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Next Generation QUIC Protocol Now Supported

October 20, 2017

QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) is a next generation internet protocol developed by and in use across most of Google’s services. It improves upon HTTP/2 by reducing the time it takes to begin serving content.

By replacing TCP with UDP, and encrypting the majority of its payload, QUIC shortens the handshake process by a factor of two or three, all while maintaining data security. </end technical mumbo jumbo>

Today you can use QUIC on more than just Gmail as it is now available to all Varial Hosting customers!

To start using QUIC your website just needs to be accessed over HTTPS from a supported browser.

That’s all there is to it! Enjoy faster page loading times!

QUIC is enabled by default in Google’s Chrome browser and support has been recently added to the Opera browser as an optional setting.

(Please note that QUIC is not yet supported on websites that have the CloudFlare content delivery network enabled.)

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WordPress Cache Plugin Updated with Support for Edge Side Includes

September 1, 2017

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 1.2.0.1. This new version includes a major new feature, support for edge side includes (ESI)!

What are Edge Side Includes?

ESI allows you to serve both public and privately cached content together on one page. In other words, ESI allows you to designate parts of your page as separate fragments that are treated differently from the rest of the page.

For example, if you use WordPress’ Recent Posts widget, normally all pages would be purged and recached whenever a new post is published in order for that widget to display the most up to date information. With ESI enabled, all pages remain cached with and only the widget fragment needing to be purged and recached.

If you use WooCommerce, you can now cache your entire website but leave your shopping cart widget uncached so it always stays up to date for each individual visitor.

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

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How to use the official cPanel iPhone and Android Apps

August 30, 2017

Earlier this year cPanel released official mobile apps for iPhone and Android, that allow Varial Hosting customers to easily access their cPanel control panel and Webmail interfaces from their mobile devices.

To get started simply download the cPanel app from the links below or search for “cPanel” in your device’s app store:

Download for iOS
Download for Android

Once downloaded open the cPanel app and press on the + icon at the top left to add an account.

On the next screen you will need to enter your cPanel login information.

Under the Name field, you can type anything to identify the account, such as cPanel.
Under the Address field, type cpanel.yourdomain.com (replacing yourdomain.com with your actual domain name).
Ensure the Service field is set to cPanel.
Next, type in your cPanel username and password. When you hit Connect you will be logged into your cPanel control panel.

You can also use the cPanel app to connect to your email account’s Webmail interface.

To connect to your email, repeat the above process but enter your Webmail login information instead.

Under the Name field, type anything to identify the account, such as Webmail or your email address.
Under the Address field, type webmail.yourdomain.com (replacing yourdomain.com with your actual domain name)
Next, select the Service field and change it to Webmail.
Finally, type in your email address as your username and its password. When you hit Connect you will be logged into your Webmail.

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How to make your WordPress website faster

August 1, 2017

Are you getting the most out of your WordPress website?

WordPress is one of the most popular web applications in the world and powers nearly 80% of all websites hosted on our servers.

We love WordPress and its explosive growth has changed how we think about hosting and made us strive to create a platform that greatly improves both its performance and security.

Last year we launched our next generation platform and optimized WordPress hosting plans, where we pre-install WordPress for new customers and configure it for peak performance and security, but did you know that all Varial Hosting customers can benefit from our powerful new features?

How to make your WordPress website faster:

Regardless of what hosting plan you are subscribed to, all Varial Hosting customers can greatly improve the speed of their WordPress websites by installing this simple plugin, which will enable our server side cache.

When a visitor accesses your website, normally WordPress will use PHP and MySQL to build your site on each and every page they visit. This uses a lot of server resources and will often take a second or two to display depending on the complexity of your website.

When caching is enabled, WordPress will only use PHP and MySQL to build your website the first time a page is requested. Afterwards our server will save and deliver a prebuilt version of that page, which takes only fractions of a second to load. By enabling server side caching you can make your WordPress website load hundreds, if not thousands of times faster!

As our caching feature is built directly into our web server, it will also outperform other popular WordPress caching plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache which still rely on PHP to function.

Want to speed up your website but not sure where to begin? Simply contact our Support department and we’ll install this plugin for you free of charge!

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PHP 7.1 Now Available

July 30, 2017

For the early adopters out there, PHP 7.1 is now available across all of our servers.

PHP 7.1 builds upon the great improvements brought forward in PHP 7 and introduces several new features for developers which you can read about at:
http://php.net/manual/en/migration71.php

To change your PHP version, simply log into your cPanel and follow this guide:
https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/hosting/#changephp

Please be aware that not all web applications and plugins are compatible with PHP 7 at this time. For best compatibility we recommend using PHP 5.6.

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All Servers Now Protected by Imunify360

June 29, 2017

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.

Easy peasy!

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WordPress Cache Plugin Updated to v1.1.0

June 6, 2017

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

Changelog:

v1.1.0

  • [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
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Varial Celebrates 14th Anniversary with Free SSL Certificates for All Customers

June 1, 2017

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.

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LiteSpeed Web Server Now Available to All Customers

May 24, 2017

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.

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New Email Features: iOS Push Mail, Fast Email Searching and Email Disk Usage Tool

April 26, 2017

Woohoo! Three exciting new email features have just been rolled out to all Varial Hosting customers.

iOS Push Mail

If you have an iOS device you can now receive push notifications when new mail arrives rather than having your device poll our servers.

The Mail app on your device will need to be force closed and restarted in order to start receiving push notifications.

Fast Email Searching

Searching you mailbox using iOS, Outlook, Thunderbird or Webmail just got a lot faster with the introduction of our new IMAP full-text search indexing service. Search away with significantly improved speeds!

Email Disk Usage Tool

Has the size of your mailbox gotten out of hand? Our new Email Disk Usage tool can help you to quickly remove old emails or large messages to free up storage space. This tool can be accessed from your cPanel or directly within Webmail.

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