Corporate Blogs

Can Your Website Handle the Traffic Volume on Black Friday

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Black Friday is a HUGE day in e-commerce. In fact, many merchants can expect to see three times more traffic than usual. That’s a huge number! To ensure the best customer experience possible, retailers need to be ready to quickly expand their infrastructures to meet demand. So, do you think your site is ready to take the hit? Make Sure Your Server is Ready It’s easy to underestimate the impact Black Friday can have on your server–but don’t make that rookie mistake. Continue reading Can Your Website Handle the Traffic Volume on Black Friday at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Changing up the Feedback System

cPanel Blog -

cPanel’s support teams thrive on customer feedback. We work hard to ensure that we are meeting our customer’s expectations and providing them with the best experience. That begins with us trying to understand our customer’s reactions to the support that we provide. The best means of doing that is via our feedback system. We’ve decided to make a few changes to how customers leave feedback for our Technical Support and Customer Service teams. cPanel …

Blogging is the Key to Influencer Marketing

InMotion Hosting Blog -

You may have heard the term “influencer marketing” and wondered what it meant. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that uses key leaders to drive a brand message to a larger audience. Those key leaders have a large amount of “influence” on their fans following on social media and blog. It builds a bridge of trust with people who might otherwise not consider your brand or product. Brands rely on these influencers to provide recommendations to their audience, and one of the best and most stable ways to do that is through blogging. Continue reading Blogging is the Key to Influencer Marketing at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Common Bottlenecks That Slow Down WordPress Sites

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Is your WordPress site loading slow? Many factors can slow down WordPress, but luckily you do not need to be a tech-expert to fix them. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the most common bottlenecks that slow down WordPress and present a solution to each one. You can (and should) follow along with this guide even if your site is just for your hobby or if you don’t have any monetization strategy for it. Having a fast website not only is shown to increase revenue but performance also matters to retain users and to get more people to read your content. As Jeremy Wagner says in one of his articles for Google Web Fundamentals: “Performance plays a significant role in the success of any online venture, as high performing sites engage and retain users better than poorly performing ones.” You will find various statistics about how reducing the page loading time helped businesses increase conversion rates in their shops, increase the time visitors spend on their websites, and ultimately added more revenue to their bottom line. A fast website will help your content get noticed and consumed – and that’s all that matters. How Fast Is Your Site Currently? Tools for Analysis: GTMetrix, Pingdom, Google Pagespeed (only use for server response time), “Speed Suggestions” tab in Google Analytics (Behavior -> Site Speed -> Speed Suggestions) To understanding what slows down your WordPress site, you first need to analyze how fast your site is loading. Therefore we can utilize a number of free tools and services that provide interesting insights into the loading process. By running your site through the platforms I’m about to mention, you’ll be getting an idea of which of the common bottlenecks is slowing down your site.  Become a WordPress guru. Subscribe to Liquid Web’s weekly newsletter to get WordPress tips sent straight to your inbox. GTMetrix One of the most powerful tools for analyzing your site’s loading speed is GTMetrix. It’s a platform where you can enter your site’s URL and then get a detailed report on its loading process. I highly recommend you sign up for a free account, as that’ll give you additional information you can’t see as a guest user. Click here to find out how you can get the most out of GTMetrix. This is an example for my own website, WP Mastery. As you can tell, GTMetrix is showing my site takes 4.6s to load, which is quite long (I’ve got some work to do!). Since I’m logged in as a free user, I can also see the Timings tab. In that tab, I can see that my hosting could be a factor slowing down the site. The TTFB (click here for an explanation) is quite slow, there are entire sites that load within 0.7s! You can browse around in your GTMetrix report and gather ideas what you can work on to remove bottlenecks from your site. Pingdom Pingdom is another speed analysis provider, similar to GTMetrix. You can create similar reports with Pingdom and it’s a good idea to check both tools to uncover bottlenecks. Relying on just one speed analysis report might leave things in the dark, as each platform has proprietary algorithms to check your site. As you can tell, Pingdom shows the loading time of my site to be 3.62s instead of 4.6s. That’s a difference of 22%! But way more interesting is the part where Pingdom shows the timings: Even with CloudFlare CDN enabled, the first request shows a waiting time of 1.8s! That’s, of course, a big problem in my current setup. I’m sharing this openly, even though I’m providing WordPress maintenance and speed optimization services. Why? Because I want to show you that everybody, even “an expert”, relies on services being set up properly. That’s why I’m considering moving to Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting plan. Their infrastructure is optimized to make WordPress sites load fast and they take the basic maintenance tasks like backups and updates out of your hands too. As we’re seeing in the first two reports already, your hosting provider plays a big role. Google PageSpeed Insights The last tool I want to share with you is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. I want you to be careful with not getting caught up in the scores Google is showing – PageSpeed Insights is a tool for developers only. My main reason to include it is that it shows whether your hosting performance is a bottleneck. It’s super simple to understand if your server response time is slow or not. In my own site’s results, you can see that PageSpeed Insights is suggesting to reduce the server response time – confirming what GTMetrix and Pingdom already indicated. I don’t worry about the scores though, as they do NOT reflect the user experience on my site. For example, the “Leverage browser caching” suggestion sometimes is impossible to implement. In my case, Google suggests I cache files that are loaded from Google’s own servers – so I technically cannot cache them. Getting The Right Hosting With those three reports at hand, let’s address the elephant in the room – optimizing my server response time and reducing the time to first byte (TTFB). There are a number of steps I can do to get that time down: I’ll talk to my hosting provider and ask if they can help me get the site down. Often, hosting providers can tweak their settings a little bit to make your site load faster. As I also have the CloudFlare CDN enabled, I’ll talk to the CloudFlare support team as well. Lastly, I’ll run a plugin like WP Sweep to clean up my database from old data. As I said above, having a good hosting plan is quite important and should most often be the first step in making your site load faster. WordPress websites heavily benefit from optimized hosting like the one LiquidWeb is offering. There are certain technical configurations hosting companies can do that let WordPress load faster if their hosting plan is focused on WordPress only. If you have a generic hosting company that allows you to install all sorts of content management systems, those optimizations likely will not be in place. If your site is part of your business strategy and meant to generate income, hosting is a good place to invest in. Is Your Theme Slowing Down Your Site? Another common bottleneck is the theme that you’re using. Themes control the design of your website and their code quality heavily varies. There are WordPress themes that focus on being super-fast and there are themes that have tons of features but sacrifice loading speed for those.  Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting comes with Astra Pro, a super fast and lightweight theme. If you find that your theme adds tons of menu items to your WP Admin menu which you don’t use, it’s a good indicator that your theme is more bloated than you need it to be. Even though you like the design, you might want to talk to a developer about rebuilding the site with a theme that’s tailored more towards fast loading times. Often it’s quite straightforward to keep the design while rebuilding a WordPress site with a new theme. Another good indicator of whether your theme is slowing down your site are the reports we generated earlier. In GTMetrix, open the Waterfall diagram and check for the resources that are loaded from your theme’s folder. You can hover over the individual requests and check whether they have “wp-content/themes/” in their URI. If they do, your theme is generating that request. In Pingdom, scroll down to the “File Requests” section and enter the word “themes” in the filter. This section is more comfortable to use than GTMetrix’s Waterfall diagram and gives similarly detailed information. In this case, both tools show a reasonable amount of files being loaded from my themes (parent and child theme). They don’t take up much data nor cause any reasonable delays to my site’s loading time, so I know that my theme is set up properly. The only thing that’s worrying me a bit is the waiting time (bright yellow in the Pingdom report). Seeing in proportion, it’s way too long – so that’s another reason to talk to my host about it. If you see that your theme causes too many requests, there are a couple of steps you can take to fix it (run new speed analysis after doing each step and make sure you have a backup in place): If you haven’t already, install a caching plugin. Enable file minification and combination for CSS and JS files. Be careful here and ensure to test your site’s frontend after this step! Especially combining CSS or JS files can break your layout. Use the caching plugin to load JS files asynchronously or extend your theme to load JS async/deferred. At this point, you might be asking yourself what files to load asynchronously. PageSpeed Insights is showing you exactly which files you should work on! Head over to the report and check the “Eliminate render-blocking resources” suggestion: If you haven’t done these steps already, this should already fix a common bottleneck. The three steps outlined above will not just fix the files from your theme but will also tackle plugin files. Especially when you’ve enabled file minification, start loading selected files asynchronously and started combining CSS / JS files, your site should load reasonably faster. Are Plugins Slowing Down Your Site? Once you’ve followed the steps outlined above to optimize your theme, it’s time to analyze the plugins you’re using. Go ahead to the three platforms GTMetrix, Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights and run the reports again. If the steps were executed correctly and weren’t in place before, your loading time should already have gone down quite a bit. Let’s see if we can uncover more bottlenecks in your plugins. Firstly, check in with your hosting company if any plugin is taking up more server resources than others. A good web host will be able to check if any plugin on your site is slowing down the server. Some plugins are known to be quite resource-heavy on servers, e.g. plugins for showing related posts, plugin packs like Jetpack, or security plugins that scan your site for malware in the background. The fastest way to check if a certain plugin is slowing down your site is to copy your site to a staging version (how to set up staging on LiquidWeb) and then deactivate one plugin after another. After each deactivation, run the speed analysis reports again – the numbers will show you which plugin causes slow-downs. Obviously, you can also again go through the Waterfall section of GTmetrix and the “File requests” section in Pingdom and check for plugin-related files. The Pingdom report for WP Mastery shows that not many plugin files are loaded. That’s because I already combine CSS/JS files into single files – but it seems that I missed the “Better Click to Tweet” files. They’re only a few bytes and take up a couple of milliseconds to load. At this point, including them is a question of ROI – I don’t think spending the time adding those files is worth the performance boost. It’ll likely have no measurable effect. However, if you find that certain files take a reasonable time to load, they’re definitely worth optimizing! Is The Google Bot Taking Up Server Resources? Another bottleneck that’s often neglected is how often bots like the Google Bot (or bots from other search engines) visit your site to index your contents. Bots can cause heavy server load when they visit your site too often, so if that’s the case, you might want to reduce the crawl frequency. Maintenance Tasks To Keep Your Site Fast Lastly, let me mention a few maintenance tasks you want to perform regularly to keep your site running smoothly and fast: Keep your WordPress core, themes and plugins updated Eliminate unused plugins and themes from your installation Regularly clean up your database with WP Sweep or similar plugins Off-load tasks like backups and security to third-party services that run on their own servers and not on yours Be careful when using plugin suites like Jetpack or big plugins like BBPress, YARPP, and alike. Try Managed WordPress Hosting from Liquid Web Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting takes the hassle out of hosting with automatic updates to the core WordPress and plugins, along with image compression which speeds up your site and keeps it secure. The post Common Bottlenecks That Slow Down WordPress Sites appeared first on Liquid Web.

7 Secret Social Media Tactics that the Experts Don’t Want to Disclose

Pickaweb Blog -

The world of social media is always laden with cloak and dagger tactics. The experts always make it a point to safeguard their secrets wholeheartedly so that the competitors don’t get aware of it. It is not easy to figure out such social media marketing strategies from the renowned social media gurus out there. They The post 7 Secret Social Media Tactics that the Experts Don’t Want to Disclose appeared first on Pickaweb.

New – CloudFormation Drift Detection

Amazon Web Services Blog -

AWS CloudFormation supports you in your efforts to implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC). You can use a template to define the desired AWS resource configuration, and then use it to launch a CloudFormation stack. The stack contains the set of resources defined in the template, configured as specified. When you need to make a change to the configuration, you update the template and use a CloudFormation Change Set to apply the change. Your template completely and precisely specifies your infrastructure and you can rest assured that you can use it to create a fresh set of resources at any time. That’s the ideal case! In reality, many organizations are still working to fully implement IaC. They are educating their staff and adjusting their processes, both of which take some time. During this transition period, they sometimes end up making direct changes to the AWS resources (and their properties) without updating the template. They might make a quick out-of-band fix to change an EC2 instance type, fix an Auto Scaling parameter, or update an IAM permission. These unmanaged configuration changes become problematic when it comes time to start fresh. The configuration of the running stack has drifted away from the template and is no longer properly described by it. In severe cases, the change can even thwart attempts to update or delete the stack. New Drift Detection Today we are announcing a powerful new drift detection feature that was designed to address the situation that I described above. After you create a stack from a template, you can detect drift from the Console, CLI, or from your own code. You can detect drift on an entire stack or on a particular resource, and see the results in just a few minutes. You then have the information necessary to update the template or to bring the resource back into compliance, as appropriate. When you initiate a check for drift detection, CloudFormation compares the current stack configuration to the one specified in the template that was used to create or update the stack and reports on any differences, providing you with detailed information on each one. We are launching with support for a core set of services, resources, and properties, with plans to add more over time. The initial list of resources spans API Gateway, Auto Scaling, CloudTrail, CloudWatch Events, CloudWatch Logs, DynamoDB, Amazon EC2, Elastic Load Balancing, IAM, AWS IoT, Lambda, Amazon RDS, Route 53, Amazon S3, Amazon SNS, Amazon SQS, and more. You can perform drift detection on stacks that are in the CREATE_COMPLETE, UPDATE_COMPLETE, UPDATE_ROLLBACK_COMPLETE, and UPDATE_ROLLBACK_FAILED states. The drift detection does not apply to other stacks that are nested within the one you check; you can do these checks yourself instead. Drift Detection in Action I tested this feature on the simple stack that I used when I wrote about Provisioned Throughput for Amazon EFS. I simply select the stack and choose Detect drift from the Action menu: I confirm my intent and click Yes, detect: Drift detection starts right away; I can Close the window while it runs: After it completes I can see that the Drift status of my stack is IN_SYNC: I can also see the drift status of each checked resource by taking a look at the Resources tab: Now, I will create a fake change by editing the IAM role, adding a new policy: I detect drift a second time, and this time I find (not surprise) that my stack has drifted: I click View details, and I inspect the Resource drift status to learn more: I can expand the status line for the modified resource to learn more about the drift: Available Now This feature is available now and you can start using it today in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Canada (Central), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Paris), and South America (São Paulo) Regions. As I noted above, we are launching with support for a strong, initial set of resources, and plan to add many more in the months to come. — Jeff;  

Happy Hour | Two domains on sale for less than 3 bucks

Name.com Blog -

These two popular domains will be on sale for a limited time during Thursday’s Happy Hour. Join us this Thursday, Nov. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. MST (10 p.m. to 12 a.m. UTC) to register .CO and .US domains for $2.99 each during this week’s Happy Hour sale. Bookmark the Happy Hour page now […] The post Happy Hour | Two domains on sale for less than 3 bucks appeared first on Name.com Blog.

The Secrets to Great Conversation from the 2018 LinkedIn Top Voices

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Today we’re launching the 4th annual Top Voices list, which celebrates the professionals creating the most-engaging content on LinkedIn. More than 2 million posts, videos and articles course through the LinkedIn feed each day, generating tens of millions more shares and likes. We culled through the data to highlight over 340 professionals around the world that are sparking conversations that make everyone better informed. This year, the Top Voices that stood out range from IBM’s most-prolific... .

Keeping Riverdance in the Spotlight

WP Engine -

Since it began in the mid-1990s, Riverdance thas been a fan favorite, winning over audiences with its enchanting mix of traditional Irish and international dance music and its cast of highly-skilled dancers and musicians. But promoting Riverdance over the past two decades, and keeping it top of mind for new and old fans alike, has also… The post Keeping Riverdance in the Spotlight appeared first on WP Engine.

Data Centers on Life Support: Healthcare Realizing Digital Transformation

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

The data center is dead… at least according to the analyst experts at Gartner. Okay, so a healthcare veteran like me shouldn’t be so cavalier about throwing that word around, but health care organizations getting out the data center business is the new, cold reality. The industry has embraced cloud adoption in an effort to […] The post Data Centers on Life Support: Healthcare Realizing Digital Transformation appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

How Secure is Your Website

InMotion Hosting Blog -

There’s an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This goes for websites as well. Do you know just how strong and secure your website truly is? There are several things you can do to make sure that your website is as secure as possible. Many small businesses report that their websites get attacked a few times every single day. Hackers are poking and prodding their defenses looking for any opening that will give them a foothold to do some serious damage. Continue reading How Secure is Your Website at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Internet Exchanges: How Web Hosts Cooperate to Curb Latency and Keep Your Users Happy

Nexcess Blog -

As the cause of lag, latency is public enemy #1 in eCommerce. Nothing is better at killing an online experience and driving users away from a site, possibly never to return. Most of us probably assume it’s an issue with bandwidth, but often the problem can be traced back to high latency. Read on to… Continue reading →

5 Benefits of Using a Website Builder for Blogs

HostGator Blog -

The post 5 Benefits of Using a Website Builder for Blogs appeared first on HostGator Blog. Website builders for blogs make it easy to publish your content. As a blogger, you’re already tasked with creating and promoting your work. The last thing you want to worry about is building your website from scratch. Haris Bacic, a Forbes contributor, writes: “Creating a website for your business doesn’t have to be a headache and it certainly doesn’t require hiring an expensive design agency to create it for you. Depending on the type of business you own, there are several quick and affordable solutions.” Should you use a website builder for your blog? Here are five benefits to consider right now.   1. Quick Setup A blogger’s focus is creating compelling content for their readers. You need to craft creative topics, design beautiful images, and maybe even record a video (or two).   Your time is limited, and you shouldn’t waste it constructing a site. With website builders, you don’t have to learn how to code or hire a website designer. Website builders cater to first-time site owners and beginners. There’s no stressing about fixing  a HTML error. You could literally set up your site during a lunch break. For example, HostGator’s setup is simple and quick. You can either register a new domain or enter an existing one. Then, you can select a hosting plan and any additional services, like hack alert monitoring or site backup. Website builders also make it effortless to brand your blog. You can add a favicon—a branded icon—in the address bar and browser tab for your visitors to see. It’s a clever way to give your blog a more professional look. If you sign up with HostGator, you’ll also receive 24/7/365 support. The friendly support team will answer your questions and help you resolve any issues. A quick setup means more time doing what you love. Website builders for blogs decrease the technical difficulty.   2 Affordability Whether you’re a seasoned or novice blogger, you don’t need to bruise your bank account to create a website. Your goal is to find an affordable option that will help you communicate with your audience. A few decades ago, developing a website required a tech guru. You would book an appointment with an agency, go to the business’s downtown offices, and talk with their experts about the look and feel of your desired site. This complicated process meant expensive rates. The professionals even charged you for making monthly updates. Bloggers depleted a lot resources to exist on the World Wide Web. With website builders, you’re in control. Now, it doesn’t make sense to squander your time and money with an overpriced specialist. It’s worth it to utilize a website builder. “Be realistic with what’s essential for your website…A DIY website builder will more than suffice. A majority of individuals and businesses looking to build a website will fall into this category…Rest assured, building your website is affordable and doesn’t have to break the bank,” writes Entrepreneur contributor Ana R. Alvarado. When comparing website builders, go beyond primary features. Figure out if the hosting provider offers multiple email accounts, a one-click application installation, or a money-back guarantee.   3. Pre-Designed Templates Visuals are a key component when developing your website. You want an eye-catching design that sparks visitors’ interests. Then, you can lure them in with your original content. The cost of hiring a website designer can get pricey, ranging anywhere from $300 to $5,000. It can take several weeks to produce a custom design that fits your business’s needs. The whole process also can leave you overwhelmed. Pre-designed templates remove that anxiety. You don’t have to constantly contact someone to make simple changes. You can modify the color scheme, font choice, and images when you see fit. Check out the pre-designed template below. HostGator provides a selection of more than 100  mobile-friendly website themes, plus an image library. The drag and drop functionality makes it trouble-free for non-coders. With pre-built sections and pages, you have an array of customization options so you can fully customize and categorize your site. There are no limits on how to develop a site suitable for your audience. Test out your design to ensure it’s delivering the right message. You can run a beta test asking a few consumers for their opinions via a short survey. Then, you can use that input to make improvements. Website builders help you skip the drama when it comes to design. Pre-designed templates offer bloggers the convenience to choose what’s best for them.   4. SEO Tools Getting your website up and running is only the beginning. The next step is to draw attention to your blog and persuade users to actually visit. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one method of earning more visitors. By raising your organic search traffic, you can convert the occasional visitor into a frequent blog reader. HostGator’s SEO tools can provide you with easy-to-follow insights and analytics that help improve your search rankings, boost your website traffic, and monitor local competition. “The best way to start is to build a website that is SEO-friendly. Website-building software that caters to this will help your site rankings to be boosted through allowing you to add and edit title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions, at a bare minimum,” states Inc. contributor Bubba Page. SEO is more than stuffing keywords into a blog post. It involves doing research to find relevant keywords, optimizing your images, and linking to authoritative sources. Also, consider the permalink structure—how visitors locate your blog and its internal blog posts. After your blog setup, be sure to do experiments and measure the results. SEO isn’t a one-time tactic; it’s an ongoing strategy that needs fine-tuning. Focusing on SEO is essential for growing your readership.   5. Ecommerce Shopping Cart Some bloggers don’t set out to make money with their words. And that’s fine. It starts as a hobby and surprisingly leads to a full-time business. Statista reports that an estimated 1.66 billion users worldwide purchased goods online in 2017. eCommerce opens doors for small businesses to market their products to a global audience. If you’re expanding into eCommerce, one of the first steps is to decide what you will sell to your readers. As a food blogger, you might sell your latest cookbook. A lifestyle blogger may sell unique jewelry. It’s really up to your imagination and the purchasing desires of your shoppers. HostGator makes it painless to manage your store. With a convenient dashboard, you can view recent orders and total monthly sales. Before launching your eCommerce store, you’ll also want to think about how you will ship your products, payment options for customers, and your refund policy. These factors play a critical role in how you run your business.   Starting can be a fun adventure, but if you ever feel exhausted, find ecommerce communities online.  Your local library may be a powerful resource, too. When you’re ready, you can turn your blog into a business. Use the eCommerce shopping cart add-on to monitor your incoming sales.   Blogging with a Website Builder Creating a site shouldn’t be a worry for bloggers. Website builders exist to make the process of publishing content easier. Look for a website builder for blogs that offers quick setup. You want pre-designed templates, so you don’t have to spend money on hiring a web designer. The e-commerce shopping cart also lets you expand your blogging into a business. Start your blog today. Choose HostGator as your website builder. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Prepare for PHP 5 Going EOL

Liquid Web Official Blog -

As any technology reaches the end of its life, there tends to be a group of users who wait as long as possible to switch to a new one. In the case of an important language like PHP, the end of security support for version 5 is a significant event, and website administrators need to aware of and address any issues or migrations by the end of the year. PHP is a programming language which is usually used for server-side scripting and is frequently used as part of the LAMP architecture for deploying web applications. The first thing you need to know is that PHP is used by 79% of all websites with known server-side programming languages, so if you are not sure, yours probably uses it too. Among those sites, nearly 79% are currently using a branch from version 5, so if you have yet to move to PHP 7, you are hardly alone. Millions of websites are going to have to migrate to the newer version in the next few months, as security support runs out for PHP 7.0 on December 3, and for PHP 5.6 on December 31, 2018. Branch 5.6 is the last PHP Version 5 release, and in order to give websites more time to move to PHP 7, its active support was extended by four months, and its security fix period by an entire year. When that period runs out, no further releases will be issued to patch security vulnerabilities. At PHP.net, the PHP Group, which produces the language’s reference implementation, warns users that “using older versions may expose you to security vulnerabilities and bugs that have been fixed in more recent versions of PHP.” This means that a change is necessary for every website running PHP 5.6, which likely includes yours. There are a few things you should know about making that change and what it will be. With a small amount of preparation, potentially major headaches associated with the change can be avoided.  Be prepared for the unknown with industry insights from Liquid Web. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to have content sent straight to your inbox. What You Should Know The end-of-life of PHP 5 is part of the normal release cycle for the language. Each version is actively supported for two years from the date of its first stable release, with regular releases addressing any known bugs and security vulnerabilities. Two years after its release, each version is supported only with fixes for critical security issues as needed. Because it has not been actively supported, any non-critical PHP 5.6 bugs and performance issues that have cropped up have not been addressed with new releases. Meanwhile, more than four years have passed since version 5.6 was released, and the community has worked to improve the language. The continued popularity of version 5.6 shows that it continues to work effectively enough for most of the web, but branch 7 delivers a number of new capabilities and a powerful new Zend execution engine. The active support period for PHP 7.1 actually ends even before the PHP 5.6 security support end date, and the security support period ends on December 31, 2019, so all servers will need to run PHP 7.2 or later in just over a year. Migrating from version 5.6 to branch 7 is not just a matter of downloading the source code and copying it over the old version. PHP.net warns that between incompatibilities and new features, the code should be tested before switching version in production environments. This is always the case with new versions of PHP, but part of the goal of branch 7 was to deprecate legacy functions and remove dead or unsupported Server APIs and extensions, so many sites will encounter compatibility issues to work around. An important thing to know about PHP 7 is that it is not backward compatible. That means testing needs to be done ahead of time to ensure all the different parts of your site will work when you have migrated. If you are performing the migration yourself, what you need to know to begin is which version of PHP is running on all of the different components of your site and whether they will run on the new version. This usually includes a content management system (CMS), along with all of the themes, extensions, and plugins that make it unique. Most modern CMSs are compatible with many versions of PHP, and unless they are running older unsupported plugins or themes, these should be unaffected by the update. WordPress, for instance, supports every version of PHP since version 5.2.4. There are tools available to help check for PHP compatibility, including some for specific CMSs. Learn more about how to migrate from PHP 5.6 to 7. What to Prepare For The level of preparation necessary for a website operator migrating from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7 depends on the kind of website and hosting, but at the very least, it is necessary to prepare for the change to be made in time to work out any issues arising from the update and put it into production for the version 5.6 end-of-life date. If you are not sure if all of your plugins or themes are compatible, find out now.  PHP updates are included in all managed hosting plans, so Liquid Web professionals handle the version migration. For customers with dedicated and cloud dedicated servers, PHP can be installed through cPanel or Plesk. To prepare for the switch, you will have to finally replace or stop using any of the deprecated items that have been removed, such as ASP-style tags and the MySQL extension. PHP 7 uses a new uniform left-to-right variable syntax, and also treats multiple “default clauses differently, both of which may require some tidying up in existing code. Making the necessary changes to your code, substituting or updating plugins and other website elements as necessary, and testing your site are the main steps to prepare for migration. Once you have migrated, you can expect the newer version to deliver some performance benefits. PHP tends to get faster with each new release. In a recent benchmark by Phoronix, version 7.3 was roughly 7 percent faster than PHP 7.2, and 25 percent faster than PHP 7.0. The PHP 7 is significantly more efficient than PHP 5.6, and in certain situations can be nearly twice as fast. The end of security support makes it critical to upgrade. The increased urgency is due to the possibility of vulnerabilities being found and exploited by hackers. Unsupported legacy elements of a system are attractive to hackers as low-hanging fruit. If you know that the change is coming, and how different parts of your site will be affected, upgrading to PHP 7 is likely to be a smooth process involving little or no downtime. While it will mean that some legacy site features will have to be replaced or eliminated, it will run all of the most important features of your website faster and more efficiently than before. Most importantly, potentially critical security vulnerabilities will crop up in version 5.6, sooner or later, now that it has reached its end-of-life. Migrating to PHP 7 avoids them, and keeps your business online. Get Started on a Migration with Liquid Web We recommend getting started on a migration plan that includes moving your content to a new dedicated server running PHP 7 in order to perform troubleshooting and updating there, followed by the final sync and move. The only viable alternative is to migrate to a CloudLinux server, which will cost more for licensing and miss out on the new version’s performance gains but will at least provide longer-term support for legacy PHP versions. Contact the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting to make sure your site continues running smoothly far beyond the PHP 5.6 end-of-life. The post How to Prepare for PHP 5 Going EOL appeared first on Liquid Web.

15 Design Collaboration Tools to Empower Remote Teams

Pickaweb Blog -

Effective design collaboration is a key factor to determine the success of a designing firm. With the number of remote workers increasing, it could be challenging to collaborate with team members sitting miles away. However, with the right structure and tools, web designers can easily collaborate with other designers, developers, stakeholders and receive instant feedback. The post 15 Design Collaboration Tools to Empower Remote Teams appeared first on Pickaweb.

New gTLD Report – October 2018

Reseller Club Blog -

Along with the launch of the all new Plesk VPS hosting, the month of October did witness gradual improvements in the registration numbers of the new gTLDs as compared to the month of September. While registrations for .LIFE  climbed 18%, .LIVE witnessed a 103% jump in its numbers. With a considerable spike in its registrations, .TOP was able to secure the third spot during the month of October. Let’s dig in further into the trending new gTLDs! Here’s a peek at the new gTLDs that made it to the top during the month of October: New gTLD Report – October 2018 Infogram *Registration Numbers Facilitated by ResellerClub .XYZ:  It was the global market that boosted the registrations for .XYZ during the month of October. The promo price of $0.99 drove the registrations of this new gTLD and helped it retain its top spot on the list. .XYZ was able to grab a 21% share of the total new gTLDs registered in the month of October. .ICU: With a 11% jump in its registration numbers, .ICU was able to move up a rank and thus landed the second spot in the list of new gTLDs registered. It is the increasing popularity of this new gTLD in the China markets that has assisted it in grabbing a 14% share of the total new gTLDs registered. .ICU was being sold at a promo price of $0.99 during the month of October. .TOP:  The promo price of $1.59 boosted the registrations of this new gTLD during the month of October. .TOP took the number three spot on the list by grabbing a 11% share of the new gTLDs registered. The increasing registrations in the global market has helped .TOP climb up the list month on month. .SITE: Being a recent entrant in the top 5, this new gTLDs has been able to hold onto its spot with a 10% share of the total new gTLDs registered. The promo price of $4.99 surged sales of this new gTLD in the global market and helped fuel its registrations during the month of October. .ONLINE: Following the trend with .XYZ and .TOP, is .ONLINE that has consistently been able to hold onto a spot in the top 5 list of the new gTLDs registered. This Radix new gTLD that was running at a promo price of $6.99 was able to grab a 5% share of the total new gTLDs registered. Apart from the top, there has been noticeable changes among the new gTLDs that made it to the top 15. .LIFE has again been successful in moving up a rank to the sixth spot with a 18% spike in its registrations. Following its suite has been the new gTLD, .LIVE which saw its registration numbers soaring 103% during the month of October. Having no new entrants during the month, it can be concluded that these top 15 new gTLDs have shown consistent improvements in registration numbers as compared to the previous month. Here’s a peek into the exciting domain promos lined up during the month of November: Reseller the all time trending .XYZ at just $0.99 Help your customers establish their start-up business online with a .CO web address at just $2.79! Expand your customer’s business in the Asian subcontinents with a .ASIA at just $0.99. And that’s it folks! You can check out all our trending domain promos here and get the right one for your customer’s business. Also, follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get updates about our trending domain promos. Just look out for the posts with #domainpromos. See you there!  

How Apps Can Transform The Way Contractors Do Business

Pickaweb Blog -

Technology has changed the way many professionals do business. Computers, smartphones and tablets help with everything from finding clients and customers to sending invoices when the job is done. Contractors are not left out of this. Many building contractors, HVAC contractors, and electrical contractors realise that computers and mobile apps can make many of their The post How Apps Can Transform The Way Contractors Do Business appeared first on Pickaweb.

In the Works – AWS Region in Milan, Italy

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Late last month I announced that we are working on an AWS Region in South Africa. Today I would like to let you know that we are also building an AWS Region in Italy and plan to open it up in early 2020. Milan in 2020 The upcoming Europe (Milan) Region will have three Availability Zones and will be our sixth region in Europe, joining the existing regions in France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, and the new region in Sweden that is set to launch later this year. We currently have 57 Availability Zones in 19 geographic regions worldwide, and another 15 Availability Zones across five regions in the works for launch between now and the first half of 2020 (check out the AWS Global Infrastructure page for more info). Like all of our existing regions, this one is designed and built to meet the most rigorous compliance standards and to provide the highest level of security for AWS customers. AWS in Italy AWS customers in Italy have been using our existing regions for more than a decade. Hot startups, enterprises, and public sector organizations in Italy are all running their mission-critical applications on the AWS Cloud. Here’s a tasting menu to give you an idea of what’s already happening: Ferrero is one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers (including the Pocket Coffee that powers my blogging). They have been using AWS since 2010, and use a template-driven model that lets them share features and functions across 250 web sites for 80 countries, giving them the ability to handle traffic surges while reducing costs by 30%. Mediaset runs multiple broadcast networks and digital channels, as well as a pay-TV service, advertising agencies, and Italian film studio Medusa. The Mediaset Premium Online soccer service now attracts over 600,000 unique month visitors, doubling in size since it was launched last year. AWS allows them to meet this demand without adding more hardware, while also scaling up and down on an as-needed basis. Eataly is the largest online marketplace for Italian food and wine products. After moving from physical stores to the web, they decided to use AWS to ensure scalability. Today, they use a wide range of AWS services, deliver 1.5 to 3 million page views daily, and handle holiday peaks ranging from 100 to 1000 orders per day. Vodafone Italy has more than 30 million customers for their mobile services. They used AWS to power a new pay-as-you-go service to allow mobile customers to add credit to their accounts, building the service from scratch to be PCI DSS Level 1 compliant and to scale rapidly, all in just 3 months, and with a 30% reduction in capital expenses. The European Space Agency (ESA) Centre for Earth Observation in Frascati, Italy runs the Data User Element (DUE) program. Although much of the work takes place in Earth-orbiting satellites, the program also takes advantage of EC2 and S3, storing up to 30 terabytes of images and observations at peak times and available to a 50,000 person user community. The new region will give these customers (and many others) a new option with even lower latency for their local customers, and will also open the door to applications that must comply with strict data sovereignty requirements. Investing in Italy’s Future The upcoming Europe (Milan) Region is just one step along a long path! Back in 2012 we launched the first Point of Presence (PoP) in Milan and now use it to deliver Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF services to Italy, sharing the load with a PoP in Palermo that we launched in 2017. In 2016 we acquired Asti-based NICE Software (read Amazon Web Services to Acquire NICE). We are also working to help prepare developers in Italy for the digital future, with programs like AWS Educate, AWS Academy, and AWS Activate. Dozens of universities and business schools across Italy are already participating in our educational programs, as are a plethora of startups and accelerators. Stay Tuned I’ll be sure to share additional news about this and other upcoming AWS regions as soon as I have it, so stay tuned! — Jeff;  

AWS GovCloud (US-East) Now Open

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Last year I told you that we were working on AWS GovCloud (US-East), an eastern US companion to the existing AWS GovCloud (US-West) Region that we launched in 2011. The new region is now open and ready to serve the needs of federal, state, and local government agencies, the IT contractors that serve them, and customers with regulated workloads. It offers added redundancy, data durability, and resiliency, and also provides additional options for disaster recovery. This is an isolated AWS region, subject to FedRAMP High and Moderate baselines, operated by US citizens on US soil. It is accessible only to vetted US entities and root account holders, who must confirm that they are US Persons (citizens or permanent residents) in order to gain access. You can read Achieve FedRAMP High Compliance in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region to learn more. AWS GovCloud (US) gives vetted government customers and regulated industry customers and their partners the flexibility to architect secure cloud solutions that comply with: the FedRAMP High baseline, the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy, U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) for Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5, FIPS 140-2, IRS-1075, and other compliance regimes. Lots of Services Applications running in this region can make use of Auto Scaling (EC2 and Application), AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, CloudWatch Events, Amazon CloudWatch Logs, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Config, AWS Database Migration Service, AWS Direct Connect, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic Container Registry, Amazon ECS, Elastic Load Balancing (Application, Network, and Classic), Amazon EMR, Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Amazon Glacier, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) (including Access Key Last Used), Amazon Inspector, AWS Key Management Service (KMS), Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, AWS Lambda, Amazon Aurora (MySQL and PostgreSQL), Amazon Redshift, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), AWS Server Migration Service, Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF), Amazon EC2 Systems Manager (SSM), AWS Trusted Advisor, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, VM Import, VPN, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Snowball, AWS Snowball Edge, AWS Server Migration Service, and AWS Step Functions. Crossing the Regions Many of the cool cross-regions features of AWS can be used to span AWS GovCloud (US-East) and AWS GovCloud (US-West) in order to reduce latency or to increase workload resiliency & availability for mission-critical systems. Here’s what you can do: EC2 – Copy AMIs. EBS – Copy volumes and snapshots. S3 – Replicate buckets. DynamoDB – Replicate tables using DynamoDB Streams. Redshift – Copy snapshots manually and automatically. RDS – Create cross-region read replicas for MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL. Copy snapshots. CloudTrail – Aggregate logs. CloudFormation – Use StackSets to maintain consistency across accounts and regions. We are working to add support for DynamoDB Global Tables and Inter-Region VPC Peering. AWS GovCloud (US) in Action Our customers are already hosting many different types of applications in AWS GovCloud (US-West); here’s a small sample: Enterprise Apps – Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft workloads that were traditionally provisioned for peak demand are now being run on scalable, cloud-based infrastructure. HPC / Big Data – Organizations with large data sets are spinning up HPC clusters in the cloud in order to extract intelligence and to better serve their constituents. Storage / DR – The ability to tap in to vast amounts of cost-effective, highly durable cloud storage managed by US Persons supports a variety of DR approaches, from simple backups to hot standby. The addition of a second region allows you to use of the cross-region features that I mentioned earlier. Learn More To learn more, check out the AWS GovCloud (US) page. If you are looking forward to making use of AWS GovCloud (US) and need a partner to help you to make it happen, take a look at the list of AWS GovCloud (US) Partners. — Jeff;

New – Redis 5.0 Compatibility for Amazon ElastiCache

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Earlier this year we announced Redis 4.0 compatibility for Amazon ElastiCache. In that post, Randall explained how ElastiCache for Redis clusters can scale to terabytes of memory and millions of reads and writes per second! Other recent improvements to Amazon ElastiCache for Redis include: Read Replica Scaling – Support for adding or removing read replica nodes to a Redis Cluster, along with a reduction of up to 40% in cluster creation time. PCI DSS Compliance – Certification as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant. This allows you to use ElastiCache for Redis (engine versions 4.0.10 and higher) to build low-latency, high-throughput applications that process sensitive payment card data. FedRAMP Authorized and Available in AWS GovCloud (US) – United States government customers and their partners can use ElastiCache for Redis to process and store their FedRAMP systems and data for mission-critical, high-impact workloads in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region, and at moderate impact level in the other AWS Regions in the US. To learn more, read the ElastiCache for Redis Compliance documentation. In-Place Upgrades – Support for upgrading a Redis Cluster to a newer engine version in-place and while maintaining availability except for a failover period measured in seconds. New Instance Types – Support for the use of M5 and R5 instances, with significant performance improvements. 5.0 Compatibility Today I am happy to announce Redis 5.0 compatibility to Amazon ElastiCache for Redis. This version of Redis includes support for a new Streams data type and new commands (ZPOPMIN and ZPOPMAX) for use on Sorted Sets, and also does a better job of defragmenting memory. To learn more, read What’s New in Redis 5? As usual, you can use the ElastiCache Console, CLI, APIs, or a CloudFormation template to get started. I’ll use the Console, with the following settings: My cluster is up and running within minutes: I can also use the in-place upgrade feature that I mentioned earlier on my existing 4.0-compatible cluster. I select the cluster, click Modify, and the 5.0-compatible engine is already selected. I confirm the other settings and click Modify to proceed: Streams in Action The new Stream data type is very powerful! Each Stream has a name, and can be created by simply referencing it as part of an XADD command. Let’s say that I have a long-running process that generates files that need to be scanned and validated. For testing purposes, I can add a bunch of files to a stream name Files from the shell like this: $ find /usr -name 'a*' -exec redis-cli -h r5cluster.seutl3.ng.0001.use1.cache.amazonaws.com \ XADD Files \* f {} \; I can retrieve values starting from the beginning of the stream using the command XREAD BLOCK 1000 STREAMS Files 0: I can also read the values that are after a given ID: In most cases, I would be doing the reads and the writes from code rather than from the command line, of course. This is a very simple example of the power of Redis 5 Streams and I am sure that you can do better! Available Now You can upgrade existing 4.0-compatible clusters and create new 5.0-compatible clusters today in all commercial AWS regions. — Jeff;

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