I often receive questions from visitors wondering how all of the magic happens on this website. Hopefully this will be able to answer some of those questions.

Hosting

Since March 2009, Shifting Pixel is run on a Linode. It took a bit of technical know-how to get things set up properly, but after that everything has been really great.

Prior to moving to Linode, Shifting Pixel was hosted with Media Temple since 2006. They were a good host for me—their main advantage being very good technical support. I’ve been with other hosts that had horrible technical support. Simply offering a phone number I can call and talk with a real person is worth the price of hosting alone.

Blogging engine

When Shifting Pixel originally launched, it was powered by the photoblogging application, PixelPost. In 2006, I realized that my site had outgrown the capabilities of what PixelPost could do at the time and I switched to WordPress.

Since switching to WordPress, I have not been happier. WordPress really is the blogging engine for me and I don’t see myself switching from it in the foreseeable future.

WordPress plugins

I utilize a number of great plugins developed by the WordPress community. Here are a few of the favorites I have found:

  • Akismet — this little guy blocks just about all of the spam coming into my site. I couldn’t be happier with it.
  • Bad Behavior — I use this in conjunction with Akismet to help keep out the meanies.
  • Smart Archives — makes my archives page nice and usable.
  • Subscribe to Comments — lets people receive updates in their e-mail to comment threads. I have noticed that this plugin helps keep my visitors engaged after they leave a comment which has been very beneficial for discussion.

Custom software

Because WordPress isn’t designed to be used as a photoblog out of the box, and since there weren’t any acceptable solutions for a WordPress photoblog out there when I switched, I had to come up with my own custom solution that fit my needs.

I have written a couple of custom WordPress plugins that essentially turn my WordPress installation into a photoblog. These plugins have made my photoblogging life easier by taking care of all the repetitive tasks of using an out of the box WordPress installation as a photoblog.

Unfortunately, I have neither the resources nor the desire to release my WordPress photoblogging code to the public at this time. I hope you understand.

Design

I crafted the design for Shifting Pixel out of XHTML and CSS, and it is exclusive to this site. More information on the current design.

Statistics

For web stats I use Google Analytics. For feeds I use FeedBurner. They have both been fantastic.