Note: This is an old interview published in August 2013.
Jeff Starr (blog at Perishable Press, Twitter @Perishable) is the go-to guy when you have a problem with your WordPress blog. An editor, a book author, a web developer, and a well-recognized WordPress guru – Jeff has influenced and helped thousands, if not more, of bloggers and web developers with his writing.
In today's blogger interview, we are honored to have Jeff Starr as our guest to share his experience and advice in web hosting. Without further ado, we present our interview with this very talented and fascinating WP expert.
Q1: Hi Jeff, thanks a lot for being with us today. Let's start with some introduction! What can we know more about yourself and your new project WP-Tao.
I am a professional designer, developer and author with a new book called the Tao of WordPress. It contains the sum of my 8+ years working with WordPress all boiled down into a focused guide for beginners and users. It covers the entire process of building awesome sites with WordPress, including everything from hosting and configuration to security, optimization, customization and beyond. I hope that you will check it out.
Q2: We know Perishable Press is hosted on a DV server at Media Temple. Are you currently happy with the web host?
Yes, very happy with Media Temple.
Moving around from host to host over the course of my 10+ years online, I've found Media Temple to provide affordable, awesome hosting and excellent customer service.
Q3: Great, it's good to know that you are satisfied with your current web host. What makes you chose Media Temple at the first place?
It was around 2009 and I had been hosted at “A Small Orange” (on a shared server) for a couple of years.
The servers were inconsistent and the support staff (with an exception or two) was pretty horrible, so I finally got fed up and decided to find something better. After much research I finally chose Media Temple because of their reported 1) consistency/uptime, 2) excellent customer service, 3) not too crazy expensive pricing. So at that time I stepped up from mediocre shared hosting to Media Temple's VPS (dv) hosting.
I've been happy ever since.
Q4: What is the traffic size is Perishable Press getting in term of unique visitors or pageviews; and how much do you spend in hosting monthly to accommodate your visitors?
Well the thing to keep in mind is that Perishable Press is just one of my 12 or so websites.. they all reside on the same server, and collectively consume a LOT of resources.
Without stating any specific numbers, the amount I pay per month to host my entire collection of projects and sites is around $100 or so. Actually, I'm glad you asked this question because it gets me thinking that I need to look again a bit closer at my current setup and maybe reevaluate things.
Q5: Jeff, security is always a major concern to many WordPress users – myself included. Without sharing too many secrets, can you tell us what are you doing to protect Perishable Press from hackers and spammers? And, what is your advice in this issue to our readers?
Stay current, stay informed, don't get lazy, don't assume anything, double-check everything, don't use pirated plugins/themes/scripts/etc., keep an eye on server logs, and scan/monitor everything.
In short, know thy server.
Beyond those key steps, I install my 6G Blacklist and keep a close eye on traffic/server/error logs. I'm virtually sitting right there in front of my sites, watching everything that happens. Someone/something even looks sideways and they're blocked in less than 3 seconds. I love security, and encourage anyone who is serious about online success to spend some quality time getting into it. It's good for your site, and hey it can be a lot of fun stopping the bad guys.
That's all for my questions, I couldn't thank you enough for your time. Is there anything you wish to add before we end this Q&A session?
Thank you for the interview!