Secure backup with ransomware protection
Written by: Jon Eivind Malde

Back in March, we implemented our new backup solution provided by Acronis where all data remains in our data centers. All our services are secured with this backup solution with the exception of our customers’ virtual servers where this is an additional product at extra cost.

Tom and PRO ISP are satisfied users of Acronis backup

New backup service launched

So we have been using Acronis for 9 months and we are so very happy with the solution. This applies both in terms of stability and safety, as well as ease of use. For this reason, we are now launching the same solution to our customers so that you can secure their devices in a secure and user-friendly way that at the same time safeguards against ransom virus and crypto mining.

Are you going to act before it’s too late?

Tom is affected by hacker attacks. Are you going to act before it's too late?

It is becoming more and more common to hear about larger companies affected by hacker attacks and ransom viruses. Last out was a Spanish security company named Prosegur. Without a good backup solution you could be in trouble in a similar situation. For many, perhaps the most important thing is that it is at all possible to recover data. A fast recovery to be back in normal operation as quickly as possible means a lot to minimize the loss associated with the attack.

Protection against ransomware

In the case of Prosegur Acronis probably would have stopped the attack, but it is not possible to determine for sure. A test of Acronis and other similar solutions with such protection clearly shows that Acronis is at the top with regards to defense against ransomware.

Acronis backup with ransomware protection

Interesting related facts

  • 93% of companies that experience a data-related disaster without a plan to return to normal operation disappear within one year
  • 96% of all companies with backup and plan to return to normal operation survive a ransomware attack
  • More than 50% of all companies experience downtime lasting more than 1 business day within 5 years
  • On average, it costs $100,000 for one company per ransomware attack to get back into normal operation, as well as the cost of lost working time (source: CNN)

Choose where your backup is stored

With our backup solution you can save backup both locally and / or in our data center. We recommend that you store both locally and in our data center, but you decide this based on your needs. If you need to store backups locally, this must be stored on your own hardware and it requires that you have the equipment connected to your device or network.

Backup with many uses

Besides being easy to use, protecting and having a good performance, there are many other benefits as well. For example, you can restore to a device with completely different hardware without any problems (not applicable for Mac). This is useful if you need to use a whole new machine. It is also possible to restore a virtual server to a bare metal server or to cloud solutions like Azure etc. and vice versa. This can be useful if you want to switch vendor or upgrade / downgrade hardware.

Try for free for 30 days

Anyone can order a 30 day free trial of the solution where you can test the solution to the fullest and see that it works as desired. If you do not want to use the solution, it can easily be canceled and it will then be deleted at expiration without costing you anything. In other words, you can safely test the solution before choosing to go for it, as well as receive emails about what to expect to be billed before the trial ends.

We hope the solution fits you as well as it does us 🙂
Feel free to give us feedback once you have tested the backup solution.

cPanel Version 84
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

Faster validation for AutoSSL, PHP 7.3 on backend and a new refreshed interface for the webmail users is some of the new features in this version

We changed the AutoSSL feature’s Domain Control Validation (DCV) processing order. This change will significantly improve AutoSSL’s DCV execution time. Now, AutoSSL performs HTTP-based DCVs for each user first. Then, any DNS changes for users’ DNS-based DCVs occur in a single DNS update.Before this change, AutoSSL would separately process each user’s local DCVs. This process resulted in separate DNS updates for each user requiring a DNS-based DCV.

I n cPanel & WHM version 84, we upgraded the PHP version in cPanel & WHM from PHP 7.2 to PHP 7.3. This means that tasks in cPanel will be completed faster aswell as updates and maintenance will happen more smoothly.

We will move from bind to PowerDNS cluster this month. That will improve DNS for all customers. We will also remove old DNSSEC solution and transfer to PDNS DNSSEC. Read more about this on their blog.

Webmail user interface updates
In cPanel & WHM version 84, we have updated the look and feel, as well as the workflow, of the Webmail interface. The updated Webmail Home  interface allows users to perform the following actions:Open their inbox upon login — Users can select to open their email’s inbox every time they log in to Webmail. To do so, they can select the Open my inbox when I log in checkbox.
Change their Webmail client — Users can click any logo under the Change your webmail client header to change their Webmail client.
Set up email on a device — Users can email configuration instructions to a device. They will need access to their inbox from the device.

Errors interface now displays last 300 lines in an error log
cPanel’s Errors interface (cPanel >> Home >> Metrics >> Errors) is now updated to display the last 300 lines of the following log files:/usr/local/apache/logs/suexec_log
/usr/local/apache/logs/error_log
The interface now displays the following information:Error log entries from the user’s home directory.
Entries from the /usr/local/apache/logs/suexec_log  file that include the username for the account.

Earn money on your website with Google AdSense
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

If you run your own blog or another kind of website which has some traffic you could earn money by displaying ads.

I’ve been testing Google Adsense Auto Ads and would like to give you some tips on how to set it up and describe what it does.

“AdSense Auto Ads” was recently released by Google in order to make the ad display work better by letting AI (machine learning) processes work on your website. This should result in better earnings and a good user experience.

An example on the different ways Google AdSense Auto Ads could display on your page before finding the best result

The benefits with this Auto Ads is the machine learning which optimizes and tries different ways to display ads. This could be by displaying them near articles, within text or just header or footer of your site.

After a while, the AI will decide which solution that works best and use that for your future visitors. With both your earnings and the user experience in mind, you should be able to get good results and happy visitors.

It’s easy to control how many ads you want to display and which types inside the control panel of the Auto ads.

As you can see on the image, there is alot of different ads. Google recommends to keep them all on but you look closely into them. The “Overlay ads” which will pop up infront of your webpage should be tested.

I would recommend you to see how the “Vignette ads” looks before deciding if it should be enabled.
It could make your websites first impression look bad.

There is several way to experiment, you could try all the functions in the image over here. There is possibilities to reduce or increase the ads on your page. I recommend to start with something like 60%. There is a function for this that can be changed inside the control panel of the ads.

How do I get started with Google AdSense Auto ads?

No matter which CMS or website you are running, you will need a Google-account to sign up into Google AdSense. Ff you allready got this, just click on the “Get Started” button which may be found after logging in:

When you got your AdSense account up and running, you can now log in again and click on “Ads”, Auto Ads will then appear in the menu. Click on “Get Started” and set up your domain in the panel. Follow the instructions provided by Google.

When you are done adding, you will get a script-code which you need to place in the header of the website.

If you use our website builder, you can add this at Settings -> SEO Settings -> Add script to header (paste it in there and publish).

For WordPress we recommend to code it in manually or use a plugin like Header and Footer Scripts.

For other CMS’s it might need to be added manually or by plugin/theme.

You might need to wait for Google to approve the site, when this has been done (usually in 1-7 week days).
When it’s approved, your site will start to display ads.
The cool thing is that if you are gonna make changes to the ads, just make the edits in Google AdSense and they will have effect at once.

Good luck!

More space and increased price for web hosting
Written by: Jon Eivind Malde

cPanel shocked the entire web hosting business 27th June when they overnight drastically increased their prices without any kind of warning to their partners. cPanel is the control panel we use for our web hosting service and is the foundation for the service we deliver to you.

Increased pricing for cPanel

We have calculated that our prices are 7 times higher now than before the change. The hosting business in general have been in turmoil since the change and cPanel has received a lot of complaints from upset partners in all channels. A quick search online will get you a lot of “colorful” feedback about the change.

cPanel price increase

We have ourselves notified cPanel about what we consider to be unacceptable business practice. cPanel does not listen to their partners unfortunately and we are forced to either accept the change or find alternative solutions to be able to continue to deliver stable and good services to our customers.

Our thoughts

cPanel is promising that the price increase will result in a better product for you, but such a radical increase is hard to digest when the price was far from low initially. We have considered other solutions, but unfortunately there are no other solutions that are good or stable enough compared to cPanel. We could develop our own solution, but that requires a lot of time, time we do not have as the change is already upon us.

We believe that what is most important to you as our customer is that we keep delivering a secure and stable service. With that in mind we do not have any other choice than to keep offering web hosting with cPanel. Our goal is however to deliver what is best for our customers at any given time at as competitive prices as possible. You can, in other words, rest assured that we will not stop considering other alternatives. Our loyalty to cPanel is nonexistent and cPanel will have to deliver on their promises to avoid changes.

Increased pricing and space

We have to increase the prices for the following web hosting plans due to the change:

PlanOld priceNew price
Pro Medium5.50€6.50€
Pro Premium12.00€14.00€

The prices will be effective from 15th September for all customers. This gives you the chance to order new or upgrade with the old pricing until that date.

As we increase the prices we also want to add more value to the services. Due to this we also increase the included disk space:

PlanBeforeAfter
Pro Medium15GB30GB
Pro Premium30GB100GB

All customers with those web hosting plans have already been upgraded to the new limits.

Happy Tom with thumbs up

Summary

This change was not planned so we hope for your understanding for why we reached this decision. We also hope that the increased disk space can make up for some of the increase in price.

cPanel version 82
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

Less new features than earlier versions but still important

Apache Solr upgrade

The Apache Solr has been upgraded from version 6 to 8, this will result in a lot faster indexing and search both in webmail and applications as Outlook or the mail app on your phone.

SSL/TLS status for your main domain

Under the “General Information” at the main page of cPanel, you can now see if you have a valid certificate and which type it is (DV or EV also displays, see here what an EV-certificate is).

A valid certificate should look like this.

cPanel / WHM performance updates

Different changes for faster maintenance, shorter reboots and updates will result in even less downtime for our clients.

You can see the official release log here.

cPanel version 80
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

One click forced HTTPS and better Imunify360 integration along a few updates in this version of cPanel.

One-Click HTTPS Redirection of Website has been added to the “Domains”-interface. If you have a valid SSL, you can now enable the force of HTTPS redirection by one click (at the moment, this only works for your main domain and not add-on domains)

Password Strength Algorithm has been improved in both cPanel and WHM (for VPS-users)

Protection has been increased with better integration of the Imunify360 application (which we have been using since 2017).

Additional new things is that SpamBox will now be on by default on all new accounts aswell as a few bug fixes and small corrections around the cPanel Email functions as mailbox creation and adding and editing autoresponders.

Read the full changelog for this version here.

How to take backup in WordPress
Written by: Morten Malde

All our web hosting packages have daily backups included totally free 30 days back in time. See our guide for this here on how to restore.

We always recommend that our customers set up backups on their installations as well. Below are some methods and plugins that can run a manual or scheduled automatic backup of your WordPress installation.

Why Backup WordPress?

Many people often think on backup, but rarely do anything about this and have to learn it on the hard way. Therefore, it can be smart to always have the habit of setting up backup from the start of each website.

There are many threats on the internet that will continue to attack and try to find holes in your WP installation.
Often it’s one of the reasons below that makes it important to make backup:

  • An update of the plugin or template fails and crashes the site
  • Fault from the user(s) due to negligence
  • Virus and malware inserted by hackers

How often should one backup?

It depends entirely on whether the website is updated regularly with content or not. If a website is updated daily, backup should also be performed daily. If content is updated a couple of times a year, monthly backup will suffice.

For major updates of plugins and templates, we always recommend taking a manual backup before the updates are performed.

Which backup solution should I choose?

There are many good solutions and which one fits you and your WordPress installation will vary. So it might be good to test some to see which ones work well and is not suited to your WordPress website.

UpdraftPlus

This is the most known and most commonly used backup plugin for WordPress.
It is used by more than 2 million installations.

UpdraftPlus Onedrive

We tested UpdraftsPlus and set up monthly backups for Google Drive. The WordPress installation is 85MB in size on the server. After backup to Google Drive, it uses about 13MB as backup files.
Recovery also worked fine without any error messages and went smoothly.

It is quite possible to upgrade to the Pro version of UpdraftPlus for more features and capabilities, but most of our customers will do well with the free version.
Overview of the free version and the Pro version can be found here.

BackupGuard

Slightly less known plugin for backup, but we have tested it and many of our customers are using it.

Backup Guard WordPress plugin

After a local backup, the installation of 85MB was compressed to 6.13MB in one backup file.
We tested recovery and it was fast and without error messages.
In addition, it is simple and intuitive so it is easy to understand for most people.

The free version only gives access to external storage to Dropbox. If you want Google Drive, OneDrive and the like, you need to upgrade to the Platinum version.

Softaculous in cPanel

In cPanel we have an auto installation of scripts such as WordPress etc. Softaculous has developed several tools that make it easier for our users. Some worth mentioning are automatic updates of plugins, templates and WP itself. In addition, there are functions such as cloning, staging and backup.

Softaculous backup
We have created a guide on how to backup WordPress inside Softaculous here.
It is possible to select the destination on the backup to:
local (webserver), Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP, FTPS and SFTP.

The advantage of this solution is that it is a free solution for all our customers. In addition, some of our consultants will have better experience and can help if problems arise.

What’s new in cPanel version 78
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

In this version it’s mostly enhancements, security and bug fixes. The “Email Authentication” have been changed to “Email Deliverability” and you will find everything related to DKIM, SPF and PTR-records here aswell as a scanner which checks if your settings is valid, smart to use to avoid spam-checks.

SpamAssassin have been updated with alot of renewed code, resulting in a up to 60% faster handling of the spam checks for incoming e-mail, giving you a smoother delivery and work day.

“Email Accounts” and other sections have also been updated to meet the responsive requirements for your phone and tablets. It’s easier to navigate on smaller devices.

See the full release here.