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Change of Domain Registration Partner

May 15, 2018

After 15 years as our domain registrar, eNom has announced a change to their business model and major price increases coming to all of their partners.

The planned price increases are so drastic that we would have to substantially increase our domain rates, which would put us in a position where we do not feel we could offer competitive pricing.

Instead of increasing our customer’s pricing, we have sought out a new domain registration partner.

Effective immediately, .com/net/org/ca domains will now be registered through our new partner, Public Domain Registry.

As customer domains come due for renewal our staff will facilitate the process of transferring the domains to our new partner. To allow time for the domains to be transferred, your next domain renewal invoice will be sent two weeks early.

Upon completion of the domain transfer, you may be asked to confirm your email address with the registry. Please complete this step if you receive an email requesting it.

While changing our domain registration partner is very time consuming for our staff, this decision has been made in our customer’s interests to avoid an increase in our domain rates and keep all of our customers at their current pricing.

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Varial to Sponsor FUZE Conference, May 17 in Saskatoon

May 10, 2018

FUZE Conference 2018 is just one week away and we are thrilled to be a sponsor of the event for our fifth year in a row!

FUZE will be held at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel in Saskatoon on Thursday, May 17th.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Costa Maragos (U of R/CBC)
  • Dustin Ratzlaff (unINK)
  • Andrew Potter (Wyant Group)
  • Mona Elesseily (Page Zero Media)

We hope to see you there!

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How to Avoid a “Not Secure” Warning on Your Website

May 1, 2018

Web browser developers are strongly pushing for an encrypted web and are taking actions to encourage website owners to begin using HTTPS.

The latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari now display a “Not Secure” warning when visiting a login or payment page over HTTP. This is to alert the user that the information they are submitting is being sent over an unencrypted connection.

To remove the “Not Secure” warning, these pages should be accessed over HTTPS instead so the information is transmitted over a secure, encrypted connection from the user’s browser to the server. To use HTTPS, your website must have a valid SSL certificate installed for your domain name.

We got you!

The good news is that Varial Hosting provides free SSL certificates for all domains hosted on our servers! Free SSL certificates have been provided for over a year and are ready for our customers to begin using.

For example, Varial customers can log into their cPanel and Webmail interfaces securely over HTTPS from the following locations:

https://cpanel.yourdomain.com/
https://webmail.yourdomain.com/

* Replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain name.

You can also log into your WordPress administrative area securely over HTTPS from an address like:

https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/

Make the switch

The next step is to use HTTPS across your entire website. This not only offers a security advantage, but can improve search engine rankings and speed up your website by enabling the next-generation HTTP/2 and QUIC protocols which are available only to HTTPS websites.

Switching your website to HTTPS may be as easy as typing in https://www.yourdomain.com/ instead of http://www.yourdomain.com/ in your browser.

However, it unfortunately is not always that simple. Changes to your website code may be required to make your website compatible with HTTPS.

We recommend reading over the following articles for more information on preparing your website for HTTPS compatibility:

Why is the lock icon not displaying or my website loading incorrectly when accessed over HTTPS?
– How do I redirect all visitors to HTTPS?

If you require assistance updating your existing website for HTTPS / SSL compatibility, please consult a web design firm. Varial Hosting does not provide support for updating a customer’s website code.

The ugly

In a bold move, Google has announced that in version 68 of their Chrome browser (due later this year), they will begin to label all pages accessed over HTTP as “Not Secure”. This will force the hand of website owners to switch to HTTPS to avoid scaring away visitors with this glaring warning.

If your website is not currently taking advantage of HTTPS, we recommend making the switch at your earliest convenience!

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Introducing Server Side Caching For Joomla and Drupal

April 12, 2018

Joomla and Drupal users, get ready for a major performance boost!

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast WordPress performance is now available for Joomla and Drupal!

Our server side cache can make your website load hundreds of times faster and reach many more visitors.

Improve your website performance today by installing our LiteSpeed Cache plugins:

How to install LiteSpeed Cache for Joomla
How to install LiteSpeed Cache for Drupal
How to install LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress

Need help installing these plugins? Simply contact our Support department and we’ll install them for you free of charge!

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Varial Featured on Top 10 Website Hosting

April 11, 2018

UK review site, Top 10 Website Hosting recently caught up with our CEO Ryan Smith for an interview and review of our services.

Learn more about our optimized WordPress hosting service and origins of our company by clicking here to read the article!

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Content Delivery Network Expands to 150 Locations Including Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg

April 2, 2018

CloudFlare, our content delivery network partner recently expanded their network to 150 cities across the world, including points of presence in three new Canadian cities, Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

With our company and data center located in Saskatoon, this is particularly exciting news for us as CloudFlare is now a participant in the Saskatoon Internet Exchange and can interconnect locally with our data center partner to exchange traffic faster and with lower latency.

Varial Hosting customers can easily activate the CloudFlare content delivery network from their cPanel control panels by following this guide:
https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/hosting/#cloudflare

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WordPress Cache Plugin Updated to v2.0

March 9, 2018

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 2.0. This new version includes big improvements to image optimization, bug fixes and more.

Customers can update this plugin through their WordPress admins or install it by following this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/wordpress/#caching

Changelog:

v2.0

  • [NEW FEATURE] Image Optimization Added level up guidance.
  • [REFACTOR] Image Optimization Refactored Image Optimization class.
  • [IAPI] Image Optimization New European Image Optimization server (EU2).
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Manual pull action continues pulling until complete.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] CDN Multiple CDNs can now be randomized for a single resource.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Improved compatibility of long src images.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Reduced runtime load.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Avoid potential loss/reset of notified images status when pulling.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Avoid duplicated optimization for multiple records in Media that have the same image source.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Fixed issue where phantom images continued to show in not-yet-requested queue.
  • [BUGFIX] Core Improved compatibility when upgrading outside of WP Admin. (@jikatal @TylorB)
  • [BUGFIX] Crawler Improved HTTP/2 compatibility to avoid erroneous blacklisting.
  • [BUGFIX] Crawler Changing Delay setting will use server variable for min value validation if set.
  • [UPDATE] Crawler Added HTTP/2 protocol switch in the Crawler settings.
  • [UPDATE] Removed unnecessary translation strings.
  • [GUI] Display translated role group name string instead of English values. (@Richard Hordern)
  • [GUI] Added Join LiteSpeed Slack link.
  • [GUI] Import / Export Cosmetic changes to Import Settings file field.
  • [INTEGRATION] Improved compatibility with WPML Media for Image Optimization. (@szmigieldesign)
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Varial Reviewed by FindMyHost.com and Awarded Perfect Grade

February 7, 2018

FindMyHost.com recently reviewed our web hosting service and awarded us a perfect grade after testing our speed, uptime and customer service.

We have been added as an Approved Host to their database and given the following grades:

Support = A
Sales = A
Plans/Features = A
Usability = A

Final Grade = A

Click here to view our full report card.

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.NET Domain Price Change

February 1, 2018

Effective February 1, 2018 pricing for new .NET domain registrations and transfers will change to reflect a recent increase in price of the .net TLD by its registry operator.

Domain names expiring within the next 30 days will renew at existing rates. No changes will be made to existing renewal invoices.

Domains expiring after March 3, 2018 will renew at the following rates:

.NET:

Was $21.99CAD >> Now $23.99CAD/year
Was $16.99USD >> Now $17.99USD/year

If you have any questions or concerns please contact billing@varialhosting.com for clarification.

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Happy New Year from Varial Hosting

January 1, 2018

January 1st is always an exciting day.

It’s a chance to look back at what has been accomplished and a day to set goals and make plans for the next 365 days.

We had an exciting 2017 and have started on our to-do list for the upcoming year, so we’d like to share our highlights and roadmap ahead with you.

Faster servers. Faster support.

Day or night our support ticket response time average for 2017 was 18 minutes. This blows away industry standards and was even a pleasant surprise to us!

We’ve often heard that the quality of our support is the reason why our clients recommend us, so we’ll always strive to answer your questions as quickly and effectively as possible.

Along with our support, our servers also got faster. We completed the migration of all customers to our next generation hosting platform, bringing many exciting new features like server side caching for WordPress to all of our clients!

We also helped the web become a little more secure by providing free SSL certificates to all domains hosted with us. With the Internet moving towards an encrypted web, Google now ranks websites using SSL certificates higher in their search results!

The road ahead.

As we dive into 2018 we have identified three key areas we plan to focus our attention on:

Feature parity between all servers

Customers who have been with us for a while may find that their default PHP and MySQL versions don’t match up with what we install on our newest servers. Updating all servers so they feature the exact same software configuration is of the highest importance to us. A considerable amount of work is required to ensure compatibility and prepare for this upgrade, so our staff will be working hard throughout the year to complete this. Plenty of advanced notice will be given before server software is upgraded.

New features and better documentation

We will continue to improve our next generation hosting platform and already have several new features in the works, but one thing that could use some love is our documentation and tutorial videos. We plan to revamp the support materials available on our website to keep up all of the big changes we’ve been making.

Marketing and expansion

We’ve invested heavily in our next generation hosting platform and are ready to grow! We hope to expand our customer base and the size of our company through extensive marketing efforts. Expect to see us much more active on social media and placing the occasional advertisements.

We hope you had a happy holiday and your new year is filled with love and prosperity!

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