Just Have to Experiment

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Sometimes you just have to experiment. I do a lot of that with Veracity’s website. Trying out different hosting platforms. Looking at themes, builders, and plugins. And even blogging off site. I do all of this to gain the perfect understanding for my clients. Mea culpa/ I don’t always do what I coach my clients to do. Case in point, blogging regularly.

Table of Contents

Experimenting with Hosting Platforms

Friends don’t let friends host with ___{insert any shared hosting service name}___. Why? You have zero control over what other websites are doing on the same server you’re stuck upon. Case in point, one client who is still hosting with a large shared service provider finds himself on a blacklist from time to time. Why? Because one of the 169 other sites on that same IP address has done something stupid. Yet, he still won’t move of that platform and sadly, we had to tell him we can no longer support the site. So, what’s the result of our experiment?

We currently have clients on one of four separate hosting platforms for a variety of reasons. Each of these platforms provides a dedicated virtual server (and IP address) to a client’s site. We control the configuration and, sometimes, fine tuning of server operations. All four platforms utilize Digital Ocean virtual servers. If you’d like to try these platforms out for yourself, we’ve included links below. Disclaimer: Links are affiliate links and we may receive a small commission should you decide to sign up for any of these services. This will not affect your price.

Experimenting with WordPress

Themes. builders, and plugins… oh my! One can’t begin o count the number of themes and plugins available in the WordPress ecosystem.  As far as builders go, we’ve tried Divi, Avada, WP Bakery, and Elementor.

We only develop sites in Elementor, but will support Divi and Avada as well. We have one client site using WPBakery and will support that until their license expires at which time we will migrate them to Elementor.

If you want to get started with Elementor, there is a free version of the plugin in the WordPress repository. It works best with themes designed for Elementor.

As fare as themes go, we use one of two “skeleton” themes designed for Elementor. Those are GeneratePress and Hello Elementor. We use the premium plugin for GeneratePress so that we can access additional features. For a more robust starting point, we use Neve and its premium plugin.

Our base install set of plugins is listed below. Most are paid versions and we have developer-level accounts (unlimited sites) with those indicated. Those marked with an asterisk (*) have free versions in the WordPress repository.

  • Anti-spam by Cleantalk (paid) *
  • Forminator Pro by WPMU Dev (paid) *
  • Rank Math SEO Pro (paid) *
  • Smush Pro by WPMU Dev *
  • UpdraftPlus-Backup and Restore (paid) *
  • Wordfence Seucirty (paid) *
  • WPRocket (paid)

 

Experimenting with Off-Site Blogging

This experiment turned out to be a classic fail for us. In September we used a custom domain over on Medium. Why? Because I spent a lot of time reading articles on that platform and decided to use that as a writing adventure. Again, life happened and nothing got written. As it turns out, Medium is discontinuing its custom domain feature. So, here we are… back again!

Closing Thoughts

If you’re going about this on your own, then my advice to you is to learn from our pain points. If you’d like us to help you out and benefit from our expertise, then check out our Services page to decide what’s right for you. We can always customize a plan to fit your needs!