Running WordPress in the Cloud – And how to Cause Unnecessary Problems doing so

When it comes to the “Cloud”, people tend to get immediately excited and think that it is the holy grail of modern technology. Especially, not so tech adept people love the sound of infinite scalability and paying only for what you use. Plus the buzz words cloud computing just sound kind of cool.

I just had a customer who insisted on using the cloud in a very illogical way. All of the arguments, such as higher maintenance overhead and initial setup costs, were not enough reason to dissuade the client from wanting to move the software to the cloud. But since the customer is king, I carried it out as they wished.  Read More…

Offline Documentation and Snippets for Programming Languages and Frameworks: Dash

I just came across an awesome tool for developers that makes the documentation of all major programming languages, frameworks and libraries available offline on your computer: Dash

You can download the full documentations to your computer for offline use. From PHP to Python, MySQL, Zend, django, TYPO3, CSS, HTML, drupal to SASS and many more. They automatically update themselves, so that you always have the latest versions. Afterwards, you can browse them using a local fulltext search. This makes it even faster than looking up code snippets and other documentation via Google search. Google and Stackoverflow search results are also implemented in the app.

On top, you don’t even have to rely on an internet connection, which makes you completely location independent with your workplace. That was one of the main reasons I could not work in locations with slow internet connections, such as coffee shops etc.

This program is now added to my list of favorite tools to work with.

It is available for Mac OS and comes with a fully functional free version. (You only have to wait a couple of seconds for search results every now and then). The full version without delayed search results costs 17,99 EUR.

You can download the app from the AppStore here: Dash

How to Install PostgreSQL with PostGIS on Amazon EC2 Linux

I recently ran into some problems running PostgreSQL with PostGIS on Amazon EC2 Linux when I tried to update the software. So I decided to write a little guide about how you can install PostgreSQL with PostGIS without any unexpected downtimes.

Note: If you plan to run PostgreSQL with PostGIS in the Amazon Cloud, I would preferably choose their managed database service RDS, for which they announced support of PostgreSQL and PostGIS just a couple of weeks ago. However, if you need to run the database with other software on the same machine or if you want to install your own server for other reasons, the following guide might help you. Read More…

SSL vs Ad Industry – Problems Integrating Ads on Secure Websites

When we wanted to integrate the big ad and affiliate networks on our website, I was very surprised about the lack of SSL support. Most of the ad network providers either did not offer SSL support at all or could not guarantee that all assets that needed to be loaded could be served over a secure HTTPS connection.

When we implemented those services, occasionally an asset (image or video ads) would be loaded over HTTP. This caused a serious warning about insecure content to appear on the client side, which led to an unacceptable user experience.

Since we have NSA affairs, hacked website reports on a daily basis and other security breaches to deal with, I really would have expected a full support of HTTPS by many more ad providers. Hopefully, they will add that in the near future to make the web a more secure place.

For now, we have integrated Plista on unserort, but are considering to change our server configurations to serve content via HTTP. That way we can add a broader range of ad providers to our site for better monetization.

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