UserLand Software is discontinuing free Manila hosting, as I discovered last week when one of their users sought refuge on Buzzword.Com. Edit This Page shut free service on Dec. 1 and ManilaSites will do the same Dec. 31. I can offer free hosting on Buzzword, but webloggers who are committed to publishing with Manila should be advised that I'm migrating the server to new software by May 1, 2006. A better long-term option for those folks is to subscribe to Weblogger.Com or UserLand. (As an aside, if you're a fan of ... read more

I've been tracking the Google page rank of my web sites for the past year, trying to learn about effective, non-abusive techniques that improve their positions in search engines. You can really see a difference in a site's traffic when it goes up in rank. SportsFilter jumped to PR 7 in the last three months, and the site's membership is booming as a result. A lot of publishers are losing page rank because they use two different domains -- one that begins with www and one that doesn't -- for the same site. Most ... read more

A few Buzzword.Com users set up weblogs on other servers during the extended downtime this month. Ralf resumed his German- and English-language weblog Moorbek on a new site that runs the Antville weblog software, keeping the old version around until he can move the data over, and Julian Harris is now publishing Julian on Software with WordPress. Manila can easily redirect weblogs to a new address on another server: All I have to do is edit a line in the config.mainresponder.domains table. The primary disadvantage ... read more

I've upgraded to Manila 9.5 on Buzzword.Com, the free weblog service I'm running for Manila and Radio UserLand users. The server's having problems staying online lately, to the chagrin of Craig Jensen of BookNotes and other bloggers trying to publish there. I think the problems are caused by the huge number of weblogs on the server -- somewhere around 5,000 at the moment. I'm going to move every weblog that hasn't been updated in 2005 out of Manila, which should leave fewer than 500 sites on Frontier. ... read more

Buzzword.Com turned one earlier this month, and the Frontier Manila server running the site has decided to celebrate by taking some time off. The server's been offline for 24 hours and I'm still trying to find a solution. When I run Frontier, it immediately grabs 100 percent of the CPU and stops responding to my requests. This coincides with some other problems that Buzzword users have been experiencing. I've learned in the past year that Manila's a hard program to run well when you're hosting several thousand ... read more

I took Buzzword.Com offline for several hours this morning to compact the databases and perform some other server maintenance. I'm tempting fate by saying this, but so far, so good. We're nearing the one-year anniversary of the server, which became the home for 3,000 longtime Weblogs.Com bloggers last June. I have some ambitious plans to mark the occasion, but for now my priority is to keep the active bloggers running smoothly and bring all of UserLand's upgrades online. UserLand has a new version of Manila, the ... read more

I'm enjoying several of the active webloggers on Buzzword.Com, which makes it all the more painful that I've been remiss in site maintenance lately. The server will be down for a few hours this weekend so that I can compact the database files and fix a problem with the shared network drive I'm using for site backups. ... read more