D9 Solutions Ltd.'s Blog Feed > General http://d9clients.com/blog.php D9 Hosting Becomes a Cloudflare Certified Provider http://d9clients.com/blog.php?postid=18 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 9:33:15 D9 Hosting - CloudFlare Certified PartnerD9 Hosting is happy to announce a new partnership with CloudFlare, the web’s easiest performance and security solution. As a CloudFlare Certified Partner, we deliver their simple and free solution to help protect and accelerate your website. Once your website joins the CloudFlare community, it loads twice as fast and is protected from a range of online threats.

Getting started is super easy! You just need to log into your cPanel and look for the CloudFlare icon. With two clicks, you can activate CloudFlare and your website will automatically be faster and safer around the world.

We are pleased to offer you the CloudFlare service for FREE. There is no commitment. Turning CloudFlare on and off takes two clicks of the mouse, so feel free to try it out. We think you’ll like it!

...But before you jump in with both feet, why not take a moment to read through the guest blog post below. It has been very kindly provided by CloudFlare, and includes full details on the many benefits CloudFlare could bring to your website, when used in conjunction with D9 Hosting.

How CloudFlare increases speed and security of your site

This is a guest post written and contributed by CloudFlare. CloudFlare makes it easy for any site to be as fast and secure as the Internet giants.

CloudFlare, a web performance and security company, is excited to announce our partnership with D9 Hosting! If you haven’t heard about CloudFlare before, our value proposition is simple: we’ll make any website twice as fast and protect it from a broad range of web threats.

Today, hundreds of thousands of websites—ranging from individual blogs to ecommerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments—use CloudFlare to make their sites faster and more secure. We power more than 28 billion monthly page views—more than Amazon.com, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga and AOL combined—and nearly 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through our network.

Faster web performance

CloudFlare is designed to take a great hosting platform like D9 Hosting and make it even better.

We run 14 data centers strategically located around the world. When you sign up for CloudFlare, we begin routing your traffic to the nearest data center.

Cloudflare Datacentre

As your traffic passes through the data centers, we intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic. The static portions are cached on our servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before we check to see if they’ve been updated. By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly.

CloudFlare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means saving money, and decreases the load on your servers, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, CloudFlare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers. The overall effect is that CloudFlare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors.

Bandwidth savings

Broad web security

Over the course of 2011, CloudFlare identified a 700% increase in the number of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) we track on the Internet (see the chart below). As attacks like these increase, CloudFlare is stepping up to protect sites.

Security benefits

CloudFlare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our approach is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the CloudFlare community. We analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped.

In time, our goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given our scale and the billions of different attacks we see and adapt to every year, we’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the CloudFlare network.

Signing up

Any website can deploy CloudFlare, regardless of your underlying platform. By integrating closely with D9 Hosting, we make the process of setting up CloudFlare "1 click easy" through your existing D9 Hosting cPanel dashboard. Just look for the CloudFlare icon, choose the domain you want to enable, and click the orange cloud. That's it!

cPanel Integration

]]>
D9 Hosting Network Improvements http://d9clients.com/blog.php?postid=17 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 9:33:15 **Before Reading This, Please Note That We Haven't Gone Insane. The Post Was Made On April 1st**

As an on going effort to provide our customers with the best service possible, we have been analyzing our entire network structure over the past few months to see where we can be more efficient.

It's been in the planning stages for a while now, but we are happy to reveal that we have put a number of new systems in place to speed up our network, details of which you can find below.

New Backup Procedure
==================


Any web host knows that backups are vital, but there are pit falls with the standard backup systems, mainly the speed at which the data can be written from one machine to another.

We have discovered the a small change to the existing network topology will increase transfer speeds to the backup servers by 27.3%. We can do this by leveraging gravity. Please see the diagram below to get an idea of the how the legacy system works:

As you can see, the data flows to the backup server in a sideways direction. Common sense dictates that a simple change can increase the transfer speed significantly, please see diagram 2 below:

This new topology is already in place on our newest US server; Kipling and so far we have seen great results, although if any users on the server have any issues please do let us know. The system has been fully tested but there's no substitute for live testing!

Looking For a New Datacenter
=======================


Using the same logic, we have discovered we can significantly increase the load times of your websites by placing our servers in a datacenter that is significantly below sea level.

The datacenter we currently use is 1072m above sea level, meaning that the majority of people who access your website (those who live 1072m or less above sea level) have to make a big climb to rearch the server, thus meaning your website takes longer to respond:

As with the new backup procedure we can use gravity to increase the response time to your website, moving to a new datacenter below sea level will mean that instead of your packets traveling uphill to reach the datacenter, they are going downhill, which will speed up response times by at least 50%.

Any of you reading this that have been involved in any disaster planning should have already spotted the major pitfall in this idea - the risk of flooding! But don't worry, we know how important your websites are, and the last thing we want to see is a flooded datacenter, so we have put in place a contingency plan:

]]>
Extended Support Hours + Get 50% Off Your Next Hosting Bill! http://d9clients.com/blog.php?postid=16 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 9:33:15 We've made some exciting steps forward since our last blog post, so here's a little snippet of what's been happening in the D9 World since our last post back in February. We've also put together a fun World Cup competition that gives you the chance to get 50% off your next hosting bill, so read on for more information!

UK Shared & Reseller Hosting Available

Our last blog post was all about shared and reseller hosting on UK servers. Previously all of our servers were located in the US, but when we surveyed our Clients we found that a significant number were interested in hosting their sites on a server located in the UK.

Due to the feedback we received, we are pleased to have launched our new UK shared and reseller plans, at the same price point as our US plans. This was actually launched back in March, a few weeks after we conducted the survey but we never "officially" announced it to the world - until today :-)

Extended Support Hours

Any of you that have submitted a technical support query in the past 10 days or so may have had a surprise when you got a response from someone other than myself or Paula!

It's gotten to a point where we can no longer manage all of the tickets between the two of us, so we've decided to bring in some technical support agents.

This allows us to offer true 24/7 support via Live Chat and the Help Desk. Don't worry though, we do still actively monitor all tickets and departments, and there's an escalation option if you feel a ticket hasn't been dealt with in the correct manner.

So far no-one has needed to have a ticket escalated which is a good sign! The new tech's are still getting to grips with our systems, so it may be another couple of weeks before all of the little kinks are worked out so, until then, please be nice to them and let us know if you have any problems at all ;-)

Get 50% Off Your Next Hosting Bill

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll have noticed that there is a small competition going on in South Africa, called the "World Cup".

We've decided to get into the spirit of things by launching a D9 Hosting World Cup Fantasy Football league - the winner of the league gets 50% off their next hosting invoice.

If you are new to Fantasy Football, here's a quick overview of how it works:

  • You have a "transfer kit" which you use to buy players
  • Each player will earn you points every time they play, by scoring goals, keeping clean sheets, getting an assist, etc. (They'll also lose points for getting sent off!)
  • The points are then added up, and added to your team's score.
  • You'll play in a league against myself, Paula, and other D9 customers
  • There are also prizes provided by Fifa, including a brand new car, football shirts, and more
  • It's totally free to play!  

So even if you have no football (soccer) knowledge, pick a random team of players and who knows, you may just get lucky!  

It's all a bit of fun and we'd love to see you in the league :-)

Instructions on how to enter are below.

1. Sign up for free account at:

http://www.fifa.com/theclub/index.html

2. When you've signed up, log into your account and click on "Games" and then the "Activate" button under "McDonalds Fifa World Cup Fantasy"

3. You can then log in at the Fantasy Football site: (Bookmark this URL!)

http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com/

4. You can then go ahead and select your team

5. When you've selected your team, you can join the D9 league by clicking on "My Leagues" > "Create/Join"

And then enter the following league code to join our league:

187968-44949

The closing date for the 1st round of games is the 11th June, so try and get your team registered before then, and good luck!

Fantasy Football Tips

1. You'll most likely find yourself running out of money, so my tip is to pick a solid foundation of 12 or 13 quality players, and then make the rest up with really cheap players from the teams that don't have much of a chance - you only pick 11 players to start the game so start with your quality players and leave the cheap ones as substitutes.

2. Your captain earns double points, so select your start player as the captain 

]]>
Interested In UK Shared & Reseller Hosting? http://d9clients.com/blog.php?postid=15 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 9:33:15 We are frequently asked if we are able to provide shared and reseller hosting accounts that are on servers located in the UK. (All current shared and reseller accounts are hosted on servers in the US)

Our answer has always been no.

This is mainly due to the greater cost it would take us to run the servers.

However, due to the increase of requests recently, we thought we'd take it a step further and see what interest, if any, there would be for this service from our existing Client base. We've created a quick survey, and would be delighted if you could spare 30 seconds to fill it out!

However, before you do that, let me just give you a quick overview of the main benefits of a UK based hosting account.

Speed!

The most obvious benefit is speed, if you (or the visitors to your site) live in the UK or Europe, then the access time to the server would be significantly higher than the access time to a US server. We are still talking in milliseconds, but you can tell the difference.

If you'd like a couple of sample IP's from which to test this out, please open a support ticket and we'll provide some test IP's from both countries for you to compare.

SEO

It's something that a lot of people overlook, but it's quite a major consideration.

If you run a website, be it personal or business, that is aimed at the UK market, you are much more likely to achieve a better ranking in Google if the geographical location of the server is in the UK.

You can check this out by searching on Google.co.uk for something along the lines of:

wellies free delivery

If you then check out the domain names that come up on the first page of the Google results using the Network Tools Express search, you'll be able to see the geographical location of all of the top sites is the UK.

You can search again for something like:

plumbers in sheffield

And you'll see that this time we have a lot of local business results from Google that appear, if you do the Network Tools search on a few of the domains, you should find that the sites hosted in the UK achieve a higher listing than those hosted in the US.

So if you currently host a site that targets the UK market on a US server, you may well find that a simple server move would increase your, or your clients search engine rankings.

This is also confirmed by Google in the following video:



This of course works in reverse, so if you are targeting the US market, then you would generally have more success having your site on a US based server.

So in an ideal world, you'd have any sites aimed at the UK audience on a UK based server, and any sites aimed at the US audience on a US based server.

The Survey

Now that you've had a brief overview of the potential benefits of a UK server, we'd be very pleased if you could spare 30 seconds to complete the survey below:

- - Click Here To Take The Survey - - 

]]>
Failover Hosting - Your Questions Answered http://d9clients.com/blog.php?postid=12 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 9:33:15 Hi everyone, thanks for checking out the brand new D9 Hosting blog!

It will, hopefully, give us an informal way to communicate with all our Clients about anything and everything related to D9 Hosting.  It will also allow you to give us instant feedback by leaving your comments on the posts.

So, with that in mind, here we go with our very first blog post... it's a follow up to a survey we sent out to all shared and reseller hosting customers regarding the possibility of us introducing a failover hosting addon.

We had a lot of responses and there seemed to be quite a bit of misunderstanding on how it could be implemented.  This post aims to clear up a few of the concerns that were raised by you in the survey. We'll do our best to explain everything in as simple terms as possible, but if you are unclear on anything, or need clarification, please do feel free to leave a comment, or get in touch with us by the usual methods.

1. I don't want it, if you force this on me I'm leaving!

If we were to introduce a Failover service, it would be a totally optional addon. You could either choose to use the service, or stick with your current plan. It wouldn't be forced onto any existing, or new customers.

2. The uptime is currently excellent, why should we need it?

94% of you that answered the poll thought our uptime was either good or excellent - THANKYOU! :-)

But although our servers are already ultra reliable, there will be times when they go down. This isn't exclusive to us, no host in the world can claim to have a server that hasn't gone down at some point in it's lifespan.

When a server does go down it's usually only for a matter of minutes or hours, but within that time you'd have no site and email. For most of you, we accept this isn't a problem, but we do have users running mission critical sites, and businesses using our email services, so if they were without email for a couple of hours you can imagine the inconvenience this would cause.

A failover option would keep the downtime to a few minutes, rather than hours.

3. Why are you suddenly telling us this, is everything going to blow up tomorrow?

No :-)

As touched on above, this new service would have no effect on the current servers we run, their uptime would remain as high as you've come to expect. The failover service is designed for people with mission critical sites, that don't as yet have the budget to upgrade to their own dedicated failover system.

4. You should include it in the current price, other providers do this.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I've never come across a budget hosting provider (Under the $10pm range) that offers failover hosting as part of their standard packages.

With a failover setup the running costs would just about double, you use twice the amount of servers and twice the amount of power consumption. Neither we, nor any other budget provider could afford to offer this as part of the standard package and still run at a profit.

5. I shouldn't have to pay a premium for a backup option!

A failover service is NOT a backup storage system - we already have daily and weekly backups running on all our servers. So in the event of a drive failure, everything can be restored from the backups. We provide this service free of charge and always will do.

6. It would be too expensive for me at present

We understand that it could be hard to find a yearly lump sum, so if we did decide to go ahead with the service, we'd look to change the pricing structure, either to a lower yearly cost, or by offering you the option of paying in installments, rather than a lump sum each year.

We think this should have answered most of the concerns that were raised.

Apologies if the survey caught some of you off guard, we didn't mean to make you panic and think everything was suddenly going to start going down on a regular basis. Again, I can assure you that your existing plans and servers will run in the same way they always have done!

Thanks for reading, and please do let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Regards,
Dan & Paula

D9 Hosting

]]>