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Recently my external hard drive died on me, and I had lost valuable content. I wished I had backed them up. I’m sure you all have thought about it and say to yourself “I will backup my files over the weekend”. But you always forget or you don’t have the time…. And so before you know it, your machine / external hard drive eventually gives up on you when you need it the most.

I found a solution called SpiderOak, an online storage system. I was recommended by a friend who has clock up 50gb of free online storage. Yes, believe it! 50gb baby! FREE! How you may question yourself… well its by recommendation. For every referral your receive, yourself and the referrer will receive 1gb. So to help you start off click here or scan QR code below to get your extra gigabyte. Initially if you signup from SpiderOak site you will get 2gb.

Setting up is straight forward, you first sign you and follow the on screen setup and download their small app and you are on your way. With SpiderOak you can chose what you want to backup, you can even drill down to a specific file. Once you have chosen your files/folder this can be schedule to sync as frequently as you want, on the fly, weekly or monthly.

Other features are syncing files to each of your machines and sharing files and documents like Dropbox. The only difference between these clouded storage systems, SpiderOak encrypts all your files, not even SpiderOak themselves know what you have uploaded to their cloud. Only you can see files on your computers or mobile devices. I personally think this is the way forward if you want to backup files and want the security as well, try SpiderOak!

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There are a few ways to optimise your hosted WordPress sites, for example using ‘Quick Cache’ or ‘Mimify’ plugins and many more which will help increase your site performance.

But how about your images? Your WordPress site images can slow down your site if you have lots stored on hosted server. Well I have come up with an quick and easy solution using Dropbox as your CDN. Serving your ‘uploads’ folder from Dropbox ‘Public’ folder. This way helping reduce your upload bandwidth BIG time!

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This is how:

1. Install Dropbox app on your web server, it does not matter which setup you have Linux, windows etc. But you will get the idea what we’re doing here.

2. Next Cut or Move ‘uploads’ folder (/wp-content/uploads) to your Dropbox ‘Public’ folder (/Public/website-name/uploads)

3.Here is the clever bit… Create a ‘symlink’ from your (/Public/website-name/uploads) to your WordPress (/wp-content/uploads)

Linux command line Example:

$ cd /var/www/html/your-wordpress-folder/wp-content/

$ ln -s /Dropbox/Public/website-name/uploads uploads

For Windows you will need to install ‘Link Shell Extension‘. Once installed, creating a symlink is pretty straight forward.

4. Next go to your Dropbox account online and navigate to your ‘Public’ folder and highlight any file. On the right hand side there is a small downward arrow. Click on it and select ‘copy public Link’

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5. Now login in to your WordPress admin and go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Media’ and scroll down to ‘Uploads Files’.

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Now paste your dropbox public link to ‘Full URL path to files’ box field, with the right path… for example:

‘http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9721300/website-name/uploads’

6. And finally hit save and you’re done. You may need to clear your site cache and eventually all image paths should point Dropbox CDN. From now on creating a new post, all images will sync and served from Dropbox.

Enjoy! I hope this has helped speed up your site.

Here is a tip how to sync all your iPhone/iPad contacts to gmail.

1. First of all you need to export all your contacts from your mobile to your computer i.e Outlook or whichever application you use to store your current contacts.

2. Next export address book as ‘csv’ file on to your desktop.

3. Login to your google account and go to ‘Contacts’ > ‘More actions’ > ‘Import’ and
Select the csv file from your desktop. Gmail will start to import all your contact lists… Gmail will later flag up duplications and will give you options to merge existing contacts, delete and compare. This is where you can clean up your contacts and get organised. This took me a couple of hours but it’s well worth the pain… You will see, believe me read on…

4. Once you are happy with your address book, do an export of all your contacts again to your desktop and keep this file safe. This is for backup, as you know you had spent hours organising your contact list; and you will hate yourself if you had to go through the whole process again.

5. Now here is the clever part… As you know you have backed up your contacts on your computer as peace of mind, you now need to delete all your contacts on your iPhone/iPad.
If you already have gmail set up on you iPhone and iPad you need to disable or delete. Don’t worry all email will not be lost as they are originally stored online.

6. Go to ‘Setting’ > ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendar’ and select ‘Add Account’ on your iPhone/iPad. This time instead of clicking on ‘Gmail’ tap the ‘Microsoft Exchange’.
Fill in your gmail account as shown below and tap ‘Next’. You may be asked to put in server name. If so here it is: m.google.com And presto!

You now have the options to sync Mail, Contacts and Calendar.

7. Finally if you scroll down to ‘Contacts’ under ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendar’. Be sure to set gmail as ‘Default Account’.

You’re Done! If you go to your contacts on your iPhone/iPad will see all your clean and organised contacts which automatically gets pulled down from your gmail account. The beauty of this setup, everything is sync with your google account… So if you have a new contact you like to add to your iPhone or iPad, new contacts or amended contacts will appear on all devices and online.

Enjoy all!