What’s new in the web hosting industry: SiteGround HostingCon’09 recap

HostingCon09 venueAs we already told you, SiteGround headed to HostingCon’09 in the middle of August.  We had so many new things on our mind afterwards, so many talks to get back to and such good time, that we needed a good few weeks time to arrange it all. So, now that our impressions are all piled up, we’d love to share some of the highlights with you.

Some of you asked us to follow up on the tendencies in the web hosting industry. We hear you 🙂 Although we are a bit late delivering the news, the topics are still as hot as they were in August. The buzz words on this year’s event were hosting business acquisitions, products and services up-selling, affiliate programs, and of course - cloud computing and virtualization. Read More

Web Apps End of Summer Recap

Einstein "Do Your Homework" As the end of the Summer approaches, some have taken longer vacations while others are working even harder. This is especially true for the developers of web applications.  In this post we’ll take a sneak peak at what’s cooking behind the scenes of some of the most popular applications.

Joomla!

This summer Joomla! mostly patched security and bugs issues in the current 1.5 version. Support for the old 1.0 Joomla! has finally been officially discontinued.

Work on its next long-awaited version 1.6 seems to be quite busy. We hear the new features are extensive and promising. Google's Summer of code has also contributed greatly to it, so our expectations are growing even greater.

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SiteGround Website Security Tips

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!

SiteGround at HostingCon!

hclogo2009-300

This is just a quick update to let you all know that SiteGround is heading to HostingCon 2009! The conference is the worlds’ largest gathering of web hosting professionals and each year brings all important players from the hosting industry together.

This year the event takes place in Washington, D.C. from 10th to 12th August. SiteGround is excited to be attending for the third time now, especially since with a projected attendance of over 2,000 Internet professionals from over 30 countries, the 2009 event promises to be the best yet.

We’re looking forward to meeting all of you! So if you happen to be there, drop us a line or simply come and say hello. It will be a pleasure to talk to you in person.

To those of you who will unfortunately miss the event - don’t worry! You can be sure that we will surprise you with a detailed post on all things new in the hosting industry as soon as we get back.

So stay tuned and enjoy the Summer in the meantime!

SiteGround.com Redesigned

If you happen to be one of those SiteGround-true fans who have the SiteGround.com as their browser homepage, you can't have missed it: We've had a redesign.

siteground_before_after

We've introduced the new design of SiteGround.com to bring it more in line with the company's identity today and, generally make it cleaner and easier to get around. We've been meaning to do this for a long time now, but finally found the time to do it right.

There are structural as well as aesthetic differences to the website. Structurally, we have tried to make things simpler and clearer, with better labelling and easier navigation. We've also added some new sections to the website as well as re-arranged and expanded some of the old ones. Here are some of the major changes in short:

The SiteGround Homepage: So, whereas in the past, you would find general information about our company and services scattered on several different pages all over the website, it now all goes into one place: the slides on our index page. This is an uninterrupted, 5-slide run of the most important things to know about SiteGround web hosting services.

About Us section: We've also expanded the About Us section of our website. The idea here is for our pages to reflect the company culture at SiteGround. We are an ever-developing organism. Behind the SiteGround brand stand people with their ideas, knowledge, skills and hopes. What we aim to provide are details of the few that, in our opinion, you will really find interesting. It's also an attempt to give readers some short, sneak peaks of what's cooking in the SiteGround kitchen and shed some light on what makes us who we are.

Resources section: We've gone out of our way to compile valuable and comprehensive information and make it easily accessible to both our clients and our website visitors. So far we have created and compiled thousands of free website templates to download, hundreds of tutorials to read, videos to watch, Knowledge Base questions to look up. The idea of our new Resources section is to act as a portal. It's an attempt to give readers some short, easily-digestible snacks of information of where to find what.

The new Siteground.com is already live. And we'd love to hear what you think about it! That is why we decided to ask you to vote on how you like the new website design. To show your support or simply to congratulate us on our new look, please vote in the voting poll below. All other comments are welcome as well, so do drop us a line in the comments section.

[polldaddy poll="1734734"]

Google Apps @ SiteGround

google_appsI guess that most of you probably already use, have tried or at least have heard of Google Apps. Yes, Google’s online office suite - a set of web applications through which you can organize your emails, documents, presentations, calendar events, etc.

The main advantage of Google Apps is obvious - your documents are always available online. Thus you don't need to install any additional software on your computer- all you need is an Internet connection and a standard web browser.

We know that many people would love to use Google Apps, but they find it difficult to configure their own domains for services such as Google Docs for example. After all, some users do not understand how DNS works, what CNAME and MX records are and how to create and manage them.

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TELMeMobi

tel_me_mobi_domainsIn a hurry? Read the short story then: I am happy to share that .TEL, .me, .mobi are the three new domain extensions we are offering to all of you as of today. I know that the fact about the 20% discount on the new domain registrations will make the news even more attractive. So, enjoy 20% discount on .TEL, .me, and .mobi domain registrations.

Got more than a minute? Then read the long story: The first quarter of 2009 showed nearly 183 million registered domain names across all of the top level domain names, which shows a three percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2008 and a 12 percent increase over the same quarter from last year. (VeriSign report). This served to alarm us that domain registration is attractive to a growing number of people and we had nothing else to do but respond to this demand. Yet, we wanted to offer new extensions that are not only attractive but also opening new online business opportunities for our customers. So, we have chosen .TEL, .me, and .mobi.

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The London Trip

We have been quiet for a while, so I thought you might be interested in what's new at SiteGround. Well, Reneta and I went to London at the end of last week for a business meeting with the CEO of The Planet (our main datacenter located in Texas, USA). It was only a two-day trip, very short but also interesting.

nobu1On one hand we had a productive meeting with a major partner of ours and on the other, we enjoyed one of the most amazing restaurants we've ever been to. It's called Nobu and as it turned out it is a very popular place in London. Maybe due to the fact that Robert De Niro owns the place and once in a while, you might see a movie star dining there. Well, we didn't see any stars, but we were totally amazed by the food. I hate sushi, honestly, and when I entered the restaurant, I was hoping I won't have to eat any raw fish out of courtesy. But everything we ate there was superb! The chef is incredibly good in mixing the spices and achieving extraordinary combinations. We tried several types of Sake too, which was a terrific experience. So, take this as a referral – if you are willing to spend some quality money in London, go to Nobu 🙂

siteground_kittenNow, you would say, a two-day trip (even a day and a half) is not a long time to be away from office. But, we are full of surprises. When we came back, we found out that we have a new member of our team. Well it's a kitten, but you know, we are very tolerant...and it's so cute, so irresistible! Actually, we are now looking for a respectable home for the kitty. Anyone interested, be quick – applications are piling up 🙂 Also, the little boy doesn't  have a name yet, so feel free to share with us your suggestions.

So, don't think we are just losing time around here. We are also working very hard on a few new projects that are to be launched shortly. But, I won't say a word now, just wait and see what's coming next...

In the meantime, you might want to see the kitty's pics on Facebook.

Tenko