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 76
Written by: Morten Malde

Our hosting server is running version 74 of cPanel and this week all servers will be upgraded to version 76. There are no major changes in this upgrade, but some changes are worth noting.

New “domain” overview icon

There will be a new icon in cPanel that shows a better overview of adddon domains associated with your hosting package. If you have additional addon domains, then this icon will be very useful. You can choose which folders the different domains should point to and you can go directly to email creation for the domain name in the list.
You could also do this before, but it is now simplified for you.

Nytt ikon i cPanel

Internal PHP in cPanel is upgraded

cPanel will upgrade PHP version from 5.6 to 7.2. Based on our tests, there is a noticeable difference in speed within the cPanel itself. Navigation and response has been significantly faster and better.

PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.2

SquirrelMail is removed in version 78

On new servers with version 76, webmail software Squirrelmail is no longer available. From the next version (78), Squirrelmail will also disappear from our older servers. This is mainly due to safety reasons. You can read more about this in “The Death of SquirrelMail”.

Squirrelmail blir fjernet fra cPanel

iOS Push Notifications
Written by: Morten Malde

Our servers have been upgraded to cPanel version 64. Within this upgrade there are several new functions available (read about them in this article). Another new function available is iOS push notifications for email on devices from Apple. This has been tested and can be found on all our cPanel servers at PRO ISP.

iOS Push Notifications

This technology will improve the battery time for your iOS device and receive email quicker.

To start using push notifications you need to exit and close the email application or do a restart of the device. Follow this guide to see how to exit and close the application on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Afterwards push for email against our servers will work immediately and the unit will vibrate when a new email is received.

This technology is only available if email is set up using IMAP. If you are using POP3 this will not work. This is also only available for Apple’s email application.

Receive notifications

New emails will not automatically show on the screen when the unit is locked. You can adjust the settings to receive warnings when specific people send you email. Follow these steps:

1. Open Mail application.
2. Choose “Mailboxes” on the top left corner.
3. Choose “I” symbol to the right of the VIP menu.
4. In the VIP list choose “Add VIP”.
5. Choose which of your contacts to be shown on the locked screen when you receive email from them.

cPanel version 64
Written by: Morten Malde

During the next few weeks cPanel will be updated to cPanel version 64 on all of our servers. These updates are done a few times each year after they are tested and available. Since updates contains several different things we have written about the most important ones for our customers.

cpanel version 64

Fast Email Searching (IMAP Full Text Search)

This technology (Solr) will be activated on all our servers and will work for everyone using email with IMAP at PRO ISP. The technology works on all iOS units, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and all the webmail clients we have available.

How does it work?
When searching for an email with text or other the server will index the entire email account. The first time the search will be somewhat slow, but all future searches will be much faster compared to before as the account was indexed earlier.

This technology will require more resources from the server (CPU and disk space). This will not affect the disk space for our clients, but directly on the server.

Tidy Mailboxes

A new icon will be available in the control panel to give an overview of the number of emails and disk space for the different email accounts. It will also be possible to tidy up the email accounts using these options:
– Remove all emails older than 1 year in a folder
– Remove all emails in a folder over 30MB
– Remove all emails in a folder

Look for the icon “Email Disk Usage” under the category “Email”.

Optimizing

Improvements will be made on a server level for the email servers as well. Mainly sending/receiving email will be faster as well as reducing the battery usage of iOS units.

New styles (white/black)

Several of our customers have changed to Paper Lantern theme in the control panel. Now white and black is available for anyone wanting to use this.

cPanel version 64

Software

The most important and highly requested updated this time is phpMyAdmin which will be updated from version 4.0.10 to 4.6.6. The current version (4.0.10) was released in 2013 and the new in 2017. In the future new versions will be released more often.

SSL proxy subdomains

It will now be possible to use your own SSL on proxy subdomains (for example webmail.yourdomain.net/cpanel.yourdomain.net). If you have a wildcard SSL certificate you can install this on the subdomains in cPanel.

DMARC

Within the zone editor it is now possible to add DMARC records within the interface instead of manually.

cpanel version 64

WHD -World Hosting Days 2017
Written by: Morten Malde

From 27.-31. of march PRO ISP attended World Hosting Days (WHD) in Rust, Germany.

What is World Hosting Days (WHD)?

The fair is held at Europa-Park, Europes largest amusement park. Every year WHD grows in number of participants, seminars and companies attending. This years over 6500 people attended WHD and over 120 seminars was held. As many as 2500 companies from 84 different nations attended.

whd

Our providers

Most of the time PRO ISP spend at WHD is spent on meeting our providers and their contacts. We discuss current solutions and products as well as the future and what challenges lies ahead. This gives us information of future plans for our providers services and products.

whd whdwhd

7 ways to make your website load faster
Written by: Morten Malde

The speed and page load time of your website is extremely important and will affect the traffic to your website. Google distinguishes between fast and slow websites when ranking them and in cases where two websites has the same content, Google will prefer the faster one. Your websites page load time will also have a large impact on your visitors and potential customers as the bounce rate is much higher for slow than for fast websites. At PRO ISP we care about the speed and page load time for our clients websites. We therefore wish to give you some simple and easy ways to speed up your website.

Before performing any change, we recommend you test your website to see the differences before and after. Below you will find some simple tools to measure how fast your website is today:
Pingdom Tools (choose Stockholm before preforming the test).
GTMetrix (you cannot choose location without being registered).

load faster

1. PHP version

New versions of PHP are released continuously. They have improvements that will reduce the use of resources required to run a website build in PHP.

There are several benefits when switching to a newer and higher PHP version:
– They require less resources and are more efficient.
– The website will have more capacity for more traffic and load faster.

– Active support for security. On PHP 5.6 support for security support expires 31th of December 2018. (We are running «HardenedPHP» on all our servers so older PHP versions are secure).

You can change versions as much as you please to see which one works the best for your website. It is important the code/script you are running on the website is not outdated as this can cause problems with newer PHP version.

As long as everything is updated (whether it be WordPress, Joomla or other scripts) it will be able to run on PHP 5.6, but if the websites works well in PHP 7.0 that is the best option. PHP version can easily be changed in cPanel (control panel).

load faster

2. Compressing content

Most content can be compressed before being sent from the server to visitor. By compressing the content, it will reduce the amount to be transferred to the visitors and therefore reduce the load time for the website. This is available on all our severs and can easily be set up in the .htaccess file or by activating it in cPanel as shown in this guide.

load faster

3. Cache

There are several types of caching. This tip is for caching the website on the server. By having caching activated on a website, data will be stored, so that new requests of the same website and content will be retrieved from the cache and not the webserver itself. This reduces load time and makes the website considerably faster.

A large number of our clients use WordPress for their websites, but this tip also applies for other scripts (such as Joomla!, Drupal og Magento).

When using WordPress you can download and install plugins. There are several different cache plugins and if your web hosting is located on a LiteSpeed server you can use the LiteSpeed cache plugin which is the fastest one when we tested.

Other plugins that work well:
WP Super Cache
W3 Total Cache
Comet Cache
Simple Cache

When you have installed and activated one of these you can adjust the settings, but for most websites no adjustments will be necessary. If you have a website with low traffic you should change TTL for caching from standard to higher (432000 for example, which is 12 hours).

load faster

4. Keep everything updated and remove what you dont use

Often people install scripts on their web hosting and plugins within the scripts to test stuff. These are often forgotten or not being when the testing is completed. Even you have plans to maybe use them later you should remove them and rather install them when you need to use them.

Installations such as plugins, theme, extensions and modules not being used is a safety risk. The also use resources and disc space. By keeping everything updated you are better protected against hackers and other attacks. Should an update fail you can always restore from our external backup.

load faster

5. Optimize images

Images is one of the larger elements on a website. It is therefore important that they are optimized as much as possible. Use Google PageSpeed to analyze what can be improved including having all your images optimized in a zip-file for downloading and replacing existing images.

For WordPress, there are plugins to remove excess information from images which will reduce their size and optimizes the images. By using one of the plugins mentioned below you can optimize several images already posted on your website:
WP Smush
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Imagify Image Optimizer
TinyPNG

load faster

6. SSL and HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is the latest version of the HTTP protocol and will improve the load time for websites considerably compared to the 1.1 version. The most popular web browsers have chosen to only support HTTP/2 over SSL (HTTPS), which means you will need to use an SSL certificate on your website to be able to use HTTP/2.

All our web hosting solutions include a free SSL certificate which covers the minimum demands for encryption and HTTP/2. You can easily install this as shown in the guide for configuration of Basis SSL. Even though this is free to install, we recommend all professional websites to purchase an SSL certificate with additional functions to increase your customers trust in your website and this way also increase conversions.

For the moment, our web hosting’s on Apache webservers do not support HTTP/2 even if you install an SSL certificate. This is because cPanel do not support it. It is expected cPanel will do something regarding this, but there is not set date for any solution. In order to use HTTP/2 you will need to have your web hosting on a LiteSpeed webserver which you can for free if you have Pro Medium or larger web hosting solution with PRO ISP.  Check if your web hosting is located on a LiteSpeed server via the client portal. Here you can also request transfer to a LiteSpeed webserver by following this guide on how to change server.

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7. Use LiteSpeed webserver

In addition to the previous section on why you should use LiteSpeed webserver, you should also know these advantages of using LiteSpeed instead of Apache:

  • Static content is delivered up to 5 times faster than Apache
  • Dynamic content is delivered up to 40 times faster than Apache
  • HTTPS 3 times faster than Apache
  • Uses less of the server’s resources which causes it requires more before CloudLinux limits are reached = it takes more before the resource usage of your website is limited
  • Supports LiteSpeed cache plugin for WordPress
  • LiteSpeed was the first commercial webserver on the market and our experience is that new functionality and improvements are constantly being developed.

Our Apache servers uses a module based on LiteSpeed (mod_lsapi). This means the differences mentioned are not as dramatical on our web hosting solutions, but they are still considerably large enough to recommend LiteSpeed instead of Apache.

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