Friday 31 July 2015

Has your online project outgrown its shared hosting training wheels? If so, you very well might be looking at either VPS (Virtual Private Server) or cloud hosting as potential options. They both provide the added flexibility and control you were lacking with your shared host. While there are a number of similarities, there are some significant differences when comparing VPS vs. cloud hosting. In this article, we’ll pit VPS vs cloud to help you determine which one is the best host for your needs.

Cloud Overview

The cloud has become a very ambiguous term amongst the IT community as of late. As it relates to hosting, the cloud means that your website is stored on different servers in different locations. The result is bigger and more powerful packages for your site.

Matching Up VPS vs Cloud Hosting Solutions

The benefits of cloud hosting are easier to define. You can count on the Three R’s of Resources, Redundantly, and Reliability to support your online project. Having your site located on a cluster of servers, as opposed to just one, gives you extra resources that you can tap into for more storage, speed, and scalability. Your webpage is duplicated across multiple servers. This redundancy prides protection against outages of a single server as well as added oomph for traffic spokes. With so many point of access, the uptime guarantees are through the roof with cloud hosting, making it a highly reliable option.

VPS Overview

VPS is perhaps the most logical progression from shared hosting. You want to perform more advanced tasks on your website and you want more technological control. To do so, you need privacy and security. Instead of co-mingling with other tenants in a shared server, VPS hosting gives you an area of a physical server that is isolated from other Web publishers’ projects. It is designed to mimic the benefits of dedicated hosting at an affordable price. 

Matching Up VPS vs Cloud Hosting Solutions

Users enjoy a number of advantages with VPS hosting.  In addition to its affordability, VPS is more reliable (other tenants’ usage can’t affect your resources); can easily be set up in a short period of time; and provides control of server configuration, software installation, and site creation and removal. On the downside, all of that control means that you will need to have some server administration chops. 

Cloud Versus VPS

The reality is, cloud and VPS hosting are very similar to each other. With security such a primary concern on the Web, both VPS and the cloud keep your site isolated from other users. You are not impacted by any of your neighbor’s errors, nor can they tap into your services. 

Matching Up VPS vs Cloud Hosting Solutions

The cloud, versus VPS hosting, gives you access to a larger network of resources instead of one physical machine. The scalability that cloud hosting provides is through the roof! You can immediately scale up or down to meet the needs of the project. Even though cloud costs can be higher, you only pay for the resources you use. Finally, with uptime guarantees closing in on 100 percent, cloud hosting is simply more reliable.

VPS hosting is typically going to be more affordable than cloud options. While the cloud may be more elastic, VPS offers more control over the entire environment from control panel to software installations. Surprisingly, what may be considered VPS hosting’s major drawback is also at the core if its greatest benefit. The fact that all of your data is stored on one server makes it more secure than having it being duplicated multiple times in the cloud. 

Which Is Best For You? 

Normally, further homework may need to be done before you can determine which one is the best hosting option for your site. That still may be true; however, with both options being legitimate next steps from shared serving, these small differences we’ve discussed may be all of the information that you need to make your decision.

If you are looking for more control and security, look no further than VPS hosting. That said; your online project may demand flexibility and resources. In that case, the cloud is probably the way to go. 

Then, again, you might be lucky enough to find a combination VPS cloud hosting provider. In this scenario, you get the redundancy of multiple copies; however, they are all networked back to one individual physical server. You get the best of both worlds; but, you pay for it, too. 

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Those of you who are using our caching system, the SuperCacher, to boost the speed of their WordPress sites have probably already noticed that we've released an update for the plugin. Although we regularly maintain the extension and keep it up-to-date, this update adds some features with new and useful functionality. They can help you manage better your site.

The SuperCacher Plugin for WordPress (SG CachePress) Just Got an Update

Notification for New Users

The SuperCacher Plugin for WordPress (SG CachePress) Just Got an Update

Since the SiteGround CachePress plugin acts as a connector for our SuperCacher service, we decided to alert our customers in case the Dynamic Cache is not working for their site. Since the caching is activated by default in the plugin settings page, usually all you have to do is enable it from the other end as well, the SuperCacher page in your cPanel.  We've added a check that tests your index page upon plugin activation and notifies you if your index is not cached. Hopefully, this friendly reminder will help our users to get used to the system faster when they start new projects.

The Ability to Test Your URLs

The SuperCacher Plugin for WordPress (SG CachePress) Just Got an Update

In addition to the check upon activation, we've added another option to the settings page of the plugin in the "Dynamic Cache Status" section. There you can check whether a page from your site is being correctly cached or not. In some cases, you want to be really sure that certain URLs are left out of the cache - profile pages, checkout pages, etc. We already have available the "Exclude URLs From Dynamic Caching" functionality allowing you to do this in a quick and easy manner. But now you can actually do a test in one click and make sure that a checkout page is really 100% dynamic.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Is your old hosting platform just not doing it for you anymore? Are you paying too much to host your site? If it’s time to switch your website to a new platform, there are a few things you should learn about how to change hosting providers. Don’t worry, a domain transfer isn’t anything like brain surgery – but it does take some research and thought to get it right.

Free Domain Transfer Services – Do It Right!
If you’ve found a cheaper (or free) hosting platform for your website, or your current provider lacks the services your online business needs to flourish…it’s time for a change. Here are a few guidelines to make certain your domain transition is simple, straightforward, and free of unnecessary costs:

Set Up Your New Account First

You should always research how to change hosts and get the process started before you shut down your old hosting service. You don’t want to have your website down for long, if at all. Ensure your new hosting account is set up before you transfer your domain over and get it done for free. That way, all the potential complications have been foreseen and dealt with before you take your current hosting platform offline.

Don’t forget that occasionally a new hosting platform might take a few days to set up - particularly for free servers - and if you transfer your domain too early, you might hit a roadblock.

Find Out All DNS and Nameserver Settings

Your name-server and DNS settings will change along with your host. If you don’t update them accordingly, your prize domain is dead in the water. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and work out exactly which settings need to be tweaked to transfer your domain smoothly. Be warned: Sometimes you might have to wait three or four hours for the whole system to catch up with you, so it’s wise to input the data as early as you can.

Another helpful tip: Begin the process at a time of day (or night) when web traffic will be at a minimum, so your visitors and customers aren’t affected heavily by that few hours’ downtime. Then your domain transfer service is free and unlikely to cost you anything in terms of losing business.

Contact Your Current and New Providers

It’s never a bad idea to get in touch with your hosting providers - old and new - and inform them about the process. In fact, you should absolutely do this, especially if you are in any way contractually obliged to do so. If they both know about the free domain transfer, they can usually provide helpful and free assistance to make sure the whole process is dealt with efficiently. They might have settings you aren’t aware of that need tweaking manually, or details for your new account that you have yet to input.

Your new hosting home might have special requirements for transferring an old domain over.  Make sure you don’t get caught out or breach any terms and conditions that you’ve agreed to by signing up with your original hosting provider.

Backup Your Files

We can’t emphasize this enough: Make sure every file and setting you need is securely stored elsewhere! There’s never any harm in preparing for the worst-case scenario. It’s free to back up your files, and you don’t want to risk losing everything on your old domain when you transfer over. Record everything vital ahead of time and prevent a potential crisis! Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Most domain transfer services are free between hosting providers. The fact is they want your business so it doesn’t make sense for them to charge you to start using their company. Just make sure you’ve informed everyone who needs to know and you’ve completed the process properly.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Where do you want your website to live? One of the first decisions that people who just created a site find themselves facing is whether to choose a shared or dedicated hosting server. These are two of the most popular types of hosting packages available, and picking the best one for you isn’t always an easy choice to make. This is especially true for those who aren’t sure about the differences between these two different server types.

Sizing Up Dedicated vs Shared Hosting Solutions

Depending upon what kind of website you have and how much traffic you plan to attract, one of these options is a smarter choice. Here are the definitions, as well as pros and cons, of shared and dedicated hosting to help you decide which is best for you.

Dedicated Hosting 

When you sign up for a dedicated hosting plan, you get a server that exists solely to keep your website, and yours alone, online. Here are some of the most notable pros and cons of dedicated hosting.

Sizing Up Dedicated vs Shared Hosting Solutions

Pros of Dedicated Hosting 

⟹ Increased performance and reliability
⟹ Increased ability to manage bandwidth, allowing dedicated servers to withstand traffic surges
⟹ Faster loading times for visitors
⟹ Unrestricted control over server software
⟹ More secure because resources aren’t shared

Cons of Dedicated Hosting 

⟹ Higher price tag than alternative options
⟹ More work--all maintenance is do-it-yourself on these hosting plans
⟹ Higher degree of tech-savviness is required to properly set up a server
⟹ Increased resources needed to recover from crashes

Shared Hosting 

Shared servers simultaneously host many different websites on the same machine, with each different site stored in its own designated space. Here are a few pros and cons commonly associated with shared hosting.

Sizing Up Dedicated vs Shared Hosting Solutions

Pros of Shared Hosting 

⟹ Much more affordable than dedicated servers
⟹ More hands-off--hosting companies handle software updates and maintenance
⟹ Easier for non-techies to manage and use
⟹ Freat for bloggers, small businesses, and personal websites

Cons of Shared Hosting 

⟹ Not ultra-secure since resources are shared with other websites
⟹ Restricted to running software supported by the host company
⟹ Slower load times

Dedicated vs Shared Hosting: Which Is Better For You? 

With dedicated vs shared hosting, it really boils down to your budget and how much traffic you think your site will receive. Do you run an offline business, like a restaurant, whose website is really just meant to provide contact info and a few images? On the other hand, maybe your site is vital for something like e-commerce sales and you’re continually trying to increase traffic. What it comes down to is that shared hosting plans are perfect for most individuals and small businesses, whereas dedicated servers make more sense for larger operations or big-name brands.

No matter which type of server you ultimately choose, be sure to research the different website hosts' offerings and reputations. Hosting companies vary and you’ll want to put the same amount of thought into choosing a hosting provider as you did with choosing a hosting type.


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