During the last few months SiteGround has gone through a serious reformation related to the SiteBuilder solution we provide to our customers. The changes were triggered by some copyright issues, which our primary SiteBuilder provider SiteMagix was unable to handle professionally. This situation forced us to take decisive actions and find an alternative solution, despite the high costs of changing such a vital part of our service. The end result of our efforts is a better site building tool for our customers and an entirely new Make Website package.
SiteGround has now added a new service to its hosting portfolio – the Advanced Business Hosting. The new hosting solution is based on our long experience in providing shared hosting but targets people whose websites need more server resources and additional services than the standard shared hosting provides. The business hosting solution came out as a natural response to the rising demand for a middle solution between the standard shared and the high end dedicated hosting.
What are the advantages of the Business hosting?
1. Fewer accounts – more server resources
Our business servers host up to 10 times fewer accounts than a standard shared server. This means that a website hosted on this server will share its resources with ten times fewer websites and will enjoy great performance all the time.
Last month I gave you a hint about the more extra services to come this season. Here is a quick write up to get your attention at two of our latest additions. We’re launching premium versions of two of our services that traditionally rank us among the best in the industry: our reliable email spam protection and first-class technical support.
SiteGround Premium Support
We know that some clients need things to move faster than other. The idea behind our Premium Support service was to top up the customer support that we currently offer to all of our clients in order to address the pressing issues of those with special needs.
Naturally, we started with speed. Even though we’ve always managed to stand up to one of the fastest response times in the industry, with our Premium support service we’ve cut the wait time to a minimum. What is more - the problems reported under our Premium Support subscription are assigned a top priority. They are automatically posted in a special, top-level category and handled with special priority. The new service also has its own separate Premium Support interface to let you submit tickets faster and more easily.
This is really a big step forward in our customer service efforts, as we put all the years of experience into it. You can check out more about our new service on the special Premium Support page in our Customer Area.
Spam Killer and Virus Protection
All of our email servers have been especially optimized against spam and virus threats, ranking our standard spam protection significantly above the average industry level. However, to suit the needs to those looking for the best anti-spam system on the market, we have invested in a new solution - our latest Spam Killer and Email Virus protection feature.
Our Spam Killer and Virus Protection feature is based on MailFoundryTM -arguably the best hardware email filter currently available. If I had to describe the technology in layman's terms, I would say that it is a piece of hardware that acts as a gateway for all incoming email traffic. It scans all messages and tells which ones are legitimate and which ones are spam and/or contain viruses. To go in a little bit more details, the appliance includes a human intelligence powered email filtering engine called MessageIQ. The MessageIQ engine uses a technology called Spam Profiles, which is extremely accurate in detecting spam.
*What are Spam Profiles and why are they so accurate?*
Spam profiles are highly targeted profiles of a sender of spam, an individual spam message or a collection of spam messages. Spam Profiles are created by human editors, in real time, to provide the quickest reaction to new spam outbreaks. Spam Profiles are updated every five minutes and are automatically sent to our Spam Killer.
This means that you are protected by a clever, adaptive and always up-to-date filter that guarantees up to 99% spam detection on all of your incoming mail.
Our Spam Killer is a “hands-off” solution, so there is no need to download and install anything on your computer or waste time on annoying updates. For a full feature list of the new extra, go ahead and visit our special Spam Killer and Virus email protection page.
Product Development – Marketing
The SiteGround extras just keep piling up! Thanks to our latest collaboration with MySpace SiteGround customers from USA get $25 worth of MySpace advertising. The best part is that we are giving out the credit for FREE with our hosting package!
Target your audience with MySpace MyAds
MyAds- the MySpace advertising program gives you the opportunity to promote your website to more than 7 million MySpace users. It offers excellent targeting opportunities, allowing you to pinpoint your audience based on their interests, hobbies, age , gender, etc. This ensures your ad will be shown exactly to the people it was meant for, making for a great investment return. Now that I mentioned investment, the advertising rates of MySpace Ads are extremely flexible, giving you a chance to experiment with your advertising budget.
A head start with a FREE credit from SiteGround
It’s these kinds of unbeatable deals that we in SiteGround are constantly on the lookout for. So, claim your FREE MySpace Ad credit now to get an edge with your website promotion. Simply set up your MyAds account, create your ad campaign and watch your performance stats go up. Take your FREE credits here:
Product Development - Marketing
SiteGround has always been focused on providing feature-rich hosting solutions. As we continue expanding our extra services to portfolio, we have recently enabled SSH access on our shared hosting servers.
What is SSH?
Secure Shell (SSH), known as Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol allowing secure remote access over an encrypted connection. It is widely used by network administrators and web developers looking to enable direct secure access to their host server.
Through an SSH connection you can easily manage your files and folders, modify their permissions, edit files directly on the server, etc. Both ends of the client/server connection are authenticated using a digital certificate and passwords are encrypted, providing a means for secure large data files transfer .
In-house developed SSH technology
So far so good, you probably already knew that - but why launching the service just now? As you know, at SiteGround we take great pride in our in-house technology innovations. We believe that technology should be designed to serve our clients’ specific needs, not the other way round.
The SSH technology we offer has been developed exclusively to meet the demands of SiteGround clients. Here are some of its main advantages:
1. Our SSH is installed in a chroot environment that is much more secure than what other SSH hosts offer. To put it simply - every customer with SSH gets access to their own secure, but restricted environment. The client is the only one allowed into it, but at the same time it blocks any access to the rest of the accounts hosted on the server. This is how we ensure providing greater flexibility for operations to those who need it, without affecting the rest of our clients in any way. In short - it’s a win-win combination.
2. The only authentication method we accept is through authentication keys for greater security. That way we ensure that even if someone has your login details, they will not be able to break into your account via SSH connection without the authentication keys.
3. We have designed the SSH service to allow greater flexibility to those who use it. The new SSH service allows you to set SSH connection permissions to your account depending on the IP address. Meaning, you have the opportunity to limit the SSH access to connections requested , for example, from your own IP address only.
4. For faster and easier management we integrated the custom SiteGround SSH solution in our cPanel. Therefore, all SiteGround clients can conveniently manage all features of their hosting accounts from one and the same place.
On a final note, let me just give you a hint that the SSH upgrade is just the beginning of a campaign of delivering new and better extra services to the large and growing SiteGround community. So stick around for our season treats this winter.
Product Development - Marketing
For quite some time now SiteGround's unique server setup has allowed our customers to use 4 different PHP versions - 4.4.7, 5.0.5, 5.1.6 and 5.2.5. on one and the same hosting account. Needless to say, our customers loved this feature. And there were three serious reasons for this:
1. No hassle with older applications when a new PHP version is released
In terms of backward compatibility, the implementation of 4 PHP versions on one server was a small technical miracle. It saved a lot of hassle to regular users in cases when the applications they used needed serious code modifications or complex upgrades to work with the next stable PHP version. With our setup they did not have to do anything to keep their sites running, as they just continued to use the older PHP version, while the other users on the same server could still use the newer PHP.
2. Different PHP in each subfolder
Another great option for our customers was the fact that they could have different PHP versions in one and the same account under different subfolders. This way you could run your main website on PHP 5.2.5 and at the same time have an older application running on PHP 4.4.7 in a subfolder.
3.Test code on different PHP versions
The availability of different PHP versions on one account was also loved by web developers because they could test their code on several PHP versions without having to purchase several hosting accounts on different servers just for testing purposes.
New PHP versions available now
Given that most hosting companies offer only one PHP version per server, having 4 PHP versions on one and the same account already gave us a serious edge over the competition. However, we like to spoil our customers even more! Now we decided to up the ante a little and offer 7 (that's right, seven) different PHP versions that each and every account on our shared servers can use. Along with the new PHP versions we've added, we have also upgraded and improved the previous ones:
- PHP 4.4.9
- PHP 5.0.5
- PHP 5.1.6
- PHP 5.2.9
- PHP 5.2.9 + Suhosin patch
- PHP 5.3.0
- PHP 6.0.0 (Beta) [Update: PHP 6.0 no longer available]
As you can probably see, we've upgraded PHP 4.4.7 to 4.4.9 and PHP 5.2.5 to 5.2.9. The new PHP versions are 5.3.0 and 6.0.0. All PHP versions now come with IMAP SSL support (useful if you want to connect your application to GMail for example).
Since security has always been one of our top priorities, we decided to add a special PHP version that has been patched with the Suhosin advanced protection system. Basically, Suhosin protects your applications from many known vulnerabilities (bufferoverflows, remote URL inclusion, format string vulnerabilities and many more). See a list of Suhosin's features.
Another thing worth mentioning is the support for PHP 6. Although it is still in development, there's no doubt that soon this PHP version will be widely used. PHP developers will certainly appreciate the option to test their work on the latest PHP branch. Of course, you don't need to be a PHP developer to use PHP 6. As we all know, some people just like using the latest software available. In any case, we've done our best to make sure you are not caught unprepared 😉 [Update: The PHP 6.0 project was officially postponed March 2010]
As I mentioned above, all 7 PHP versions are already available on all SiteGround shared hosting servers. If you are a SiteGround customer, you can check them right away:
Learn how to switch different PHP versions on your account
And if you are not a SiteGround customer, you can check our website and sign up for an account at any time:
Sign up for a hosting account with 7 PHP versions
Product Development - Technical
Recently tried visiting SiteGround web hosting by https? Then you can’t have missed the latest addition to our homepage - the soothingly green address bar in the browser. The reassuring color pops up thanks to the highest assurance SSL technology we have recently added to our website – the EV (Extended Validation) SSL certificate.
How does the EV SSL work?
As each other SSL certificate the EV SSL guards by encryption the information on its way between the browser and its final destination – the server. What is more - the EV SSL is the only certificate ensuring that the final destination itself is secure too. We trust the green bar not only because of its reassuring color, but also because it contains company information verified by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). In seconds, it indicates that a domain is owned and a website is operated by a legitimate organization. It gets even more reassuring - this has been checked personally by an authorized professional as opposed to the automatic checks done when a standard SSL is issued.
How EV SSL brings happiness to everyone?
1. Our customers are happier
Now our customers feel safer when submitting sensitive information on our website. After all, an authorized professional has checked us thoroughly before letting us turn on the green light on our website.
2. Our sales people are happier
The more comfortable people feel about submitting their information on our website, the better the results of our sales people.
3. Our website designers are happier
No more wondering where to place the annoying SSL site seal banner, which never matches the website design and always looks awkward.
4. Our marketing people are happier
We now have a new tested technology to offer to our customers! EV SSL certificates are now available on our SSL page. Which helps us add to our number one goal: Keeping customers happy!
Having added one more options to our SSL offers portfolio has made it easier for you to find the best solution to your needs. In addition, you now know how to give green light to your website visitors and turn them into customers. So, make sure to check out our SSL offers and choose the one that suits you best.
Needless to say, website security is a major concern for all people in the IT industry. Indeed, web applications are constantly being improved and security is something all web developers pay special attention to. Alas, hackers are not slacking off either. When known security vulnerability is fixed, they either find another way to exploit it or discover a new one very quickly (or in the worst case, both).
And yet, despite the precautions and improvements, a lot of websites are still getting hacked. Why? The main reason is that many, not to say most, users seriously underestimate security as a whole – not only the security of their websites, but the security of their hosting accounts and even the security of their own computers.
And this is an ideal opportunity for hackers to "show off their skills". The hackers keep their "software" up to date - new viruses are developed all the time. And while they keep their applications up to date, many users don't. Once they install an application and start using it, users forget about upgrades and security fixes.
Keeping the above in mind, the next logical question is “What can I do to secure my website?"... Well, I'm glad you asked 🙂
Here are a few things you should always do to keep your website secure:
• Make sure your local computer is safe. For this purpose use reliable updated antivirus software;
• Update regularly your computer's software including its base operating system and any third party software installed.
• Make sure all of your web applications are up-to-date. This includes any modules, components and addons you have added and / or integrated;
• Pick up strong passwords for the different services you use (email, FTP, etc). Never use one and the same passwords for your different online services.
• Avoid having directories with permissions above 755. If your applications require such directories, try to put them outside your webroot (public_html) or place a .htaccess file in them containing "deny from all" to restrict public access to these files.
• Always, and I mean always, back up your website. You should always have a proper backup so that even if someone hacks your site, you can restore its functionality immediately.
You can also check our basic security guidelines for more information on how to keep your website secure. Here are some other useful sites with lots of security tips: bestsecuritytips.com and stopbadware.org.
What do you do to protect your website and applications? We will be happy to hear your experience!