Moved to Namecheap’s EasyWP WordPress Hosting

Before diving into the topic, let me reassure you.

This is not a sponsored post, so you are guaranteed to get a real feedback.

Current hosting

With my current Siteground.com 2 year hosting package reaching its renewal point, it was time for me to move to a new hosting company. As I posted on Facebook some time back, I usually change host after some time for a main reason : The renewal fee. Normally, new customers benefit from very good prices when subscribing for the first time. And if you take a 2 or 3 years subscription, the monthly fee is very competitive and interesting.

Renewing it again for another year will now cost me $240!

Additionally, I have been recently getting way too many warnings about exceeded usage CPU limit warnings although there is barely traffic to my blog. They then take the blog down for some hours.

So, personally, it makes sense for me to move somewhere else.

The hunt for a new hosting

After several days of browsing, comparing and reading reviews, I was nearly going to purchase a wordpress.com paid service at around $4 monthly but removed that one from my list because you can’t run Google Adsense to make some money. At the end, I finally opted to go for Namecheap’s managed wordpress hosting solution at $30 annually :

To summarize, it is a cloud hosting package allowing up to 50k visits monthly to a unique wordpress installation with a storage of 10GB capacity.

Before you ask questions :

  • No, you can’t use sub domains to the main installation.
  • No, you don’t have a CPanel (or other panel) interface.
  • No, you don’t have a database access. (Update 21 March 2019 : PhpMyAdmin access is now available. Read last section of this post)
  • No, you can’t do many things that you can normally on a shared hosting or a server you can manage.
  • No, you can’t connect via shell etc
  • No, you can’t use any other domain registrar except Namecheap

So, you have a customized Namecheap panel from which you can only

  • Host one active wordpress at a time
  • Get SFTP access to upload files
  • Launch backups and restores

The hidden advantages

Hide your name from online prying eyes

A free WhoisGuard to protect your real identity to avoid having to display your real phone number or email address.

Simple control panel

Anyone without technical knowledge can run a wordpress blog from scratch, without ever having to think about it again in the future. The built in Namecheap administration panel is very simple and barely has buttons to get you confused.

Performance

Being a managed wordpress service hosted on the clouds above your head, EasyWP is described as being 3 times faster than a shared hosting. Only time will tell if we can rely on the advertised words. But one thing for sure, your hosting site should not be affected by any other greedy web sites since everything is hosted separately.

The hidden costs

Namecheap as domain registrar

If you read the section above very carefully, you probably noticed the thing about the registrar. No? Scroll up and read again. To be able to use your domain on this easyWP package, you are compelled to transfer your domain to Namecheap. You can of course use the temporary secure url they offer you during your initial tests but sooner or later, you will need to move to your own domain. Hence the need to save aside an additional $10 as the transfer fee from your current registrar to Namecheap.

From their own control panel, you can manage your domains, certificates, packages and etc, just like any other domain registrar.

SSL Certificates

The second hidden cost concerns the purchase of a SSL certificate. Popular browsers, for example Google Chrome, now flag any non-https url as non secure. If you wish to move to a more secure https environment, you need to add a SSL certificate.

You can of course, generate your own certificate but you will need to do that very often (probably every 3 months) and it gets quite technical. To simplify things, I decided to invest another $10 for a ssl certificate. As a pure Mauritian, I managed to grab a discounted price of $2 for the first year! However, I can’t guarantee that you can get the same deal at some other time. To benefit from best deals, you should directly buy the SSL certificate when you are either putting the easyWP package or domain transfer in your cart.

So, adding up the costs, you should most probably invest $30 + 10 + 10 = $50 yearly

Configuring your blog

If you are starting a blog from scratch, running Namecheap’s EasyWP should be very smooth. Now, if you already have a blog, things can get a bit more complex. As long as the existing blog is quite small, you can export and import the wordpress files quite easily.

However, if you have quite a bulky blog with a large database, it can get quite complicated. I ran in a lot of issues during the configuration period but finally got the blog running as you can see.

Files can be transferred via SFTP easily and the database needs to be exported via wordpress plugins from your old blog and then imported again using the same (or other) plugins on the new hosting.

Now, since you won’t probably want any downtime, things get bad here because you will be testing using that temporary namecheap url. On top of that, the namecheap servers did get some problems just at the same time, hence making the process a bit longer.

Based on my personal experience, I will advise to follow the steps:

  • Transfer your domain to Namecheap
  • Launch a new wordpress install
  • Choose your freshly transferred domain when configuring the wordpress installation
  • Run a database import process via plugins
  • Once the blog runs on your own domain and blog posts are displayed correctly, open the SFTP access and upload the missing media (photos / videos etc) from the wp-contents/uploads/ directory. If you have a huge number of files, I recommend doing this step as a final step as this will avoid losing time and resources uploading files if you have to scrap the wordpress installation and start over again.

Using the above process, you will probably complete everything in a few hours, without any hassles but your existing blog will probably be down during this period. If you can’t afford putting your existing blog down for a few hours, then, use the temporary namecheap url during the installation and switch over to the correct one after setup. However, good to know that I got many issues when doing this specific setup.

EasyWP? Not so easy at the end of the day

Being a beta version product, the EasyWP has lots of potential, especially at this price. If this hosting formula works like a charm, there is no doubt that Namecheap will probably improve it and add new features at a competitive price.

I personally spent quite some time configuring the new wordpress installation because I mainly lost time switching from the temporary url to my yashvinblogs.com domain and vice versa. Also, as mentionned earlier, the easy wp servers experienced some technical issues just during this period. So, some functionalities were not accessible but once the issues were resolved, everything is running fine. I sincerely think that a (free?) migration service from an existing hosting to Namecheap’s EasyWP servers will definitely improve user experience

Moving away to another hosting server later should not be a big problem if ever things do not work as expected on Namecheap since files can be downloaded again via SFTP and the database backup can be easily generated through plugins.

And lastly, I can see only one problem which might not happen very soon :

So, let’s cross fingers and hope that things run smoothly for yashvinblogs.

Update : 08 November 2018 : 

Namecheap have finally introduced new packages of 50 GB and 100 GB but the renew prices are quite high :

Update : 21 March 2019

After having left comments on Namecheap’s blog post about EasyWP and on their Facebook page, I got a very good surprise in my mailbox on the 13th March 2019 :

As you can read from the screenshot above from the Product Manager :

  • Namecheap is reimbursing my hosting charges I paid for the current year.
    Woooooo! That’s nice!
  • EasyWP is now providing PHPMyAdmin for all users.
    This is a great news, as I have written previously on this same post, it was quite a problem for geeks when they need to set up their blog or migrate an existing post.

Thanks again for reading.

Cheers!

10 years of blogging

10th blogging anniversary

10 years already since I wrote the first post ever for my blog. I never imagined that the passion for blogging would still be holding a special place place in my life for so long and hopefully, for many more years to come. Throwing a party for this 10th blogging anniversary would have been a very good idea but after considering that we celebrated our engagement anniversary last month, dhanvin’s birthday + civil wedding anniversary during this week and yet, there’s the religious wedding anniversary coming for the end of October, that makes a lot of anniversaries to celebrate in a row! That’s why I wanted something different. Celebration cakes are becoming so mainstream too. So, I purchased an anniversary pizzaaaaaaaaaa along with candles! haha!

Over these 10 years, I have not only enjoyed sharing my ideas, views and experiences through my blog post but I have also built a large network of friends and acquaintances from various parts of the globe. Although it looks weird when a complete stranger waves a hand or says “hi” to share some quick words about the blog, I always find it an immense pleasure to constantly meet new people around and to know that people actually read the blog! This said, I also made some enemies on a few occasions, received (virtual) threats but this did not stop me.

The history of the blog

Some of you might probably want to learn more about the story behind the blog? If you just nodded your head, click here to head over to this page if you have some minutes.  You can also get some more details in the about section.

What has changed over the years?

While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have pretty much changed the way people express themselves over the past years, I believe that blogs are still playing a crucial role on the internet. For example, a search on the web is more likely to list reliable web sites and blogs rather than a bunch of social network posts. Additionally,  I’m sure that you might agree that information found on social networks sometimes need to taken with a pinch of salt. However, there’s one thing for sure :

yashvinblogs.com will always provide you with invaluable information that you can  trust.

Since very few Mauritians are still blogging about their passion, adventures, travels and personal experiences, it is pretty much challenging to maintain an active Mauritian blogging community and gather everyone around a lunch. I understand that it takes lots of time and inspiration to keep a blog active too. For example, a few years back, I was able to write a new post every 3 days as compared to the monthly average of 3 articles I achieve nowadays. While comments are pretty rare nowadays, same cannot be said for Facebook message requests : they practically keep me busy during my free time! lol

 

What’s in for the future?

wordpress paid plans

I have been constantly procrastinating on this project :

Build all my content (personal web site, family portal and photoblog) around this blog domain before grabbing a paid (and hassle-free) wordpress.com hosting plan. However, I’m still considering this option as I will need to drop my Google Adsense adverts and move towards their WordAds program or probably remove all adverts. Also, migrating everything to a single domain and hosting will take some time, especially to allow search engines to update their links.

Thanks again!

ten

I grab this occasion to again heartily thank everyone who contributed in some way or other to the blog and its success. I also know that there are lots of fans out there. Thank you for your support during all those years! Don’t hesitate to drop a few words on the blog or through a Facebook message / mail.

And to all those who constantly ask me “blog ki position”, “ki to prochain blog la?” or “to pu blog lo sa la?” :

YES! KEEP TUNED FOR UPDATES 🙂

Happy blogging! Cheers!

Don’t publish anything if you haven’t anything to say…

 

Copy Paste

For several weeks now, I have noticed a growing number of new Mauritian web sites sharing hot and sensational news. This isn’t a new phenomenon on the web but very recently, several new web sites appeared, mainly on the news-feed of Mauritian fellows.

Their modus operandi is pretty simple :

  1. Subscribe to all the local press web sites or popular Facebook pages / personal profiles.
  2. Copy paste the articles and pictures onto their pages.
  3. Upload original videos onto their own accounts.
  4. Create a large number of fake Facebook accounts in order to post links to their pages
  5. Use various strategies to make people comment on Facebook posts in order to make the posts go viral.

Sometimes, you might even get confused when trying to look for the original article :

Copycats 2

With eye-catching keywords in the title or web site link, they target large number of visits in order to rise rapidly in popularity. In order to maximize the visitors, they don’t hesitate to

  • Play with words
  • Use hot pictures, most often completely unrelated to the topics.
  • Purchase official domain names to original web sites
  • Implement the same web site design in order to mislead people.

Copy TopFM

 

Copycat 3

Unfortunately, the web site owners run great risk especially when duplicating content from the press and individuals, without their authorization. While they might think that they are safe when running behind anonymous domain name registrations, there exist multiple ways to get back to them. I have personally came across many such web sites copying my content before and fortunately, I have been able to make things clear.

My advice to these people : Create your own content and built yourself an online identity. Stop being a copycat! At the end of the month, you still need to pay your bills, unless you live under your parents’ roof or in jail. Stealing doesn’t last forever.

Yashvinblogs.com : The origins

Ever wondered how the the domain name yashvinblogs.com was chosen? Here’s the story.

Hello.

If you follow me on Facebook, you can’t have missed that superb feast I posted yesterday night. Along with my ex-colleagues, we have been back to one of our favorite Friday hang-out spots to catch up and enjoy our usual fried fish dishes. At one particular moment, we started talking about the blog and Ashvin suggested to write on the origins of the domain name yashvinblogs.com. In fact, he was totally right since I never revealed how the domain name was chosen and publicly announced shortly before I celebrated the blog’s 2nd anniversary in October 2008.

Formerly yashvin.net

For those who have been reading the blog since the beginning, you probably remember me writing on yashvin.net which I acquired in March 2008. Today, my rarely-updated photo blog is accessible on that web address. Only married ones can understand how priorities and hobbies change.

Everything was running smoothly for the blog until I decided to change hosting servers and at that point of time, yashvin.net was not legally on my name. To avoid taking any risks of having the blog shut down while resolving any possible conflict with the ownership of yashvin.net, I decided to buy a new domain name and grab this opportunity to ‘rebrand’ the blog accordingly.

Choosing a new domain name

Taking life-long decisions is probably one of the hardest things in life. Well, choosing a new domain name was similar. It was very painful to think about what could represent the new blog and how the choice could turn out to be beneficial to the site’s referencing in search engines and memorable so that visitors did not have to think hard before typing the web address in their browser.

Next, I had to take another decision : Should I take a .mu, the country code top-level domain of Mauritius? For those who don’t know the “.mu” is privately-owned and the government is struggling to get its ownership. Right from the beginning, I decided to abandon the “.mu” because of the exagerated costs associated with it. For info, a “.mu” account costs around Rs2,000 yearly while a “‘com” or ‘.net” one costs only Rs400 yearly.

For several days, I tried every combination of words which were still available. Then, I decided to get some advice from friends. And during one of our conversations at work, Ashvin had a brilliant suggestion. That’s what he said :

Since you love to blog, why don’t you use the words ‘yashvin blogs‘ ?

yashvinblogs

yashvin blogs : It sounded nice. And still sounds as nice today, 6 years later. And hopefully, for more and more years to come, provided I have that same enthusiasm and time to find new and hot blog topics. btw, suggestions for new blog posts are the most welcomed.

That’s how yashvinblogs.com was born.

So, thank you Ashvin 😉

 

The power to surprise

Welcome back to the blog.
You have surely noticed the new look in here, the fresh colors and the new layout. Welcome to the new yashvinblogs.com 🙂

FreshLook2014

Life is full of surprises. You are the one who hold the power to choose if they are gonna be good and memorable ones or not.

With these words, I hope that you like the new look which brings in some fresh new colors to the blog.

If you are using a mobile or a tablet to read the blog right now, it will be completely different from what is shown in the main picture above. For the non-geeks, we call this a “responsive” web design. Such designs optimize themselves to the different screen sizes by adapting themselves to show, hide or minimize some areas of the design layout. This has been the trend since quite some time now and even the previous blog design was as such. To be frank, I was kinda bored with the previous one that was on the blog since August 2013.

However, if anyone asks me which one was my favorite, I will definitely reply without any hesitation : the Arthemia theme which I slightly customized back in January 2009.

Thank you for being tuned to the blog!

See you soon!

Fresh and new look out here… Welcome back!

NewYashvinblogs

Warm welcome to the new version of the blog.

As you noticed at first glance, the look and feel around the blog have changed. For months, I was actively looking for something new to give a fresh look to the blog, which had not been revamped since January 2009! It was very hard for me to find something different from other blogs. And finally, yesterday, I came across the DW Minion theme. Wow. It was exactly what I wanted!
Continue reading “Fresh and new look out here… Welcome back!”

Quelques mots du “bloggeur du village”

Hier, l’apparition de l’article intitulé “Le bloggeur du village” dans le quotidien “Le Matinal” a certainement surpris plus d’un. Cette édition du journal a vite fait le tour du bureau alors que les “likes” continuent à pleuvoir sur ma page de Facebook.

BloggeurDuVillage_HighRes

Hier, l’apparition de l’article intitulé “Le bloggeur du village”  dans le quotidien “Le Matinal” a certainement surpris plus d’un. Cette édition du journal a vite fait le tour du bureau alors que les “likes” continuent à pleuvoir sur ma page de Facebook. L’article n’est pas disponible sur le net mais vous pouvez le lire en cliquant sur l’image ci-dessus.

Même si l’article en question fait mes éloges, je tiens cependant à apporter quelques précisions:

  • Je ne travaille plus à DCDM Consulting depuis maintenant presque 2 ans.
  • Bien que j’accorde un intérêt aux développement de mon village comme tout autre habitant, je dirai que je ne suis pas impliqué, directement ou même indirectement. Je voulais absolument éclaircir ce point afin que le public n’ai pas une perception que l’article stipule que je suis impliqué sur le terrain.

Et pour combler le tout, je n’ai jamais accordé aucun entretien à Le Matinal.

Oui, effectivement. Je n’ai pas seulement jamais rencontré des journalistes mais je n’ai jamais dit ou approuvé un seul mot de ce qui a été écris, même pas la citation qui a été publiée en gros caractères! Par contre, j’ai bel et bien été contacté par une journaliste mais faute de temps, j’ai refusé à répondre aux questions dans l’immédiat.

Suite à cette publication, j’ai pris contacte avec les journalistes pour exprimer mon mécontentement; même si c’est une fierté d’avoir été mentionné dans la presse ( sans pour autant avoir commis aucun crime, vol ou viol). Une image toute à fait différente de moi a été projetée: mon intégrité personnel ainsi que professionnel peuvent être remis en question. Je ne sais pas s’il aura une suite à cette histoire de ma part ou celle de la rédaction du journal mais c’était éthiquement incorrecte.

Merci pour votre attention et bon weekend à tous.

Mise à jour (28 Aout 2013):

Apres les excuses de la journaliste par mail et téléphone, Le Matinal a publié le rectificatif suivant ce matin :

Rectificatif

Bloggers Meeting 2013 – Bagatelle

Finally! Official bloggers meeting held on 20th April 2013 at Bagatelle.

wpid-bloggers

This event was long awaited, especially since the last one was held back in December 2011. Today, we finally met at Bagatelle for lunch. Very enriching and interesting, this kind of event is a great opportunity to meet and interact with other people sharing the same passion as well as sharing tips and personal experiences. It also allows us bloggers to tag a face to a specific blog 🙂

Thanks again to all those who turned up today:

And hope to see more people active in the Mauritian Blogosphere!

6 years… Happy blog anniversary :-)

My little baby turned 6 today 🙂
Happy blog anniversary!

If you are a regular visitor here, you already know how much I love blogging, ever since I started 6 years back. A wonderful and enriching experience. However, unlike last year, there’s no celebration like the cake-cutting. This year, it will simply sweet-sharing with colleagues (who are only looking for another additional reason to get some sweets.)

There’s no big team behind the blog. Only me. Forever alone, lol. Without your support and participation, it would not have been so fun. So, thank you again for being here regularly.

Happy anniversary to my lil baby!

xx Yashvin xx

Previous blogging anniversary posts : 1234 and 5.

Three cheers for the Blog Day 2012!

Since a couple of years already, bloggers from different parts of the world have been celebrating the Blog Day (journée mondiale du blog) on the 31st August.

Since a couple of years already, bloggers from different parts of the world have been celebrating the Blog Day (journée mondiale du blog) on the 31st August. To commemorate this day, the Defimedia group has published an article in yesterday’s edition of the DefiQuotidien, in which the concept of blogging is introduced, altogether with a few words by Mauritian bloggers, describing their personal experience around this activity. I must add that it is probably the first time that this event is given some importance in the island.

(Above extracts are from Le Defi Quotidien – 30th August 2012)

Additionally, RadioPlus also called me yesterday for a short talk about my blog. Nothing is sure for yet, but it should be on air today on RadioPlus. [Update : No “me” on the radio]

Many thanks to the Defimedia group for covering this special day and bringing the concept of blogs to a wider audience. Grabbing this same opportunity, my thanks also goes to Scope Magazine for their previous articles here and here. Many people perhaps do not realise that apart from the traditional media, Mauritian blogs have been contributing a lot to your daily quest for information related to Mauritius and life here.

Before the final words, please do visit the few recently active Mauritian blogs in my personal bookmarks :

  • Nawsheen’s world – http://nawsheenh.blogspot.com/
  • Moricienneries – http://moricienneries.wordpress.com/
  • Schéhérazade – http://chocotique.blogspot.com/
  • Carrotmadman6’s photoblog – http://carrotmadman6.blogspot.com/
  • Benzedid – http://benzedid.blogspot.com/
  • IslandCrisis – http://www.islandcrisis.net/
  • Heaven on a Spoon – http://inspiredtobake.wordpress.com
  • Priscimon – http://priscimon.com/blog/
  • C’est reparti! – http://c-est-reparti.blogspot.com/
  • Ibiza Mauritius – http://ibizamu.blogspot.com
  • Noulakaz – http://www.noulakaz.net/
  • Sansconcessions – http://sansconcessions.wordpress.com/
  • Ashesh – http://asheshr.com/
  • Pramod – http://pramoduniverse.com/
  • And of course, Mauritius Blog List – http://blebon.com/mauritian-blogs

Whether you have been writing essays/assignments, conducting research works, trying to voice out your concerns on the net, looking for recipes or some solutions to problems in your daily life or finding out how to purchase items on the net, you have surely (and perhaps unknowingly) stumbled on one of the blogs, written by a fellow Mauritian. You have probably never left a comment or shared that article among your friends and family members but we, bloggers, consider that precious visit of yours as one of the reasons motivating us to continue writing, without expecting any favor in return.

Happy Blogging Day 🙂

Thank you for reading.