SiteGround Blog

Our Top Customer Care Rep in June

As the Harry Potter magic just turned 20 this week, it’s a curious coincidence that our Top Customer Care Rep in June is among its most passionate fans. Toni Madjarova loves to immerse herself in the magical books, preferably while vacationing in a sunny destination. A secret hope she still keeps is to receive her acceptance letter from Hogwarts. We are pretty sure too she can’t be a muggle as she knows how to summon all her willpower and skills to overcome challenge after challenge.

How the Vary HTTP Header Can Be Bad

Vary is а powerful HTTP header that plays a significant role in how your website cache is working. When this header is set correctly, it ensures that your site visitors see the right content, regardless of the caching applied. However, if this header is set up incorrectly, it can totally overrule even the benefits of the best caching system and cause resource overusage. In this blog post, I want to shed some light on how the Vary header affects your SiteGround hosted site and specifically our caching system, and to show you what's the recommended use of Vary header for your site.

To crawl delay, or not to crawl delay?

Taming bots not to consume extensive amount of hosting resources has been an ongoing task for us. After the successful launch of the new Anti-bot AI system which has already blоcked more than 1 billion hits only from malicious bots, we’d like to shed some more light on another measure in that area - the crawl-delay setting. Read on to find out what it is, why you might want to consider it and why we no longer apply a default crawl-delay setting on our servers.

Our Top Customer Care Rep in May

Our Top Customer Care Rep of the Month Velizar can easily solve complex technical issues, but he can also masterfully play Mozart pieces on the violin, or tell you about War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. He has a wide range of interests and an amazingly positive personality, which is probably why so many of the customers he serves are happy.

14 Years of WordPress Playlist

It's that time of the year when we're getting ready to celebrate another WordPress anniversary. Tomorrow, May 27th, WordPress turns 14! To mark the occasion the SiteGround way, we made a playlist featuring a track by every musician that's ever had a WordPress release named in their honor. The mix did wonders for our productivity in the office, so we decided to share it. We hope it makes your day better, whether you had to spend it working on your website or celebrating. Enjoy and a Happy 14th Birthday to the whole WordPress community!

Let’s Encrypt Interface New Options

Making SSL certificated accessible and used by everyone has been our ongoing effort for more than a year now. We were among the first to provide the free Let’s Encrypt certificates. Then, we automated the SSL issuing for all accounts. Later, we upgraded our WordPress plugin, SG Optimizer, to allow 1-click WordPress SSL configuration. Now we’re making the next step - our latest upgrade to the Let’s Encrypt tool in cPanel allows you to force all your domain traffic through HTTPS with a single click regardless of the application you are using. Read below to find out what are the new options in our Let’s Encrypt interface.

How our new anti-bot AI prevents millions of brute-force attacks

For the last few days we have been gradually launching a new AI-based bot prevention system on our servers developed by our own DevOps specialists. We are already seeing amazing results from the operation of the system. Each hour it blocks between 500 000 and 2 million brute-force attempts across all our servers. Thus, we have prevented an unknown number of potential unauthorized logins, but what is even more important -- we have managed to save an enormous amount of server resources that can now be used for a meaningful and legitimate activity by our users.

Our Top Support Rep in April

Elena is a member of our Technical Support team and this month she became the top rated representative by our customers. So we interviewed her about her life in and out of SiteGround. Find out her favorite books, music and why she thinks she doesn’t actually work a single day in her life.

SG Optimizer – Our WordPress Plugin

In 2012 we released a SiteGround WordPress plugin. Its purpose was to connect the WordPress installations of our users with our caching service - the SuperCacher. For many years all updates we have made to the plugin were only related to the caching functionality. However, in the last few months we have added two completely new functionalities (HTTPS switch and PHP 7.0 updater) and have changed the plugin name to SG Optimizer. To learn more about what is now included in the SG Optimizer read below.

Our Top Customer Care Rep in March

This month we present to you Nikola Nikolov - our customer care rep who achieved the highest customer satisfaction rate in March. His formula for success is simple - set a goal, follow through and add generous doses of coffee. During spring, if he is not immersed in a fantasy book, he can be spotted playing basketball outside. Find out more about Nikola in his interview!

OptinMonster for SiteGround Users

Email communication is one of the foundations of an effective online marketing and a key to growing your business. But in order to start an email communication, you need to get those visitors’ emails first. One of the best ways to do this is to convert visitors into subscribers while they're still on your website, using opt-in forms. And some of the most effective opt-in forms are the dynamic ones that grab your visitors’ attention instantly - the exit pop-ups or floating subscription bars for example. But how do you create and implement a beautiful and effective opt-in popup form without having a team of designers, marketers and developers? A good option used by many of our customers is OptinMonster - a tool for a hassle-free lead generation. And through a recent SiteGround partnership with OptinMonster our users can now get a 30-day free trial and some special discounts.

Get your WordPress on PHP 7.0 now!

We have just released a new version of our WordPress plugin 3.2.1 the SG Optimizer, which allows you to move to PHP 7.0 with a click.  We encourage all SiteGround customers to utilize this great option and make their WordPress installation run on PHP 7.0 now. PHP 7.0 has been available on our servers for over a year and it is high time that all of our customers take full advantage of the considerable performance boost it provides.

SG Site Scanner powered by Sucuri

  Having a website regularly scanned for security issues, is something we have always highly recommended to our customers. Our site scanning service (known as HackAlert until recently) has always been among the bestsellers and is used by thousands of our customers to check their websites and inform them in case of a malware. Today we are happy to announce that we have introduced a number of improvements to this services. It is now called SG Site Scanner, it is powered by one of the most prominent web security experts - Sucuri.net, and it is simply awesome!

NextGEN Vulnerability Patched on SiteGround Hosting

Yesterday, our partners from Sucuri have discovered a serious SQL injection vulnerability in one of the most popular WordPress gallery plugins - NextGen Gallery. Our security team started working immediatelly on the issue and created a rule in our web application firewall (WAF) to block any potential attempts to exploit this vulnerability. However, we strongly recommend that all NextGen Gallery users update their plugin to version 2.1.79 which fixes the core of the issue in the plugin code.

Our Top Support Rep in February

Our Top Support Rep in February is Nikolay Hadzhiyski. He is one of those people who constantly strive to push their limits and can’t stay content for long with current achievements. He finds inspiration in music and likes to recharge his batteries on the snowboard. If you happen to see a snowboarder listening to Elvis Presley, that could easily be him! Here is what he shared with us.

Cloudflare HTTPS and WAF Update

Since we launched our integration with Cloudflare in 2012 we have seen thousands of our customers benefit from its CDN and the site security functionalities. Today we are happy to announce two improvements in the Cloudflare packages we provide. First, the SSL is now supported in the free plan of the service. Second, we have included a very cool security feature - the Cloudflare Web Application Firewall, in our Plus plan.

WordPress AutoUpdater Restarted

We have launched our WordPress AutoUpdater in 2012. Some tweaks were made to the system a year later, when the original AutoUpdate feature was included in the WordPress core, but we continued to rely primarily on our own system for our customers. The SiteGround AutoUpdater has been used successfully for the last 5 years and has kept a lot of our customers up-to-date and safe from hacks. Thanks to it, more than 70% of the WordPress installations on our servers have been constantly using the latest software version. However, we have been thinking for a while how to get this percentage even closer to 100. The recent security issues with WordPress REST API motivated us to introduce a change into the system that increased the upgrade rate to more than 90%.

Are You Ready to Get Hacked?

In the security world, the following advice seems to be gold: keep templates and plugins up to date; use secure passwords and captchas; be careful whom you give access and to what; use a security conscious web host. While those are all great tips and we encourage them, your website is still (and always will be) hackable. We’ve seen and helped clients with numerous hacks over the years, so we wanted to share some advice that goes beyond following security best practices.

HTTPS for WordPress With a Click

A month ago we made the first step to increase the adoption rate of SSL certificates amongst our customers by starting to issue automatically Let's Encrypt certificates for all domains hosted on our servers. However, there still remained a manual step to configure all applications to use the certificates we've made available. We knew that if we really wanted to see a rise in the HTTPS usage we not only needed to provide the SSLs, but also make it easy for our clients to implement them. Today we are happy to announce that we have achieved this second goal for a large group of our customers -- the WordPress users.

Our Affiliate Program in 2016 – Grounded on Product Quality and Trust

2016 was the most successful in the history of SiteGround. We kept growing in terms of clients and employees and we worked on many new projects that improved further the quality of our service. One of the key factors for our success is the relationship with our affiliate partners. During the past year we welcomed 63% more affiliates and witnessed a 60% increase in the number of the affiliate sales. We have distributed nearly $6 millions in commissions.

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