Corporate Blogs

5 Best Online Payment Gateways in 2019 for your E-commerce Website

Reseller Club Blog -

Running an online e-commerce business takes a lot of strategizing and planning. Right from setting up your website, to selecting the right web hosting, and most importantly choosing a payment gateway for your store. To make your work easier we have compiled a list of the 5 best online payment gateways in 2019. Do Payment Gateways Affect your Business? Choosing the right payment gateway is crucial when it comes to the success of your e-commerce store. Payment gateways are like a bridge between the buyer and seller. They permit fund transfer directly to the seller, keeping the security and comfort of the buyer in mind. As per a survey by Baymard Institute, 6% of the customers abandoned their cart because there weren’t enough payment methods available. Added to this, most users these days prefer mobile payment options as they are quick and effortless. Thus, it is imperative that you choose a payment gateway keeping these points in mind: Secure Well-known Easy to use Let us have a look at the top 5 online payment gateways to look forward to in 2019. PayPal PayPal is a global online payments platform that assists in online money transfer. It currently has over 277 million users worldwide and operates in 202 markets. Moreover, PayPal allows customers to send, receive, & hold funds in 25 currencies worldwide. One of the advantages of PayPal is that you need not have a PayPal account for processing payment. This is a great advantage of e-commerce stores as they need not worry if their customer has a PayPal account or not. Key Features of PayPal: Doesn’t require users to have a PayPal account to process payment Supports international payment and credit card Multi-currency support No withdrawal fee Fast mobile payment PayU PayU is a prominent online payment service provider that processes payments faster for both merchants and buyers. PayU covers 18 markets across Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa catering to over 2.3 billion consumers. They have over 300 payment methods for fast, simple and secure electronic payments across platforms. It supports one-click buy that allows users to purchase with a single click, thus improving customer conversion rates on your e-commerce website. Key Features of PayU: Easily integrate and receive all local payment methods instantly Supports one-click buy allowing users to purchase with a single click Mobile integration Web checkout Multi-currency support Amazon Payments Amazon Payments is a payment service offered by the e-commerce giant Amazon. The payment gateway is available to Amazon users both sellers and buyers to help smoothen their online purchase process. In Amazon Pay, the merchants can accept payment either online or on mobile. Moreover, it easily allows users to access their information from the merchant’s site so you don’t need to add any details like name, shipping address, credit card details etc. without compromising the security. This smoothens and fastens the payment process. Key Features of Amazon Payments: Has a faster checkout process Offers top-notch security There is a merchant website integration Supports automatic payments Fraud protection Braintree Braintree is an online payment gateway and a division of PayPal designed to make your payment process simpler. Braintree supports over 45 countries and 130+ currencies worldwide. One of the benefits for Braintree is that users can tailor their checkout flows any way they would like while remaining PCI compliant. Moreover, it saves your customers the time and hassle of re-entering their payment information every time they make a purchase. Key Features of Braintree: Merchants can customize their checkout workflow Easy data migration Dynamic control panel Easy and Faster repeat billing Advanced fraud protection Authorize.Net Authorize.Net is a payment gateway platform powering over 3+ lakh customers. It provides security and complex infrastructure to enable fast, secure and reliable data transfer. It offers plenty of options to its users for both accepting and processing payments. It offers an online payment system, as well as, at retail locations. The online payment system accepts credit cards and electronic cheques from websites and deposits the money directly to the merchant account. Key Features of Authorize.Net It supports multiple payment options viz. Mobile, retail, mail and phone payment It employs advanced Fraud Detection Suite It supports recurring billing It does not have a fixed enterprise pricing scheme It supports sync for Quickbooks Conclusion: We at ResellerClub, use PayPal and PayU payment gateways as we have a global presence, however, as an e-commerce store owner you need to figure out which is the best online payment gateway option for you. It might be one amongst our top 5 list or any other payment gateway. The right choice is the one that is the most beneficial to your customers. Satisfied customers equal to increased and improved conversions which, in turn, leads to improved business. Which is the online payment gateway used by you? Is it one amongst these or something else? Tell us in the comments section below. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post 5 Best Online Payment Gateways in 2019 for your E-commerce Website appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

bingbot Series: Easy set-up guide for Bing’s Adaptive URL submission API

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

In February, we announced launch of adaptive URL submission capability. As called out during the launch, as SEO manager or website owner, you do not need to wait for the crawler to discover new links, you should just submit those links automatically to Bing to get your content immediately indexed as soon as your content is published!  Who in SEO didn’t dream of that.  In the last few months we have seen rapid adoption of this capability with thousands of websites submitting millions of URLs and getting them indexed on Bing instantly.   At the same time, we have few webmasters who have asked for guidance on integrating the adaptive URL submission API. This blog provides information on how easy it is to set-up the adaptive URL submission API.   Step 1: Generate an API Key     Webmasters need an API key to be able to access and use Bing Webmaster APIs. This API key can be generated from Bing Webmaster Tools by following these steps:   Sign in to your account on Bing Webmaster Tools. In case you do not already have a Bing Webmaster account, sign up today using any Microsoft, Google or Facebook ID.  Add & verify the site that you want to submit URL for through the API, if not already done.  Select and open any verified site through the My Sites page on Bing Webmaster Tools and click on Webmaster API on the left-hand side navigation menu.    If you are generating the API key for the first time, please click Generate to create an API Key. Else you will see the key previously generated.    Note: Only one API key can be generated per user. You can change your API key anytime; change is taken by the system within 30 minutes. Step 2: Integrate with your website    You can any of the below protocols to easily integrate the Submit URL API into your system.   JSON request sample  POST /webmaster/api.svc/json/SubmitUrl? apikey=sampleapikeyEDECC1EA4AE341CC8B6 HTTP/1.1 Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8 Host: ssl.bing.com { "siteUrl":"http:\/\/example.com", "url":"http:\/\/example.com\/url1.html" } XML Request sample  POST /webmaster/api.svc/pox/SubmitUrl?apikey=sampleapikey341CC57365E075EBC8B6 HTTP/1.1 Content-Type: application/xml; charset=utf-8 Host: ssl.bing.com <SubmitUrl xmlns="http://schemas.datacontract.org/2004/07/Microsoft.Bing.Webmaster.Api"> <siteUrl>http://example.com</siteUrl> <url>http://example.com/url1.html</url> </SubmitUrl> If the URL submission is successful you will receive an http 200 response. This ensures that your pages will be discovered for indexing and if Bing webmaster guidelines are met then the pages will be crawled and indexed in real time. Using any of the above methods you should be able to directly and automatically let Bing know whenever new links are created in your website. We encourage you to integrate such solution in your Web Content Management System to let Bing auto discover your new content at publication time.  In case you face any challenges during the integration, you can reach out bwtsupport@microsoft.com to raise a service ticket. Feel free to contact us if your web site requires more than 10,000 URLs submitted per day. We will adjust as needed.  Thanks!  Bing Webmaster Tools team

New – Updated Pay-Per-Use Pricing Model for AWS Config Rules

Amazon Web Services Blog -

AWS Config rules give you the power to perform Dynamic Compliance Checking on your Cloud Resources. Building on the AWS Resource Configuration Tracking provided by AWS Config, you can use a combination of predefined and custom rules to continuously and dynamically check that all changes made to your AWS resources are compliant with the conditions specified in the rules, and to take action (either automatic or manual) to remediate non-compliant resources. You can currently select from 84 different predefined rules, with more in the works. These are managed rules that are refined and updated from time to time. Here are the rules that match my search for EC2: Custom rules are built upon AWS Lambda functions, and can be run periodically or triggered by a configuration change. Rules can optionally be configured to execute a remediation action when a noncompliant resource is discovered. There are many built-in actions, and the option to write your own action using AWS Systems Manager documents as well: New Pay-Per-Use Pricing Today I am happy to announce that we are switching to a new, pay-per-use pricing model for AWS Config rules. Effective August 1st, 2019 you will be charged based on the number of rule evaluations that you run each month. Here is the new pricing for AWS Public Regions: Rule Evaluations Per Month Price Per Evaluation 0-100,000 $0.0010 100,001-500,000 $0.0008 500,001 and above $0.0005 You will no longer pay for active config rules, which can grow costly when used across multiple accounts and regions. You will continue to pay for configuration items recorded, and any additional costs such as use of S3 storage, SNS messaging, and the invocation of Lambda functions. The pricing works in conjunction with AWS Consolidated Billing, and is designed to provide almost all AWS customers with a significant reduction in their Config Rules bill. The new model will let you expand globally and cost-effectively, and will probably encourage you to make even more use of AWS Config rules! — Jeff;  

What Are The New TLDs

The Domain.com Blog -

As the internet has matured, the sheer number of relevant domains has started to dwindle. If you’ve registered a .com web address, chances are you’ve felt the pain of trying to find an applicable one-word or two-word domain that’s still available. With only about 22 generic top-level domains, the domain space was beginning to feel a bit crowded. Enter, new TLDs: .tech.space.actor.yoga New TLDs provide novel territory for individuals and businesses who want to distinguish themselves among other websites. Some of these domain extensions have incredible utility by offering companies a more niche website or a creative take on their original TLDs. What Are the Original TLDs The old TLDs are the original domain extensions that are still commonly in use today. Each has a specific purpose and a certain domain space to which it is connected. A few of the most well-known examples are: .com – Often used for commercial businesses and individuals who are marketing themselves..net – Short for “Network,” these are commonly associated with internet providers, emails, and umbrella sites that are connected to various smaller sites..org – Nonprofits and charities will often use the .org domain extension. Other organizations like sports teams, community groups, and religions will often use .org..edu – “Education.” Most schools, universities, and other learning centers will use this TLD..gov – This is a restricted TLD used by the U.S. government. Any government site must have a .gov domain extension. For a long time, these sorts of top-level domains were considered sufficient for covering all the subsections of the internet. But, of course, as the internet expanded, so increased the necessity for new TLDs. It all starts with a great domain. Get yours at Domain.com. ICANN and its Role in New TLDs The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN) is a non-profit that helps maintain the Domain Name System (or DNS). ICANN is the organization responsible for the decision to expand the internet domain space, by allowing new TLDS to operate. Back in 2012, ICANN decided to allow businesses to apply for new top-level domains to promote growth. Some of the earliest applied TLDs included: .art.app.love.shop.baby Since then, more than a thousand new TLDs have entered the public domain. Now the question is, which one should you choose? 6 Considerations For Choosing a New TLD While these new TLDs are unconventional compared to the standard .com or .net, they have many benefits. Maybe you’re looking to stand out creatively from the other websites in your competitive space. Or maybe every domain idea you’ve had has already been taken. However you want to use them, new TLDs have incredible potential to boost your web presence. Modernized TLDs Every so often some new technological advancement will come along that shifts the way something is done. In this case, what’s changed is the possibility of a new and innovative web address. Businesses have always evolved and by using these new TLDs, companies can stay ahead of the curve. New TLDs — A Fresh Take Therefore, it’s important to have perspective. Sure, right now certain traditionalists consider anything but the core group of gTLDs to be less desirable (.com, .net, .org, etc.). But as these new TLDs become more commonplace, this view is changing and having an up-to-date domain will save time. Companies who lag might later change their opinion too late and find out their desired domain has already been taken. Of course, use this perspective with caution. How a business is perceived is always essential. Be sure to understand your audience and take them into account when registering a domain. Knowing Your Audience Not all businesses are created equal. Different demographics will be attracted to different facets of a company. Marketing strategies toward senior citizens, for example, will be much different than marketing toward millennials. Understanding your audience can help push you toward the right TLD. As a yoga center, one option is to register a .com domain extension. However, it would also be appropriate to register a .yoga TLD. This would generate authority within the yoga space. Some other new TLDs that fit a niche market are: .coffee.tennis.pizza.toys.photography Each of these domain extensions hits their target market with a certain exactness. Specificity Knowing what sort of business you run or what kind of service you are providing can help narrow down the TLD you want. The perfect domain extension indicates precisely what to expect when users stumble upon your website. Not only this, using a more specific domain extension can reduce the length of the website URL. Some new TLDs that can help specify your web address are: .tech – With the increasing number of tech start-ups out there, having a .tech TLD can set your website apart from the pack..design – Spice up an artist portfolio page with a .design URL. Or use this new TLD for any number of design professions like interior decorator, web designer, graphic designer, and more..luxury – Fashion brands, high-end accessories, car companies, furniture, these are all services that can succeed under the .luxury domain extension..restaurant – This TLD can separate your restaurant from all the other .com eateries. It allows the name of your restaurant to exist as the domain name and leave the “description” for the domain extension. These are just a few of the numerous TLDs available on Domain.com. Each has its own space where it provides value. It’s all a matter of finding the right one and getting creative. Increased Creativity With the sheer number of available TLDs nowadays, it’s possible to use them to upgrade your web address and boost it to the next level. Some examples of new creative web addresses include: [Your Name].cool[Clothing Brand].fashion[Cooking Site].recipes[Anything].pizza As you can see, these are just a few examples of possible combinations. With over a thousand of these new TLDs, it’s hard to imagine not finding the perfect domain that is both creative and descriptive. Brand Protection For those companies who already have their generic TLD domain name, it can be beneficial to scoop up similar TLDs that are available on the market. If a coffee business owns its brand name with the .com domain extension, they might also wish to purchase the .coffee domain extension as well. The Necessity of Brand Protection Unfortunately, with each new TLD, it becomes harder to protect a brand from those trying to benefit off of it. Brandjacking – Individuals will purchase relevant domains based around a popular website and use its popularity to drive traffic away from the intended website. An example of this would be trying to register starbucks.coffee before Starbucks does in order to exploit them or drive traffic to an opposing site. (In this case, Starbucks is a trademarked entity, so this would not be possible. It is more of a problem for smaller companies.)Typosquatting – Another form of brand protection that becomes harder to manage is typosquatting. This is when individuals will purchase web domains based on common misspellings of certain words. If enough traffic is driven away from the main site, companies are often forced to buy out that individual for the rights to the web address. More companies are having to purchase additional domains despite already owning their business website. Availability With each additional TLD available, the domain space grows and more companies can purchase a short, memorable and descriptive web address. This is incredibly useful as almost half of all domains are registered under the .com domain extension while the next few TLDs don’t quite scratch 5% usage. With Availability Comes Variable Pricing Because there are so many TLDs available now, there are multiple organizations who monitor different domain extensions. This means that there is no one standard price for registering a domain name. Which is great for those domains that happen to be cheap. Others, however, can be quite expensive depending on how in-demand they are. New TLDs vs Old gTLDs So far, the focus has been on new TLDs, but how do they compare with the old, standard gTLDs? Benefits of gTLDs – Traditional TLDs are tried and true. There’s a reason .com still reigns supreme in terms of how many sites are registered each year. Having a domain extension .com, ensures a certain quality and reliability. Everybody knows and understands what’s involved when accessing a .com site.Downside of gTLDs – That being said, it is much harder to generate a desired web address with a gTLD. It’s then equally difficult for your website to stand out among other websites.Benefits of new TLDs – New TLDs are creative and fun. With new TLDs, it’s possible to express more than with the older gTLDs. The level of specificity achieved is more significant than what can be provided by standard gTLDs like .com and .net, and there are a lot more domains available.Downside of new TLDs – Because of how many new TLDs are being created, the demand for particular domain extensions can be significantly high. This pushes the prices up in an unpredictable way. Those who happen upon a popular TLD might end up paying considerably more than a traditional gTLD (whose prices stay relatively even throughout time). It all starts with a great domain. Get yours at Domain.com. Registering New TLDs With each new TLD, there is a procedure they go through before they’re available to the general public. Domain.com does offer their members to be a part of the early access group and pre-registration groups which is great for businesses and individuals seeking out highly-contested domain names. Here are a few different methods of registering for new TLDs: General Availability (GA)– This is the list of new TLDs and gTLDs that are currently available to the general public. Of course, these can be purchased if no other entity has secured the domain already. You can search by domain name on Domain.com to see if the desired name is available.Early Access – The Early Access Period (EAP) is usually during the first week that a new TLD is available. As the week progresses, domains with this extension decrease in cost. This allows individuals and businesses to spend more in order to purchase a domain earlier. The time length generally doesn’t exceed a week.Pre-Registration / Priority Pre-Registration – There is another way to gain a new TLD earlier than general availability. This is by pre-registering (or paying a premium with priority). This gives users the best chance to acquire hotly-contested web addresses. Trademarks and the Sunrise Period The earliest possible time to register a domain under a new TLD is known as the sunrise period. This is a period of 30 days where an entity with a registered trademark can register early for a new TLD (trademarks must be registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse—an international trademark database). By trademarking part of a business and incorporating it into the web domain, companies can further protect themselves against brandjacking. Other Types of TLDs Available There are some other types of top-level domains available that cover a different angle of web addresses. These include: ccTLDs – These are known as “country-code top-level domains.” They signify websites that are associated with a specific country. Common examples include:.us – United States.uk – United Kingdom.eu – Europe gTLDs – These are generic top-level domains. There are over twenty of these common gTLDs (.com, .net, etc.).sTLDs – Or “sponsored top-level domains.” Private organizations manage these, and in general, are not available to the public (.edu, .gov, etc.). Conclusion New TLDs are a fun, creative way for businesses to express their identity with the perfect website address. By sprinkling in some spice with a new domain extension, companies can upgrade their website and stand out among the countless number of sites around today. With how many new TLDs are available, the options are starting to seem unlimited. If you’re looking to use the perfect new TLD for your web address, know that Domain.com has over 300 new TLDs from which to choose! Sources: LinkedIn. (2017, Jan.). Brandjacking: What It Is and How to Avoid It. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brandjacking-what-how-avoid-wink-faulkner/Domain Name Stat. Domain name registration’s statistics. https://domainnamestat.com/ ICANN. (2011, June). ICANN Approves Historic Change to Internet’s Domain Name System | Board Votes to Launch New Generic Top-Level Domains. https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2011-06-20-en The post What Are The New TLDs appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

What Is phpBB Hosting?

HostGator Blog -

The post What Is phpBB Hosting? appeared first on HostGator Blog. The idea of community used to be much more tied to geography. For a group of people to come together to have discussions, share information, and learn from each other, they had to live close enough to do so in person. The internet has changed all that. The idea of connecting with people in online communities is now second nature to us. And one of the common options for creating and maintaining communities online is the forum software phpBB. Below we dive into everything there is to know about phpBB hosting, from how it works to why you might choose it to power your own forum. What Is phpBB? phpBB, which stands for PHP bulletin board, is an open source forum software that enables users to create a space online where communities can gather and share information in an organized format. Forums created with phpBB let creators define the main categories and topics the community forum will cover. Users can create accounts, load their own questions and contents in the appropriate categories, and respond to the posts of other community members. All participants in the discussion board can track the number of conversations and posts in all of the categories, and click to view each category and conversation they’re interested in. The forum model is basic and intuitive, making it easy for just about anyone to use. And for individuals or businesses interested in starting a forum, phpBB makes setting one up relatively simple as well. 6 Reasons to Start a Forum phpBB is best used for the specific function of building and running an online forum. Before you decide if it’s the best application for your purposes, you should figure out if creating a forum is right for your particular needs. It’s possible to create a discussion board for its own sake, in order to create a gathering place for people with common interests. It’s also common to create one as part of a business or brand that already exists, to give your customers or followers a place to connect with each other. If you already have a website and are wondering if a forum makes sense, there are a few main benefits it can offer. 1. Forums create community. Humans are social animals who have always sought out community and connection. An online forum gives people a chance to get to know other users, help each other out, and feel like a part of something. In some cases, that will take on a straightforward and professional tone, and in others it will have a more fun or emotional one. In either case, when you can provide people with a sense of community, you’re adding real value to their lives. And if you become a regular participant in it as well, you may find it brings value to yours also. 2. You can get to know your site visitors better. For brands, this is a big benefit. For both businesses and media sites, understanding your audience is a big priority. In order to deliver information and products that are relevant and useful to the people you want to reach, you need to know who they are and what they care about. When your audience comes together to interact with each other in a forum, they’ll voice the common questions and opinions they have. All that information you’re always trying to learn about them when crafting buyer personas or creating a content strategy? With a forum, they’ll bring it straight to you. 3. Your visitors can learn from each other. For many tech and software products, this is one of the big roles online forums play. When you’re struggling to figure out how to take a particular action in your software and head to Google to find the answer, often what you’ll find is a forum page where one user of the software asked the same question, and a fellow one provided an answer. This is a major reason why we have forums here at HostGator: That use case extends beyond tech products to any type of issue your forum users might be able to help each other with. A forum for teachers could include advice about lesson plans or how to handle particular student issues. A forum for fans of a TV show could include conversations about the show’s influences or themes that introduce ideas some fans hadn’t considered before. In every case, both the people learning something new, and the people providing the information (and in many forums, members will take turns in each role) are getting something valuable out of the interaction. 4. Forums can increase traffic to your site. If you add a forum to your website, you give all the members that participate reasons to keep coming back again and again. And when users have questions that relate to content you already have on your website, you have the perfect opportunity to share the link and drive more traffic to those pages on your site. All that adds up to more visits to your website. And even better, much of it will be return visitors who are actively engaging with your brand during their visits. For website owners, that’s a big win. 5. Forums can improve search engine optimization (SEO). The search engine algorithms like fresh content. When they see that a website is updated often, it shows that the website is current, which suggests it has more value than one that’s potentially outdated. Forums generate tons of fresh content—every time someone posts a new message or response, they’re creating new content on your site. And if your forum is available to the public, it creates a lot of new pages that can be indexed by the algorithms and show up in search themselves. If one of the conversations in your forum answers a question searchers have better than other websites do, it could get onto the first page of the search results, driving more traffic and increasing the authority of your website. 6. Forums help you generate new content ideas. One of the best ways to improve your website’s authority is to consistently create content your visitors care about. But creating large amounts of high-value, relevant content is challenging. In order to keep it up, you need a way to brainstorm topics your audience are most interested in. A forum gives you a window into the topics your audience is thinking and talking about. You can learn the common questions they have, and then create content that answers them. And by spending time following the conversations they have and the language they use, you’ll get better at creating content in a style that they can relate to. Why Use phpBB? If a forum sounds like the right choice for your website, you do have a few different options to choose from in selecting your software. But there’s a reason that phpBB is one of the most popular options—a good number of reasons in fact. In particular: It’s free. Setting up a forum with phpBB costs nothing. You can save your money for hosting and marketing. It’s open source. The code for phpBB is freely available to use and change as you need. And because it’s open source, other users can also develop features and extensions you can benefit from.It’s secure. The team behind phpBB runs security audits and work to quickly release updates to the software anytime they spot a vulnerability in the code. As long as you keep your software up to date and take basic website security measures, like choosing a trusted web hosting provider and using strong passwords, you’ll be able to keep your website safe from hackers. It enables user preferences. For your forum to attract the community you want and get them to stick around, you want it to be user friendly. phpBB allows individual users some control over their experience of the forum. For example, they can load unique avatars and signatures to personalize their accounts, and customize the order they view categories in.  It gives you the power of moderation. In our era of spam bots and trolls, a good community is a well moderated one. To keep your forum valuable, positive, and on topic, you need the power to review and approve the posts that go live. phpBB allows both the forum owner and any users you assign moderator status to the ability to remove or approve specific posts. It offers public and private messaging options. Much of the value of a forum is the visibility of the conversations to all members, but sometimes individual members may want the ability to take part of the conversation private. phpBB allows the option of private messaging between members as well as public discussions. It allows posters to include rich features. These days, online conversations are rarely just text. phpBB lets users complement their written messages with popular gifs, images, and emojis, as well as adding rich media like video or interactive features like polls. It has anti-spam features. It’s hard to go anywhere online without encountering spam, but phpBB can help you avoid dealing with too much of it in your forum with features like captcha confirmation and the ability to ban users as needed. You can customize your forum’s look. You can use your own coding skills to change up the design of your forum, if you’re able. Or you can choose from the hundreds of styles other phpBB users have developed and made available, mostly for free.  You can control permissions. Ther forum owner, administrators, and moderators will need different types of access and abilities in the forum than everyday users. phpBB makes it easy for you to determine which users are able to access which features.There are lots of extensions available. The functionality available in the core phpBB software is rich enough, but many users have created extensions that add additional features and functions to phpBB, many of them for free. You can expand what you and your members are able to do, based on your priorities. What Is phpBB Hosting? phpBB hosting is a type of web hosting that’s compatible with the phpBB software. phpBB provides a lot of the important functionality you need to build a forum, but it doesn’t come with web hosting. For your forum to become available online and accessible to your members, you’ll need to invest in application web hosting. If you already have a website, you may be able to get started by adding your phpBB forum to the hosting plan you already have, but if you didn’t choose an application web hosting plan specifically designed to work with phpBB, there’s a chance you’ll face compatibility issues. A good phpBB web hosting plan will promise easy one-click installation, so you can spend your time focusing on getting your forum started, not on messing with complicated technical processes to get everything working. Here’s a look at how easy it is to install phpBB with HostGator: A phpBB web hosting plan will be 100% compatible with your phpBB forum—so there’s no chance of surprise issues down the line. Plus, a strong phpBB hosting choice will provide adequate security through strong firewalls and security software options, so that you can trust your forum will remain active without the threat of malicious hackers or viruses. Finally, you’ll also want to be sure you choose a web hosting option that provides enough bandwidth for the website to handle regular visits from all your users, especially if the community starts to grow in the months and years to come—which is exactly what you want! While a number of web hosting plans may work for hosting your phpBB forum, your life will be a little easier if you go with a reputable web hosting company that offers a phpBB-specific plan. Get Started with phpBB Hosting Services With the right phpBB hosting plan, you can get your forum up and running fast, and keep it running functionally without issues for as long as you want. When considering your options for phpBB hosting, make sure you go with a web host that has a strong reputation for providing quality service. HostGator can promise 24/7 customer support, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a great reputation in the industry. Many of the benefits of having a community forum fall by the wayside if your visitors can’t access it at the moment they need it. With the right phpBB web hosting plan, you can be confident that your forum will deliver on the speed and accessibility that your users want and expect. Get started today with HostGator application hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

One night in Beijing

CloudFlare Blog -

As the old saying goes, good things come in pairs, 好事成双! The month of May marks a double celebration in China for our customers, partners and Cloudflare.First and ForemostA Beijing Customer Appreciation Cocktail was held in the heart of Beijing at Yintai Centre Xiu Rooftop Garden Bar on the 10 May 2019, an RSVP event graced by our supportive group of partners and customers. We have been blessed with almost 10 years of strong growth at Cloudflare - sharing our belief in providing access to internet security and performance to customers of all sizes and industries. This success has been the result of collaboration between our developers, our product team as represented today by our special guest, Jen Taylor, our Global Head of Product, Business Leaders Xavier Cai, Head of China business, and Aliza Knox Head of our APAC Business, James Ball our Head of Solutions Engineers for APAC, most importantly, by the trust and faith that our partners, such as Baidu, and customers have placed in us.Double Happiness, 双喜On the same week, we embarked on another exciting journey in China with our grand office opening at WeWork. Beijing team consists of functions from Customer Development to Solutions Engineering and Customer Success lead by Xavier, Head of China business. The team has grown rapidly in size by double since it started last year.We continue to invest in China and to grow our customer base, and importantly our methods for supporting our customers, here are well. Those of us who came from different parts of the world, are also looking to learn from the wisdom and experience of our customers in this market. And to that end, we look forward to many more years of openness, trust, and mutual success.感谢所有花时间来参加我们这次北京鸡尾酒会的客户和合作伙伴,谢谢各位对此活动的大力支持与热烈交流!

A progress report on Yahoo Small Business email  improvements

Yahoo! Small Business Blog -

By Dilip DeshpandeProduct ManagerWe’ve made some changes to improve the speed, security, and reliability of Yahoo Small Business email. While these updates will increase the value of this product for our customers, the changes also require business email users to update their accounts with a new log in.We understand that your email account is an essential part of your business and even a temporary delay caused by having to create a new log in can be unsettling. We apologize for any confusion this may have created and are available to help if you are having issues with your account.   Some of the improvements that come with this update include:Speed and stability: We’ve made significant upgrades to our email servers to deliver even better performance and experience. Independent passwords: Your business email login will no longer be tied to your Yahoo ID. You can now reset your password at any time – and if you have an email administrator set up, they can do it for you, too. As owner of a Yahoo Small Business account, you can easily reset the password using the administrative email control panel while employee users can contact the owner or business email administrator to get new passwords.Yahoo Mail App: Now access your Yahoo Business Email using the Yahoo Mail App (available in the Apple App Store and Android PlayStore). All you need is the app and your business mail username and password to access your emails.App Password: In order to increase security around external email clients that do not use our Yahoo branded sign-in page, you will now use app passwords to access email using Outlook or POP/IMAP email clients. Learn more about app password here.New Mail Interface: Our new web mail interface is designed for business mail users and comes with loads of features. Watch the video for more info.If you haven’t updated your business email account, now would be a great time to do so! This Help Page walks you through the update, and here is a guide on what to do next.In the meantime, thank you to all the business mail customers who have already updated your accounts, and thanks as well for being a part of Yahoo Small Business. We’re honored to have earned your trust, and will continue working to keep it.

Find the Job Meant for You on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Official Blog -

We all have a driving force behind where we choose to spend half of the waking hours in our adult lives. Whether that’s purpose and passion for the work, having work life balance, or simply making the paycheck - our jobs play an important role in our daily lives. No matter what that force is, with 20 million jobs and 600 million members, LinkedIn is uniquely able to connect people with the opportunities they’re looking for. From entry-level to C-suite. From project manager to graphic designer.... .

Five Rackspace Leaders Named 2019 Women of the Channel

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

CRN recognized five top Rackspace leaders today as part of its Women of the Channel list for 2019: Vice President of Channel Sales and Channel Chief Lisa McLin Channel Operations Director for North America Judy Vansell Global Partner Leader Vicki Patten Azure Strategic Alliance Manager Dena Marean Regional Partner Manager Lacey Rondon The Rackspace Partner Program […] The post Five Rackspace Leaders Named 2019 Women of the Channel appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

What Is Wiki Hosting?

HostGator Blog -

The post What Is Wiki Hosting? appeared first on HostGator Blog. When you’re seeking out information on a topic online and you head to Google, in most cases the top result you see will be from Wikipedia. The massive Wiki has become the go-to source for knowledge of all types online. But Wikipedia is just one example of a larger category of websites: wikis. What are wikis, and how can you host one of your own? We explain everything you need to know about wiki hosting plans below. What Is a Wiki? A wiki is a popular type of website  that enables open collaboration from users. The main thing that sets it apart from other websites is that anyone with an interest in the topic at hand and relevant knowledge can go in and add or change information on the page. In addition, the structure of wikis centers interlinking between related topics. This both encourages visitors of one page to move to related pages to gain additional knowledge, while also making it easier for people to learn contextual information that improves their understanding of the topic at hand. As many fans of Wikipedia, the most dominant of all online wikis, are well aware, the wiki format can inspire meandering and varied—but fruitful—explorations of knowledge. There’s even a term for this kind of exploratory knowledge gathering: the wiki rabbit hole, likening the experience to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland moving from one interesting experience to the next. Wikis are therefore great tools for sharing, organizing, and gaining knowledge through many types of resources. And for learning from the minds of many who can bring a diversity of experiences and knowledge to the format. Why Should You Start a Wiki? If you’re at the stage of trying to decide what kind of website to start, you should know that a wiki isn’t right for all possible websites. For example, if you’re building a business website, you want to keep control over what information goes on each page. And while providing helpful information may be part of your business website strategy, it wouldn’t be the central focus—getting people to buy your products or services is. Wikis aren’t for every use case, but for the particular situations where they do make sense, they can be a great choice. If you want a website that matches these four main attributes, then a wiki may be for you. 1. Wikis are collaborative. This could potentially be the main benefit or the biggest reason not to start a wiki, depending on the type of website you’re building. Whether you want strangers who share your passion to be able to add their knowledge of the subject your website is centered on, or if you want to allow employees or colleagues to weigh in on the business information provided, a wiki allows for that. If a colleague has a great idea for improving one of the business processes you describe on a wiki page, they can chime in in a format where everyone can see their contribution and build upon it. Or if a visitor that shares your love of your favorite TV show or author remembers a key point not initially included on a character’s page, they can add it to make the description more thorough. If your goal is a site that collects as much relevant knowledge as possible from multiple sources, then a wiki makes a lot of sense. 2. Wikis enable wide accessibility. A wiki can be easily accessed by anyone with internet access on any device they have. For businesses or organizations that want a centralized location where everyone can access all the company’s important information, a wiki provides that benefit. You can keep all your documentation, including the comments and responses other people have shared, in one place where anyone can get to it at the moment they need it. Wiki platforms provide accessibility both in terms of making it possible for everyone relevant to weigh in on the topics covered, and when it comes to where and how people can view the information included. 3. Wikis are an intuitive way to collect and organize information. Part of the success of sites like Wikipedia is that they organize information in a way that makes it easy to get the exact information you’re looking for. Wikis break information up into individual pages that each have a clear focus. Instead of packing all the information about a TV show into one page, for instance, you have separate pages about each character, each episode, each actor, and each of the main themes in the show. While the information is divided into one page for each topic, the related pages are also interlinked to make it easy to find additional relevant information as you go. As an example, if a character’s page mentions that they’ve married another character, it would include links to the spouse’s character page and the episode the marriage happens in. All of this makes it easy for anyone visiting the wiki to quickly find answers to the particular question they have, and any related information they decide to seek out as well. 4. Wikis are easy to set up. With the available wiki software, building out a wiki from scratch is fairly easy and intuitive, even for someone new to the whole process. And installing the wiki software on your web server is simple if you choose a Wiki hosting plan (more on that in a bit).  You will want to spend a little time planning out the kind of information you want your wiki to cover and how to organize it, but getting a wiki up and available to other users isn’t all that hard. 6 Main Types of Wiki Software Once you’ve decided to create a wiki for your website, you have two main choices to make: which wiki software to go with, and which wiki web hosting to choose. For the first question, you have a number of different options. These are the most popular wiki software solutions to consider. 1. MediaWiki MediaWiki is the most popular and well known of the wiki software options, as it’s the software behind Wikipedia. It’s a free and open source software that’s powerful enough to host a wiki of virtually any size. It’s relatively easy to use and extremely scalable, with hundreds of configurations and extensions available. Mediawiki is best for wikis that you intend to make publically available to anyone interested. It doesn’t provide good features for restricting access to a particular group of people. If you’re building a wiki for business purposes or to enable collaboration between members of a specific organization and you want your wiki to have a level of privacy, then Mediawiki probably isn’t the best choice for you. For any publically available wikis though, it’s a popular choice. 2. Tiki Tiki is another open source, free wiki software that’s been downloaded over a million times. It’s primarily developed for businesses to help enable collaboration between employees and departments. Tiki’s wiki features make it possible to create and edit a virtually unlimited number of pages, but unlike MediaWiki, it lets the wiki creator set permissions for specific pages and lock pages to keep others from editing. It also tracks the version history for each page and allows you to restore a page to a past version. For businesses or organizations wanting a wiki they can control access to, Tiki is a good choice. 3. PmWiki PmWiki is another popular wiki software that provides useful features for businesses, while remaining free to use. It’s a fairly basic version of wiki software, providing the most essential functions you need for a business wiki. You can easily change the appearance of your PmWiki site using skins—either ones you design yourself, or pre-made options that are available. As with Tiki, PmWiki lets you control which users have editing access to specific pages of your wiki site using password protection. If you’re looking for a good software to build a simple business wiki, PmWiki is a solid option. 4. WikkaWiki WikkaWiki is a lightweight wiki software that provides similar functionality to many of the other wiki engines mentioned on this list. WikkaWiki makes editing wiki pages simple for a variety of users, and like the other business-friendly wiki options, allows the wiki creator and administrators to control which users have access to specific pages both for viewing and editing. It also allows you to track and view a page’s revision history and restore prior versions as needed. 5. Dokuwiki Dokuwiki is a free and open source wiki software that boasts a simple design. The core features are basic and intuitive, but the software is also extensively customizable using available configurations and plugins. Dokuwiki is a popular choice for business use cases, including collaborative corporate workspaces and project management. As with many of the other options, Dokuwiki has access control features that allow wiki creators to limit who can view and edit particular pages, as well as specific sections of pages. And they provide revision tracking and management. 6. Matterwiki Matterwiki is a simple, easy-to-use wiki software made specifically for small businesses. All wiki articles are stored under a specific topic for intuitive organization. The software also tracks revisions, as well as who made each change. The editor is easy for employees at all levels of knowledge to use, so for small teams that want a simple interface for their wiki, Matterwiki is a good option to consider. What are Wiki Hosting Services? Wiki hosting is any web hosting plan that has the specific features and compatibility to work with wiki software. All websites need web hosting in order to be published to the web and accessible to visitors, and there are a wide range of web hosting options available when it comes to choosing a plan for your website. Application web hosting plans are specifically designed to work effectively with the particular type of application you used to build or run on your website. Wiki hosting is a type of application web hosting that promises support for wiki websites, whatever type of wiki software you choose to go with. What to Look for in a Wiki Hosting Plan If you’ve picked out your wiki software and are ready to choose a wiki hosting plan to launch your website, there are a few specific features to look out for: Easy installation One of the benefits of going with wiki hosting services, rather than a more general web hosting plan is that adding your wiki software to your web hosting account will be a breeze. Look for wiki hosting plans that provide one-click installation for your wiki software. Specific compatibility Most wiki hosting plans should work with any of the top wiki software options, but to be safe, check and make sure that the web hosting plan you consider works with the specific wiki software you’ve selected. HostGator wiki hosting supports many of the wikis we mentioned above, including MediaWiki hosting, Tiki hosting, PmWiki hosting, and WikkaWiki hosting Proper bandwidth This is especially important if your wiki will be publically available on the entire web, but also matters for private business wikis as well. Bandwidth will affect how much information (especially media and images) you can include on your wiki, and how many visitors the wiki can handle. If you expect a lot of people to access and use your wiki, then select a web hosting plan that can handle a lot of traffic. 99% uptime Whether your wiki will be for the broader public or just for a select few, you want it to be reliably accessible. Uptime is the term that describes how much time a web hosting provider keeps its websites up and available. The best web hosting companies promise at least 99% uptime, but a select few go further and offer 99.9% uptime with a money-back guarantee.   Customer support While building a wiki is relatively easy, with any type of website there’s always the chance you’ll face occasional technical snafus or issues you need help with. Find a wiki hosting company that provides 24/7 customer support so you can always trust there will be help available at the moment you need it. Find the Right Wiki Hosting Plan for You Building a wiki can offer a range of great benefits. It helps you connect and collaborate with other people, and enables a number of people to build upon each other’s knowledge. Whether your wiki provides information about a hobby or piece of culture you love, or helps your company manage projects and organize documents more effectively, it’s the right tool for a number of jobs. To make sure your wiki site is available to everyone that needs it, reliably and consistently, make sure you choose a wiki hosting plan that’s up to the task. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

One more thing... new Speed Page

CloudFlare Blog -

Congratulations on making it through Speed Week. In the last week, Cloudflare has: described how our global network speeds up the Internet, launched a HTTP/2 prioritisation model that will improve web experiences on all browsers, launched an image resizing service which will deliver the optimal image to every device, optimized live video delivery, detailed how to stream progressive images so that they render twice as fast - using the flexibility of our new HTTP/2 prioritisation model and finally, prototyped a new over-the-wire format for JavaScript that could improve application start-up performance especially on mobile devices. As a bonus, we’re also rolling out one more new feature: “TCP Turbo” automatically chooses the TCP settings to further accelerate your website.As a company, we want to help every one of our customers improve web experiences. The growth of Cloudflare, along with the increase in features, has often made simple questions difficult to answer:How fast is my website?How should I be thinking about performance features?How much faster would the site be if I were to enable a particular feature?This post will describe the exciting changes we have made to the Speed Page on the Cloudflare dashboard to give our customers a much clearer understanding of how their websites are performing and how they can be made even faster. The new Speed Page consists of :A visual comparison of your website loading on Cloudflare, with caching enabled, compared to connecting directly to the origin.The measured improvement expected if any performance feature is enabled.A report describing how fast your website is on desktop and mobile.We want to simplify the complexity of making web experiences fast and give our customers control.  Take a look - We hope you like it.Why do fast web experiences matter?Customer experience : No one likes slow service. Imagine if you go to a restaurant and the service is slow, especially when you arrive; you are not likely to go back or recommend it to your friends. It turns out the web works in the same way and Internet customers are even more demanding. As many as 79% of customers who are “dissatisfied” with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from that site again.Engagement and Revenue : There are many studies explaining how speed affects customer engagement, bounce rates and revenue. Reputation : There is also brand reputation to consider as customers associate an online experience to the brand. A study found that for 66% of the sample website performance influences their impression of the company.Diversity : Mobile traffic has grown to be larger than its desktop counterpart over the last few years. Mobile customers' expectations have becoming increasingly demanding and expect seamless Internet access regardless of location. Mobile provides a new set of challenges that includes the diversity of device specifications. When testing, be aware that the average mobile device is significantly less capable than the top-of-the-range models. For example, there can be orders-of-magnitude disparity in the time different mobile devices take to run JavaScript. Another challenge is the variance in mobile performance, as customers move from a strong, high quality office network to mobile networks of different speeds (3G/5G), and quality within the same browsing session.New Speed PageThere is compelling evidence that a faster web experience is important for anyone online. Most of the major studies involve the largest tech companies, who have whole teams dedicated to measuring and improving web experiences for their own services. At Cloudflare we are on a mission to help build a better and faster Internet for everyone - not just the selected few. Delivering fast web experiences is not a simple matter. That much is clear.To know what to send and when requires a deep understanding of every layer of the stack, from TCP tuning, protocol level prioritisation, content delivery formats through to the intricate mechanics of browser rendering.  You will also need a global network that strives to be within 10 ms of every Internet user. The intrinsic value of such a network, should be clear to everyone. Cloudflare has this network, but it also offers many additional performance features.With the Speed Page redesign, we are emphasizing the performance benefits of using Cloudflare and the additional improvements possible from our features.The de facto standard for measuring website performance has been WebPageTest. Having its creator in-house at Cloudflare encouraged us to use it as the basis for website performance measurement. So, what is the easiest way to understand how a web page loads? A list of statistics do not paint a full picture of actual user experience. One of the cool features of WebPageTest is that it can generate a filmstrip of screen snapshots taken during a web page load, enabling us to quantify how a page loads, visually. This view makes it significantly easier to determine how long the page is blank for, and how long it takes for the most important content to render. Being able to look at the results in this way, provides the ability to empathise with the user.How fast on Cloudflare ?After moving your website to Cloudflare, you may have asked: How fast did this decision make my website? Well, now we provide the answer:Comparison of website performance using Cloudflare. As well as the increase in speed, we provide filmstrips of before and after, so that it is easy to compare and understand how differently a user will experience the website. If our tests are unable to reach your origin and you are already setup on Cloudflare, we will test with development mode enabled, which disables caching and minification.Site performance statisticsHow can we measure the user experience of a website?Traditionally, page load was the important metric. Page load is a technical measurement used by browser vendors that has no bearing on the presentation or usability of a page. The metric reports on how long it takes not only to load the important content but also all of the 3rd party content (social network widgets, advertising, tracking scripts etc.). A user may very well not see anything until after all the page content has loaded, or they may be able to interact with a page immediately, while content continues to load.A user will not decide whether a page is fast by a single measure or moment. A user will perceive how fast a website is from a combination of factors:when they see any responsewhen they see the content they expectwhen they can interact with the pagewhen they can perform the task they intendedExperience has shown that if you focus on one measure, it will likely be to the detriment of the others.Importance of Visual responseIf an impatient user navigates to your site and sees no content for several seconds or no valuable content, they are likely to get frustrated and leave. The paint timing spec defines a set of paint metrics, when content appears on a page, to measure the key moments in how a user perceives performance. First Contentful Paint (FCP) is the time when the browser first renders any DOM content. First Meaningful Paint (FMP) is the point in time when the page’s “primary” content appears on the screen. This metric should relate to what the user has come to the site to see and is designed as the point in time when the largest visible layout change happens. Speed Index attempts to quantify the value of the filmstrip rather than using a single paint timing. The speed index measures the rate at which content is displayed - essentially the area above the curve. In the chart below from our progressive image feature you can see reaching 80% happens much earlier for the parallelized (red) load rather than the regular (blue). Importance of interactivityThe same impatient user is now happy that the content they want to see has appeared. They will still become frustrated if they are unable to interact with the site. Time to Interactive is the time it takes for content to be rendered and the page is ready to receive input from the user. Technically this is defined as when the browser’s main processing thread has been idle for several seconds after first meaningful paint.The Speed Tab displays these key metrics for mobile and desktop.How much faster on Cloudflare ?The Cloudflare Dashboard provides a list of performance features which can, admittedly, be both confusing and daunting. What would be the benefit of turning on Rocket Loader and on which performance metrics will it have the most impact ? If you upgrade to Pro what will be the value of the enhanced HTTP/2 prioritisation ? The optimization section answers these questions. Tests are run with each performance feature turned on and off. The values for the tests for the appropriate performance metrics are displayed, along with the improvement. You can enable or upgrade the feature from this view. Here are a few examples :If Rocket Loader were enabled for this website, the render-blocking JavaScript would be deferred causing first paint time to drop from 1.25s to 0.81s - an improvement of 32% on desktop.Image heavy sites do not perform well on slow mobile connections. If you enable Mirage, your customers on 3G connections would see meaningful content 1s sooner - an improvement of 29.4%.So how about our new features?We tested the enhanced HTTP/2 prioritisation feature on an Edge browser on desktop and saw meaningful content display 2s sooner - an improvement of 64%.This is a more interesting result taken from the blog example used to illustrate the progressive image streaming. At first glance the improvement of 29% in speed index is good. The filmstrip comparison shows a more significant difference. In this case the page with no images shown is already 43% visually complete for both scenarios after 1.5s. At 2.5s the difference is 77% compared to 50%.This is a great example of how metrics do not tell the full story. They cannot completely replace viewing the page loading flow and understanding what is important for your site.How to tryThis is our first iteration of the new Speed Page and we are eager to get your feedback. We will be rolling this out to beta customers who are interested in seeing how their sites perform. To be added to the queue for activation of the new Speed Page please click on the banner on the overview page, or click on the banner on the existing Speed Page.

EU election season and securing online democracy

CloudFlare Blog -

It’s election season in Europe, as European Parliament seats are contested across the European Union by national political parties. With approximately 400 million people eligible to vote, this is one of the biggest democratic exercises in the world - second only to India - and it takes place once every five years. Over the course of four days, 23-26 May 2019, each of the 28 EU countries will elect a different number of Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) roughly mapped to population size and based on a proportional system. The 751 newly elected MEPs (a number which includes the UK’s allocation for the time being) will take their seats in July. These elections are not only important because the European Parliament plays a large role in the EU democratic system, being a co-legislator alongside the European Council, but as the French President Emmanuel Macron has described, these European elections will be decisive for the future of the continent.Election security: an EU political priorityPolitical focus on the potential cybersecurity threat to the EU elections has been extremely high, and various EU institutions and agencies have been engaged in a long campaign to drive awareness among EU Member States and to help political parties prepare. Last month for example, more than 80 representatives from the European Parliament, EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) gathered for a table-top exercise to test the EU's response to potential incidents. The objective of the exercise was to test the efficacy of EU Member States’ practices and crisis plans, to acquire an overview of the level of resilience across the EU, and to identify potential gaps and adequate mitigation measures. Earlier this year, ENISA published a paper on EU-wide election security which described how as a result of the large attack surface that is inherent to elections, the risks do not only concern government election systems but also extend to individual candidates and individual political campaigns. Examples of attack vectors that affect election processes can include spear phishing, data theft, online disinformation, malware, and DDoS attacks. ENISA went on to propose that election systems, processes and infrastructures be classified as critical infrastructure, and that a legal obligation be put in place requiring political organisations to deploy a high level of cybersecurity.Last September, in his State of the Union address, European Commission President Juncker announced a package of initiatives aimed at ensuring that the EU elections are organised in a free, fair and secure manner. EU Member States subsequently set up a national cooperation network of relevant authorities – such as electoral, cybersecurity, data protection and law enforcement authorities – and appointed contact points to take part in a European cooperation network for elections. In July 2018, the Cooperation Group set up under the EU NIS Directive (composed of Member States, the European Commission and ENISA) issued a detailed report, "Compendium on Cyber Security of Election Technology". The report outlined how election processes typically extend over a long life cycle, consisting of several phases, and the presentation layer is as important as the correct vote count and protection of the interface where citizens learn of the election results. Estonia - a country that is known to be a digital leader when it comes to eGovernment services - is currently the only EU country that offers its citizens the option to cast their ballot online. However, even electoral systems that rely exclusively on paper voting typically take advantage of digital tools and services in compiling voter rolls, candidate registration or result tabulation and communication. The report described various election/cyber incidents witnessed at EU Member State level and the methods used. As the electoral systems vary greatly across the EU, the NIS Cooperation Group ultimately recommended that tools, procedures, technologies and protection measures should follow a “pick and mix” approach which can include DDoS protection, network flow analysis and monitoring, and use of a CDN. Cloudflare provides all these services and more, helping to prevent the defacement of public-facing websites and Denial of Service attacks, and ensuring the high availability and performance of web pages which need to be capable of withstanding a significant traffic load at peak times. Cloudflare’s election security experienceCloudflare’s CTO John Graham-Cumming recently spoke at a session in Brussels which explored Europe’s cyber-readiness for the EU elections. He outlined that while sophisticated cyber attacks are on the rise, humans can often be the weakest link. Strong password protection, two factor authentication and a keen eye for phishing scams can go a long way in thwarting attackers’ attempts to penetrate campaign and voting web properties. John also described Cloudflare’s experience in running the Athenian Project, which provides free enterprise-level services to government election and voter registration websites. Source: PoliticoCloudflare has protected most of the major U.S Presidential campaign websites from cyberattacks, including the Trump/Pence campaign website, the website for the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, and websites for 14 of the 15 leading candidates from the two  political parties. We have also protected election websites in countries like Peru, Ecuador and, most recently, North Macedonia. Is Europe cyber-ready?Thanks to the high profile awareness campaign across the EU, Europeans have had time to prepare and to look for solutions according to their needs. Election interference is certainly not a new phenomenon, however, the scale of the current threat is unprecedented and clever disinformation campaigns are also now in play. Experts have recently identified techniques such as spear phishing and DDoS attacks as particular threats to watch for, and the European Commission has been monitoring industry progress under the Code of Practice on Disinformation which has encouraged platforms such as Google, Twitter and Facebook to take action to fight against malicious bots and fake accounts.What is clear is that this can only ever be a coordinated effort, with both governments and industry working together to ensure a robust response to any threats to the democratic process. For its part, Cloudflare is protecting a number of political group websites across the EU and we have been seeing Layer 4 and Layer 7 DDoS attacks, as well as pen testing and firewall probing attempts. Incidents this month have included attacks against Swedish, French, Spanish and UK web properties, with particularly high activity across the board around 8th May. As the elections approach, we can expect the volume/spread of attacks to increase.Further information about the European elections can be found here - and if you are based in Europe, don’t forget to vote!

.GLOBAL: TLD of the Fortnight

Reseller Club Blog -

.GLOBAL is our TLD of the Fortnight for all the right reasons. The domain extension has bridged the gap between brand & multinational audience. For any brand that wants to connect with a global audience, worldwide, this is the perfect fit! .GLOBAL transcends geographic boundaries. Ideas and strategies aren’t confined by location and brands have universal coverage. ‘GLOBAL’ is a word understood in countless languages and helps your brand stand out. Why offer .GLOBAL? Brands using .GLOBAL .GLOBAL is a great option for all kinds of businesses – be it a large business, a one-man business, a work-from-home mom, a non-profit or even a local business looking to connect with an international audience. The ResellerClub Advantage Your customers’ global aspirations will now find a match in the .GLOBAL domains at just $59.99 $11.49. Get .GLOBAL at this price and make your profits today! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post .GLOBAL: TLD of the Fortnight appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

What to Look for with Cheap Web Hosting – Cheap but Quality Matters

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Want cheap web hosting that’s still quality? It’s hard to find, but it can be done. Just like shopping for any web hosting service, it’s important to know what you need going into the process. Many web hosting companies offer similar rates or packages, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re offering the same products. It’s up to you to do the homework and find out what services and features each company offers. Continue reading What to Look for with Cheap Web Hosting – Cheap but Quality Matters at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Cloudflare architecture and how BPF eats the world

CloudFlare Blog -

Recently at Netdev 0x13, the Conference on Linux Networking in Prague, I gave a short talk titled "Linux at Cloudflare". The talk ended up being mostly about BPF. It seems, no matter the question - BPF is the answer.Here is a transcript of a slightly adjusted version of that talk.At Cloudflare we run Linux on our servers. We operate two categories of data centers: large "Core" data centers, processing logs, analyzing attacks, computing analytics, and the "Edge" server fleet, delivering customer content from 180 locations across the world.In this talk, we will focus on the "Edge" servers. It's here where we use the newest Linux features, optimize for performance and care deeply about DoS resilience.Our edge service is special due to our network configuration - we are extensively using anycast routing. Anycast means that the same set of IP addresses are announced by all our data centers.This design has great advantages. First, it guarantees the optimal speed for end users. No matter where you are located, you will always reach the closest data center. Then, anycast helps us to spread out DoS traffic. During attacks each of the locations receives a small fraction of the total traffic, making it easier to ingest and filter out unwanted traffic.Anycast allows us to keep the networking setup uniform across all edge data centers. We applied the same design inside our data centers - our software stack is uniform across the edge servers. All software pieces are running on all the servers.In principle, every machine can handle every task - and we run many diverse and demanding tasks. We have a full HTTP stack, the magical Cloudflare Workers, two sets of DNS servers - authoritative and resolver, and many other publicly facing applications like Spectrum and Warp.Even though every server has all the software running, requests typically cross many machines on their journey through the stack. For example, an HTTP request might be handled by a different machine during each of the 5 stages of the processing.Let me walk you through the early stages of inbound packet processing:(1) First, the packets hit our router. The router does ECMP, and forwards packets onto our Linux servers. We use ECMP to spread each target IP across many, at least 16, machines. This is used as a rudimentary load balancing technique.(2) On the servers we ingest packets with XDP eBPF. In XDP we perform two stages. First, we run volumetric DoS mitigations, dropping packets belonging to very large layer 3 attacks.(3) Then, still in XDP, we perform layer 4 load balancing. All the non-attack packets are redirected across the machines. This is used to work around the ECMP problems, gives us fine-granularity load balancing and allows us to gracefully take servers out of service.(4) Following the redirection the packets reach a designated machine. At this point they are ingested by the normal Linux networking stack, go through the usual iptables firewall, and are dispatched to an appropriate network socket.(5) Finally packets are received by an application. For example HTTP connections are handled by a "protocol" server, responsible for performing TLS encryption and processing HTTP, HTTP/2 and QUIC protocols.It's in these early phases of request processing where we use the coolest new Linux features. We can group useful modern functionalities into three categories:DoS handlingLoad balancingSocket dispatchLet's discuss DoS handling in more detail. As mentioned earlier, the first step after ECMP routing is Linux's XDP stack where, among other things, we run DoS mitigations.Historically our mitigations for volumetric attacks were expressed in classic BPF and iptables-style grammar. Recently we adapted them to execute in the XDP eBPF context, which turned out to be surprisingly hard. Read on about our adventures:L4Drop: XDP DDoS Mitigationsxdpcap: XDP Packet CaptureXDP based DoS mitigation talk by Arthur FabreXDP in practice: integrating XDP into our DDoS mitigation pipeline (PDF)During this project we encountered a number of eBPF/XDP limitations. One of them was the lack of concurrency primitives. It was very hard to implement things like race-free token buckets. Later we found that Facebook engineer Julia Kartseva had the same issues. In February this problem has been addressed with the introduction of bpf_spin_lock helper.While our modern volumetric DoS defenses are done in XDP layer, we still rely on iptables for application layer 7 mitigations. Here, a higher level firewall’s features are useful: connlimit, hashlimits and ipsets. We also use the xt_bpf iptables module to run cBPF in iptables to match on packet payloads. We talked about this in the past:Lessons from defending the indefensible (PPT)Introducing the BPF toolsAfter XDP and iptables, we have one final kernel side DoS defense layer.Consider a situation when our UDP mitigations fail. In such case we might be left with a flood of packets hitting our application UDP socket. This might overflow the socket causing packet loss. This is problematic - both good and bad packets will be dropped indiscriminately. For applications like DNS it's catastrophic. In the past to reduce the harm, we ran one UDP socket per IP address. An unmitigated flood was bad, but at least it didn't affect the traffic to other server IP addresses.Nowadays that architecture is no longer suitable. We are running more than 30,000 DNS IP's and running that number of UDP sockets is not optimal. Our modern solution is to run a single UDP socket with a complex eBPF socket filter on it - using the SO_ATTACH_BPF socket option. We talked about running eBPF on network sockets in past blog posts:eBPF, Sockets, Hop Distance and manually writing eBPF assemblySOCKMAP - TCP splicing of the futureThe mentioned eBPF rate limits the packets. It keeps the state - packet counts - in an eBPF map. We can be sure that a single flooded IP won't affect other traffic. This works well, though during work on this project we found a rather worrying bug in the eBPF verifier:eBPF can't count?!I guess running eBPF on a UDP socket is not a common thing to do.Apart from the DoS, in XDP we also run a layer 4 load balancer layer. This is a new project, and we haven't talked much about it yet. Without getting into many details: in certain situations we need to perform a socket lookup from XDP.The problem is relatively simple - our code needs to look up the "socket" kernel structure for a 5-tuple extracted from a packet. This is generally easy - there is a bpf_sk_lookup helper available for this. Unsurprisingly, there were some complications. One problem was the inability to verify if a received ACK packet was a valid part of a three-way handshake when SYN-cookies are enabled. My colleague Lorenz Bauer is working on adding support for this corner case.After DoS and the load balancing layers, the packets are passed onto the usual Linux TCP / UDP stack. Here we do a socket dispatch - for example packets going to port 53 are passed onto a socket belonging to our DNS server.We do our best to use vanilla Linux features, but things get complex when you use thousands of IP addresses on the servers.Convincing Linux to route packets correctly is relatively easy with the "AnyIP" trick. Ensuring packets are dispatched to the right application is another matter. Unfortunately, standard Linux socket dispatch logic is not flexible enough for our needs. For popular ports like TCP/80 we want to share the port between multiple applications, each handling it on a different IP range. Linux doesn't support this out of the box. You can call bind() either on a specific IP address or all IP's (with 0.0.0.0).In order to fix this, we developed a custom kernel patch which adds a SO_BINDTOPREFIX socket option. As the name suggests - it allows us to call bind() on a selected IP prefix. This solves the problem of multiple applications sharing popular ports like 53 or 80.Then we run into another problem. For our Spectrum product we need to listen on all 65535 ports. Running so many listen sockets is not a good idea (see our old war story blog), so we had to find another way. After some experiments we learned to utilize an obscure iptables module - TPROXY - for this purpose. Read about it here:Abusing Linux's firewall: the hack that allowed us to build SpectrumThis setup is working, but we don't like the extra firewall rules. We are working on solving this problem correctly - actually extending the socket dispatch logic. You guessed it - we want to extend socket dispatch logic by utilizing eBPF. Expect some patches from us.Then there is a way to use eBPF to improve applications. Recently we got excited about doing TCP splicing with SOCKMAP:SOCKMAP - TCP splicing of the futureThis technique has a great potential for improving tail latency across many pieces of our software stack. The current SOCKMAP implementation is not quite ready for prime time yet, but the potential is vast.Similarly, the new TCP-BPF aka BPF_SOCK_OPS hooks provide a great way of inspecting performance parameters of TCP flows. This functionality is super useful for our performance team.Some Linux features didn't age well and we need to work around them. For example, we are hitting limitations of networking metrics. Don't get me wrong - the networking metrics are awesome, but sadly they are not granular enough. Things like TcpExtListenDrops and TcpExtListenOverflows are reported as global counters, while we need to know it on a per-application basis.Our solution is to use eBPF probes to extract the numbers directly from the kernel. My colleague Ivan Babrou wrote a Prometheus metrics exporter called "ebpf_exporter" to facilitate this. Read on:Introducing ebpf_exporterhttps://github.com/cloudflare/ebpf_exporterWith "ebpf_exporter" we can generate all manner of detailed metrics. It is very powerful and saved us on many occasions.In this talk we discussed 6 layers of BPFs running on our edge servers:Volumetric DoS mitigations are running on XDP eBPFIptables xt_bpf cBPF for application-layer attacksSO_ATTACH_BPF for rate limits on UDP socketsLoad balancer, running on XDPeBPFs running application helpers like SOCKMAP for TCP socket splicing, and TCP-BPF for TCP measurements"ebpf_exporter" for granular metricsAnd we're just getting started! Soon we will be doing more with eBPF based socket dispatch, eBPF running on Linux TC (Traffic Control) layer and more integration with cgroup eBPF hooks. Then, our SRE team is maintaining ever-growing list of BCC scripts useful for debugging.It feels like Linux stopped developing new API's and all the new features are implemented as eBPF hooks and helpers. This is fine and it has strong advantages. It's easier and safer to upgrade eBPF program than having to recompile a kernel module. Some things like TCP-BPF, exposing high-volume performance tracing data, would probably be impossible without eBPF.Some say "software is eating the world", I would say that: "BPF is eating the software".

How to Use Social Data to Launch a Successful Video Marketing Campaign

Reseller Club Blog -

Video marketing is a hit. According to Oberlo, 87% of marketing professionals use video as a marketing tool. So, if you don’t implement video content in your marketing campaigns, you’re definitely missing out. Essentially, video marketing is a component of an integrated marketing plan, aimed to increase audience engagement and boost social activity, mostly through social media. The strategy is built around one video or a series of videos that are connected to a particular product and are characteristic of the company’s values. Why is video marketing on the rise, when there are so much other different content types that are as engaging? What makes it stand out? Take a look at these stats: According to Renderforest, 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube on a daily basis According to the same source, 70% of marketers claim that videos convert better than any other type of content Optinmonster supports these numbers, adding that 94% of businesses are using video as an effective marketing tool, and 81% of the surveyed businesses saw an increase in sales. Moreover, 53% of businesses saw a decrease in customer support issues after using explainer videos in their marketing campaigns Social Data and Video Marketing Today, not a single marketing campaign can be launched without social media, not only because social media give brands extra exposure, but also because they provide brands with social data to help them keep up with the KPIs. Although mining social data is a pretty down-to-earth process, with tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics making it possible, confusion may hit you when you actually try to use it for your video marketing campaign. So, here are some insights on how to use social data to launch a successful video marketing campaign. 1. Study Your Audience for Better Targeting Knowing your target audience is crucial, and your future video marketing campaign is no exception. But audience analysis is also an important part of video production and plays an important role in creating a video script. Another reason why you should pay close attention to audience analysis in your video marketing campaign is delivering the right message to the right people, especially if you’re a newborn brand. According to Social Bakers, this type of content is used primarily in the early stage of a marketing campaign, when customers are only learning about your brand. Audience analysis is a multifaceted process that involves the discussion of crucial points that will influence the nature of your marketing videos. This process involves the analysis of the following aspects: These aspects describe one audience persona that will characterize the whole target audience that you will address in your video. The more detailed this description is, the more targeted marketing video you’ll create because you’ll know exactly who you want to reach with your video message. So, for better targeting and for a more detailed marketing video, make sure that you have a proper audience analysis. 2. Explore Likes, Shares, and Comments for Content Ideas If you choose to launch your video marketing campaign on one of the social media platforms, social data that describes the performance of your previous posts, as well as the data, collected from likes, and shares, will help you determine which platform will work the best for your marketing needs and which content your followers from each platform prefer better. For instance, if your Facebook account stats show that posts with videos on your page are the most active, like here, you can consider your Facebook account as the main platform for your video marketing campaign. Activity on your posts, including comments, likes and shares, is the source of unique metrics, mined from social media platforms. They give you important information on what your existing social media audience likes and wants to see, and you can use it in your video marketing campaign. Social data that can be mined from them, can give a serious boost to your creativity, providing you with plenty of content ideas. Here’s how you can use them. Likes and Shares This is an indirect form of feedback from your social media followers. This way they express their perception of the content you’re posting, so listen closely. The more likes a post gets, the more clues you receive as for what your audience wants to see, and you can later implement these ideas during the video production process. The analysis of likes and shares is a generator of engaging topics for your marketing videos. For instance, the international real estate company Flatfy saw an increased interest in posts about real estate statistics on their Instagram account. So, that’s how they came up with an idea for a marketing video, covering the global population and the future of the real estate search. Comments Your followers may express their feedback using the comment section under your posts. Comments are a great way to find out who watches your content and make necessary adjustments to your video marketing campaign. For instance, one comment in Spanish under a “What is inbound marketing?” video inspired us to create a whole video in Spanish: Such comments give you the idea about not only what your audience needs but who they are as well. So, watch comments closely to find inspiration for your marketing videos. They are a great source of valuable social data. 3. Perform Competitor Analysis By taking a look at your competitors, you obtain their social data for your benefit. Analyze, how their marketing videos performing to learn from their mistakes and benefit from their wins as well. According to Statista, competitor analysis includes the following essential steps: Identifying relevant competitors in a specified market segment Describing key data concerning the competitors that you’ve picked Analyzing the business strategies of each competitor. In our case, you take all video marketing campaigns of each of your competitors and analyze their performance. You can use SWOT analysis to obtain the full scope of data Studying their corporate philosophy and making a comparison to your brand’s values Based on their behaviours and marketing strategies, you can establish your immediate goals Including competitor analysis into your video marketing campaign is an important step to be taken before you even launch the production of the video itself. Competitor analysis can give you important clues and ideas for creating a video script, as well as the knowledge of the things you will need to avoid. Your primary goal is to create a marketing video that stands out, thus, competitor analysis will help you understand, which characteristic features of your brand you want to emphasize. 4. Keep Track of Your KPIs Lastly, valuable social data can be obtained from your own KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Take a look at your previous video marketing campaigns. How did they perform? What were their advantages? What were the drawbacks? How can they be fixed By answering these and other possible related questions will help you figure out what should be included in your next video marketing campaign. When you launch it, keeping track of the KPIs will be the task that you’ll have to do on a regular basis to make sure that your video marketing campaign performs well. Conclusion Opting for a video marketing campaign is surely the right decision, and social data will help you make it right. Correctly applied social data will help you understand exactly who you want to target with your video marketing campaign. It will also give you important hints on what your followers want to see and even provide you with ideas for your marketing videos. Social data, mined from competitor analysis and your previous KPIs, will give you the knowledge of what you want to highlight and what should be avoided in your next video marketing campaign to make it successful. Hopefully, these tips will help you figure out how to use immense amounts of valuable data you’ll get from social media in order to create a successful video marketing campaign. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Use Social Data to Launch a Successful Video Marketing Campaign appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Join Cloudflare & Yandex at our Moscow meetup! Присоединяйтесь к митапу в Москве!

CloudFlare Blog -

Photo by Serge Kutuzov / UnsplashAre you based in Moscow? Cloudflare is partnering with Yandex to produce a meetup this month in Yandex's Moscow headquarters.  We would love to invite you to join us to learn about the newest in the Internet industry. You'll join Cloudflare's users, stakeholders from the tech community, and Engineers and Product Managers from both Cloudflare and Yandex.Cloudflare Moscow MeetupTuesday, May 30, 2019: 18:00 - 22:00 Location: Yandex - Ulitsa L'va Tolstogo, 16, Moskva, Russia, 119021Talks will include "Performance and scalability at Cloudflare”, "Security at Yandex Cloud", and "Edge computing".Speakers will include Evgeny Sidorov, Information Security Engineer at Yandex, Ivan Babrou, Performance Engineer at Cloudflare, Alex Cruz Farmer, Product Manager for Firewall at Cloudflare, and Olga Skobeleva, Solutions Engineer at Cloudflare.Agenda:18:00 - 19:00 - Registration and welcome cocktail19:00 - 19:10 - Cloudflare overview19:10 - 19:40 - Performance and scalability at Cloudflare19:40 - 20:10 - Security at Yandex Cloud20:10 - 20:40 - Cloudflare security solutions and industry security trends20:40 - 21:10 - Edge computingQ&AThe talks will be followed by food, drinks, and networking.View Event Details & Register Here »We'll hope to meet you soon.Разработчики, присоединяйтесь к Cloudflare и Яндексу на нашей предстоящей встрече в Москве!Cloudflare сотрудничает с Яндексом, чтобы организовать мероприятие в этом месяце в штаб-квартире Яндекса. Мы приглашаем вас присоединиться к встрече посвященной новейшим достижениям в интернет-индустрии. На мероприятии соберутся клиенты Cloudflare, профессионалы из технического сообщества, инженеры из Cloudflare и Яндекса.Вторник, 30 мая: 18:00 - 22:00Место встречи: Яндекс, улица Льва Толстого, 16, Москва, Россия, 119021Доклады будут включать себя такие темы как «Решения безопасности Cloudflare и тренды в области безопасности», «Безопасность в Yandex Cloud», “Производительность и масштабируемость в Cloudflare и «Edge computing» от докладчиков из Cloudflare и Яндекса.Среди докладчиков будут Евгений Сидоров, Заместитель руководителя группы безопасности сервисов в Яндексе, Иван Бобров, Инженер по производительности в Cloudflare, Алекс Круз Фармер, Менеджер продукта Firewall в Cloudflare, и Ольга Скобелева, Инженер по внедрению в Cloudflare.Программа:18:00 - 19:00 - Регистрация, напитки и общение19:00 - 19:10 - Обзор Cloudflare19:10 - 19:40 - Производительность и масштабируемость в Cloudflare19:40 - 20:10 - Решения для обеспечения безопасности в Яндексе20:10 - 20:40 - Решения безопасности Cloudflare и тренды в области безопасности20:40 - 21:10 - Примеры Serverless-решений по безопасностиQ&AВслед за презентациям последует общение, еда и напитки.Посмотреть детали события и зарегистрироваться можно здесь »Ждем встречи с вами!

Scaling in WordPress Using Multiple Nodes [Webinar]

WP Engine -

WordPress has evolved into a full-featured CMS that can be suitable for any size company or website. That’s because, over the years, WordPress has become fully scalable. High-traffic sites use multi-node infrastructure to establish redundancy and guarantee high-availability. However, establishing and maintaining a multi-node setup isn’t always straightforward. In this webinar, you’ll learn from scaling… The post Scaling in WordPress Using Multiple Nodes [Webinar] appeared first on WP Engine.

Benefits of Magento Hosting

HostGator Blog -

The post Benefits of Magento Hosting appeared first on HostGator Blog. Your eCommerce business is starting to come together. You have your business plan and an idea  of what the design of your eCommerce website will look like. But you still need to figure out the right eCommerce software and web hosting plan to get your eCommerce website working and ready for business. When considering your web hosting options, you may come across an option that addresses both needs in its focus: Magento hosting. What Is Magento? Before you can know if Magento hosting is right for you, you need to decide whether you’ll use Magento for your website. Magento is the third most popular eCommerce platform on the market (falling only behind WooCommerce and Shopify). It supplies the main functionality you need to run an eCommerce site, namely: A shopping cartCheck out functionalityAccount creation and guest check out optionsIntegration with payment processing apps to accept paymentAbility to list your products and track availability Those are the basics you need, but Magento has a vast array of features that go beyond the basics. Between the core functionality of the platform itself and the extensions you can add to it, the software packs a lot of power into the framework it provides for your eCommerce store.   Why You Need eCommerce Software You know now that Magento is a type of eCommerce software, but maybe you’re wondering if you can get by without an eCommerce platform to begin with. eCommerce websites have unique needs that won’t be served by a web hosting plan or content management system alone. If you want to make sales through your website, then you need a way to list your products, track inventory, provide a secure checkout, and accept payments. If you think about the online stores you buy from the most often, they probably have additional eCommerce features like the ability to set up a wishlist, mark your favorites, set up subscriptions, or take advantage of coupons. For all of that, you need the right software. If you’re building an online store, consider eCommerce software a necessary part of the process. 12 Reasons to Use Magento for Your eCommerce Website Magento isn’t your only option, but it’s one of the most popular CMSes for eCommerce websites for a number of reasons. 1. Magento is free. Few things in life are free, and it’s even rarer for something with as much usefulness as Magento to be free. But the Magento core is freely available for anyone to use. You may incur some costs for extensions you add on, or for developers you hire to help you use Magento. But the platform itself won’t cost you a thing. 2. It’s open source. Magento is open source software which means that anyone with the skills to develop a new module or extension can do so. Magento boasts a community of over 300,000 developers. They have an active forum with thousands of contributors, all working to make Magento do as much as business owners need and want it to. One of the nice things about using an open source solution is that you can count on it to improve in quality and functionality over time as people work to make it better for the benefit of all users. 3. Magento’s advanced security is ideal for eCommerce. Website security is important for all website owners, but when you run an online store that regularly takes sensitive financial and personal information from customers, security takes on an extra level of necessity. In the eCommerce community, Magento is widely considered a strong choice for security. And while the core software provides security against hackers, you can make your Magento website more secure with any of the hundreds of security extensions available. In addition, Magento lets you control how much access you allow each person who updates your website to have. Security permissions help you limit the risk of an angry employee making malicious updates to your website, or someone accidentally breaking something on the site due to ignorance. 4. Magento supports huge eCommerce product catalogs and order volume It’s understandable to wonder just how much a free product can actually do, especially if you have big goals and expect to see significant traffic numbers or list a high number of products. Magento really can handle a lot. You can add up to 500,000 products to your store on one Magento site. And the platform can handle over 80,000 orders every hour (as long as your web hosting plan is also up to the task). Plus, Magento’s reporting dashboard shows you at-a-glance how those sales are translating to your bottom line: That means it should work for you in the early stages of building your business, and allow you tons of room to grow as your sales and customer numbers increase. 5. Magento’s flexible extensions make it easy to customize your online store. Magento is extremely customizable, especially when it comes to the changes you can make using the large library of extensions. You have a lot of power to make the backend of your website look the way you want it, as well as making the website itself intuitive for your visitors. And Magento has a lot of different features you can choose to incorporate if you so desire, such as using categories to better group your different products, allowing different payment options, and letting you manage orders through the platform. With Magento, you can configure your website to have the features you want it to, both on your end and the user end. 6. Magento’s shopping cart functionality is responsive. With over half of all web use now happening on mobile devices, it’s integral that all online stores make their website mobile friendly. Magento’s shopping cart functionality is fully responsive, which means it works just as well on tablets and smartphones as it does on desktop computers. The last thing you want is for half of your visitors to bounce because they find your website difficult to use on their particular device—or worse, bounce right before a sale because the checkout process is a pain on the small screen. Magento will help you avoid that fate. 7. Magento’s powerful product search helps customers quickly find what they need. Nothing else about your eCommerce site will matter if customers find using it more difficult than it’s worth. Your website has to provide an experience that’s intuitive and pleasant from the moment they first land on the site, to when they complete their purchase. Magento helps you realize that by letting you organize your products in user-friendly ways, so visitors can browse and filter results based on their particular preferences. You can enable features like auto-suggestion for search terms or display popular search term clouds that can further help customers find what they need. And you can load multiple high-resolution images for each product to help customers make a better decision. 8. Built-in features are designed to boost your conversion rate. Magento also has a number of options you can use to increase conversions and upsells. You can offer free shipping and discounts to incentivize sales. You can also add in areas for customers to add their own promo codes at checkout: You can enable one-click purchases (just like Amazon!) with their Instant Purchase feature: You can set up your website to display recently viewed products, so customers are more likely to go back and buy items they’d considered. You can have your website show related products, or items commonly bought together, to encourage customers to buy more products at once. Finally, you can make it easy for customers to share items they like on social or with friends. 9. Magento follows SEO best practices. The minds behind Magento knew the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for a website and built a platform that made optimizing your pages for search simple. You can easily customize your URLs, fill in the relevant meta information on each page, and create an auto-generated sitemap to submit to the search engines. 10. Magento enables personalization. Personalization is an eCommerce tactic gaining steam and showing significant results. Magento’s core platform provides some personalization options, but you can go even further with tailoring the way customers experience your website with extensions that offer additional personalization features. With the Magento core, customers can create unique accounts so you can better track their behavior over time and show them products and ads based on past purchases or views. You can automate the process of serving up personalized recommendations for each visitor. With extensions, you can generate automated recommendation and reminder emails based on their past behavior and deliver personalized ads across other sites to help get past visitors back on your site. 11. Magento works with third-party applications. Magento helps power a lot of useful features and functionality on your own website, but what happens on your own website is only part of running an online store. You also need to think about marketing your store in various channels around the web to get customers to your website to begin with. Not to mention all the work you have to do to keep up with your business’s finances. Magento is compatible with a wide range of third-party applications that help with those parts, including email marketing software, Google analytics, accounting software products, and payment processing apps. Easy integration with the various apps you need to run your business make all the extra business tasks you have to take care of easier. 12. Magento tutorials abound online. Nothing is perfect, and one of the downsides of using Magento is that it has a learning curve. If you’re not a professional developer, or you don’t have the budget to hire one, learning the ropes of using Magento can take some time and work. But you can find a lot of useful information to help you get started online. Free tutorials are available on sites like TutorialsPoint. Or for a more thorough introduction, you can take one of the courses offered at Magento U for a fee. What is Magento Hosting? Magento hosting is a web hosting plan that provides compatibility with the eCommerce software Magento. While Magento is free and provides a lot of useful features for running an online store, one thing it notably doesn’t provide is web hosting. Magento hosting plans will often provide the additional important business features an eCommerce website needs such as an SSL certificate and compatibility with third-party solutions commonly used by businesses, such as email marketing and Google Analytics. While many web hosting plans that aren’t specifically Magento hosting may make it possible to use Magento, an application web hosting plan that provides specific functionality related to using Magento can often better meet the needs of eCommerce stores that depend on the shopping cart software. 5 Benefits of Magento Hosting When choosing the best web hosting option for your eCommerce store, you’ll benefit from prioritizing Magento compatibility upfront. There are five main reasons to specifically seek out an application hosting plan that works with Magento specifically. 1. Easy installation With a Magento hosting plan, you can trust that adding Magento to your web hosting account will be quick and easy. With HostGator’s Magento hosting, you can add the application in one click once you’re signed into your web hosting account. You can focus your time on building your website, rather than figuring out how to get your eCommerce software and web hosting service to work together. 2. Assured compatibility If you’ve already made the choice to power your eCommerce options with Magento—and especially if you’ve already put the work into using it in designing your website—you really don’t want to realize after you sign up for a web hosting plan that there are compatibility issues in getting Magento to work right with your plan. Save yourself the trouble of having to work to get the two programs to support each other, or worse, having to switch over to a new web hosting provider after you’re already eager to launch. Start with a plan you know will work seamlessly with Magento from the get go. 3. No performance issues One of the complaints you’ll occasionally see about Magento is that some sites face performance issues, such as slow loading times. In fact, the issue isn’t usually Magento when that occurs, it’s that the website owner went with a web hosting plan that wasn’t up to the task of running the Magento site. To avoid performance issues, find a Magento web hosting plan that provides the degree of power and bandwidth you need. 4. No hidden fees Some web hosting plans will advertise an upfront price, then hit you with unexpected fees when it comes time to add the apps you need to your account.  With Magento hosting, you not only know that your web hosting plan will be compatible with your Magento site, you can also trust that you won’t have to pay anything extra to use Magento with the plan you buy. 5. Proper security As we’ve already established, security is paramount when you’re running an online store. Choosing a secure web hosting provider like Magento is one step to making your eCommerce site secure. Finding a web hosting plan that also promises top-notch security is another. A good Magento hosting plan will have strong firewalls in place to protect your website from hackers and offer additional security features, like an SSL certificate and security software you can add to your website. Get Started with Magento Hosting Starting an eCommerce website is a big deal. If you make the right choices, it can put you on the path to big profits. Early on, two of the most important choices you can make are which eCommerce software to go with and which web hosting plan to choose. If you go with Magento, picking a Magento hosting plan to go along with your choice just makes sense.Get started with HostGator’s application hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

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