Goodbye Wordpress

August 3, 2016 | Posted by Paul

When it comes to Content Management Systems, Wordpress dominates the market. ManageWP reports that nearly 75 Million websites are running Wordpress.

Wordpress is convenient. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and easy to customize. There are a seemingly endless supply of themes and plugins available to suit your every need. This very website has used Wordpress for many years, until now.

So why the change?

Consider the following:

  • There have been, and continue to be many vulnerabilities for Wordpress
  • Wordpress installations are the frequent target of brute force attacks and penetration tests
  • While caching can help to some degree, Wordpress is very slow and expensive to scale

Introducing Hugo

Hugo: A fast and modern static site generator

Hugo is a fast and modern static site generator. Like other static site generators, Hugo builds your website rather than serving it on the fly through a runtime like PHP, or a database like MySQL. Web servers are really good at serving static content, so this eliminates much of the overhead.

With all of the static site generators out there, why did we go with Hugo?

  1. Hugo is written in Go and is really, really fast. (~1 ms write time per page)
  2. Hugo builds pages and blog posts from Markdown files.
  3. Hugo has a built in web server for development, rendering changes on the fly.
  4. There is a wordpress-to-hugo exporter, so we were able to import existing posts.
  5. You can create your own themes.

Getting started with Hugo is really simple and Hugo will run on Windows, Linux, and OSX. Remember, Hugo is a static site generator, so you’ll install it on your computer and upload the distribution to your web server after it’s generated. Alternatively, you could run hugo on your web server and use source control to check out your updates and re-build your site.

If you want to try Hugo, take a look at their Quickstart guide. It’s quick and simple to get up and running with a prebuilt theme.

Creating a new theme is really the most difficult part of using Hugo, and their documentation is not great in this area but we were able to find a solution to most of our issues on their community forum.

This post was generated from a simple Markdown text file, cool right?


Some of us remember the days of Dreamweaver, and FrontPage, or writing our own HTML pages in Notepad. In a way, the Internet has come full circle. Static site generators are becoming the wave of the future, only this time for all the right reasons.

Hugo is for those of us that like to break free of the norm and try something different and better. Much like Blesta. Never settle.

Parallel Payment Optimizer (video & free plugin)

March 31, 2014 | Posted by Paul

April Fools! Thanks for playing along. You can still download the plugin and pretend, if you want. :)

Parallel Payment Optimizer, or “Parallel” for short is a revolutionary new way to increase revenue and lower customer attrition. Parallel is a free plugin for Blesta. Watch the video below (don’t forget to turn on your sound), then download the plugin and start paralyzing today!

Download Parallel

Installation Instructions

  1. Click the button above to download.
  2. Unzip and upload parallel_po to your /plugins/ directory.
  3. Login to Blesta and go to Settings > Company > Plugins > Available.
  4. Click the “Install” button for Parallel Payment Optimizer.
  5. Go to Tools > Parallel Payment Optimizer and start Paralyzing!

How does it do it?

Parallel utilizes a global cloud of specialized helper bots to send friendly little signals to nonpaying customers. These signals softly nudge your customers into logging in and making payment where other methods of collection typically fail.

Join the Discussion

Join the discussion on our forums and share your experience with the Parallel Payment Optimizer!


Cake or Pie? (video)

January 17, 2013 | Posted by Paul

This one is from BlestaLabs.. that dark little corner of the office where we do R&D.

Watch the video first, and then scroll down for some details.

The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen, and be sure to turn on your sound! (If you like music, no narration this time)

Let’s face it, we’re nerds, and we like to push the limits. We spend a lot of time making things run properly, you know, in the back-end. Nice and efficient like. So, what a better way to test Blesta v3 than on a credit card sized computer, right? So, we ordered some Raspberry Pi’s and waited 6 months for them to arrive.

I took one of them, and installed Debian Wheezy, Apache 2, PHP 5.4, and MySQL server 5.5 and slapped an alpha copy of Blesta v3 on it.

The Raspberry people were nice enough to ship ones with 512MB of RAM (upgraded from previous 256MB versions) but it’s obvious that the bottle neck with running a web server on a Pi is the ARM processor. As recommended, I installed php-apc, and that improved things noticeably along with some other tweaks. To improve things further I might try lighttpd, or another light weight web server, but overall performance is pretty good!

And there you have it, the next-gen Blesta on a Raspberry Pi. Hey, if it’ll run on a Pi with a tiny processor and an SD card for a hard drive, it’ll run on your web server.

Don’t fall for the lie, PI is better than cake anyway.. and it’s real! Some of you gamer nerds know what I’m talking about.

Friday Ramblings

September 14, 2012 | Posted by Paul

I’ll have another post on Blesta, probably next week. If there’s something in particular you’d like me to touch on or want to know about, email me at sales and I’ll consider it for my next post.

It’s Friday afternoon and we are starting to wind down for the weekend, so I think I’ll just reflect on the past couple weeks.

Last Thursday a short while before noon the power went out in the whole building. The power was out for several hours, and we were on generator power. I didn’t realize that the generator doesn’t power the lights, or some of the wall outlets.

I sent out this tweet.

This picture doesn’t quite capture the creepiness of it all. I was unable to capture the subtler red glow in the furthest reaches of the building, or that rambling squiggly-squaw sound that zombies make. Maybe I imagined that last part. I did, right?

It was kind of exciting, the generator kept everything critical up and running (Like and we didn’t have to refuel it. The power eventually came back up and everything switched back over like it’s suppose to.

There was only one problem. My linux computer was plugged into an outlet that was not on generator power, and my battery backup ran out of power.. and it would not boot back up. Dead. On top of that, one of the hard drives was making a cyclical click or screeching sound. Not good.

Being the sort of guy that backs up everything, I thought this would be no problem. A couple new hard drives, kick off the R1Soft restore CD and I’ll be back to normal in a few hours. Nope, the R1Soft backups are corrupt. Well, not the /boot partition, just the / partition — that’s like everything I need. They let me down, big time.

It was a long night, or early morning depending on how you look at it, but I was able to recover everything from the drives with a little linux shell magic. I did have to do a fresh install of the OS, but an upgrade was long overdue anyway. I had my data back.

Someone will ask, so I’ll tell you. Blesta code was never at risk because it’s in several different geographic places at all times.

Do you have backups? Multiple backups? Backups of your backups?

Alright, I hope everyone has a great weekend. v3 alpha is rapidly approaching.. looking at the tasks and there are only a few left. Stay tuned. If you’re a developer and there’s something you want to build on v3 for personal or public use let me know. You might be eligible for the alpha.

Liquid Web Hero

December 28, 2010 | Posted by Paul

We thought we’d follow @liquidweb on Twitter so we could stay in the know. Since then, they’ve managed to plant a Liquid Web Hero inside our HQ. Who’s watching who?

It’s all good though, we don’t mind.. we’ve been blinded by his sheer awesomeness, captivated by his strong work ethic, and amazed by his dedication to all that is right and good.

We snapped a few shots lest you make us out to be liars.

Pictured here is the LW Hero (foreground) and Cody, our Lead Developer (background). Such level of awesomeness has arguably never been captured in a single photograph before now.

The LW Hero, warming up to a brainstorming session. This guy is tough, at first he underestimated the mass of the marker, and I had to fetch it out of the ceiling.. from the 2nd floor of the building.

What photo shoot is complete without a little Super Mario Bros 1-up action?

Anyway, a big thanks to Liquid Web! They were kind enough to send us one of their highly sought after Heroes and for that, we are eternally grateful. You can visit Liquid Web at [][2]