Industry Buzz

Now Available: New C5 instance sizes and bare metal instances

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Amazon EC2 C5 instances are very popular for running compute-heavy workloads like batch processing, distributed analytics, high-performance computing, machine/deep learning inference, ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding. Today, we are happy to expand the Amazon EC2 C5 family with: New larger virtualized instance sizes: 12xlarge and 24xlarge, A bare metal option. The new C5 instance sizes run on Intel’s Second Generation Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Cascade Lake) with sustained all-core turbo frequency of 3.6GHz and maximum single core turbo frequency of 3.9GHz. The new processors also enable a new feature called Intel Deep Learning Boost, a capability based on the AVX-512 instruction set. Thanks to the new Vector Neural Network Instructions (AVX-512 VNNI), deep learning frameworks will speed up typical machine learning operations like convolution, and automatically improve inference performance over a wide range of workloads. These instances are also based on the AWS Nitro System, with dedicated hardware accelerators for EBS processing (including crypto operations), the software-defined network inside of each Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and ENA networking. New C5 instance sizes: 12xlarge and 24xlarge Previously, the largest C5 instance available was C5.18xlarge, with 72 logical processors and 144 GiB of memory. As you can see, the new 24xlarge size increases available resources by 33%, in order to scale up and reduce the time required to compute intensive tasks. Instance Name Logical Processors Memory EBS-Optimized Bandwidth Network Bandwidth c5.12xlarge 48 96 GiB 7 Gbps 12 Gbps c5.24xlarge 96 192 GiB 14 Gbps 25 Gbps Bare metal C5 Just like for existing bare metal instances (M5, M5d, R5, R5d, z1d, and so forth), your operating system runs directly on the underlying hardware with direct access to the processor. As described in a previous blog post, you can leverage bare metal instances for applications that: do not want to take the performance hit of nested virtualization, need access to physical resources and low-level hardware features, such as performance counters and Intel VT that are not always available or fully supported in virtualized environments, are intended to run directly on the hardware, or licensed and supported for use in non-virtualized environments. Bare metal instances can also take advantage of Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, Amazon CloudWatch, and other AWS services. Instance Name Logical Processors Memory EBS-Optimized Bandwidth Network Bandwidth c5.metal 96 192 GiB 14 Gbps 25 Gbps Now Available! You can start using these new instances today in the following regions: US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Stockholm), Europe (Paris), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and AWS GovCloud (US-West). Please send us feedback and help us build the next generation of compute-optimized instances. — Julien;

Introducing New Tools to Help You Prep for Your Next Interview

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Co Authors: Deepti Patibandla and Himanshu Khurana You’ve submitted your resume and heard back from the recruiter - you’ve made it to the first round of interviews! While making it this far is an accomplishment on its own, now comes the hard part. It’s time to buckle down and prepare for the interview that could be a make or break moment in your career path. At LinkedIn, we’ve found that 54 percent of jobseekers say the interview phase is “moderately to extremely challenging” due to two... .

Bye Bye Preferred Domain setting

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

As we progress with the migration to the new Search Console experience, we will be saying farewell to one of our settings: preferred domain.It's common for a website to have the same content on multiple URLs. For example, it might have the same content on http://example.com/ as on https://www.example.com/index.html. To make things easier, when our systems recognize that, we'll pick one URL as the "canonical" for Search. You can still tell us your preference in multiple ways if there's something specific you want us to pick (see paragraph below). But if you don't have a preference, we'll choose the best option we find. Note that with the deprecation we will no longer use any existing Search Console preferred domain configuration.You can find detailed explanations on how to tell us your preference in the Consolidate duplicate URLs help center article. Here are some of the options available to you:Use rel=”canonical” link tag on HTML pagesUse rel=”canonical” HTTP headerUse a sitemapUse 301 redirects for retired URLsSend us any feedback either through Twitter or our forum.Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Search Advocate

What Kind of Hosting Do I Need for My Website?

DreamHost Blog -

For first-time website owners, figuring out which type of web hosting is right for you can be one of the most challenging parts of getting started. It can be hard to know the differences between each variety and how their features will impact your site. Fortunately, once you break down the different kinds of web hosting, it should become clear pretty quickly which one your site needs. You can then find a top-notch provider and get your site up and running quickly. In this post, we’ll discuss what web hosting is and then break down the main types of web hosting that are available for website owners: Shared Hosting Dedicated Hosting VPS Hosting Managed WordPress Hosting Other Hosting Options for Specific Purposes We’ll also provide some advice on how to choose the best web hosting company for your site. Let’s jump right in! What Is Web Hosting? Every website is stored on a server. Your site’s server is what makes it available to users on the web, and what delivers your content to them. In turn, web hosting is simply the service of storing a website — or ‘hosting’ it — on a server. Your ‘web host’ or ‘hosting provider’ is the company that owns and maintains the server that hosts your site. These companies often provide helpful resources, support, and other services such as domain registration and custom email addresses as well. Typically, a provider will offer a variety of plans (sometimes called hosting packages) you can choose from. These plans may encompass different types of hosting, which will often determine the price and additional features available for each one. Selecting the right web hosting services for your site is an important process. Your server impacts your site’s security, availability, and performance. This means that choosing the wrong plan or web host could affect your site’s ability to expand and build a user base. Similarly, your hosting company plays a crucial role in keeping your site safe and making sure it stays up and running. If your host offers poor customer support or doesn’t maintain its servers well, your website will likely suffer for it. What Types of Web Hosting Can I Choose From? When we speak about different types of web hosting, we’re generally referring to how a hosting provider uses the storage space on a specific server. Below, we’ll explain the most common ways websites are stored, as well as a few specialized types of hosting for sites with particular features. 1. Shared Hosting for New and Small Websites Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like — your website shares a server with other users. The most significant advantage of this type of hosting is that it’s the least expensive option since it provides the fewest resources and the least amount of storage space. Your web hosting provider will manage the server for you on a shared plan, so you don’t have to worry about any of the technical aspects of hosting your site. If you’re not very experienced with managing a website yet, not having to worry about your server is helpful. Unfortunately, sharing a server also means that the other websites stored on it could affect your site. For instance, your site will be more vulnerable to malware attacks. It could even crash if another site experiences a traffic spike that overloads your shared server. Plus, if other sites on your server are blacklisted for spam or similar activities, your website can also be penalized. However, all of this doesn’t mean that shared hosting is a bad option in all scenarios. It’s a popular solution for new sites that are just starting out, or for very small websites. With that in mind, if you’re brand new to owning your own website, we’d say that a shared hosting account is the right way to go. You can then work on building your site without having to invest a lot of money upfront. Our Starter Shared Hosting plan costs just $2.59 per month. Shared Hosting That Powers Your PurposeWe make sure your website is fast, secure and always up so your visitors trust you. Plans start at $2.59/mo.Choose Your Plan 2. Dedicated Hosting for High-Traffic Professional Sites Dedicated hosting is the exact opposite of shared hosting. With this type of plan, you’ll have an entire server reserved just for your website. You won’t have to worry about other websites impacting your performance, security, or disk space. Of course, good things come at a price. Dedicated hosting plans tend to be expensive, with some running up to hundreds of dollars per month. If you have a small website that isn’t going to use a dedicated server’s resources to the fullest extent, this could be overkill. Also, dedicated hosting plans often require you to manage your server yourself. Therefore, it’s best to hold off investing in a dedicated hosting plan until your site has grown enough to warrant having its own server, and you’re comfortable maintaining it. High-traffic, professional websites will benefit most from this hosting. At DreamHost, we provide dedicated hosting with enough space to handle any size website. Our plans start at just $169 per month and are managed, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance. Get DreamHost’s Most Powerful HostingOur dedicated hosting plans are the ideal solution for high-traffic sites that require fast speeds and consistent uptime.See Dedicated Plans 3. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting for Websites That Are Growing If you’re concerned about the drawbacks of shared hosting, but you don’t need an entire web server to yourself, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) solution provides a nice middle ground. While you’ll still share your server with other websites, each site has an allotted and virtually-partitioned amount of space. This prevents one or a few sites from eating up the shared server’s resources. It can also keep a single user from overloading your server or hurting your site’s performance. However, because it’s still a shared server, plans run much cheaper than dedicated hosting. If you’ve had your site up and running for a while and have started to build a dedicated audience, upgrading from shared to VPS hosting can help your server keep up with your users’ needs. However, you’ll also be able to keep costs down. Starting at $10 per month, our VPS hosting plans can handle unlimited amounts of traffic. You can easily upgrade whenever you need more storage, and we’ll manage security and performance for you. We Know You've Got Lots of VPS OptionsHere’s are a few ways DreamHost’s VPS offering stands apart: 24/7 customer support, an intuitive panel, scalable RAM, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited hosting domains, and SSD storage.Get Your VPS 4. Managed WordPress Hosting for Simplified Maintenance If you’re a WordPress user, you not only have to worry about whether your server is secure and up-to-date. You also have to manage your site’s security and perform WordPress core updates. A managed WordPress hosting plan can make all of those tasks easier. Due to the platform’s popularity, some hosting providers have created special plans just for WordPress users. In addition to storing your site on a server, they offer other services such as WordPress updates, additional security, and automated backups. Some even install WordPress for you. Related: The 2019 Guide to Managed WordPress Hosting These managed plans can be available for shared, dedicated, or VPS servers. For this reason, managed hosting plans vary widely when it comes to pricing. Here at DreamHost, for example, we offer managed WordPress hosting on a cloud instance, which is much more powerful than shared. With three different managed WordPress plans to choose from, DreamHost offers robust hosting solutions for every WordPress site. Power Your Site with Managed WordPress HostingHassle-free, high-performance WordPress hosting can help you grow your business. Plans start at $16.95/mo.Choose Your Plan 5. Other Hosting Services for Specific Purposes In addition to these more popular types of hosting, there are a few specialized hosting services that could be relevant to your site. Cloud hosting, for example, is becoming more and more popular. It involves storing your website on many servers, which all function together as a single server. This arrangement means that it’s very easy to scale your website as it grows. What’s more, you typically only pay for the amount of server space you use, rather than pre-paying for space you may not fill. The drawbacks are few, although cloud hosting can be expensive and is sometimes less secure than traditional hosting. Still, it may be worth looking into if you have a highly reputable provider and a website that is likely to grow very quickly. You can also find hosting plans specifically your e-commerce site. For example, our WooCommerce plans come with WordPress and WooCommerce pre-installed. We also offer WooCommerce-specific support, so you can get an e-commerce website up and running quickly. E-commerce hosting plans, including ours, are typically configured for optimal security and uptime to make sure your online store is available and safe for your customers. They’re similar to managed WordPress plans but focus on additional features that appeal to online retailers. Your Store Deserves WooCommerce HostingSell anything, anywhere, anytime on the world's biggest eCommerce platform.Ready to Woo? How Do I Choose the Right Type of Hosting for My Site? Even when you know what all the options are, choosing the right hosting plan isn’t always that straightforward. Generally speaking, when selecting a web hosting plan and provider, there are five things you’ll need to consider. The first is the features available on each plan you’re considering. This includes hosting services such as the amount of storage and traffic levels your server can handle, as well as additional features like those available with a managed WordPress or e-commerce plan. Customer support is another critical aspect to think about. Your relationship with your hosting provider will likely be a long one. You’ll want a host who’s available to help you fix server-related errors on your site, as well as provide specific help with your server, website, or WordPress installation. Additionally, you should look into your potential host’s server performance. Being able to serve your site’s content quickly is critical to maintaining a successful website. You can run performance tests or look for others’ test results, and note if the provider offers performance-related features such as caching and Content Delivery Network (CDN) access. Ease of use will also likely factor into your decision. A hosting company with an easy-to-use control panel will help you manage your hosting account and website more easily. Plus, plans that make WordPress installation simple or handle it for you can save some time when it comes to getting your site running. Finally, you’ll need to think about price. The rest of these considerations don’t matter if you can’t afford a particular option. Starting with a shared plan and upgrading down the line can help to keep your budget in check. It’s also wise to shop around and see which hosts offer the best price for a similar feature set. The Right Web Hosting Company for Your Site Hosting is one of the more complex aspects of creating a new website. However, learning about the different types that are available can help you make an informed decision. In this post, we examined five types of hosting that website owners can consider: Shared hosting for new and small websites. Dedicated hosting for high-traffic professional sites. VPS hosting for websites that are growing. Managed WordPress hosting for simplified maintenance. Other hosting options for specific purposes (such as cloud or e-commerce hosting). Are you interested in reliable hosting for your website? DreamHost plans are an affordable solution and include performance and security management features. Check out our hosting packages today. We have a feeling DreamHost could be the right hosting company for you! The post What Kind of Hosting Do I Need for My Website? appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

What Do I Need for eCommerce Hosting?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

As the owner of an online store, deciding on an eCommerce hosting plan is a high priority. After all, your website is your business. Without a properly functioning and secure website, your customers will be less likely to buy from you, eventually shutting down your website and possibly your business. Running an online store is much more involved than running a website that is used to display information or media. You are responsible for inventory, customer information, data processing, and creating an easy-to-navigate website. Continue reading What Do I Need for eCommerce Hosting? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Accelerating Innovation Through Integration: Rackspace Partners with MuleSoft

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Organizations rely on hundreds of cloud and on-premise applications, tools and databases — and not surprisingly, integrating them is complex and time consuming, making it one of the biggest business and technology challenges they face today. Yet how a company integrates its applications and data to deliver superior customer experiences, business agility and business results […] The post Accelerating Innovation Through Integration: Rackspace Partners with MuleSoft appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

How Many Dedicated Servers Does It Take to Run a Website?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

When it comes to picking the best hosting provider and plan for your website, there are a lot of options to choose from—shared servers, virtual private servers, dedicated servers. If you aren’t sure which one is the best for you, it can cause a lot of headaches and anxiety trying to make that decision. The bottom line is that there are plenty of options to choose from, but the top-of-the-line option is still a dedicated hosting platform. Continue reading How Many Dedicated Servers Does It Take to Run a Website? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Sentiment Analysis: What Marketers Need to Know

Social Media Examiner -

Do people talk about your business online? Do you know how to analyze the sentiment of online mentions to inform your marketing? In this article, you’ll discover how sentiment analysis can improve your marketing strategy. 4 Ways Marketers Can Use Sentiment Analysis Sentiment analysis is an algorithm applied to online mentions of your brand, products, […] The post Sentiment Analysis: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

.LIVE: TLD of the Fortnight

Reseller Club Blog -

‘Live’ has become quite the buzzword these days – be it Facebook Live, live streaming a cricket match, a live Coldplay concert, or simply consuming live world news from the comfort of your home. Allow me to share a few numbers from Techjury to emphasize my point: 80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand than read a blog (Source: Livestream) By 2020, live streaming is expected to account for 82% of all internet traffic (Source: Go-Globe) The streaming industry is estimated to reach $124.6 billions by 2025 (Source: MediaKix) Breaking news make up 56% of most-watched live content (Source: Livestream) 35% of marketers use live video (Source: MediaKix) Viewers spend 8x longer watching live videos than on-demand (Source: Tubular Insights) In stark contrast to early years where we waitedfor information, live serves in the immediate. A .LIVE web address does just that – it puts you in the center of the action and conveys immediacy. A .LIVE brings you in direct and instant involvement with the event, the concert, the interview or that cricket match. Why offer .LIVE to your customers? Brands using .LIVE iogames.live box.live With over 560,000 websites already using the word ‘live’ in their domain address (source: WHOIS), now is the right time to start offering .LIVE! The ResellerClub Advantage With ResellerClub, you can register .LIVE at a special price of $18.99 $1.99 valid only till 30th June, 2019! Don’t miss the opportunity! Login & set prices now! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post .LIVE: TLD of the Fortnight appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Get Ready for WP Engine’s 2019 Digital Breakthrough Summit

WP Engine -

WP Engine’s Digital Breakthrough Summit is just a week away, and if you haven’t registered yet, there is no time like the present. The annual event brings together tech visionaries, agency trailblazers, and brand pioneers for two days of keynote speeches, panel discussions, and break-out sessions all geared towards helping you find your next digital… The post Get Ready for WP Engine’s 2019 Digital Breakthrough Summit appeared first on WP Engine.

8 Ways to Share Links on Instagram

Social Media Examiner -

Looking for ways to drive more website traffic from Instagram? Wondering how to share links in more places on Instagram? In this article, you’ll find eight distinct ways to share links on your Instagram profile and posts. #1: Add a Link to Your Instagram Bio Let’s start with the first and simplest way to place […] The post 8 Ways to Share Links on Instagram appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Why You Must Know about the New Evergreen Googlebot – Here’s Why #217

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

Google made an announcement at Google I/O in early May of 2019 that Googlebot is now evergreen. What does it mean for the search community? In this episode of the popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge, together with Google’s Martin Splitt, explains of the new evergreen Googlebot in search including rendering hash URLs, <div> tags, and infinite scroll.  Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why Resources See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Eric: Hey, everybody. My name is Eric Enge and today I’m excited to bring to you Martin Splitt, a Google Webmaster trends analyst based out of Zurich, I believe. Martin: Yes. Eric: Say hi, Martin. Martin: Hello, everyone. Very nice to be here. Thank you very much, Eric, for the opportunity to be a guest here as well. And yes, I am, in fact, based in Zurich. Eric: Awesome. Great. Today, we want to talk a little bit about what happened to Google I/O related to the announcement that Googlebot became evergreen, which means that it will be on an ongoing basis on the latest version of Chrome— in this case, Chrome 74, for right now. So, what are some of the things that that means, and what are some of the things that still won’t be supported as a result of this move? Martin: What it means is that we now support many, many features. I think it’s 1,000 features or so that haven’t been supported beforehand. I think most notably, ES 2015 or ES 6, and onwards. We have now upgraded to a modern version of JavaScript. A lot of language features are now supported by default; a bunch of new web APIs are supported, such as the intersection observer or the web components APIs version, one of which are the stable ones. That being said, there is a bunch of stuff that just doesn’t make sense for Googlebot and that we continue not to support. To give you examples, there is the service worker. We’re not supporting that because users clicking onto your page from the search result might never have been there beforehand. So, it doesn’t make sense for us to run the service worker who is basically caching or which is basically caching data for later visits. We do not support things that have permission requests such as webcam or the geolocation API or push notifications. If those block your content, Googlebot will decline these requests, and if that means that your content doesn’t show up, it means that Googlebot doesn’t see your content either. Those are the most important ones. Also, Googlebot is still stateless. That means we’re still not supporting cookies, session storage, local storage or IndexedDB across page load. So, if you wanna store data in any of these mechanisms, that is possible, but it will be cleared out before the next URL or the next page comes on. Eric: Got it. There are some other common things that I’ve seen that people do that maybe you could comment on. I’ll give you three. One is putting or having URLs that have hash marks in them and rendering that as separate content. Another one is infinite scroll, and then a third one is links, implemented as <div> tags. Martin: All of the examples you gave us, we have very good reasons not to implement. The hash URLs—the issue there is that you’re using a hack. The URL protocol was not designed to be used that way. The hash URL— the fragments these bits with a hash in front of them—they are supposed to be a part of the page content and not different kinds of content. Using hash URLs will not be supported still. Using links in things that are not links, like buttons or <div> tags or anything else, would still not be supported because we’re not clicking on things—that’s ridiculously expensive and also a very, very bad accessibility practice. You should definitely use proper links. What was the third one? Eric: Infinite scroll. Martin: Yes, infinite scroll is a different story. Googlebot still doesn’t scroll, but if you’re using techniques such as the Intersection Observer that we are pointing out in our documentation, I highly recommend using that and then you should be fine. You should still test it and we need to update the testing tools at this point. We’re working on that sooner rather than later. But generally speaking, lazy loading and infinite scroll is working better than before. Eric: One of the things that I believe is still true is that the actual rendering of JavaScript-based content is deferred from the crawl process. So, that also has some impact on sites. Can you talk about that? Martin: Yes. Absolutely. As you know, we have been talking about this last year as well as this year. Again, we do have render queue. It’s not always easy to figure out when rendering is the culprit or when crawling is the culprit because you don’t see the difference necessarily or that easily. But basically, we are working on removing this separation as well, but there’s nothing to announce at this point. If you have a site that has a high-frequency change of content—let’s say, a news site where news stories may change every couple of minutes—then you are probably well off considering something like server-side rendering or dynamic rendering to get this content seen a little faster. If you are a site like an auction portal, you might want to do the same thing. Basically, if you have lots of pages—and I’m talking about millions—that content basically continuously changes. Then you probably want to consider an alternative to client-side rendering. Eric: Right. One of the things that used to be recommended was this idea of dynamic rendering. If you have one of these issues where you’re using infinite scroll or you have real-time content or some of the other things that we talked about, dynamic rendering allows a already pre-rendered, if you will, version of the content to be delivered to Googlebot. Is that something that you still recommend? Martin: It’s not a recommendation, per se. If you can make the investment in server-side rendering or server-side rendering in hydration or pre-rendering, where pre-rendering means if you have a website that only changes so often and you know when it changes. Let’s say you have a marketing site that you update every month—then you know when you have the update, so you could use your JavaScript to be run whenever you deploy something new on your site and then create static HTML content from it. We recommend making these investments as a long-term strategy because they also speed up the experience for the user, whereas dynamic rendering only speeds it up or makes it more plausible for crawlers and not for users, specifically. It’s more a work around than a recommendation, but it still can get you out of hot water if you can’t make the investment in server-side rendering, pre-rendering or server-side rendering in hydration yet, or if you are basically on the way there but need something for the interim. Eric: Awesome. Any final comments about JavaScript before we wrap up? Martin: I would love to see more people experimenting and working with JavaScript rather than just downright disregarding it. JavaScript brings a lot of cool features and fantastic capabilities to the web. However, as it is with every other tool, if you use it the wrong way then you might hurt yourself. Eric: Awesome. Thanks, Martin. Martin: You’re welcome, Eric. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Finding the Best Website Hosting Can Be a Challenge

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Trying to find the best website hosting can be a challenge. There are many different companies that offer hosting, but which one is best? More importantly, which is best for you? Not all plans are the same and believe it or not, you may be paying for a plan that has more features than you need for your website. In order to find the best plan, read over this guide for key categories to consider when deciding on a hosting company. Continue reading Finding the Best Website Hosting Can Be a Challenge at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Instagram Branded Content Ads: New Advertising Partnerships for Brands and Influencers

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Instagram branded content ads for brands and influencers, and Snapchat’s new native checkout feature with special guest, […] The post Instagram Branded Content Ads: New Advertising Partnerships for Brands and Influencers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

WP Engine Paddles Out Support for 2019 TYLER’s Dam That Cancer Event

WP Engine -

WP Engine is committed to supporting the communities we live and work in. We’re all about taking action to improve the lives of those around us. That’s why this past Monday, for the third year in a row, a team of WP Engine employees took to Lake Austin to stand up against cancer as part… The post WP Engine Paddles Out Support for 2019 TYLER’s Dam That Cancer Event appeared first on WP Engine.

2 Dads With Baggage: Adventures in Family Travel with a Gay Twist

DreamHost Blog -

It was 2 a.m. in Paris, and 7-year-old Ava Bailey-Klugh was wide awake. Jet lag is hard, especially when you’re too young to understand why an entire country is sleeping when your circadian clock says it’s time to play. And it’s also hard when you’re the parent of said bright-eyed 7-year-old. Ava’s exhausted dad Jon Bailey sat up with her in the hotel while the rest of the family slept. Father and daughter marked time together until just before 5 a.m. when Bailey escorted his little early bird to the bakery across the street in search of the day’s first batch of pain au chocolat. It’s these one-on-one moments that kept Bailey and his husband, Triton Klugh, braving the perils of traveling abroad with children since their daughters — Ava and Sophia, now 15 and 17 — were young. “When you travel long distances with your kids, there’s a lot of focus time,” Klugh says. “You’re on a plane with them, waiting in lines with them, and you have nothing to do but talk and interact. It’s really bonding to get to know your kid better and experience new things together. I’ve found that to be really valuable — you don’t get a lot of that during the day-to-day when you’re so distracted by everything else.” This family of four, based in San Diego, has seen the world together from Istanbul to Puerto Vallarta to London. Exposing their kids to history and culture — with plenty of adventure and beachside luxury thrown in — has been a key part of their parenting. “We wanted to be with them and not leave them at home and do all these things without them,” Bailey says. “After all, we had worked really hard to become a family.” For the past three years, Bailey and Klugh have been documenting their adventures on a travel blog, 2 Dads With Baggage. With the help of a Virtual Private Server (VPS) from DreamHost, they’ve found a reliable home for their site, where they share stories along with travel tips and tricks — with a focus on charting the course for other LGBTQ+ families. Starting a Family For Klugh, family life was always the plan. He loved growing up with his brothers and sisters, so a future with children just felt right. “I wanted a family, but being gay, I wasn’t quite sure how I would get there,” Klugh says. “I just figured that when I was financially secure, I would do it by myself if I didn’t have a partner.” On their second date, as he sat with Bailey on a beach in Coronado, Klugh casually broached a topic that most shy away from early in a relationship: children. “It didn’t scare me,” Bailey remembers. “But it was not something I ever thought I would do. He brought it up again, many times, but he didn’t pressure me; he let me warm up to the idea.” Once both were ready to become parents, they started the open adoption process and were told as a same-sex couple to expect 12 to 18 months. But just two months later, they were shocked to get a phone call about an interested birth mother, and two months after that, they brought their new baby girl home from the hospital. Soon after Sophia’s first birthday, they talked about finding her a sibling — and because adding Sophia to the family so quickly was a fluke, they started early. This time it took only five months. Having two so close in age was definitely a surprise, but a good one. “I think any parent would tell you that having two in diapers and two in a stroller is more than double the work,” Bailey says. “It makes you cross-eyed trying to keep an eye on them at the same time, but it was super fun.” Life With Two Dads Today, between 2 million and 3.7 million children are estimated to have an LGBTQ+ parent with 200,000 of them raised by a same-sex couple. But when Sophia and Ava were little, it was a novelty to see two dads parenting babies. “We would often get comments: ‘Oh nice, you guys are giving mom a break,’ like we were babysitting or something,” Bailey says. “Or women would say, with love, ‘Do you need help with that?’ assuming that a man wouldn’t know how to change a diaper or give a baby a bottle.” Instead of taking offense, Bailey and Klugh gave these people the benefit of the doubt. Most people, they reasoned, don’t mean to be insensitive — they just don’t understand. “We choose to take it as a teaching moment,” Bailey says. Bailey and Klugh never shied away from telling the girls how their unique family came to be, but soon Sophia and Ava were old enough to understand the probing questions from strangers — and to be teased by other kids. When the girls were about 8 and 10 years old, “both of them were having struggles at school with kids who didn’t understand that families can be different than the traditional,” Bailey says. “It made them feel different.” Related: How to Design an LGBTQ+-Inclusive Website A Heartfelt Letter One day, Sophia had enough. So she appealed to the highest authority she could think of — the President of the United States. Klugh and Bailey were sitting at their dinner table when Sophia presented them with a letter she had written to President Obama. “She read us this really beautiful, heartfelt letter about how kids had teased her for having two dads, and it hurt her heart, and how she was happy he was in favor of same-sex marriage,” Bailey says. The letter wished Obama luck in his reelection bid, asked him how he would handle the teasing, and ended with an empathic request: “Please respond!” In tears, Bailey snapped a photo of the letter written out in Sophia’s 10-year-old handwriting and posted it to Facebook. It went viral in a matter of hours. “It was like a tidal wave,” Bailey remembers. “We immediately started getting calls from [the] press wanting to do interviews. It was crazy!” Wanting to protect the family’s privacy, they said no to every interview request — although a reporter did pass along an address that would get Sophia’s letter directly to President Obama. They sent it, and soon “a special delivery letter that I had to sign for was delivered to the front door,” Bailey says. “It was a personal response from President Obama; beautiful that he took the time to do that.” That letter too went viral, feeding the spotlight already shining on the family. The attention was overwhelming but also “affirming and amazing,” Bailey says. After things had died down a bit, they agreed to appear on The Katie Couric show to express support for the Supreme Court case that ultimately made it legal for Bailey and Klugh to marry. That TV appearance was followed by an invitation to attend the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll. The Bailey-Klughs visit the White House. “We went to Washington, D.C. for about a week as guests of the White House; it was great because the girls were starting to understand the significance of all of this,” Bailey says. “We went to the Supreme Court building and stood on the steps, and I was able to tell Sophia that her letter was being read on the floor and that it was influencing their decision. It kind of made it all full circle for her to see how this mattered; that this 10-year-old wrote something that became really important.” Digital Mentorship Before unintentionally becoming a poster family for same-sex parenting, the Bailey-Klughs were already bona fide world travelers. Their first big international flight together came on a trip to the European classics — London and Paris — when Ava was 4 and Sophia was 6 years old. “They were very intrepid little travelers,” Bailey says. “We made it all in one piece, and they took everything in stride.” It all came together for Bailey when the family stood atop the Eiffel Tower, catching snowflakes — a rare sight in Paris — on their tongues. “It was beautiful and surreal,” he remembers. “Afterward, we had a snowball fight in front of Notre Dame.” Sophia and Ava on their first transatlantic trip. They kept traveling, hitting family-favorite destinations in Hawaii, Mexico, Italy, and Costa Rica. Bailey and Klugh soon got questions from friends, both gay and straight, about how to travel with kids and ideas for family-friendly activities at various destinations. Bailey, who had already started blogging about their experience with Sophia’s viral letter, gradually started shifting to writing about their family travels. Bailey and Klugh soon used their blog as a platform to encourage other families to travel, especially ones that looked a little different than the traditional. “There’s a very large interest in families like ours finding places to go where we are welcome around the world,” Bailey says. “LGBT family travel experiences really resonated with people. There’s a lot of families who have kids younger than ours and don’t quite know how to navigate everything, so we also share stories about parenting our kids. It’s been kind of like a digital mentorship.” The blog gained traction quickly, both building a wide readership and attracting sponsors. “Brands recognized that we have a voice and a connection to an audience that they want to talk to.” These interested brands opened the door to even more family travel, including a 2017 road trip to the Grand Canyon in a Kia Sorento — because, as Bailey put it, “Gays do not RV.” The blog has also been a great creative outlet outside their day jobs. Bailey works in public relations and Klugh in graphic design — specifically, in the Halloween costume industry (yes, the girls were always kept well-supplied with princess costumes). So Bailey writes the posts and plans the content, while Klugh is in charge of the visuals: design, pictures, and video. “Our blog is very visual,” Bailey says. “We are very visual people, and the stories we have to tell require a lot of photos and video so the website was designed with that in mind.” They’ve used DreamHost for their hosting since the beginning, now using VPS Hosting to keep up with the web traffic. “I think it was the most reliable resource; it came highly recommended by my most trusted advisors,” Bailey says. “It sort of happens behind the scenes, which is nice because I don’t have to worry about it.” Lately, he’s been experimenting with the WordPress plugin Mapify to create a visual archive of their photos and adventures. “We are in the process of outfitting a map of the world with all the places we’ve visited, so if people want to learn about a destination, they can just click on the map to see pictures and blog posts.” We Know You've Got Lots of VPS OptionsAt DreamHost, we’ve never been comfortable fitting in with the crowd. Here’s how our VPS stands apart: 24/7 customer support, an intuitive panel, scalable RAM, unlimited bandwidth, and SSD storage.Choose Your VPS Plan Traveling While Gay Despite their website’s success, traveling as a non-traditional family hasn’t always been easy. When Sophia was about a year old, her dads took her along to Cabo San Lucas, in the days before passports were needed to enter Mexico. After a wonderful trip, the three settled down for the return flight and waited for take-off. And waited. And waited. Suddenly, armed Mexican Federal Police officers burst onto the plane and removed them from the flight. They found their luggage strewn across the tarmac and were shepherded to an interrogation room. Both Sophia and Ava are Latina; “They thought we were trying to smuggle a child out of Mexico,” Bailey says. “It was scary and insulting.” Luckily, they had the paperwork to prove they were Sophia’s parents. The family’s No. 1 tip for LGBTQ+ families traveling abroad? Bring your papers. “I’ve heard of other families having issues where people didn’t understand that two men or two women can be the parents of children,” Bailey says. “But I don’t think an experience like ours would happen in today’s world — that was 16 years ago, and Mexico has come a long way; the world has come a long way.” You never know though, he adds, if you’ll cross a flight attendant, customs agent, or pilot who doesn’t understand. “I wish it wasn’t the case, but it still is; some people are not comfortable with families like ours,” Bailey says. “And we’ve never in all our travels had anyone overtly say something to us or do anything to us that was violent or insulting, but we can tell when people don’t approve by the look on their faces or the way they interact with us.” He also recommends that same-sex parents do their research before picking a destination for family travel — in general, avoid Middle Eastern countries, where homosexuality is often illegal — and look for a more liberal neighborhood to stay in. “Things are improving around the world,” Bailey says. He feels like they have been pioneers, increasing exposure to non-traditional families. “I feel good about being a part of that, just being visible and showing people that we are just like anybody else, just here parenting kids, doing our thing.” Raising Globetrotters Klugh and Bailey are getting ready to send their teenage daughters out into the world as they graduate from high school in the next few years. They believe traveling has brought them closer as a family and exposed their children to different ways of living. “The world is a giant place, and there’s many different kinds of people and all shapes and sizes and cultures and languages,” Bailey says. “What’s happening here in San Diego or California or the United States is just a slice of the bigger picture. We very much wanted to raise our daughters as citizens of the world.” Giving them the chance to help plan trips, get around foreign countries (both girls are bilingual and happily help their dads navigate in Mexico), and experience the logistics of travel has helped Bailey and Klugh raise a pair of confident, well-adjusted kids. “Travel gives them a sense of empowerment,” Klugh says. “I want them to be familiar with travel, to know they can do it, and not be afraid of it. The other day Sophia was talking about wanting to fly somewhere by herself, and she was confident about traveling and not afraid to go to new places. It’s inspired that wanderlust in them.” The post 2 Dads With Baggage: Adventures in Family Travel with a Gay Twist appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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