Web Hosting Black Friday 2012 Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale 2012

The Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale will be available to all current and new customers on Black Friday weekend through Cyber Monday and will apply to all shared, reseller and VPS hosting services as well as domain registrations.

This is the first black friday sale for WireNine.com! Please Help us spread the word 🙂

The promotion starts at 12:00 am / midnight, Friday, November 23, 2012 and ends 12:00 am / midnight, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shared Specials

80% OFF all shared hosting plans for the first year. Use coupon code “bf2012sh“.
50% OFF all shared hosting plans for the first invoice on any billing cycle. Use coupon code “bf2012sh50“.
20% OFF recurring discount on all shared hosting plans, this is for the lifetime of your account.  Use coupon code “bf2012sh20“.
50% OFF semi-dedicated hosting plan for the first invoice using coupon code “bf2012sd“.

Click here to order now!

Reseller specials

80% OFF all reseller hosting plans for the first 12 months using coupon code “bf2012rh“.
50% OFF all reseller plans for your first invoice using coupon code “bf2012rh50“.
20% OFF recurring discount for all reseller plans using coupon code “bf2012rhrd

Click here to order now!

VPS specials

80% OFF all VPS plans using coupon code “bf2012vps— First month only!
20% OFF recurring discount for all VPS plans using coupon code “bf2012vps20“.

Click here to order now!

Domain specials

New .INFO Domains for $3.99 for the first year. Coupon code “bf2012domaininfo“.
New .com, .net, and .org domains for $5.99 for the first year, coupon code “bf2012domains“.

Click here to order now!

The promotion does not apply to renewals of existing accounts. Existing customers can sign up for new accounts to take advantage of the promotion. Coupons quantities are limited and available on a first come first serve basis.

WireNine Increases Reseller Hosting Quotas and Introduces WHMCS

WireNine Logo

We just recently announced the addition of a third client, billing and support management software — WHMCS. Many resellers may already be familiar with WHMCS as its a top choice amongst web hosts thanks to its vast number of features. We also offer HostBill and ClientExec for those that are not interested in WHMCS. With the introduction of a third client management software, we have also increased disk space and bandwidth quotas across all reseller plans to be more competitive in the industry.

All three billing softwares are included absolutely free of charge with Level 2+ reseller plans. For more details, check out our reseller hosting page.

11/07/2012 — WireNine’s reliability comes guaranteed, and their reseller hosting plans are packed with features that put them well ahead of the pack, with increased bandwidth and storage allowances recently announced to keep them well ahead of their competition. As well as offering superior hardware to anyone subscribing to a Reseller Hosting package, they now offer the most complete range of software options available from any provider.

WireNine is one of a few reseller hosting companies that provides HostBill as an easy to use client, support and billing management software together with ClientExec for resellers on packages above level two. WireNine has also recently introduced WHMCS as a third option for resellers looking to effectively manage their clients, billing and support all from the same panel. WHMCS is one of the most comprehensive and best-reviewed hosting management systems available on the market.

WHMCS is provided free of charge to all customers using a Level two or above reseller hosting plan, which would normally cost $249 to purchase from WHMCS directly. It provides automatic, easy-to-use client management and billing for web hosts and online businesses with unprecedented flexibility and options. The complimentary package also includes access to WHMCS’ server status overview, a comprehensive knowledgebase as well as a support ticket system and downloads area. The software provides full-spectrum automated billing processes with associated accounting and reporting features, and automatically creates, suspends & terminates accounts in accordance with these features. This allows resellers to supervise the software while requiring very little personal grind.

Combining this full-spectrum software offering with the recent space and bandwidth increases, WireNine is poised to be the most comprehensive provider on the net.

A spokesperson for WireNine explained, “We’ve done everything we can to make our reseller hosting packages as competitive and industry-leading as we can. From our 99.9% uptime guarantee, to our commitment to pricing transparency with no hidden fees or charges, and a 60 day risk free satisfaction guarantee, we take customer service very seriously. But it’s ultimately our product that sets us apart, with cutting edge servers having at minimum 8 core Intel Xeon CPUs, 8GB+ DDR3 ECC RAM, multiple drives with hardware RAID10 for fast performance and redundancy. This combination can’t be beaten.”

StumbleUpon Gets a Fresh New Look

To my fellow stumblers, if you haven’t signed on to StumbleUpon recently, you may have missed that the social bookmarking giant recently went through a complete site re-design. As opposed to their previous design which was quite clunky (in my honest opinion), StumbleUpon has taken some design aspects from Pinterest, improved upon the color scheme drastically to come up with the nicely laid out and easy to use interface they have now.

The site now allows you to browse your interests in a Pinterest fashion with color coded interests to help you distinguish between shared content. Although StumbleUpon has updated their site design, they have not eliminated the popular “Stumble” option which allows you to view pages one by one based on your interests.

StumbleUpon New Design

As you can see from the above image, you still have access to all the cool features StumbleUpon is known for — now just with a fresh new and easy to navigate design. For anyone that uses StumbleUpon for social media marketing (and you should if you don’t), the trending topics as well as the activity of your friend’s on the site is a great way to maintain communication with potential clients. If you establish a strong relationship with fellow stumblers (with the same interests as yours), you can drastically increase your site’s traffic all around; but more on that later.

In any case, we didn’t notice too many “new” features to point out with the re-design, but StumbleUpon did add something called StumbleDNA; here’s how they describe what this new feature is all about:

Your StumbleDNA is a representation of your Likes. It’s also a quick way to see what you and other Stumblers have in common.

Every page a Stumbler likes belongs to an Interest. All of the Interests on StumbleUpon map to one of fourteen larger categories that are represented by a unique color (see below). The number of Likes a Stumbler has per category determines the amount of a category’s color in the Stumbler’s DNA. As you Like more content, your DNA will change to reflect what you Like.

You may disagree with me, but I think that’s a pretty cool feature (although I don’t see any marketing benefits). Look forward to more information on how to use StumbleUpon to market your website or business in an effective manner.

Until then, what do you think of the new StumbleUpon? Like or dislike, leave your comments below!

How to Optimize and Speed Up Your WordPress Blog

Did you know that site speed is one of the most important factors in determining your conversion rate? A study done by KISSmetrics analytics determined that if your website has not loaded within 4 seconds, you are already losing one in four of your potential converting visitors. In fact, you not only lose visitors by having a slow loading website, but you also sacrifice your search engine rankings as Google and most other search engines use page speed as a ranking factor.

Page Speed vs. Bounce Rate

Firstly, before you even get started on optimizing your website, you should check out your current page speed and then decide whether or not you need to optimize. It’s helpful to compare your page speed to your competitors to determine whether or not speeding up your website would ultimately be worth it to increase rankings or visitor retention.

Tips to Speed Up WordPress

  1. Remove unnecessary plugins
  2. Many people use the thousands of available WordPress plugins to dress up their websites and add extended functionality. What most people don’t realize however is that extensive plugin usage only degrades your site’s performance and thus it is important to only utilize plugins that are absolutely necessary for your website. When deciding on which plugins to keep and which ones to delete, just ask yourself whether that plugin is ultimately benefiting your conversion rate; if its not, then deactivate/delete it.

    There are several plugins that make calls to external websites which can drastically slow down your site’s performance — try to avoid these plugins as much as possible and remove all other unnecessary plugins as well. This does not mean that the usage of any plugin is bad for your website; it just goes to say that using a ton of useless plugins that don’t really benefit you in anyway or contribute to your goals should be removed to help improve page speed.

  3. Use a WordPress cache plugin
  4. Caching is the process of storing any static parts of your website so that they only need to load once instead of on every single page load. Since most WordPress sites are mostly static, using a cache plugin can help drastically improve performance. When it comes to picking a cache plugin for WordPress, you have the option to choose between:

    • W3 Total cache
    • W3 Total Cache is meant for more advanced users due to its extensive number of available options but is also good for the beginner who wants to employ its basic functionality. There are plenty of guides available online to help you use the plugin to optimize your website; be careful however as incorrect settings can actually break your website.

    • WP Super Cache
    • WP Super Cache is an easy to use plugin that can be setup within a few seconds after installation. Simply install the plugin and turn caching on — or modify more advanced settings if you feel comfortable.

      WP Super Cache Settings

  5. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  6. Content delivery networks use server nodes nearest to the location of your visitor to serve your website — ultimately making your site load much faster. CloudFlare is an extremely well performing CDN that is available absolutely free of charge with any of WireNine’s hosting plans and can be activated from within cPanel. If you are not hosted with WireNine, you can also manually sign up to CloudFlare on their website and follow their simple step-by-step instructions to set up your website on a CDN.

  7. Optimize your WordPress database
  8. When you write new posts and save them as drafts or uninstall plugins, all that data is saved within your database. Having a large database can drastically slow down your website, especially if you are on a shared web hosting plan. Fortunately, there’s a plugin to help you optimize your database; use WP-DBManager to optimize & repair your WordPress database.

  9. Compress images on your website
  10. Images are usually the slowest loading aspect of any website (depending on image size), and if your website is jam packed full of images it only makes sense that your website will load slowly. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to optimize your images and make them load faster — however, you should first remove any images that are not necessary for your blog.

    Sometimes however, when your whole website is based around images (such as galleries), all you can do to increase your page speed is to optimize your images; use the tips below to speed up your image load time:

    • Use the best image format
    • Two of the best image formats to use online are JPEG and PNG. JPEG images will usually lose quality upon size reduction (compression) whereas PNG is considered a lossless compression format but can’t be reduced to the same degree as JPEG images.

      Image Compression Formats

      The image quality is dependent on the format; sometimes you may be able to produce a JPEG duplicate of a PNG image that is actually smaller in size and vice-versa. If you’re ever in doubt, just save your image in both formats and compare them side by side for quality loss.

    • Use WP smush.it to decrease image size
    • The WP smush.it plugin uses Yahoo’s smush.it service to reduce image size without compromising quality — and it can reduce the size anywhere from 5% to 50%.

    • Use Lazy Load for your images
    • The lazy load plugin essentially loads only the images visible in the user’s browser window (above the fold) and will load the remaining images on the page as the user scrolls down. This is especially helpful for websites that have galleries embedded within their posts as WordPress will not load all images at once but only a few at a time (using jQuery) to improve your visitor’s experience and the page load time as well.

    • Use image sprites instead of regular images
    • Image sprites are only intended to be used by advanced users as they require complex CSS modifications to function correctly. Sprites essentially allow you to display multiple images on your website from a single image by defining co-ordinates on an imaginary axis of your single image. This can drastically improve page speed as your website will now be loading a single image rather than multiple separate images.

If you follow the above tips, you can drastically speed up your WordPress installation and not only improve your overall conversion rate, but even your search engine rankings which will consequently bring in more traffic to your website. Keep in mind that you want to host your website with a reliable hosting provider to ensure your host is not affecting your page speed — a lot of low quality hosting companies will pack their servers full of customers severely degrading the shared hosting experience.

If you have any questions or suggestions, share them by commenting below!

WordPress Security Tips to Protect Your Website

WordPress Security

As WordPress is one of the largest and most popular blog platforms in the world, it makes sense that hackers would try to infiltrate its security to gain access to millions of unsecured websites on the web. We frequently see complaints all over the web regarding WordPress security vulnerabilities and webmasters requesting help regarding their hacked WordPress installations. Usually, once a hacker has infiltrated a WordPress installation, they will either delete all files causing you to lose your website or use PHP modules to send out massive spam — which will get your hosting account suspended no matter where you host your website(s).

It is important to keep personal backups of your account and to take all necessary precautions to ensure that your WordPress installation is secure and invulnerable to hackers. For this reason, we have compiled a few WordPress security tips for you below which should help make your site immune to any hackers.

Keep your WordPress Installation Up to Date

WordPress updates their platform quite frequently to not only make improvements, but also patch any security vulnerabilities that could be exploited. That is why it is extremely important that you keep your installation up to date with the latest release.

If you’ve installed WordPress using WireNine’s automated installer Softaculous, you can easily upgrade your installation by logging into your cPanel. If you’ve installed it on your own, you can upgrade from the WordPress dashboard automatically, or do a manual upgrade by overwriting your old files with newly downloaded ones from their website. For more information, check out the WordPress codex.

Set a custom username and password

The default username for any WordPress installation is admin and all hackers are well aware of that fact. When installing WordPress, make sure to choose a uncommon username — in most cases, using your name or initials will be fine.

If you are using Softaculous to install WordPress, check the screenshot below (click to enlarge) to see where to set your username.

Softaculous WordPress

As important as the username is, it is equally if not more important to have a complex password — choose a password with a mixture of letters, numbers and even symbols if you prefer. If you’re worried about losing your password, you can use a password manager such as LastPass to store all your logins; and WordPress does have a “Forgot Password” function which you can also use to reset your password in case you ever lose it.

Ensure your file permissions are set to 755 or lower where necessary

If you are an intermediate or even advanced user of WordPress, you may sometimes need to modify file permissions to make file edits from the back-end or in some cases, to allow a plugin to function. As most individuals forget to reset their file permissions afterwards, their files are usually left readable / writable for hackers who can use the file as a doorway to into the users account.

Make sure you set appropriate permissions for your files / directories (755 or lower) — always reset to the WordPress default permissions after making edits to any file.

Regularly backup your websites / databases

Although WireNine does create daily backups for all accounts on our servers, it is always recommended that clients also make their own backups from within cPanel in case their site data is ever compromised. Maintaining daily backups will help ensure that you can immediately restore your website in case of an emergency. To create a full or partial backup of your account, simply navigate to cPanel, click on “backup wizard” and choose which elements of your account you would like to backup (refer to the picture below).

cPanel Backup

Keep all plugins and theme files up to date (free and premium)

Since WordPress has such a vast amount of available themes and plugins (both free and premium), its important to make sure that you only select plugins and themes from trustworthy sources. Most premium theme and plugin purchases will include free lifetime updates to patch any security holes — but free plugins and themes are sometimes not updated for long periods of time. This not only causes the themes / plugins to break with new WordPress updates, but also leaves tons of security vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.

It is important to use the latest WordPress compatible version of each plugin / theme to ensure there are no security risks to your website. Fortunately, WordPress’ free plugin repository has plugin and theme ratings which can help you decide which plugins would be the best and most secure for your blog / website. If you wish to invest in a premium theme or plugin, make sure the seller is a verified source before you make any purchases.

Use a WordPress Security Plugin

WordPress security plugins are not always necessary if you follow all the security tips listed above; however they do help make your installation more secure. If you are worried about any hack attempts on your blog, its always better to be safe than sorry and install one of the following highly recommended security plugins:

Bulletproof Security

Bulletproof security was created to mainly protect your website through your .htaccess file which hackers commonly use to gain access to an account. With the bulletproof security plugin, you can protect your WordPress website against against XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL injection hacking attempts.

WordPress Bulletproof Security

Better WP Security

This plugin has a host of features that help secure your website — mainly by hiding and securing any locations of your website that are most vulnerable to an attack (such as the login page or admin panel). The plugin also creates a daily backup of your WordPress databases so in case you do somehow get exploited by persistent hackers, you can easily restore your website.

General Security Tips

  • Do not share your login. If you have hired a webmaster to manage your website, make them a separate account with the necessary permissions. It is not advised to share your username / password with anyone you don’t fully trust.
  • Enable Cloudflare. CloudFlare is a content delivery network (CDN) that improves the performance of your website but also offers a security scanning feature that comes in handy at times. CloudFlare is included absolutely FREE of charge with any shared, reseller or VPS hosting plans at WireNine and can be easily enabled from within cPanel.
  • Regularly change passwords. It’s important to change your password every once in a while to maintain security — you can use a password manager such as LastPass to make this easier

While the WordPress security tips listed above will help you secure your website, they do not guarantee that your website will be 100% immune to hackers. They do however drastically decrease the chances of your WordPress installation being hacked or tampered with in any manner. Remember, it’s important to maintain regular backups of your website / database so you always have a recoverable copy laying around in case of an emergency.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask by commenting below.