How to Transfer a Domain Name

This is how to transfer from any registrar TO, who I consider to be sane, competent and trustworthy. I’ve had an account with them since 2001. Here’s my Web Hosting essay for more background about them.

1. go to your current registrar and log in with your account credentials
2. look around for how to transfer the registration, and initiate it; you’ll get a “transfer authorization code”
3. go to
4. click Register a Domain Only
5. fill in the stuff, and you’ll probably have to pay $9.95
6. click “I already own a domain” and enter the transfer authorization code

Ten bucks is nothing to go from insanity to sanity. GoDaddy, Spymac and several other registrars are just too much for me to look at. The simplest tasks are made impossible by horrid control panel design and rude upsell ads. I’ll take my registrations without the LSD, thanks.

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Image Upload Problems with WordPress?

Here’s the fix if your WordPress version 2.6 or 2.7 is failing on image uploads with

The uploaded file could not be moved to /var/www/vhosts/

Before you read further, please note A) these instructions are for *nix servers (typically Linux), not Windows servers, so ask your host which you have if you don’t know, B) you’ll need to ssh into your server and run command line commands, and C) I have the very macho root access to my Linux/Apache server, so I can run chown commands. Most hosts will disallow you root access, and you’ll simply have to ask your tech support to do this. That shouldn’t be a problem.

Having said that, you want the ownership and permissions to look like this for these three important directories:

wp-content drwxr-xr-x (755)  user group
uploads drwxr-xr-x (755)  apache apache
themes drwxr-xr-x (755) user group

and PHP safe_mode is OFF

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Subdomain or Subdirectory?

A client asked me if he should put a blog on a subdomain or a subdirectory, in other words or His concern was about the future: he’s heard a subdomain will scale better. Good question, but don’t let it hold up progress because it’s not that important any longer. From an SEO standpoint, conventional wisdom said to make it a subdomain. From a scaling standpoint, conventional wisdom said make it a subdirectory.

Scaling issues are good problems to have, it means you’ve got tons of traffic and are probably making a nice sum, thus able to pay someone to do work for you. Having a scaling problem is like having a boat so big it’s hard to find a marina.

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Bottom Dropping out of Ad Revenue

My various web sites have pretty good traffic, and ad revenue has been a growing slice of my income pie. In the past ~6 weeks the revenue from  Google ad spots has dropped maybe 20%*. And that’s with an increase in impressions on the order of 40%*.

The number of ads shown is going up — I’m adding different spots throughout my sites, with each of those showing more frequently — while the overall revenue is going down.

On the flipside, buying traffic has gotten cheaper. I’ve managed to reduce my average bid while keeping the amount of incoming traffic steady.

* off-the-cuff numbers