Do you keep hearing about cloud hosting and wonder how it differs from a regular hosting plan? Perhaps you just built a new site and are wondering if you should give the cloud a try?
Cloud hosting is a more reliable, scalable, and secure option than a regular shared hosting plan. But shared hosting is, usually, cheaper and easier to set up.
In this article, Lucero Del Alba will cover everything from control panel options, migration issues, and the pros and cons of each option. We’ll get to see what each option is about and —hopefully! — help to you decide whether it’s better for you to stick with shared hosting, or if you should switch to a cloud plan.
Once Upon a Time on a Shared Hosting Plan …
Traditionally, when we needed to put a site online, we’d buy a domain, get a hosting plan, and FTP the site from our computer to the web. We grew so used to it that it became second nature.
We would typically have features such as a very comprehensive control panel, statistics, and email hosting for the domains registered on that account, among other things. But also some hard limitations, such as a certain amount of disk space, a given bandwidth, and a fraction of the CPU and the server memory.
For many brochure, portfolio, blog and small business sites, that’s perfectly adequate. But for many businesses, it’s not ideal. And even for a freelancer maintaining a couple of simple sites, it’s possible to run out of resources for a given site from time to time. (It’s no fun being asked by a client why the site is down.)
The VPS and Dedicated Server
One way of upgrading is to buy a bigger, slightly more expensive plan with a little more resources, in the form of a VPS (virtual private server). And if that doesn’t cut it, you can rent a dedicated server — that is, a full rack on a hosting company’s data center.
With a dedicated server, you get all of the server resources in a non-shared environment for, let’s say, $100 a month. Yes, about a 20x more expensive than a basic shared hosting plan — but hey, you wanted the whole thing, didn’t you?
Whether you’ve stuck with shared hosting or jumped into the world of the VPS or dedicated server, it has probably all worked just fine, and you may never have contemplated trying anything else. Believe it or not, though, there’s now a generation of web developers that barely know what FTP is, having never used it.
… and Then the Cloud Hosting Plan Came Up
When Amazon Web Services (AWS) was first introduced, everything was new and it seemed like you needed to take an intensive course before you were able to start operating with this cloud infrastructure.
But things have changed since then. Not only have more providers come onto the scene, but also more solutions that can be used out-of-the-box, including cloud hosting.
Continue reading on SitePoint!
Slides is a place for creating, presenting and sharing slide decks.
Modern presentation tools:
The Slides editor is available online, right in your browser. Unlike traditional presentation software, like PowerPoint, there’s no need to download anything. All of your work is stored securely on our servers, accessible wherever you are.
Presentations that look great:
Whether you speak at a conference, host a meeting, or just send your deck out by email, your story is conveyed in the beauty in which it was crafted. You can also export a PDF and share or print it for your audience.
Always with you:
Decks are freely viewable anywhere on desktop, tablets and phones. They can be embedded inside of your site or blog and downloaded for full offline access.
Join more than 500,000 members:
Slides is great for sharing anything from a photo album with family to a business plan with your colleagues.
It’s free to sign up, you don’t even need a credit card.
Explore the full list of features: HERE
What is Caddy?
Caddy is an alternative web server easy to configure and use. Matt Holt – The Project leader of Caddy claims that Caddy is a general-purpose web server, claims to be designed for human and it is probably the only of its kind.
Features of Caddy
- Speedy HTTP requests using HTTP/2.
- Capable Web Server with least configuration and hassle free deployment.
- TLS encryption ensure, encryption between communicating applications and user over Internet. You may use your own keys and certificates.
- Easy to deploy/use. Just one single file and no dependency on any platform.
- No installation required.
- Portable Executables.
- Run on multiple CPUs/Cores.
- Advanced WebSockets technology – interactive communication session between browser and server.
- Server Markdown documents on the fly.
- Full support for latest IPv6.
- Creates log in custom format.
- Serve FastCGI, Reverse Proxy, Rewrite and Redirects, Clean URL, Gzip compression, Directory Browsing, Virtual Hosts and Headers.
- Available for All known Platform – Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac, Android.
What make caddy Different?
- Caddy aims at serving web as it should be in the year 2017 and not traditional style.
- It is designed not only to serve HTTP request but also human.
- Loaded with Latest features – HTTP/2, IPv6, Markdown, WebSockets, FastCGI, templates and other out-of-box features.
- Run the executables without the need of Installing it.
- Detailed documentation with least technical description.
- Developed keeping in mind the need and ease of Designers, Developers and Bloggers.
- Support Virtual Host – Define as many sites as you want.
- Suited for you – no matter if your site is static or dynamic. If you are human it is for you.
- You focus on what to achieve and not how to achieve.
- Availability of support for most number of platforms – Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, BSD.
- Usually, you have one Caddy file per site.
- Set up in less than 1 minute, even if you are not that much computer friendly.
Visit Caddy website: HERE
“You’ve designed a beautiful site. It looks great, it sells widgets, and it gets the job done! But, there’s always room for improvement, especially on the technical side of things. One of the best ways to improve the overall experience on your site is to enhance your site speed.
Besides making the experience better for your users, page speed is also becoming a major influence on search engine optimization. So, don’t downplay the value of page speed, even if your site is pretty fast already. Look at how fast your competitors are loading and you may find the quick way to get ahead of the search engine curve — faster sites get preferential treatment.”
10 ways to speed up:
- Faster Servers Mean Faster Results
- Turn on File Compression
- Put Images into CSS
- Minify CSS
- Minify JS
- Minify HTML
- Proper Image Sizes
- No CSS @import
- Browser Caching
- Clean Up Bad Requests
With technology always advancing and the automation all types of routine jobs, there’s never been a better time to learn to code and pick up some specialist skills. The demand for these skills has never been higher, and what’s more, you can master them from the comfort of your own home.
In this article, we’ll be discussing some free and premium resources to help you get started with learning for starters and more skilled coders also. Most of the following resources will cover wider areas, which adds even more to our value.
My favourite website to read articles on is: SitePoint
SitePoint shares articles very frequently, has various tutorials for both beginners and experts. The articles are all free to read, but SitePoint has premium content also called SitePoint Premium, with video tutorials and top-quality books to learn from.
Next is: Tuts+
As part of Envato’s creative ecosystem, Envato Tuts+ contributes to the mission of “helping people learn and earn online”.
Envato Tuts+ tutorials are available to you completely free—all 23,360 of them!. Based around specific projects, they include step-by-step written instructions and screenshots to help you practice and master the skills needed to create a practical outcome.
Standards for developing flexible, durable, and sustainable HTML and CSS. Really handy basics that should be followed, written based on years of experience.
High-level advice and guidelines for writing sane, manageable, scalable CSS. Harry Roberts is a CSS specialist, who does lots of presentations in conferences, worked with well known companies such as Adobe, Google. This guideline is a bit more advanced, but will truely be a turning factor in your CSS writing.
More advanced: Sass guideline by Hugo Girauduel
Sass is an extension of CSS that adds power and elegance to the basic language. Sass’ ultimate objective is to fix CSS’ flaws. CSS, as we all know, is not the best language in the world . While very simple to learn, it can quickly get quite messy, especially on large projects. This is where Sass comes in, as a meta-language, to improve CSS’ syntax in order to provide extra features and handy tools. Meanwhile, Sass wants to be conservative regarding the CSS language.
Starting with: Treehouse
Learn from over 1000 videos created by expert teachers on web design, coding, business, and much more. Their library is continually refreshed with the latest on web technology so you’ll never fall behind. They have free trial for two weaks, after that it costs 25 $ / month.
Two more I like: Codecourse & Codecademy
Codecademy provides a wider area of knowledge. They extend their video courses with useful resources for developers such as: version controlling with Git, command line tutorials, more advances topics like Sass & AngularJS. They have many free to watch tutorials, and some premium content for 20 $ / month. I would recommend their free tutorials for starters since it’s really well organised and makes the user follow up a real life example.
Codecourse gives more attention to framework specific tutorials, I would recommend their free courses for coders who have already mastered the basics.
Final personal favourite one: Laracasts
Learning to code positively affects all areas of your life and gives you a newfound sense of energy to really pursue the goals you want in life.
A lot of people think that this positive impact is limited to improving your technological skills and ability to use a computer, but it’s so much more than that. It changes your whole life, from lifestyle, through social life, to career. Wish all of you starters good luck!
The following article was written by Mike MacCana, founder at CertSimple. It explains that HTTPS can provide identity, SEO, access to HTML5 powerful features and even keep network carriers from messing with your site’s content. Read on for how or see the original article here: CertSimple
You know this, but let’s recap with a practical example:
Alice needs to send a message to Bob, privately. Someone – let’s call them Malory – sets up a wifi access point in Alice’s favorite cafe, Malory can happily reconstruct all the HTTP traffic between Alice and Bob. Malory runs
apt-get install driftnet
on her Linux laptop and enjoys a flat white while everyone else’s HTTP browsing appears on her screen in realtime.
Except HTTPS traffic won’t show up on Malory’s screen: things encrypted with a website’s public key can only be decrypted with the website’s private key. Because the website’s private key is (hopefully) only available to the website, Malory can’t decrypt the traffic.
1. Ownership attestation
Making sure Alice is actually talking to Bob. There are different levels of validation: domain validated certificates prove control of a domain, but don’t assert any particular entity controls the certificate – even if the domain is similar to a well known company.
The EV certificates you see at banks, online wallets and other high trust websites check the company applying for the certificate is who they say they are, so you know whose key you’re encrypting with. The browser displays the company name and where the company is registered, but you can check the full details inside the certificate:
2. Search engines use HTTPS as a ranking signal
You’ll need to set up HTTPS for your whole site rather than using something like a ‘billing’ subdomain. This also gives you flexibility to make previously static content interactive. Want to let users give you their contact details on a blog post? You’ve already set up HTTPS so you can do that securely.
3. Ability to use HTML5 ‘powerful features’
- Video and Microphone
- Device motion / orientation
- Pointer locking
- Encrypted Media Extensions (aka DRM)
This has already started in the current version of Canary, with geolocation being made HTTPS only since Chrome 50. If you run Canary – and soon for all Chrome users – you’ll need HTTPS for geolocation. Otherwise
navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition() will fail with:
4. Not having your content modified by carriers
Carriers are awful:
- Comcast adds advertisements
- AT&T adds tracking
- Verizon adds tracking and sells access to advertisers
- T-Mobile re-encodes videos, degrading quality
- The Chinese government makes your users attack GitHub.
The only thing that’s stopping them? HTTPS. If the carrier can’t decrypt the packets passing through their network (because they don’t have the site’s private key) they can’t inject their own content.
This is effective enough to the point where nefarious carriers have asked users to install configuration profiles to add the carrier’s root certificates, which are used to modify and inspect what should be private traffic. Thankfully you have control over what your browser trusts.
5. Ability to send passwords in newer browsers
Current Firefox nightlies, and soon Firefox stable, add warnings to pages that use
password type inputs without HTTPS. Here’s what it looks like:
If you’re not already considering HTTPS a standard part of your web app development cycle, you should be.
If you want an EV certificate, visit CertSimple.
What is Data Visualization?
Data Visualization is a way of representing complex data and stats in a pleasing, visually-appealing way. Visual data may include components like pie and graph charts, maps or tables, and can be presented in different forms, such as infographics, videos, illustrations and interactive reports.
Why is it important? The answer is simple. Our brains absorb visual information better, faster, more easily.
Benefits of Data Visualization
The benefits of visualizing data include:
- providing clearer information for clients
- making it easier to view and analyze patterns and trends
- enabling interaction with the data
- allowing for more information to be absorbed, and more quickly
- better identify peaks and troughs.
Sitepoint’s arcticle is going to assess how a new tool, Google Data Studio, can help us build beautiful and interactive reports.
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio (GDS) is a new tool by Google that makes it easy to create beautiful, engaging, responsive, branded and interactive reports. It does this by pulling metrics from Google’s properties, such as Google Analytics, Adwords and YouTube Analytics, as well as spreadsheets and SQL databases.
For the article, the author will be using Data Studio to create a visual report using Google Analytics data. To do this, you first need to have an active Google Analytics property that is properly integrated with the website.
The same applies to other reports. If you wish to pull the data from your Adwords or YouTube Analytics, make sure to sign in with an appropriate Google account that has that data.
Read the Setup Guide on Sitepoint: Here
The purpose of Shiny is to provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface to R. R is a highly popular statistical environment for doing heavy data analysis and constructing statistical models, and therefore is highly popular among data scientists. However, for a user with a non-coding background, using R to conduct such analysis can become quite intensive. This is where Shiny Web Apps come in. Essentially, Shiny allows for a more intuitive graphical user interface that is still capable of conducting sophisticated data analysis — without the need for extensive coding on the part of the end user.
In this article on using Shiny with R and HTML, the author illustrated how an interactive web application can be created to conduct analysis without the need for direct manipulation of code. In this article, the author will use a slightly different model to illustrate how the Shiny environment can be customized to work with the end user in a more intuitive fashion. Essentially, the goal of this article is to illustrate how a user can:
- Build an application by linking the UI and server side
- How to customize the themes available in the Shiny Themes library
- Implement error messages in order to provide guidance to an end user on how to use a particular program
The program itself that is developed for this tutorial is quite basic: a slider input allows the user to manipulate a variable within the program by means of reactivity, which causes instantaneous changes in the line plot output that is developed by means of reactivity.
This inherent function gives Shiny a significant advantage over using R code as a stand-alone. Traditionally, in order to analyze the change in a particular variable, the code must be manipulated directly (or the data from which the code is reading), and this can ultimately become very inefficient. However, Shiny greatly speeds up this process by allowing the user to manipulate the variables in a highly intuitive manner, and changes are reflected instantly.
However, the whole purpose of Shiny is to make an R Script as interactive as possible. In this regard, the user will want to be able to add features to the program that go well beyond reactivity. Two such aspects of this that the author will discuss in this tutorial are:
shinythemesin order to customize the appearance of our Shiny appearance
- Constructing a
validate()function in order to display an alert once variables are manipulated in a certain manner
See the tutorial here: SitePoint
It’s been a long wait, but it’s worth it. A new version of Metabase is ready for you (and end users)!
You can download the new version of Metabase at http://www.metabase.com/start/
To upgrade, see the instructions for your platform at http://www.metabase.com/docs/latest/operations-guide/start.html#upgrading-metabase
Let’s see what Metabase says about their new version:
Data access permissions
A way to control access to sensitive data has been one of the most requested features since we launched. With 0.20, we’ve taken the first major step in giving you the ability to lock down an instance. We now allow you to create user groups, and control their access to databases, tables and raw SQL queries. This lets you control access to sensitive data while still allowing your end users to answer their own questions within the datasets they’re allowed access to.
Getting started guides
In most places we’ve worked, there’s typically an email that gets forwarded around, or a Google doc that describes how to use the analytics systems available. Some more sophisticated setups use an internal wiki or other website that has an inventory of what’s available. We believe that the best way to keep these current is to have them be built into the application. Now you can create a cheatsheet to help new users know which dashboards, metrics and reports are the most important as well as provide caveats for use, advice on who to contact for help, and more.
Charting improvements – Part 2
Following up on our previous releases’ improvements to charting, we’ve added new chart types (progress, scatter and bubble charts), improved your control over axes, and allowed you to customize the display of dashboard cards made up of multiple questions.
Lots of you have been clamoring for a way to use Metabase with Oracle databases. Now you can! Due to Oracle’s license for the underlying JDBC driver, you’ll need to do a few extra steps — check out www.metabase.com/docs/latest/administration-guide/databases/oracle.md for details.
Druid performance and timezone fixes
We’ve made some improvements to how Metabase works with Druid that fix a number of timezone bugs and improve charting performance.
Metabase also fixed many reported issues and bugs from their GitHub page.
“With the advent of data science and the increased need to analyze and interpret vast amounts of data, the R language has become ever more popular. However, there’s increasingly a need for a smooth interaction between statistical computing platforms and the web, given both 1) the need for a more interactive user interface in analyzing data, and 2) the increased role of the cloud in running such applications.
Statisticians and web developers have thus seemed an unlikely mix till now, but make no mistake that the interactions between these two groups will continue to increase as the need for web-based platforms becomes ever more popular in the world of data science. In this regard, the interaction of the R and Shiny platforms is quickly becoming a cornerstone of interaction between the world of data and the web.
In this tutorial, we’ll look primarily at the commands used to build an application in Shiny — both on the UI (user interface) side and the server side. While familiarity with the R programming language is invariably helpful in creating a Shiny app, expert knowledge is not necessary, and this example will cover the building of a simple statistical graph in Shiny, along with some basic commands illustrating how to customize the web page through HTML.” – Michael Grogan
Continue to tutorial: SitePoint