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How to setup a custom domain with SSL and Medium.com with CloudFlare

October 27, 2016

This short tutorial will show you how to setup a custom domain with SSL and Medium.com with CloudFlare.

To start, you of course must own the domain, let’s call it example.com.

Suppose you want your Medium blog to have the address blog.example.com, to differentiate it between your main site.

If you have your DNS configured to point to CloudFlare (highly recommended so traffic doesn’t always hit your server directly), then it’s a little trickier than Medium.com’s default instructions, which are posted here:

https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/213474588-How-do-I-set-up-a-custom-domain-

As stated in the article, the first step is to fill out a form, and someone from the support team will get back to you with configuration details.

When you get a response, login to your CloudFlare account and click the DNS tab:

step1

There are 2 types of records you have to add, CNAME and A Records.

We will start with CNAME.

You will get a name-value pair that looks like:

<token>.blog.example.com

And

<token2>.comodoca.com

The email will tell you that you can enter the name as <token>.blog.example.com OR just <token>.blog. I have found the latter to work.

You will enter the CNAME record as follows:

step2

Finally, you will receive a list of A Records to add. These should be added under the “Value” column. The “Name” column should just be “blog”.

step3

And that’s it! Easy peasy.

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Where to get cheap web hosting: GoDaddy vs. BlueHost vs. etc…

November 23, 2015

My brand-spanking new blog software told me that this title was too long: GoDaddy vs. BlueHost vs. DreamHost vs. Hostgator vs. Namecheap

Read all the way to the end if you want to find out who I chose, why it took me so long to choose, and for some nice discount buttons.

If you noticed, there’ve been some subtle changes on this site lately.

In actuality, the site has gone through a complete overhaul. I tried my hardest to create my own WordPress theme to be exactly like the old theme (which was hosted on Tumblr), with a few enhancements.

So as you probably already know, WordPress needs to be hosted on paid servers that have PHP installed. The typical players are GoDaddy et al. (the ones listed above, except for Namecheap). For the somewhat technical, your site needs to live on boxes like these:

I moved all of my domain names to Namecheap from GoDaddy awhile ago when I read about some of their shady business practices (they initially supported SOPA).

So I’m browsing around, basically just price-shopping. I know all these companies have bad reviews for poor customer service. I try to do my due diligence by noting the percentage of downtime and cPanel features. But really I just want a good price on hosting so I can test out new sites cheaply and efficiently.

Most of these guys have a 1-3 year discount rate, something like $6.99/month if you sign up for 3 years. Then it goes up to $11.99/month after that.

I’m not going to list the exact prices here because they are always changing, but approx. $5+ to approx. $10+ after the discount period is typical. The problem is, most of these sites don’t post their non-discount rate.

As a sidenote, I’ve noticed lately that a lot of sites, including banks, who you’d think would be more professional, have a lot of footnotes. Like this.1

And then, nothing on the page actually explains what it refers to. It’s like saying, “read the fine print if you want to understand how we’re going to fuck you”, and then just excluding that fine print, in hopes you’ll just forget about it.

Alright, lemme talk to their support guys to tally up what everyone’s non-discounted rate is. This helped me narrow down my options a little bit. HostGator’s support was very unhelpful. I partly wrote this post to tell you not to use HostGator. After some time doing this it hit me… Namecheap offers hosting.

I’ve been using Namecheap for years for my domains, and I’ve found their user interface and support to be above par. I look up their rate for shared web hosting and to my surprise, it’s $19.88 for the first year. After this discount period, it goes up to $78.88, which is $6.57 / month, which is way better than what everyone I mention above provides.

If you use the coupon code COOLDAYS you can get 20% off, which means you’ll only pay $15. This is basically just above $1 / month. I think (not 100% sure) the coupon code only lasts until the end of November, so get that shit now.

And since Namecheap sucks at advertising their hosting, which is why I almost signed up for an inferior service instead of theirs, I am going to post some buttons here in case you’re looking for a new domain, web hosting, and a free WhoIsGuard (so people can’t stalk you on the net, since by default your full name, address, and email are shown when someone looks you up).

Namecheap.com

Namecheap.com

Full disclosure, these are referral links, so buying from these links helps me too and helps keep this site up. =)

Namecheap.com

It’s entirely possible I haven’t covered a really awesome, cheap web host in this post, so if I missed something, please let me know in the comments below.

#bluehost #cheap web hosting #coupon code #dreamhost #godaddy #hostgator #namecheap #web hosting

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SMTP -> ERROR: Failed to connect to server: Connection timed out (110)

November 17, 2015

I get this error frequently when I use the PHPMailer library, i.e. for a WordPress site.

The strange thing is, this will work on your localhost but not on the remote server.

It is not a problem with PHPMailer, or WordPress, or your mail server.

It is a problem with your hosting configuration (I’m using Namecheap for hosting but I assume you have cPanel installed).

How to fix:

  1. Log into cPanel, and under the “Mail” section, choose “MX Entry”.
  2. Add MX records as shown below. (I’m using Zoho as my mail server, and their addresses are mx.zoho.com and mx2.zoho.com)

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 11.46.38 PM

#hosting #php #phpmailer #smtp #wordpress

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