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Opinion: HostMySite.com Problems, or The Worst Shared Hosting Company I've Ever Dealt With

First let me say that I understand that no hosting company is going to be perfect. I understand that they have to deal with issues every single day and sometimes an issue may not get resolved immediately. And now that I have gotten that off my chest, let me tell you of my experience with a hosting company called HostMySite.com.

It all started last year when I finally had it with CrystalTech. CrystalTech's tech support at the time was horrendous. I could no longer deal with the constant site crashes and abysmal support responses. So after a few weeks of scouring the web, I made the decision to move a couple of clients to HostMySite. On average, people were giving them praise and said that their tech support was superb. They were a little more expensive, but I made the assumption that this was the price I had to pay to receive better service. I had my clients buy their top shared hosting ColdFusion 8 plans.

Almost immediately after moving the site over to their server, we began to notice problems. HostMySite uses a ColdFusion server management application called "SeeFusion". I'm not 100% familiar with this program, but from what I can gather it keeps the different sites in check by making sure that they don't overload the server, kill request that take to long and handle server restarts. The error message we started to see was simply called the "java.lang.ThreadDeath" error.

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It's as if every web designer screamed "Hooray!" in unison...

Rarely do I link to news articles, but this is the best news I've heard in 5-6 years...

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/14/youtube-will-be-next-to-kiss-ie6-support-goodbye/

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Manually Add Items To The WP-eCommerce Gold Cart

WP-eCommerce Gold Cart Plug-In Hack

A friend of mine asked if I could help him out with a project he was working on. He had a client who was trying to sell some products online and the previous developers gave him exactly what he asked for. And unfortunately all they asked for was a way that their visitors could fill out a form to purchase a product. They didn't ask for the ability to view orders, update products, customer data retention, etc.

The problem was that the client really wanted a shopping cart. Something that he could use to manage his business, but because my friend and his client are a little new to the online world, they didn't specify what they wanted to the developer. And unfortunately this developer didn't take any initiative to offer additional options and suggestions.

So I took a look at the website and I realized what the developer had done, which to say the least, wasn't a lot. They basically had a form, and a PHP page that processed the form data. They didn't even take the time to e-mail the customer a receipt. Sheesh. Oh well, I told my friend that I'd look around and see if there was an off-the-shelf PHP solution that could help them out. I'll be the first to tell you that I do not specialize in coding in PHP. My background is ColdFusion, but I've done a few little PHP sites in the past and to be quite honest, I'm not scared to dive into PHP and figure something out. I have a theory, and that is if you know programming logic, you can pretty much program in any language as long as you have good reference material. Hello Google!

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ColdFusion Tips & Tricks: Components

ColdFusion Components and Var Scoping Trick

Var scoping is essential when dealing with ColdFusion Components. You can get weird results or even some hard-to-track errors if you don't do this. I'm not privy as to why this happens, I just know that it does. It's one of those mysteries that I just never bothered to research. All I know, is that sometimes it's a pain in the butt, especially when your writing a fairly complex function and you forgot to var scope an "i" in a cfloop or some other quick and dirty variable you made.

Well a few months back, I started doing something with my function variables, that I thought I would share. Not only does it solve my var problem, but it winds up making the top of my function shorter (I'm a stickler for cleanish looking code). Essentially I create a generic local struct in the begining and I'm sure to var scope it, like so:

<cfset var local = StructNew() />
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indexOf problems in Internet Explorer

Reason #592 why I hate Internet Explorer

My last step on any website design is to go through it and make sure that it works and look correct in the various flavors of Internet Explorer. I can't really say that the time spent doing this is blissful. I compare it to going to the dentist, because I never know what I'm going to find and when I do it's rarely good.

So today as I was debugging, what I thought was a very simple, JavaScript page. I came across one of those nifty "This method or function is undefined" errors from the Internet Explorer debugger. And as we all know, the IE debugger is as worthless as playing "I Spy" with a blind person.

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