Viral campaigns with maitre

At Trustroots we’re experimenting with virality. I found maître, and it looked awesome. I reached out and they gave us a 50% discount. Great start. We setup the campaign, deployed, and then found a small glitch and had difficulty with our specific use case. Chatted with their support, and by the time I read their reply, they had deployed all three suggestions I made.

They’ve set a whole new bar for exceptional customer service. If you want to run viral campaigns, I highly recommend checking them out via my affiliate link!

Problems with SiteGround

I recently ditched all but one of my dedicated servers and decided to switch to shared hosting for all my PHP / WordPress sites. First I tried TMDHosting, had a serious issue, cancelled that, and then switched to SiteGround. I prepaid for 2 years. Might have been a big mistake.

Site disappeared

First, an entire site disappeared from their server. I had a copy in an old backup, but otherwise the site files and database had disappeared. Their support had nothing useful to say, and suggested it had to be my mistake. Possible, but highly unlikely that I accidentally deleted both the files and the database.

Sites offline

Yesterday I had an issue with permissions. There were 4 .well-known folders in my sites directory that were owned by root. I noticed because the letsencrypt installer didn’t work. Created a ticket, they fixed permissions on 1 of the 4 directories I had listed. I updated the ticket. They replied saying they’d fixed all 4. Many of my sites went down. 403 error.


I’m travelling in Seville. I was out. I turned around and went back to the apartment, jumped on live chat. They told me that somebody would reply to my ticket within 20 minutes and there was nothing else they could do. I logged in, checked permissions, found one site that worked, and fixed the problem.

Turns out that on several of my htdocs folders, the “other” r-x permissions had been removed. Evidently nginx was unable to access my sites. Today I see a reply to the ticket saying that they didn’t change anything, and they’re glad my sites work again. WTF?

What do I do now?

Two serious failures. The second caused real downtime, albeit a few minutes because I fixed it myself. Any recommendations on a good shared hosting provider? What do I do about my 2 year prepayment?

Social posting from WordPress

Now that composer is shutting down, I’m looking at how to send posts to Facebook, Twitter, and maybe LinkedIn while keeping the original here on my WordPress site.

The most “official” option is JetPack from Automattic, the makers of WordPress. It’s easy to setup, but it doesn’t work perfectly on Twitter for my setup. I spent today trying options, including this plugin. The plugin is a bit complex to setup, but is super powerful. You need to pay for Google+ support though.

The only change I wanted to make to Jetpack was to use the post content as a title on Twitter, when there is no title. So if I post a status update with just a body, that should go to Twitter, not an empty title an a link to the blog post.

I started here. Turns out that approach doesn’t work. Or at least, after 4 hours of debugging, I couldn’t get it to work. No, in fact, I’m 90% sure it doesn’t work after I finally read the Jetpack code. Wow, what a time sink that turned out to be.

Finally, I got it running. I use the publicize_save_meta hook, check if we’re publishing to Twitter, and if we are, and there’s no post title, and no custom message already set, I set the custom message to the post body, trimmed.

Full panel of STI tests on Friday. Results today, all tests clear. Always nice to get confirmation. 🙂

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Just boarded a train for Prague and apparently a whole carriage full of people were just robbed before I got on. Upside of being late!

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At CDG delayed 30 minutes for a 22:30 arrival at Tegel which has a 23:00 curfew. Here's hoping we make it in time… 🙂

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AutoEurope / Hertz Scam

Just returned the car I booked through AutoEurope, delivered by Hertz at CDG. They informed me that there would be a €60 charge. When I asked why, it turns out that they wrote in the small print on my voucher that there would be a €40 “airport surcharge” and then €3 per day tax.

Of course, nobody mentioned this when I picked up the car. It’s a blatant scam.

Avoid AutoEurope like the plague, and be especially careful if you see the name Dollar or Hertz anywhere on the rental. They clearly participate in this scam with their policy of charging “fees” only upon vehicle return.

O2 DE Multicard Cheat Sheet

Just switched to Great deals right now, as far as Germany goes. 5GB data, unlimited calls / sms, 1GB of roaming data in the EU, €20/month.

Plus, it includes the option to have 3 sim cards, what they call multicard. Been messing about figuring out how to switch call routing, etc.

*120# – cheat sheet (German)
*121# – show which sims are online
*122# – where are calls routed
*123# – route calls here

*124*P# – set this device priority P (1-3) or 0 to disable, doesn’t seem to work

*125# – route SMS here
*126# – route MMS here

These are all USSD codes which you run on the phones to configure the call routing. I couldn’t get the priority to work, it maybe isn’t supported by simplytel (Drillisch) as a reseller of o2, not sure. I got this info here.

Passport carefully inspected, fingerprints diligently scanned, ID card signed for. It's official, I'm now an Estonian e-resident! 🙂

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Success, I have acquired two Tanzanian sim cards, and enabled data on one of them. Pretty affordable rates also. Took several hours mind…

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Arrived. We are in Kilimanjaro airport and apparently there's free WiFi. I was told by my internet addicted travelling companion! 🙂

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At the airport and ready to begin the long journey to Tanzania. Frankfurt, Addis Ababa, then Kilimanjaro tomorrow lunchtime. Sweet sunshine!

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