Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

Domains by Fluid Hosting

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Every website needs to start with a unique and successful domain name. A domain is what enables your website to be online — similar to that of a street address.

At Fluid Hosting LLC we have made it as easy as possible for you to manage and renew your website domain.

Auto Renewal
If you allow your domain to expire, then it will be available to be registered by anyone. This could put your business at risk, if you had simply forgot to renew your domain. At Fluid Hosting, we offer a free automatic renewal service so you don’t need to remember to keep renewing your domain manually. Now, it’s automatic! How cool is that? (more…)

How to upgrade your account to use PHP 5.3/5.4

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

This article explains how to switch PHP version on your Fluid Hosting Linux or Windows shared hosting account. Please carefully read the details below.

Are you hosted on Linux account?
If you are hosted on a Linux account with one of our shared hosting packages, the best way to activate the new PHP version is to complete 7 easy steps as shown below:

Step 1. Login to your hosting Control panel and go to “FTP/User Account” –> “Webshell4″ and click on icon, to launch the File Manager application.

Step 2. Find the domain where you’d like to active the new PHP version and open it’s folder.

Step 3. Go to “cgi-bin” folder and click on the “File” on top of the File Manager menu to create a new file.

(more…)

What is .ftpaccess? And, how it can help to secure your hosting account?

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Continuing on the subject of security, I would like to explain what .ftpaccess is and how this could help you to keep your hosting account protected.

Let’s go…

What is .ftpaccess?
.ftpaccess is just a simple file which may contain access rules for the FTP service on your hosting server. In other words, this file may contain a set of rules that will allow or deny the connection via FTP depending on different aspects or the situation. Here is an example. Let’s say you want to deny connections via FTP to your account from all IP’s except yours. In this case, .ftpaccess is what you need. Here is what you will need to insert in to your .ftpaccess:

<Limit ALL>
DenyAll
Allow 127.0.0.1
Allow w.x.y.z
</Limit>

Just replace w.x.y.z with your actual IP address. If you are not sure where to find your IP, please visit www.whatismyip.com. It will show you your IP address. Another IP (127.0.0.1) is used for system purposes, so it’s recommended to leave it.

However there are a few things that you should be aware of. The first thing is related to your IP address. Depending on your local ISP, you could have a static or dynamic IP address.

Static IP is a unique identifier (IP address) which is assigned by your ISP to your network. This address will never change until you change/cancel your subscription with your local ISP. If you have a static IP address with your local ISP, then it’s highly recommended to use the .ftpaccess file for advanced account security. If you are not sure whether you have a static or dynamic IP, then you should contact your local ISP to find the answer.

Dynamic IP is not a permanent identifier (IP address). This type of IP address always changes. It means that you could have problems to connect to your hosting account via FTP if you use .ftpaccess since your IP address will always change. If you still want to use the .ftpaccess and have a dynamic IP, then my recommendation is to deny all connections using this set of rules:

<Limit ALL>
DenyAll
Allow 127.0.0.1
</Limit>

If one day you will need to login via FTP,  then simply to login in your hosting control panel and remove the above rule from your .ftpaccess file. This modification can be easily done with a File Manager program which is supported by all hosting companies. After you done what you need, please return back the above deny rule. Having a dynamic IP you will need to perform this set of simple actions every time you need to connect via FTP, so this might be a bit annoying, but there is no other option unless you upgrade to a static IP with you local ISP.

Overall the .ftpaccess file can noticeably help you to increase the protection of your account, since a lot of hacking attempts are done via FTP.

Another thing you should be aware of is the .ftpaccess file should be located in the root folder of your hosting account. Also please bear in mind  that .ftpaccess doesn’t work on all servers. This firm function only works for those servers where the ProFTPD software is installed. At Fluid Hosting, we use ProFTPD on our Linux servers.

If you have realized that .ftpaccess doesn’t work on your hosting account, then you may need to contact you hosting company and ask them to confirm which FTP program is installed on their server.

I hope this article will help you to understand .ftpaccess file and how it can increase the protection of your hosting account.

Why my account/site is being hacked and how?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

In this article we will discuss why hackers hack websites and how they would do it.
From time to time me and my colleagues receive support tickets from our clients regarding hacking activity on their sites. Most of our clients claims that their sites have a virus or malicious code. Furthermore, the site owners becomes concerned that their sites appears in the Google blacklist. If you are in the same situation, no worries, but please read this post completely to understand the situation better.

Why is my site being hacked?

This probably is the first question which you may ask yourself. Let me tell you just several reasons why hackers hack your sites/accounts:
– They may want to send SPAM from your hosting account
– They may want to steal the traffic from your site (using redirect or other tricks)
– They may want to place their hidden link or visible popup banners on your site
– They may want to distribute virus using your site, having long term plans (controllable DDOS attacks etc.)
It’s not a complete list. It’s only popular reasons why the hackers hack as much as they can.

What should I do if my site has been hacked?

If you found a Google warning message on your site or you simply think that your site is infected, then feel free to contact your hosting company for help. However please note that in most cases the hosting provider can’t help the client to resolve the problem in root mostly because it usually happens due to different vulnerabilities on the client side.

Here is what a hosting provider can do for you if you have been hacked:
– The hosting provider may check the server logs and give you advice on how to prevent the hacking activity
– The hosting provider may help you to restore your site or account if needed
– The hosting provider probably can help you to clean the site
– Probably few other options depending on the TOS and SLA.
But the above assistance will be temporary or even useless if the root of the problem still remains.

How to determine the root of the problem and avoid hacking attempts in the future?

After you have restored your site to normal functional order, from that moment, you main role is to understand what appropriate steps to apply in order to prevent the hacker’s activity in advance.

In most cases, the successful hacking attempts happen because of a few reasons:

1.Virus. Your computer might be infected with Trojan or Virus program which can extract the login and password from your account and send it to the hackers. This is a very popular way to steal the account access and hack your sites or whole account.

2. Software vulnerability. Your website might have a different vulnerability which can be used by hackers. For example poorly written PHP code might allow to do a SQL injection or other unauthorized actions over the site.

Summarize

So in order to prevent the hacker’s activity, you will probably need to start securing your computer. This can easily be done by installing Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software. After the software is installed, make a full scan of your computer. Then it would be good to change the password to your hosting control panel and FTP accounts if they exist.

If a Virus or Trojan is not your case and you are absolutely sure that your computer is well protected and your hosting company didn’t find any traces of unauthorized access to your account, then you may need to check your scripts for vulnerabilities.

 

What else?

I hope the above easy steps should help you to eliminate the reason of hacker’s activity. Overall, I hope that this article has shown what method hackers normally use to hack your sites/account and how this can be prevented in most cases. In the next article I will share the details about very easy but effective way on how to increase the protection of your hosting account on the side of the server even if your computer is compromised.

This article is already available. Please find more her: What is .ftpaccess? And, how it can help to secure your hosting account?

 

 

Unmetered hosting – Where is a catch?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I would like to say that my main target is not to promote our service since I am an active Fluid Hosting staff member, but to explain to a regular user a number of different nuances that could help to make the right decision in choosing a web hosting provider.

Almost everyone faces a question, to choose hosting, no matter if you an owner of a big business or just a housewife. As a business owner you may search for a reliable place to host your company website while as a housewife you can enjoy managing your personal blog and share different life experience.So, as we can see, purchasing webhosting for a website is a regular thing as if you go to market to buy some food. But as with everything in our life this question is not so easy as it may seem so on first look. Let’s discuss this question to find pitfalls that could prevent us from building a successful website.

Well, as you may have already noticed, the current web hosting market is very different, but there is a kind of hosting service that stands out among others.  I am speaking about solutions that are known as “unmetered” or “unlimited”.

For approximately the past 3-5 years or even more there is a strong trend of formation of new companies who try to offer a well known “unmetered” or  “unlimited” solution for a price of $2-5 per month. These sort of offers are pretty popular, because the user believes that for just a few or five dollars he/she can get a great deal and obtain an unmetered hosting package to host everything.  But here is a question: Is it possible to get so good deal for just $5/month?

I am not going to answer this question directly, but if you completely read this article, I am sure you will be able to do it very soon.

As we see many companies offer very good hosting at first sight, but as conscious consumers we need to understand what we get when we buy “unmetered” or “unlimited” and for what we pay the money.  So let’s take a look at this question more closerly.

It’s a well-known fact that our country, continent where we live and finally our world, have very clear sizes. When we speak about sizes, that automatically means that something has its limits. The same thing is in the hosting industry. Datacenters, network routes, servers – all these things have their limited capacity and it’s not a secret for anyone. So here is our main question: How is it possible to provide unmetered hosting when all the things have their limits?

Once again, I am not going to answer this question for you, however I will explain how these things work. Well, as we already mentioned everything has its own limits. Each server has limited space, bandwidth, cpu resources and other hardware limits. So physically it’s not possible to understand how it is possible to do “unmetered”, but many companies used this strategy and built their business. The main thing you should know about buying such hosting, is to be aware that if they say unlimited then it automatically means that that could have one or even number of different restrictions. Please find some examples below:

–    Limited number of files (you can be limited with 50000, 70000 files etc)
–    Account can’t be used for file storage purpose
–    No media content (just limited number of pictures related to the website are allowed)
–    Strict CPU or/and Memory limits
–    Other tricks

It’s just a short list of possible limits that you can face purchasing “unlimited” or “unmetered” hosting package. Well, once again I am not going to say buy here because we use another strategy that has no connection with overselling.  My main target is to let you know about this, so you can make the right choice and avoid frustration because of the above mentioned reasons.