We’re often asked what specific technologies and techniques we use to present our website.
We host this website (and several dozen others) on our own fully-owned internet server which is housed in an exceptionally reliable and well-connected data centre in San Francisco. We choose to host in SF because California has the fastest and widest internet connections to practically every other part of the world. As we have visitors from many countries (primarily China, Hong Kong, the United States, Australia and Europe), we provide the best possible web service to every one of our visitors by hosting in California.
Our server is a monster: its a dual-Xeon CPU server running our own version of Ubuntu Linux with fully redundant disk subsystems and gigantic quantities of RAM (the former so we never lose a byte; the latter so we serve every MySQL database query with the speed of a buttered penguin skidding down an ice slide). Our server, which we call terminus (after the Roman god responsible for maintaining boundaries) has a full-duplex 100 megabit ethernet connection into our datacentre’s 100% fiber optic backbone. Our datacentre is in the Digital Realty Trust’s 200 Paul Avenue facility, the Bay Area’s main internet nexus, and one of the premier telecom carrier facilities in the United States.
Our choice of Linux is deliberate — we’re long-term supporters of free open source software and the GNU/Linux project. Linux on our own server gives us exceptional freedom and flexibility, not to mention the highest level of security and peace of mind possible.
The really nice benefit of having invested — for many years — in our own dedicated server is that we don’t share it (or our precious block of IP addresses) with anyone we don’t know and trust. Our clients which use our dedicated server all appreciate that their websites and web-connected databases are never blocked by the ahem you-know-what-wall-thingy-in-China that we shouldn’t name.
Do our competitors host their own servers? Largely, no, they don’t. In fact, you may be surprised at the low levels of technical sophistication in many of the region’s most well-known agencies. But we public relations professionals are nothing if not circumspect and understanding of the need for discretion
The web-page you’re currently reading was generated dynamically by WordPress, the world’s most used free open source content management system. No two ways about it: WordPress rocks. We use WordPress technology as a platform for many of our clients (although not to the exclusion of other platforms, such as Drupal and Joomla, which are our other two main CMS systems for client digital marketing work).
For the WordPress fans out there, the main extensions we use in this site are Akismet (which automatically controls posting spam), Typekit Fonts for WordPress (which helps our Typekit-generated online typography look great), Widget Logic (which places all the fun content into the right hand columns of most pages, WPML (which we use to manage our multi-lingual pages and site elements, although we do all our own translations), and XML Sitemap Feed (which ensures major search engine spiders can quickly and fully discover all of our awesome content).
At the time of writing, other important extensions used on this particular WordPress instance include BackUpWordPress, Contact Form 7, Dashboard Notepads, Easy Tube, MapPress, NextGEN Gallery and WordPress NextGEN GalleryView, nginx Compatibility for PHP5, Really Simple CAPTCHA, Web Ninja for Google Analytics, WP-PageNavi, WP-Table Reloaded, WP Tweet Button, and YouTube Embed. We’re proud to give some link love to these wonderful developers, without whom the web would be a less interesting medium.
The version of WordPress we were using at the time we wrote this colophon was version 3.03 — a very nice vintage indeed. We have since updated to WordPress 3.1.
Yes, we’re kinda nerdy
Its true. We are a pretty nerdy bunch of people in the fairly traditional field of PR. We think that its our grasp of today’s technology (and our solid technical experience stretching back decades) that is one of our most distinctive differentiating characteristics. If you’ve read this far, and you’re interested in talking with us further about how Illuminant could help with your digital marketing and communications needs (or problems!) please do drop us a line, poke us on the facebook or tweet us.