The redesign of Designpx.net and the transfer to Designpx.com.

Designpx Part Deux

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Designpx SloganIf you haven’t already noticed, Designpx has had a bit of a facelift recently. Also, we are now fully transitioned to the .com version of our domain instead of .net. In this post I’d like to go over some of the changes we made and the reasons behind them.

Why Move From .net to .com?

Naturally, my intention was to use the .com version from the beginning but at the time the .net version was the only one available. However, for a mere $30 I was able to secure the .com from the owner.

Also, I thought it would be a good idea to redesign and code the new site from scratch so I setup a brand new WordPress install under the .com and blocked it from search engines while I tediously redesigned.

Once everything was good to go, I implemented 301 redirects from all the old .net URLs to the new .com URLs.

Another reason for the switch, although relatively uncommon, was the need to use the .com email address as I’ve had a few people try to email me there instead of the .net.

Moving From HostGator to VPS.NET

VPS.NET LogoI’ve had accounts with BlueHost, DreamHost, HostGator, MediaTemple and more but I believe I’ve finally found a VPS setup that blows all of them out of the water.

Based on a post by Joost de Valk about WordPress hosting, I decide to go with a VPS from VPS.NET with a setup like so:

  • A VPS cloud server with 6 nodes.
  • cPanel/WHM.
  • Install LiteSpeed.
  • Install APC.
  • Install the essential Apache Modules so WordPress doesn’t have issues with image thumbnails, etc.

All of this was done by the VPS.NET Techs. They also provide a CDN which I haven’t setup yet. The site is blazingly fast without a CDN and the W3 Total Cache plugin at the moment so I’m in no rush.

When I institute some caching mechanisms and use the installed APC I’m sure things will be even faster. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have finally found a setup that works.

Custom Post Types, Taxonomies and Meta Boxes

We are now using a custom post type for our portfolio called “client” and taxonomies for displaying services rendered and plugins installed. We’re also utilizing post meta boxes to insert client names, testimonials and URLs.

The custom post types and taxonomies have been coded into the theme but the meta boxes are added using a heavily modified and stripped down version of the Easy Custom Content Types for WordPress plugin from CodeCanyon.

Plugins, Post Meta, Social Media and Email Opt-In

I removed about 8 plugins and instead implemented the features directly into the theme so as to work more efficiently. The remaining plugins I find to be of exceptional quality, updated regularly and essential:

We also cleaned up our meta area on single post pages to include only the author name, category, date and Google +1 button.

The end of posts have also been cleaned up and a new “The Next Step” box has been added with ways to share the current post and subscribe to the Designpx RSS feed.

Alongside the social box is an area to signup to our DPXmembers WordPress Newsletter.

The newsletter signup form has also been added to most pages at the top of the sidebar.

Aside from that, we’re busy creating new pages for specific services we offer and will hopefully have them organized and added to our services page within the next week or so.

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