Industry Buzz

Codero Introduces Serious Support Simplifying and Expanding Its Support Offering

Codero Blog -

Codero, a global provider of value-added cloud-based technology and hosted infrastructure solutions, announced today that it has unified, simplified and expanded its managed service and support offerings under the consolidated brand of Serious Support™. Created to address the fact that no two production environments are exactly the same, Serious Support™ provides a highly customizable framework that enables customers to choose…

Migration Complete – Amazon’s Consumer Business Just Turned off its Final Oracle Database

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Over my 17 years at Amazon, I have seen that my colleagues on the engineering team are never content to leave good-enough alone. They routinely re-evaluate every internal system to make sure that it is as scalable, efficient, performant, and secure as possible. When they find an avenue for improvement, they will use what they have learned to thoroughly modernize our architectures and implementations, often going so far as to rip apart existing systems and rebuild them from the ground up if necessary. Today I would like to tell you about an internal database migration effort of this type that just wrapped up after several years of work. Over the years we realized that we were spending too much time managing and scaling thousands of legacy Oracle databases. Instead of focusing on high-value differentiated work, our database administrators (DBAs) spent a lot of time simply keeping the lights on while transaction rates climbed and the overall amount of stored data mounted. This included time spent dealing with complex & inefficient hardware provisioning, license management, and many other issues that are now best handled by modern, managed database services. More than 100 teams in Amazon’s Consumer business participated in the migration effort. This includes well-known customer-facing brands and sites such as Alexa, Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Fresh, Kindle, Amazon Music, Audible, Shopbop, Twitch, and Zappos, as well as internal teams such as AdTech, Amazon Fulfillment Technology, Consumer Payments, Customer Returns, Catalog Systems, Deliver Experience, Digital Devices, External Payments, Finance, InfoSec, Marketplace, Ordering, and Retail Systems. Migration Complete I am happy to report that this database migration effort is now complete. Amazon’s Consumer business just turned off its final Oracle database (some third-party applications are tightly bound to Oracle and were not migrated). We migrated 75 petabytes of internal data stored in nearly 7,500 Oracle databases to multiple AWS database services including Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and Amazon Redshift. The migrations were accomplished with little or no downtime, and covered 100% of our proprietary systems. This includes complex purchasing, catalog management, order fulfillment, accounting, and video streaming workloads. We kept careful track of the costs and the performance, and realized the following results: Cost Reduction – We reduced our database costs by over 60% on top of the heavily discounted rate we negotiated based on our scale. Customers regularly report cost savings of 90% by switching from Oracle to AWS. Performance Improvements – Latency of our consumer-facing applications was reduced by 40%. Administrative Overhead – The switch to managed services reduced database admin overhead by 70%. The migration gave each internal team the freedom to choose the purpose-built AWS database service that best fit their needs, and also gave them better control over their budget and their cost model. Low-latency services were migrated to DynamoDB and other highly scalable non-relational databases such as Amazon ElastiCache. Transactional relational workloads with high data consistency requirements were moved to Aurora and RDS; analytics workloads were migrated to Redshift, our cloud data warehouse. We captured the shutdown of the final Oracle database, and had a quick celebration: DBA Career Path As I explained earlier, our DBAs once spent a lot of time managing and scaling our legacy Oracle databases. The migration freed up time that our DBAs now use to do an even better job of performance monitoring and query optimization, all with the goal of letting them deliver a better customer experience. As part of the migration, we also worked to create a fresh career path for our Oracle DBAs, training them to become database migration specialists and advisors. This training includes education on AWS database technologies, cloud-based architecture, cloud security, OpEx-style cost management. They now work with both internal and external customers in an advisory role, where they have an opportunity to share their first-hand experience with large-scale migration of mission-critical databases. Migration Examples Here are examples drawn from a few of the migrations: Advertising – After the migration, this team was able to double their database fleet size (and their throughput) in minutes to accommodate peak traffic, courtesy of RDS. This scale-up effort would have taken months. Buyer Fraud – This team moved 40 TB of data with just one hour of downtime, and realized the same or better performance at half the cost, powered by Amazon Aurora. Financial Ledger – This team moved 120 TB of data, reduced latency by 40%, cut costs by 70%, and cut overhead by the same 70%, all powered by DynamoDB. Wallet – This team migrated more than 10 billion records to DynamoDB, reducing latency by 50% and operational costs by 90% in the process. To learn more about this migration, read Amazon Wallet Scales Using Amazon DynamoDB. My recent Prime Day 2019 post contains more examples of the extreme scale and performance that are possible with AWS. Migration Resources If you are ready to migrate from Oracle (or another hand-managed legacy database) to one or more AWS database services, here are some resources to get you started: AWS Migration Partners – Our slate of AWS Migration Partners have the experience, expertise, and tools to help you to understand, plan, and execute a database migration. Migration Case Studies -Read How Amazon is Achieving Database Freedom Using AWS to learn more about this effort; read the Prime Video, Advertising, Items & Offers, Amazon Fulfillment, and Analytics case studies to learn more about the examples that I mentioned above. AWS Professional Services – My colleagues at AWS Professional Services are ready to work alongside you to make your migration a success. AWS Migration Tools & Services – Check out our Cloud Migration page, read more about Migration Hub, and don’t forget about the Database Migration Service. AWS Database Freedom – The AWS Database Freedom program is designed to help qualified customers migrate from traditional databases to cloud-native AWS databases. AWS re:Invent Sessions – We are finalizing an extensive lineup of chalk talks and breakout sessions for AWS re:Invent that will focus on this migration effort, all led by the team members that planned and executed the migrations. — Jeff;    

Total Server Solutions Achieves VMware Cloud Verified Status

My Host News -

ATLANTA, GA – Total Server Solutions (TSS), a global Managed Services Provider, announced today it has achieved VMware Cloud Verified status. The Cloud Verified badge signals to customers that Total Server Solutions offers a service running on top of the complete VMware Cloud infrastructure. Through Cloud Verified partner services, customers attain access to the full set of VMware Cloud Infrastructure capabilities including integration and interoperability, cost optimization and flexibility. “VMware Cloud Verified status designates the top providers delivering the latest VMware Cloud infrastructure capabilities. Total Server Solutions is proud to be recognized as one of these leading organizations,” said Ryan DiRocco, CTO as TSS. “We have seen extensive enhancements to the VMware Cloud platform in the past few years and are excited to have these products as part of our core product offerings as we extend this platform to all of our world-wide data centers.” “Partners that are VMware Cloud Verified provide organizations with complete and advanced VMware Cloud technologies, along with interoperability across clouds for greater advantage for their customers’ businesses,” said Jim Aluotto, director, Cloud Provider Business, Americas Region, VMware. “Cloud Verified services delivered by VMware Cloud Providers can provide the efficiency, agility, and reliability inherent in cloud computing. We look forward to supporting Total Server Solutions as it empowers organizations with a simple and flexible path to the cloud.” VMware’s global network of more than 4,000 VMware Cloud Providers leverage VMware’s consistent cloud infrastructure to offer a wide array of services, provide geographic and industry specialization, and help customers meet complex regulatory requirements. Cloud Providers operating under the VMware Cloud Provider Program deliver individually tailored cloud solutions and services in more than 120 countries. To learn more about Total Server Solutions global platform of Cloud and Edge Services, please visit totalserversolutions.com. About Total Server Solutions Total Server Solutions is a global Managed Services Provider focused on connecting businesses to their customers and the data they need anywhere. The TSS global platform includes VMware Multi-Tenant Cloud, Veeam Data Protection, Colocation, Bare Metal Servers, Content Delivery Network (CDN) and a low latency, high-performance network enabling customers to securely and seamlessly move workloads anywhere in the world. Total Server Solutions is VMware Cloud Verified and is recognized as a VMware Enterprise Cloud Provider and a Veeam Platinum Partner.

Cologix Adds Third Data Center in Dallas

My Host News -

DENVER, CO – Cologix, a network-neutral interconnection and hyperscale edge data center company, today announced it is adding a third data center in the renowned INFOMART Dallas building, the region’s preeminent carrier hotel. The new, state-of-the-art 13,200 SQF DAL3 data center will utilize Cologix’s existing Meet-Me-Room (MMR) and offer diverse fiber paths from customer cabinet/cage space to the MMR. DAL3 offers connections to Amazon Web Services® Direct Connect, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft® Azure ExpressRoute, IBM Cloud and Oracle FastConnect. “With a strong telecom infrastructure and low costs of doing business, the Dallas market continues to grow and thrive driven primarily by enterprise customers and network providers,” said Bill Fathers, Chairman and CEO of Cologix. “Fortune 1,000 businesses need access to the best data center and interconnections available, especially when running latency-sensitive applications and accessing cloud compute services. Cologix provides diverse and unique access unparalleled in the industry. Our new interconnection hub will support growing consumer demand for speed and capacity to support immediate access to online banking and healthcare as well as on-demand gaming and apps like Fortnite and Lyft, video and live streaming with services like Netflix, YouTube and other content delivered to smartphones and other connected devices. In addition, Dallas is one of the U.S. metro markets where carriers are in a race to build 5G networks. ” Designed for 3kW/cabinet with higher-density configurations available up to 15 kW/cabinet, DAL3 will offer 2.25 MW of power. Located at 1950 North Stemmons Freeway, DAL3 will come on line Q1 2020 and joins the 35K SQF of the currently operational DAL1 and DAL2 facilities, bringing about 50K SQF of data center space to Dallas upon completion. Cologix’s MMR is highly connected to a diverse and unique group of more than 50 networks and direct on-ramps to all major hyperscale cloud providers. DAL3 is another example of Cologix’s continuous investment in the expansion of interconnection hubs. Located in region’s preeminent carrier hotel in one of the most vigorous communications markets in the United States, DAL3 at the Infomart hosts the largest number of carriers out of any single building in a 900-mile radius with more than 8,700 strands of fiber running into the facility. The combination of geographic location, available carriers, abundant fiber and MMR availability makes Cologix Dallas data centers the perfect site to colocate proximity-reliant or latency-sensitive applications. Other key features for DAL3 include: – Best available network neutral connectivity: 53 unique networks (including to Central America) in the Cologix-controlled Meet-Me-Room. Dual fiber entrances via vaults by individual carrier to Cologix vault. – Central location: Infomart Dallas with largest number of carriers in Southwest U.S. – Cooling Technology: Hot aisle containment with chilled water in-row cooling technology with N+1 chillers control data center. – Top certifications and security: SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS compliant. About Cologix Inc. Cologix provides reliable, secure, scalable hyperscale edge data center solutions from 29 prime interconnection hubs and 5 hyperscale capacity facilities across 10 strategic North American markets. Over 1,600 leading network, managed services, cloud, media, content, financial services and enterprise customers trust Cologix to support their business critical infrastructure and connect them to customers, vendors and partners. Our dedicated, experienced local teams and scalable solutions enable us to provide industry-leading customer service and the ability to successfully support customers at the Internet’s new edge.

CoreSite Celebrates Virginia Data Center Grand Opening

My Host News -

DENVER, CO – CoreSite Realty Corporation (NYSE:COR), a premier provider of secure, reliable, high-performance data center and interconnection solutions in major U.S. metropolitan areas, recently celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest colocation facility VA3 in Reston, Virginia. The CoreSite Reston campus and the continued growth and expansion with VA3 provides the CoreSite customer community with the immediate benefits of a rich ecosystem of natively deployed networks, cloud on-ramps, and solution partners. As of June 30, 2019, CoreSite’s Northern Virginia market was comprised of over 280 customers, which includes approximately 40 cloud providers, 170 enterprises, and 70 network providers. Additionally, the Fairfax County location allows CoreSite to serve the native base of enterprises, systems integrators, universities, and governmental agencies with the lowest latency to the largest public clouds. “The CoreSite Reston campus provides customers cloud connectivity and delivers the highest security and performance, low latency, with the lowest cost of cloud service utilization,” said Juan Font, CoreSite’s Senior Vice President, General Management. “With over 100MW of expected capacity for the Reston Campus Expansion, and the multi-cloud capabilities of the CoreSite platform, we are in a position to deliver the maximum degree of scale, operational flexibility and performance throughout the entire lifecycle of customers’ digital transformation journey,” said Font. “Thank you to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Hudgins and her team for her unwavering support of CoreSite over the years,” said Font. “We are also very thankful for the resourcefulness and commitment of the Fairfax Land Development Services team, as well as the Economic Development Authority.” “Additionally, our thanks to Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council for joining and providing her perspective with the opening remarks and participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.” About CoreSite CoreSite Realty Corporation (NYSE:COR) delivers secure, reliable, high-performance data center and interconnection solutions to a growing customer ecosystem across eight key North American markets. More than 1,350 of the world’s leading enterprises, network operators, cloud providers, and supporting service providers choose CoreSite to connect, protect and optimize their performance-sensitive data, applications and computing workloads. Our scalable, flexible solutions and 450+ dedicated employees consistently deliver unmatched data center options — all of which leads to a best-in-class customer experience and lasting relationships. For more information, visit www.CoreSite.com.

Nexcess and Liquid Web Partner Together

My Host News -

LANSING, MI – Liquid Web, the market leader in managed hosting and managed application services to SMBs, and Nexcess, the premier managed web hosting provider for eCommerce platforms have joined forces. With over 50 years of combined hosting experience, the move supports the company’s mission to dominate the Web Professional hosting market for SMBs. “This combination of companies demonstrates our commitment to be a leader in the Application hosting space and to deliver innovative solutions for the Web Professional customer that we are both focused on — designers, developers, site and store owners,” said Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger. “Nexcess is the premier eCommerce hosting provider for SMBs, and this union gives them access to more scale and capital to continue growth for the long term. With the combination of our two companies and strong expertise in Magento, WordPress and WooCommerce, Liquid Web and Nexcess will now be able to further develop the product and open source platform capabilities that SMB customers and their developers have been asking for,” said Geiger. Current and future Liquid Web clients can expect to soon gain access to the technology and scalability of Nexcess Cloud. Likewise, present and future Nexcess clients will obtain access to Liquid Web plans and services. The companies will operate largely separate. Existing customers of Nexcess will not see changes in products or pricing, will not be migrated and they will continue to contact the Nexcess team they know today for service and support. Chris Wells, CEO, and founder at Nexcess, remains with the team and assumes a senior technology leadership role. A technology industry veteran, Carrie Wheeler, will lead the Managed Applications Business Unit which combines the Nexcess and Liquid Web focus on Magento, WooCommerce, WordPress solutions. “Nexcess has built a very successful business in Application hosting with a strong brand and a solid go-to-market strategy,” said Carrie Wheeler, EVP & General Manager, Managed Applications. “We sought Nexcess, recognizing that the combination of their leading Managed Magento platform with Liquid Web’s WooCommerce and WordPress focus allows us to combine products, services, capabilities and team to deliver the best hosting experience to SMBs and the designers, developers and agencies who create for them,” said Wheeler. This partnership expands the global reach of both companies, now with 650 employees, 11 data centers, and a full-service Application Web Hosting and Managed Cloud portfolio. Both companies look to expand their legacy of best-in-class support and customer service. Plans include more product development, event sponsorships, white papers, code contributions, and other ways to expand both companies’ footprint in the eCommerce community. About Liquid Web Liquid Web is an industry leader in applications hosting, managed hosting and cloud services known for its high-performance services and exceptional customer support. With over 30,000 customers spanning 150 countries, the company has a world-class team, global data centers and an expert group of 24/7/365 solution engineers. The company has been recognized among INC Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for twelve years. With over 1 million sites under management, they have the scale in support, leadership, and financial backing to deliver the best customer experience in the hosting industry. About Nexcess New technology comes with a promise. Almost 20 years ago, from a small garage in Michigan, one man set out to fulfill that promise: to become a hosting provider that empowers clients to create and grow the businesses they want. Now, from its Southfield, Michigan headquarters, Nexcess holds data centers around the world that offer the best in terms of performance, reliability, and control. By embracing complexity, providing stability, and working with clients, partners, and team members, Nexcess has managed to create innovations that have changed the face of web hosting support and management forever.

Equinix Expands into Mexico With Acquisition of Three Axtel Data Centers

My Host News -

REDWOOD CITY, CA – Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data center company, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Axtel S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: AXTELCPO) to acquire three data centers that serve the Mexico City and Monterrey metro areas of Mexico for US$175 million in an all-cash transaction. The three facilities generated approximately $21 million of revenues in the 12 months ending December 31, 2018, with an EBITDA margin profile accretive to the Equinix business. The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 2020, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval. The addition of these three facilities in two strategic technology metros in Mexico is part of Equinix’s strategy of extending its global leadership into attractive large-growth markets. This acquisition, when combined with the previous acquisitions of key traffic hubs in Dallas (Infomart) and Miami (NAP of the Americas), will further strengthen Equinix’s global platform by increasing interconnection between North, Central and South America. The three data centers will add approximately 115,000 square feet of colocation space to the Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX®) data center portfolio. Given the power capacity of these three sites, this transaction will make Equinix one of the largest network-neutral data center operators in Mexico. Including current expansion projects, Equinix has invested more than $500 million in its Latin American operations including Brazil, Colombia and now Mexico. The expansion will support the important role Equinix plays in helping companies evolve from traditional businesses to digital businesses by globally interconnecting the people, locations, cloud services and data that are critical to their operations. Current and future customers will have the opportunity to operate on an expanded global interconnection platform to process, store and distribute larger volumes of latency-sensitive data and applications at the digital edge, closer to end-users and local markets. About Equinix Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) connects the world’s leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most-interconnected data centers. On this global platform for digital business, companies come together across more than 50 markets on five continents to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything they need to create their digital futures.

Oracle and VMware Partner to Support Customers’ Hybrid Cloud Strategies

My Host News -

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), announced an expanded partnership to help customers leverage the companies’ enterprise software and cloud solutions to make the move to the cloud. Under this new partnership, customers will be able to support their hybrid cloud strategies by running VMware Cloud Foundation on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With this new solution, customers will be able to easily migrate VMware vSphere workloads to Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure and take advantage of consistent infrastructure and operations. As a part of this partnership, Oracle will also provide technical support for Oracle software running in VMware environments both in customer on-premise data centers and Oracle-certified cloud environments. “As more of our customers make the move to cloud, they’re looking for a superior VMware experience. We are excited that Oracle Cloud customers will be able to run VMware workloads in Oracle Cloud and retain VMware administrative access,” said Don Johnson, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “This is made possible by Layer 2 networking in the cloud and our bare metal service. Customers will be able to extend existing VMware investments, processes, and tools while benefitting from the security and performance of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.” “VMware is delighted that for the first time, Oracle will officially offer technical support for Oracle products running on VMware. This is a win-win for customers,” said Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer, customer operations, VMware. “We’re also happy to welcome Oracle to the VMware Cloud Provider Program, which will allow them to migrate and manage workloads running on VMware Cloud Foundation in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.” With this announcement, Oracle becomes a partner in the VMware Cloud Provider Program and Oracle Cloud VMware Solution will be sold by Oracle and its partners. The solution will be based on VMware Cloud Foundation and will deliver a full stack software-defined data center (SDDC) including VMware vSphere, NSX, and vSAN. Through consistent infrastructure and operations, customers will be able to migrate and modernize applications, seamlessly moving workloads between on-premise environments and Oracle Cloud. Customers will be able to easily use Oracle services, such as Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Exadata Cloud Service and Oracle Database Cloud, which run in the same cloud data centers, on the same networks, with a consistent portal and APIs. Customers will also be able to leverage Oracle’s rapidly expanding footprint of global regions to scale globally without needing to establish their own data centers. Oracle will provide administrative access to the underlying physical servers, enabling a level of control previously only possible on premise, and customers will be able to use VMware vCenter to manage both their on-premise clusters and Oracle Cloud-based SDDCs through a single pane of glass. Oracle will also provide first line technical support for this solution. To learn more about the offering visit: https://www.oracle.com/cloud/VMware About Oracle The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain and Manufacturing, plus Highly Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com. About VMware VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to customers globally, aided by an extensive ecosystem of partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html.

What is DRBD?

Liquid Web Official Blog -

Implementing a Linux DRBD can be highly complex, but enables High Availability systems that can save businesses money. Find out how DRBD works. Did you know that it is possible for your server to crash while your website remains online? Highly reliable databases are critical for online services to function in the event of a catastrophe. Therefore deploying dedicated High Availability Databases ensures they remain available, even if one node crashes. DRBD: A Highly Available Tool That Can Help This is where tools such as Distributed Replicated Block Device (DRBD) come in, enabling automatic failover capabilities to prevent downtime. With a Distributed Replicated Block Device, whenever new data is written to disk, the block device uses the network to replicate data to the second node. Through redundancy, businesses can protect themselves from downtime and financial loss, and get minimal to zero interruption during software and framework-related operations. High Availability Database Hosting is ideal for mission-critical databases such as healthcare, government, eCommerce, big data or SaaS. Complex infrastructures can be hard to manage, but a DRBD delivers improved resiliency and optimizes disaster recovery, making them worth a significant investment. In traditional architectures, all it takes for hardware shutdown is for one component to crash.” In a High Availability environment, when a server crashes due to a hardware or software failure, the second server where all data has been replicated becomes active and takes over the workload. Thus, the hot spare ensures full redundancy and resilience. Learn more about how HA infrastructure can help your business. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Different Types of Highly Available Storage DRBD is Linux-based open source software at the kernel level, on which High Availability clusters are built. It is a good solution for data clusters to replace solid state drives (SSD) storage solutions with low capacity. Easily integrated in any infrastructure including cloud, DRBD is used to mirror data, logical volumes, file systems, RAID devices (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) and block devices (HDD partitions) across the network to multiple servers in real time, through different types of replication. The other hosts need to have the same amount of free disk space in the hard drive disk partition as the primary node. DRBD uses a block file to synchronize a number of tasks, including the two independent HDD partitions in the active and passive servers for read and write operations. When the hot standby takes over, there is zero downtime because it already contains a copy of all data. Remember, high availability is all about removing single points of failure from your infrastructure.” What is a Hot Standby or Secondary Node? The hot server is a backup that allows load balancing to remove single points of failure. In active/passive mode, read and write (access or alter from memory) operations are run in the primary node. An all-round tool, DRBD can add high availability to just about any application. DRBD can also work in an active/active environment, in particular as a popular approach to enabling load balancing in high availability (HA) cluster configurations. In this mode, servers run simultaneously so read and write operations are run on both servers at the same time, a process also known as shared-disk mode. DRBD is an enterprise-grade tool that simplifies the replacement of data storage and increases data availability.” DRBD supports both synchronous and asynchronous write operations, which will be further discussed below in relation to the three protocol setups. In synchronous data replication, notifications are only delivered after write operations are finalized on all hosts, while in asynchronous replication applications receive notifications only of locally finalized operations, before the process moves on to other hosts. Primary and Secondary Nodes Commonly, in a small-scale High Availability two redundant node-scenario, one is active (primary) and one is inactive (secondary), also known as a hot standby that already has a copy of the data through network mirroring and replication provided by DRBD. They are both connected to a single IP configuration, which means the hot spare will immediately take over operations in case of hardware failure. The switchover does not affect the High Availability databases, which remain 100% available. How Does DRBD Replication Actually Work? DRBD architecture is made up of two separate segments that ensure high-availability storage; the kernel module for DRBD behavior and user administrative tools to operate DRBD disks. Because this architecture enables database mirroring and data replication through both synchronous and asynchronous write operations, DRBD is a flexible, virtual block device that can run on three replication protocols, known as Protocol A, Protocol B and Protocol C. All data replication is network transparent (invisible) to other applications using the same protocol. Protocol A constitutes asynchronous replication that can generate some data loss if host failover is forced. As previously explained, asynchronous data replication means that local write operations on the primary node (active/passive server situation) are considered achieved when local write operations are finished, and the mirrored data is available in the send buffer of the TCP transport framework. This setup is more common in replicating stacked resources in a wide area network. Protocol B involves memory synchronous (semi-sync) replication. In this deployment, no data is usually lost in failover. Local operations on the primary node are considered achieved once local disk write is complete, and the replicated data is available in the second node. Finalized write operations on the primary node may be deleted, however, if both nodes crash and data storage on the primary node is destroyed. This protocol is a variation of protocols A and C, and an example of how versatile DRBD can be in replication modes. Protocol C covers synchronous replication of local write operations and is the most popular scenario in production data replication. In this case, replication operations are considered achieved when replication confirmation is received on local and remote disks. DRBD is configured to use Protocol C by default, therefore to change the protocol setup reconfiguration in the file is necessary. To confirm that the two hosts are indeed identical and all data was replicated, DRBD moves hashes and not data, which saves time and bandwidth. In “split brain” situations in which node communication failures result in two hosts both being mistakenly identified as the primary hosts, DRBD leverages a recovery algorithm that ensures there is no inconsistent storage. Managed Hosting Can Help With Complex Infrastructures and DRBD High Availability DRBD is workload agnostic and a great open-source tool with features that enable it to work as a kernel module, certain userspace management applications and shell scripts. Organizations interested in DRBD virtual disks can take advantage of the open-source status and alter the software to accommodate their needs and applications. Managing a complex infrastructure is not a task many businesses want on their plate, but Liquid Web can build and manage custom hosting environments to ensure peak performance, reduce team effort spent on configuration and achieve business objectives. Not all companies have the proper resources to configure DRBD for their infrastructure, however they can always rely on a managed service provider like Liquid Web to do the heavy lifting for High Availability, especially when its product offering includes enterprise-grade tools such as DRBD software and Heartbeat. Get Your Free High Availability Checklist Today The post What is DRBD? appeared first on Liquid Web.

TikTok Analytics: What Marketers Need to Know

Social Media Examiner -

Are you using TikTok? Wondering how to measure the results of your TikTok marketing efforts? In this article, you’ll learn more about TikTok analytics. #1: Switch to a TikTok Pro Account to Access TikTok Analytics TikTok recently launched a native analytics tool for Pro accounts, which are similar to Instagram Creator accounts. TikTok’s analytics dashboard […] The post TikTok Analytics: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release

WordPress.org News -

WordPress 5.2.4 is now available! This security release fixes 6 security issues.WordPress versions 5.2.3 and earlier are affected by these bugs, which are fixed in version 5.2.4. Updated versions of WordPress 5.1 and earlier are also available for any users who have not yet updated to 5.2. Security Updates Props to Evan Ricafort for finding an issue where stored XSS (cross-site scripting) could be added via the Customizer.Props to J.D. Grimes who found and disclosed a method of viewing unauthenticated posts.Props to Weston Ruter for finding a way to create a stored XSS to inject Javascript into style tags.Props to David Newman for highlighting a method to poison the cache of JSON GET requests via the Vary: Origin header.Props to Eugene Kolodenker who found a server-side request forgery in the way that URLs are validated.Props to Ben Bidner of the WordPress Security Team who discovered issues related to referrer validation in the admin. Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities, which gave us time to fix them before WordPress sites could be attacked. For more info, browse the full list of changes on Trac or check out the Version 5.2.4 documentation page.WordPress 5.2.4 is a short-cycle security release. The next major release will be version 5.3.You can download WordPress 5.2.4 or visit Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now. Sites that support automatic background updates have already started to update automatically.In addition to the security researchers mentioned above, thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 5.2.4: Aaron D. Campbell, darthhexx, David Binovec, Jonathan Desrosiers, Ian Dunn, Jeff Paul, Nick Daugherty, Konstantin Obenland, Peter Wilson, Sergey Biryukov, Stanimir Stoyanov, Garth Mortensen, vortfu, Weston Ruter, Jake Spurlock, and Alex Concha.

The top 5 global tech issues so far in 2019

Name.com Blog -

By Sam Bocetta Sometimes I miss the days when writing about tech issues involved writing about … well … tech. Ten years ago, a list of the top 5 tech issues would have focused on encryption, the advances being made in website builders, and predictions about the failure of the smartphone. Today, tech is a part […] The post The top 5 global tech issues so far in 2019 appeared first on Name.com Blog.

Three Ways You Can Take the Plus One Pledge and Help Close the Network Gap

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Last month at Talent Connect, our CEO Jeff Weiner introduced the network gap -- the advantage some people have to access opportunities based on where they grew up, where they went to school, or where they work and called on people to come together to help close it by taking the Plus One Pledge. We’re inspired by the stories many of you have shared about the “Plus One” mindset you already have. And we’re encouraged to hear that so many of you want to help people who don’t have access to the... .

8 Common Hosting Problems (and How to Avoid Them)

Nexcess Blog -

In our annual State of Hosting, we found that uptime remains the chief concern for most merchants. Uptime, though critical, is one of only many things that can go wrong with web hosting, and the measure of a solid web hosting provider often means more than 99% uptime.  Within, we highlight how to resolve or prevent common web hosting errors like poor uptime, slow performance, and other key areas. Slow Performance Visitors have little patience for a slow site. Your product, customer service, and deals won’t matter much if it makes users wait. Over half of visitors leave a site when a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, and most of them will not return.  A slow site may not always be the fault of your hosting provider, though a credible one will do everything they can, such as: Providing optimized environments for your chosen application (Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, and so on) Current technology, though unproven “bleeding edge” tech can be cause for concern Provide scalable solutions that can temporarily or permanently meet the needs of your growing business What to Do About It If your site sputters, start with your hosting provider’s support team. Competent support teams will investigate the issue and resolve it if they can. If the cause is beyond their control—poorly written website code, an unpatched Magento installation, unexpected surges in your site traffic—they can help diagnose the problem and suggest options for resolving it. Beyond contacting support, you can try: Using a CDN service Limiting your use of dynamic content in favor of static content, especially on your high-volume landing pages Enlisting the services of a developer, or having conversations with your current one Patching the platform running your site Limiting your use of third-party extensions, and make sure the ones you keep are current Simplifying your web design Enabling caching on your content management system of choice, if available Poor Security or PCI Compliance With security, you have enough to worry about on your end without wondering whether your hosting provider is holding up theirs. No security system can claim perfection, but consider any of the below to be hosting provider red flags: Irregular or missing maintenance windows; though sometimes inconvenient, these represent a commitment to providing a secure and stable service Inability to provide secure file transfer protocol (SFTP); FTP is generally considered unsecure Failure to provide their AoC upon request (see below) Support can’t answer your questions about SSL, a fundamental need of nearly every legitimate website Unclear backup policy; while it’s best not to rely only on your hosting provider’s backups, every reputable provider will provide them Outdated versions of PHP or MySQL; your provider should be using versions well outside end of life (EoL).  What to Do About It The best policy here is prevention. Don’t wait until your host fails at security to verify its effectiveness. Ask your hosting provider for their Attestation of Compliance (AoC), and consider any resistance to providing it to be a huge red flag. And always remember that as a merchant, you must do your part for PCI compliance even after rolling with a PCI compliant hosting provider. Learn more about How Nexcess Helps Your Store Stay PCI Compliant. Beyond the AoC, check the hosting provider’s website, followed by their reputation. If they provide a fair amount of original content about PCI and security, then they likely have some experts on their team. If the hosting provider specializes in a particular platform, ask other people using that platform about that provider. People that experience problems with web hosts are rarely shy about sharing their story. Cost  Although “high cost” is a common complaint, it’s usually more productive to think in terms of value. For example, unmanaged hosting is usually cheaper than managed hosting because the former offers little more than a power source, the network, and a secured facility. Support is usually not on the menu. The end result is a low-cost hosting provider. This can suit the needs of some, but others would be wise to consider the value of well-managed hosting, even if it costs more in strict dollars. Managed hosting with a good provider means less maintenance, hands-free updates to server operating systems, and dedicated 24/7 support. What to Do About It If you feel your hosting provider doesn’t provide enough to justify their cost, it’s probably time to find another. Again, word-of-mouth and reputation go a long way here. Talk to others in your community—merchants using the same platform with similar needs—and ask them for suggestions. Go to a convention or two, spend some time on GitHub, or find a forum. Sure, it takes time, but it can save you downtime and headaches down the road. Slow Support When it comes to web hosting, troubleshooting is essential and expected. It is perfectly reasonable to expend your hosting provider to respect your time, and to respond to any service disruption to your service with urgency. Even if an outage is beyond the control of your hosting provider, they should be willing to communicate and sympathize with your situation throughout. Ideally, the more ways to reach support, the better. 24/7 support is pretty much the standard for modern managed web hosting, with reasonable allowances for shopping-season ramp-ups.  What to Do About It Assuming a slow response isn’t an outlier, express you dissatisfaction with a member of support leadership. Even when you have justifiable cause to be upset, keeping your temper in check while expressing your irritation often yields more desirable results. Humans act more efficiently when treated well and support teams are no exception.  However, if they’re grossly incompetent, then it’s time to shop around using the same method described in the above “Cost” section. Unclear Limitations When it comes to hosting, nobody likes surprises. This applies to uptime, bandwidth, storage, scalability, and many other facets of your service. Reputable web hosts will be up front with how they distribute resources and bill for their services, and provide additional details when asked.  That said, take the time to read the provider’s Service Level Agreement, which tends to provide reasonable legal wiggle room in the event of unavoidable disruptions to your service. The presence of an SLA is not in-and-of-itself a red flag—nearly every hosting provider has one—but taking the time to read it can give you a better understanding of what to expect. What to Do About It Prevention does a lot. Do your homework on your hosting provider and ask their sales or support teams plenty of questions. If they break a promise or guarantee, hold them to it! Site outages and downtime Downtime costs you money. Most web hosts recognize this, and adopt proactive measures to minimize downtime as much as they can. “One hundred percent” uptime is strictly impossible, as even the most conscientious web host must perform occasional maintenance, failing upstream providers, and other issues beyond their direct control. You should know about every planned maintenance window capable of affecting your service well in advance. The rare hiccup to your service is inevitable; the real tell is how your hosting provider reacts to it.  What to Do About It The more times you answer “no” to these questions after any given outage, the more you should consider heading for another host. Are disruptions and outages a rare event for this provider? Are they reasonably transparent?  Did they apologize (even if not directly their fault)? Did they respond to you in a reasonably prompt manner? If they proposed a timeline, did they honor it? Did they avoid accusing you of “breaking something”? Did they resolve your issue, or at least guide you toward a solution? If it was an extended outage, did they compensate you somehow? If they required action on your part, did they provide clear instructions? Poor Scalability Ideally, your web host will make it relatively easy for your service to grow with your business. One of the major selling points of cloud services is quick-and-painless scalability. Cloud technology makes it easier to allocate extra resources to your service on-demand, as well as provides a cleaner, migration-free path to permanently upgrading (or downgrading) your service. What to learn more about cloud hosting? ReadWhat Are the Advantages of Cloud Computing (and Hosting)? If you’re married to a non-cloud solution and need to migrate, your hosting provider should be discussing options with you before pushing for migration. Respectable hosting providers look for ways to improve your service before upselling. If migration is necessary, they are transparent about the process, listening to your needs, and keeping you informed every step of the way.  What to Do About It Cloud hosting is the answer in most cases. Yes, it tends to cost a little more than non-cloud hosting, but in exchange you receive flexibility. Your site will respond better to sudden, unforseen surges in traffic and be easier to move when your business outgrows your website. Inadequate Tech Stack  A stack is a bundle of software designed to run a server. They range in complexity and purpose, and not so long ago a Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP (LAMP) stack was considered adequate for hosting purposes. As modern web applications have risen to prominence and in complexity, this is no longer the case. In 2019, stacks also serve to accelerate performance for the web applications running on those same servers. At Nexcess, our cloud web application draws on 20 years of experience to build a stack with components that work together to provide enough resources for modern web applications. While established players like Apache and PHP play undeniable roles, we’ve expanded it with several other technologies, most notably Nginx, Varnish, and for Magento, ElasticSearch. Nginx Nginx is a full-featured, high-performance web server that excels at serving static content. In our cloud stack, it also handles Transport Layer Security (TLS) decryption necessary for HTTPS connections, and does so much more efficiently than other possible alternatives, like the web server itself.  Varnish When properly configured, Varnish takes over caching requests normally handled by Apache and Nginx, and so provides fast delivery of static and dynamic content. ElasticSearch (Magento only) ElasticSearch is a search engine that allows customers to quickly find one product among thousands. Available as part of our Magento cloud service, Elasticsearch is fast and scalable for both structured and unstructured data, with support for 34 languages. Looking to add ElasticSearch to your Magento store? See our website for details. What to Do About It Before drawing any conclusions about a hosting provider’s tech stack, engage with their support or sales team to explore their other offerings. Be wary of any effort that doesn’t ask specific questions about your goals or business. Ethical hosting providers will work with you to identify and fulfill your needs, as opposed to just offering a knee-jerk upgrade. Curious about how we optimize a CMS like Magento 2? Check out our white paper, The Definitive Guide to Magento 2 Optimization. Each content management system had different needs. What works best for Magento often isn’t ideal for WordPress, and so on. Experienced web hosts know the “what” and “how” of these optimizations more than players new to the game. If your store uses Magento 2, ask your provider how long they’ve been hosting Magento 2 sites, and what they can offer you that other hosts can’t.   Need help finding a web hosting solution that works for you? Contact our sales team between 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. eastern time, Monday to Friday. The post 8 Common Hosting Problems (and How to Avoid Them) appeared first on Nexcess Blog.

Your Guide to Gutenberg: The New WordPress Block Editor

HostGator Blog -

The post Your Guide to Gutenberg: The New WordPress Block Editor appeared first on HostGator Blog. You thought you knew the WordPress editor inside and out, but recently you logged in and were faced with an entirely new version of it. WordPress 5.0 brought with it the biggest change to the WordPress editor we’ve seen yet. The name of this change: Gutenberg. What is Gutenberg? The simple answer is that Gutenberg is WordPress’s new version of an editor. But more than that, it’s the organization’s way to change how people build websites. While WordPress was already popular because of its reputation for being easy to use—someone could build or maintain a website with it without learning code—there was still a lot for your average beginner to learn in order to use it. How Gutenberg Differs from the Old WordPress With the release of Gutenberg, WordPress hopes to cut down on the amount of time and work required to learn the platform, and to make many functions within it easier to use. While Gutenberg brings many changes to WordPress, two of the main ones that will influence how you use it are: An emphasis on media – WordPress is a content management system (CMS) primarily focused on powering blogs, and blogs have traditionally been seen as a mainly textual medium. Yet WordPress realizes that the future is in more pages and posts that combine multimedia elements. Gutenberg’s design puts more emphasis on adding media to your pages, and simplifies the process of doing so.  The introduction of blocks – Learning to use Gutenberg is largely about getting used to blocks, which Gutenberg treats as the building blocks of every page and post you create.   What Are Blocks in Gutenberg? Blocks are drag-and-drop units that you can easily create and move around as needed. They’re the smallest, most basic unit you’ll use in the editor and can contain anything you’d want to include a page—text, images, videos, audio, buttons, and custom code, to name a few examples.  With blocks, WordPress hopes to accomplish a few things: Make Gutenberg easier to learn than the traditional version of WordPress. The idea is that you only need to learn about blocks once, and then you’ll have using Gutenberg down. Make content creation in Gutenberg more efficient. Blocks are reusable, which can potentially save you time versus copying and pasting or reloading the same content across different pages.Bring more flexibility to each page. The drag-and-drop nature of blocks makes moving things around on the page simpler. Cut down on the need to use extra plugins and coding. Some blocks provide functionality that previously required either external plugins or short codes. With Gutenberg the need for both is reduced.  Blocks are the center of the new editing experience in Gutenberg, so it will pay to get familiar with them and comfortable using them. Why Did WordPress Release Gutenberg? WordPress was already the most popular CMS in the world, so why do an overhaul of the way it works? The editor’s namesake, Johann Gutenberg, revolutionized how people create and disseminate information with his 15th-century printing-press technology. Naming their new editor after him says something about the influence WordPress expects it to have on how people create and share content online. In fact, WordPress describes Gutenberg as “more than an editor. It’s also the foundation that’ll revolutionize customization and site building in WordPress.” Their goal is to change how people think about building websites and sharing content online.  How to Add a New Post in Gutenberg You may be thinking “that’s great and all, revolutionize the web all you want, I just need to know how to load my new post.” Have no fear, here are the step-by-step instructions you need to add a new post to your website in Gutenberg.  The first step is the same, find Posts in the menu on the right and choose Add New.  Depending on when you’re reading this, you may see a message at the top of the new editor welcoming you to Gutenberg and promising tips for how to use the editor. If you click “See Next Tip,” it will take you through a few of the basics about using Gutenberg. If you’d rather learn it for yourself (or with the help of this post), you can click on the X in the top right corner to get straight into the editing process.  How to Add or Edit Your Post Title in WordPress Gutenberg Each post will have a Title Block automatically included at the top of the page and clearly labeled, so go ahead and fill in your post’s title there. If the next thing you want to add to your post is regular text, you can start typing right below the Title block. If you’d rather add an image, media, heading, or list, then it’s time to get started with blocks.  How to Add New Blocks in WordPress Gutenberg Click on either the plus icon you see on the left side of the screen, or the one in the menu at the top of the page, and you’ll see a visual menu of the most common block options.  How to Add and Edit Images in WordPress Gutenberg Let’s say you’re adding an image to the top of your post, click on Image here. You’ll then have the option to either drag and drop your image file into the block, upload it, choose one that’s already in your image library, or add it with a URL. Once your image is loaded, you can make it bigger or smaller by moving your mouse to the edge of the photo until you see a cross icon, clicking, and dragging it until you’ve reached you preferred size. You can choose your alignment with one of the icons in the menu at the top of the block, and add your caption by typing it at the bottom. To add in image metadata like the Alt Text, click on the pencil icon in the menu to open up your media library. A field with editing options will appear to the right of it The process of adding other media is similar, just start by picking the appropriate box for the type of media you’re adding.   Now, onto the text.  How to Edit Text in WordPress Gutenberg If you have a blog post already written and copy and paste it into Gutenberg, it will automatically be divided into blocks for you based on your spacing.  If you’re composing your post within WordPress, you can create new blocks as you go by clicking on that plus icon and choosing Paragraph for regular text, or Heading for each time you want to add a heading or subheading to your post.  If you aligned your image to one side, you’ll have to option to add text blocks both above, to the side, and below it.  How to Change Block Type in WordPress Gutenberg If at any point you want to change what type of block you’re working in, you can click on the icon in the top right and select a new option. How to Rearrange Blocks in WordPress Gutenberg If you decide you want to rearrange where your different blocks are on the page, click on the block you want to move, move your mouse to the edge of it until you see a hand icon, then click and drag it to where you want it.  How to Add a Bulleted or Numbered List in WordPress Gutenberg Adding lists works similarly. When adding a new block, choose Lists from the menu of options. The menu at the top of the block will provide your options for different types of lists, font formatting, and indentation. That should cover the main things you need to know when composing blog posts. But if you need to add something a little more unconventional to your blog post, such as a table or a calendar, you’ll find these by scrolling down further when adding a new block. WordPress provides a few different block menus such as Formatting and Widgets. How to Find Block Types in WordPress Gutenberg To speed up the process of finding a specific type of block, you can use the search function at the top, rather than going through menu by menu.  How to Change Post Category, Tags, and URL in WordPress Gutenberg If you’re already familiar with WordPress, then you know that getting your post composed and/or loaded isn’t the end of your job here. You also want to perform steps like adding categories, tags, and SEO metadata.  Much of this is now located in the menu on the right side of the screen. Click on each menu item to expand it, and add or select the appropriate information.  If you have plugins you use for tasks like adding SEO metadata, you’ll see those below the post and can click to expand there as well.  How to Publish Posts in WordPress Gutenberg At the top right of your screen, you’ll see the Preview and Publish buttons. As with traditional WordPress, you can see what your post looks like before you publicly release it to the web by clicking Preview.  And once you’re confident everything looks good, click that Publish button. There you have it, everything you need to know to create a blog post in Gutenberg! The Pros and Cons of WordPress Gutenberg Obviously WordPress’s intention in launching Gutenberg was to provide an improved experience for users. But upgrades are never that simple, and there are always some downsides that come with a big change like this.  The Pros of Gutenberg  Let’s start with the good. There’s a pretty sizeable list of pros to Gutenberg.  It’s easier to learn and use. While it may not seem so at first, since you’re not used to it, Gutenberg is designed to be intuitive. With just a little bit of instruction or playing around within it, you should be able to get the hang of it. And because it’s similar to other tools many are already familiar with, like Medium, getting started with it will feel natural for many users.  Each block type has a relevant toolbar. In the traditional WordPress view, finding the right functionality based on what you were working on at the moment could be challenging, precisely because there was so much you could do. In Gutenberg, there’s still a lot of functionality to tap into, but finding the right options at the moment you need them is easier since each block has its own toolbar that matches the most common functionality you’ll need for it.  You don’t need font size options when you’re adding a new image or list type options when you’re adding a heading, by removing the irrelevant menu options from your block view, you find the relevant ones faster. You have more control within the WordPress editor. While people with coding skills always had a lot of control in getting a page to look just the way they wanted it to in WordPress, the rest of us would sometimes struggle with how to control seemingly basic elements. Gutenberg gives you more options for things like how much you want a list to be indented, whether you want to add columns of text to a page, or if you want to add quotes that are visually set-apart from the rest of the text.  You can save time with reusable blocks.  If you regularly add the same information to different pages, you can make pulling it in each time you need it simpler with reusable blocks. Say you add the same call to action (CTA) to all your blog posts on a particular topic, or you like to make sure your email sign up box shows up on every page of your website. Create a block once and you can add it to every page moving forward. It’s faster than using copy-and-paste or creating it anew from scratch each time.  You can still use the traditional WordPress interface. If none of this is selling you on Gutenberg and you like doing things the way you’ve always done them, no one’s forcing you to use the new editor. You have options to get WordPress looking and working the way it used to. We’ll provide more detail on that below.  The Cons of Gutenberg Nothing’s perfect, and people have their complaints about the Gutenberg editor. Most unhappy users have two main charges against the new editor.  You have to learn it anew. While WordPress gave ample warning that a change was coming, many everyday WordPress users that don’t follow tech news were surprised to open up WordPress one day and realize they have to learn it all over again. Having to switch from something familiar to something different requires a new mindset and a learning curve, even if the new version is supposedly easier to use.  Many WordPress users quite simply prefer to stick with what they already know.   Backwards compatibility issues cause problems. The majority of WordPress users depend on an array of different WordPress plugins and themes to make their website look and work the way they want. Whenever a change as big as Gutenberg happens, some plugins and themes will inevitably be left behind, at least temporarily. In the time it takes their developers to scramble to catch up and make their services work with the new WordPress version, users could face compatibility issues that cause big problems for their websites.  6 Tips and Tricks for Using Gutenberg Using Gutenberg will be easier if you learn some of the tricks for editing within it. Here are some of the less obvious options for making changes to a post within Gutenberg.  1. Learn the shortcuts. Some people will find it much easier to take actions in Gutenberg exclusively using the keyboard, rather than having to switch between keyboard and mouse a bunch. WordPress is happy to make that easy for you with a long list of keyboard shortcuts.  You can learn what all of them are by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen, then choosing Keyboard Shortcuts from the dropdown menu. Scan the list to see which ones you’re likely to use the most and memorize them for future reference.  2. Use the slash (/) key to add a new block. One of the shortcuts most likely to come in handy frequently is the ability to add a new block by entering / followed by the name of the type of block you want.  If you don’t want to browse the menu of block types each time you need to add one, a slash will produce a dropdown menu of the most common block types. If your preferred block type isn’t there, start typing the name of the block you want and WordPress will autosuggest the most relevant options based on your typing.  3. Use the outline for easier navigation.  You can easily jump to different parts of the page you’re working on by clicking on the i icon in the top menu. In addition to getting a snapshot of the number of words and blocks on the page, you’ll see an outline that lists all the headings on the page. Click on the section you want to go to, and Gutenberg will take you there.  4. Create reusable blocks.  We’ve already mentioned reusable blocks, but they’re worth including in this section as well. For any content you’re likely to use more than once on your website, creating a reusable block can save you time.  Click on the block you want to save, click on the three dots in the top right of the block menu, and select Add to Reusable Blocks, then give your block a name.  The next time you want to drop that same block onto a new page, or a new section of the page, scroll down to the bottom of the blocks menu to the Reusable Blocks section, and select your custom block. Or use a slash and start typing in the name of your block. 5. Drop images directly into the editor.  In classic WordPress, you always had to add an image to your Media Library before you could add it to a post. You can now add an image or other piece of media to Gutenberg directly by dragging it from your desktop into the Gutenberg screen. The editor will automatically create a new block for it, then you can resize it, move it around, and make any edits you want once the block is created.  6. Copy and paste links in directly.  When you paste a URL into Gutenberg, it will now automatically pull in the link’s name and image for you. You can still hyperlink text yourself any time you want, but to simplify the process of sharing information about a URL, Gutenberg will automatically do it for you any time you paste a URL into the editor.   What if I Want to Go Back to the Old WordPress? Regardless of the new features available in Gutenberg, some people will inevitably prefer the way things worked before. That’s okay. You have two options for continuing to use WordPress the old way. 1. Choose the Classic block. True to their goal of letting you do pretty much anything you can imagine with blocks in Gutenberg, WordPress has included a Classic block that switches your post back to Classic view. When just starting to edit a new page, make the first block that you add the Classic block, which you’ll find in the formatting section. You’ll see an Editor that looks just like the old version of WordPress you know so well.  2. Install the Classic Editor plugin. The downside of using the Classic block option is that you’ll have to do it over and over again each time you start working on a new page. If you’d rather WordPress look the way it used to every time you open it, there’s a plugin for that.  Simply search for “Classic Editor” in the WordPress plugin library, and click on the button to install it. You can go back to using the traditional version of WordPress and skip having to learn all this other stuff.  Gutenberg is the Future of WordPress You don’t have to use Gutenberg right now if you don’t want to, but the way WordPress rolled out this update makes it clear that they see it as the future of the platform. Future updates, features, and plugins are likely to work better on Gutenberg than with the classic editor. Whether now or later, at some point, you’ll probably want to learn and get used to Gutenberg.  Once you take some time to get to know it, you may find it’s easier to use and more efficient than sticking with the version you’re used to. A few minutes of learning it today could save you the hassle of feeling left behind down the line. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothes

Liquid Web Official Blog -

What the cheapest way to ship clothes? Depends on how you package, how you fold, and the shipper you use, among other factors. See how to keep costs low. When you’re shipping clothing purchases to your customers, there are several considerations that can impact postage price. You’ll need to make some decisions about the presentation of your products, your brand image, how quickly you want products to arrive, and other key factors. All things considered, retailers can make an effective plan for shipping their products quickly and affordably by doing a little research and looking for the right customer experience. Quick Answer: The Cheapest Way to Ship a Shirt and Other Small Clothing Items Comparing different shipping methods for the same basic item allows you to start comparing prices and methods. Let’s start with a quick example. How much does it cost to ship a shirt? For FedEx and UPS, a small shipment like one T-shirt may exceed the envelope rate that is designed for letters, so these pricing comparisons assume you’re using a small box. USPS First Class Mail (generally 2 to 3 Days) large envelope under 1 pound: $2.66 to $5.54 USPS Priority Mail 2-Day Flat Rate 12 1/2 inch x 9 1/2 inch envelope: $7.35 to $8 retail rate USPS Priority Mail 2-Day Flat Rate 8 5/8 inch by 5 3/8 inch by 1 5/8 inch box: $7.90 retail rate UPS Ground (4 Days) for 8 5/8 inch by 5 3/8 inch by 1 5/8 inch box: $11 FedEx Ground (4 Days) for 8 5/8 inch by 5 3/8 inch by 1 5/8 inch box: $11 In this example, we’re sending a shirt from downtown San Francisco to downtown Chicago. USPS First Class Mail is cheapest overall at around the $5 mark, or even less depending on weight. Using an envelope or small box with USPS is roughly equivalent in price. In this case, either the envelope or the small Flat Rate box would get you postage at around $8. The envelope is still slightly cheaper, so If you’re shipping a large number of packages you may save some money using envelopes. That said, there’s a lot more to consider when you’re planning your shipments. Subscribe to the Liquid Web eCommerce newsletter for more ways to increase profitability for your store. What’s the Cheapest Method of Shipping Clothing to Customers? Since there are several mail carriers delivering packages throughout the U.S. and internationally, it may seem tough to choose one for your shipping. There’s no one right answer here. Your costs depend on a variety of factors, one of which is the type of apparel you’re shipping. There’s a big difference between heavy, bulky items and lightweight, small items, for instance. That said, it’s a good idea to choose example items and consider what the shipping process would look like for them. For this discussion, we will focus primarily on the three major U.S. carriers, USPS, UPS and FedEx. If you are shipping internationally or to parts of the country where other carriers are of interest, you may want to do more comparison shopping for your shipments. How to Save Money With Your Packaging Your brand and customer experience are another important consideration. For some apparel retailers, part of the buying experience includes receiving a package with thoughtful touches, personalization, and delightful extras. Others pack purchases carefully but with a preference for cost reduction and efficiency. Consider the following 12 tips and pack your clothes with shipping costs in mind: Avoid extra cushioning Choose rigid packaging to protect delicate clothing items Pack inside inexpensive poly mailers Ship items together Weigh your packages as you pack to help you make adjustments Fold clothes carefully before packing Email receipts instead of including printed materials Ship using the smallest package possible Compare “by weight” costs with flat-rate services Consider USPS Flat Rate Priority shipping for distant destinations or heavy packages Look for volume discounts Offer a distinct premium experience as an add-on Even if you do everything in your power to control costs and standardize the packaging process, you will probably still find a great degree of variance in your shipping expenses. This is why you may want to use a shipping service or multiple carriers, depending on your sales volume. Shipping Clothes Through USPS USPS can be more affordable for shipping some items, particularly lightweight items. If your packages are under one pound, you can probably use First Class Mail for your shipments. Your costs may be higher if you send to a more distant recipient or send heavier packages. If you can, look for opportunities to use Flat Rate shipping and get volume discounts. First Class Mail and Shipping Clothes USPS offers a First Class Mail service as an economical alternative for small and light letters and packages. If your clothing orders are small enough, you can probably use First Class for most shipments. Pricing is determined by weight and distance, so keep a small scale handy for weighing your orders before sending them out. Expect to pay more for shipping to a distant “zone.” That’s Post Office parlance for destination distance. To determine how much you’re charged based on shipping distance, the USPS considers the “shipping from” and “shipping to” zones. The furthest possible distance that’s still considered domestic is zone nine, while zone one distances are close to you. You can use your zip code to determine how this is calculated by using the USPS Domestic Zone Chart. If you’re shipping a package that weighs at or above one pound, though, you should consider Flat Rate or alternative carriers instead. USPS only allows First Class shipping for packages up to 15.99 ounces. So if you’re shipping two shirts, weigh the package first. Flat Rate and Shipping Apparel For clothing retailers, there are several big advantages to USPS. It may offer more options and different ways to plan your shipping costs. Flat Rate boxes allow you to ship using Priority Mail and get items to your customers quickly and for a reasonable rate. You have a consistent postage cost for orders and could pass along a discount or incentivize shoppers to order more with the same rate. These rates may compare favorably with UPS and FedEx. How to Get the Lowest USPS Rates on Shipping Apparel Rates may be the lowest with USPS if you’re using the carrier to ship packages that weigh less than three pounds or if you use a volume discount. Using an envelope, you may be able to ship small apparel orders without much of an issue. Volume discounts of up to 40 percent off may be an option if you use a shipping management platform such as Shipping Easy or Pirate Ship and qualify for USPS Commercial Pricing. These prices are normally only available to retailers who send a large volume of packages every year, but small businesses can access these discounts if they use a third party for shipping. Additional Considerations With USPS Shipping However, although USPS does have a wide range of services and rates for shipping, you do have to think strategically about how you use USPS shipping. One example of this is Flat Rate service. The fixed price is a bigger benefit if you’re shipping heavy items than if you’re shipping lightweight ones like apparel. Shipping Clothes Through UPS Another carrier worth considering for shipping clothes is UPS. Their UPS Ground service takes 1 to 5 days to ship a package within the U.S. for what is usually a reasonable cost. You have a wide range of shipping options and pricing, too, if you need to ship internationally or change your shipping speed. UPS can also be a good option for shipping more unusual apparel needs, such as large boxes containing elaborate wedding dresses. Since USPS has specific limits on sizing and weight, and may not offer as many choices on when your items arrive, you may get more flexibility with UPS shipping that may make it easier to provide customers with a unique experience. When you ship clothing items, UPS recommends that you use their time and cost tool to help you determine the best level of service for your shipment. Shipping Clothes Through FedEx Shipping through FedEx is another option, particularly if you want your items to cover a greater distance or arrive quickly. Like UPS, FedEx provides a wide range of shipping options and offers you the choice of having the carrier assist with packaging. Their custom shipping solutions may be worthwhile if you have unique shipping needs. Pricing depends on weight, distance, and the type of shipping service and options you choose. Estimate your shipping rates with FedEx to see how much you can expect to pay. How Should I Pack Clothes for Shipping? Clothes don’t usually require much special handling or packaging consideration. In fact, you can probably pack a lot of your orders in envelopes and keep costs low. That said, there are packing strategies that can help you keep your items more presentable, help you control costs, protect sensitive items, or make the most of your shipping. Packing clothing is largely dependent on the type of item you’re selling. Consider the fabric type, decorative additions, and other details before you pack. Packing Casual Apparel Lightweight, casual fabrics may not require much protection at all. Keep them neatly folded to minimize wrinkles and provide a positive first impression upon arrival. You could use the KonMari Method. If you’re packing several items together, use a box. To pack individual shirts: Carefully fold the shirt to fit the packaging you’re using. You can roll the shirt to prevent wrinkles. A plastic bag should be enough protection for a single shirt. Place it inside the bag. Seal the plastic bag. Tape works well. Place the plastic bag inside a poly mailer. Place a shipping label on the outside of the mailer. To pack jeans or other pants: Fold the pair of pants at least three or four times and make sure you’re not wrinkling them in the process. Use a plastic bag to protect the item during transit. Place the plastic bag in a poly mailer. Choose a poly mailer that’s large enough to fit the item and suitable for the item’s weight. For some products, you may need a box instead. Place the label. Packing Formal Clothes Formal clothing items may require some special handling and protection. Wedding dresses, formal gowns and tuxedos are all apparel items you may need to pack more carefully to ensure they arrive in excellent condition. Expensive items may also need high-touch treatment when packing. In these cases, you’ll probably have to use a larger package with good cushioning. To pack a formal item: Choose a box large enough to contain the item without squishing decorative details or specialized fabrics. Avoid using such a big box that the item has a lot of space to move around in and become damaged. Place the item inside the box. If you fold it first, wrap it in tissue paper. Add packing and cushioning material to protect decorative details. Improve the Customer Experience Behind Your Shipping Free shipping is an increasingly popular promotion for online stores to run, but that doesn’t mean it’s free for you as a seller. If you’re offering free shipping, it’s absolutely imperative that you save money wherever you can. Even if you’re not offering free shipping to customers, it’s important to reduce shipping costs for your clothing items. After all, you don’t want to see customers add your products to their carts, only to abandon the process when they see shipping costs. At the very least, going through the process of researching affordable shipping will ensure that you’re giving customers accurate estimates of what it will cost to ship their purchases, saving money for everyone involved. By shipping quickly and keeping your items in good condition during transit, you can improve your customer experience and keep shoppers happy. Experiment with different packaging, methods, and shipping carriers to see what works best for your brand. In addition to the shipping strategies we’ve listed here, find out the four keys to generating $1,000,000 or more for your store. The post The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothes appeared first on Liquid Web.

How to Enable Cloudflare CDN on your Website

Reseller Club Blog -

A slow-loading website is one of the most common flaws that drive away your customers. Many businesses are unaware of the impact that website loading time can have on SERPs and customer retention. While many reasons may hamper the loading time of your website, the best you can do is use a Content Delivery Network or CDN to boost the speed of your website.    What is CDN? Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a decentralized system of servers spread across the globe that improve the loading time of your website. So how does CDN work under real-world conditions? CDNs are not hosting providers, but merely a middle entity between the host and the visitor. It saves a copy of your website on all these servers across the globe and displays the information to the user from the closest available server. This improves the loading time of the website, thereby delighting your customers.  There are many CDN available in the market, but one of the best and most renowned CDNs is Cloudflare. So, what is Cloudflare CDN, and how does Cloudflare CDN work? Cloudflare CDN Cloudflare is one of the fastest CDN services with minimal response time. Cloudflare functions by caching the website content and loading it from the closest CDN server resulting in faster page loading along with reduced bandwidth and CPU usage. Cloudflare CDN ensures that your website is always available, and if one CDN server fails, it relays the query to the next closest server.  Cloudflare CDN also offers increased security against DDoS attacks and traffic spikes, which is an essential feature as incidences of DDoS attacks continue to increase. With Cloudflare CDN, you also get access to a whole range of apps improving the user experience on the website. You also get in-depth analytics to make changes and improve the metrics.  Enabling Cloudflare on your website.      1. Create an account using your email address and choice of password. 2. Mention the site (domain name) that you want to enable through CF. 3. Select a plan. You can begin with a free one. 4. Review your DNS records 5. Change the Name Servers In addition to basic DNS and CDN services, the free plan lets you use/try many other services like SSL, Firewall, Page Rules, Caching, WAF, Smart Routing, and many more. You can find out more by visiting https://www.cloudflare.com/en-in/plans/#compare-features We recommend enabling CloudFlare to our hosting customers for the following reasons. Some of our Shared Hosting plans and all VPS Hosting & Dedicated Server plans come with limited monthly data transfer. Cached assets of your site such as HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets and especially images and videos can keep the data transfer low and avoid any penalties (read our AUP/TOS) in extreme cases. Moreover, CF’s DDoS protection can work in conjunction with our default DDoS protection, and thus considerably reducing the chances of downtime during any such attack. Just like network, this can bring down the consumption of other resources for your website on the server. Thus prolonging the need to upgrade to a higher plan/product even when your business is growing rapidly. That’s all from this article! Hope you understood how does Cloudflare CDN work. If you have any doubts or suggestions, then please feel free to share them in the comments section below! .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post How to Enable Cloudflare CDN on your Website appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

How to Retarget Ads to Engaged Instagram and Facebook Fans

Social Media Examiner -

Want more sales from your Facebook and Instagram marketing? Have you considered retargeting people who already engage with you? In this article, you’ll learn how to create a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign to target people who have engaged with your Facebook and Instagram content. Why Engagement Remarketing Ad Campaigns Work Before diving into how […] The post How to Retarget Ads to Engaged Instagram and Facebook Fans appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Becoming Better Digital Citizens Through Open Source

WordPress.org News -

The WordPress Project is on a mission to democratize publishing. As WordPress empowers more people to participate in the digital space, we have the opportunity to make sure that everyone can participate safely and responsibly. Today marks the start of Digital Citizenship Week. We are going to share how open source can be used as a tool for learners (regardless of age) to practice and model the essential parts of being a good digital citizen. What is digital citizenship? The digital landscape constantly changes and this affects the way we use the internet. New platforms emerge, people find different ways to spread information, communities form, grow and fade away every day. The concepts and practice of promoting civil discourse, critical thinking and safe use of the internet still remain central. And that is exactly what digital citizenship is about. “Put simply, digital citizenship is a lot like citizenship in any other community — the knowledge of how to engage with digital communities you’re part of in a way that is thoughtful, safe, and makes appropriate use of the technology.”Josepha Haden, Executive Director WordPress Project Who is a digital citizen? Digital Citizenship is for all age groups. Anyone who uses the internet on a computer, mobile device or a TV is a digital citizen. You don’t have to be tech-savvy already, maybe you are taking your first steps with technology. Digital Citizenship Week is a chance to reflect together on our impact on the digital world. It can help us to make our consumption more considered and our interaction friendlier. It enables us to make a positive difference to those around us. All of us can strive (or learn) to become better digital citizens. It can be affected by the access those teaching have had to digital skills and good practice. Adult education classes and community tech hubs play a part in basic tech skill development. Unfortunately, these are not always accessible to those in less populated geographic locations.  Open source communities like WordPress already make a difference in encouraging the principles of digital citizenship, from sharing tech skills to improving security knowledge. They give people an opportunity to learn alongside their peers and many of the resources are available regardless of location, resources, or skills. WordPress Meetups — locally-based, informal learning sessions — typically take place monthly on weekday evenings. WordCamps are city-based conferences that take place in cities worldwide. These events usually last 1-3 days and are organized and run by volunteers.The talks are also recorded and made available on the free, online library WordPress.tv. These can be watched from the comfort of your own home, office or during informal get-togethers. What can we do as part of the WordPress community? Digital citizenship skills, like many other skills needed in this tech-focused world, should be kept up-to-date. Open source communities offer unparalleled opportunities to do this and are available in countries across the world. As part of our role as members of WordPress and other communities, we can pass on such skills to others. For instance by working alongside people who have had limited experience of digital skills. Or by finding new ways of making this knowledge sharing fun and accessible.  Here are just a few of the ways we do and can make an even greater difference: as bloggers and writers, we can be more aware of how to write content responsibly.as designers, we can think more about how different people will view, understand and respond to the designs and visuals we create or use.as developers, we can build systems that make it easier for all users to find information and accomplish their goals, to be secure while visiting our sites, and to model good security and practice.as community members, through organizing events like WordPress Meetups and WordCamps, we are helping equip those who may not have had access to digital literacy or who lack the confidence to put it into place or share with their family and colleagues. Through these events, the online videos and other resources on WordPress.tv and through the Make WordPress teams, we are already making a difference every day.as individuals, the way we communicate in the community and listen to each other is equally important. This is a vital part of how we grow and model positive digital citizens. Through growing our positive digital skills and a better understanding of online etiquette and challenges, we can make our immediate and wider digital world a more positive and useful environment.making it easier to document and share knowledge.emphasizing how skills learned within the community can be used in other parts of our digital lives.creating and becoming ambassadors for Digital Citizenship. You can also get involved with specific events that have grown out of the wider WordPress project, championed by enthusiasts and those wanting to improve specific digital skills and bring wider benefits to society. Community-driven Events For example, WordPress Translation Day in 2019 had 81 local events worldwide. Running for 24-hours, individuals with language skills translated aspects of the platform into multiple languages with a total of 1181 projects modified. An amazing 221 new translators joined on the day. In addition, there was a live stream with talks, panel discussions, interviews, and sharing of tips and skills to help others learn how to translate. Volunteers are now planning the event for 2020!Stories of how people came together for WordPress Translation Day Interviews with some of the participants from a previous WordPress Translation Day giving a flavour of how volunteers developed this event. Do_action days are WordPress events organized in local communities to help give charities their own online presence. Each event involves members of the local WordPress community, planning and building new websites for selected local organizations in one day. Some take place in a working day, others on weekends.  Volunteer Tess Coughlan-Allen talking about how people came together for the first do_action in Europe to help local charities. Find the next do_action hackaton nearby your home town. Improving digital skills through WordPress In this video clip, Josepha talks about the Digital Divide and what current technological trends mean for it in the future. She explores what it takes to be literate in the digital landscape and how WordPress can be used to build and perfect those skills. Contributors Thanks to @webcommsat for researching and writing this article and @yvettesonneveld for her supporting work in this series.

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