The Hosting News

Historic Philadelphia Building Work Has Begun

Linode, a cloud hosting provider, has started work on a historic building in Philadelphia. The building covers 15,000 square feet and will be converted into an office space for the company. Last year, Linode was selected to restore the building, which dates back to 1902. It’s a three-story building, which used to be the home of Union Bank of Philadelphia and the Girard Cork Exchange National Bank and Trust Company. It was also used as the set of the MTV show The Real World: Philadelphia in 2004. The building is listed on both the local and national register of historic places. It provides unique features, such as limestone columns, a granite stoop, glass pocket doors and bronze throughout. Read the full story here.

The Cloud Era Soon to Include North Korea

A new announcement was made by the state media of North Korea recently. They will soon be joining the cloud era by launching their own cloud computing service. It will be called Eunjong or Benevolent Affection and will provide cloud storage similar to Dropbox or Google Drive. This news came right after the launch of online business-to-business shopping in North Korea late last year. No date for the service becoming available for the general public has been made. Currently, reports believe only about a half-million North Koreans have access to the state’s intranet. Read the full story here.

WhatsApp Told by the UK to Open Up to Intelligence Services

The U.K. Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, recently told WhatsApp, a Facebook company, to open up their encryption to security services. Rudd also said she wants online companies to be aggressive in shutting down any websites used by terrorists. This comes after Khalid Masood killed four people in London last week. He has used the WhatsApp right before the attack and Rudd believes WhatsApp needs to do more to help the country fight terrorists. Read the full story here.

GoDaddy Boosting WordPress Security by Acquiring Sucuri

Recently, GoDaddy acquired Sucuri in order to ensure they have great WordPress security. Sucuri will continue to run their business as normal, while GoDaddy will provide customers with Sucuri security services. No financial terms from the deal were provided. New security products are also a part of the deal. Both companies said they plan to work together to provide new security products in the newer future. Read the full story here.

Two Incidents Caused the Issues with Microsoft Azure Storage

Last week, two incident disrupted the service of 26 regions out of 28 for Microsoft Azure’s public cloud. One incident was caused by a software error and may have kept customers from during on diagnostics or using other resources. The other incident lasted about 8 hours and caused outages for many Azure services. In 2012, Azure suffered a 12-hour outage on leap day, which caused the company to refund one-third of the bill of customers. In 2013, the company suffered a partial performance degradation and in 2014, a shorter service disruption. This isn’t anything new for the company. Read the full story here.

Everything You Need to Know About Email

Email has become a normal part of our life, so much so, some people actually schedule time for email to avoid it as an all-day distraction. While email is still very new, it’s not going away. We all use it every day and often many times throughout the day. Millennials would rather communicate through email than over the phone. It has become one of the most reliable ways to communicate without having to spend time on the phone. Did you know that 205 billion emails are sent on a daily basis? Since email, the U.S. Postal Office has seen mail volume go down about 27%. Is email really taking over the world? How long before it takes out most, if not all of snail mail? Here’s a look at all you need to know about email. When Did Email Start? Before email was called email, it was called computer mail. In the mid-1960s, MIT used a simpler form of electronic mail on the Compatible Time Sharing System. This system allowed more than one user to access computers across associated college. A natural extension of this first system was created around 1965, which allowed a private message to be sent from one user to another. It wasn’t as much about sending a letter electronically, but more about informing the user of a file request. Next came ARPAnet Mail or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network mail. This was the first network to use TCP/IP and was initially used in 1967. This became the underpinning protocol of the entire internet and we still use it today. The program they used called SNDMSG allowed researchers to leave messages for each other. The first true email as sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. It was sent with a program called CYPNET, which was an extension of SNDMSG. The difference was the CYPNET could send a message from one computer to another. This was the first time we saw the @ used in the protocol. Email Becomes More Commonly Used The 1970s saw email start to become used more often, but only by specialist users. Message management was a part of this as it became necessary to sort the mail and the first email program giving user the control was created. It was called RD which allowed the user to read, forward, delete, save and organize messages. Commercialized email started to become a real thing in 1983. This happened when MCI Mail was created and allowed those using MCI Mail to email other users within the system. Then, CIS email was offered in 1989, which expanded commercial email even further. Shortly after Lotus Express and other client-based email programs were created. Email Used Today Today, we may choose to communicate in so many ways we often forget about the days before texting, Skype and other instant messaging programs. However, we still use email frequently and 205 billing emails were sent and received daily in 2015. It’s expected this number will go up by 5% by 2019, as well. With the ability to send and receive email on a mobile device, email continues to change. About 33% of emails opened in 2015 were opened on an iPhone with another 15% opened on an Android device. More than 39% of people have more than two email account and 40% check their primary account three times a day or more. Email Protocols All new technology needs a protocol. Over the years, many have been created for email including: SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol POP – Post Office Protocol IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol All three are a bit different, but allow users to set up email within client-based programs and send and receive messages. How Email Works The basic process of email includes generating, sending and receiving. However, there are more than just three steps. George and Jim both have email accounts set up. George creates an email with his client and puts Jim in as the recipient using the address Jim@jimsemailaddress.com. George clicks SEND and the message is sent through a specific port (via TCP/IP) to his ISP’s SMTP server. George’s SMTP server finds Jim’s SMTP server and delivers the message to it. Now, the DNS server will query the Mail eXchanger for Jim’s domain name. Jim’s SMTP server will put the message on the IMAP or POP 3 of his server for download. Jim will open his email client and click the Send/Receive button. Then, the new email will show up. Of course, the process isn’t always friendly. Email has become a hacker’s best friend and a marketer’s favorite choice. This has led to many dangerous messages and SPAM messages sent every single day. In fact, in 2015, the average email user received 12 spam messages every single day. This is predicted to go up to 19 by 2019. Dangerous phishing emails have also become very common. Some will try to get your personal information, collect your log in for a certain website or install a virus on your computer. It’s important to set up specific security measures for your email. More About Email There’s so much that could be covered on the subject of email, a book could be created. Email marketing is a huge part of business today and email has become one of the top forms of communication. It’s used to provide customer service and to sell products and services to new customers. While email is commonplace today, it will become even more common in years to come. It’s likely going to be the main way businesses communicate and market. Make sure your email is secured properly and you’re very careful with it, however. If you’re not sure about email security, contact your web hosting company.

Does Your Site have Too Much Content?

Is it actually possible to have too much content Could content be your problem instead of your ally? When it comes to content, those saying you may have too much are those looking at the bounce rate. While your bounce rate is important, it’s also important to have great content, as that’s the reason people come to your website. There are two sides of this equation and it really doesn’t come down to how many blog posts you have, but it’s more about how long the blog posts are. One side believes longer equals more SEO benefits, while the other side believes shorter helps to keep your bounce rate down. When Shorter Content Makes Sense If your blog or website has been designed to sell something, shorter posts make sense. You want to get right to the point and get to that call to action fast. If you take too long, your visitors may leave before they act. Most visitors have a short attention span, so you cannot go longer with blogs if you’re trying to sell. Even in this case, you can’t go too short. You still need enough content to explain what you’re selling. It can be rather challenging to do this in just a couple hundred words. You have to get to the point, grab attention and get the person to act. Often, it’s easier to write longer blog posts and shorter posts end up becoming mini sales pages. It may also make sense to go a bit shorter if you’re market is very localized. For example, a local real estate agent may not need to have 1,000-word blog posts to get listed high for the blog post topic on Google. Since their market is super local, if the topic is local, it may get listed if the post is just 350 words. However, the topic still needs to be fully covered. When Longer Makes Sense Longer blog posts make sense about 85% of the time. Putting out 1,000-word posts gives the reader plenty of information and may actually keep them on your site even longer. In addition, longer does provide more SEO benefits. According to research from serpIQ, the top ten results from Google usually have at least 2,000 words of content. This is due to the Googlebot looking at all the content including words, titles and other information to rank it. If you have posts with 1,500 words or more, you gain flexibility with the keywords you can get listed for. You won’t be nearly as limited, which can provide many great benefits. In addition, some reports have shown that longer blog posts give you a far better chance of gaining real, quality backlinks. This is another big deal in the SEO world. The Key to Writing Longer Content There is one glaring problem with writing longer blog posts, however. Writers will go on forever without really adding value. If the content is only written to achieve the goal of 1,500 words, it may not rank well in Google. Not only should it be longer, but it should also be quality information without much fluff. Taking Length Out of the Process Whether you hire a writer or you write your own blog posts, eliminate length from the conversation. This is a bit harder to do when hiring a writer, but can still be done. Instead of stating you want 500-word blog posts, set a minimum and be willing to pay for additional words up to a maximum. You may have parameters running from 300 words up to 2,000 words or even more. This will give your writer the ability to write about something interesting and feel like they can stop when they’ve covered the topic. Some of the best content on the web goes well over 2,000 words, but it’s written with value. 7 Tips for Writing Great, Longer Blog Posts Creating excellent content means you’re splitting it up and making it easier to read. Here are seven quick tips to help make your longer blog posts reader-friend. Use sub-headings often Create bullet point lists Add images Quotes are great Short, to the point paragraphs make reading easier Conversational writing only Make it scannable If a visitor sees a huge block of text, it looks hard to read. However, if you break that same block of text into multiple paragraphs, add in some sub-headings and pepper in a picture or two, it becomes easy to scan. Online readers want to go through the list you have created and seek out what they want to read about. You might put up a 3,000-word blog post and some reader may only read 500 words. However, your bounce rate only gets out of control if they cannot find those 500 words they want. For example, if you create a list of 25 tips for choosing a web hosting company, they may only find 5 tips new to them. While these are all helpful tips, they have to be able to find them fast. Using one sub-heading for each tip will make it easy to scan the content and find the tips they need. There is no such thing as too much content on your website or blog; as long as the content adds value. Even a 5,000-word blog post can have a ton of value, but so can a 500-word blog post. If you want to rank well in Google and provide plenty of value to your visitors, go longer, not shorter.

How Did Russian Hackers Attack Yahoo?

Alexsey Belan, known as a sneaky Russian hacker that U.S. authorities have been after for some time, was indicted in 2013. However, even after being arrested in Europe, he escaped to Russia. His charges actually made him a more desirable candidate in the country. Belan is one of a handful of hackers living outside the US responsible for the Yahoo hack. Handlers kept Belan and other safe and they repaid their handlers by hacking into Yahoo and gaining access to recovery email accounts, personal information and plenty of data. Read the full story here.

Do SSL Certificate Help with Search Ranking?

An SSL certificate didn’t use to matter when it came to your SEO ranking. However, that changed with an announcement from Google stating that an SSL certificate could boost search rankings. When this announcement came out, marketers were going nuts trying to get SSL certificates for their websites. Full Website Security SSL certificates make your website secure and give it the “HTTPS” stamp. This gives you the ability to process data without the issues a non-secure site come with. In addition, some browsers will label your site as “not secure” in the address bar. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. It’s a protocol used to help encrypt communications between the web server, user and browser. With an SSL certificate it’s impossible for anybody to see the data getting transferred from the website to the server. Usually, these certificates are used to keep hackers at bay. Now, they are also an important way to help boost ranking on search engines. Become More Competitive If your competition is using an SSL certificate and you’re not, it’s a great way to level the playing field. By securing your website, you won’t have to worry about getting outranked due to security. Instead, you may hop over those competitors will lesser SEO if you add this additional feature to your website. Immediate SEO Benefits Google made it clear in the announcement, if you comply by getting an SSL certificate for your website, you will enjoy immediate SEO benefits. They are not doing this because they are in the business of forcing security certificates on your website, but because they are trying to make the World Wide Web a safer place. Do you Need an SSL Certificate? You can still rank high in Google without an SSL certificate, but it’s easier with one. While many marketers didn’t do anything when this announcement came out, some have taken action and enjoy higher rankings because of it. If you want to make SEO easier, get an SSL certificate for your website. You can buy an SSL certificate from your hosting company. Some have actually given them away free of charge and still do. However, the expense compared to the benefits, even if you have to pay for an SSL certificate, give it plenty of value. While an SSL certificate is a very easy way to gain some of Google’s love, it’s only one of more than 200 factors used for ranking your website. A large percentage of the highest ranking websites still don’t use the HTTPS because it’s just one very small ranking signal. You won’t get an SSL certificate and all of the sudden hop up to the first page of Google. However, if your competition isn’t using HTTPS, you can gain an advantage. Research has also shown that the highest ranking domains on Google do have the HTTPS instead of just HTTP. It can help you rank higher, but it’s by no means some magic solution. You can skip getting an SSL certificate and work on other SEO signals from Google, but this one is so easy. All you have to do is buy the certificate from your hosting company and that’s one less ranking signal you have to worry about.

Google Lowering Cloud Prices to Compete

With about $10 billion invested in data centers over the past three years, Google now has the ability to lower prices. The new data center infrastructure has allowed the company to set the bar as they battle for cloud business. The company has dropped prices on cloud VMs by 5 to 8 percent and added Committed Use Discounts to help slash the cost of cloud infrastructure services as much as 55% if a customer makes a one to three year commitment. These discounts could make Google Cloud cheaper than AWS, which is the leader in the space. Read the full story here.

Hackers Targeting Central Banks Joined by “Anonymous”

Hackers looted the Bank of Russia for around $21 million last year. This type of theft in Russia is considered a part of a surge in global attacks on banks. It’s estimated that the attacks will get much worse this year. Some have said for central banks, it’s not if they will become a victim of a cyber-attack, but when. In fact, an activist hacker group known as “Anonymous” has stated they will be joining in the bank hacking. “Anonymous” is known for targeting big corporations, governments and security forces. However, sources with direct knowledge have said the group will also target central banks again this year. Read the full story here.

What’s Necessary When Starting a Small Business?

Maybe you’ve considered entering into the business world with your own small business. There are many things you will need and some of them you may not be aware of. Here’s a checklist of some of the best services, applications and other things you will need when starting your own small business. Permits and EIN Depending on the nature of your business and the state you live in, you may need to get a business permit, sales tax permit and EIN (Employer Identification Number). In some cases, you won’t need all of this if you will be running a business without employees. Even if you plan to sell digital goods, you may need a sales tax permit, however. Bank Accounts It’s always best to separate business from personal when it comes to finances. You want to get a business savings and checking account. If you don’t plan to hire employees, you may still need an EIN for this process. Business Insurance The type of insurance you may need for your business can vary. Make sure you speak with an agent and get the type of coverage you need for your business and your business assets. Tools for Email Marketing If email marketing will be a big part of your strategy, which it should be, you will need the right tools. Constant Contact, MailChimp and Aweber all provide good choices for your email marketing needs. Web Hosting Services Taking your business online is vital to your success. You will need great hosting for your website, which means taking the time to actually look at the different choices. Make sure you take the time to compare a few choices before settling on your new web hosting services. E-Commerce Tools Some web hosting packages are geared towards those setting up an online store. This could mean you get e-commerce tools as a part of your hosting. If not, you may want to look into options, such as Zencart and Magento for shopping cart set up. Contracts You may need contracts with clients and with other businesses you buy things from. There are several great templates you can find on RocketLawyer, which will help you protect your business. You can always use an attorney for your contracts, as well. Freelancers It might be easier to run your business by sending work to freelancers instead of trying to hire employees. If you use freelancers, you will want to make sure you get a good price, but you also get a quality product. You can use freelancers for: Content – Blog posts, newsletters, emails, service pages, etc. Graphic Design – Logos, website images, etc. Website Design Social Media Marketing Search Engine Optimization And More! Accounting Whether you plan to handle your accounting on your own or hire someone to do it, you need the right choice. If you do it yourself, QuickBooks is the top choice for small business accounting. It will also work great for your CPA when it’s time to file taxes, as most are very familiar with QuickBooks. There are several things you need to start a business and this is just a short list. Your specific business may require even more. Make sure you have everything in order as just one thing could throw off your business and keep you from success.

Tech Firms Getting Help from WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks recently revealed security issues within CIA cyber tools. Now, the makers of the hardware and software products will be getting help from WikiLeaks with fixing the security flaws. The leak came out and showed how American and allied spies have gained access to computers, smartphones and smart TVs. However, complete details were not released when it comes to the cyber weapons. Julian Assange recently announced he will help vendors fix the vulnerabilities found within the code before making the entire release public. Read the full story here.

Yahoo Hack May have been Russian Spy Agents

Recently, the U.S. Government accused Russia of being behind some of the largest hacking attacks over the past few years. One of the main attacks Russian spy agents were accused of was the Yahoo attack. The government believes the attacks are being used to gather intelligence. An unsealed indictment against the Russian government appeared in a federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday. It was against two criminal hackers and two Russian FSB security agents. While getting the three that were not arrested extradited from Russia isn’t likely, the U.S. has made it clear this cyberactivity won’t be tolerated. Read the full story here.

Critical Apache Vulnerabilities Exploited by Hackers

Apache Struts 2 has become the target of hackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities. This web application framework is used by government agencies, internet services providers and banks. The hackers are using malware to try and exploit the holes within the application. Ars Technica reports many exploitation attempts have been documented, even though a patch was issued on March 6th. It only took a couple of days for exploits to become public after the patch was issued. Over 500 unique IP addresses were trying to exploit the bug with more than half coming from China. Read the full story here.

Russel P. Reeder Named CEO of OVH US

The French web hosting company OVH Group just announced the naming of Russel P. Reeder as the CEO and President of the U.S. subsidiary OVH US. The expansion of the hosting group comes after raising $250 million from TowerBrook and KKR in investments last year. They also announced the construction of data centers in Hillsboro, Oregon and Vint Hill, Virginia. Reeder worked at Media Temple in 2015 and left after the company was integrated with GoDaddy. He co-founded the app icitizen and served as CEO of the app until November 2016. Read the full story here.

Make Your Website More Professional With these 7 Things

Have you ever stumbled upon one of those websites that looks like it dates back to 1995? Maybe it has a ton of ads on it or just looks incredibly clutters. This could be the description of your website. If your website is clutters, looks like it was designed a decade ago or has some other specific flaws, most of your visitors may be skeptical about what you offer. Did you know that 75% of those visiting websites judge the company based on how it looks? When you don’t use a high quality website with a good, professional design, you are putting forth an ugly face of your business online. Here are seven things you can change to make your website look and act more professional than it does right now. Poor Design This is a bit of a blanket statement, as your site could be designed well in one area, but not in another. If your site looks outdated, has too much clutter or it’s hard to navigate, it’s time to update the design. Design issues cause people to leave very quickly, which leads to a high bounce rate. This will, in turn, create a lower conversion rate, which is never a good thing. Bad Content Writing Did you go cheap on your content because you wanted to save a few pennies? Was the writer you hired even able to write with good English and free of major spelling and grammar issues. Its one thing to have a few typos in your content, but it’s a completely different thing when the spelling and grammar are simply terrible. If your content is bad, consider having a professional writer rewrite or at least proofread and edit everything you have on your site. Then, hire the new writer to continue to provide you with better quality content. Outdated Content While it’s not as big of an issue if your outdated content is buried in the archives of your blog, it’s still something needing to be addressed. If your about us page or any other main page hasn’t been updated for years, it can cause issues. This can also be an issue on your blog if the last entry is dated back in 2012. Visitors want fresh, good quality information and they don’t want to feel like you have neglected the content on your website. When they read something on your about page stating you opened in 2000 and have 10 years of experience, yet it’s 2017, it throws up a red flag. You want to make sure all of your content is updated regularly to ensure it matches up with the truth about your company. A good content writer can be used to help fix these issues, along with providing fresh blog posts. This will go a long way to making your website look more professional. Poor Mobile Experience Today, you cannot get away with providing a bad mobile experience for visitors. If your site doesn’t function well on mobile devices, computers and tablets, you’re behind in the game. You need a good, responsive design to ensure all users can access your website quickly and view your content easily. Even Google finds this important as a bad mobile design will hurt you in the rankings. Make sure you hire a quality web designer to ensure you’re providing a good mobile experience for clients. Too Many Ads If you make money solely from advertising on your website, you have to be careful about putting up too many ads. It may seem like more ads increases your revenue, but it will also cause a higher bounce rate and make visitors irritated. Instead, make sure your ads blend in with the site and naturally look like a part of your website. It’s best to use advertising that isn’t intrusive, such as pop-up or exit ads. This can make your website appear cheap and unprofessional. Those selling products or services of their own are best to avoid ads altogether. You have your own ways of making money and don’t need a few bucks from advertisement that distracts from your business. Broken Links There isn’t much of anything more annoying than trying to access a recommended product or article from a blog post or web page only to get an error page. Broken links are annoying and drive down the quality of your website for the user and for the search engines. This is a simple fix, however. You can use one of many tools, extensions or plugins to find and fix broken links. This process should be done once in a while or set on automatic to ensure you are updating your site’s links whenever they become broken. Stock Images While stock images may seem good, they are not the best by any means. When you use better images you took yourself or had a professional create, it will make your website look far better. They take more time, but they also convert at nearly 45% higher rates than stock pictures. You don’t need to invest in an expensive camera or equipment. Just something that takes decent pictures will do the trick. Even if you don’t want to take pictures, you can hire a professional to create images for you. There are several ways to make your website look more professional. These are just seven of the most common things you can do to ensure your web presence is far better than it is right now.

Credit Card Scrapers Targeting Magento, Warn Security Researchers

A Magento module containing a malicious function has been discovered by Sucuri malware analysts, as team leader Bruno Zanelato shared in a company blog post on Friday. The malicious function originates from the SF9 Realex payment module and allows hackers to scrape, or collect, personal payment data entered by customers. SF9 Realex integrates with Magento solutions Realex RealAuth Remote and Redirect, two popular solutions. Sucuri tracked the script injection attacks on Magento sites using the payment module. They warn that attacks like these on eCommerce sites will only increase in numbers and in complexity, making security research essential for companies conducting business online. Read more here.

GoDaddy Launches Business Hosting with Unmetered Bandwidth

GoDaddy announced on Tuesday that it is launching a new Business Hosting platform for shared hosting users. The platform will allow shared hosting users to bring in additional resources for their business sites without the need for moving to a complex VPS hosting platform. The Business Hosting platform will start at $29.99/month and will include: Unmetered bandwidth Dedicated resources RAM and storage Allocated CPUs for resource-heavy sites Demetrius Comes, Vice President of Engineering at GoDaddy, says the company has already seen high interest in the newest offering since the beta version was launched in December. Comes notes “It’s been very popular.” Read more here.

ARM Chips May Replace Half of Microsoft’s Data Center Muscle

Intel may be under a larger threat of competition than it has experienced in many years. The news coming from the Open Commute Summit held in Santa Clara included Microsoft announcing an ARM chip. They have been working with Qualcomm and Cavium on ARM server designs to run many of the company’s cloud services. Unlike past announcements from Google and Facebook, this announcement from Microsoft has real potential. They believe ARM servers could become a huge part of their cloud data center capacity by replacing about half of the existing servers. This is a big announcement from the second-largest cloud providers in the world. Read the full story here.

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