New Website Design and Cloud Hosting Plans

As some of you may have noticed, we have recently launched our redesigned website which hasn’t been updated for years.

MDDHosting New Design

Our new design employs the latest web technologies and it is mobile responsive. You can now use your mobile devices to browse through our website, order new services, pay your invoices or contact support at our Client Area, read our Company Blog and manage your website with cPanel. Continue reading “New Website Design and Cloud Hosting Plans”

cPanel AutoSSL – Automatic Free SSL for All Domains

AutoSSL PadlockAutoSSL is going to change how webmasters secure data transferred to and from their sites.  For the longest time SSL was an additional expense that many webmasters chose to forego as it wasn’t required for the operation of their websites.  The time when not having SSL is the norm for most sites is coming to an end.  Generally SSL has been reserved for usage by those that send or receive private information such as your name, address, email address, and phone number or even your credit card information.

Google and other search engines are already giving preferable ranking to sites with SSL.  For quite some time we’ve offered Let’s Encrypt to our customers so that everybody has access to freely accessible SSL for any site they wish.  cPanel has taken this a step further and created what they refer to as AutoSSL.  AutoSSL generates and installs a domain validated SSL certificate on all active domains on a server that are not already protected with SSL. Continue reading “cPanel AutoSSL – Automatic Free SSL for All Domains”

Running WHMCS v6.3? Saving Product Details Bug & Resolution

whmcWe recently identified a bug in the latest versions of WHMCS including version 6.3.1.  The bug consists of unexpected behavior when modifying a client’s product details and using the “Enter” key to submit the changes when the product is a cPanel Account.  In previous versions of WHMCS you could change a field, such as the renewal price, and press “Enter” to submit the form.  Over the years we had become accustomed to changing client product settings in this manner as we found it was the most efficient way to do it.

Due to this bug when modifying the details of a client’s product you have to use the “Save” button at the bottom of the form or WHMCS attempts the new “cPanel Single Sign-On” to access the cPanel account of the product.  On the surface this may not sound like a huge deal but over the course of the day the productivity lost over such a simple issue can add up fast.  In some cases the changes entered into the product are lost and even worse the representative may not notice it happened!

As we have also identified a fix we could put in place prior to WHMCS resolving this internally – we wanted to make that available.  This fix applies to both the “blend” as well as the “v4” WHMCS Administration templates. Continue reading “Running WHMCS v6.3? Saving Product Details Bug & Resolution”

What is the HOSTS file & when should I use it?

Editing HOSTS file on OS X via NanoWhat is the HOSTS file?

The HOSTS file is used by your computer’s Operating System (Windows, OS X, Linux, etc) to map hostnames to IP Addresses.  In layman’s terms your computer will check this file for any domain it needs to resolve to an IP Address prior to querying public DNS resolvers.  The HOSTS file can be used to point a domain name to an IP Address regardless of the DNS settings for the domain.

An example of a HOSTS entry to load “www.example.com” and “example.com” from the IP address “93.184.216.34“:

93.184.216.34    www.example.com example.com

Windows may require two separate lines like so:

93.184.216.34    www.example.com
93.184.216.34    example.com

When the above records are added to your HOSTS file the result is that if you try to load that domain in your browser it will connect to that IP to make the request.  If you try pinging the domain you will find that it pings that IP as well.  What this means is that you can use this to test your site on a new server before you point your world-wide DNS there. Continue reading “What is the HOSTS file & when should I use it?”

WordPress Security – Plugins & Themes – If you’re not using it, remove it!

wordpress-logo-notext-rgbOver the last few years I have seen more accounts compromised due to outdated default themes like  “Twenty Twelve”, “Twenty Thirteen”, “Twenty Fourteen”, etc.  When a user installs a new copy of WordPress more often than not they proceed to install a new theme that they prefer over the default offerings.  The big issue is the result of two missing steps that all webmasters should perform.

First and foremost is keeping everything up-to-date which can prevent the vast majority of account compromises we have seen over the years.  We keep the servers themselves secure from intrusion and we even work to protect your usernames, passwords, email accounts, etc. but there is a limit to how much we can shelter you.  If, for example, you have an outdated theme or plugin installed even if you aren’t using it – it can be used against you and your site.

Continue reading “WordPress Security – Plugins & Themes – If you’re not using it, remove it!”

What does “Unlimited Storage” mean at MDDHosting?

logoI want to start out by saying that not having a limit does not mean infinite usage is possible.  We’re all smart enough to know that no matter what storage technology we’re using to power your sites there will ultimately be a finite limit.  What “Unlimited Storage” means to us is being free from an arbitrary limit that you have to keep in mind and be careful not to cross.  There are several analogies I can make but the best that I can make is to “Unlimited Calling” on cellular providers.

When it comes to a cellular provider offering “Unlimited Calling” it does not mean that you can talk an infinite amount of minutes within a month as there are obviously a finite number of minutes in the month for you to talk.  The key here is that you no longer have to worry about how many minutes you have used, how many minutes you have left, and whether you are going to run out and have to upgrade [read: pay more].  “Unlimited Storage” is the same in that while it’s not infinite – you no longer have to worry about running out or having to upgrade your storage to keep running your site.

Many see “Unlimited Storage” as a “marketing gimmick” or a “trick” to “fool those that don’t know any better,” into signing up.  With many providers this is often unfortunately the case.  There are a lot of providers out there that offer “Unlimited Storage” but when you read the Terms and Conditions there is either an arbitrary limit specified or, even worse, there is an ambiguous “fair use” clause that essentially says that if they decide you’re using too much they’ll kick you off or force you to upgrade.  These providers have unfortunately damaged our industry as well as damaged providers that want to offer “Unlimited Storage” to simplify the lives of their customers.

Continue reading “What does “Unlimited Storage” mean at MDDHosting?”

New WordPress Recommendations – Google Search Console, Caching, XML Sitemaps

WordPress LogoThere are a few resources and plugins that I recommend for any new WordPress powered sites.  When I start a new site one of the first things I want to do is set up the Google Search Console.  You can read more about the Google Search Console on Google’s Support Site.

With the Google Search Console you can do the following and more:

Are your sites up to date? It is very important that they are. Find out why!

Update!Many of us run websites using pre-made scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, or Xenforo. Far too often people forget to keep these scripts up-to-date. In other cases, they choose not to upgrade as they feel updating can be difficult.

Whatever your situation, please take a moment to ensure all of the scripts (including themes, plugins, mods, and so on) are fully up to date. Check right now – I’ll wait.


Are you up to date?

If anything isn’t up to date, it’s a good time to start planning on doing those updates. If you already know what you’re doing, you have good backups, and the risks of updating are low, do the updates as soon as possible.

Continue reading “Are your sites up to date? It is very important that they are. Find out why!”

Configuring W3 Total Cache, W3TC, for Optimum Performance with Disk Cache for Shared Hosting – Optimizing WordPress

WordPress LogoIn this article I will be explaining how to configure W3 Total Cache, hereafter referred to as ‘W3TC’, to cache your site and to serve that cache statically via mod_rewrite for maximum performance.

You will need to install W3TC via your “wp-admin” -> “Plugins” -> “Add New” if it is not already installed.  One the installation is complete you will want to activate the plugin.  Once activated you can click on “Performance” in the left navigation of your “wp-admin”.  This will drop you at a dashboard where W3TC is trying to sell all kinds of upgrades.  I will not be discussing those upgrades in this article.

Continue reading “Configuring W3 Total Cache, W3TC, for Optimum Performance with Disk Cache for Shared Hosting – Optimizing WordPress”