We are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday with a big bowl of poutine and a sale on web hosting and .CA domain names.
Throughout the month of July we are offering a one-time 15.0% discount on .CA domain names and any of our Canadian web hosting plans when ordering using the coupon code OHCANADA.
Click here to save 15.0% on your order! Want to maximize your savings? Select a longer billing term for even more money off!
Happy Canada Day, eh!
Earlier this month we enabled free SSL certificates for all customers to much applause and today we have another powerful new security feature to unveil to help protect your websites.
Imunify360 is an advanced firewall developed by our operating system vendor, CloudLinux.
Website attacks have become incredibly sophisticated. We used to be able to easily block brute force attacks by identifying that a visitor has submitted an incorrect password too many times in a short period. Today it is much harder to block these types of attacks as hackers no longer use a single machine but employ massive botnets of hundreds of thousands of infected computers to conduct attacks. Rather than seeing failed login attempts repeatedly coming from a single IP address, we now only see one or two login attempts before the attack switches to a different IP address. This makes it very hard to distinguish legitimate users from hackers and to prevent these attacks from reaching your website since the attacker’s IP address constantly changes every few seconds.
Imunify360 steps in by providing information on botnets and where these attacks are coming from. It uses herd immunity and artificial intelligence to detect new threats and protect all servers running the software. When one server is under attack it can alert other servers, protecting them before the threat ever reaches them.
We’ve been beta testing Imunify360 for several months and have found that our server load has been significantly reduced since we no longer have the overhead of serving websites to these bad visitors and botnets. This means your websites will even load faster as a result!
Now let’s say you’ve legitimately forgot your password and found yourself blocked by our firewall and are now unable to access your website or email. Imunify360 also helps by providing a self-service unblocking tool our customers can use to unblock their IP address without needing to contact our support department.
If you are ever presented with the above page when attempting to visit your website you can simply click the “I’m not a robot” checkbox at the bottom of the page to unblock your IP and proceed to your website.
Varial Hosting CEO Ryan Smith will be a guest speaker at #psewebUSASK as part of the conference’s social media panel.
#psewebUSASK is free, half-day conference for Canadian college and university marketers taking place at the University of Saskatchewan on Thursday, June 22nd.
Ryan will be joined by Kirsty Hack (Creative Fire) and Brianna Bergeron (Saskatchewan Polytechnic) to discuss trends in social media marketing, promotion and community engagement from their professional experience.
Free tickets to #psewebUSASK are available at:
LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 1.1.0. This new version includes bug fixes and several new features.
Customers can update this plugin through their WordPress admins or install it by following this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/wordpress/#caching
- [NEW] Added a crawler – this includes configuration options and a dedicated admin page. Uses wp-cron
- [NEW] Added integration for WPLister
- [NEW] Added integration for Avada
- [UPDATE] General structure of the plugin revamped
- [UPDATE] Improved look of admin pages
- [BUGFIX] Fix any/all wp-content path retrieval issues
- [BUGFIX] Use realpath to clear symbolic link when determining .htaccess paths
- [BUGFIX] Fixed a bug where upgrading multiple plugins did not trigger a purge all
- [BUGFIX] Fixed a bug where cli import_options did not actually update the options
- [REFACTOR] Most of the files in the code were split into more, smaller files
Today we celebrate our 14th year in business with a gift to all of our customers.
One feature we’ve been frequently asked about this year has been HTTPS / SSL support for customer websites. While this has always been possible through the purchase of a traditional SSL certificate, which would typically set you back a hundred dollars and require a manual installation, we’re about to make enabling HTTPS a lot easier.
Today we are launching a fully automated system to install and renew free SSL certificates to all domains hosted on our servers.
If you are not familiar, a SSL certificate is what is required to enable HTTPS on your website, the protocol which makes all communication between your browser and your website encrypted. If you see the https:// in the address bar of your browser and a lock icon next to it, you are browsing a secure, encrypted website.
While SSL certificates had mainly been used by eCommere websites, the Internet is moving towards an encrypted web for better security and Google even ranks websites using HTTPS higher in their search results.
We’ve been quietly beta testing this feature for over a year so SSL certificates have already been issued for all eligible domains hosted with us.
If you’d like to make the switch to HTTPS we recommend reading our SSL Certificate FAQ for more information on how they function, potential issues to watch out for and guidelines on how to make your website code compatible with HTTPS / SSL.
With all of our customers now migrated to new servers we would like to showcase one of the underlying technologies of our next generation hosting platform that gives an incredible performance boost to your websites.
LiteSpeed is a highly efficient, commercial web server and replacement for the popular Apache web server used by most hosting companies.
We selected LiteSpeed for our next generation platform as it is up to 9 times faster than Apache when serving static content, 3 times faster when serving secure SSL connections and up to 50% faster when serving PHP requests. It is also one of the first web servers to support the new HTTP/2 protocol.
What’s really cool about LiteSpeed is that it includes a powerful server side cache that can supercharge your website, making it load hundreds of times faster and reach many more visitors.
In fact, benchmark tests show WordPress loading over 4000 times faster on our new platform when LiteSpeed Cache is enabled!
Varial Hosting customers can easily speed up their WordPress sites by installing this simple plugin or by purchasing one of our optimized WordPress hosting plans.
We are excited to announce that all Varial Hosting customers are now being hosted from servers physically located in our new Saskatoon data center.
When developing our next generation hosting platform it quickly became apparent that having our servers closer to home would help us scale and deploy new features faster. With websites loading thousands of times faster on our new platform we wanted all customers to reap its rewards so we spent the past year and a half carefully migrating clients to new servers and relocating equipment from Montreal to Saskatoon.
With this work completed we are thrilled to now have all of our web hosting services be provided from our hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
With this exciting news, we have also partnered with a global content delivery network allowing all customers to speed up their websites by distributing content across 100 data centers throughout the world. When enabled, international visitors will be served content from the data center closest to their location, reducing loading times for a truly global solution.
Stay tuned as we have many exciting new features to reveal in the coming weeks!
FUZE Conference 2017 is just one week away and we are thrilled to be the web hosting sponsor of the event for the fourth year in a row!
FUZE will be held at TCU Place in Saskatoon on Wednesday, May 17th. This year’s conference is focused on helping marketing professionals navigate economic uncertainty and a changing political landscape.
This year’s speakers include:
- Meena Sandhu (UBC)
- Albert Jame (zu)
- Nykea Behiel (Vendasta)
- Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson (SkipTheDishes)
We hope to see you there!
Now that the migration of all customers from our Zeus server to our new Sirius server has been completed we are making plans to shutdown and decommission our old Zeus server.
On Monday, May 22, 2017 we will stop all services that are running on our Zeus server.
If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers and have not yet updated your IP address from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124 to complete the migration, your service will cease to function on this date until this change is made.
Similarly any attempts to directly connect to Zeus’ IP address 126.96.36.199 after May 22nd will no longer function.
All data will be wiped from the server on Monday, May 29th when Zeus is fully taken out of service.
The transfer of all customers from our Zeus server to our new Sirius server has been completed.
If your domain names are connected to our name server addresses ns1.varialhosting.com, ns2.varialhosting.com, ns3.varialhosting.com and ns4.varialhosting.com (or our older diy-dns.com or diywebhosting.ca name servers), your migration was fully automated and no action is required of you. Your domains will begin to resolve to the new server within 24 hours.
If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers you must manually update your IP address from 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206 to complete the migration. This change should be made immediately to avoid an interruption of your service.
Over the coming weeks we will begin to add many exciting new features to bring our Sirius server inline with the feature set of our next generation hosting platform.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at email@example.com for assistance.