How to Choose the Best WebHost?

Choosing a Web host
Choosing a Web host

How can one decide if a web host is good?  Do bandwidth and disk storage features still matter these days? Which type of hosting service should you go with?

Whether you’re looking for your first host or looking to move on to a better one there are few simple steps you must follow to succeed in choosing a great host.

Choose a web hosting service?

  • Platform.
  • Reliability and uptime guarantees.
  • Upgrading options.
  • Check all hosting features.
  • Customer Service.
  • Cron Jobs, Auto Script Installer, .htaccess, and SSI.
  • An Easy-to-use Hosting Control Panel.
  • Read ToS to find out about account suspension and server usage policy.
  • Other supporting features (site backup, environmental friendliness, etc).

 

Platform

You can never get the right web host without knowing what you need. So before you go any further – put everything aside (including this guide you are reading) and think thoroughly on your own needs.

The first and most crucial step in choosing a web host is determining the platform the web server should run, usually a choice between Linux and Windows. Choice is largely determined by your website and the technologies used to create it, generally a website created with Microsoft technologies will run on Windows servers while most other sites using open source technologies will run on Linux based systems.

What To Look?

Uptime Scores / Server Reliability 

Nothing is more important than having a 24×7 operating web host.

You need a web host is operating on a powerful server and stable network connections. 99.9% and above is the recommended uptime score; anything below 99% is unacceptable.

Upgrading Options

If you expect your website to grow really big in next two or three years, then you should consider picking up a web host with room to grow.

By grow, I mean upgrading your web host – from shared hosting / Reseller hosting  to virtual private or dedicated server – for more processing power, memory capacity, disk storage, and better security features.

Customer Service

Customer service is another aspect that is often forgotten about until it is too late, something breaks and you need it fixed and those wonderfully handy sales people who were more than helpful in taking your money are now nowhere to be seen, all the while you’re losing out on sales every minute.

You shouldn’t settle for anything less than 24/7/365 service, your website needs to be running all the time so it’s no good if your hosting company doesn’t work during the holidays. Don’t take the web hosting companies word for it, they all claim 24/7 support but few back it up with consistent performance. Be sure to test them out at various times of the day and night via phone, email and live chat if they offer it.

Cron Jobs, Auto Script Installer, .htaccess, and SSI

I am always surprise that some web hosts out there still do not offer these basic hosting features nowadays. You need Cron for day-in-day-out operations, Auto Script Installer (like Fantastico, Simple Scripts, Quick Installer, Softaculous, and so on) for easy web apps installations and updates, .htaccess access for security/page redirects/etc purposes, Server Side Include (SSI) for easier site maintenance (especially when you are building a static site), and FTP access for easy file transfer.

You SHOULD NOT settle with hosting providers that do not supply the above features.

ECommerce Features

  • Are you running an e-commerce website?
  • Are you using any specific shopping cart software?
  • Do you need to process business transactions on your website?
  • Do you need special technical support (ie. PrestaShop guide, or so on)?

If yes, then it is important for you to pick a web host with sufficient e-commerce features support. SSL certification, dedicated IP, and one-click shopping cart software installation are some of the essential features/supports you will need.

An Easy-to-use Hosting Control Panel

A user-friendly and functional hosting control panel is very, very important.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a cPanel or a Plesk or a third party control panels we are okay as long as it is user-friendly and come with all the necessary functions. Without an adequate control panel, you will be left at the mercy of the hosting tech support staff – even if all you need is some basic server changes.

Account Suspension: What are the limitations?

Here’s a money tip that most hosting review sites will not tell you: Hosting companies will pull the plug and suspend your account if you are using too much CPU power (yes, unlimited hosting is limited) or violating the rules. So before you sign up on a web host, it is important that you read the TOS rules.

Site Backup

There are times when a site crashes, as do servers. Perhaps a hacker got into your WordPress blog and replaced your index.php file, or your entire database got nuked, or the server had a severe hard disk failure. Even with the advent of the cloud hosting product, a database crash can happen and it’s out of your or the host’s control.

That’s why the web hosting industry invented the backup data system to protect against their clients’ websites crashing and losing any unsaved information.

A proper web hosting company will offer backups, and the better ones will offer them for free with auto-updating cycles so you never have to worry about losing your data in the event of a website crash, hack or disaster. Your hosting provider should be able to restore back your full (or at least, a big chunk of) site in no time.

Here are a few key questions to ask your web host on backups:

  • Can site backup be done easily via the control panel?
  • Does your web host provide full backups regularly?
  • Can you take full backups of your website easily?
  • Can you restore your backup files by yourself easily?

Have a quick picture of what you want to do with your website now. Figure what happens next for the next 12 months.

For newbies, the no-brainer rule is to always start small with a good shared hosting account.

A shared hosting account is cheap, easy to maintain, and sufficient for most new sites. Plus, you can always upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting in the later stage when your site grows bigger.

Get your website live and play Pokémon GO with free iPhone 6s

PokeMon-Go iPhone OfferIts summer time and the most exclusive and hottest web hosting deal for this summer is out there..

Get a chance to win Apple iPhone 6s and play Pokémon GO on your favourite phone to catch them all!

Signup with any of our web hosting plans as available on https://www.webhost.uk.net and get a chance to win a brand new Apple iPhone 6s, and play your favourite Pokémon GO to catch all of them. Additionally blast your summer with guaranteed 10% discount on any of our web hosting plans that you choose to signup.

How does this work? Follow these steps:

  • * Visit our website https://www.webhost.uk.net and choose any web hosting plans as per your requirement to proceed with signup by clicking on “Order Now”. The above offer is valid on our shared hosting plans, Reseller hosting, WordPress hosting, Vps Servers, Dedicated Servers and Cloud Servers.
  • * Enter coupon code “PokeMonGo” to get 10% exclusive discount and a chance to win brand new Apple iPhone 6s (16 GB), and proceed with payment.
  • * Once your order is processed, you will qualify for Apple iPhone 6s lucky draw which will be organized on Saturday of every week at 11:00 am GMT
  • * This is a limited offer and valid till 31st of August 2016.

Terms & Conditions:

  • * Only the orders which are placed from 21st of July 2016 to 31st of August 2016 and which use the coupon code “PokeMonGo” are eligible for iPhone 6s lucky draw.
  • * All customers who order any web hosting plan and make the payment for that order during the period mentioned above, automatically take part in the competition, provided they are at least 18 years of age as on 21st July 2016.
  • * One lucky winner chosen using a random lucky draw on Saturday of every week, will win a brand new Apple iPhone 6s 16 Gb.
  • * We will be contacting the lucky winner and the winner will have to claim his free iPhone 6s within one week. Failing to do so, will void his claim on free iPhone 6s he has won.
  • * The contact information provided during the order should be accurate as it will be used to contact the winner. Personal data shall not be disclosed to third parties under any circumstances.
  • * The lucky draw is to be held on Saturday of every week at 11:00 am GMT. The person who has won Apple iPhone 6s using above offer, will not be eligible for any other free Apple iPhone 6s to be offered in lucky draw afterwards.
  • * Cash payments as well as transfer of prizes to third parties is not possible.
  • * The colour of Apple iPhone 6s mobile handset may vary, depending on the availability of stock.
  • * WebhostUK Ltd reserves the right to discontinue or terminate the offer at any time without prior notice and without stating reasons. This particularly applies if proper implementation cannot be guaranteed due to technical or legal reasons. In such cases, participants are not entitled to make any claims whatsoever.
  • * WebhostUK Ltd further reserves the right to disqualify participant from the competition. This particularly applies in the event of violation of the Promotion Terms and Conditions or if participants make use of manipulation or any other unfair means of help.
  • * WebhostUK Ltd can also retrospectively disqualify participants, revoke prizes and reclaim them.
  • * Legal recourse is not possible. The law of United Kingdom applies exclusively. The General Terms and Conditions of WebhostUK Ltd https://www.webhost.uk.net/tos.html apply.

Hurry this is a limited offer and you could be one of the lucky person to get your iPhone 6s and play the most popular trending sensation Pokémon GO, to catch all those tiny creatures out there..!

 

Why to install a certificate on your primary IP address – Plesk

virus-trojan
virus-trojan

On Linux and probably also other UNIX platforms, there is an OpenSSh Ebury Trojan Horse. Without paying special attention, it’s hard to find it.

Besides that, on UNIX/Linux systems, it’s also very easy to create a Trojan to steal others’ ssh passphrase, for example, malicious person can create an alias when you use bash, so that when you run ssh command, it’s the alias gets called.

To make it more secure, I find the best solution is using AutoSSH from WZIS Software: It makes Trojan detectable: It can detect Ebury Trojan to prevent passphrase got stolen, and it can also detect system call tracing attack, dtrace kind of attack, can prevent TTY keylogger to steal passphrase. When passphrase is pre-encrypted with AutoSSH, no Trojan Horse will be able to steal your passphrase on the local machine. And because every time when you run AutoSSH for remote task automation, it will check first whether ssh command or the libraries it uses have been changed or not, before decrypt the passphrase, it’s the most efficient way to combat Ebury Trojan.

How to Whitelist an IP Address in ModSecurity

Whitelist an IP Address in ModSecurity
Whitelist an IP Address in ModSecurity

ModSecurity is a web layer firewall module. ModSecurity is free software released under the Apache license 2.x.

ModSecurity is one of the Apache server modules that provides website protection by defending from hackers and other malicious attacks.

It is a set of rules with regular expressions that helps to instantly ex-filtrate the commonly known exploits.

Modsecurity obstructs the processing of invalid data (code injection attacks) to reinforce and nourish server’s security

With a good, strict ruleset for mod_security, the firewall may occasionally block you as a false positive when trying to post certain content to the server.  Disabling the entire rule seems too extreme. Default rules can’t be edited. A simple solution is to add your PC or workstation’s public IP address to the mod_security whitelist, avoiding the need to temporarily disable mod_security rule enforcement, most ideal way to whitelist would be based on two factors (rule + hostname, or ip + hostname, ip + rule, etc) If I just disable the entire rule it would open up the server to any IP address.

Edit modsec2.whitelist.conf configuration file.  On cPanel/WHM servers using Config Server’s ModSec Control plugin, use the plugin interface in WHM to locate and edit modsec2.whitelist.conf. On other Linux servers, the file name will contain whitelist.conf.

I can probably help you with that if you have the error log entry. There are ways to disable rules on a per IP basis using ctl. For example if rule ID 99999 is tripping for localhost (127.0.0.1) something like this would probably fix it:

SecRule REMOTE_ADDR “127\.0\.0\.1″ id:28374,pass,ctl:ruleRemoveById=99999”

This would need to be specified in configs before the rule which it is disabling.

To fully whitelist a remote address it’s very similar to the above rule:

SecRule REMOTE_ADDR “127\.0\.0\.1” “id:28375,allow”

Make sure to replace the IP address numbers with your own IP address. You can enter “what is my IP” on Google if you’re unsure.

With the above rule in place, no mod_sec rules will be checked for your IP address.

What Is SEO

Search Engine optimization
Search Engine optimization

SEO is the process of improving the organic ranking of a website with leading search engines. SEO means search engine optimization It is the process of getting traffic from the freeorganiceditorial or natural search results on search engines.

When you enter a query in a search engine and hit ‘enter’ you get a list of web results that contain that query term. Users normally tend to visit websites that are at the top of this list as they perceive those to be more relevant to the query.

If you have ever wondered why some of these websites rank better than the others then that is because of a powerful web marketing technique called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What is an A record?

arecord

An A or Address record (also known as a host record) links a domain to an IP addressA in A record stands for Address. Simply put, an A record is used to find the address of a computer connected to the internet from a name.

Whenever you visit a web site, send an email, connect to Google or Hotmail or do almost anything on the Internet, the address you enter is a series of words connected with dots.

blog.webhost.uk.net          92.48.93.179

To get any blog you may have followed a link from another web site pointing to blog.webhost.uk.net In my webhost.uk.net account is an A record that points blog.webhost.uk.net to the IP address 92.48.93.179.

When you clicked on this link your computer probably asked a nearby DNS server Is there an address record for https://blog.webhost.uk.net/?.

If the server can answer this question then it replied with: Yes, the address for blog.webhost.uk.net is 92.48.93.179.

If it cannot answer the question directly then it probably went and asked another DNS server if they have the answer, and that server either answered or asked another server, and so on. This process is called “resolving” and is the way that all DNS requests are handled on the Internet.

How it does it isn’t important right now, what matters is that ultimately a DNS server answers with the correct answer and your web browser now knows that it should request the webhost.uk.net blog’s home page from 92.48.93.179.

You can actually do quite a bit more with A records, including using multiple A records for the same domain in order to provide redundancy. Additionally multiple names could point to the same address, in which case each would have it’s own A record pointing to the same IP address.

A records are used to map a name to a computer’s address on the Internet, and are one of the primary records used in DNS servers.

How to Install Umbraco manually

Umbraco
Umbraco Installation

Umbraco is a fully-featured open source content management system with the flexibility to run anything from small campaign or brochure sites right through to complex applications for Fortune 500’s and some of the largest media sites in the world.

System Requirements

Browsers, The Umbraco UI should work in all modern browsers like

  • Firefox (Latest)
  • Chrome (Latest)
  • IE10+ (will not always work correctly in lower versions)

Local Development

  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1
  • Webmatrix 3

Hosting

  • IIS 7+
  • SQL CE, SQL Server 2008 and higher or MySQL
  • ASP.NET 4.5 Full-Trust
  • Ability to set file permissions to include create/read/write (or better) for the user that “owns” the Application Pool for your site (NETWORK SERVICE, typically)

Follow these steps to do a full manual install of Umbraco.

Web Platform Installer method

Install Umbraco using the Microsoft Web Platfom Installer is the recommended method for installing Umbraco to IIS7.  The Web PI can be found here:

http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/Umbraco.aspx

and is also available as an extension for the IIS Manager:

http://www.iis.net/extensions/WebPI

When using the Web PI be certain to leave the Application Name field blank, otherwise the installer will place Umbraco into a sub folder under a web root, which is not supported.  Also, you may find that creating a SQL Login with dbo rights to your target database will make the installation process smoother.

Manual installation

Step 1: Download

If you want to install Umbraco manually, you have to download the binary release from here:

http://our.umbraco.org/download

After you have downloaded the package, you have to right click the file, choose Properties, and the click “Unblock”. Otherwise you will get errors when installing.

Step 2: Setup IIS

Extract the ZIP file to a folder on your computer. The norm is to create a folder under c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ for your website.

NOTE: If the downloaded ZIP file contains a “build” folder in the root, you have to move the contents “build” to the above mentioned folder.

Then, in IIS you create a new website by right-clicking on Sites and choosing Add Web Site.

Give your website a name and an address, and point the Physical path to the folder where you extracted Umbraco.

Step 3: Permissions

Follow one of the guides on the following page, but be sure to read the “Setting Permissions for ApplicationPoolIdentity” section.

http://our.umbraco.org/wiki/install-and-setup/set-umbraco-folder-permissions-from-command-line

You can find the name of the application pool by clicking on your website in IIS and the clicking on “Basic Settings” on the right side. The name of the application pool is in the top right textbox.

Step 4: Setup database

Open up SQL Server Management Studio and add a database by right-clicking on Databases and choosing New database. Give your database a name, and click “OK”.

The create a user for your database by going to Security and right-clicking on “Logins” and choosing “New login”. Give your user a name (for example: umbracouser), choose SQL Server authentication, and enter a password.

Then go to User Mapping and in the list that appears, check the database you just created. Then you check the following roles in the “Database role membership” list:

db_datareader
db_datawriter
db_ddladmin
db_securityadmin
public

 Click “OK”.

Step 5: Install Umbraco

Go to the address you set up for your Umbraco installation. It will automatically start the installer for you.

Follow the steps in the installer, and if you did everything above correct, you will mostly only click “next”.

Tweaks to Manual Install permissions-setting (from Eric Schrepel on 12/12/12 related to solving a few Umbraco 4.11+ issues)

To get the above steps to work on Windows 2008/IIS7 and Umbraco 4.11.1, I found I had to create and run a slightly different setPermissions.bat file.

My changes are noted in bold and described below:

icacls app_code /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)RX
icacls app_browsers /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)RX
icacls app_data /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls bin /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls config /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls css /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls data /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls macroscripts /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls masterpages /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls media /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls python /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls scripts /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls umbraco /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls usercontrols /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls views /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls xslt /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls web.config /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:(OI)(CI)M
icacls web.config /grant “NETWORK SERVICE”:M
icacls robots.txt /grant “IIS APPPOOL\umbraco”:M

Changed R to M for app_data, macroscripts, and usercontrols satisfied permission errors that cropped up when trying to load the site the first time (to finalize the install).

Added views line to avoid YSOD during initial site load

And even though I’m using the APPPOOL\umbraco application identity for everything, the install screen where it sets up the SQL database locks up unless I add the web.config line granting NETWORK SERVICE modify rights.

It’s possible some of those changes weren’t necessary, but they did get me past the install hiccups.

References:

our.umbraco.org

How to install Drush for Drupal 7

drush

What is Drush?

Drush is a command line shell and Unix scripting interface for Drupal. Drush core ships with lots of useful commands for interacting with code like modules/themes/profiles. Similarly, it runs update.php, executes sql queries and DB migrations, and misc utilities like run cron or clear cache.

Simply put, you can perform administrative tasks far more efficiently with Drush than you can with the Drupal administration control panel in the web browser. An efficient Drupal 7 developer must use Drush.

Install Drush

Download and install the Drush command-line software. There are a few ways you can do this.

If you are running Linux, you can most likely install Drush with the operating system’s native package manager. Operating system’s package manager may install an older version.

CentOS/RHEL

# sudo yum install drush

OS X with Homebrew

# brew install drush

Ubuntu/Debian

# sudo apt-get install drush

Install Drush using Composer

If you have already  installed Composer on your system, you can use it to install Drush.

composer global require drush/drush:6.*

Also want to make sure the Composer binaries directory is added to your system path.

sed -i ‘1i export PATH=”$HOME/.composer/vendor/bin:$PATH”‘ $HOME/.bashrc

Install Manually Drush

Manually download and install Drush, but you must have Composer already installed first. When you’re ready to manually install Drush:

# Create a bin directory for your user account and add to system path
mkdir $HOME/bin
echo “PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH” >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

# Download and unzip the Drush software
wget -O $HOME/bin/drush.zip https://github.com/drush-ops/drush/archive/master.zip
unzip -d $HOME/bin $HOME/bin/drush.zip

# Install Drush dependencies with Composer (assumes `composer` is on system PATH)
cd $HOME/bin/drush-master
composer install

# Create a symbolic link
ln -s $HOME/bin/drush-master/drush $HOME/bin/drush

Once you have downloaded and install the Drush software, you can open your Terminal/Console application, type drush, and hit ENTER.