Created with Sketch.
Web Hosting Podcast
36 minutes | Apr 23, 2019
Interview with Bryan Muthig, CEO of A2 Hosting.
I am joined by Bryan Muthig, CEO of A2 Hosting. Some of the topics we cover are; WordPress securityOptimized WordPress hostingHosting TrendsA2 Hosting 20x Faster web hostingAnd much much more…. A2Hosting.comTwitterFacebookLinkedinYouTube
32 minutes | Apr 2, 2019
WPVR, can help you get started with Virtual Reality tours in WordPress.
What is a Virtual Reality Tour? A Virtual Tour is a simulation of a real location. It is often made with media that would include a 360-degree camera and can mix text, video, audio and much more. Virtual tours provide the user a way to explore locations from the comfort of their home, business or on the road without having to physically go there. Why are Virtual Reality Tours important? Here is a excellent case study on why Virtual Tours work. The bottom line, it increases SEO, interaction and bookings. By allowing your customers to see your place of business in a whole new way. Virtual Tour ideas. Bed and BreakfastReality – they have been doing it for years.RestaurantNight club or BarWineryLocations for weddingsAny retail storeThe list goes on and on. If you have a physical business location, you should have a Virtual Reality Tour. How do you do that in WordPress? With WPVR plugin for WordPress allows you to create and promote Virtual Reality tours inside of WordPress. From the plugin page. With the WPVR, set up a virtual tour for site visitors where they can navigate a 360 view of your location, switch between several spots (or rooms), get information on items on the location, zoom in and out to get better view, and get an overall idea about how your place may look in reality. Get the plugin FREE HERE.WPVR DocumentationRexTheme WebsiteRexTheme FacebookRexTheme TwitterRexTheme YouTube
17 minutes | Mar 18, 2019
Status of PHP in Web Hosting. WordPress 5.1.1 is out. Gutenberg block add-on with 19 ready made blocks.
Today on Episode 29 Web Hosting Podcast. The status of PHP and web hosting. WordPress 5.1.1 has been released with some great improvements. A gutenberg block add-on with 19 ready made blocks. The status of PHP and hosting. I found a few articles regarding the deprecation of PHP before 7.1 and that relates to the amount of sites still using old and no longer supported versions of PHP. I was stunned, to say the least, that the number of users using no longer supported versions of PHP is so high. According to this article by kinsta.com from January 24th, a staggering number of users, 77.5%, are still using outdated versions of PHP. That number is mind blowing. Considering that 33% of all websites use WordPress and PHP is used by 78% of all websites on the internet, that is a lot of outdated and potentially vulnerable websites. I know I keep saying words like stunned and staggering, but there is no other way to put it. I am having a hard time understanding why there is not a bigger push to get users on current and supported versions of PHP. There are some great benefits to using PHP 7.2. So why should you make the switch to a newer version of PHP. Security. Older versions of PHP are no longer being patched for security issues and vulnerabilities. Performance. PHP 7.2 has been shown to be almost twice as fast as previous versions of PHP. In a world where site speed is important, just moving from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.2 could dramatically improve site speed performance. For hosting providers, PHP 7.2 uses less memory, cpu and can handle more requests per second than older versions of PHP. This means lower overall server load.Support. Older versions of PHP require more development to maintain backwards compatibility. Things will eventually break and moving forward on a better version of a code base is needed.New Features. PHP 7.2 has a load of new features that developers can take advantage of to add site improvements. These features can only be used on the latest versions of PHP.It is just the right thing to do. It really is. For the safety of the internet as a whole, we all should be doing our part to make sure our applications support the latest secure versions available. Shared hosting, which most of us use, is a bad place to be when a few website owners don’t want to update their application. It puts all the sites on the server at risk to total take over and hacking. You are only as secure as the weakest link or website. Interesting fact about stats for WordPress along with PHP versions. WordPress 5.1.1 is released. Notes From the release notes.Site health notifications. This release introduces WordPress’s first Site Health features. WordPress will start showing notices to administrators of sites that run long-outdated versions of PHP, which is the programming language that powers WordPress. When you install new plugins, WordPress’s Site Health features will check them against the version of PHP you’re running. If the plugin requires a version that won’t work with your site, WordPress will keep you from installing that plugin. FINALLY!! It is recommended to install the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. This plugin will allow you to run a check on your WordPress install and determine if there are any common configuration issues and known issues. Once installed, go to Dashboard Menu then select Health Check. This will run a little check of your site and report any findings. The one menu marked “Tools” will allow you to do a file integrity check. This is done by validating the files against a known state or also known as a checksum. If the checksum does not match what it should, then either your site core files have been modified (which you should not be doing) or your site has been hacked. This is not 100% foolproof as some people do modify the core files, but if you are in curious give it a try and see what your results are. Another useful option is the “PHP Information” tab. This will show you all the information about the current PHP version you are running. Finally the “Troubleshooting” tab will allow you to disable all of your plugins and go back to a default theme for you, but your site remains fully functional to others. This is a brilliant idea for trying to determine if a plugin is not functioning correctly or if a theme is breaking your site. You can enable each plugin one by one and change back to your theme at any time. Once done, you just take the site out of troubleshooting mode.Editor performance; improved gutenberg editor speed improvements. I have been using WordPress 5.1 since it was released and I think this update is well worth the install. The improved performance of the gutenberg editor is wonderful. The addition of the Site Health notifications and the prevention of installing plugins that may not work on your currently selected version of PHP is fantastic. WordPress is quickly moving to remove support for old and outdated PHP versions finally and I could not be happier. Gutenberg Blocks Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg If you are looking for a easy way to add some gutenberg blocks to your website, then look no further. This add-on plugin for WordPress includes some of the most useful blocks that are pre-made and ready to drop into your website. I have tried all of these blocks and find them very easy to use. Here are some of the blocks included with this add-on. Social Share – Allows for a easy way to share your content via social media.Post Layout – List your blog posts in a layout of your choice. Choose from timeline, masonry, grid, carousel.Testimonial – Simple testimonial blockContact Form 7 StylerGravity From StylerGoogle Map – no google api key required according to the site.Content Timeline There are 19 of these blocks ready to go. No coding is needed. Along with the Ultimate Add-on for Gutenberg, they offer Gutenberg website templates. There are quite a few templates, ready to go.h
25 minutes | Jan 14, 2019
My Depression, WordPress 5 is released, google page speed
Today on episode 28, Web Hosting Podcast. Where have I been and what is going on with the podcast? Have you taken the jump to WordPress 5 yet, if not then you are going to want to ensure you do a few things first. Google Page Speed is up to some new tricks with images. My depression. You may have been wondering why there has not been an episode in a while. It is time to talk about my depression and how I deal with it.Some things I do to try and reduce the effects of my depression, anxiety and panic attacks. If this helps even a single person get through their own depression then this will be worth it. Eat right. I eat breakfast when I first get up and try to eat as healthy as possible for the rest of my meals.Get good sleep. This is very critical for me. If I don’t get a good deep sleep then I am possibly going to be a train wreak the next day.I work out regularly and have a schedule. I find that by doing 30 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning, I can alleviate some of my anxiety. I make sure to bathe every day. This may sound strange to put on a list, but it does help me. It is part of my routine and schedule. For me it signals the fresh start of a new day.I put on my shoes. You may ask why this is its own entry. I find that if I do not put my shoes on after my shower that I am more apt to sit around and not do much. By putting on my shoes, I am unable to talk myself out of going for a walk or leaving the house. It is a mind game I play with myself. Shoes go on, ready for the day and anything it can throw at me.Dress for how you want to feel. Another thing that has helped me is to dress how I want to feel. I work from home most of the time, so you might imagine working in pajamas. This can be great, but do it for a decade and you never leave your pajamas. I have been known to actually dress up, sometimes I put on a shirt and tie. Watch something or read something uplifting. I recently started reading “Chicken soup for the fathers soul” when I am feeling depressed. I also started watching a new TV show, that I would not normally watch, called New Amsterdam. Then there is always Hogans Heroes. The point is, find something that picks you up.Task yourself to learn something new every day. I try and learn something new everyday. It can be as simple as a new knot (don’t laugh knots are hard to master), or as difficult as getting a certificate for something. I try and challenge myself with something that I know that I can ultimately complete. Giving myself that win feeling and boosting my confidence just a bit. It is important for me to make sure that I finish the task and to not set the difficulty too hard, I want to complete it after all. By completing it, I get the “I have accomplished something” feeling that ultimately helps my moral and boosts me up.Check in with yourself. This gets more into knowing your moods and your body and it is something that anyone can do and should do. It is not well known that your body/mind remembers tragic events that have happened. These are anniversaries of events. If you are feeling more depressed than normal, try and determine if there is a specific thing that has happened around the same time of year that you might be struggling with. I have many anniversaries that I have to deal with, most of them are around Thanks Giving and Christmas.The most important thing is to never give up. If you are struggling with depression, as I do, find someone to talk to. I highly recommend a good counselor. I have been teased relentlessly by others for seeing a therapist or counselor. Honestly, I have no idea why it is so taboo to go see one. We all go to a doctor when we are sick, we see a chiropractor when our back it out. Why would we not want to take care of the most important part of our body, the brain. I go see mine on a regular basis or more as the need arises. There is nothing wrong with getting a mental checkup and helping yourself cope with the world as a whole. Don’t let anyone give you a hard time for seeing or wanting to see a counselor, ever! If you can’t afford to go see one, there are many free resources out there. A lot of times insurance will also pay for some of the visits. Panic Attacks. If you also suffer from panic attacks, I feel for you. I have them quite regularly and have learned to identify when it is going to happen and how to deal with them. This may not work for everyone, but this is what I do when I suffer a panic attack. I start by watching my heart rate on my iWatch. If it is climbing faster than it should and I am in a situation that is unsafe, driving for example, I get to a place where I can pull over or stop what I am doing. The first feeling of a panic attack for me is a sudden flood of stomach butterflies. The ones you normally get when you are nervous about something. When those start up, my legs go almost numb, then the sweating starts as my heart rate climbs. This is why I keep an eye on my heart rate, it will normally start to rise and can get very very fast. I have never passed out from an attack, but I have come close. So the first thing I do is get my heart rate down, I practice breathing exercises regularly and can control my breathing which will allow me to slow down my rapid heart rate. Once I feel that my heart rate is no longer climbing, I check in with myself. Did I just listen to a song that triggered something, did a smell remind me of something, or is it possible that I have one of those anniversaries. It can be a whole range of things for me that triggers them, and I can usually identify them. The biggest thing for me is to stay calm. Doing this while driving is quite a trick, but it can be done, just be safe. Staying calm takes practice and patience with your self. Here is a link I found for some services as well as phones numbers. WordPress 5 has been released. Steps to do before you go through the update process. Make sure you are using a recent version of PHP, like php 7.2. If you have a host that provides multiple php versions to be used you may be in luck. Multi php has been available in cPanel for quite a while. Login to your cPanel account, search for php and find multiphp manager. From here, find your domain in the bottom list. In the heading PHP Version, make a note of the version you are currently using. To switch to a different version of PHP, put a check box next to your domain, then in the drop down above next to PHP Version select your desired version. Now test your site to verify if it still works as expected. If you run into issues, change the version back to the one you were previously on.Go into the update menu, Dashboard -> updates. Apply any updates that are pending, but do NOT update wordpress core yet. Make sure your themes and plugins are current. If you have not done this in a long time, or ever, then you are likely going to have some issues. If you regularly update your themes and plugins like you should, then you should have nothing to worry about here.Verify your running a recent copy of wordpress. Anything before wordpress 4, you are likely going to have issues upgrading and you need to hire someone to go through the process of updating and verifying things work. If you are on wordpress 4 and above, then go into plugins -> installed plugins. From here list all plugins. In the description area for the plugin, click on “View Details”. A new window will pop up showing the version and reviews. What you are looking for is the last time the plugin was updated and the section that says “Compatible up to:” If the plugin has not been updated in over 6 months, make a note of the plugin and what it does, you are going to need to find a new plugin to replace this. If the “Compatible up to:” line does not include 5.0, then you really don’t want to update to WorpPress 5 at this time. It is also likely that if it is not 5.0 compatible that the last updated date is more than 6 months, possibly years. If you are already seeing a “Warning: This plugin has not been tested with your current version of WordPress” at the top, then it is almost certain it will cause problems with WordPress 5.0. It would also be a good time to remove/uninstall any plugins that are not active or used.Make sure you have some form of backup. We have covered this in great detail in other episodes. Go listen to them if you are not sure how to backup your wordpress site or are uncertain what to use to backup your wordpress site. You really need to have a backup before proceeding, you have been warned. Backup espisode.Go into Dashboard -> Updates and update wordpress to version 5. I have done this on several sites and it seems to work very well. I also have kept all of my plugins, themes as well as the core updated regularly. You really don’t want to update to WordPress 5 from a very outdated version of wordpress. A few notes on the Gutenberg block editor. First of all, why? I mean there was nothing really wrong with the “classic” editor in my opinion. Everyone that has used a computer in the last 20 years should know how to use a word processor, which it closely resembled. It was easy to determine what buttons do what function. Now we are left with a block editor, that we have to get used to. I am not opposed to change, but there should be a good reason to make this big of a change to the leading blog platform, as of yet I have not found one. The block editor is clunky, not very intuitive
25 minutes | Oct 29, 2018
Are websites becoming irrelevant? With Megan from websites503.com
Today on episode 27, Web Hosting Podcast. I sit down with Megan of websites503.com and discuss the current state of websites. Are websites really needed in a world of apps, social media, and smart devices? Are website going to be extinct or irrelevant in the coming years if not already? Are websites becoming irrelevant? With google indexing and providing a constant flow of instant information for things like business listings, movie showtimes, sports scores and a wealth of other information. Is it time to think about if the website as we know it is dead or dying. With the initial invention of Siri and now alexa, google, and apple homepod, information is only a command away. Social media has never been stronger in use for marketing in a app based world. Is the website, as we know it, gone? This is the question I proposed to Megan of websites503.com and I ask you, the listener. Have you stopped putting emphasis on your website in favor of joining the billions of others in a app based world? You can currently do just about anything right from your phone or smart device. I myself find I don’t use websites nearly as much as I once did. I use google to direct me to the information that it has indexed on the topics I request. Need to know how to fix something? I search google, and it normally directs me to youtube. Want to know if a movie is worth seeing? This will take me to a app on my phone. 80% of my searches and internet viewing is done from my mobile device, using a mobile app. Want to start a ecommerce website, redbubble, etsy, shopify all have mobile apps. Even WordPress has a mobile app. You can even create and master videos using adobe apps on your devices. The current trend is mobile first and even google is preferring mobile in their indexing of your content. The app based world is here and it is likely going to stay, even if it will evolve into something more than what we currently use. I don’t think or know if a website will be entirely irrelevant. I do enjoy the browsing experience on a large screen and personalized domains are also likely not going away. So what does this leave for the future? This is what Megan and I discuss in this episode. This recording took place a while ago on a whim. I hope you enjoy it and we would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
16 minutes | Oct 15, 2018
WordPress 5 release date, Social Media experiment and CloudFlare turns 8.
Today on episode 26, Web Hosting Podcast. WordPress 5 gets a tentative release date. I discuss a social media experiment I tried. And cloudflare celebrated its 8th birthday in style by releasing some great new features and services. WordPress 5 has a tentative release date of November 19th, 2018 Release Notes This date could be pushed back as needed and even moved to 2019. It appears that this may coincide with the coming release of PHP 7.3, which is due December 13th, 2018. If you are currently using the Gutenberg editor plugin in your current version of WordPress, then version WordPress 5 will be familiar to you. You will still have the ability to go back to the classic editor, the one currently in use, by installing a plugin. However, there are likely big code changes that are still going to break a lot of plugins and themes when WordPress 5 comes out. Here are some things you must know before the big WordPress 5 release comes out. 1. Test your plugins and themes as well as any custom code you may be using on your site. Option 1, for a while, there was a Gutenberg database of listed plugins that you could use to validate your install. This project has since been abandoned and is no longer maintained. The CSV file is still available to download, but it is likely very outdated. Use with caution as it might not be complete or current. Download CSV here. Option 2, copy your current website to a staging url. Something like test.yoursite.com or dev.yoursite.com. Then activate the Gutenberg plugin. You will then need to manually test every plugin and theme you use. This is a very tedious task and is fraught with perils. You really are going to need to know what you are doing. I would recommend, if you plan to try this, to disable all plugins and set the theme to a default theme after you copy/clone your site to the staging environment. Then one by one, make sure your plugins are updated and then activate them and test. If you find a plugin that does not work, then you may have to start over unless you know how to debug plugins or deactivate plugins using ftp/sftp methods. Once you are completed with the plugins testing, then I would update and activate your theme. You will have to test again and again after each and every change. This sounds like a monumental task, and lets be honest it is, but it is something either you or your developer really needs to do. The last thing you want happen is for your site to be updated and then break. 2. Make sure you have a full and complete backup of your WordPress install and you know how to restore from it. I can’t stress this enough at this point. If you do NOT know how to make a backup or do a restore using the backup, then you or your developer need to get on this. I mention backups in almost every episode and it is very very important that you take this step seriously. If your site automatically updates and things break, there is likely no way to go back to a previous version even if you try the classic editor plugin, your site may still not function as expected or just not render at all. There are dramatic code changes in a major release that my just not work, even in classic mode. Before hitting that update button on WordPress 5, make sure you have all your options thought out. Backups, any testing needed, a good developer on standby and a restore plan. It is very likely that a large number of installs will break and your web host of choice will very likely have their hands full. They may not even help you at all without charging for it. So be prepared for the worst and work backwards from there. Social media Top social media platforms in the U.S. Facebook – 2 billion active monthly users YouTube – 1.9 billion active monthly users Instagram – 1 billion active monthly users Last month, I did something as a test for myself. I used social media heavily and I mean really heavily. I challenged myself to post regularly on twitter and instagram, preferring to use instagram as my platform of choice for video. My personal challenge was to promote the podcast, but to also have fun and be myself. I posted random cloud photos, pictures of my dog, and information about my podcast. The task was to see if doing this would have any impact on my podcast downloads and website hits. I posted at least once a day, but more as needed or when the desire struck. I primarily used instagram, but by doing this I also allowed instagram to post to facebook and twitter. My primary use for twitter is to post news articles that I find relating to hosting or security. My results shocked me, in the 3 weeks that I tried this I gained almost 600 new podcast downloads and it is still climbing. I went from having 1 or 2 downloads a day to having 20 or 30 a day. Think about that, in the case of a podcast they are listeners, but in a business that could be customers and potentially big sales opportunities. Now, it should be noted that I am not a social media master or anything like that. I just do what most others do, post, and I use what I have access to. Meaning, posting pictures of clouds or my dog, is my staple and easy for me to do. I don’t post pictures of my family, other than the dog, online unless I have some form of control of the content. So I am left with what I have access too. I also have some skills in video, so making a short video on the do’s and don’ts of hosting was easy for me to do. Those types of videos I posted on instagram as posts, not stories, so everyone could see them. I did not always promote my brand, or podcast. Again, I had fun with it and let people see my human side, not just the business side. I think what I learned is that anyone can do this type of thing but the biggest thing is to have fun. I don’t worry about the number of followers, and actually I don’t watch my podcast download count either. Neither of those really mean anything to me. What I do keep an eye on is the interactions. If someone comments on a post, I thank them or answer their question. If someone retweets a tweet, then I might follow them. Things that can generate a conversation or communication of some sort is what I go for. That would be my first piece of advice. Don’t fret over numbers, if someone does not hit the “heart” button don’t assume it was not seen. Don’t worry about the total number of followers and likes you get. If you do that, then you are likely going to add stress and not have fun. That would be my second piece of advice, have fun. Social media is social, it is a chance to let your guard down a bit and let people into your life, have fun with it. I would rather see photos/videos of someones dog chasing its tail then another almost informative ad on a product. I am sure most other people would too, but if you post product info every third post, that might work. Anyone that is listening to this, I challenge you to promote on social media. Get creative with it and have fun. The results you see might surprise you as it did me. CloudFlare CloudFlare recently had its 8th birthday and did so with a bang. If you have not heard of or use CloudFlare, I invite you to listen to Episode 2 here For the most part, CloudFlare is a software as a service cache that does a whole lot more. Now celebrating their 8th birthday, congratulations by the way, CloudFlare does even more. In addition to adding caching features to your site and helping to keep it secure, CloudFlare offers domain registrations at wholesale prices and adds domain privacy for free. This service is currently in early access and I invite you to head over to their site to check out all of their service offerings, most of which are free. I use CloudFlare on all of my sites and love it, I can’t wait to be able to also register domains through them.
40 minutes | Sep 24, 2018
cPanel tools you will use most often.
Today on episode 25, Web Hosting Podcast. Some of the most common cPanel tools you will use after you signup. Did you know there is a app for cPanel access that also includes webmail? We will be going over installing, and then configuring the app which is available for both iOS and Android. cPanel App for iOS and Android. Go into your devices app store and search for cPanel. Go through the process of installing the app, like you would any other app. Before you launch the newly installed cPanel app, you will need to have your cPanel login information. The items you will need are: Domain: This is normally the website on your hosting account. Username: This is the cPanel username, not your CMS username, that you use to login to cPanel. Password: This is the cPanel password, not your CMS password, that you use to login to cPanel. You will also want to have your email address and password if you want to setup access to your webmail account in the app. Open the cPanel app that you previously installed. You are now presented with a few options to add an account, don’t worry we will be going over all of the settings you need. In the server information are three boxes, name, address, service. In the name area, give this a unique name. This can be anything you would like to identify this connection. In the address area, this is where you will put the login url you use to get into your cPanel account. This can possibly be your website url, or the server hostname. If one does not work try the other. Hopefully you were sent a welcome email when you signed up with this information. In the service, change this to cPanel. Do not use WHM or Webmail. Now in the authentication box do the following. In the username box, put in your cPanel username. In the password box, put in your cPanel password. In the touchID, if your devices supports it I would highly recommend using it. This is the same as unlocking your iPhone with a fingerprint. If you do not use touchID, then you will be asked to enter your password every time you want to connect. Once these are filled in, click on “CONNECT”. If everything went correctly, you should now have a setting that will connect, it should have logged you in. If not, check your settings and try again. Make sure you are using the correct username and password. As a diagnoses process, you can try logging into your cPanel account through a web browser first. Once you are logged in, you can now do anything you would normally do from a web browser inside cPanel. To setup webmail, click on the “+” icon to add another setup. Give this a unique name as well in the name field. In the address area, enter the address to connect to your webmail. This too will often be the domain you use for your email. In the service area, change this to webmail. In the username field enter in your full email address. This is important, the full email address including the “@” is required. In the password field enter in your password for your email address. In the touchID, if your devices supports it I would highly recommend using it. This is the same as unlocking your iPhone with a fingerprint. If you do not use touchID, then you will be asked to enter your password every time you want to connect. Once these are filled in, click on “CONNECT”. If everything went correctly, you should now have a setting that will connect, it should have logged you in. If not, check your settings and try again. Make sure you are using the correct username and password. As a diagnoses process, you can try logging into your webmail account through a web browser first. You should now be presented with a few options, depending on your web hosting provider. In my app, I am able to choose between horde, roundcube and squirrelmail. Horde is the only one that seems to be mobile friendly. All of them do work but you will have to move around on the screen to see everything. Below these options, you are presented with the mail client automatic configuration scripts, mail client manual settings and the ability to email setup instructions to a specific email address for the account you logged in with. Mail Client Automatic Configuration Scripts. This is used if you are on a desktop client and do not seem to work on a iOS/Android device. It is best to just ignore these. Mail Client Manual Settings. These are provided to you so that you may manually setup your email client of choice. These are great instructions for the do it yourselfer. The instructions provide the username, incoming and outgoing mail server, and the ports needed. Email Instructions. This allows you to email the same settings from the manual settings to a specific email address. This is handy if you have a user that has a gmail or other email account already and you would like to provide them with specific email setup information for an account you have setup for them. Why you would want to use the app. The app is a handy and convenient way to be able to login to cPanel quickly. Using the fingerprint to be able to login means you only have to remember the password once, then use your fingerprint to login. Once into cPanel, you have full control of your cPanel account, just as if you were using a normal browser. This means you can use one click installers to add a website or setup a email address. Being able to access it from your phone, means you can access cPanel from anywhere you have cell coverage for internet or on the go. No longer do you need to race home and pull out a computer to make a change or add a domain. The ability to access webmail is just icing on the cake. If you can login to webmail on the desktop and don’t want to mess with setting up a email client, you can quickly get into webmail through this app and do your business. In short, I think this is a wonderful addition to your cPanel hosting environment. In the past the app was pretty buggy. Since I have started using it over the last 4 months, I have had zero issues with it. I have used it to access webmail, cpanel, and even log into my wordpress install through installatron. If you are a admin and manage your own cPanel server, this is also a handy tool. One additional option that we did not cover is the ability to login to WHM. WHM is the administration level control panel for the server itself. This is only used if you have root access to the server and only if you manage your own cPanel server. I can say it works wonderfully to access WHM and allows me to things when I am on the go in a pinch. The most common cPanel tools you will use. This is a list of just a few of the most used and common cPanel tools that I use and think you will use. Even if you have used these in the past, cPanel updates the features of these tools to add to the already expansive option list. If it has been a while since you looked at the full option list for these tools, I would recommend you take a moment to revisit them. Email Accounts This is the place to manage your email accounts. From here you can create, delete, suspend among many other useful tasks. To create a email account, click on the Email Accounts button. Depending on your cPanel theme, things may be a little different from here. You should be presented with the option to create a email address, and have places for a name, domain, password and quota size. In the name area, enter what you would like the email address to be. If you have more than one domain on your account, a drop down will be available to you to select the domain you would like to use for the email account. In the password field, enter or generate a secure password. Please be sure not to use something like password123. The simplest thing is to use the generate button to create a password, then copy this to someplace secure. Yes, they are going to be difficult to remember and type out, but that is the whole point of a secure password. Password security is likely the most important thing you can do for yourself, so do not make this easy to guess. In the quota field, enter in a number in megabytes you would like to use or choose unlimited. The quota is used to prevent a single email account from using all of your disk space, which can happen. This is why I recommend not using unlimited, choose a value that you can live with and know that you can change this value to something higher if you hit the quota limit. You can uncheck the “Send welcome email” unless you really want to send this out. This is not needed if you are setting up a email account for yourself. At this point, hit the “Create Account” button to create your new email account. Some additional things of note on this area. On the “Email Accounts” tab, you can do the following. Access webmail – simple way to get to webmail. Change quota value for the account. Manage Suspension. This is useful if the account has been hacked or is sending spam. You can prevent sending, receiving and login individually or all three at the same time. Change Password. This is where you would change the password for the email account. Configure Devices. This allows you to view connection information for email clients like Outlook or thunderbird. Delete. This is how you delete the email account. Some things to consider when creating email accounts. Some hosting providers limit the number of email accounts you can create. Keep this in mind when creating email accounts. Keep an eye on the disk use for email accounts. This will add up faster than you might think and cause you to go over quota. If you whole cPanel account goes over the plans quota, then your site will stop working until the quota is either increased or lowered below the threshold. If you need to create email accounts and want those accounts to not contain a mailbox, a place for mail to be stored on disk, then use a forwarder. Forwarders. Email forwarders are a simple way to have a email address that do not store mail
54 minutes | Sep 11, 2018
Google pagespeed insights headache.
18 minutes | Aug 13, 2018
Backup WordPress with UpdraftPlus and hide the WordPress login url with WPS Hide Login.
Today on episode 23 Web Hosting Podcast. Google Chrome 68 is now out and marking sites that do not use https as not secure. We cover a great backup plugin for wordpress called UpdraftPlus, this free plugin with premium options is a great way to ensure you have a regular backup of your WordPress site. Have you ever wanted to know how to hide the login url for wordpress, we go over how to do this in this episode. Google Chrome 68 is now out and marking sites that do not use https as not secure. If you are not using https or SSL/TLS for your site you really need to get on this. Listen to episode 13 if you are not sure how to achieve this. On the update front, wordpress 4.9.8 was released. This is just a maintenance release which squashes 46 bugs. They have also added the ability to try the new Gutenberg editor. I would strongly caution anyone that if you plan to try it, to do so on a test copy of your site and make sure you have a full backup of your site before attempting anything on a live website. UpdraftPlus backup plugin for WordPress UpdraftPluse Website or the plugin page at WordPress. Classified as “The Worlds most trusted wordpress backup plugin” Currently lists 1.0M active installs with a overall rating of 98% for the premium version. Free and paid “Premium” version of this WordPress plugin. Here are the differences between the two versions: Both of the versions do the following; Backup wordpress files and databasess Translated to over 16 languages Restore from backup Backup to remote storage Destinations – Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, S3, Rackspace, Email are supported Basic email reporting Scheduled backups Browse backup contents in WordPress Not included in the free version and requires a premium license; Free 1Gb stirage for UpdraftVault Additional Destinations – WebDAV, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, SFTP/SCP, encrypted FTP, BackBlaze Backup extra files and databases Migrate / clone (i.e. copy) websites Advanced reporting features Automatic backup when updating WP/plugins/themes Send backups to multiple remote destinations Database encryption Restore backups from other plugins No advertising links on UpdraftPlus settings page Fix backup time Network/Multisite support Lock settings access Download individual files from backup in WordPress Personal support Run From WP-CLI Cost for premium plugin version for one year. This includes update and support for one year. You can then renew after the year at a 40% discount. Personal Plan for 2 sites – $70 Business Plan for 10 sites – $95 Agency Plan for 35 sites – $145 Enterprise Plan for unlimited sites – $195 Installation was simple, just like most wordpress plugins. Login to your wordpress install, goto plugins then add plugins. Search for updraftplus, click install and then activate. Could not be simpler. I hooked my install into dropbox, I am a big fan of dropbox but if you prefer google drive that should be just as easy. Once I connected to dropbox, I chose to do an immediate backup. This created several separate files in zip format. 1 for the database 1 for the others 1 for plugins 1 for themes 1 for uploads This is handy for doing a single file restore, but you can easily restore the entire backup with a single click. Next you want to schedule your backups. Go into the updraftplus settings, wordpress -> settings -> updraftplus backups -> settings. You will want to choose a files backup schedule and a database schedule (See Pic). UpdraftPlus Settings For being a 100% free backup utility, I would highly recommend this. If you need additional features, then the $70 Premium version might be worth looking at for 2 sites. I am also very fond of backups, they have saved me my sites many times. Updates go wrong, sites get hacked, a simple backup and restore is a much needed wordpress website tool that everyone should have in their toolbox. If you do not have a one click installer like installatron that does regular backups, then this is the tool to use. Even if you are using the free version of managewp.com, this will come in handy. Add them all together, like I do, and you should have all of your backup needs will be taken care of. Do not rely on any web host to do the backups for you, I can’t stress this enough. Take this critical step into your own hands and do it right. If you decide to use managewp.com services, make sure to use the coupon code WHPOD to get $10 applied to your balance after you enter your paymen details. Change login url for wordpress with WPS Hide Login. WPS Hide Login This is a great way to add additional security. This simple step keeps the commonly known wp-admin/wp-login URL hidden by using a URL of your choice. By hiding the login page, you help prevent brute force attacks from happening and increase the security of your wordpress website. It is simple to setup the WPS Hide Login plugin from inside of wordpress. Before you make any changes to wordpress always be sure to get a full backup first. You can use UpdraftPlus, ManageWP, or any other method to generate a full backup of your site. Once the backup is done and safe, login to your wordpress site and go to Plugins -> Add New. In the search bar type in “WPS Hide Login” and click on the “install now” button, then click activate after it is installed. Once activated goto Settings -> WPS Hide Login. Here you need to choose the new URL you will use to login to wordpress. Make this something specific that you will know and remember. When using this URL you need to ensure you include the trailing “/” when accessing it. Otherwise you will end up with a 404 error message. Now that it is active, make sure nothing on your site has broken.
12 minutes | Jul 17, 2018
IDNS deceptive practices, IGTV is now live, cPanel now supports git.
Today on episode 22 of Web Hosting Podcast. iDNS misdirection, this is a public service announcement for the alleged service provided by iDNS. This company may send out actual mail to you in an attempt to trick you into renewing your domain name with them. IGTV (Instagram TV) is now live, did you even notice? cPanel now supports git. IDNS IDNS is a company that sends out actual mail when your domain is close to renewal. IDNS, or Internet Domain Name Service, sounds pretty official and the letter looks even more official. However this is not a bill and is an attempt to trick you into moving your domain to their registry. This letter looks so official that it has tricked many people into sending them money. IDNS, sends out these letters in an attempt to trick you into paying their exorbitant fees for domain renewals. A standard domain renewal from a legitimate company is averaging $10 for a .com, however IDNS tries to get you to pay $45 for each domain. This is then compounded by a fee if you want to move away from IDNS. I think we will start to see fewer of these letters since the GDPR is in place and effectively hides some of the required information IDNS needs for these mailings. If you get one of these letters be sure to send it to the shredder. Here is what these letters look like. IDNS-Deception Git on cPanel cPanel 72 now allows you to host git repositories as part of your cPanel account. This is great news for those of us that need to use git to share and track files. From cPanels documentation page. The Git™ Version Control feature allows you to easily host Git repositories on your cPanel account. You can use Git to maintain any set of files (for example, a website’s files and assets, a software development project, or simple text files). Here is a link to cPanel documentation. We will likely discuss Git in a future podcast episode in more detail. IGTV IGTV is part of Instagram or Facebooks attempt to bring video to the social media giants platforms. This is very different than the current use of Instagram stories which are only limited to 15 seconds and expires after 24 hours. IGTV allows users to upload videos up to 10 minutes or 1 hour for verified users and these do not expire after 24 hours. This medium, in my opinion, is very different than having a youtube channel. IGTV is really trying to go after the “In Real Life (IRL)” moments, where youtube is more of a “produced” format. That is not to say you can’t do produced video on IGTV, it is just not as easy of a workflow. IGTV and Instagram in general is for a cell phone viewing audiences where the viewing device is vertical. Being mobile first is Instagrams strong suit. As it is mobile views account for over half of the current watched content online and is expected to grow to 78% by 2021. Why is IGTV important for you or your business? I was very doubtful about IGTV at first. I watched some videos from people I follow and watched some information on IGTV on youtube. It took me a while to see the potential and understand what all the excitement was for this platform. The vertical format is very hard for me to get use to, I do prefer the tabloid viewing option of youtube. However, putting all of the issues I have aside I think this is a great platform for businesses or personal. Almost everyone is going to have a cell phone and that is all you need to get started. This makes the starting cost nothing, granted you can do the same thing with youtube but I think most people expect a higher quality video on youtube. Starting up a IGTV channel is super simple. Just go to instagram.com, login and click on the IGTV button, then click on the “get started” button. From here you have to create and setup your channel. This is just like setting up a youtube channel. Once this is done you can start uploading your content. Make sure your video is in the vertical format. You can also make a custom thumbnail for your video, along with a title and description when you upload. Currently Instagram has reached the 1 billion monthly active user total. That is billion with a b, per month. Put that in perspective. If you are able to reach 1% of 1% of those users, that is 100,000 new customers for your business. Since this platform is very new, you can get ahead of your competition by putting out great content. Here are some ideas you could try. Video about you and your business. Make sure to include any social media links, website links, etc.. Micro vlog. Instagram is perfect for doing a small micro sized vlog series. You could show behind the scenes elements of your business. Public Service announcements. These could be short snippets about product awareness or new items you are offering on your storefron. Flash sales. Test your Instagram reach by having a flash sale only through Instagram. These are just samples of ideas, but I think you get the idea. I am planning on using IGTV for podcast promotion and public service announcements for security and product updates. So follow me on Instagram so you can get notifications of new videos. IGTV Specs and info:
12 minutes | Jul 5, 2018
PCI DSS Changes to TLS and Chrome 68 marks sites as not secure.
Today on episode 21 Web Hosting Podcast. PCI (Payment Card Industry) changes that have come into affect. These changes make a dramatic shift to the encryption standard that you may not be aware of. If you are on a older operating system, and even some new ones, you may be left out in the cold and unable to get email or see your website. Chrome 68 is coming this month and if your site is not using https, then your visitors will start to see a “not secure” message. Moving your site to https should not break your budget with free SSL (AutoSSL) by cPanel. What is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)? Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard applies to companies of any size that accept credit card payments online. If you accept credit cards as a form of payment for anything online, then you need to host your data securely with a PCI Compliant hosting provider. This is not the same as accepting PayPal payments on your website. This is strictly for credit card payment processing. Normally this is done through a payment gateway like authorize.net or others. PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) changes for this year. Primary change of interest happened on June 30th, 2018. This change made old and outdated forms of SSL/TLS no longer secure by standard. What this means is a higher level of encryption is now required if you are doing any form of credit card processing. This change has the potential to block out users on old outdated operating systems. It will also have the potential to disrupt your email workflow if you are not up to date on your email application. All forms of connections should be using a minimum of TLS 1.2. This means http(s), email, and ftp(s) have to be using TLS 1.2 to make a connection. How this may directly affect you and your customers. TLS 1.2 is a pretty old standard (2008), with TLS 1.3 on its way. However, some operating systems do not support TLS 1.2. This includes computers, tablets and phones. If you are currently not using a updated operating system, then you may not be able to send or receive email through your PCI compliant host. This is the most typical scenario I have seen. Most browsers have supported TLS 1.2 for a number of years. However, it has only been recently that IOS, for example, has supported TLS 1.2 in their own mail app. What to do if you can’t get email or visit your site anymore. Ensure you are running the most recent version of your operating system of choice. This means upgrade to Windows 10 or the latest Apple OS X. Simply updating Windows 7 to its latest release is not advised. You really need to run the latest operating system version. This also goes for any tablets or phones you may have. Once the latest version is installed you will likely not have any problems. For supported browsers for TLS 1.2, Firefox, Edge and Chrome support the latest TLS standard. For email clients, mail.app (on latest version of OS X 10.13) thunderbird and windows 10 mail. Chrome 68 will start showing “Not Secure” for sites using http:// this month. This should come as no surprise to anyone that develops sites or owns their own site. For the past 2 years google has been warning people that this day was coming (queue ominous music!). Google has even said your SEO ranking will suffer if you are not using https:// on your sites. If you are still some of the minor few that have not moved to https for your site, do not delay any longer. Web Hosting Podcast has discussed in many episodes how to use a free SSL certificate if you are on cPanel called AutoSSL. This is a SSL certificate process that is 100% free and will allow you to move to a more secure https. Gone are the days of having to purchase a SSL certificate every year, there really is no reason to not be using https for your site today. For more information on AutoSSL listen to these previous Web Hosting Podcast episodes. Here, here and here
20 minutes | Jun 19, 2018
Beginner steps to launching a new website.
Today on episode 20 of Web Hosting Podcast. Beginner steps to launching a website. We will cover all the steps needed to go from concept to launch, for the beginner. It is now easier than it has ever been to get a brand new website online and serving content. Have you wanted to make the jump and have your own website? Follow along and learn how to get your own website online. 0. Brainstorm Choosing the purpose of the website, whether you are going to sell something or just blog, is an important step. This will likely direct your choice on a domain name to use. After all, you want your domain name to reflect the sole and purpose of the web site you are going to launch. Outline and brainstorm what you are going to do with the site first. This includes things you may do later after launch. For example, if you are just going to blog now, but think you might like to sell some merchandise later on. Take this into account and write it down. Don’t leave any detail out. This process will also help you decide what software to build your website with. 1. Domain name. Your domain is your site address or URL. For example, webhostingpodcast.com is my domain. A domain should be easy to remember and not very long. After all, you don’t want your visitors to have to remember a long confusing URL. For example, webhostingpodcast.com is long but a memorable and easy to remember name. However, the-greatest-web-hosting-podcast-of-all-time.com would be very hard to remember and contains characters that are diffficult. I normally recommend that you not use odd characters or misspelling in domains, unless you have to. This makes it harder to remember. Domains have to be registered and purchased. This is more like a lease than a purchase. You have to renew the domain every time it comes up for renewal. This could be every year if you chose to register the domain for 1 year. Ultimately it depends on the length you decide. Domains can vary in price depending on what you choose. Typically they are about $14 per year. 2. Hosting. Hosting is where your site lives and is served from. A good web host is key here. Do not skimp on choosing a great and dependable web host. Often, you can purchase your domain and hosting at the same time. But be aware of the potential hidden costs of doing this. A lot of times a host will give you a free domain for signing up for web hosting. Looking at what the cost to renew that domain per year is important. You don’t want to be surprised when you get a domain renewal charge. There is nothing wrong with registering your domain with one company, and hosting your website on another. You just have to remember that you will have 2 different bills. You can also use a online website builder like, wix, weebly, squarespace or blogger. If you don’t want to have your own personal domain (URL) then these might be a logical choice for you to put some online content. However, if you want the ability to fully customize and optimize your web site along with email, ftp, and other services, then web hosting will be needed. Also, keep in mind that the actual website software you choose may affect your choice of host. If you are using wordpress, which most people do, then you will want to find a web host that is well equiped and educated about wordpress. 3. The website itself. Most people starting out will want to use something simple. I highly recommend that you use Worpdress to do this. It is by far the number one blogging platform, but it does so much more. If you want to sell trinkets online, there is a plugin for that (woocommerce), if you want to do photo blogging there is a plugin for that (NextGen Gallery). If you can think of it, then there is likely a plugin for it. If you want to change the look of the site but are not a coding expert, you can just add a new template (these are the wordpress of themes). There are hundreds and possibly thousands of free templates available to change the look of wordpress, just check those ratings before installing anything you find. If you have chosen WordPress for your site, then you likely will want to choose a WordPress specific host. These are hosts that have trained staff to help you sort out issue. Their servers are optimized for WordPress sites. They often have a simple way or even a automatic way to install WordPress as well as keep it updated automatically. These are the things that often trip people up and make you want to pull your hair out or shut down your website. You take your car, likely, to a certified mechanic when it has issues. Do yourself a favor and take your WordPress site to a Worpdress specific host. There are a lot of them out there to choose from that are reliable and knowledgeable. For those that want a no fuss site and want to use the online site builders, here are a few that I have used in the past. Keep in mind that this will not give you the ability to have email on your domain. This means that @thedomain.com email addresses will not be available to you without doing more work and spending more money. You will still need to sort that out by using google or other means. These are free or paid options that do not require a domain name use them. wordpress.com Blogger.com Squarespace.com weebly.com wix.com
24 minutes | Jun 6, 2018
Is VR, virtual reality, part of your website design strategy?
Today on Episode 19 of Web Hosting Podcast. Is VR, virtual reality, part of your website design strategy? You could be missing out if you are not. With the release of the Oculus Go last month, high end VR experiences have come to the masses. You can take advantage of this by including VR elements easily on your new or current website. Also a very interesting thing happened over the weekend. A interesting thing happened recently. I was notified by haveibeenpwned.com, that my email address was seen on a hacked site. Listeners may remember that this site was mentioned in Episode 13 as one of the useful tools segment. The site happened to be ticketfly, which was recently hacked and had all of its information released. The interesting part about this the fact that I was notified by haveibeenpwned.com, before news of ticketfly being hacked was released. If you are worried about your online data, and you should be, then I would recommend taking advantage of the free service provided by haveibeenpwned.com. What is Virtual Reality (VR)? Virtual reality, as defined by wikipedia is : “a computer-generated scenario that simulates experience through senses and perception.” I don’t think all experiences have to be “computer generated”, remember those stereographs from the 1800’s? To me those were a form of Virtual Reality. Also, Viewmaster, made a toy that you could put in round slides that presented you with magical worlds. These were not computer generated or had anything to do with computers. What is the difference between VR and 360? 360 video or pictures are elements wrapped in a sphere. Think of a big bubble that you sit in where the media is projected around you in a sphere, this is 360. Virtual Reality, is stereoscopic depth, interactive elements as well as immersion. The term VR and 360 are used interchangeably, they are decidedly different. Here is a great article on the main differences from Vimeo https://vimeo.com/blog/post/virtual-reality-vs-360-degree-video Why is VR important for your website? Remember when everyone thought siri, alexa and google home were just fads and would never take off not to mention the iPod. Now it is reported that 55% of homes have a smart voice device. VR is in its infancy, but it should certainly not be ignore. With the release of the Oculus Go, tether free VR is available to the masses. Lets also not forget that google street view is widely used and constantly adding locations. Google is doing a great job of covering the entire world. If you have a business, you can put your location on street view which will allow your customers to view inside your business. This works on desktop, phones, and VR headsets. I currently use this to view new locations I want to visit. It might be a restaurant, board game store, or a pub. Types of VR devices. Google Cardboard – uses a cell phone and lenses. This is like a viewmaster type device. PlaystationVR – Sony released the Playstation VR headset to be used with a Sony Playstation 4. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift – These are gaming PC driven tethered headsets. These require powerful gaming PCs and are physically connected to the computer by long cables. These are the top end VR experience. Oculus Go – This is a simple stand alone headset. It offers a great experience for users and is not tethered to any device. The purchase price is very low at $200. Other/Windows Mixed Reality – There are a few other devices out there that require a PC that uses windows mixed reality and are tethered to the PC. History for me of VR. First use of a streograph as a child. These date back to the 1800’s and used like photos to simulate a 3D (virtual) picture when viewed through a stereograph. Quite a thing to see if you have never used one before. Then I purchased a viewmaster branded google cardboard device for my iPhone. Stepped up to HTC Vive in 2016 – still currently in use. Oculus Go, now used almost daily as a web browser to experience new things and new places. How I use VR now. Playing immersive video games on PC. Browsing the web on oculus go. There are a lot of websites that support VR and have VR elements as well as 360 elements. Viewing Street View and virtual tours on both VR headset (Oculus Go/HTC Vive) as well as iPhone and Computer. What devices do I use? HTC Vive Oculus Go Computer Monitor Website design use cases. Brick and mortar businesses Product visualization Location tours of your establishment Other use cases for VR workflow. Handicapped visually impaired agoraphobia Software to help you develop for VR. Great article on software for VR website developers. Link Vizor.io – 360 Photo Editor. Cupix.com – Create beautiful tours in VR from photos. Sample 360 Photo I took.
31 minutes | May 21, 2018
Harden and secure wordpress, using managewp.com and GDPR.
Today on episode 18 of Web Hosting Podcast, I continue the discussion of the wordpress hack dissection. I have been asked, since the last episode, about ways to harden and secure a wordpress install and what I recommend to do about managing updates. Also in this episode, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), Are you ready for the coming changes on May 25th? GDPR New rules for EU take affect May 25th, 2018 – Official Link The most important pieces that change here WordPress 4.9.6 was released with GDPR specifically in mind. Release Notes Simple ways to keep your wordpress install safer. Keep your wordpress install updated. Plain and simple. Have a update schedule and stick to it. Some plugins need the core of wordpress updated before it will be allowed to update the plugin in question. If you are on a old version of wordpress, it is very likely your plugins are outdated as well and possibly contain exploits used to hack your site. Don’t use plugins that are outdated or no longer maintained. These could easily have old exploits that leave you open for a hack and they will never be updated. The plugin could also be purchased by a hacker group, which has happened, and they add code to exploit your install. If you see a plugin that has not had updates for many years then suddenly has 1 update recently, be wary. Use strong passwords and don’t use the default username “Admin” Use a plugin to block failed login attempts. Move wp-admin url to something else. Ensure the PHP version you are using is still being maintained. If you are using PHP 5.x series, you really should migrate to PHP 7.x. Use common sense. Don’t login to your wordpress site, even over HTTPS, in a shared wifi environment. This would be coffee shops, bars, the mall, etc.. Even over HTTPS, information can be intercepted. If you are new to wordpress and managing updates, you can use an external management application that provides additional services. I personally use managewp.com for this task. It has many features (listed below) and is 100% free for unlimited domains. Best of all, well maybe not best, they gave Web Hosting Podcast a coupon code to use after you sign up. Use WHPOD after you enter in your billing details, this will apply $10 to your account so you can try the paid options for nothing. Initial questions about managewp that I am often asked by listeners and pretty much anyone that will tolerate me talking about this product. Q: why would i want to use it? Q: how difficult is it to signup? Q: do i need to be a techie to set it up? Q: how much for basic services? Q: how much is x feature? Q: can i get help? Q: Is it secure? Current pricing for a site is free for unlimited domains. This free plan includes the following addons. manage updates, plugins and themes Monthly Cloud Backup 1-click login Performance Check Security Check using sucuri Collaboration Analytics with google Manage Comments Code Snippets Maintenance Mode Client Report Vulnerability Updates Templates The following addons are paid options per month per site. Total price for all Premium addons is $8/mo. Premium Backups $2 +.13 per GB of traffic. Clone (requires Premium Backups) Safe Updates (requires Premium Backups) Templates (requires Premium Backups if creating a template from a current site) White Label $1 SEO Ranking $1 Uptime Monitor $1 Advanced Client Report $1 Automated Security Check $1 Automated Performance Check $1 Plugins I currently use the paid versions of: Premium Backup – I schedule a nightly backup to their backup location and a weekly backup to DropBox. I also use “safe updates” which allows me to perform a backup before I run a update, then verify the screen image of before and after the update to determine if I need to roll back. Security – This allows me to schedule a scan of my site daily. This not only scans my site for issues, it also checks for vulnerabilities in plugins and checks the web of trust to ensure my site is not listed on any “not safe” databases. Uptime Monitor – This sends me a email and text message if my site goes offline, but not only that it also verifies that a specific keyword is found on my site. This helps let me know if my site has been defaced, which would still mean it is up and online. SEO Ranking – I paid for this just to see how it works. This allows you to set up to 100 keywords and track them for your site with SEO. Advanced Client Report – I also paid for this to see how it works. This allows me to get a weekly report for my site. it tells me what has been updated, SEO and Analytics reports as well as security audits. It pulls all the information from the plugins active in my account and sends me a nice little report every week. Plugins I don’t pay for. Advanced Performance – I already spend a lot of time using pagespeed tools to get the most performance I can. I am always tweaking things. It is just easier for me to trigger a Performance Check manually since I am always in my managewp dashboard. My total monthly cost is $6. $2/mo. for Permium Backups, $1/mo. for Uptime Monitor, SEO, Client Reports and Security Check.
27 minutes | May 8, 2018
Dissection of a WordPress hack.
Today on episode 17 of Web Hosting Podcast, Megan and I, dissect a website hack we have been working on. We discuss the how, the what and ways to prevent future hacks. We also discuss the defacement of webhostingpodcast.com and how I recovered the site so quickly. And remember those quick tips I use to run? They are coming back in a new way! Podcast phone line 971 249 2359 is manned by me on Thursdays 9AM PST – 12PM PST. Feel free to call in and press (2) to reach me directly during those hours. If you want to just leave me a message anytime, press (1) and it will send you directly to a voicemail box. Dissection of a WordPress hack we have been dealing with, the topics we cover are. How we think it happened. How we cleaned it up. What could have prevented it. Info on what we found from sucuri, regarding this specific website hack. You will find the plugin I used to find that the wordpress core files had been modified. This plugin is since abandoned by automattic (the makers of wordpress, woocommerce and jetpack to name a few) but it can still be used. You need to download the hash file for the version of wordpress you are using. I would just like to point out that other external and filesystem based scans did NOT find this hack. Only by careful examination of the output of the exploit scanner were we able to find the source of this hack. It is no longer enough to just scan with one tool and think the site is clean. I recommend that you scan with multiple sources if you think you have been hacked, or if a hack keeps coming back after being cleaned. I also, and I can not stress this enough, recommend a daily backup of your website. There are many tools out there that will help you obtain a regular backup to a external location, such as dropbox, s3, ftp, or google drive. There is no reason to not have this setup for your site. This is the plugin link And this is the location of the hash file on github.
39 minutes | Apr 23, 2018
Opus Interactive on location interview
Today on episode 16 of Web Hosting Podcast, I venture out on location to talk to Shannon and Eric about their company Opus Interactive. We also now have a phone number for the podcast for you to call into. Opus Interactive is located in Hillsboro, Oregon at the Infomart Datacenter, this is the same world class facility that Linkedin chose to house their infrastructure. Opus Interactive has additional locations in Portland, Silicon Valley and Dallas with more coming online. The Hillsboro facility is 345,000 square feet and has 24 MW (megawatts) of power. That is enough to power almost 4,000 homes according to some sources. I would highly recommend that you visit their website for more information on Opus Interactive and the services they provide. We now have a google talk phone number that you can all into the show on. On Thursdays, from 9am PST – 12PM PST, I will be taking calls. If you have a question, idea, or just need some guidance, feel free to call the number and press 2 when prompted. This will put you into a queue that will allow me to take your call on a first come first served basis. If you would like to just leave a message, you can press 1 and I will get that voicemail emailed to me. Please make sure to let me know if I can put the recording into the podcast. If you are not comfortable with that idea, then no problem, just let me know. Since this number is a google talk number, I have no idea how well it will work. This is an experiment that I have wanted to try for quite a while, please keep that in mind. Web Hosting Podcast Phone: 971 249 2359
49 minutes | Apr 9, 2018
How is your web host possibly failing you?
Megan Ferrell of websites503.com joins me to discuss, How is your web host possibly failing you? Security communication – security (awareness of vulnerabilities), transparency of security information. Notification of security changes in the industry that could affect you and your potential customers. This would include things like PCI, GDPR , SSL/TLS changes just to name a few. General information – weekly or more updates via newsletter with information that is valid and current. Not just a “hello we are alive, spend money please” Can be done via social media or blog posts as well. As long as it is active! Keeping old software versions alive – old no longer supported versions of php, apache, mysql, etc with no hope of moving off of them. Ensuring your host provides current versions of software to ensure you are running current. No other service options – not providing services you may need to grow (marketing advice, development advice, update services, moving to SSL) Proactive and not reactive – notifying you that your site plan may need to be increased before it becomes a problem for you. Notifying you that you are running outdated software before it becomes a big problem for you. Working with you to ensure you are taken care of before things become your problem to deal with. Easy to contact – whether via email, online chat, slack, phone call or smoke signals it should not be difficult to get a correct answer. The support person should be proven to be industry leaders, after all you are paying the hosting company to provide professional and competent employees. Documentation – good current documentation, knowledge base, videos Security news! Security updates for drupal 7.X and 8.X that are critical! A remote code execution vulnerability exists within multiple subsystems of Drupal 7.x and 8.x. This potentially allows attackers to exploit multiple attack vectors on a Drupal site, which could result in the site being completely compromised. Drupal Info Here WordPress 4.9.5 addresses some security and bug fixes. WordPress versions 4.9.4 and earlier are affected by three security issues. WordPress Info Here
53 minutes | Mar 27, 2018
Robert Indries of dgstudio.com is our special guest to talk marketing, development and hosting.
In this episode I talk with Robert Indries of dgstudio.com about marketing, development and web hosting. dgstudio.com is a full service creative agency for your business brand and website. Robert, gives some great advice about getting your marketing brand out there. He provides several tips for things you can do for free as well as what not to do. If you would like to be our next special guest on web hosting podcast, fill out the contact form here and we will make it happen. Please be sure to include a topic you would like to discuss.
23 minutes | Mar 12, 2018
Migrating your site to SSL : HTTPS with installatron. Useful website tools to use for your site.
Useful website tools to use for your website. https://www.ssllabs.com/ This is a useful site to check your site for proper ssl settings. You will get a grade once the report is done. An “A” is the best, while a “B” would be acceptable, you should really try and get the “A” grade. I would also recommend when you do your test that you click on the check box that says “Do not show the results on the board”, unless you have a perfect score you want to show off. https://haveibeenpwned.com/ This site is useful to check if the email you use for logins has been seen on hacked lists. It is also very useful to check the security of passwords you use for logins. https://www.whatismyip.com/ – list your current IP address http://www.whatsmyip.org/ – Not to be confused with the .com version of the site. Many useful tools from gzip testing, to password generation. Not as useful as it once was since it does not seem to handle https based websites. But the DNS tools and password generator is quite useful. https://checkgzipcompression.com – another tool for checking to ensure your site is using gzip compression. This one works with https based sites. Speed test – google and http://www.speedtest.net/ https://slack.com – Team focused chat with many useful options. Moving a site to ssl with installatron one click installer. This assumes you are using cPanel with autossl enabled. 1. Test your site to ensure you have a ssl certificate installed. This can be done by going to https://yourdomain. If you your site loads with no errors you can proceed. Some common issues you may run into, site is not fully secure and ssl mismatch. You may need to resolve these errors before you proceed. 2. Inside of your cPanel account, create a new subdomain using the subdomain tool. You will need to wait for the server to generate and install the free SSL certificate for this subdomain. You can test this just like step 1 above. 3. From inside of installatron, clone the live site to the new subdomain, but make sure to select the https version of the subdomain. This should only take a few minutes depending on the site size. This will create a complete copy of your site and move it to the subdomain you created. You can now test the site and fix any issues you may have by going to the subdomain https site. For example, https://subdomain.yourdomain 4. Once things look good on the subdomain, you can go into installaron and clone the site back to the live site but use https version in the drop down. 5. Once the live site is cloned back to https, test again. Things should have been resolved when you used the subdomain, but there may be some lingering links or code that may need to be changed. At this point your site should be using a valid SSL certificate. If you are uncomfortable doing these steps you may want to contact your developer or your hosting company to see if they can help you out. I would also recommend that you have a full backup of your site before proceeding with anything that is going to change your site. This would include installing plugins, updating core site files, etc… A backup is a simple way to ensure you have a way to get back to a known working state. Please understand that you use these instructions at your own risk. I do not acceptable responsibility for anything you do to your website.
37 minutes | Feb 27, 2018
Commonly used web hosting terminology.
I discuss some of the more basic web hosting terminology used. This is the link I used for the glossary of terms. This episode may be a little basic for some listeners, but I want to make sure that everyone knows the terminology and language that we talk about. My hope is to bring some listeners up to speed that may be confused by some of the terminology used in hosting. Again, this episode may not be fore everyone. Additional information you should know: Google will be marking all sites that DO NOT use https, ie http, as not secure starting in July 2018. This will happen with chrome 68. If you are not using https on your website, you have a limited time to get this going. What this means is users to your site will start to see a “not secure” icon in the title bar. This has the potential to scare away your users/customers. If you are currently not using https, your SEO is most certainly being affected, this is another reason you really should be using HTTPS. Gutenberg is coming to WordPress 5.0 are you ready? For those of you that may not know, gutenberg is the new editor that is coming out in wordpress 5.0. There is a current test release you can install through a plugin. I would not recommend doing this on a live site, it is still quite beta and breaks a lot of things. It is coming though, so if you have a test site I would recommend installing it there and take it for a spin. More info on WordPress and gutenberg can be found here. This podcast now has a facebook page.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021