations in Europe and USA), 5min intervals.
Uptime: If it was online or not.
Location: where the DNS server is.

Local DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
ns3.hostcult.com 170 129 419 100% USA, TX
ns4.hostcult.com 166.5 109 325 100% USA, TX
Notes: Running on Cpanel, Complete DNS functions.
Restrictions: None.
Comments: Well running your own DNS isn't perfect but its simple and doable, the client when doing a DNS query will have a quicker time, connecting again to the site (since both are in the same place), also changes to DNS are done quicker, overall good if you are hosting the sites on the same place as the DNS, and not that important the reliability, since if the server is down, the DNS being up or down is irrelevant.

Branded ResellerClub DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
ns11.hostcult.com FAIL 112 301 100% USA, TX
ns12.hostcult.com FAIL 98 293 100% USA, TX
ns13.hostcult.com FAIL 105 283 100% USA, TX
ns14.hostcult.com FAIL 82 258 100% USA, TX
Notes: Didn't get any response from my own tests >_<, Average Control Panel, Complete DNS functions.
Restrictions: Its only available for domains hosted there.
Comments: Humm ResellerClub is my main domain registrar, and my current main dns host, but like i said above and as you can see on the tests, ResellerClub leaves a lot to be desired, its average at best, normally not so good, it also doesn't help that all of their servers are in the same place.

Un-Branded ResellerClub DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
mercury.orderbox-dns.com FAIL 93 275 100% USA, TX
venus.orderbox-dns.com FAIL 77 219 100% USA, TX
earth.orderbox-dns.com FAIL 88 212 100% USA, TX
mars.orderbox-dns.com FAIL 118 363 100% USA, TX
Notes: Didnt get any response from my own tests >_<, Average Control Panel, Complete DNS functions.
Restrictions: Its only available for domains hosted there.
Comments: Much like the Branded, the Un-Branded DNS is kinda slightly better, that makes it even more disappointing since i use the branded, ResellerClub is average at best, normally not so good, it doesn't help as well that all their servers are in the same place.

InternetBS DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
ns-canada.topdns.com 175 88 245 100% Canada, QC
ns-usa.topdns.com 133.5 91 205 100% USA, NJ
ns-uk.topdns.com 109 74 176 100% USA, TX
Notes: Average control panel, Complete DNS Functions, although ns-uk has uk in the name, its actually hosted in USA, weird...
Restrictions: Its only available for domains hosted there.
Comments: Well InternetBS is also one of my domain registrars, and i can say im pleasantly surprised, even though my own test weren't awesome, the weekly average shows that they perform pretty well, so kudos to InternetBS for a solid DNS Service.

Namecheap DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
freedns1.registrar-servers.com 95.5 78 200 100% FAIL
freedns2.registrar-servers.com 95.5 82 188 100% FAIL
freedns3.registrar-servers.com 178 72 187 100% Germany
Notes: Good Control Panel, Complete DNS Functions.
Restrictions: None.
Comments: My last and least used domain registrar was surprising, not only do they provide DNS services for free to anyone, but the performance was outstanding, they clearly know what they are doing, this is one of the best candidates to this point, excellent job.

CloudNS DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
ns1.cloudns.net 60 86 190 100% FAIL
ns2.cloudns.net 160.5 88 242 100% USA, TX
ns3.cloudns.net 112.5 72 233 100% Bulgaria
Notes: Good Control Panel, Complete DNS Functions.
Restrictions: Free for only 3 Domains.
Comments: Cloudns has a good panel and a pretty good DNS performance, even tough a bit weird, clearly their ns1 performs awesomely well, while the other 2 are a bit more weak, also hosting DNS in Bulgaria is just plain weird, you should keep DNS near major backbone transit facilities, that's what i think.

Hurricane Electric DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
ns1.he.net 232.5 119 265 100% USA, CA
ns2.he.net 229 196 740 100% USA, CA
ns3.he.net 234 194 712 100% USA, CA
Notes: Average Control Panel, Complete DNS Functions.
Restrictions: None.
Comments: Hurricane is kinda horrible in everything, clearly putting all their DNS servers in their facilities in California, doesn't help little old me half way across the world or anybody else for that matter.

PointHQ DNS (No Longer Recomended!)
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
dns1.pointhq.com 63 111 242 100% FAIL
dns2.pointhq.com 133.5 110 238 100% FAIL
dns3.pointhq.com 228.5 92 210 100% FAIL
dns4.pointhq.com 63.5 96 225 100% FAIL
dns5.pointhq.com 67 73 186 100% FAIL
Notes: Good Control Panel, Complete DNS Functions.
Restrictions: Free for only 10 zones.
Comments: PointHQ has some servers closer, some server further away, still pretty good performance overall, but i wonder, normally a browser checks the first nameserver or it just chooses randomly, so you want a excellent first nameserver performance and then good performance from all the secondary ones, with PointHQ we don't have that, if my browser checks dns3 im gonna have to wait 3 times more than if i was lucky and it choose dns4, so yeah, its ok i guess.
Update: Yeah its now fully paid! And they kinda screwed their users, so i would skip this one!

XName DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
ns0.xname.org 83 79 302 100% France, Paris
ns1.xname.org 69 106 336 100% France, Roubaix
ns2.xname.org 109.5 118 311 100% France, Villeneuve
Notes: Good Control Panel, Complete DNS functions.
Restrictions: None.
Comments: Xname has been around for some time, and it shows, in a good way, they have some great performance, and i find it even more remarkable because all their DNS is in France, but USA monitoring still was quick, that just shows that you don't need to put DNS servers across the world to give good performance, good job.

CloudFlare DNS
Europe Avg Monitoring Avg Monitoring Spike Uptime Location
carl.ns.cloudflare.com 175.5 70 235 100% FAIL
sue.ns.cloudflare.com 178.5 65 173 100% FAIL
lady.ns.cloudflare.com 178 71 203 100% FAIL
todd.ns.cloudflare.com 176.5 93 245 100% FAIL
Notes: Basic Options, Lacks DNS Functions.
Restrictions: None.
Comments: What is cloudflare doing here? well cloudflare can also host you DNS, you can disable their CDN system, so basically you can use it as a pure DNS host, that's why its here, so i have to say its weird, on my personal tests it goes from blazing fast 62 to 284 that's why it has that average, also their system is probably a distributed one, as it doesn't matter what dns server i point to, it will always reach the same place, probably they are leveraging their own CDN for their DNS hosting, and that's a good thing, check the weekly average, that's some impressive performance, with cloudns and namecheap with close results, probably cause all 3 are leveraging some sort of CDN cloud system as well, still it seems inconsistent at times and the lack of full DNS features, kinda kills it from the start, but still something to watch out for the future.

Conclusion
So what am i going to use, well most likely ill go with Namecheap and maybe Xname or Cloudns as backups, Namecheap clearly has a combination of full features and outstanding DNS performance, and also a namebrand you can trust with something as important as DNS.

As a sidenote, good job everyone, 100% UPTIME!!! YAY!!! (i include myself on this, so *pat pat* on the back) also i know this review is a bit unfair, DNS is more than these checks, and everyone can have a bad day, you just need a DDOS on one of the nameservers and bye bye average, also there are tons of providers missing, but i choose these ones according to popularity and namebrand, since that makes this choice of providers a bit more trustworthy, still i think this is a good broad view of them and good enough for me to make my choice.

New Site - Mamilo

Ohhh the re-launch of mamilo (means nipple in portuguese), its a simple but cool public image gallery about... guess... boobs and cute and awesome ones hehehe ^_^ yes it shares the same design as gomenasai and functions (anyone can register and upload), but totally diferent goal and language, since this is also a portuguese only site ^_^ still pretty easy to browse in any language and who doesn't love boobs hehehe

Review of Facebook Comments


Well this isn't a rant just about facebook comments as to the facebook API in general, I've learned this the hard way, you should never ever, EVER EVER put any part of your site under someone elses control, that means that hosted software or software as a service, regarding websites is a big NONO, only completely internet illiterates should go that route, cause its a very tricky one.

Lets say that my hosting provider goes down, or bankrupts, or decides my site is ugly, well that sucks, but i can move my site elsewhere, even if they shut me down in the middle of the night without any warning, i have my offsite backups, i can move on, it could take some hours or days, but its not the endgame, same goes for any of my domains, even if someone steals them or the government decides that a site about anime panties could burn children's eyes, i would lose traffic, but i can always move to another domain, see no single point of failure, there is a fail-safe for all my work.

Now with facebook you are relinquishing control of your comments, login, data, for the sake of easiness and more widespread promotion, so what happens when facebook bans your site, or decides to change/end the API and you are left with nothing or at least a big headache, cause your users are not your users, your comments are not your comments, they are facebook's, and they decides what is best for them, not for your site.

Also facebook as a kinda personal social effect on people, by basically forcing you to be yourself and not a nickname or handle, and transmitting to your friends pretty much everything you say, it breeds a different kind of internet user, one that instead of honest or idiotic commenting, you have a bland audience, that says stuff as much about the subject as about what they think their friends would want them to say, its vanity commenting, and for that shit, you can just stay inside facebook's walls.

I don't think what you get from facebook is all that great, the conversations are bland and it detracts most of the time, you get a bland looking comment box and bland people talking on it about bland things, were is the awesome juice?, trolling most of the times is comedy genius, like when techcrunch put facebook comments and said it was the best thing evah!, well i guess not, cause they went back to their old comment system, ill say it again, when you put your data in someone elses pocket you lose value and in the case of facebook comments you lose value and gain boring banal conversations instead, winwin? not really.

Anyways don't get me wrong, its not just facebook, the disqus, intensedebates and cocomment of the world, with the rare exception, like if its a temporary page or comments are not the focus, just a add-on for help or faq, yeah then its a somewhat good idea to outsource, but for all other cases, naaa the shinny extras you get, don't pay for the fact that what you create from their own is out of your hands.

Well there is an exception, the "like button", but i view that as any other "share me" button, maybe it has better hits than most, but nothing completely awesome or mandatory, you can as easily turn it off, with no impact to your site ^_^ .o( maybe if facebook looked more like the picture in the top... hehehe )

New Site - Gomenasai


Well it goes a little like this, i wanted to create a gallery for buriko, cause even though i love updating buriko with cutie japanese girls, it was kinda a drag for user to search on it and find the girls they wanted, so i decided to create a gallery for buriko, however that proved to be a bit tricky and weird, when i wanted something easy and simple ^_^

Sooo like a lot of my sites, this one is a spinoff of a shortlived buriko remake, its a simple and easy to use japanese idol gallery, its called gomenasai (means "im sorry" in japanese), anyone can register and upload their favorite girls and well browse away ^^ its simple, easy and cute, i hope everyone likes it hehehhe.

As a sidenote buriko will focus now on single posts and high quality images (its going to be a mix of automated crawling and random posts) ^_^ enjoy

Site Updates - Buriko & Irred



Yeah did some major changes on irred (the list is long), mostly around the design to make it nicer and cleaner, also on the backend, so the site should run smoother, also a new nice uploader and finally some cleanup of the public folder and new uploads, yay!!! looking good!!!

On buriko, i've cleaned up the design, should also run smoother, and started a companion gallery (ill post about that later).

New Site - 4kun


Does it sound a bit like another site you know? ... like 4chan? well its kinda in the same vibe and not, if you don't know we already run 2 anonymous imageboards, neechan (a cleaner nicer themed imageboard) and tentakle (more gritty traditional ffa imageboard), and although its been a lot of fun running them, its a bit of a pain in the ass, with the continuous spamming, if they look so good today is because of all staffs work with the "daily cleaning".

So what is 4kun, first i thought the domain was funny ^_^.oO("chan" being a japanese honorific for cute young female, and "kun" for young boys),  yes the site is still a imageboard, the twist is that its not anonymous, yep you have to make an account to post, OMGWORSTTHINGEVAH!!!

Well not really, i do understand the point and nicety of an anonymous imageboard, but i also understand that non anonymous board can also be fun and cool, first it will not keep the trolls away, but its way more effective at keeping the spammers away, second, because users have to jump a further hoop to registered, i think they also receive a greater appreciation for their sharing, if they are awesome at it, then they get the recognition for it, unlike the anonymous random nature of a traditional imageboard.

So there ya go, yeah its still rough on the edges, but like all s2r sites, its a work in progress and it will only get better with time ^_^

Moving away from W3 Total Cache back to WP Super Cache


 Yeah more wordpress plugin talk, but since 1/3 of all S2R sites are powered one way or another by wordpress, its kinda something i deal with, so why am i moving away from the caching wonder kid W3 Total Cache to the old school WP Super Cache, well mostly after a few weeks of testing, i found that although both do a excellent job there are some basic strong points and weak points on both of them:


W3 Total Cache
  • Strong Points: Loads of Options, Good Control Panel, Good Performance
  • Weak Points: Doesn't have a Good Basic Default Setting

WP Super Cache
  • Strong Points: Keeps it Simple, Good Control Panel, Good Performance
  • Weak Points: For this case, none

Soooo, what does this mean, first it means both are really good, but also that even after a lot of tweaking and reading a lot about its settings, its still a difficult process to push W3 Total Cache to use its potential, i have several different servers with different software running (Apache and Nginx, with different plugins and caching addons), and W3 Total Cache kinda feels a bit hit and miss, sometimes its wonderful sometimes it isn't, while the "Keep it Simple Stupid" approach of WP Super Cache always brings good performance.

Also the fact that i tend to make tweaks and improve the code and performance both of the sites and server, WP Super Cache kinda gives me the best combination of rock solid performance and ease of use, while with W3 Total Cache i have to worry about a lot of different things to have it work properly, so therefore im moving away from W3 Total Cache to WP Super Cache ^_^'

Several Tweaks and Improvements ^_^


S2R > Humm got a new donations page, better contacts and slightly better txt.

Hostcult > Hey hey its this site heheeh, just added some like facebook, twitter and such buttons, for easier promotion and likability, also cleaned up and added a bit to the contacts / about page.

Fiendish > Cleaned the layout, added random quotes, for moar awesomeness ^^.

Neechan > Merged the requests board into the main board, plus some tweaks with performance, should run super smooth now ^-^.

Blackout for Hungary


On the 21st of December 2010 the party holding the majority of the Hungarian Parliament voted in favor of a new media law that is a collection of some of the most aggressive and undemocratic laws from all over Europe, including some worrying new additions.

To show our concern for this violation of fundamental rights and free speech, im putting this post up and a link to http://www.blackout4hungary.net/en/ ^_^' enjoy!!!!

Comparison of Wordpress SEO Plugins


I've had my fair of problems and gripes with SEO on wordpress, especially with the "All in One SEO Pack" you can check it out Alternative to All in One SEO Pack ^_^

So that was like a year ago, nowadays there are loads of plugins that do what i want or part of what i want, however cause there is no point in testing 20 plugins, im narrowing it down, so for this review im choosing just plugins that have a minimum set of features that i need (like meta tags in the head, canonical urls,...), that have been updated recently (last 3 months), that aren't on the first version (at least a couple of updates under the belt) and that have a control panel, also i've tested all these plugins for obvious misleading or security leaks, at this moment they have none that i can see (actually one has, sorry made this intro before the testing hehehe).

WordPress SEO by Yoast
  • Specs: 98kb zip / Average Rating on Wordpress: 5 stars
  • Pros: its enable by default, nice detached admin page, explanations with loads of options, quite a few added features (like authentication for google webmasters or breadcrumbs, both nice but not necessary for SEO), import ability to several other SEO plugins.
  • Cons: inserts the most amount of junk on the site's header including plugin version number than all the plugins in this list, quite a few irrelevant options/features.
  • Hummmm: Looking good, and it makes "All in One SEO Pack" look like amateur hour, it has almost the same amount of junk and promos but done nicely and cleanly, also its pretty well organized, if it wasn't for all the junk inserted into your site's header, it would have been a really high contender.

SEO Ultimate
  • Specs: 490kb zip / Average Rating on Wordpress: 4 stars
  • Pros: huge amount of features (19 different modules), modular system (you can activate and deactivate features you want).
  • Cons: its not enable by default, some of these feature modules are just a one option affair, others offer features that are good for SEO research but that are not needed as a wordpress plugin (there are better tools and sites and ways to get that info), some modules seem incomplete, exploit scanner gave 3 severe warnings with SEO ultimate (obscured links and dropping tables).
  • Hummmm: wholy jesus, if gre's high performance SEO is overkill, then SEO Ultimate is trying to live up to its name, by being ULTIMATE!!!! i would say that it could be a pretty nice companion to another seo plugin (by deactivating the modules with duplicate or irrelevant functions), still its the only one that gave security warnings, so with alternatives, i would stay away.

Greg's High Performance SEO
  • Specs: 212kb zip / Average Rating on Wordpress: 4.5 stars
  • Pros: simple, clear and very instructive admin page, loads of functions and explanations.
  • Cons: pub directly on your admin page (from pluginsponsors.com), complex to setup, and to be 100% efficient needs to be hardwired into the theme, its not enable by default.
  • Hummmm: high performance or not, this is a case of overload, SEO is just a small part of a website performance and its not even the most important by far, a site with no SEO but with high quality content, performance and promotion will always win, this plugin is too much, also tweaking too much of SEO might do more harm than good, this one if for the ubber tinkerers.

Platinum SEO Pack
  • Specs: 137kb zip / Average Rating on Wordpress: 4 stars
  • Pros: enabled by default, basically same feature set as "All in one SEO Pack", clean detached admin page, ability to migrate from "All in one SEO Pack".
  • Cons: still some junk on the site header including plugin version number (still a bit less than "All in one SEO Pack").
  • Hummmm: im impressed by not being impressed, platinum seo is basically "All in one SEO Pack" without the shitty stuff, sooo pretty good ^_^

SeoPress
  • Specs: 435kb zip / Average Rating on Wordpress: 4 stars (taking from their previously name)
  • Pros: ahhhhh...
  • Cons: not enable by default, huge amount of pages, complicated and confusing as hell, lots of functions are not available, while having lots of links to the pro version.
  • Hummmm: this one is supposed to be good with buddypress and wordpress mu, but in hindsight i rather have no SEO than whatever this is, so no pros, only cons, actually the only SEO plugin in this pack that i would stay away like it was the black plague.

All In One SEO Pack
  • Specs: 176kb zip / Average Rating on Wordpress: 4 stars / Most Popular SEO Pack
  • Pros: Loads of features, default selection of options is good.
  • Cons: Its not enabled by default, huge amounts of junk and links and banners on the admin page, weird options, inserts junk on the site's header including plugin version number.
  • Hummmm: I used to like it, but i think with time "all in one seo pack" as degraded itself, you can promote other stuff and still keep yourself useful and practical, the main fold doesn't even have any options its just pub and shit, also some of the options and functions are not that useful in SEO or even practical.


Conclusion and What are you going to use?

Hummm this one is a big thought, but i would say the clear winners and real all in one seo alternatives are  WordPress SEO by Yoast and Platinum SEO Pack, but for diferent reasons, if you want a clean, simple SEO option for Wordpress i would go with Platinum SEO Pack, it has everything you need, but if you want a bit of an edge and more options and better understanding of the features, then i would go with Wordpress SEO by Yoast.

S2R is officially moving all their Wordpress Sites from All In One SEO Pack to Platinum SEO Pack, mostly cause i don't need the extra features that Wordpress SEO by Yoast offers and i don't like the added junk that Wordpress SEO by Yoast adds to the site header.

Domain Registrar Reviews and Comparison


 Well domains are an essential part of what makes the internet useful and easy to use, we really don't need them, but our minds are generally not made to memorize big numbers like 145.234.211.841 (this is a ipv4 internet address, in the future with the introduction of ipv6 the numbers will be stranger and larger hehehe) so something like hostcult.com is way more simple to use and memorize (well secretly i wished icann would have made them even more simple, like just typing hostcult on the browser or hostcult.c).

Also brands wouldnt be able to use the internet so well if, like if microsoft was 6427-7-38 (american phone keypad combination) instead of microsoft.com, so it makes sense to use domains, as the years gonne by, i have used a series of different domain registrars to register all my domains, so here is a small resume of the domains registrars i use today and some of the ones i used (no point talking about registars that no longer exist, or that are not relevant today):


Godaddy
When: couple of years ago, about 10 domains.
Pros: pretty cheap at the time, still cheap today with coupons, pretty good feature set.
Cons: renewal fees are expensive, icann fees are billed separately (they always bill that as an extra while most domain hosts bill it as part of the overall price), confusing control panel, they keep offering/pushing their other services, they will cancel/suspend your domain at the slightest problem or dmca.


eNom
When: couple of years ago, about 5 domains.
Pros: cheap reseller, awesome control panel, pretty good pricing, reliable registrar, awesome support.
Cons: at the time, it was complicated to buy and put money inside of the account (you had to have money on your enom account so you could buy domains), also they weren't the cheapest (even though now, they are one of the cheapest).


Onlinenic
When: couple of years ago, about 30 domains.
Pros: cheap reseller, average feature set.
Cons: convoluted payment system, lots of downtime, unreliable, horrible support, horrible control panel.


Namecheap
When: couple of years ago, about 5 domains.
Pros: large feature set, good control panel, good support, probably my recommendation if you have/want just a couple of domains, they are/were a enom reseller, so its a good platform anyways.
Cons: a bit pricey, still renewals are normally the same price as registration, so no hidden fees.


Domainsite
When: couple of years ago, about 5 domains.
Pros: simple and quick control panel, average pricing (even though i bought at the time with discount), interesting feature set, with unusual services, horrible support service.
Cons: renewals are way more expensive.


Moniker
When: couple of years ago, about 10 domains there.
Pros: cheap reseller, the best bulk registration i have ever seen, average feature set and control panel.
Cons: at the time it was being sold off or not, kinda weird things going on, so i moved on as a precaution, also because pricing is kinda average.


ResellerClub
When: today, around 150 domains there.
Pros: cheap reseller (the more you pay, the cheaper the price, because i pay a lot i have a pretty good pricing), reliable, average feature set and control panel, still they have been adding new stuff with time.
Cons: no automatic renewal system, every other month there are problems with they credit card processing company "transecute" (that i think they own or at least are very buddy with), support is average but normally takes a lot of time to get back to you


InternetBS
When: today, around 5 domains there.
Pros: cheap registrar, average feature set, average control panel, i tend to buy domains here if they are cheaper than on resellerclub and then transfer them over or not to resellercub.
Cons: none so far.


Notes:
  1. I buy a lot of domains, so my main concern is the price, features are not that important, since most of these can be had with a server to run the domains, so these registrars might be good for you or not.
  2. Also i have a couple of free domains from webhosts i still use, but i don't recommend that, you want to keep your domains separate from your host for all the good reasons.
  3. I do have domains on other registrars, mostly domains that aren't offered worldwide or that involve a lot of bureaucracy that some local registrars can deal better, like .pt/.de/.co.uk domains.
  4. Like i said some of these registrars i haven't deal with in years, so they might have gotten better or not, take my "reviews" with a grain of salt.
  5. Cant believe i put Godday first!!!! seems their insane promotion and publicity is starting to work on me... well... NAAAAA heheheh