Feb 2012 Meetup Notes: Hosting, Responsive Images, & More

Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.

Here are some after-the-fact notes from our meetup Q & A session.

Multi-site Hosting

Q: Where do you host your WordPress Multi-site installation?

Sallie: I use WPWebHost for a Multi-site installation with about a dozen sub-sites, none of which get a ton of traffic. Cost for the plan I’m on (an older plan which isn’t offered anymore) is $152 per year, including CDN. It’s a shared host but a server with fewer customers. They’re based in Singapore, which is a drawback, but e-mail service is quick to respond and helpful, even if their English isn’t perfect. If you need something like a php.ini memory upgrade, you’ll get it.

Another possibility is pSek’s WPMU hosting, starting at $15/month.

Anca has been using ZippyKid from RackSpace.

Customizing WordPress Search

Q: Is there a tool to search by custom fields?

You could try the Query Multiple Taxonomies widget, which lets you create taxonomy drill-down widgets to help people find items that are in several taxonomies at once. There’s also a Custom Field List Widget plugin (no personal experience of that).

Responsive Images

Q: Is there a way to make background images responsive?

There are two great articles about this by Chris Coyier. The first is How To: Resizeable Background Image from 2008, and the second is Perfect Full-Page Background Image from 2010. (Thanks to Anca for those references.) To make regular images responsive, see Making WordPress Images Responsive on the Blissful Interfaces blog.

Cost of WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

Q: If I switch to WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress), how much will that cost?

About $7/month for shared hosting and about $10/year for a domain name. The WordPress software itself is free. Most web hosts will install it for you (possibly with dozens of themes and plugins you don’t want) or you can download it from WordPress.org.

WordPress as a Newsletter

Q: Does  anyone know of a plugin or e-mail service that will exactly duplicate your WordPress theme in a newsletter?

Nope. There are ways to create similar designs with tools like MailChimp, aWeber, Constant Contact, etc, but none simply imports your theme design, sidebars and all. Most of the meetup members thought the client was a bit daffy for wanting this, since almost nobody sends newsletters that exactly duplicate websites. The general conclusion was that the most workable thing to do would be design the e-mail template and then build the WP site to match. Not an enviable task.

Recommendation for a WP newsletter plugin: Wysijia Newsletters

Wysija Newsletter Editor
Wysija Newsletter Editor

February 2012 Meetup Slides: Backing Up Your WordPress Site

Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.

Without backups, you could lose your entire website. This meetup covered four ways to back up your WordPress database and files:

  1. Manually, via phpMyAdmin and FTP and through your hosting control panel
  2. Using the BackupBuddy plugin from iThemes, presented by Sallie Goetsch.
    Why you’d use it: scheduling, offsite backups, comprehensive, easy site migration, easy restore, server scan and new malware scan feature.
  3. Using the VaultPress service from Automattic, presented by Anca Mosoiu.
    Why you’d use it: from the makers of WordPress, allowed by Page.ly and managed hosting services, up-to-the-minute backups, easy DB restore, security scans, lots of stats.
  4. Using the free BackWPup plugin by Daniel Husen, presented by Pieter Hartsook.
    Why you’d use it: free, more offsite backup locations than BackupBuddy, good scheduling options, easy DB restore.

There are many other WordPress backup plugins that we did not have time to cover.

[slideshare id=11772606&doc=backingupyourwordpresssite-120227132117-phpapp01]