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Liquid Web Official Blog

KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-31-14
Filed under: How To,Knowledge Base,News  October 31, 2014

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap-Up 10-31-14
Happy Halloween! Our technical writers have been producing more helpful articles than ever this last week, but don’t be spooked by all the information jam-packed into our Knowledge Base – it’s easy to find what you need. Today’s KB Weekly Wrap-Up features instructions on listing all jobs in cron and displaying MySQL storage engines. In addition, we can help you upgrade to MariaDB 10.0 and install any storage engines you’ll need.

Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold! Prepare Your Ecommerce Site for Holiday Traffic.
Filed under: Heroic Support,How To,Industry Insights,News  October 29, 2014

It’s that time of year again. Halloween is almost upon us – and that means the holiday shopping season is quickly approaching. If you’re running an ecommerce business, then your holiday promotions are probably well underway, but have you considered how your planned promotions will affect the performance of your website? If everything goes to plan, your website should experience a substantial influx in traffic as consumers begin their shopping sprees. More traffic is a good thing for your business, but what if you experience too much traffic all at once? The worst thing that can happen during this key retail season is the loss of revenue that results from a down website. The key to taking advantage of your incoming traffic without crashing your site is to optimize your server for high traffic loads with flexible hosting infrastructure.

  • Bring Your Content Closer to Your Customers

    Sometimes distance really does matter when it comes to the speed of your website. No matter where your website is hosted, customers accessing it from far away might see latency when they visit. Page load times can directly affect your bottom line. Studies have shown that a one second delay in page response can cause a seven percent decrease in site conversions. In addition, a slow loading site is more likely to lead to page abandonment. The last thing you want during the holiday season is a customer who clicks away because of a slow site.

    A content delivery network, or CDN, can improve the speed of your website for customers visiting from far away. CDNs continuously pull and cache content from your server and distribute it to secure servers around the world. When a customer from across the globe attempts to access the site, they will only have to pull information from the server closest to them – rather than from the origin server thousands of miles away – meaning a faster loading website and a happier customer.

  • Scale Up and Down As Needed

    While your current server setup may be more than sufficient to handle your current traffic load, it still may not be enough to handle the traffic you’ll see over the holidays. The best solution is a flexible hosting plan, like those we offer with our Storm Cloud Servers. Our Storm Servers allow for easy resource scaling up or down as your ecommerce site needs. Simply scale up just before the holiday traffic spike, and scale down again once the traffic subsides. The beauty of the Storm Servers is you only pay for what you need, giving you the flexibility to completely control your resources.

  • Evenly Distribute Your Traffic

    As your traffic increases due to your holiday promotions, you run the risk of overloading and crashing one of your web servers. To prevent all that traffic from crashing your ecommerce site, think about investing in a load balancer. A load balancer can evenly distribute your traffic across multiple web servers, preventing any one server from being overloaded. Additionally, if one web server does happen to fail, the load balancer will redistribute your traffic amongst the rest of your servers. Spreading your traffic out among all of your servers will not only help keep your website up and running during the holiday season, but will also reduce overall latency for site visitors – an important factor during the pivotal holiday season.

  • Test, Test, Test

    If you’re not sure what your hosting infrastructure needs to be ready for the holiday season, let our Heroic Support® know. We can help test your current setup and figure out how to best optimize it for increased traffic. A few changes with your caching or plugins might significantly lower the resources your website needs, allowing more resources to be devoted to serving your incoming customers. We can help you test your website and infrastructure before the busy season and catch any problems before they even occur.

  • Don’t Forget to Back Up

    After you’ve followed the above steps to prevent your website from crashing during the holidays, be sure to also back up your data to a secure and offsite location. While we hope you won’t have to use it, up-to-date backups can help you get back online quickly if disaster occurs. It’s easier to enjoy the holiday season if you know your database of important customer information is safe and could be easily restored in minutes.

The holiday season is the most important time of the year for many retail businesses. Make sure your website can withstand the increased traffic so your business can enjoy the benefits of a successful holiday shopping season. As always, our Heroic Support® is here to help 24/7/365.

Are you planning any Holiday promotions?

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Let the Professionals Help: Six Solutions to Help Secure Your Server
Filed under: Heroic Support,How To,Industry Insights  October 24, 2014

In our previous post celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness Month we discussed six simple things you could do on your own to secure your server. While our DIY security tips in that post can be extremely helpful in securing your server, we couldn’t end the conversation without mentioning a few solutions that play a very important role in server security. The following six items are not only important to include in your security plan, but many of them are invaluable in the fight to protect your data.

  • Firewalls

    Firewalls act as the first line of defense for your server, protecting your data by filtering traffic according to a customizable set of rules. With the firewall in place, a barrier is created between your server and the rest of the Internet. Any traffic that attempts to connect to your server is analyzed, and if it is deemed malicious, that traffic is blocked. Our Heroic Support® team can help you set up either our physical Cisco firewall for your dedicated server, or our cloud-enabled firewall for a Storm® cloud server. You can also see our Knowledge Base for help enabling firewalld, a newly implemented firewall, on CentOS 7. In either case, firewalls are necessary for securing your hosting environment against unauthorized third-party access.

  • DDoS Attack Protection

    Denial of Service or Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DoS or DDoS) are common types of attacks that allow hackers to bring down a network without having to gain internal access. There is no way to prevent these attacks from occurring and no way to anticipate whether you’ll be a target, so DDoS Attack Protection is necessary if you wish to avoid downtime in the unfortunate event you are attacked. A DDoS attack occurs when hackers flood the access routers with fake traffic and overload the system until it fails. Our DDoS Attack Protection system works to differentiate between legitimate and malicious traffic by monitoring a selected network of IP addresses and analyzing traffic that attempts to reach the server. In addition, our Heroic Support® team works with our customers during attacks and regularly tweaks the system to ensure it is working effectively.

  • SSL Certificates

    An ecommerce business has to reassure its customers their private data will be kept safe and secure or risk losing business. SSL Certificates are the standard for online security, encrypting online transactions to prevent data exposure to hackers. We sell a number of different types of SSL Certificates from GlobalSign, one of the most respected names in the industry. Our SSL Certificates even come paired with Netcraft’s continually updating phishing detection to provide real-time alerts that warn site owners when their websites becomes compromised, ensuring even more protection for your customers’ sensitive data.

  • PCI Compliance

    A website that is PCI Compliant promises customers that your business has taken all the necessary steps to protect their data when shopping online. The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) require businesses to protect customer data through requirements for both their hosting infrastructure and server configuration. We offer a scanning service that can verify your server meets all the PCI DSS requirements, so you can reassure your customers their data is safe. See our Knowledge Base for more explicit information on how to ensure your electronic payments are PCI DSS compliant.

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A virtual private network, or VPN, is a tunneled private network of remote sites or users utilizing a public network, like the Internet, to connect to each other. A VPN uses encryption to secure your computer’s connection to the Internet and guarantees that all of the data you’re sending and receiving over the VPN is secured from any potential prying third parties. A VPN can be an extremely useful for a growing business to increase productivity without sacrificing security. Learn how to configure your Liquid Web VPN with the help of our Knowledge Base.

  • ServerSecurePLUS™

    Add additional security services and modifications to your server with ServerSecurePLUS™, an exclusive Liquid Web product. ServerSecurePLUS™ greatly enhances the security, reliability, compatibility of your server through daily CSX scans and a number of server hardening initiatives including email protection, service hardening, brute force detection, and secured access via SSH, FTP and RDP. Saving you hours of installation time or the hassle of hiring a system administrator, ServerSecurePLUS™ guarantees that your server’s important data will be protected.

  • The goal of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is to spread awareness of cyber threats so consumers can learn how to protect themselves. Depending on your business, one or two simple things, like a firewall or SSL certificate, can go a long way to ensuring your server is secure against many of the common cyber attacks seen today. Let us know if you have any further questions about cyber security – our 24/7/365 Heroic Support® is always here to help.

    Have you ever been the target of a cyber attack?

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KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-24-14
Filed under: News  

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap-Up 10-24-14
This week’s wrap-up of our Knowledge Base, is (almost) all about databases. Learn how to install MariaDB on CentOS6, Cassandra on CentOS 7, and how to solve an error you might encounter while using Cassandra’s ‘nodetool.’ Unrelated to databases, our technical writers have provided a helpful checklist to reference whenever you’re preparing your server for maintenance that requires a reboot.

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help! If you’d like to request a specific article for our Knowledge Base, let us know at support@liquidweb.com.

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KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-17-14
Filed under: How To,Knowledge Base,News  October 17, 2014

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap Up 10-17-14Our Knowledge Base is updated multiple times every week with new articles designed to help you through common web hosting issues. If you ever find yourself stuck on a problem, take a look through our hundreds of articles, the odds are you’ll find one to help. This week you can find articles about installing lsyncd and MongoDB, updating Bash, and a list of a few common chkconfig commands.

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help! If you’d like to request a specific article for our Knowledge Base, let us know at support@liquidweb.com.

Six Things You Can Do Right Now to Secure Your Server

Six Things You Can Do Right Now To Secure Your Server
It’s that time again! October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This entire month is dedicated to raising awareness of cyber security. At Liquid Web, we’d like to do our part in helping raise awareness of ever-increasing cyber threats with a few DIY security tips. Learn what six simple things you can do on your own to secure your server. For step-by-step instructions on how to execute these tips, we have linked to any relevant corresponding articles from our Knowledge Base.

  1. Update Outdated Content Management Systems

    If your website utilizes a content management system (CMS), then one of the most important things you can do to keep your site secure is to regularly and responsibly update the CMS and any plugins you may have. However, it is important to keep in mind that it might not be necessary to upgrade immediately every time you discover a new update for your CMS. Pay attention to how your plugins may be affected and talk to one of our Heroic Support® staff members about how the latest update might protect your data.

  2. Confirm Brute Force Detection Is Installed

    Brute Force Detection, or BFD, is a service on your server that watches various log files for brute force attacks, an attack attempted via rapid logins using a dictionary file. Specifically, BFD looks for several failed login attempts in a short period of time from the same IP address. If detected, the guilty IP address will be blocked in the server’s firewall.

  3. Change The Default SSH Port

    Changing your SSH port to something other than the default port 22 can help secure your server against brute force attacks scanning for vulnerable servers across the Internet. While it isn’t a guaranteed fix, many brute force login attempts are generally only looking for servers using the default port, and changing that port is a small thing that can greatly reduce the chances of you suffering from a brute force attack.

  4. Disable the Root User Login

    One of the common methods that brute force attacks use when attempting to gain access to your system is to focus specifically on root passwords. To avoid this, it’s best to disable root user login in the SSH server entirely. Creating a new user and using an alternative login that you can switch to root when needed, will both protect your server and allow you to still have access to root-level functions.

  5. Update Your Root User and SSH Information in Manage

    Once you’ve made the above changes to your SSH port and root user logins, you’ll want to make sure you update this information in our Manage interface. One of the best resources you can rely on for server security is our Heroic Support®. In order for our team to address any issues you come across, we’ll need access to your login details. Maintaining this information in Manage allows us to quickly login to your server to diagnose and solve any problems you have. In addition, we’ll be able to login into your server proactively to fix any problems or apply any updates so you don’t have to worry.

  6. Practice Safe Passwords

    Even if every other security precaution is taken, an insecure password can make an entire server vulnerable. Longer, complex passwords are best when it comes to your server. Carefully choose your passwords when setting up your server, keeping in mind that secure passwords are often at least 10 characters, omit dictionary words, and contain a mix of numbers and special characters. Alternatively, just visit one of the sites listed in our above linked Knowledge Base article to randomly generate a strong password.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on spreading awareness of cyber threats, but we want our customers to be able to protect themselves as well. By following the step-by-step instructions in the above linked Knowledge Base articles, you can be sure your server will much more secure against many of the common cyber attacks seen today. But don’t worry, if find yourself in need of more aid, our 24/7/365 Heroic Support® is here if you need them.

KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-10-14
Filed under: How To,Knowledge Base,News  October 10, 2014

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap Up 10-10-14
Have you encountered any errors that you’ve been unable to solve on your own? Make sure you check out our Knowledge Base whenever you encounter a question you can’t answer. Not only have our content writers have been busy this last week writing tutorials for Logwatch and Firewalld on various operating systems, but they’ve also solved a few of those frequently seen errors for you!

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help! If you’d like to request a specific article for our Knowledge Base, let us know at support@liquidweb.com.

Press Release: Liquid Web Launches Redesigned, Responsive Website
Filed under: News,Press Releases  October 9, 2014

LANSING, Mich.— Liquid Web Inc., a premium web hosting provider with locations in Michigan and Arizona, has launched its redesigned website at LiquidWeb.com. With the completion of the full rebuild, the company has added new and enhanced content, including a featured area on the front page for up-to-date customer support statistics as well as a revamped shopping cart that simplifies the ordering process. The website has also been developed to feature a responsive design, adapting its display for optimal viewing on any size/resolution screen.

New Website Details: https://www.liquidweb.com/blog/index.php/new-responsive-website-focuses-on-transparency/

Liquid Web Marketing Director, Jason Grasshoff, on the Decision to Redesign:
“The redesign of our website is a task we could not approach lightly because our customers are some of the most knowledgeable on the Internet when it comes to what makes a great site. We have been updating our LiquidWeb.com on a page-by-page basis for some time, but a full redesign has been on the agenda since our customers began accessing our site on many different devices, from phones to tablets to different monitor set-ups. We are excited not only by the enhanced user experience, but also by the fact that this version maintains a useful, attractive look, regardless of how you choose to view it.

Another primary goal of ours was to ensure the site is representative of our company’s identity. When Liquid Web is brought up in the hosting community, often the first thing people talk about is the speed and availability of our support. Since our Heroic Support team provides that excellent experience, they’re the true star behind our brand. With this and our commitment to transparency in mind, we’ve put them front and center on the new site, by including regularly updated support stats directly on the landing page.”

Changes to the LiquidWeb.com’s appearance and design will be apparent upon visiting for anyone familiar with the website. The company states that it has significantly modernized this user portal to accommodate a growing customer-base, expanding as the company continues to branch out into new areas with its ongoing development in the United States, as well as Europe.

ALSO SEE: Company Named to INC5000′s Fastest Growing Companies for 8th Consecutive Year


Liquid Web Inc. is a privately held, managed web hosting company founded in 1997. The company owns and operates three data center facilities located in Lansing, Michigan in addition to having a software development office and a data center in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. In 2014, the company also launched development space in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as extending hosting operations to Europe (attaining space in Amsterdam, NL). It has established itself as a leader in the professional web hosting market with an unwavering dedication to providing the best hosting products customer service available. With a client-base that spans beyond 120 countries, the company has assembled a world class Heroic Support staff and a proactive Sonar Server Monitoring team, professionally educated and easily accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The rapidly expanding web host has been recognized amongst INC Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for eight consecutive years, beginning in 2007.
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New Responsive Website Focuses on Transparency
Filed under: Heroic Support,In 60 Seconds,News  October 8, 2014

Liquid Web Website Boasts Responsive Design
As a part of our ongoing efforts to improve customer experience at Liquid Web, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new website! The new LiquidWeb.com boasts a number of features designed to improve the site’s overall usability, organization, speed, and clarity. Not only have we refined and modernized the content and design, but the new site also emphasizes our dedication to transparency in our Heroic Support®.

Our site redesign was done with our customers in mind, with the goal to improve the overall experience when they visit the site and present to them an honest and transparent representation of Liquid Web. With this in mind, we added monthly support statistics front and center on our home page detailing how quickly we answered our customers’ questions via phone, LiveChat, and email. Our Marketing Director, Jason Grasshoff, explains why these statistics were so important to include on the redesigned website.

“A primary goal of ours was to ensure the site is representative of our company’s identity,” Grasshoff said. “When Liquid Web is brought up in the hosting community, often the first thing people talk about is the speed and availability of our support. Since our Heroic Support team provides that excellent experience, they’re the true star behind our brand. With this and our commitment to transparency in mind, we’ve put them front and center on the new site, by including regularly updated support stats directly on the landing page.”
Transparently Displaying Our Heroic Support Statistics
We’ve included a number of additional changes to that improve the site’s usability – and make our customers’ lives easier. The inspiration for these changes is our Heroic Promise, which starts the moment a customer visits our website. We want to ensure that all the information a customer is looking for is easily accessible and clearly explained. With this redesign, we’ve made improvements to everything from the site navigation to the purchasing process, including:

  • Reorganized Site Navigation
    Our revised site navigation puts all the most important pages right up front, and makes it easy for our customers to browse the site and quickly find what they need.
  • Speed & Efficiency
    We know how valuable our customers’ time is, so we’ve enhanced the site to decrease our page load times, allowing customers to find exactly what they need in less time.
  • Simplified Ordering Process
    We’ve eliminated unnecessary content and clutter from our shopping cart, making the ordering process even easier for customers.
  • Modern Site Design
    Our new site design is clean and modern, eliminating distractions and allowing customers to focus on the important part of our website, the content.
  • Responsive Design
    Our customers access our website from many different devices, so we made sure to create a responsive website that would not only look beautiful, but also function beautifully on all screen sizes and resolutions.
  • Updated Content and New Media
    In addition to small content revisions throughout the site, we have also included new media, including new diagrams and our “In 60 Seconds” video series to help our customers further understand our products.
  • New Photography
    We’re proud of our Heroic Support staff and make a point to use real Liquid Web employees on our website, rather than stock photography. Every photo you see is taken within our data centers and many of them showcase the actual Heroes helping customers every day.

Our new website is a reflection of our customers’ needs. Every new feature was designed with the goal of educating our customers and helping them purchase and set up their hosting environments even faster. Improving the customer experience is always our top priority and we’ll continue to find new ways, like our redesigned website, to go above and beyond in every way possible.

Have you checked out our new website? Let us know what you think!

Always Available. Always Fast.
Filed under: Heroic Support,News  October 3, 2014

Our Heroic Support Staff Upholds Our Initial Response Time Guarantee
There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to reach a human being when you’re trying to contact a customer service department. If you’ve ever been stuck on hold for an extremely long amount of time or had to navigate seemingly endless phone trees to get to someone, then you know what we’re talking about. Because we value our customers’ time and energy, we make a point to ensure you are actually able to talk to a real person within minutes of calling, emailing or sending in a LiveChat. It’s a measure of pride for us that our Heroic Support® is not only available 24/7/365, but also available immediately when you reach out. We even publish our monthly statistics front and center on our website detailing how quickly we answered our customers’ messages, all in the name of transparency.

September 2014 Support Statistics

  • Telephone Initial Response: 10 seconds
  • HelpDesk Initial Response: 29 minutes, 39 seconds
  • LiveChat Initial Response: 19 seconds
  • Customer Satisfaction: 98%

Providing our customers with highly responsive Heroic Support® is part of our Heroic Promise®. We call it our Initial Response Time Guarantee. This guarantee states that all HelpDesk tickets will be responded to within 30 minutes, all LiveChats will be responded to within 59 seconds, and all phone calls will be answered within 59 seconds. Not only are these guarantees some of the quickest available, but we often come in substantially under the these time limits in our average monthly support statistics. In addition to these industry-leading response times we offer a 1000% compensation, as outlined in our SLA’s 100% uptime guarantee. That means if you experience downtime, we will credit you at 10x the amount of time you were down.

Our response time guarantees exist for you. While we strive to make every interaction a positive and enjoyable experience, we realize that our customers have hectic lives and want their questions answered or their problems solved as soon as possible. Our response time guarantees mean that you can rely on Liquid Web to answer your questions quickly and thoroughly, allowing you to focus on the purpose of your service rather than its status.

Have you experienced a heroically fast response time from Liquid Web?

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