31 Aug

cPanel’s Fantastico Programs Updated!

We have just update Hera’s Fantastico Programs with latest version. It includes latest Joomla and WordPress version. If you are using any scripts from Fantastico then please update them by login to your cPanel.

Current version is De Luxe 2.10.4 r41.
Fantastico De Luxe 2.10.4 r41 (LATEST and STABLE releases)

Updates:
Coppermine Photo Gallery: 1.4.26 -> 1.5.6
Joomla 1.5: 1.5.17 -> 1.5.20
Moodle: 1.9.8 -> 1.9.9
Soholaunch Pro Edition: 4.9.3 r17 -> 4.9.3 r41
TikiWiki: 4.1 -> 4.3
WordPress: 2.9.2 -> 3.0
Zen Cart: 1.3.9b -> 1.3.9d

27 Aug

Understand your website traffic!

Ok, you have launched your online business and also spent money on ads and publicity. Now the question arises as to how effective your marketing has been and whether your site is reaching the right audience. This is where your website statistics tools come in. Nowadays various Web statistics tools can provide you with flood of information. It is up to you to analyze and use them to your advantage. Some common terms associated with Web statistics are:

Hits: Hits refer to the number of times that a page, image, or file on your site is viewed or downloaded by someone.

Visits: It gives you’re the number of each new incoming visitor to the web page who was not on your website during the last 60 to 90 minutes

Uniques: It refers to number of client hosts that come to visit the site and visit at least one page.

Most control panels like cPanel come with inbuilt tools like Awstats, Webalizer which provide you with easy to understand data. Apart from above give data, you can also get information as to from which country is your site most viewed from, the most popular page on your site, bandwidth consumption, and lots more.

If you want to keep your site up in popularity ranks then you definitely need to make use of these statistics about your Website traffic.

27 Aug

Cron Job, what is it?

Cron is basically a task scheduler, which runs your selected job at a particular time of day. They are great tools to do repetitive tasks which you might not remember or simply don’t want to do manually. The actual cron jobs are stored in file called crontab. You can directly edit this file from shell or use your control panel’s cron tool to set your crons.

This is what a typical crontab file looks like:

0 * * * * /bin/php –q /home/user/public_html/email//send_emails.php

0 * * * * /bin/php –q /home/user/public_html/email//send_emails.php

You can almost do any kind of job with crons. Some of which are :

Backing your database
Sending mails to your members
Cleaning temporary files
Updating softwares
Running applications.

As a small example, suppose you have a website of your own, with many clients. You need to periodically mail them about new rules, etc. You can run the cron services for this depending upon the needs, you can have it send mails, either hourly, daily or weekly. If you have a website for enthusiasts, cron helps the clients by providing info for any upcoming events and sends notices to them about the events taking place.

23 Aug

What is Link Juice?

Search Engine Optimization has opened up newer varieties of terms, which are applicable to different websites to help them become popular and therefore increase the number of hits. One of them is Link Juice. Greg Boser in his site Web Guerilla coined the term.

The trendy name attracted a lot of people. The scientific term is actually known as ‘pass through ratio’. But Link Juice sounds more stylish and therefore catching. It is the quality or weight that a site receives through links from other websites. This is usually carried out by newer websites to increase the traffic. This strategy for building up links, if it goes well, may result in your website being displayed in the first two pages of Google which is bound to boost the hits on the website.

Link Juice or the link building strategy can be performed in many ways. It can be bought from other sites but it is possible that the site will not get any hits if the links turn out useless. To make other sites link to your website, you can organize contests, games that can keep users glued to the site or give away something for free; like for example ‘answer a question correctly’. Blogging is a brilliant way of increasing the links as lots of users are attracted to blogs and you can promote your site through them. You can also send out links in social networking sites where information is passed on.

Link Juice, if planned and executed well can lead to a good amount of revenue from your site.

23 Aug

What is Google PageRank?

Google pageRank is essentially an algorithm that was developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the late 1990s at the Stanford University as a part of a research project. Though, presently Google owns the name pageRank, its patent rights still lie with the Stanford University. Despite the fact that there are various tools and techniques available to Google for its web searching procedure, the pageRank is still the most important foundation.

The system of algorithm, which is followed by the functioning of pageRank, is mainly analytical in nature. It basically allocates a sort of a statistical emphasis to each of the page that is connected to a network of other pages in the World Wide Web. The basic intention of carrying out this procedure is to determine or evaluate the relative significance of a particular page or a hyper linked document within the existing network. The procedure involved in assessing this weighing up takes in to account a unique form of voting system where each and every interconnected set of pages are considered both as a candidate as well as a caster. To be more detailed, every hyper linked page is scrutinized thoroughly to find out the other pages to and from which they are hooked up. In the process, every link from a particular page to another is regarded as a ballot for the later page by the former. Thus, pages with maximum links end up enjoying a high pageRank represented as PR(page) and so on.

22 Aug

What is Google Adsense?

Advertisers on the internet are asked to register with Google AdWords. The AdWords then research the ads and make them ready to be published on the sites. Google Adsense is a program run by Google. It serves those ads to websites. This program is available for enrollment where website users can sign up and enroll for the ads. Website owners get banner, texts and video ads through this program. Website owners earn money on a per-click basis.

Though Adsense website owners get ads suitable and relevant to the website and the ads are precise and therefore don’t look bulky. Javascript is used by Adsense to integrate advertisements. Website owners have the freedom to choose the ads to be displayed on the website after Google displays ads suitable by indexing and searching through its database on AdWords.

Google Adsense is an important revenue developer for small sites that lack resources. Though the content has to be rich for even small sites to get hold a good amount of advertisements and therefore the revenue.

Google acquired Applied Semantics in 2003. Wordnet was the original technology that was developed and its variation came to be used by Oingo, a small search engine founded in 1998. It later changed its name to Applied Semantics. Google Adsense is a popular program that helps many website developers.

19 Aug

Important security tips to keep your website secure!

Security is of utmost importance to TetraHost and we have taken every step to ensure the integrity of your data. However, the fact is that web servers cannot be completely secured, particularly since it is always connected to the Internet. The world of internet security is an evolving landscape, and perfect security is nothing more than a pipe dream. There is always a “weak link” in a networked system and it needs to be protected. The weakest link in a web server is usually outdated scripts which have vulnerabilities or files which have incorrect permissions/ownership that are uploaded by an end user. Hence we wish to make you aware of the importance of keeping your scripts updated through this blog!

In a typical shared hosting environment, there are numerous attack vectors. TetraHost has deployed the best known softwares to keep the web server and various services running in the server secure from outside attacks. This includes firewalls, mod_security rules, disabling of potentially dangerous PHP functions, etc. which can limit compromises that can happen through an user’s script/file.

Be selective about the script You install:

Do not just install any script that you find on the internet, especially those scripts that are not often updated. Such old scripts might have been dumped by its developer and he/she might not be developing or releasing patches in the future. Many of them are not maintained, and may have potential security holes that won’t be fixed. When choosing which scripts to install in your account, look for applications that appear to be actively developed or supported by the vendor. No script will be perfectly secure, but some may be designed to minimize the potential for security problems. If you’re not sure about a script, don’t install it. Of course, if you have the capability and know-how, you can always look it over yourself.

Keep your scripts updated:

This is the most important tip and it is imperative that you follow it as soon as possible. When a vulnerability is discovered, most reliable script developers will patch the vulnerability and an update will be released. These script developers usually maintain mailing lists that announce when a new version of the script is available. Make sure that you watch for those announcements and update the script immediately. You can also try removing the version number of the script that you’re using from the footer file, as this is one method attackers can use to identify vulnerable sites by using search engines.

Maintain the correct permissions:

It is not a wise idea to assign full write permission for your scripts or folders, unless the script developer has a purpose and requires you to set that permission, like an uploads folder. Incorrect setting of permissions can allow a potential attacker to execute vulnerable coding and exploit your script.

Backups:

Backup is the only fool proof method to be completely secure against compromises. TetraHost uses innovative backup technology to protect your data in the event of a compromise. Even though we provide the best backup services, we always recommend the client to maintain backups of the data at their side too. You can utilize the Backup feature in cPanel to take complete website backups of your account settings, files, emails, databases, etc. Please make sure that you do not store your backup files inside “public_html” or any directories that are accessible from outside. These backup files can be downloaded by a hacker giving him/her access to your login details stored in it.

Nobody wants their hard work to be damaged or destroyed, so upgrade that script today! You never know when a potential attacker might come along, and you may as well make his task as difficult as it can be!

18 Aug

How to Ping Your Sitemap to Google, Yahoo, and Bing

XML sitemaps inform search engines about the pages available to crawl on your website. Search engines find new pages by navigating links on websites. Sitemaps enhance search engine crawling by providing explicit information about the specific urls on your website. Sitemaps don’t ensure that your webpages will be indexed, but they typically increase both the chance and speed of indexing.

If you have fresh content on your blog or website, it is prudent to make sure the search engines know about this to get the content indexed as soon as possible. One way this is done is by pinging your xml sitemap. Although there are many search engines and services you can ping your sitemap to, make sure you concentrate on the big 3: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

So, how do you automatically ping your updated sitemap each time your website updates?

If you’ve got an XML sitemap for your website, you can alert the search engines to updates by typing a specially formatted URL into your browser.

Ping Bing

Bing is Microsoft’s newly branded and revamped search engine that is gaining popularity and market share every day since its recent launch. It’s well known that Bing takes a long time to initially index a website, so ping their service when you launch a website and every time you update content.

Their ping service is http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=[your sitemap web address].

You can manually ping Bing by entering the above url in a web browser and pressing enter. I prefer to automate this process, by entering the url into a ping list in WordPress. WordPress will then automatically ping Bing each time I update or submit a new post.

WordPress Ping List

Ping Google

Google is the dominant search engine, and you will want to inform when something new or changes appears on your site.

The ping url is http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/ping?sitemap=http://www.example.com/sitemap-file.xml

Again, you can manually visit this url to ping Google, or add the url to an automated pinging service if this is supported by your website development platform.

Ping Yahoo

Yahoo’s ping service lets you notify them anytime your site changes so their index can be updated quicker. Their ping url is http://search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/updateNotification?appid=YahooDemo&url=http://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml

You can automatically submit your updated site map using a pinging service or manually entering the above url.

If you don’t have an xml sitemap yet, you can use a free xml sitemap generator to get you started.

17 Aug

The Art of Troubleshooting Thyself!

TetraHost often receives tickets from our clients who claim that their website is not accessible. However, most of the time it turns out that the issue is actually at the client’s side itself. So in this blog we try to help you to run some self diagnostic tests which will equip you to figure out whether the issue is at your side before opening a support ticket.

Note: It is recommended that you check Network Issues page on your Clientarea so that you will get notified whenever there is an ongoing server/network related issue. TetraHost staff will post a report when any issue is detected by our 24/7 monitoring system. If you do not find any new topic after a few minutes, please go through the following steps to check whether the issue is at your side:

1) Check using third party monitoring services:

There are several website monitoring services available that can check whether your website is up or not. Most of them can also check it from multiple locations across the world. Some of the services that allows free website monitoring checks are:

http://www.alertra.com/spotcheck.php
http://www.hyperspin.com/en/quicktest.php
http://www.watchmouse.com/en/checkit.php
http://www.siteuptime.com/users/quickcheck.php

If the third party monitoring services are also reporting your website as down, please open a Support Ticket in our Help Desk. However, if they are reporting your website as “UP”, the issue is likely at your side itself. Let us see how we can further troubleshoot the issue at your side.

2) Traceroute:

The next step to diagnose the issue is to run a Traceroute command from your windows PC to your domain name. Trace route is a network utility that traces the path taken by your network to reach a host. It shows all nodes the packet travels from sender to destination (also reffered as “hops” in the network), the domains if available, IP addresses and the amount of time in milliseconds that took the reach that specific host. To run a traceroute command, you can do the following steps:

a) Assuming that you are using a Windows PC, click Start > Run
b) Type: cmd (and Press Enter)
c) Type the traceroute command at the prompt: tracert yourdomain.com (and press Enter)
d) Wait for a few seconds for the traceroute command to complete. Once the traceroute is completed, it will show “Trace Route Complete”.
e) To copy the trace route result, right click the Command Prompt window and click on “Mark”. Now drag and select the result to highlight it and press Enter to copy it.

Paste and Save this information in a text file which you can attach when submitting a Support Ticket later.

* If the trace route shows a “Unable to Resolve Host” message, it is likely to be a DNS issue at your side. You may be having a DNS cache or your ISP’s DNS server aren’t updated yet. In such cases, you can try flushing your DNS cache or you can use third party DNS addresses from OpenDNS, etc. to resolve this issue.

* If the trace route result shows “Request Time Out” within your ISP’s network range, it is likely that your ISP is having issues and you may have to contact them regarding this issue along with the traceroute result.

* If the trace route result shows “Request Time Out” towards the end (just before reaching the server), it is likely that your PC’s IP Address is blocked in the server’s firewall. Please open a Support Ticket in our Help Desk to get your IP unblocked from the firewall along with the trace route result and your IP address.

The above troubleshooting tests will help you find and resolve issues at your side quickly without the need for contacting us through the Help Desk. If there is an ongoing issue reported at our side, then it will be posted in the Network Issues area. In such cases, please do not open a Help Desk ticket as it would delay our efforts to bring back the server online since we will have to attend to your ticket at the same time. Please refresh the Network Issues page or subscribe to the topic to receive an email notification when there is an update.

17 Aug

Getting Listed in Google

Your new business or personal/community web site is finally up and running. But how do you attract visitors now to your website? The first step towards announcing your website to the World Wide Web is to get listed in Search Engines. Majority of the traffic to a website is through Search Engines. Google is one of the most popular Search Engines and we will give you a few tips on how to get listed in Google and increase the traffic to your website.

1) Add your URL to Google:

The first step to get listed for any website is by manually submitting your URL with Google. Visit: http://www.google.com/addurl/ and submit your website details. Google does not guarentee that your website will be listed, but you can improve your chances of getting listed by following the protocols outlined by Google. You can follow these protocols when designing your website to increase search engine friendliness.

You can also try submitting your URL at DMOZ The Open Directory which Google uses for classifying websites. This is a directory that is managed by volunteers that act as “category editors.” To list your site, simply go to the most appropriate category for your web site, then drill down to the relevant subcategory and select the “Add URL” link at the top of that category’s page.

The time required for the Google bot to start crawling your website will vary though you can expect it to start within a week or two.

2) Increase PageRank

Google uses PageRank algorithm for ranking websites. This is Google’s description of PageRank:

“ PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”.

Hence it is important that your website should have links from and to other websites. The more number of links, the better PageRank for your website which means more traffic to your website! You can start writing articles and submit them to the article submission sites. All of the article sites (the good ones at least) allow you to include a section called “About the Author” or “Author Resource”. It’s here that you can include a link back to your site.

3) Sitemaps

Sitemaps help visitors to navigate between pages and also helps search engine bot to index very easily. Generate a sitemap and keep it updated so that Search Engines will be able to index your website efficiently. There are many Sitemap generators available. You can find a good list of Sitemap generators here.

4) Search Engine Friendly design

When designing your website, make sure that it is search engine friendly. Meta description is an important component for on-page SEO. Google only consider 155 characters from Meta description. So it’s important to write a unique Meta description within 155 characters using keywords. Images make articles and pages attractive to visitors. More over images are also indexed different search engines. Using relevant keywords in the image ALT tags help Search Engines to recognize images and index them according to the ALT tags. Title tag is very important. Title should not be too long. For Google, 70 characters are enough. Descriptive titles have maximum clickthoughs.

5) Content is King

The most important factor for driving more visitors to your website and maintaining them is to keep your content updated regularly. This would naturally keep Google Bots busy as well as they will index more pages from your website. The more you update the content within your site, the more value it earns. It takes more than simply having content on your site to bring visitors back to your site time after time. It takes quality content that is updated regularly.

Google and other search engines have a very simple goal with their search results: to provide the most relevant results to those who perform a search. It is important that your web pages are optimized for search engines if you want to get high search engine rankings. A combination of optimized web pages and high link popularity leads to high rankings on search engines like Google.