So, this morning I decided to run speed tests on one of my other blogs just for giggles. I’d been pondering moving one of my sites to a different hosting company and paying for their VPN service (a developer that I occasionally hire recommends the Dreamhost VPN service). But a few months ago I’d received an email from Bluehost introducing their CloudFlare service so I decided to look into that first.
Here’s what I did to get CloudFlare working on my WordPress site:
- Before enabling CloudFlare (or any website speed improvement software for that matter) I strongly recommend that you baseline your website’s current performance by running “before” and “after” speed tests.I used Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool which is easy to use and gives you great information on how you can speed up your site. By default your speed report will be based on what your visitors experience when accessing your site from a desktop however you can also run a report that gives you great data on what your mobile visitors (those accessing your site via smartphones and tablets) are experiencing.
- Here’s what Google PageSpeed Insights reported about my site in their Desktop report (click on the image to see the report in full screen mode):
NOTE: the data in the report is real but I Photoshopped out my domain and replaced it with a bogus one.
- As you can see I got a score of 81 out of 100. Okay, we can do better than that, right? Notice how nicely Google gives you information on the areas you need to improve. When you get the report you can click on the hyperlinks to get even more information. BTW, the score that I got from running the Mobile report was a 72. Yikes, that’s not good.
- Okay, now that we know our scores let’s log in to our cPanel in Bluehost and activate CloudFlare. You’ll find the CloudFlare icon in the Domains section of cPanel:
- Click the CloudFlare icon. On the CloudFlare screen you’ll see the list of CloudFlare features on the left side of the screen, comparing the Free version with the Paid version:
- A list of your current Bluehost domains will appear on the right side of the screen. All of your domains will be listed as “Inactive”:
- To activate CloudFlare click the “Activate” link beside the domain whose performance you want to improve. Give Bluehost a few seconds to process your request.
- If you don’t see the word “Active” beside your domain name, click the actual “cloud” icon beside your domain name. This happened to me but after clicking the cloud icon the word “Active” appeared beside my domain:
- Click on the “Settings” link to see which CloudFare features have been enabled for your domain (I didn’t change any of the default settings):
- Click the “Stats” link to view site visitor information (when you first enable CloudFlare you may not see anything):
- Now, you’re ready to launch your website to see if you notice a difference in page load speed. Check it out!
- Now, when I did that my SITE WOULDN’T LOAD! I received a redirect error. So I had to call Bluehost for support.
If you have this problem, here’s how to resolve it (this is what the Bluehost technician did):
- Change your domain so “www” is included in the siteurl: This may be necessary since CloudFlare changes your domain to include the “www.” For example: startups101.com vs. www.startups101.com. To fix this, go back to the main cPanel screen, scroll down to the Databases section and access phpMyAdmin. A list of all of the databases associated with your WordPress sites will appear.
- If you have multiple WordPress sites hosted at Bluehost and don’t know which database to select from the list on the left, an easy way to find the right one is to click on each database individually and then click on the wp_options table. You’ll see “siteurl” near the top of the info. that appears. To select a different WordPress database, click the drop-down arrow near the top left of the screen. Later, rinse, and repeat until you find the correct WordPress database.
- Once you find the right database, you’ll need to change the “siteurl” entry by adding “www”. Do this by clicking the “Edit” link on the “siteurl” row in the table. Add “www” to your domain name. The Bluehost changed my domain name from “http://startups101.com” to “http://www.startups101.com”. Make your change and then click the Save button at the bottom of the screen.
- Next, the Bluehost technician had to modify the Redirect settings for two other blogs of mine. I have two domains that redirect visitors to this domain. To fix this go back to the main cPanel screen, scroll down to the Domains section and click the “Redirects” icon.
- From there, click the arrow beside “http://(www.)?” and select the domain that’s being redirected to your CloudFlare domain. In the “redirects to –>” box enter the domain it’s being redirected to WITH the “www”. For example: http://www.startups101.com.
- Make sure the option “Redirect with or without www” is selected and then click the Add button.
- The table on the page should be updated so the column titled “Match www” has “Yes” listed for the domain you just modified.
- Repeat this process for other domains being redirected to your CloudFlare domain.
- That’s it, you’re done! Try accessing your site again and everything should work just fine.
Have you done a Google search today? If so, you may have noticed that they have PAC MAN on their home page. And it works!
Today is the 30th anniversary of PAC MAN – that’s why Google has it up on their Search page.
How to Play Google PAC MAN
Just click on “Insert Coin”, wait a few seconds, and the game will start. Click your mouse on top of the yellow dots near your PAC MAN player in order to “eat” them. You’ll need to click on top of the yellow dots (really fast) in order to guide your PAC MAN player around the game board.
To get extra points, gobble up the blue PAC MAN figures and the pink circles. However, you need to AVOID the PAC MAN players. If one of them eats you the game is over.
My high score thus far is 3,370. See if you can beat it!
I just finished reading several responses to a Darren Rowse post titled “The Third Tribe” in which he announces a new service he’s providing called, interestingly enough, “The Third Tribe.” His business partners for this venture are Chris Brogan, Brian Clark and Sonia Simone.
To put it simply, Darren says that there are currently two tribes in internet marketing:
Tribe Scummy: these are the guys that sell useless products that promise to make you rich overnight. They know their products won’t do this but that’s not a concern; it’s all about getting you to purchase their product(s).
Tribe Chummy: these are the folks that live for the interact. They’re interested in building online relationships or “communities”. Making money online doesn’t appear to be a primary focus. Or, if it is, they’re failing at it.
So, where does The Third Tribe fit in?
They fall somewhere between Tribe Scummy and Tribe Chummy. They use other words in their sales pitch but the underlying message is that their new program falls between the two aforementioned internet marketing extremes – in other words, their new program is a “best fit.”
I can’t help but think of the fairy tale “Goldilocks And The Three Bears”:
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
“This porridge is too cold,” she said.
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.
According to Rowse The Third Tribe is that third bowl of porridge. Pull up to the table with your credit card and have a bite.
In return you’ll receive:
-A monthly audio class or webinar
-A copy of “The Quick Start Guide to Making Money Online”
-A 3+ hour seminar series on “Building a Business Around a Blog”
-2 monthly live Q&A calls with one of the Tribe experts
-Special deals and members-only discounts on products
I’m guessing most of this will teach you how to make money in a non-Tribe Scummy way and the forum/Q&A calls will let you interact in a non-Tribe Chummy setting with other people just like you who want to know how to make money online by blogging.
And that leads me to the article written by Papa Bear himself titled The Third Tribe More Useless Blogging Nonsense. You see, Griz asserts that the audience for this new program isn’t really internet marketers, it’s bloggers. Griz says “Selling soap to people looking for soap is internet marketing.” He also says (and this is key) “nothing they espouse will teach a soul how to A) Succeed in a non blogger/social traffic niche – ya’ know, that big part of the internet where the visitor has never heard of “Affiliates” or is even remotely interested in learning how to be a Blogger – they just dropped in looking for a George Forman Grill.”
Bingo. That’s what prompted me to write this post. What Griz said really resonates with me. Why? Because I’m making the transition from a blogger to something closer to an internet marketer. This blog is an example of the start of that journey. It’s a blog about blogging. I started out in 2007 with high hopes that this blog would bring in enough money (in a short time) to allow me to purchase a new car. Yup, that’s how much I’d bought in to the Tribe Scummy hype.
I then started listening to Tribe Chummy people and thought that building RSS feed subscribers was the way to go. I didn’t really understand how that was going to translate into a paycheck but the A-listers kept bragging about their subscribers and heck, they were making LOTS of money. Clearly popularity must be the key to making money online.
I floundered like that for over a year before I discovered Griz, Vic and Court in 2008. Because of them I now have niche sites that provide information on specific products; sites that bring in passive income because of the amount of targeted search traffic they receive. But I’ll tell you, I was so entrenched in the “blogger” mentality that I sometimes forgot that my sites no longer catered to bloggers. Here’s a great example of that:
Near the end of 2008 I ran a contest on my site for a free gift. To enter the contest you had to write about my site on your blog and link back to the site. I even provided everyone with the anchor text to use.
The contest was a complete failure.
Why? Because I’d forgotten that my visitors weren’t bloggers, they were people who’d come to the site looking for specific products. As such I never got one properly anchored backlink. Heck, most of my visitors had no clue what I was talking about. You see I had a bunch of people looking for soap and I was treating them like bloggers.
If The Third Tribe wants to help others succeed it will provide a structured program that teaches proven, repeatable internet marketing skills.
These guys teach you how to sell soap to people who want to buy soap. Not how to sell soap to people selling soap.
In closing, The Tribe Has Spoken. It’s time to leave Blogger Island, enter the world of internet marketing and start making money.