Scriptbloggers

Blogging about scripts

Archive for July, 2008

Dreamhost SUCKS

Just searched Google for the term “Dreamhost sucks” and OMG! I couldn’t believe how many people really hated Dreamhost! Some of them brought really good points and had honest reasons and some where just trying to grab some attention but in general I believe every shared hosting plan suck by nature, including Dreamhost’s and if you don’t agree, you’ve just been lucky.

The fact is that, your experience from a shared hosting plan is more depending on your neighbours (websites hosted on the same server as yours) than your web hosting provider. It’s kinda comparable to sharing a house or better to say staying at a hostel. Your level of comfort mostly depends on your roommates, doesn’t it?

When in comes to Dedicated Servers or Virtual Private Servers the situation is different. You’re guaranteed to receive certain amount of server resources like RAM, CPU, etc. which makes you isolated and relatively independent from your neighbors (If any). In these cases your only concern is the web hosting provider company and how they maintain their service.

Anyway at the end of the day it all comes to your expectations and priorities. It’s obvious that shared hosting plans are way cheaper than virtual private servers and dedicated servers so they’re ideal only if your dealing with less sensitive type of websites and don’t mind having your website down for a few hours every month or two. (You should always consider the worst case scenario)

In my honest opinion Dreamhost wasn’t problem-free but they had the least problems over the past two years comparing to other ones I’ve experienced before including Hostgator, Valuehost, Bluehost, Host.ac, etc. So far I believe their customer service was really helpful and the response time was short to reasonable. The best thing I can say is that they honor their 97 day money-back guarantee so trying their service is gonna be totally risk-free specially if you use the coupon code “SCRIPTBLOGGERS” to get $50 discount or to wave your setup fee if paying monthly.

So at the end I would say “DREAMHOST DOES SUCK But not more than any other shared hosting provider I know.”

Cheers,

Soroush

P.S. There is a SEO lesson in this post, haven’t you got it yet? :D

11 comments

Spam comments are down to 12 a day!

OMG! I can’t describe how great it feels to log in to my admin panel and see only 12 comments waiting for approval! I’m not trying to blame my own faults on anything else but high volume of spam comments were one of the reasons I got frustrated and kinda slowed down working on the site and maintaining it which then resulted in the whole tragic story of getting hacked and its side effects.

When I compare my blog with some of my friends’ blogs, I see I’m getting 10 times more spam than most of them and I see the reason in not using “no follow” for the external links which I’ve already discussed here.

I still believe in not using it on Scriptbloggers to give more value and show some appreciation to valuable comment authors but if you are planning to do the same, you have to accept the spam flood as a result.

Cheers,
Soroush

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Tired of spam, had to sacrifice the Pingbacks

It was so frustrating to review and moderate more than 300 comments a day containing 99.9% spam, only because of the possibility of losing a few real comments.
Since at least 95% of those spam comments were actually trackbacks and not comments, using CAPTCHA or other human confirmation methods didn’t help.
So the only way for me was to disable pingbacks and trackbacks in WordPress settings but it only works for the new posts and has no effect on the old ones which are the target of most attacks.
I had to edit all the posts, one by one and remove the check-mark beside “Allow Pings” which is just too much to do! So here is the tiny little MySQL query that does the magic:
UPDATE wp_posts SET `ping_status`='closed';
TADAAA! It disabled the ping_status for all the posts.

I know I won’t receive pingbacks but I think it worth an extra an hour a day I will save by not going through spam comments. Now I can spend more time doing something more creative on scriptbloggers.

Cheers,
Soroush

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Congratulations! Scriptbloggers is back in Google index

Just a quick update: After around a month since it got removed from Google’s index, scriptbloggers is finally back in the results and apparently it is taking back its serp positions again (fingers crossed :D )

In order to gain back Google’s trust I’m going to update the blog more often with fresh and useful content. So keep in touch, I’m sure there will be something useful for everyone :D

After all, I still don’t have a real purpose for this blog and I still don’t know why I’m doing all this … :D

Cheers,
Soroush

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Valuable lessons for webmasters

Passing more than 2 months since I got most of my sites hacked, I’m still dealing with its direct and indirect effects.
Anyway I’m not going to give up, instead I’m going to share my experiences with other webmasters, hope it prevents someone from being in such horrible situation.

Lesson 1: Keep all your scripts up-to-date and subscribe to receive security updates.
I don’t think it needs any more explaination! I love open-source free scripts like WordPress but there is also a huge disadvantage in them; When a bug or security hole is found, it becomes public in close to no time.

Lesson 2: When possible DON’T store all your sites under the same ftp account! Some web hosting providers like DreamHost let you create unlimited ftp usernames and host each domain under an individual ftp account. This way, in case someone break into one of your sites, the rest will be safe.

Lesson 3: Once a while, briefly check the log file reports. You may get surprised finding some hackers/spammers footprints, trying different methods to find their favorite backdoor. There is also worse situation which they’ve already sneaked in and uploaded their own script or modified yours for their purpose. Either way, checking log file report will show you all the requests served. Remember, tag based/Javascript based reports show only activities on the pages tagged with the tracking code and not all the pages.

I think that’s enough for now :)
There is a huge checklist to keep in mind but in my idea, these 3 are the most important ones.

Cheers,
Soroush

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isimtescil.net a shameless SCAM!

Last year I bought some domains from someone on DP and unfortunately they were registered at isimtescil.net which is a Turkish registrar. I just asked him to open an account for me and transfer the domains to my account. I logged into my account, changed their name servers and turned all those domains to blogs and added them to my blog network (Allied Network Inc.) and they all gained good Pageranks over the year with a reasonable amount of traffic.

Everything was fine till the time for renewal came. I logged into my account, tried to renew all my domains but it simply didn’t accept my credit card, then I tried to get the authorization code to transfer them to another registrar but got another wiered error. The day after I tried to log in to my account and I found it suspended! Contacted their technical support by submitting a ticket and they replied asking for the copy of my passport, then I replied the same ticket asking “How should I send it to you?” and didn’t get any reply.

The next day when I logged in to their ticketing system, I found my ticket is deleted! Since I had all the ticket information I opened another ticket asking what happend to the ticket number blah blah and guess what! This ticket got removed within 2 hours. Tried it two more times, got no reply and got my ticket removed again and again. So I finally gave up and decided to let the domains expire and catch them when they are released but now I see they have been renewed, parked and showing ads while the registrant, tech and admin info hasn’t been changed on whois database.

Another lesson for me to stick to my trustworthy registrars even if they are a bit more expensive.

I’ll definitely follow up and will keep here updated.

Cheers,

Soroush

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