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4 Tips On Managing WordPress Like A Pro

Image source: Pixabay.com Social media has gotten awfully social- you just can’t escape from its omnipresent glare. The world has metamorphosed from Shakespearean content to hashtags. Since it is here and not going away anytime soon, it is for the best to warm up to it, or even better master the art of curating your WordPress account. 4 tips on managing WordPress like a pro Get the basics right: Elementary yes, but nonetheless pivotal in establishing you as a pro is the basic information. Do not ignore setting up the complete account. Fill in all the required details in the Site Title and Tagline. Many WordPress templates display the title and the tagline. Enter the field of WordPress Address (URL). It is up to you to decide between non-www and www format. Neither has an advantage over the other, it just comes down to what works for you. The theme of the blog has to be relevant to the purpose of the blog. If you are a food blogger, pictures should, without a doubt, revolve around… Food! Default themes are not good enough. Remember, Pro not a clueless novice. Take time and look into tools: There is help everywhere. WordPress has many supportive tools which make management and growth easy. If you want a tool to make regular backups, there are plug-ins like VaultPress; want to save the system from malware, install Sucuri; and the list goes on. Also, look into SEO plug-ins. Bye- bye admin user: If you want the username to remain as ‘admin’, you’re giving out a free pass for hackers. Most WordPress users are so... read more

4 Factors to Consider While Choosing a Web Host

Image source: Pixabay.com It can be quite overwhelming to choose a web hosting provider for your website, especially if you are relatively new to the concept. By selecting inappropriate web hosting solutions you will not only end up spending a bomb on irrelevant features that are not required by your website but also lose potential leads given a lack of functionalities and uptime. To make things easier for you, we have compiled a list of factors that you must consider while zeroing in on a suitable web host for your online business. Website requirement The singular most critical aspect to determine is the specific requirement of your business website. You need to first ascertain as to what exactly your website is designed to achieve. Do you plan to launch a social media website for recreational purposes? Is monetary gain your major prerequisite? A majority of web host providers offer targeted features for entrepreneurs who are using their website for business purposes. For instance, if you are a startup, you might want to go for standard paid hosting, colocation or domain hosting services. Expected costs While choosing your web host provider you might want to factor in the level of investment that you would be required to make. The two major expenses that you will need to take care of include the initial costs of getting the web host service installed and the expenses for renewing the service at regular intervals during the entire run. For instance, there are certain web host providers that have lower installation costs with the renewal expenses running high. It is a good idea to... read more

Top 5 WordPress Corporate/Business Themes

Websites are one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use to promote your business. Thanks to numerous themes on WordPress, it is easy to create a corporate/business website. Image Credits: Flickr If you want to create an engaging and striking corporate/business website, here are the top five themes you should use: Divi Divi is one of the most secure, lightweight, feature-rich, and fast-loading corporate/business themes for WordPress. Divi is aesthetically versatile and flexible, mobile-friendly, responsive, and customizable. The elements, shortcodes, features, and widgets of Divi are configurable, convenient to use, innovative, and they save you a lot of time. After spending a small amount of time with Divi, you will learn how to make the most out of Divi. Uncode If you are planning on designing a website that has an intuitive and accessible interface, then you should go for Uncode. Uncode is a versatile WordPress theme that improves the performance of your page. When you use Uncode, it shows your visitors that your business values attention to detail and quality. If you want to modify the aesthetics of this theme, you can use the Visual Composer tool. Even if you don’t have knowledge on programming, you can use this theme. Jevelin Jevelin is another multi-purpose, easy to use, responsive, flexible, and powerful WordPress theme. Jevelin has demo websites on it, making it easy to design your business/corporate website. With the help of its plugins, tools, and templates, you can create websites that look polished and professional. You can also fine-tune your images as Jevelin has a set of admin panel tools. Massive Dynamic Developed by professional... read more

How to Optimize WordPress for Speed?

Image Credits: Flickr Do you want your WordPress site to load as fast as it possibly can? When your WordPress site loads fast, you can increase the number of page views, improve the experience of your users, and it helps with SEO. As the average attention span of humans is decreasing, you need to ensure your WordPress website loads fast. Here are five ways you can optimize your WordPress for speed. Use content delivery network (CDN) Content delivery network (CDN) will help in optimizing your WordPress site for speed. The content delivery network will deliver all the static files the visitors on your website need at a much faster rate. CDN uses servers that are close to your visitors than the ones your WordPress website uses. CDN ensures that visitors will always reach the cache, not the servers. It is much faster to access cache than it is to request data from the site’s servers. Utilize only speed optimized WordPress themes You need to choose the right WordPress theme because it has a significant impact on the load time of your website. When you have to choose WordPress themes, search for ones made by iThemes, StudioPress, and Headway Themes. Their themes have a lean and strong framework. Using this type of framework, they make color themes for particular site niches and types. The main reason why these themes are extremely popular is that they use this WordPress framework as their foundation. Install only the best WordPress Caching Plugins As all pages on WordPress are dynamic, they will build pages only when there is a visitor. The process of building... read more

How Good Is Drupal As A CMS?

Image Source: Wikimedia.org Drupal is a big player in the content management system (CMS) market and it only lags behind WordPress and Joomla in terms of popularity. Some of the most famous websites in the world such as the White House website run on Drupal, and Drupal is widely considered to be the most powerful CMS software in the world. Drupal is incredibly comprehensive as it has a very specific programming environment. It is also an open source CMS. In fairness, Drupal is not really a CMS in the conventional sense. It is essentially a framework that can be used to develop a CMS, and anything that the user seeks to create. The available tools are incredible when it comes to managing and structuring content. Drupal has advanced functionality With Drupal, you can build a far superior site than you could ever hope to build on WordPress or Joomla. Drupal pages typically load more quickly and it is less resource intensive than its main competitors. Out of the box, it is easily the most powerful CMS, and it comes with features such as graphics modification, advanced menu management, and polls management. Drupal is ideal for any type of content such as videos, podcasts, statistics, or plain text. You need to know HTML/CSS to work Drupal In order to make effective use of Drupal, you will need to have at least basic knowledge of PHP, CSS, HTML, and other common languages. Expertise is a boon but not a necessity as you need to be able to identify problems with the code and troubleshoot any errors that may occur. If you... read more

Bitcoins – The New Way to go Digital with Your Payments

Image credits – Flickr A bitcoin is a digital currency which functions independently without a central authority like a bank. It is open-source and uses encryption techniques to monitor the exchange of funds. Registered under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, this revolutionary payment method was invented by an unknown programmer or a group of programmers. An increasing number of merchants today are accepting bitcoin payments. You can purchase bitcoins through certain agencies in exchange of currency. As bitcoins are sent between users directly, it incurs minimal transaction fees. Bitcoin wallets are accessible from anywhere in the world and place no limitations on your purchase. Bitcoin Basics To get started with bitcoins, you can acquire this digital asset from currency exchanges on the internet in return of money. These coins are then stored in wallets that hold the digital information required for bitcoin transactions. Several types of wallets are available and you can choose one that suits your needs. Bitcoins are exchanged from person to person over the internet and need no intermediary to complete transactions. In order to spend a bitcoin a user needs to use his private key to digitally sign the transaction. The bitcoin network uses a public key to verify the same. This eliminates any chances of fraudulent exchange of bitcoins. A public ledger called Blockchain keeps an account of bitcoin exchange. A network of interlinked nodes within the bitcoin software maintains the blockchain. These nodes confirm payments, add them to a ledger and publish this ledger. All bitcoin transfers are stored publicly which allows anyone on the network to view the transaction history behind a... read more

What Is Platform As A Service (PaaS)?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is one of the most popular types of cloud computing services. When an individual or a company purchases PaaS, they are essentially purchasing a custom-built cloud environment that is developed to support application development, scaling, and operations. Developers can essentially construct applications and test them intensively before deployment. Any PaaS solution needs to be integrated seamlessly with the underlying IaaS environment so that web developers have regular access to the type of hardware resources they need. The developer normally has complete control over how applications are deployed and can even configure the settings of the cloud environment. It is generally seperated from the basic computing infrastructure, the operation and management of which is normally left to the service provider. PaaS is an excellent way of developing comprehensive applications on the cheap without needing to invest in a substantial amount of underlying infrastructure. How much responsibility do you have in a PaaS environment? In a PaaS environment, the developers essentially can focus their entire energy and resources on the rapid development, deployment, and scalability of applications. PaaS works on top of IaaS and it removes the mundane operations of manually running and managing clungy physical servers. In essence, developers can focus on all the back-end stuff that goes on behind the function of a website or an application without worrying about infrastructure. PaaS can be public, private and hybrid It basically boils down to what you want. Amazon, Micrsoft, and the rest have dozens of PaaS services, many of which are perfect for either the public cloud, the private cloud, or a combination of the... read more

What Is A Virtual Private Cloud?

Image Source: Wikimedia.org A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a network on the public cloud that is logically isolated from other networs in the same cloud. Isolation is typically achieved by allocating a virtual communication construct and a private IP subnet to the user of the VPC. The owner of the VPC is capable of choosing the IP address range, configuring route tables, modifying security settings, altering network gateways, and creating subnets. How is it different from a private cloud? A VPC is inherently different from a private cloud as it exists in the architecture of the public cloud. In effect, the cloud infrastructure is not really shared it with other users due the levels of isolation, authentication, and encryption involved. Hence, a customer’s data on the VPC is as secure as it would be on a private cloud. However, in a VPC, the customer still needs to share processing time and data space with other customers on the cloud. If the public cloud gets overloaded, the VPC is also likely to overload. Benefits of VPC Most VPCs such as Amazon VPC offer incredibly advanced levels of security. The customer can essentially choose to secure the network in any way desirable. Customers can use network address translations (NATs), encrypted Ipsec software, P2P VPCs, and various other security features to make their VPC nigh on impenetrable. In effect, if there is a security breach on the public cloud, the VPC is highly unlikely to be compromised. Customers have complete control over the VPC and they can configure them in any manner desirable. Egress filtering and ingress filtering become far easier... read more

5 Ways To Improve Website Traffic

Image source: Staticflickr.com Generating website traffic is often one of the most difficult parts of running an online business, especially for new players on the block. After all, no traffic equates to no business. There is no best universal way of generating traffic and you need to be careful about the techniques you use and the investment you make. Promote heavily on Facebook Chances are, you already have a Facebook page. However, are you promoting your page in a manner that best appeals to your core demograph? Promoting the right way to improve your perception in the eyes of your intended audience is critical to having a successful Facebook page. Choose your campaign posts wisely and set up carefully crafted remarketing audiences. If the nature of your business is more suitable to some other type of social media, invest heavily in that avenue and use Facebook as a secondary tool. Guest blog on other websites Instead of solely relying on your blog to improve traffic, you should ideally starting blogging on relevant websites that generate a lot of traffic. You need to find such websites and also ensure that they accept guest posts. Your content also needs to be compelling enough to ensure that another site is ready to accept it. In addition, if multiple sites accept your content, it can greatly boost the traffic of your exercise. Customize your site heavily for SEO SEO optimization goes beyond the mere usage of keywords and buzzwords today. You should ideally be purchasing software that provides you with a complete SEO audit and clearly tells you what you need to fix.... read more

Understanding DdoS

Image Source: Pixabay.com/ You’ve probably heard about DDoS attacks, but, do you know what these attacks are? Well, DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service and as the name indicates, the objective of a DDoS attack is to make a service inaccessible on the internet. This is done by overloading the concerned service by increasing its traffic. DDoS attack targets include a range of sources that might typically be considered important. For example, it could be a bank website or a news site. Such attacks prevent users from accessing important information or even publishing it. Orchestrating a DDoS Attack It all begins with the creation of a bot network or botnet. Botnets are basically infected computers that have been hacked into using malicious software. These computers are then controlled by hackers via remote. Users are often completely unaware that their system has been hacked and is being used as a botnet. A botnet can be made up of millions of computers and used together to launch a DDoS attack against an online service. This happens when the computers within the botnet start accessing the same online service. Naturally, the service ends up suffering a traffic overload. DDoS attacks can be powerful enough to overload an entire country’s bandwidth capacity. You can even buy and sell botnets and DDoS attacks. There are underground markets that deal in this and often, the rates are quite nominal. People buy DDoS attacks to silence websites that they may disagree with or to disrupt an online business. Types of DDoS Attacks There are different types of DDoS attacks. Let’s explore a few of them.... read more

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is one of the most popular aspects of cloud computing, and it is fundamentally thought to be one of the main stacks or layers of cloud along with Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). In a cloud computing pyramid, IaaS is at the bottom because the set of services that come with IaaS relate to providing instant computing infrastructure over the Internet without any physical data centers. In essence, IaaS provides tenants with the ability to create, manage, and use infrastructure elements via programming. Through this programming, tenants can build robust firewalls, secure virtual servers, and improve network security. IaaS allows you to either build PaaS and SaaS over the developed infrastructure or you could purchase PaaS and SaaS from cloud providers. IaaS is particularly useful for emerging businesses that seek to cut costs wherever possible. Image Credits: Pixabay Scalability The best part about cloud computing and IaaS is its scalability provision. You can scale up your computing power as required in real-time without affecting the performance of the applications being run. This dynamic scaling model ensures that resources are provisioned to the tenant as and when required, and you are not subject to the data and resource limits of physical data centers. As you scale up and down, the price you pay for the services is automatically adjusted. Testing and development One of the biggest uses of IaaS is as a testing and development environment where new applications can be written, developed, and tested out in the cloud. Development and testing are much faster and economical on IaaS... read more

How To Select The Right Web Hosting Company

One of the most important aspects of website creation lies in the selection of the web host. The right web hosting company should be able to ensure that your site remains accessible and secure at all instances in time. Most web hosts offer unlimited disk space, email, and bandwidth nowadays so this is not as big a concern as it used to be. Some of the factors you need to consider include phone support, Malware protection, Google tools, scalability options, price, special software, and the amount of web volume. Price is not the most important issue Do not opt for a hosting service simply because of its service as the wrong host could cost you far more in the long-term in terms of security and traffic issues. This is especially true for a new business when it attractive to pick out the cheapest option. Factors such as server speed are far more important than price. Pick your web host based on the power you think you need for your website. Server reliability Nothing is more important than having a responsive website that runs 24/7 with as little downtime as possible. The web host needs to possess a powerful network of server connections. This is why you need to select a host with an excellent uptime score. We recommend that prospective website owners pick a host with an uptime score of above 99% for maximum reliability. You can also track your prospective host with server monitor tools. Understand the type of hosting you need Website owners need to choose a hosting option based on the amount of traffic they expect... read more

How do You Manage a WordPress Website?

WordPress is by far the best CMS (Content Management System) in the world and managing a WordPress website is also relatively easy. You may be able to manage the content of your website easily, but if you want to manage your website independently, you will need to learn more about the platform. You need a manager code, hosting requirements, performance, security, backups, plugins, and every other aspect that influences performance. How do you manage the themes and plugins? The code powering your WordPress site comes from WordPress, the theme, and the plugins you use. Keeping your themes and plugins up to date is essential in ensuring continued stability. Periodic updates will fix bugs, loopholes, and security patches and they will keep your site free of risks. Choosing the right themes and plugins, to begin with, is essential and so is the source of the themes and plugins. What about hosting and site speed? You don’t need to be continually worried about your web host, but you need to be aware of the limits of the server. If your site suddenly generates more traffic than your web host can handle, your site will break. A good way around this dilemma is to opt for a cloud hosting plan that allows you to scale up as necessary without placing any additional strain on resources. Based on the amount of traffic you receive, you may need to cache your pages and improve your coding. Backups are important! You need to install a plugin that regularly updates your site automatically without your inputs. While a lot of quality WP plugins are free, you... read more

What are the Advantages of Using a WordPress Website?

As of 2017, WordPress is the most popular website building tool in the world. It is very user-friendly and you do not need any technical knowledge to use it. WordPress has been the leader in the market for a while now, but what exactly has propelled it ahead of HTML/CSS, Drupal, Joomla, and drag and drop builders? No HTML or FTP software is needed With WordPress, you do not require any additional HTML or FTP software to create new pages, format text, upload documents, and perform numerous other tasks. WordPress is a self-contained system that requires zero knowledge of HTML coding to efficiently run the site. You do not need to hire a dedicated programmer to make changes on your WordPress-built site. Highest number of themes of plugins WordPress offers a much greater amount of plugins and themes than any other content management system and you can basically add any feature you want. It has a litany of paid and unpaid plugins that can suit every conceivable purpose you have. In addition, there are thousands of developers around the world constantly developing new features for the platform. SEO friendly Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for any websites, and WordPress websites have numerous codes that make them ideal for Google indexing. Every single page can be customized for SEO, so you can assign higher SEO priority to your most popular pages. Each post and page can have its own meta tags, titles, and keywords and they can be optimized for SEO. Responsive web design WordPress is incredibly easy to use irrespective of what device you are using. Most of... read more

Top 5 benefits of cloud hosting

Cloud hosting basically involves hosting your traffic on virtual servers which run on an interconnected cloud computing environment. Cloud servers have rapidly grown in popularity in recent times due to their innumerable benefits. No pesky physical servers! You do not need to rely on a physical, dedicated machine to handle your traffic as cloud hosting offers a far higher degree of security. Cloud hosting is shared by multiple interconnected serves that allows you to easily integrate extra servers without spending more on dedicated hosting services. There is not single point of failure with cloud. Massive scalability Cloud hosting offers a near unprecedented level of scalability, and you are guaranteed more server resources as and when you need them as long you purchase such plans. It is much easier to add disk space, memory, and computing power to a cloud environment. This is true for private clouds as well and ensure that your site will not crash if there is a sudden, unpredictable surge of activity on your site. Cost benefits In cloud, you are paying for exactly how much space you are using, and as you scale up, this amount will increase based on your storage requirements. Hence, you are basically not paying for any wasted space that you may not be using as is the case with physical servers, where you a fixed amount for a standard amount of space. Cloud environments are far more economically efficient and there is no redundant data storage. Stability In cloud, everything is interconnected, but a software problem in another environment cannot affect your environment and vice versa. If another uses overload... read more

Three Tips for the End of The Year

These days it isn’t difficult to predict what kinds of technological innovations will take place over the coming year but with such rapid advancements it is hard to keep up.  Someone learning how to use cloud computers and network technology in general should include these three resolutions on this year’s list to prepare for 2016.   Make Full Use of Computing Power Cloud computing greatly reduces the hardware, software, and knowhow that is usually required to run internet based businesses but cloud computing does not end with the SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS that you use directly within your organization.  Cloud computing is in use almost everywhere from services as well-known as Google Docs to behind the scenes providers like Microsoft Azure.  What everyone should understand is that many of the simple tasks we complete throughout work and leisure days can be delegated to cloud computers that save us time and money.  The cloud is not just a distant storage space and it is not so complicated as to be above completing simple tasks.  Next year take some time to see what is available to enhance your productivity at work and in your daily life.   Understanding Internet Security One thing that everyone needs to know about security systems is that they need to be used all the time or not at all.  It is true that shared computers, passwords, files, and hardware are all security hazards but there is a simple solution to the problem of vulnerable information: keep it to a minimum.  Cloud servers are typically safer than your private computer unless you put your own safeguards in... read more

DNS and You

We all know and use domain names to find the websites we want to go to.  They are the text versions (www.inodecloud.com) of the Internet Protocol addresses (IP) that locate the content we want to find.  The concept is pretty simple – domain name systems (DNS) are registries that link textual domain names to numerical IP addresses like a phone book – but DNS can be applied in ways that make websites accessible in ways that take technical and regional differences into account. Before we move on to application of DNS you should know a few things about how they work.  There are several factors like aliases (CNAME), reverse DNS lookups and zone based registration that make DNS protocols powerful tools for consumers and providers. DNS Zone Authority Zone authority is the system that Domains use to delegate space to subdomains that are found at the same location (IP address).  Your IP address is tailored to your domain name and changes as new pages are added to your website.  For example, individual IP addresses begin at 0.0.0 (root host which can be your computer or your ISP’s root server) and grow as new locations are added to server space.  A zone is a portion of your IP address that is reserved for subdomains that require autonomy. CNAME Aliases are used in conjunction with search engine optimization.  They are additional domain names that link to the same address.  Aliases can serve several purposes like accounting for misspelled domain names and increasing your search engine ranking.  Platforms like Interworks come with tools for adding aliases to your domain.  Otherwise you could... read more

Application Certification for PaaS

Cloud foundry announced its new position today as the industry standard in cloud computing services.  Several major software providers like IBM and Hewlett Packard have come together to declare Cloud Foundry as a reliable open source standard for application development.  This is good news for developers that design with cross platform capability in mind and for businesses that need to integrate services provided different vendors. Open source certification also protects developers from having to integrate code for proprietary software that a given platform was designed for so it serves as a clean slate for application developers and platform developers like IBM which used Cloud Foundry to build its own platform Bluemix which is also open source. The best part about open source software are the benefits of its use by private organizations.  Bluemix is free and incorporates open services for promotion of your product and your services. The vendors who have become certified (Century Link, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Huawei, IBM, Pivotal, SAP HANA, and Swisscom) dominate the market and independent developers who are looking for a competitive edge can become certified as well although it is costly, so costly that I will let you see the price on your own here although you can save an arm and a leg (60%) by becoming a member.  If you dare to look at the price, remember that you are joining the likes of IBM and Hewlet-Packard and if you don’t take pride in the fact that your applications are running on a trusted and secure base. Open source services are always a solid base for developers thanks to the wide collaboration... read more

Automate JavaScript with Open Source Tools

If you are concerned with having secure and up to date code and don’t have unlimited time to spend testing your code, automation tools are a must have for developers.  Recently JavaScript developers have been in high demand and for anyone interested in taking advantage of that expanding market should get to know the tools that already exist to make configuring your system and finishing your work faster and easier. The JavaScript language relies on libraries that are contained within dependencies that are continually updated and need to be downloaded as they are released.  It is possible to collect and install these files manually but package managers like Bower and Npm can reduce the process to typing a few lines of code. The actual process of development is made much easier by a simple extension for Google Chrome called LiveReload will save you the trouble of having to refresh the page every time changes are made to your source code.  LiveReload can be used in conjunction with the automation tool Grunt for live updates to your webpage that can be seen while you edit your code. Grunt and its competitor Gulp are both great optimization tools.  For a developer who needs more customization options at the expense of a slightly heavier program, Grunt is for you.  Gulp has all of the same computing power without the tinkering. Here is a quick tutorial from the Pragmatic Bookshelf, a developer training website on using Grunt in conjunction with Livereload.   There are automation tools for use on the front end that can save time as well.  Launch Effect is a WordPress... read more

Amplify web apps with Azure

Web developers can benefit from powerful platforms that can handle machine learning and organize complicated infrastructures.  Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure is similar to the previously mentioned Google Container Engine except that Azure handles specific computing needs as compared to the cluster management or infrastructure platform provided by Google.  Azure is used to develop a wide variety of application types for tasks like machine learning, networking, and access management as well as the virtual machine services provided by other cloud containers. The Azure marketplace features small and large scale applications that can be useful for any business let alone an internet based service that might be hosted at Inode Cloud. WURFL Cloud Service WURFL can differentiate between the type, resolution and model number of mobile visitors and provides a long list of services that can tell you about their supported services and file types.  WURFL is easy to use and returns Boolean, string and enumerable values that are then integrated into the code for your website.  A list of the capabilities can be found on the Scentia Mobile website. Kentico Kentico is a popular and powerful content management system that was also developed using Azure.  It has ecommerce and marketing capabilities that include page building services that can help you create online stores with features like automated discounts and shipping calculations.  Behind the scenes are collaboration services and development platforms including an open API if you need to create custom services. WURFL and Kentico are at either ends of the spectrum in both size and price but they are examples of the power and versatility of a platform like Azure. ... read more

Extending to the Cloud

In spite of what you might think web hosting is not limited to journalism, commerce, and Netflix.  Cloud computing is becoming the norm for efficient and secure computing services as well as for storage and communication.  Hosting services like Inode Cloud will set you up with server space and a useful program called Interworks that can help you prepare your server space for your needs but there are options other than WordPress and Webmail to help manage your content. Cloud Container Platforms: Google Container Engine is a service built on top of another Google service called Kubernetes which is an open source application designed to help coordinate multiple applications/services working together as one machine.  Container Engine provides the same service as Kubernetes with the addition of developer tools and access to Google’s regional resources.  There is a wealth of other services that enhance coordination and security which make container engine a great platform for independent developers looking for mobile computing options. Container platforms provide a foundation as well as operational stability for anyone who doesn’t want to start from scratch but it is not infrastructure by itself so much as a map.  You need to have your computing needs in mind and chose a platform accordingly.  For example, Container Engine is designed to coordinate large systems made up of standalone programs but if you are interested in accessing a single application then there is an easier and less expensive option available. Virtual Machines and Hybrid Clouds: Hosting services can be used to create hybrid clouds which combine your onsite computing power with software or databases that run from a... read more

Accessibility Optimization

It is easy to forget that the internet, as widely accessible as it is, is very difficult for some people to use. The blind and deaf as well as amputees and people with cognitive impairment use the internet as much as anyone else and in order to do so they depend on accessibility tools that navigate your website’s code.  You can make the process more efficient by optimizing accessibility applications and taking into account visual disabilities when designing your website. The first and most fundamental approach is within the HTML code used to construct a page.  HTML incorporates the use of roles to define objects on a page.  Roles like banner, navigation, main, and contentinfo along with others mark the main sections of a webpage so that page readers can find and sort through them for visually impaired users. WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) offers tutorials and tools like WAVE which can test your site for accessibility issues.  Wave can add to your own benefit as well when it picks out skipped heading levels, broken and redundant links, and misused labels. There are design practices to keep in mind as well like taking issues of low contrast and colour based identification into account.  Monotone pages are not intuitive and can slow any user down regardless of ability.  Other aesthetic practices like incorporating videos and sounds should be modified for all users as well.  Video’s that do not pause and applications that load automatically are distracting for everyone but in the case of someone who is dependant on a screen reader, it can affect their ability to operate the computer as well... read more

Private and Shared Hosting

In my last post I talked about Google’s free SEO tools that included a report on successful SEO methods over the past year.  A recurring argument in that report was that branding is playing a continuingly enhanced role in search rankings as opposed to the more technical aspects of site building.  With so many options available for IaaS and SaaS the major factor in online branding has become security.  Should your online business take extra steps to ensure privacy and if so is your website duly trusted by search engines as well as clients? One way to be able to boast security is through customized or private hosting.  Privately hosted servers are dedicated to your business alone and are as secure as your front end.  If your business collects private information from customers then it is your responsibility to safeguard that information through enhanced security.  Shared servers suffer the vulnerabilities of their weakest sites and after the numerous recent hacks of both governmental and private services like the recent break into dating website Ashley Madison not to mention the breach of the U.S. IRS database many online users have become more concerned about the safety of information kept in large stores. If your website is not dedicated to collecting the world’s secrets then the problems that face shared hosting should not concern you too greatly.  There are enough steps that you can take on your own to reduce risk. Using secure and trusted themes or hiring a trustworthy and capable web designer can prevent front end attacks like SQL injections Limit access to your website by third parties (e.g.... read more

SEO With Google

Google offers several free services to help entrepreneurs and large corporations alike in their attempts to make their websites faster, safer, and more easily searchable through Google and other search engines.  These services range from reports on worldwide internet marketing data to site based analysis of web traffic.  In most cases all that is needed to track a website is a simple HTML file uploaded to your server and in some cases a single line added to a header file.  These services are powerful for any level of internet marketing and can make the difference between a well branded and trusted online source and an amateur website bogged down by useless tags and a lack of security. Google Search Console Crawlers or Spiders are programs that crawl through web pages to find content that make search engines more accurate.  When it comes to search engine optimization it is in your best interest to make crawling as easy as possible and Google has a free application for just that purpose called Google Search Console. Search Console gives you the opportunity to test your page against Google’s crawlers and edit your robots.txt file (a sitemap that includes restrictions for crawlers).  Search Console will even let you see what a Google crawler sees when it accesses a particular page.   Google Analytics When crawlers are not looking for basic page content they are collecting Meta tags.  Meta tags are not concerned with content as much as they are the type of content that a page contains.  Google Analytics has an easy to use interface that allows you to select a popular Meta tag from... read more

Easy ways to speed up your website

Getting your website to load faster is not an option but a need. In this competitive world, you have to run to stay at the same place. Who would stop and wait for your slow loading website to see what they want. Obviously No one. You want your website to run lightning fast but you are left with limited options as the end users have different expectations of getting flashy and well-designed content. Afterall user experience counts more than user interface and getting your website load faster is the first step towards providing a superb user experience. So do you think it’s a trade-off between speed and user experience? Umm.. Not absolutely right but not absolutely wrong though. Here are some tips to help you improve your site loading performance by maintaining a good user experience:   Avoid Large Images Whatever story you want to tell, tell it at the right size. Try resizing or scaling the image before uploading it in your website. Uploading large images and then changing dimensions would make the website loading slow as it tries to download the same large image on opening of the website. Compressing the image before uploading will be the best idea. We recommend using tinypng.com   Enable Browser Caching Keeping a small amount of website info at end user’s browser would make the website loading faster as it has lesser content to be downloaded from internet. Change your server settings accordingly, but ensure end-user gets the current content not the same old ones.   Enable Compression It is like disassembling your house, moving it to another location, and then... read more

5 ways to get your site penalized by Google

Everything is fair in love and war but not in Search Engine Optimization. There are various ways to attract traffic to your website both ethically and unethically. Unethical way which is usually referred to as blackhat in the world of SEO might give you a good run in the short term but not in the long run. Here are 5 way on how to get your site penalized by Google. 1. Cloaking In this strategy SEO blackhat experts code their webpages in a way that crawlers see one version, and users see another. Imagine you searched for a phrase “Where to get a good burger” and the website you clicked on led to a page where you will find Chinese food content. Cloaking is generally achieved by creating a webpage which is full of keywords which are usually typed by users to search similar content, but when user click on that link, it will redirect them to another web page. 2. Doorway Pages This strategy is generally followed by sending mails to users or advertising in websites with eye catchy content, so that users tend to click on that and that will be followed with many other pages which will ultimately leads to an unwanted landing page. 3. Link Farms A Link Farm is a set of fake websites that include links to your website, for the purpose of cheating Google to get you better page rank. The idea is that Google can be fooled into thinking that your site is worthy of ranking higher in search results because a set of sites that link to one another also... read more

Greener Hosting With iNode

In the world of hosting, “Green Hosting” seems to have a variety of definitions that sometimes include using renewable energy sources but in general means being more environmentally friendly. iNode Cloud servers are hosted at the Equinix datacenter in Sydney which has been designed by green in mind. Here are three reasons iNode Cloud hosting equates to Greener Hosting: 1. Less physical space = smaller data centers = less industrial building. Because of the higher densities of cloud server models, the overall data center structure can be smaller, requiring less land space taken up and less building materials to be used in construction. 2. Fewer physical servers. Allocating a physical server for every project need obviously requires quite a few resources to be consumed during the manufacturing process of the hardware. Some of these materials are recyclable, but not all, and even then just because something is recyclable doesn’t mean it’s ideal to consume those resources in the first place. iNode Cloud servers greatly reduces the need for hardware production, as multiple projects can exist on a single cloud server. 3. Lower power use. Data centers use a lot of power. I’ve read criticism of data centers by environmentalists – and that’s justified to an extent – especially with older data centers that haven’t been updated and are less efficient. iNode Cloud servers consume only a small portion of the power that a physical dedicated hosting server requires. Utilization of our cloud server hosting is a much more efficient model for power consumption, whether utility provided or renewable. More information can be found at the Equinix Website If you want a greener... read more

6 Reasons Why Your Hosting Is Killing Your Business

Before starting iNode Cloud, I have been with Crazy Domain, Go Daddy and various other hosting companies only to be offered bad service and slow and inconsistent downtimes and there’s no shortage of web hosting companies that do this, Hence why i decided to start iNode Cloud. Sometimes web hosts have technical problems or make mistakes, but when should you stick it out and when should you cut your losses and move on? Here are the top six signs your web host isn’t up to the job. 1. Your website is flaky and keeps going down   No surprises here. If your website is unavailable or keeps throwing up errors, visitors will leave and not come back. Unless you’re offering something unique or already have a loyal following, this can kill your website in a very short time. Overloaded servers and inadequate networks are likely causes of problems with your web host. Sometimes a web hosting company will start strong but get progressively worse as it gains more customers; a victim of its own success. To be fair, it’s not always the fault of the web host. If your site is making unreasonable demands like using huge amounts of memory or processing time, there’s going to be trouble. Ideally, your web host will notice and prompt you to upgrade to a package with higher limits. The best ones will cover you if you get a sudden burst of traffic from the front page of Digg, and ask you to upgrade if it becomes a habit. Having too much traffic is a good problem to have, but if your site is not scaling, you should look... read more

Are you ready to build your e-commerce website?

The cloud is a relatively new concept, giving users the ability to store their files, programs, music, and more on a server or set of servers located offsite.  The cloud has revolutionized computing and shopping, enabling companies to post large volumes of merchandise online that give customers a great variety of products.  No more need for large hard drives or even personal server computers, no more expensive software. The cloud is accessible from any computer anywhere there is Internet access.  It’s not only a current technology, but it’s also widely expandable.  The world of e-commerce is changing the face of retail permanently as well.  Almost 80% of shoppers want to do their shopping online, and half of them like the option to pick up in store.  The ability of a retailer to be able to track their inventory accurately at every location is now more important than ever before, and the ability to report that information back to a shopper, no matter what time of day or night, relies on the cloud. It’s not just goods and merchandise bought online, either.  Auction places like eBay, travel agencies like Experia or Travelocity, and even investing and banking are now available online.  All of them are brought to you by the cloud.  E-commerce sites can be set up as supplements to other, more general websites, too.  Candidates for government office can have them as fundraising options.  Hairdressers can sell some of their hair products that way, as well. E-commerce is able to broaden the reach of a company well beyond a physical boundary, even globally.  That kind of reach would be... read more

Australian accountants head for the Cloud

Just as other countries have embraced the cloud for computer storage, Australia has shifted over to use the modern storage concept. In fact, as many as 69% of accountants in Australia have now started using cloud software, and the probability of that figure growing is high. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the younger accountants in the survey were more likely to embrace the cloud, while their older counterparts were a shade more reluctant. A recent survey of small and medium sized accounting firms showed that they really love and embrace using SaaS programs (software as a service).  Overall, as many as 27% of small and medium companies use cloud-based accounting programs and storage.  However, 60% haven’t even tried it yet, so the future for expansion is bright.  Even for those who didn’t use SaaS apps, they still liked the idea of the cloud, and are finding it to be revolutionary to the industry. There are two main programs that Australian accountants love – Xero and MYOB.  Accounting companies use 1.9 cloud-based apps on average, but 59% use two or more apps, so clearly this is a popular technology among those who have embraced it. Topping it all off, 96% of those surveyed who currently use the cloud plan to expand their use of it.  It helps make reporting much easier to store and share, leading to the increased use, as well as being able to access the SaaS software, saving money in the process.  Instead of each company having to purchase a full software suite, they can access what they need, usually for a small fee, on the Internet. Those who... read more

Setup MySQL Replication in 5 Minutes

MySQL Replication is incredibly simple to get up and running and this post will instruct you through it. Simple Master -> Slave Replication MySQL allows you to build up complex replication hierarchies, such as multi-master, chains of read slaves, backup databases at a remote site or any combination of these. This article focuses on a simple single master to single slave setup. This article also assumes that 2 MySQL Servers have been installed but that there is no existing data in the master that needs to be copied to the slave – it’s not complex to add that extra requirement and it will be covered in a future post. Server “masterhost” (192.168.0.31) is to be our master and “slavehost” (192.168.0.34) the slave. Step 1: Edit the configuration files & start the MySQL Servers The first step in setting up replication involves editing the “my.cnf” file on the servers that will serve as the master and slave. A default is provided with the MySQL installation but in case there is already a production MySQL database running on these servers, we provide local configuration files “master.cnf” and “slave.cnf” that will be used when starting up the MySQL servers. At a minimum we’ll want to add two options to the [mysqld] section of the master.cnf file: log-bin: in this example we choose inodecloud-bin.log server-id: in this example we choose 1. The server cannot act as a replication master unless binary logging is enabled. The server_id variable must be a positive integer value between 1 to 2^32 master.cnf: [mysqld] server-id=1 log-bin=black-bin.log datadir=/home/inode/mysql/master/data innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit=1 sync_binlog=1 Note: For the greatest possible durability and consistency in... read more

5 Benefits of Cloud Computing.

You’ve talked to other business people at conferences and they have raved about the cloud.  Your finance department has done some research and they really want you to switch over to the cloud instead of buying another server.  So why should you use the cloud?  Here are five benefits you might not have thought of when it comes to why to use the cloud. 1. Flexibility is one big reason.  It not only enables all of your employees to access the files as needed wherever they are, but it also gives you a chance to explore new lines of business.  You aren’t anchored to a set amount of storage space any more.  You can put the entire proposal on the cloud, solicit feedback, and get the new line launched faster and for a cheaper price than in the past.  It also allows you to take advantage of a rapidly changing marketplace and seize the moment. 2. Customer interaction You’ll also find that it gives you easier ways to interact with your customers.  They can check the status of things real time on your website, like purchases or shipments.  They get instant feedback and they don’t have to take time to call your company, which takes time out of your day, too.  It also means that your customers can shop and get updates any time, at whatever time is convenient for them.  Shipping companies can provide tracking information in real time, and again, at times that work best for their customers. 3. Data Management If your company is interested in buying another company or merging, cloud services make this so much... read more

What is Docker? & Why you should use it.

If you’re a developer or work in IT, you’ve likely heard of Docker. It’s a  3 year old open source technology that has grown exponentially during its existence. And now, it’s beginning to turn heads in even the most regulated industries. First let’s explore what Docker actually is for those that are unfamiliar. “Docker is an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications,” according to the Docker website. The technology consists of two tools, the Docker Engine and the Docker Hub. The Docker Engine is a, “portable, lightweight runtime and packaging tool,” while Docker Hub is a, “cloud service for sharing applications and automating workflows.” The technology is particularly appealing for developers because it is now easier than ever to make sure you develop, test and deploy using the same environment as your colleagues, resulting in less issues caused by differences or missing libraries. Docker also offers developers the flexibility to quickly run their apps anywhere, whether its on laptops, VMs or QA servers. More simply put, “Docker helps developers build and ship higher-quality applications, faster.” Sysadmins are finding the technology useful as well, because of the ability to standardize development environments among other reasons. “Docker helps sysadmins deploy and run any app on any infrastructure, quickly and reliably.” Docker seems to be on the same disruption path as GitHUB, which shook the source control systems, or more lately, how composer “revolutionized” the way we deploy components of a PHP and Symfony application. On the business side, the benefits may be huge. By simplifying the way we deploy apps and creating more manageable... read more

Is Your WordPress Website getting hacked? Here’s a guide to secure WordPress

With WordPress powering 61% of CMS based websites, it has become a lucrative target for hackers. Google blacklisting for phishing and email blacklisting for spamming is quite common in WordPress hosting. A well maintained WordPress site is immune to hacking, but in shared hosting, the majority of WordPress websites will be un-patched, and vulnerable to hacking. Through a few simple strategies, it is possible to make WordPress immune to hacking. Securing the web server through web application firewalls The efficiency of a web application firewall largely depends on how quickly the firewall is able to include zero day WordPress exploits into their signature database. While commercial signatures gave close to 100% detection rates, free rules from Comodo, AtomiCorp, etc for the mod_security Apache module is good enough to prevent more than 95% of exploit attempts. Additionally, we were able to extend the malware detection capability of mod_security module by integrating it with ClamAV anti-virus software. Enabling auto-upgrade for WordPress installations Since WordPress v3.7, automatic security updates are switched on by default, and wouldn’t break anyone’s site. We further extended this feature by plugins like Advanced Automatic Updates, which can upgrade plugins and themes as well. For customers who chose security over extensive customization, the full-auto-upgrade worked very well in preventing website exploits. File upload scanning through FTP Compromised FTP accounts are another major source of malware uploads. Desktops, laptops and mobile devices get infected with trojans all the time, and web masters losing their FTP login details are a common cause of malware uploads. We put a block on this channel by deploying file upload scanners. For those web hosts... read more

Basics of Configuring WordPress

WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.There are a few parts to WordPress. You’re in good company if you use WordPress to publish on the web. Many famous blogs, news outlets, music sites, Fortune 500 companies and celebrities are using WordPress, even our inodecloud.com site uses WordPress.  WordPress is 100% free to download and use and once you downloaded the package file there is a few steps installed to configure it, but today i will only be explaining the main file and folder structures that you should familiarize yourself with. This is not following the wizard guide and is merely a guide to the code level organization of wordpress and how to configure it via code. You will need a FTP client such as filezilla or what i use Coda 2 which is a FTP & Code editor for Macs or Notepad++ to configure wordpress. The main wordpress directory contains all the necessary files required to run the wordpress system. In your main directory (it might be called httpdocs, public_html or www directory) this contains a main configuration called wp-config.php, this configures the database under line 17. Which looks like below: // ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** // /** The name of the database for WordPress */ define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘DATABASE_NAME’); /** MySQL database username */ define(‘DB_USER’, ‘DATABASE_USERNAME’); /** MySQL database password */ define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘DATABASE_PASSWORD’); /** MySQL hostname */ define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); /** Database Charset to use in... read more

Web Hosting Terminologies 101

Finding the right web hosting company can be a challenging task, but it can be especially challenging for beginners looking to host a website for the first time. Today I started thinking about the the terminology that I often throw around in meetings and I realized that many individuals may not completely understand the web hosting “lingo”.  To help those who may not be a expert in web hosting have a better understanding of the products in which they are purchasing I have decided to write an article explaining the sometimes misunderstood web hosting language. This article is written for beginners; I will explain each term to the simplest degree possible for an easy understanding you may can comment below. Bandwidth Controls the amount of traffic your website can handle – Tip:  The higher the bandwidth the better CGI A simple script that processes data submitted by a website visitor – Example:  Most online forms (enter name, address, phone, etc.) use CGI. CGI-BIN The place on a web server where CGI scripts are stored Cpanel The tool that allows you to control information on your web server Dedicated Hosting A more expensive form of web hosting.  Cheaper hosting plans share a web server with others who are hosting websites.  Dedicated hosting allows a user to have his/her own server.  Increased server speeds and less server downtime can be expected with a dedicated hosting plan. Disk Space See “Hosting Space” below Domain Name A domain name is the actual name of the website that must be entered in a address bar to access a website –Example:  www.inodecloud.com is our domain name. Firewall A security... read more

How to remove your IP from Gmails Blacklist

If you cannot send emails to Gmail, your server may have been blacklisted. Here are some tips to get removed from the Gmail blacklist. Before jumping through the blacklist removal hoops, you may want to double check that your emails are not simply going into the spam folder. This process will not help you with emails being dropped into the spam folder. This is for getting off of Gmail’s blacklist. I am going to outline 3 steps. Verify you are on the Gmail blacklist. Perform preliminary blacklist removal checks. Submit Gmail blacklist delisting request. Gmail Blacklist Verification If you are blacklisted, then you should be getting a delivery rejection notice from Google. If you check your server’s logs or your email bounce you may see something like this: Remote_host_said:_550-5.7.1 Our_system_has_detected_an_unusual_rate_of unsolicited_mail_originating_from_your_IP_address._To_protect_our users_from_spam,_mail_sent_from_your_IP_address_has_been_blocked. Please_visit_http://www.google.com/mail/help/bulk_mail.html_to_review_our_Bulk_Email_Senders_Guidelines If you are seeing this email error, then your server’s IP has likely been blocked by Google. There could be other response codes, but typically all Gmail blacklist notifications will include a 550 error plus a link to the Gmail policies pages. If you are not seeing 550 errors, then you may not have an email blacklist problem but some other email delivery issue. Preliminary Blacklist Removal Tasks Before requesting removal from Gmail’s blacklist, you will want to take some steps to stop whatever caused the listing. See some of my other blacklist post with Google for more details but in a nutshell you should: Make sure there is no unauthorized email going from your server. Check the daily volume of email going to Gmail Look for compromised user accounts. Look for people forwarding email to Gmail. Once you... read more

Top 5 SEO mistakes you may be making

1. Choosing the wrong Keywords Targeting the right keyword is the most important when it comes to SEO. Many people make the mistake of not choosing the right keyword for optimizing their website. A keyword should be descriptive of your website content and related to what a user might type in the search box when looking for the website.Choosing the wrong Keyword Another common mistake many people do is that they assume their company’s name to be a keyword. This will be good for people who already know about your company and who are only looking to find you. Choosing a proper keyword is essential but it may happen that you are not able to come up with a good keyword list. In such a case there are many keyword generation tools available which will help you find keywords that are good for your site. 2. Title Tag Title tag is one of the first elements that a search engine spider sees on your HTML page. Ignoring the title tag can cost your dearly in terms of search engine rankings. Title tag is also a very convenient place to put the keyword that you have decided for your website. Another mistake is to have the same title for different pages. Every page on your website should have a different title and relevant to the content on that page. 3. Internal Links A website should not only have links to other site, but also to all the important pages within the site. All the internal pages within a website should be properly linked. Having internal links and a good link structure... read more

Why choose an Australian web hosting company?

If you run an Australian based company and the majority of your clients are from Australia there are some very good reasons to choose an Australian Web Hosting company. Speed – Even though broadband has made huge progress these last few years, hosting overseas means that extra 3,000 kilometres of cable adds at least an additional 1/2 a second on your download time. One of the largest web design blogs in the world, Noupe, takes a full 2 seconds to fully view their page in its entirety. And if one of the largest web design companies can’t compete on speed how on Earth are you going to? SEO Factor – Hosting your website overseas means that you will probably have a shared IP address in the US. This often means that Google will bundle you together as a US based business. This is especially the case if you have a www.yourdomain.com address. If you want targeted searches from Australians you really need an IP address from Australia. Support – Being in the same time zone as your webhost means that when most issues arise, they arise during business hours and can be sorted out before close of business Australian time. If your website goes down at 2pm and its midnight where your webhost is, don’t expect a response until 9pm. Fluctuating Currency – Buying from an Australian Web Host means that your monthly bill does not fluctuate with the irregularities of the short term money market. The Aussie Dollar might be at parity at the moment but 3 years ago it was 60 cents in the dollar. Can your web budget handle a blow out like that?... read more

Stop emails being listed as SPAM

You may find yourself often fighting the frustration of having your business emails getting classified as spam in your customer email boxes. The fact is that about 80-90% of ALL email on the internet is spam. In spite of this, businesses anticipate increasing the number of email campaigns on the web. To stop the bombardment, people and businesses are creating filters, or buying company services that filter email so that they receive only content that they deem relevant to them. So, whether or not your email is legitimate, if a receiving host or email spam program is aggressive or set a certain way, your emails could very easily get marked as spam. Unfortunately, this is not a server or hosting issue. This is a general issue with email that you will find no matter where you host your business emails. This article discusses what you can do from your end. Steps to take when your emails are marked as spam There are several things that may help, but bear mind these are suggestions and not a guarantee that your email will no longer be filtered as spam: Make sure that you are not in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Verify that your emails make the grade and you’re not falling into common filtering rules. Send your customers a personal email message requesting that they white-list your domain, so that your business emails don’t get filtered into Spam. In this, I’m referring to a “personal” email as one that doesn’t include your marketing links or business advertisements or enhancements that may flag the email as something other than a personal email. Check... read more

Have you been blacklisted by Google?

Recently a client asked us about a problem they were having with email that was being run on the same server that we had setup their website on. In this case the problem was pretty severe as they had been blacklisted from sending emails to any Gmail.com email address. After contacting the hosting company we were able to identify that one of their email accounts had been compromised and was being used to send out SPAM emails. It was an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided. In this post we cover what blacklisting means, what to do, and how to avoid it from happening again. What does ‘blacklisted for email’ mean? Blacklist definition According to google.com a blacklist is ‘a list of people or products viewed with suspicion or disapproval.’ In regards to email to be blacklisted means a provider such as Google has determined that your domain is abusing its system by sending too many emails to addresses on its network. Once you have been added to a blacklist all emails you attempt to send to the provider will be denied and you will see a message similar to this one: SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data: host aspmx.l.google.com [74.125.142.27]: 550-5.7.1 [YOUR IP ADDRESS HERE 1] Our system has detected an unusual rate of 550-5.7.1 unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our 550-5.7.1 users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been blocked. 550-5.7.1 Please visit http://www.google.com/mail/help/bulk_mail.html to review 550 5.7.1 our Bulk Email Senders Guidelines. ck6si8779257igc.40 - gsmtp How did you get blacklisted for email? You will... read more

Bash Critical Security Hole – Explained

Yesterday we swiftly patched all of our customers web servers due to a critical vulnerability to Bash, aka the Bourne-Again Shell. but what damage could this vulnerability do? The flaw involves how Bash evaluates environment variables. With specifically crafted variables, a hacker could use this hole to execute shell commands. This, in turn, could render a server vulnerable to ever greater assaults. By itself, this is one of those security holes where an attacker would already need to have a high level of system access to cause damage. Unfortunately, as Red Hat’s security team put it, “Certain services and applications allow remote unauthenticated attackers to provide environment variables, allowing them to exploit this issue.” The root of the problem is that Bash is frequently used as the system shell. Thus, if an application calls a Bash shell command via web HTTP or a Common-Gateway Interface (CGI) in a way that allows a user to insert data, the web server could be hacked. As Andy Ellis, the Chief Security Officer of Akamai Technologies, wrote: “This vulnerability may affect many applications that evaluate user input, and call other applications via a shell.” That could be a lot of web applications — including many of yours. The consequences of an attacker successfully exploiting this vulnerability on a Web server are serious in nature. For example attackers may have the ability to dump password files or download malware on to infected computers. Once inside the victim’s firewall, the attackers could then compromise and infect other computers on the network. Aside from Web servers, other vulnerable devices include Linux-based routers that have a Web interface... read more

Will hosting affect my SEO?

SEO in the last couple of years has risen to become a fascinating buzzword in the tech space. Many companies have adapted their marketing campaigns to now include SEO strategies. There are now companies that specifically consult businesses regarding SEO and digital marketing, helping them gain a competitive advantage. Through my previous role, I’ve been lucky enough to attend courses on these topics, and apply them to my clients’ websites and businesses. There are over 150 factors that affect the ranking of your website. After Google made significant changes to how their SEO works (Late 2013) it shook many online businesses and a lot of them dropped rankings because of this. In regards to hosting there are 3 key components that can have significant affect on your SEO. Uptime/downtime, the speed and location: Uptime/downtime – What we refer to as downtime means how long your website has been unreachable. Google crawlers will go through your website couple of times a day, meaning they will see if there have been any changes like added blogs, or updates. This means if your website is down the crawlers will not be able to access your website and it’ll reflect negatively on your ranking. To explain further, if your website isn’t working then it’s no good to anyone searching it. Location – Google likes to display the most relevant content (content being another factor of SEO) closer to the location of the website .For example if you are searching restaurants in, most likely you’ll see websites from Australia come up before any other country, depending of course on relevancy. It makes sense right?... read more

Have you heard of Memcached? Well Here’s What It Is.

Websites are faced with the challenge of delivering loads of dynamic content to visitors and with the decreasing attention span of those who are impatient to wait when the content is served too slow. Normally, servers would load pages every time they are requested, which could have a slow-down effect on the speed at which a frequently accessed page is served to the visitor. Also, the repeated queries to the database server can lead to a non-cost-effective resource usage. Luckily, there are tools like Memcached that can help you streamline the data reading process and hence reduce the load on the server and the waste of valuable resources. What is Memcached?  Memcached works as a caching layer between the requests of the visitors and the server itself. Technically speaking, Memcached caches data and objects in the server’s RAM so that the frequently requested data can be served directly from the memory instead of the database server/API. Here is an illustration of how Memcached works during the first and each following request: First User Request When a user opens a page for the first time, the request is sent straight to the database server and, in the meantime, the data is stored in the Memcached server. Second User Request The next time the user makes a request for the same page, the data will be retrieved directly from the Memcached memory instead of the database server. This will significantly reduce the number of times a database is read and in the meantime will make pages load much faster. If you have a traffic-intensive, database-driven website like a large e-store, a... read more

2 Entrepreneurs in a cloud

“Everything happens for a reason”. Many people have their own opinions on this statement, whether for or against. Meeting my business partner Kappy Prasad and building a cloud hosting solutions business has been one of the best learning curves and most personally rewarding experiences… And we’ve only just began the journey. In my own personal experience I do believe everything happens for a reason.  Kappy and I met at a mutual friend’s birthday in Sydney, beginning of 2014. We had an initial 20 minute conversation in a loud, noisy club where I was nodding and smiling politely as I couldn’t really hear exactly what Kappy was saying.  However, the bits that I did grasp wowed me.  Kappy had already built and established a small start-up business, whilst  working for Google.  Having worked previously for Apple myself, I have always had an increased fascination of the culture, values, and work ethics that are found in MNCs around the world – especially Google, IBM, and Cisco.  Within the 20 minutes of our first conversation, I felt that we had a mutual connection and common love for business. The next day I added him on Facebook and we spoke for a good couple of hours, discussing each other’s backgrounds, experiences, aspirations.  Our conversation went backwards and forwards and the discussion felt like connected like a well-oiled machine. I told Kappy about some of my entrepreneurial ideas and one struck him immediately… “We need to grab lunch!”. I had a health and fitness app concept.  As much as I loved  the idea, I couldn’t find the right formula to make it perfect.  Ten... read more

A quick guide & understanding of GitHub

What is GitHub? Git is an open-source version control system very similar to other version control systems such as Subversion, CVS and Mercurial. What is it used for? When developers are coding, they are making constant changes to the code and releasing new version. Version control systems keep these revisions & store the modifications in a cloud repository allowing developers to easily collaborate, as they can download a new version of what they are building, make changes, and upload the newest revision. Every developer can see these new changes, download them, and contribute. Features in GitHub Let me go over a few of the basic features in GitHub to give you a basic understanding of  what each feature is and what it is used for. Repository A Repository is where all the files for a particular project are stored and provided by a unique link. Forking In GitHub you have the ability to grab another Git members project and create a new project , modifying the code and creating your own version or adding in new features Pull Request A Pull request is used for when you want copy the files however any changes will be notified to the original developer where they can choose to accept the changes or not. Compare Compare shows a list of all the commits unique to a branch, the sum of all the files changed across all of those commits, and a unified difference of all of those changes. It clearly summarizes what the branch represents. Basic Git Commands git clone  this command is used to upload your local directory files to your Git Project. git status  Used to show files that have not been... read more

The Easiest Way to Migrate Your Website

When you ask most people how do you transfer or migrate your site over the common answer is “oh i use Filezilla and download to my local drive then upload to the new directory”. This is not really the easiest way to migrate but a two step process of downloading the uploading, what if you had to transfer lets say a 200Gb site over. This was the case with our partner Mindarc who is a Digital Agency that looks after some high profile Ecommerce Websites and their client A Learning Place who is hosted on our cloud. Me being lazy and looking for the easiest way to do something i suggest using this command line to do a DIRECT Site to Site transfer just from terminal from Mac or Linux or use Putty if you are using Windows. Open up a terminal and enter this: scp -rp [email protected]:<DIRECTORY OF SOURCE> [email protected]:<DIRECTORY OF DESTINATION> Now lets dissect and see what the heck this means. SCP – Secure copy is a means of securely transferring computer files between a local host and a remote host or between two remote hosts -r  parameter – known as recursive, sometimes we need to copy the directory of all the files inside. -p parameter – Provides modification times, access times, and modes from original files The first [email protected]:<DIRECTORY OF SOURCE> is the SSH connection username and where the originating files are located so for example it would be something like this: [email protected]:/var/www/public_html/ The second section is where is the remote server where the files are going and which directory will it be placed under, for example: [email protected]:/var/www/user/html/website/  So the complete command looks something like... read more

The Importance Of Backups

I have seen this one too many times with friends, families organizations over and over again. It’s happened to me in the past before, having a portable drive storing all my important document, photos and a whole heap of other files and thinking it would never happen to me. Then one day it crashes. I received a call today from a frantic friend who had just lost a chuck of important business emails for the last 6 months. Why? because they had gotten a new laptop and using Microsoft Outlook kept all their emails stored locally on their laptop, so while trying to export from the old and import to the new an option “overwrite existing data” was accidentally left ticked while they were mindlessly talking on the phone. Investigated for what was 3 hours using various methods in an attempt to restore the lost emails, it eventually came to a point where he had to cut his losses and accept that 6 months of his business emails were… gone. I told him this as i tell you now it is important to probably devise a plan on how you can backup your data so that in the event of losing your storage device, floods, theft you will still have access to your data. DO NOT keep your family photos, important documents, assignments in a USB or portable hard drive. The best method to always keep a backup and a method that i use are one of 2 ways. 1. Use a cloud based backup service 2. invest in a NAS (Network Attached Storage) My samsung galaxy S3 automatically... read more

What is blogging in this tech savvy online marketing world?

Kappy “the nerd” Prasad and I met up with a friend last week by the name of Edward Zia who happens to own “Excellenceabove” a sales and marketing strategic mentoring business. Ed’s years of experience and wealth of knowledge in this space brought us to have conversations around blogging and its potential to grow businesses. He said it’s not only a great way to stay in touch with clients but to be able to share our experiences and knowledge around start-ups, technology, marketing, design and many other interesting and engaging topics. Wow I thought to myself that’s a great idea and I’ve always shared my experiences, knowledge and ideas’ with my friends and other entrepreneurs it would be great to facilitate this to the wider community and online! So okay great! Kappy and I are going to start writing blogs, but we have one problem. Both of us Kappy more than I have strong Information Technology background, him being the awesome programmer and developer, and I having studied Information Systems with a hint of marketing. English literature isn’t really any of our strengths but the more we do it the better we’ll become (So please bear with us and our English capabilities, I promise they’ll get better). Great so how do we go about doing it? How long will it take us to write these blogs, what exactly can they do for us? Will people read them or think its rubbish? To answer these questions I started doing my research into it as suggested by Ed. There are some similar yet different definitions of blogging. Blogging can be a... read more

What the heck is SSH?

SSH is an acronym for Secure Shell. It is a protocol that basically helps with the security of data communications between remote distances and allows you to communicate with distant machines remotely. SSH encryption was meant to make sure that confidential information is delivered while maintaining data integrity. It protects you from IP hacks, password theft, etc. SSH may not be proxied by Cloudflare but it can be accessed in other related... read more
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