Web Development

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How I Changed My WordPress Hosting & Why – Part 1

So Why Change?

I’ve been using my blog all wrong. Now please don’t misunderstand me, the intention at the very start of this website was two fold. Learn more about WordPress and give myself more of a presence on the net. But I will explain the bit that I got wrong and how I should change it later. For now I will tell you the story of what I’ve been doing with my site recently by starting at the beginning.

Start of My Adventures With WordPress

The beginning of this site started off fairly easily using the free and simple wordpress.com hosting service. Which very soon proved too good to be true as its limitation was apparent almost as soon as I started. The main benefits of WordPress can be seen when you get past all the nice things, like how easy it is to post articles and change how it looks. Then you want to change how it runs and see what else WP can do. This is achieved with the use of plugins. Something the free service at wordpress.com doesn’t provide by design. They want you to pay for that. But there are many providers wanting to offer you this as well. Eventually I decided that the offer of a free domain and monthly charges of £6 from GoDaddy was enticing enough to go for. Indeed I’ve stuck with them for a few years now.

My site as it used to look with the GoDaddy theme

Simple succeeds: Visual Studio Code at 1.0

I have found myself using Microsoft’s new code editor Visual Studio Code more and more these days. It’s a simple and quick alternative to the does everything Visual Studio 2015. Its layout, file handling and keystrokes keep drawing me back to it from VS2015 and even from Notepad++. This is my editor of choice now. Below is an article from InfoWorld on it, with links to Visual Studio Code.

Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s open source, cross-platform development environment powered by Node.js and the Blink layout engine has been upgraded to a full 1.0 release after approximately a year of open beta testing.

According to a blog post on the Visual Studio site, Code became a 1.0-grade product because its API has been stabilized. Code was originally created for JavaScript and TypeScript development, but it now supports common languages like C++, Python, Go, and React Native.

The runup to 1.0 has been about enhancing Code’s performance and making it into “a great editor for every developer,” including those using non-Western languages — nine languages total are currently supported — and those with visual impairments.

Much of the other work has been dedicated to producing a stable API for the application, so third-party language support going forward will be easier to maintain. Around 1,000 extensions are available for Code, providing themes, support for different languages, and enhancements for libraries in those languages.

The add-ons available for Visual Studio Code 1.0 include support for a plethora of languages, including Go, Python, and many flavors of JavaScript.

A large part of Visual Studio Code’s appeal is that it presents a lightweight, unobtrusive environment, where a developer installs only the items needed for a given job. It’s in sharp contrast to the product’s namesake, Visual Studio, which comes with most everything a developer might need, but is sprawling, complex, and not open source.

The contrasts between the two products are playing out like long-term experiments to see which approach will hold up best over time. Visual Studio is emblematic of Microsoft’s old school and is designed to serve Microsoft users first — though Microsoft has been working to heighten its appeal to newer generations of developers by slimming it down and even offering a functional for-free version. Visual Studio Code is powered as much by open source contributors as it is Microsoft, and it was built for the cross-platform, cross-environment development that Microsoft has admitted it must be part of.

Source: Simple succeeds: Visual Studio Code at 1.0 | InfoWorld

Microsoft Launches a New API for OneDrive

OneDrive API

I’ve always liked Microsoft OneDrive and this could be a good way of sharing your files between your web apps and mobile apps. I’ve had a little project on the back burner for a while. Maybe a reason to dust it off now.

Despite recent partnerships with Dropbox, Box and other cloud storage solutions, Microsoft isn’t giving up on OneDrive: the company is today launching a new API for the platform.

The new tool lets developers integrate OneDrive right into their apps; the API supports Windows, iOS, Android and the Web.  It also brings some new features, such as:

  • Allow apps to retrieve new changes to files and folders with minimal sync calls
  • Resume uploads of files up to 10GB
  • Customizable file thumbnail images for better design integration

Previously, developers had to use the Live SDK in order to integrate OneDrive into their apps; though that will still work, Microsoft is encouraging developers to shift towards the new API because of its new features.

Interested developers can check out the new API at Microsoft’s hub.

Source: The Next Web – Microsoft Launches a New API for OneDrive.

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Change of Hosting – A Good Move

I enjoyed my fling with WordPress.com but that affair came to a quick end. Don’t get me wrong it really has it advantages. Being completely free, it proved itself to be a great introduction to WordPress by the people who know the most about it.

Setting up my site was fun but I came to wondering a couple of things. Firstly how do I get the domain I currently own to work with it and, secondly how do I use all those plugins people talk about that can make your WordPress site into something special with little effort?

As it turns out the answer to the first question is a simple “that will be £9 please”. In an effort to make a little money out of people using WordPress.com for free, is to charge for the little things of course. They actually stop you from redirecting to your site with domain forwarding unless you pony up for the extra domain mapping option. All the extra options are available in the shop section that sits in the dashboard of site created in WordPress.com. I was tempted but the second question I had, was the one point that made me look elsewhere.