GoDaddy: Redux

Well I think the GoDaddy saga is finally behind us with a final score of GoDaddy:1 and DreamHost:2

I spent a bunch of time going back and forth with a few customers to finally get a example that GoDaddy would admit showed a problem on their end. Their answer was "Yes, there are some networking changes going on that may effect customers and we have no estimate on when it will get fixed"

As a small business owner who lives or dies by support I'm always amazed with these kinds of message -- On the one hand it's probably the truth, there are problems and they don't know when they will be fixed but on the other I wonder how you can deny problems for so long and then finally admit that, yes, there is a problem but we won't commit to fixing.

In a business as competitive as web hosting it really makes me shake my head. While GoDaddy does have some fairly low cost plans ($3.99/month) unless you have very, very simple needs you should look around at all of your options -- You might find that spending just a few dollars more gives you a lot more value.

Finally: You may notice a Google AdSense add start to appear in this blog -- Don't worry, I'm not trying to monotize it, I'm just trying to test a, errr, new RapidBlog feature.
ZZ136E38D5
-John
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GoDaddy: Crazy Making!

It's been a pretty frustrating 12 hours working on why RapidBlog is mysteriously failing for some people on GoDaddy. Someone has very nicely given me access to their GoDaddy account and I've been able to see what the problem is. The Connection is closing to blogger -- I don't know why but there it is and it's something specific to GoDaddy. So I built up a test case, about 4 lines of PHP code so we could send it to godaddy and say "Hey, this is broken" So the good news is it show the problem... sometimes. Sometimes it works fine -- Don't even ask me why. In fact I was finding that RapidBlog would work occasionally tonight but other times no. The 'glass half full' side of me wants to say they (GoDaddy) is working on the problem and it'll go away soon. So here is a link to a file with the test case. http://loghound.com/download/godaddyblog.rw3 Open it up in RapidWeaver and preview it. You should see some log messages and then eventually a bunch of XML. The final line should be tell you that it ran successfully. Now publish it somewhere on your site and look at it. It may or may not work. If it seems to work hit refresh a few times... It seems that it will eventually stop working. Let me know if this test case shows the problem. Better yet if it does send GoDaddy a support email. Give them the PHP script and tell them it's failing -- This is 100% valid PHP code. It should work. -John
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GoDaddy & RapidBlog

If you are using GoDaddy.com as your web host you are probably having problems today with RapidBlog. I don't know what is going on but the PHP script that was working fine is now dieing when it tries to query blogger.com I'm not sure what is happening but I'd recommend you contact GoDaddy support. Give them the URL to your blog and tell them that it used to work and stopped working. In case they ask. RapidBlog is working fine for other WebHosts and it's not a blogger problem. I've absolutely confirmed it with 3 customers to be specific to some change at GoDaddy. If you get an answer from GoDaddy let me know. -John
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Bundle

I get the question occasionally if I have bundle pricing. I'm happy to report that you can now get bundle pricing on all 5 plugins with and enjoy a 20% discount.

If you've been eyeing my plugins now is a great time to pick up the entire batch in one easy to order URL -- Click here to go to the order page.
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Updates

In case you haven't noticed I"ve been steadily running through my collection of plugins with small, but important, updates. See the respective change logs for details.

Tonight I pushed up a new version of RapidBlog -- A few small enhancements & bug fixes, most important is there is now a RSS Title field that you probably want to change from the default of "A Great Blog"!

I've had a few niggilng issues I'm still tracking down on RapidBlog but I feel I'm close to calling it 1.0 and starting to work on some major enhancements and new features including a archive overhaul, date localization and improved comment system.

-Jm
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Base URL

Most of my plugins require the Base URL to be set up correctly but it seems to cause a lot of confusion.

Fortunately Nik Fletcher has just published a very nice screencast on it.

It's only about 2 minutes long Highly Recommended, Don should consider hiring him (or maybe Nik should consider a competitive offering)
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too funny

Too Funny -- Some slightly adult humor and may not be work appropriate (it's not too bad but just be careful to turn down the volume)
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Lockdown

I just posted a new version of lockdown that fixes a few issues (see here for my godaddy rant). You can read the non-rant change notes here.

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GoDaddy -- The Interent Explorer of Web Hosts

I'm really loving using RapidBlog day in and day out now, it makes it much easier to keep a blog active -- I don't really know why that is except for I'm able to do it at work, the library, etc.

Anyway that's not the point of this point. The point is that I released a new version of Lockdown tonight (1.65U) that fixes a few different problems including making email work with GoDaddy.

You see GoDaddy is the 'Internet Explorer' of web hosts. Like Internet Explorer is very popular and in many ways an OK solution however like Internet Explorer it's almost, but not quite, standard. They have funky server configs and make may bizzare choices that cause me (as a developer who has 3 of his 5 plugins which require sane server configurations) a lot of headaches.

Case in point... I started getting complaints about email notification no longer working on GoDaddy. I fired up a test on my server (hosted by dreamhost.com) and all was well but after the third or forth person contacted me I dug in and figured out what had happened.

So here is the sad thing, I still don't know exactly what they did -- However I did find that by removing a single string from the email message it started working. For whatever reason GoDaddy decided that any emails containing the words "ip-lookup.net" should not go through.

I don't know, maybe they thought it was spam? Who Knows? Anyway I know use dnsstuff.com for looking up ip-addresses in the email. It's kind of frustrating because ip-lookup.net worked well but there you have it.

So I sent out the update to the folks who had problems and they all responded, to a person, that GoDaddy had been no help and showed no interest in fixing the problem -- Not at all cool.

So in honor of that I've set up a promotion code at my web host (dreamhost). It's NoDaddy Use it to get a new account and you get basically the maximum amount off I could give you (in most cases it's $97 off for the first year which makes your first year a total of about $30) -- I don't get anything out of this deal EXCEPT the satisfication of knowing more people are using a sane web hosts and it's fewer people I have to support on GoDaddy.

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RSS Feeds & Pipes

I had a strange comment appear in my inbox to a post I did about a year ago. I was scratching my head over it "Why would someone comment on such an old post". I double check my site and that looked fine.

Finally tonight I hit upon it. The RSS feeds are in order of update, not publish. So if you edit a post it pops to the top (I had been playing with some formatting) -- The question is, is this the right behavior? on NetNewWire it shows the 'updated' date as the 'date' so if you edit a post it (seemingly?) jumps to the top again -- I would have assumed the 'published' date was used for this purpose

Gotta think about this one.
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