Web Hosting Blog

Feb 18

  • Created: Feb 18, 2015 2:00 PM

Four Plugins WordPress Developers Should Be Using

Super CookiesThere’s nothing developers like more than scratching their own itches. Some of the best software — including WordPress itself — is the result of a developer solving their own problem and making the solution public.

So, as you might expect, WordPress developers have created plenty of plugins that help other developers. WordPress isn’t the easiest environment to get started with: the API can be somewhat abstruse and compared to other content management systems, grokking the ins and outs of WordPress isn’t easy—beginners need a little help.

In this article I’d like to take a look at four plugins that will help novice developers get to grips with WordPress.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Feb 12

  • Created: Feb 12, 2015 2:00 PM

Nexcess CDN Users Can Now Add SSL Protection

SSL ProtectionFor most of our clients, performance is of paramount importance. The need to provide users all over the world with fast loading websites and eCommerce stores is a key factor in their choosing Nexcess hosting; it’s what we do best. But equally important is user privacy and information security. The ability to protect sensitive data from online criminals is a fundamental requirement of eCommerce and modern web publishing. Until now it’s been excessively complex and expensive for clients to achieve both speed and security, which is why we’re introducing the Nexcess SSL CDN.

The Nexcess SSL CDN allows users of our content delivery network to add SSL encryption to assets served from the CDN’s edge nodes. SSL can be added to any of our CDN accounts for just $20 a month.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Feb 4

  • Created: Feb 4, 2015 2:00 PM

Discover The Technology Behind Your Favorite Sites

A famous poet once said: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal”. What’s not often mentioned is the continuation of that quote which adds: “bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better”. Everything we create is influenced by what went before, and web design is no exception. Good web designers draw inspiration from the work of others, bad designers repeat blindly without understanding the process that shaped what they are looking at.

I’m neither a good designer or a bad designer: I’m a wannabe designer. I spend a substantial proportion of my online time looking at beautifully designed websites and trying to figure out the thinking and the technology that influenced them. Of course, given the nature of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, very little is hidden from view. Any modern browser has developer tools included that will allow visitors to take a look. One of my favorite things to do is right-click on a bit of a webpage I like the look of, choose “inspect element” and see the CSS styles that shape it.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Jan 27

  • Created: Jan 27, 2015 4:30 PM

GHOST glibc Security Update Post

GHOST glibcToday, we’d like to draw your attention to a rather serious vulnerability in the Linux glibc library. Using this exploit, an attacker is capable of taking complete control of a victim’s system without requiring access to or knowledge of that system’s credentials. Thankfully, patches are already available for the vulnerability across all distributions- we advise all clients and hosts who have not already done so to update their glibc packages.

The issue, assigned the categorization of CVE-2015-0235, allows the creation of a heap-based buffer overflow in _nss_hostname_digits_dots(); used by both the gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() glibc function calls. By making an application call to either of those functions, a remote attacker is capable of running arbitrary code under the identity of the application owner.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Jan 21

  • Created: Jan 21, 2015 2:10 PM

Multiple User Client Portal Login Feature

We are always looking for opportunities to set us apart from other hosting companies. We take our client suggestions seriously and strive to ensure the best possible hosting experience.

Over the past few years, we have asked for feedback on how to improve our Client Portal from our development partners and clients. One of the most common suggestions was to allow multiple logins to a single Client Portal account.

We are pleased to announce that later this week, the multiple-user Client Portal login feature will be available to all of our Portal users.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Jan 14

  • Created: Jan 14, 2015 2:00 PM

Breadcrumbs Are Great For WordPress SEO And UX

BreadcrumbsBack in the dark days of the web, not much thought was given to user experience. Web sites were conceived of as traditional pages with links between them and navigation was often obscure and confused. Times have changed: a great deal of thought goes into information architecture and user experience. That effort is driven primarily by financial motivations. Time and again studies have shown that improved user experiences lead to improved conversions and hence improved revenues.

But one of the simplest and easiest ways to improve user experience and navigation (with a side benefit of being good for SEO) is one that’s been in use for a long time: the breadcrumb. On a site of any complexity, it’s all too easy for the user to lose track of where they are and how the page they are on relates to other pages. They have the browser’s back button, so they can retrace their steps, but it doesn’t offer any obvious indication of their path.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Jan 7

  • Created: Jan 7, 2015 2:00 PM

Four Resources For Nascent WordPress Ninja

Nascent WordPress NinjaIn spite of the diversification of the CMS space over the last couple of years, the enormous popularity of WordPress shows no sign of waning.

It’s that popularity that makes WordPress a safe bet for anyone wanting to launch a career in web development. If you have the development chops, you can’t go far wrong investing in WordPress knowledge. Millions of small businesses build their site on WordPress every year, and many of them will hire someone with WordPress experience.

Sometimes that means nothing more than a default theme, some plugins, and ongoing maintenance. But it can also involve designing themes from scratch, writing bespoke plugins to provide unique functionality, and managing high-traffic sites deployed on multi-server clusters.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Dec 31

  • Created: Dec 31, 2014 2:00 PM

Roundup of December’s Best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento Content

December RoundupSince our pre-Thanksgiving roundup, we’re sure you’ve all been snowed under by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and getting ready for the remaining holiday shopping push. In the interim, we’ve had the pleasure of attending Magento Live Australia, an event we were honored to have the opportunity to speak at (slides of which we have shared at the bottom of this post), the new WordPress 4.1, Dinah, has been released with a variety of updates, and the world of eCommerce is singularly focused on the holiday season. If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, you’ll you know that we like to share our favorite Magento, ExpressionEngine, and WordPress articles throughout the month. Here are the best from December. Enjoy and let us know if we missed anything important in the comment section. Read more

Dec 24

  • Created: Dec 24, 2014 2:00 PM

Typography Matters: Five Excellent Online Typography Resources

TypographyThe task of typography is two-fold: readability and character. A web page is a machine for transferring information to a reader; if it has poor readability, it can’t function properly. But as many designers will tell you, function isn’t everything. Form matters: it provides character and personality. Typography is a major contributor to the impression that a web page creates.

I’m a bit of a typography geek, and it continually amazes me that business websites — and frequently even publishers and bloggers — focus so little on the way information is presented on their pages. Reader attention is a valuable commodity. By ignoring typography, we waste that attention. Poor typography increases a reader’s cognitive load and decreases the amount of attention they’re willing to pay to what our words say.

It’s a shame, because, although typography is a complex art, with a few simple rules web pages can be transformed, attention can be preserved, and companies can demonstrate that attention to detail matters to them.

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Posted in: Nexcess
Dec 17

  • Created: Dec 17, 2014 2:00 PM

Why Is It So Important To Keep A WordPress Site Updated?

WordPressIf you don’t update your WordPress site, it may be vulnerable to hackers.

Updating a WordPress site is one of those tedious tasks that has to be done, but doesn’t usually confer any obvious benefit. Sometimes you’ll get a new feature, but most of the time, you hit the update button, the site prints out a few lines of uninteresting verbiage, and nothing much happens except that the number on the update menu item disappears.

Some people like to update just because they get a sense of satisfaction from seeing that number disappear: the sort of people that get mildly stressed if their email inbox shows unread messages at the end of the day. Most of us aren’t like that, and because updating WordPress brings no obvious benefit, it tends to be sidelined by more interesting tasks, like writing new content or playing Threes.

And, lets face it, WordPress asks to be updated with a frequency that is off-putting to even the most solicitous site maintainer.

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Posted in: Nexcess