New Hosting Yet Again and 2018 Plans

AVDR 2017

Every December, I have to deal with keeping this website up, paying for domain and hosting. I agonized on whether I should still pay for hosting or migrate this blog to Medium, and I ended up staying with hosting. However, I’ve since made some changes and put certain measures in place to secure this blog’s future as I plan to hopefully ramp things up for 2018. I’m sure I’ve done this over and over again year after year, but things really have been looking up as 2017 is about to end.

There are things are happening right now on this blog, and I wish to talk a bit about it. The biggest thing is migrating to another hosting provider. The other stuff I’m doing from now on mostly about covering my bases just in case I change my mind years later. I have to do this while facilitating a system that will allow me to write and post more in the new year.

Change of Service Provider

My previous hosting provider was Siteground. It was good for the most part, but it had one sticking point—an annoyingly low CPU allowance. That forced me to upgrade my plan in the middle of 2017, which was a $40 expense I could’ve saved for something else. The fact that Siteground was dishonest with its advertisement of unlimited bandwidth—bottlenecked by a CPU allowance limit—is why I’ve moved yet again.

Meanwhile, the domain stayed in Site5 for the time being due to auto-renewal taking place before I was able to transfer it somewhere else. Perhaps it was for the best as I’m moving away from Siteground anyway. Having the domain at the same service as the hosting isn’t the best anyway. However, my current service is one I’m willing to hedge my bets on.

EIG is the big bad wolf I’m trying to avoid—the Electronic Arts of web hosting. That corporation gobbles up web hosting providers left and right, then turns them into crap with its policies and bureaucracy. I was able to see this with my own eyes in 2016 when this blog was still hosted in Site5. That service used to be great, with customer service that responded to my support tickets with a snap of a finger, but it then slowed down to a crawl. Then that service outage happened and I had enough.

I can’t believe I never found Namecheap back when I was looking for a new service. I found Siteground and heard good things about it, but the price I have to pay just for my hosting to hit a CPU allowance limit at least twice a month was just too much. While I should perhaps have reservations for this as well, Namecheap’s value hosting is so affordable that I’m willing to take the risk. If things do ramp up in some way, like needing more space or getting more visitors per month, I think I can upgrade without having to agonize over it.

As of this writing, I’ve successfully transferred the domain from Site5 to Namecheap, but only after asking for help from the latter. The former didn’t do much to help other than telling me the EPP code they sent me was correct. It indeed was, but it wasn’t getting through. Perhaps it was a problem on Namecheap’s end, but at least they assisted me in a more timely manner, while Site5’s customer service takes at least 12 hours to respond.

EDIT (24DEC2017 12:30AM): I’ve finally gotten SSL enabled for this domain—there’s now https in front of it. Therefore, this blog now has guaranteed secure browsing. That’s just in case you care about whether this dinky blog would give you Computer AIDS.

The Medium Decision

The decision of whether I should keep the blog in a web hosting service or migrate to Medium was not easy. I could’ve migrated to instead, which is still an option on the table, but I wanted my own custom theme to better control how posts look. However, I liked the look of Medium so much that I was willing to give up control for convenience.

Two things made me decide on staying with web hosting—lack of dark visual theme in Medium and the Reviewer plugin I bought in Envato. The first reason was due to how I associate the brand with light text on dark background. This look sums up the tone I want for this brand, despite what others may think, and it’s not changing in 2018 or anytime soon.

The second reason was due to a time when I wanted to have a review system so bad that it actually forced me to buy a WordPress plugin for it. If I move to Medium now, I’d be squandering that plugin. I knew if I post more reviews, I’ll be able to get more out of that plugin, which I actually quite like using thus far.

However, I’ve not given up on Medium entirely. I’ll still be migrating most blog posts to a Medium publication and will crosspost most future posts (sans personal blogs and updates) to it. It’ll serve as a mirror site that should stay up as long as Medium stays alive. It should a viable enough backup plan, I believe.

A Design Change

You may notice right now the main navigation menu on top being a tad bit thinner. I first implemented the header with a leaderboard to carry advertising. However, with how little the ads earned over time, how much space it took, and how I may need more space for more menu items in the future, I thought a thinner and longer navbar with a smaller logo would improve the look of the website.

I had this planned for over a year, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the dropdown menus on the right side to align to the right and not clip past the edge of the screen. After eons and multiple tries, I was able to get it how I like it and immediately put it to use. It does look quite nice, so I’m pleased.

Early 2018 Plans

I can’t promise anything, but I do intend to put up more blog posts and videos in the new year. I’ll be taking an axe to my usual schedule to make that happen. For now, I’ll just post more game reviews and retrospectives for the most part, as well as vlogs in my personal channel.

There are ideas for series I may get into sometime in early 2018, but I’m giving myself a pre-requisite goal to aim for first before I’ll be confident enough to go through with them. For now, I just have to prove myself I can actually post content regularly.

To aid in that endeavor, I’ll be getting a PLDT Fibr subscription. I had waited for my street to be fiber optic-ready, and it finally is now. I’ll just have to get over the hurdle of having it installed here (I live in a condominium, so I hope it’s allowed for them to bring it up here). Once I do have it, I’ll be able to livestream and upload videos with ease.

If things go smooth, I may even upscale my video production to 1080p at long last.

Finally, I’ll keep doing event coverage, which is perhaps the one thing I got right in 2017 as far as the brand goes. While I’ ha’ve yet to post a vlog on ESGS—which I may or may not finish—I’m already looking ahead to future events. As of this writing, there’s Cosplay Matsuri on December 28 to 30 in SMX. My Cosplay Mania 2017 vlog got such positive response that I can’t wait to make more. As far as local audiences go, this is my main draw.

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