POSTED Tue Nov.13.2012

The technology that runs

Web Host: Media Temple

I’ve been happily on Mediatemple since January 2007, using their dedicated virtual server (dv) service to provide a good balance between control, performance, ease-of-use, and price. When I outgrew shared hosting, the (dv) came in at the right price. With tuning and caching, even the lower end (dv) w/ 512MB will serve you well at the 5,000-10,000 pageview per day mark.

I’ve written up notes on my initial setup and the recent migration to (dv) 4.0. My review of Media Temple (dv) 4 gives an overview of the pros/cons of the service.

Domain Registration: DirectNIC

For domain name registration, I’ve been using DirectNic. It’s no longer the cheapest, but it was one of the very first independent domain name registrars when Network Solutions lost their monopoly in the 1990s.

Blogging Software: WordPress 3.x

I’ve run WordPress in its various incarnations since version 1.0, had a three-year dalliance with Expression Engine from 2007 to 2010 that ultimately didn’t work out, and have settled back on WordPress. Why? WordPress much friendlier when it comes to experimentation. It’s easy to change looks, and the plugin selection is gigantic.

In August 2011, I expanded into multiple blogs, using WordPress Networks (AKA “Multisite”), which gives me flexibility.

Essential Plugins

There are a few plugins that are essential to the way I write and post media to the site:

  • PHP Markdown Extra: All my articles are written in Markdown

  • Super Cache: Markdown adds an additional step of text processing to every page view, so to reduce server load it’s important to use a caching plugin. I’m using SuperCache currently as a compromise between the no-nonsense QuickCache and the breakage-prone W3 Total Cache.

  • Lazy Image Layout: This is a plugin I wrote back in 2005 that implements image thumbnail caching and resizing. Images are uploaded via FTP to a special directory, and are inserted in-line to my articles using a syntax somewhat similar to that of Markdown. I don’t use the WordPress media management feature to upload, because it didn’t exist before and it still is not pleasant to use.

Site Theme: Seah Unified

The theme is a custom one that I have tweaked over the years. The current version is called seah-unified, so-named because it runs on the main blog at and all the process journals. There’s a lot of special code in it to make it do what I want.

Web Analytics

I use three different ones, each for a different purpose:

  • Mint – Shaun Inman’s real-time statistics program is great for seeing detailed information in the past 24 hours.
  • Google Analytics – For more detailed data mining of my stats, my GA account is useful to see longer-term trends that Mint can not.
  • Statcounter – I’ve used the free version since 2004, and keep using it because it has an unbroken record of daily pageviews to date.

Design Software

I use the Adobe Creative Suite for practically everything. All my form designs are created with Adobe Illustrator.