ClickHOST Simple. Honest. Safe. 2017-03-17T17:13:48Z https://www.clickhost.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[How to install WordPress on AWS EC2 in 5 (fairly) easy steps]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4440 2017-03-17T17:13:48Z 2017-03-17T17:12:15Z Do you feel adventurous? Time to try something new, … like installing WordPress on your own Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 server (or in AWS vernacular, an instance). You’ve come to the right place. In this blog post I’ll guide you step-by-step on how to do this. Here are the high level steps:

  1. Launch EC2 instance with Amazon Linux
  2. Update Linux
  3. Launch Apache server
  4. Install, config & launch PHP & MySQL
  5. Install, config & launch WordPress

Step 1: Launch EC2 instance with Amazon Linux

It is very easy to launch an EC2 instance (or server) in AWS. You’ll need an Amazon account. Then goto aws.amazon.com.  See here for a detailed step-by-step guide to launch an EC2 instance. And below is a quick visual flow of how you launch an EC2 instance. Remember to Auto-Assign a Public IP, to download your pem key and also to open ports 80 (HTTP), and 443 (HTTPS) in your security group.

AWS EC2 launch visual flow

Step 2: Update your Amazon Linux installation

First you need to log into your EC2 instance. From your console, you can click on the Connect Button and you’ll see a screen that looks like this. Your key, public DNS, etc. will obviously be different.

AWS Connect to your EC2 instance

Then open a terminal window (I’m assuming you’re using a Mac). Find where you downloaded your .pem file. It is usually in your “Downloads” directory.

Then run the following commands:

chmod 400 your-private-key.pem
SSH -i "your-private-key.pem" ec2-user@public_dns_name

This will log you into your EC2 instance.

Now you can update all your Linux packages using the following command:
sudo yum update

Step 3: Launch Apache server

After you updated all the Linux packages it is time to install Apache or the httpd package:
yum install httpd
and finally start the Apache (or httpd) service using the following command:
service httpd start

If you now open your browser and enter the public IP provided by AWS, you’ll see the typical Apache splash screen. This lets you know that Apache has been installed and is running on your instance.

Amazon Linux Apache splash screen

Step 4: Install, config & launch PHP & MySQL

OK, it is time to complete the setup of your LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). Now it is time to install and configure PHP and MySQL. Here are the commands. Btw, you can also configure your EC2 installation with a bash script to run these commands on startup.

Install MySQL and PHP:
yum install php php-mysql
yum install mysql-server

Start the MySQL database service:
service mysqld start

Create your WordPress database. Use your own username and database name. Make a note of these. You’ll need it later to install WordPress.
mysqladmin -uroot create wcatl-blog

Now secure your MySQL installation. Again, use your own password instead of “wcatl-password”. Also, enter [y]es at each of the security question prompts.
mysql_secure_installation
wcatl-password, y,y,y,y

Step 5: Install, config & launch WordPress

You are almost there. Now comes the fun part. Downloading WordPress, configuring it and then launching WordPress. Here are the commands:

First you need to navigate to Lunix’s root document folder. The location where Apache will look for your WordPress installation:
cd /var/www/html

Then download the latest version of WordPress:
wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

Now extract the WordPress archive:
tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz

Rename the default directory from wordpress to your blog name, “wcatl-blog” in this example. Then navigate to your new WordPress directory:
mv wordpress wcatl-blog
cd wcatl-blog

Make a copy of the default WordPress config file using this command:
mv wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php

Now it is time to update your WordPress config file. I like the nano editor. Fairly friendly editor for Linux. Update each of the config file fields as noted below. Remember to use the values you used previously.
nano wp-config.php
DB_NAME: wcatl-blog
DB_USER: root
DB_PASSWORD: wcatl-password

Restart the Apache service:
service httpd restart

Now enter your server IP address/wcatl-blog and you’ll see the following WordPress installation screen. If you do, then, great job! If you don’t see a screen like this, then you may want to re-check the steps you followed. Remember your server IP address and AWS DNS server name will be different.

Final touches

Great job installing WordPress on EC2! Here are a few more final touches. Be sure to setup your DNS & zone records in Route 53. Be sure to setup a backup schedule to create snapshots (backups) in S3. You can also use Cloudfront and a WordPress caching plugin to improve the load time of your website.
Then later you can move your local MySQL database to RDS, the AWS Managed Database service. Amazon Aurora is especial fast. You may also want to create an auto-scaling group to allow your website to automatically scale based on a specific metric, e.g., CPU load. We’ll discuss these topics in future blog posts.

Below you’ll find my 2016 WordCamp Atlanta presentation entitled: AWS and WordPress Hosting – A Beginner’s Guide.

 

Interested in AWS Hosting. We offer AWS Managed Hosting for WordPress, Magento and cPanel.

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[Let’s Get To Know “Let’s Encrypt”]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4457 2017-03-13T16:13:51Z 2017-03-14T15:00:48Z If you own or operate a website, you’re probably familiar with the concept of SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer. A form of security technology, SSL creates an encrypted link between web browser and web server. The end result is that businesses can protect their customers’ payment information – and thus their own reputations – during transactions.

While SSL is a crucial aspect of web security in the modern age, not all traffic encryption options are created equal. Understanding all the services at your disposal – including Let’s Encrypt Free SSL/TLS certificates – is key to protecting your website, your e-commerce shoppers, and your livelihood moving forward.

SSL Connections and HTTPS

To form an SSL connection, you will need an SSL certificate, which contains a cryptographic key of your company’s private data. After you install an SSL certificate, web traffic between your site and the server will be secure. Doing this effectively changes your site from HTTP to HTTPS (hyper text transfer protocol secure).

When customers visit your secure website, they will see a green padlock (Chrome and Firefox) or a gray padlock (Safari). This symbol lets shoppers know they can use their credit cards with confidence, resting assured that their sensitive data is safe.

Additionally, having an SSL certificate can help your SEO endeavors. According to Google, transitioning to HTTPS will provide your site with a small ranking boost. The end result is more eyes on your products.

Choosing the Right SSL for Your Business

These days, e-commerce shops have numerous options when it comes to achieving web security. In an effort to cut costs, web sellers are often tempted to go with a free SSL rather than a paid service. A newer product, Let’s Encrypt, is a free, automated, open certificate authority that allows companies to set up an HTTPS server and secure a certificate without human involvement. Although convenient and free, this SSL option is not without its drawbacks.

No-cost SSL’s from Cloudflare, and Let’s Encrypt are supported by ClickHOST. And while these services do encrypt traffic, it’s important to realize that the website owner is not verified. This means that your visitors have no way of knowing that they’re on the site they intended to be on as opposed to an imposter.

Moreover, studies found that malvertisers had developed subdomains under the authentic ones. In this way, Let’s Encrypt enables certain malware subdomains to achieve legitimacy online. As the owner of a web-based company, you should know that Let’s Encrypt gives out DV certificates, but does not monitor them moving forward. So, even if Google flags a domain down the line, Let’s Encrypt won’t take away its certificate.

On the other hand, paid SSL services offer a number of advantages. While free SSL certificates are often shared among multiple businesses, paid ones belong to you and you alone. Additionally, paid certificates are less likely to set off security alarms or be compromised. After all, if a hacker gets hold of the private keys for a shared SSL, all the websites that use it are at risk. Finally, paid SSL tends to provide superior customer support compared to the free options available.

The moral of the story is that website operators need to take steps to protect their domains and make sure subdomains aren’t being developed against their will. Hiring a reputable hosting company can assure you’re using the right SSL option, and taking precautions where necessary.

Contact ClickHOST for Your Web Hosting Needs

ClickHOST was founded with a belief that domain services should be uncomplicated. Our goal is to provide customers with improved customer service, lower prices, and increased uptime. To find out more about what we can do for your business, compare our hosting plans.

 

 

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[WordCamp Atlanta 2017 – March 18-19, 2017]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4444 2017-03-07T21:02:41Z 2017-03-09T14:00:55Z This will be the 6th year in a row that we will be at WordCamp in Atlanta!  This year we again expect 500+ attendees over 3 days at the Loudermilk Conference Center in downtown Atlanta.

Carel, our owner, will be presenting on Who needs a Server? Setting up WordPress in AWS without a server. Come and say hi and have some fun with us as we learn to use how to host WordPress on AWS (Amazon Web Services) without a server.

Carel will also be on a Website Hosting Companies Panel moderated by Aaron Reimann. Sunday, 10am.

WordCamp Atlanta 2017

WordCamp Atlanta 2017 Event details

Where: The Loudermilk Center is located at 40 Courtland Street NE in Downtown, Atlanta
When: March 18-19, 2017
Schedule: WordCamp ATL 2017 conference schedule.
Cost: $40 for 2 days (includes a t-shirt and lunches). $20 extra for the Friday workshops. You can get tickets here: WordCamp Atlanta 2017 tickets.
Ride: WordCampers get a free rides from Lyft. Use this link: http://lyft.com/invited/WCATL16 to get $50 in ride savings.

Will we see you at WordCamp Atlanta this year?

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Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[5 Web Hosting Services You Shouldn’t Touch with a 10 Foot Pole]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4435 2017-03-06T04:34:49Z 2017-03-07T06:30:49Z There are some things in life that you don’t want an intimate connection with. They can be dangerous or immoral or just uncool. Get close and their negative qualities may rub off on you or your business. Then people start associating you with the bad guys.

Your instinct?

Put as much distance between you and such things as possible.

While you might assume that all web hosts are created equally, the truth is that the service you select can have a profound effect on how people perceive your business. Here are 5 types of hosting services that you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

1. Companies That Post Fake Reviews

These days, people use online reviews to assess everything from restaurants to doctors, and plenty of business owners consult them before choosing web services, as well. Review sites, even the big reputable ones like Yelp, get criticized when inauthentic reviews slip through. Amazon even banned incentivized reviews that were seen as fake. If the web host you’re considering posts fake reviews about its services, move on.

Luckily, there are a few ways to spot a company that falsifies reviews. Fake reviews tend to be vague, filled with glowing language and few specifics. Are you suspicious of companies who suddenly have all five-star reviews from unknown users? You should be, says PC World. Over time, even good companies will score three or four stars due to a dissatisfied customer.

2. Hosts That Are Overcrowded

Few things will turn potential customers away faster than a slow-loading website. If your web host is overcrowded, expect slower load times for users. Page speed is even a Google ranking factor. Albeit one that you shouldn’t obsess over.

Lower-quality web hosting companies may oversell their resources and bandwidth at the expense of customer need. Processors become overwhelmed, slowing and degrading user experience. This problem is particularly relevant if your site uses a CMS and database instead of a few basic static HTML pages.

If your site runs off WordPress or Joomla, you might want to avoid overcrowded hosts that force massive numbers of sites to share a single server.

3. Companies That Make It Difficult to Cancel

If you accidentally choose a web host that’s overcrowded, it might be hard to cancel your membership. In the worst cases, companies actively avoid canceling customers’ accounts so they can keep collecting the cash each month. They might also send you tips and special offers in an effort to keep you on board while actively ignoring your requests to bail. In other circumstances, it takes multiple emails to get a customer service provider to confirm that your account has actually been closed. When in doubt, check your credit card bill to make sure you aren’t still being charged.

4. Companies with Low Uptime

Well maybe a 20-foot pole. If it’s the case that you have a very mission uncritical or expendable website, perhaps a prank or joke site, sure, go ahead and use a free service. You won’t complain or care when, not if, it goes offline.

No web hosting service can promise you that your site will be up all the time. Internet issues happen, and just about every web business experiences some downtime. Still, web hosts have different ways of compensating businesses for down hours.

Along with providing speedy customer service, the best web hosts compensate their clients with free hosting time when sites are down for prolonged periods. Additionally, you can use tools like UptimeRobot and Pingdom to evaluate your uptime and determine whether you’re being overcharged.

5. Companies That Host “Undesirable” Businesses

Did you know that your web host’s reputation could affect your own reputation? Before signing up for a new web host, take a moment to evaluate its terms of service. If the service also hosts businesses that raise eyebrows with the search engines – like porn sites, bulk-email services, or pages offering stolen software – your website might be judged for the company it keeps.

Choose the Right Web Host for Your Needs

Don’t get too close to these five types of hosting services. Even touching them with a 10-foot pole may give them an opportunity they don’t deserve. To learn more about web hosting services that you can touch, start here or reach out!

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[Great Hosting, Slack Customer Service? Run!]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4415 2016-12-18T15:52:27Z 2016-12-20T12:15:34Z Let’s be real for just a second. Your business’ website is important. Period. End of story.

But, if it’s so important, why is it so difficult to find a reliable web host who understands your business, how important your web presence is, and wants to help you, the customer, at all times?

The short answer is, it shouldn’t be. In a perfect world, finding a reliable web host who focuses on customers and their needs should be the easiest thing in the world. And it’s not.

What’s even worse is that a lot of web hosting services have great sales teams who will tell you exactly what you want to hear to get you to sign the dotted line, and then shrug their shoulders when customer service falls short. Sometimes, this is genuinely a miscommunication between sales and customer service. However, at other times, it’s legitimately because the web host is more concerned with getting your business than keeping your business.

So, how can you find the right web host who will deliver on their promises and understands that the success of your business is just as important to them as it is to you? Here a few things to look for.

They Listen.

If the salesperson or customer service rep does more talking than you do, that’s probably a bad sign. They should listen and provide constructive, substantive feedback to your questions and concerns.

They Plan.

Your web host should have a contingency plan in place for down time, which will inevitably happen, including how they will alert you that there is a problem, as well as explain the ways they will compensate you if it lasts for longer than anticipated. You should know upfront who will call or email you to tell you your website is down. You should then be assured that the company has a plan for getting your site back up and running as quickly as possible.

They Understand.

As a customer, your success is the web host’s success. Without you, their company doesn’t turn a profit. They should understand this dichotomy and want to do the right thing by you, the customer, at all times. And if they can’t resolve an issue exactly the way you want, they should be able to articulate why and offer an alternative that both parties can agree on.

They Collaborate.

As a designer or agency, you have small business clients who need hosting services, and having reliable, collaborative partner makes you look good too. Find a web host who is willing to collaborate with you. What are the best ways you can work together to give the client the best experience and present a united front that communicates to your clients that you’re part of their team? How they work with you is just as important as how they work with clients directly.

I built ClickHOST on these principles. Listening, planning, understanding and collaborating are just as important to me as being honest, keeping things simple, and making sure everyone’s information is safe. If you’re interested in working with a company built on these values, and one that understands how important your business is, ClickHOST would love to hear from you. If you want to learn more about us and how we’re helping businesses make the most of their online presence, consider subscribing to our newsletter. We hope to hear from you soon.

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[Ready for AWS re:Invent 2016!]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4407 2016-11-11T22:43:51Z 2016-11-11T22:43:51Z I’m very excited to attend my first AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. This year the event is even larger than last year’s blow out AWS event.  Unfortunately AWS re:Invent 2016 is now Sold out. Maybe you can still get a ticket from an AWS partner or from one of your AWS friends. One way to get in is to sign up as a sponsor, however they only have a wait list at the moment — AWS re:invent 2016 sponsor waitlist.

AWS re:Invent 2016 Keynotes

If you cannot attend the event live, then you have the option to register for the live stream of the keynotes. Here is the list of the keynotes and how to register:

Tuesday night live with James Hamilton, VP and Distinguished Engineer
Amazon Web Services

Date: Tuesday, November 29
Time: 8:00pm – 9:30pm

Keynote presented by Andy Jassy, CEO Amazon Web Services
Date: Wednesday, November 30
Time: 8:00am – 10:30am

Keynote presented by Werner Vogels, CTO Amazon.com
Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 8:30am – 10:30am

Click here to register for the live stream

Will you be attending re:Invent? Let me know and we can meetup!

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Carel https://www.clickhost.com <![CDATA[How to install AWS CLI on a Mac in 3 easy steps]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4387 2016-09-14T22:11:27Z 2016-09-14T22:11:27Z If you have EC2 instances and other services running in AWS (Amazon Web Services) then at some point you may want to use a command line interface (CLI) instead of the AWS console.

I have a Mac and was excited to see that the AWS CLI is also available for OS X (or MacOS).

To start be sure you open a OS X Terminal window and then follow the following easy steps.

Here are 3 easy steps to install AWS CLI on your Mac

Step 1: Install AWS CLI using the OS X Bundled Installer.

First make sure that you have the correct version of Python installed.
python --version

Python version on Mac

If you don’t already have Python installed, then using the following link to Install Python.

Now download the AWSCLI installer using the following command:
curl "https://s3.amazonaws.com/aws-cli/awscli-bundle.zip" -o "awscli-bundle.zip"

Step 2: Unzip the package

Next you want to unzip the downloaded AWSCLI package using the following command:
unzip awscli-bundle.zip

Unzip AWS CLI bundle on Mac

Step 3: Run the install executable and test the AWS CLI installation

The final step is to run the install executable and to test the AWS CLI command. This is a sudo command and you will be prompted for your password to continue. This is you Mac Administrator User Password. This step may take a few minutes to run, so be patient.

sudo ./awscli-bundle/install -i /usr/local/aws -b /usr/local/bin/aws

Now you can test if you correctly installed the AWS CLI using the AWS command:

aws help

You should now see the AWS Help screen. Success!

And then finally you can connect to your AWS environment using the following command (note you’ll have to set your own Key ID, Secret, Region and output format):

$ aws configure
AWS Access Key ID [None]: AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE
AWS Secret Access Key [None]: wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY
Default region name [None]: us-west-2
Default output format [None]: json

You can find more detailed information and trouble shooting info here: Installing the AWS Command Line Interface.

Have fun using AWS CLI on your Mac. Do you have any cool tips to share?

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Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[Selling Your Clients’ Web Hosting]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4367 2016-09-06T20:51:05Z 2016-09-06T15:44:29Z Hey web designers. I often work with you. I feel like I know you, what inspires and motivates you. I even tried to be you but thankfully left my web design career back in the 1990’s where it belongs. You’re a professional web designer and care deeply about your clients. That’s why you personally tend to their hosting.

So let me ask you a question.

Have you ever considered selling your clients’ web hosting services to a professional hosting company?

Outsourcing certain tasks to trusted experts can benefit your business. In this case though, you’re not literally outsourcing. You’re just turning over your web hosting relationship to someone else with more experience. And at no extra cost to you.

I mean, what could possibly be less fun and more challenging than debugging CSS? How about reinstalling the latest version of PHP on your server during the Super Bowl? Wouldn’t it be great to let a server geek wrestle with technical issues so you can do what you’re actually passionate about doing – web design?

I can think of at least five sensible reasons why you would want to sell your clients’ web hosting services to a professional web hosting company like ClickHOST.

  1. Lower Cost – Time spent dealing with your clients’ hosting issues costs you money. In the long run, it can be much cheaper to have a professional web hosting company do this for you.
  2. Automated Billing – No need to worry about managing your client’s billing for their web hosting. The billing will all be taken care of by the web hosting company. Your clients’ billing information will be in the hosting company’s system and billed monthly without any hassle on your part.
  3. More Free Time For You – Less time dealing with your clients’ hosting concerns leaves you that much more time to do the things that are most important to you. That could be more time for cool designs, growing your business, acquiring new clients, or just relaxing or spending time with people you love.
  4. No More Tech Headaches – Your specialty is design. You rule in the world of colors, style and beauty. But web hosting is not so beautiful to you. Save yourself from the stress and headaches of dealing with technical problems with your clients’ hosting.
  5. Compensation – Depending on the type of deal you cut with the new host, you’ll be rewarded for bringing them new business. You will receive at least the benefit of their affiliate commission.  Some hosts like ClickHOST pay an ongoing commission (20%) commission to web designers and developers who entrust them with the care of their clients.

Do you sometimes have trouble explaining downtime to clients?

Nothing to see here says Leslie Nielson

Source: funnyordie.com

So, at this stage, I’m sure you have some doubts about the idea. Like… why would you want to risk compromising your trusted relationships with your clients that you’ve cultivated over so many years?

Think about this. By handing over your web hosting responsibilities to a professional company like ClickHOST you give your clients the gift of expert service. You give yourself extra time. And you give your host a new web design partner.

Still with me?

Let me pretend to get inside your head a bit more. Lets walk through some objections that I know you’re going to have. Stay with me…

One of the most important things in a web host for my clients is security. I would not even consider moving to a new web host without seeing statistics on security with the new host. What if I move my clients to a new hosting company and they get hacked?

Most professional hosting companies provide you with security statistics. If you partner with an hosting company like ClickHOST, all of your websites’ hosting plans include free Sucuri malware and hacking monitoring. This way they can protect your websites and alert you if anything suspicious occurs behind the scenes.

The web host could go out of business or be bought by EIG (music from Psycho shower scene).

If you’re concerned whether your potential web hosting company might go out of business, follow their financial status and form some relationships with people in the company to keep your finger on their pulse. Talking to members of the company can also alert you to takeover threats.

Endurance International Group buys up and absorbs web hosting brands in a Borg-like fashion, some have said. Size makes hosting companies a target for buyouts. Take a look at this list of companies they’ve gobbled up. You can see that they are mostly large brands and not small, family-owned,  community-friendly companies like ClickHOST.

If there’s an outage, my hands will be tied. I will look like an idiot.

Almost every hosting platform is going to suffer an outage at some point. If you’re partnered with a team of web hosting support geeks who have your back, they’ll be accountable for getting your clients back up and running ASAP. Suddenly being pulled away from your creative world to troubleshoot an outage is a stress and distraction you won’t miss. Professional web hosting companies know how to deal with outages and respond to customers in the event that it happens.

My web design clients are used to getting someone on the phone to help them (me). They don’t want to email for support.

If you don’t like getting phone calls at 3 AM from your clients with technical issues then you might really want to consider delegating support to a professional hosting company. A web hosting company will normally offer 24/7 customer service and support. ClickHOST’s technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Save hours of time by having a partner like ClickHOST run your tech support. One phone call with a client working through technical problems can easily take up an hour of your time. Imagine how much time you can free up without the burden of hosting tech support on you.

Ha! My clients are going to call me anyway so I might as well keep supporting their web hosting (trust me I have some really rude clients, I’ve got this one guy… but don’t tell him I said that).

If you have a true and trusted web hosting partner to support your clients then they’ll work with all types of clients, the ones you love catching up with and the ones you dread talking to (you know it’s true). Tell them that you can help them, but that your web hosting service provider can do a much faster job.

My clients will never accept outsourced support.

Your clients will be able to appreciate the expert help and 24/7 customer support of a professional web hosting company. Inform your clients that they will have less waiting time and less response time to questions and problems by being connected to your partner hosting company even if they’re not always working with a domestic support person. It’s a win-win situation for them.

What could a small web hosting company possibly offer that’s better than EIG – bigger is better right? Their hardware network and infrastructure is always going to be better and better managed.

With a small web hosting company, your clients will get more personalized service with them compared to a larger hosting conglomerate. Smaller web hosting companies can run the risk of having their systems managed with less security though. When working with a smaller hosting company, just make sure that your clients’ files will not be lost.

A small hosting company could go out of business and leave me hanging dry then I would have to move all of my clients’ websites myself to another host without access to their files. 

This would be a bad situation for any web designer. But it could happen to even the largest web hosting companies too. As a safeguard, you’ll want keep a recent backup of all your clients’ website files in an offsite location. You can then restore from these backups if necessary. Make sure you have access to the domain name registrar too – you would have to make DNS change as well.

Right now, the reseller web hosting service I use has worked with me to improve the speed and load time of my clients’ websites. It’s not perfect but it’s fast. What if I move my clients’ websites and it turns out that they are slower?

Don’t ever move your clients to a slower host. Any new hosting partner you take on needs to be  an improvement – faster, more secure and better customer service. Make them prove it!

ClickHOST tested the before/after performance of 53 websites that were moved from other hosts and found these results:

Average load time before: 3.11s
Average load time after: 1.84s
1.27s average faster load times
69% faster

OK, let’s say a web designer is able to let go of their pride and sell their clients. How would it work?

Your new web host will help you transfer your clients’ files over to their servers. They’ll most likely even pay you a commission for every new client you send to them. ClickHOST does both. Once the transfers are made, its business as usual except that now you don’t have to worry about untangling hosting issues.

Selling your clients’ web hosting services to a professional host can seem like a bad idea at first, but there are actually many advantages for you and your clients. It’s a step toward efficiency. Do the research and you will find that this can be very advantageous to your business as a web designer.

If I knew of any fellow web designers who have actually done this, I’d do it myself.

Okay, you ask for it. Here are a few…

Syrup needed to streamline our business – do what we’re good at and offload what we’re not. Hosting had always been one of those things that we did for our clients because it was easier for them to have one company to deal with for hosting, design and development. However, it was not our strong suit and our business model wasn’t built on it. So, I went shopping for a hosting partner who does it well and ClickHOST was it! Carel and his team (thanks Rhonda!) were great in teaming up and communicating with clients to get them shifted from our servers to theirs.

Lars Miller
syrupmarketing.com

I switched to ClickHOST because I value companies who have moral values. I appreciate on-demand live chat support and prompt email replies from support. I expect a company to value relationships and to be seen in public with nothing to hide.

-Kris

Kristina McInerny
www.WebsitesByKris.com

We love our web designers and they love us. Contact ClickHOST right now to hear more about how partnering with the pros is a winner for everyone!

Call 404.220.8110 during business hours or email carel at clickhost dot com.

ClickHOST Team at WordCamp ATL Booth

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mickey http://www.greenmellenmedia.com <![CDATA[The speed you rarely think about: FTP]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4331 2016-07-28T01:22:13Z 2016-07-28T01:22:13Z In 2016, website speed is crucial. All hosts think about it, and the good ones make sure that your site loads as fast as possible. However, most hosts do not seem to care about FTP speed on their servers. After all, FTP speed doesn’t affect Google rankings so why worry about it? As a developer, I can tell you it makes a big difference.

At GreenMellen we manage roughly 150 WordPress sites. While we use tools such as ManageWP to do much of the heavy lifting, we still spend a great deal of time in FTP each week fixing stubborn plugins or adding new pieces. For reasons beyond my technical understanding, the FTP speeds on ClickHOST absolutely blow away every other host on the planet, making my life much easier.

As a test, I took a clean copy of WordPress and uploaded it to a variety of different hosts. This consisted of 1,472 files totaling around 23.9MB. I ran this over a fiber connection, so speed on my end shouldn’t come into play.

The FTP speed results

The first one I tried was BlueHost, where the upload took- 2 minutes, 48 seconds. Not bad.

The next one was GoDaddy. They were a bit faster, as the upload only took 1 minute and 29 seconds.

After that, I uploaded the same files to WP Engine. They’re well-known as a solid WordPress host, but their FTP speeds were roughly the same as GoDaddy at 1 minute and 28 seconds.

Finally I did the same test on ClickHOST. The result? Just 28 seconds, more than three times faster than any of the others.

ClickHOST

28 seconds!

WP Engine

1min 28 secs

GoDaddy

1min 29 secs

Bluehost

2mins 48 secs

Why does FTP speed matter?

In looking at the list above, you may be wondering why this is a big deal. After all, it’s only a few minutes difference between the best and worst. As someone that manages a lot of sites, I can tell you that those numbers add up very quickly. If there’s a major WordPress update and we’re having to push tens of thousands of files out to various sites, we *love* how quickly the ClickHOST sites respond to make our life easier.

In fact, just a few days ago I had to move seven sites over to ClickHOST that included more than 50,000 files weighing in at nearly 17GB. I didn’t time the upload, but it was somewhere around 20 minutes to upload everything, which is simply incredible. On a lesser host, that would have taken hours.

There are a lot of very important aspects to hosting, and this is admittedly a lower priority. I want a host that has fast servers, solid security and excellent technical support. Once you find that with someone like ClickHOST, having blazing fast FTP is just icing on the cake.

Not a customer yet?
Click here for blazing fast FTP starting at $5/month

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Emory Rowland http://www.clickfire.com/ <![CDATA[How Do I Know My Website Is Safe?]]> https://www.clickhost.com/?p=4264 2016-03-31T20:14:49Z 2016-04-12T10:45:40Z Computer security is one of those buzzwords you often hear but may not clearly understand. Some types of security are pretty easy to wrap your brain around. Home security, car anti-theft devices and even a simple padlock are examples of security we can all understand. Your website, however, doesn’t have a keyhole or a blinking red light to let you know it is safe.

Let’s take a look at the different aspects of computer security and how they can apply to your website. After all you don’t want your business to become the next security hack article on a tech blog.

What Is Computer Security, and Why Do You Need It?

Computer security wasn’t as much of an issue in the days before constant internet connectivity. The only ways someone could get onto your computer was to physically be at the keyboard, trying to figure out what your passwords are while you weren’t home, or to just take the whole thing from your house. Then the internet arrived.

With all of the wonderful things that the internet brings us, it also brings the bad. Your computer, as soon as it is powered on, is connected to the entire world. Unfortunately, there are lots of bad guys out there who would like to steal things from your computer.

Your Personal Computer

Your personal computer holds tons of information about you that hackers can use. Credit card numbers, bank accounts, bills that you are paying, addresses, email accounts and even photos can be stolen from your personal computer by hackers. This is your digital identity; with it hackers can steal your hard earned money, your credit or your identity.

Keep your personal computer safe by using HTTPS websites wherever possible. HTTPS is a secure method for access websites. Communications between your computer and the web are encrypted, so the traffic is harder for hackers to read.

Be careful when connecting your computer (or other mobile devices) to public Wi-Fi. This includes hotels, Starbucks or anywhere else that has public access. Hackers can exploit these networks to get personal information from your devices.

Your Business Website

First of all, if your business website was hard to find, it wouldn’t be a very good website. That means that you need to advertise its presence to the Internet or improve your SEO. But, it also means your website will be a free and open invitation for hackers to come and see what you are offering. This comes with the territory, sadly.

Now, what could hackers possibly want with your website? Well, just like your home computer, you website might have crucial information about you or your business that can allow them to steal your identity. More importantly, you may be storing customer data, a nearly limitless resource for all sorts of computer criminals.

What about WordPress?

You may be surprised to know that if your site runs WordPress, you already have a degree of security capability built in. But, unless you take some additional proactive steps, hackers can find ways to exploit even the best content management systems (CMS), allowing them to gain access to parts of your site that are not protected.

WordPress is open source software that hackers can obtain and experiment on to find exploits. As they find them, WordPress developers will patch those issues so that they can no longer be used. Therefore, even if you are totally up to date with all of the other security on your website, an unsecured WordPress installation can be a back door for hackers to sneak into your site.

How Do I Secure WordPress?

There are several ways that you can go about keeping security tight for WordPress.

  • Keep WordPress Updated – Just like the operating system on your personal computer, WordPress puts out patches that address security issues. As the developers for WordPress see that hackers have found an exploit, they fix that hole in the software. If you are not running the latest version of WordPress, then you are putting your site at risk for being hacked. Keeping up-to-date by running the latest version is one of the best (and easiest) ways to keep safe.
  • Limit WordPress Installs – While there are several legitimate reasons to be running more than one copy of WordPress, you need to make sure there’s a good reason for them. You may have also tried to install WordPress a few times before getting the hang of how to set it up. Are these old installations still sitting around? The only installations of the software that should be active on your site are the ones that are currently being used (and maybe a development environment for testing changes). Having more than that can actually lead to cross-contamination of your sites and create vulnerabilities.
  • Lock Down Default Admin Functions – Because WordPress is available to anyone that wants to use it, hackers are aware of what the default settings are. This includes things like “wp-admin” as your administrator URL and “admin” as the default user name. Even if you aren’t using these, they can provide a vulnerability into your website if you have not deleted or changed them. Once you get WordPress up and running, you need to delete the Admin account and change your wp-admin URL. This will prevent hackers from having a very easy way into your site.
  • Get Rid of the Clutter – Are you using all of those themes? What about all of those plugins you had every intention of installing but found out were just too difficult? Themes that sit around and plugins that go unused are all just exploits waiting to be found. The more common the theme or plugin, the easier it is to exploit. Keep the clutter off of your site by deleting all of the unused themes and plugins that you just aren’t using.
  • Use Security Plugins – WordPress wants you to keep your site secure, and software developers also know that you want to keep your site secure. This is why third party tools such as Sucuri, iThemes and WordFence exist to keep WordPress locked down.

A Word on Passwords

Passwords are very important for keeping a site safe. Having a password of “password,” “admin” or “1 2 3 4 5” is an invitation for hackers to break into your website. It would be the same as leaving the keys to your brand new house sitting in the lock.

When crafting passwords, be sure to make a strong password. That means not only using letters or numbers, but combining them along with punctuation marks. Instead of using words, using the first letter of each word in a phrase can produce something that makes no sense to hackers but makes perfect sense to you. Consider the phrase “Keep this password a secret or face the consequences.” You can easily turn that into the password “kTpA$oFtC.” What hacker is ever going to crack that? They will make a few attempts and then move on.

Another option is to use a password manager like LastPass. These are software programs that will store a master password (that is encrypted) and then store long strings of characters and numbers for your website passwords. You keep your master password, and LastPass does the work of keeping your online accounts safe.

Hackers Happen

Sometimes even the best security can fail. Hackers will and do find a way in. Hopefully, some of the suggestions above will make your site less of a target and keep the hackers frustrated

To really put your mind at ease, consider one of ClickHOST’s web hosting plans, which include hacker monitoring and premium spam filters. We’re here to make web hosting simple.

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