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Understanding the IPv6 Rollout

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Internet Protocol is the set of rules that governs the exchange of information and the way traffic is routed on the web. Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the next generation Internet communication protocol that provides an identification and location system for devices, computers and networks and will replace IPv4, the current protocol that has many limitations. This blog shines some light on IPv6 and explains the impact on Internet users and how the CloudAccess.net platform is IPv6 ready.

The Growth of the Internet and the Need for a New Protocol

Originally developed in the 1970s, IPv4 is a cornerstone of the Internet as we know it. It was developed long before anyone could really imagine all of the interconnected devices that we have today. IPv4 allows for approximately 4.3 billion unique IP addresses, which might sound like a lot and certainly was a lot in 1970s standards. Nobody in 1970, however, could have predicted that the Internet would be as popular as it is or that many of us would be walking around with high speed computers in our pockets. With close to 3 billion current Internet users, IPv4 presents some serious limitations.

Essentially, the biggest limitation is that IPv4 is running out of the 32 bit addresses that each computer or device is required to have. An example of a 32 bit IPv4 address:

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Introducing the CloudAccess.net API

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The CloudAccess.net API puts the power of our entire platform directly into the hands of developers. Using the API, your site visitors will be able to launch a custom application directly from your website. The API is ideal for any type of web service provider and can be easily integrated into any site. The best part is that you can expand the services that you offer, attract new clients and earn a recurring monthly revenue stream.

How the API Works

Let’s say you’re a developer and you have a perfectly designed application including a template or theme that displays each of your extensions or plug-ins including your image rotator, carousel, gallery and accordion. Your clients typically have to install an application, purchase your software, install it, enable it, configure it, test it and more. At best, this process is time-consuming and tedious.

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Site Sanitization: Cleaning up a Hacked Website

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We pride ourselves on having an extremely secure platform, but even the most secure hosting providers see hacked websites on a daily basis. Almost always, the goal of the hacker is to steal content, send spam, spread malware or conduct some type of phishing scam. Many times we’ll see a site administrator clean a site only for it to be hacked again a few days later, and then they come to us wanting to know why. We find that some additional steps that can secure a site and fend off attacks are often neglected. This blog explains why sites are hacked, steps for cleaning up a hacked site, and preventative measures that can be taken to secure the site moving forward.

Why sites get hacked

Vulnerable Extensions

There are several reasons a site can be hacked, but the culprit we identify most often is an outdated extension. Updating extensions is critical because hackers can easily identify vulnerabilities in older versions, which are like a wide open back door to the site. If you’re using a Joomla site, it’s best practice to visit the Vulnerable Extensions List frequently. If you see an extension you’re using on this list, download and install the patches immediately. If no patches exist, disable the extension and find something to replace it.

Outdated Applications

Another reason we see sites hacked is because the site itself is an older version of the application, like Joomla 1.5 for example, which is no longer supported with security patches. We provide a managed hosting platform, which means we’ll update versions for you when a new STS (short term support) version becomes available. When a new LTS (long term support) version becomes available, it’s up to site administrators to upgrade on their own. It’s definitely best practice to stay current with the most recent version of your application.

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Diagnosing & Fixing PHP Fatal Errors

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Imagine this horrible hypothetical situation: you’re deep in development mode making changes all over your site. You’re in the zone - nothing can stop you as you move about the options as fast as humanly possible. Your site is going to be a miracle, you’re a genius, ideas keep flowing through your head and you’re going to change the world. After making several changes, installing several extensions, posting multiple articles, you refresh the page to see the changes live only to cry out in pain and anger because your site suddenly looks something like this:

Or this:

Also known as the dreaded “500 Internal Server Error”.

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The Evolution of the CCP: Our Design Process

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The Cloud Control Panel, or the CCP, is an easy-to-use interface used to manage each website hosted with CloudAccess.net. We recently redesigned the entire CCP and this blog describes the process we went through and offers a little history of one of the most important pieces of our platform.

In the beginning, the CCP was actually a custom Joomla component we built and pre-installed in Joomla sites that were launched through our platform. It was completely separate from what we called the “Client Area” at the time.

When Joomla 2.5 was released, we removed the CCP from the Joomla application and added those features to the Client Area, unifying account and application management tools. The result was the second version of the Cloud Control Panel, which you can see below.

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Celebrating our 20,000th Website!

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Last week we hit a big milestone as a hosting provider: the number of active hosted applications on our platform reached 20,000! Every once in a while we like to recognize accomplishments like these and to celebrate our clients because, although we’re not one of the giants in the industry just yet, each client helps us get there. Keep reading to find out who got free lifetime hosting for launching the 20,000th site!

To be honest, we didn’t expect to reach this milestone just yet - we were projecting this to happen in July or August, but we launched WordPress as a fully integrated product throughout the entire platform in March, which helped us reach this goal a little quicker than anticipated. Active websites on our platform include demo trial sites, websites that have been launched through our CMS in the Classroom program, and clients who have upgraded to one of our hosting & support plans.

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A New Site, A New Office & A New Product: Adding WordPress to the CloudAccess.net Platform

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It’s almost Spring, and there are several refreshing changes happening at CloudAccess.net. We have a new website and a new office location, and (most importantly) a new product to announce. WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system powering close to 20% of the world’s top websites, has now been completely integrated into the CloudAccess.net platform!

For the last 4 years, we've focused 100% of our attention to developing the most complete web hosting platform available for the Joomla Content Management System. We've scaffolded support services around Joomla and we've helped tens of thousands of people learn how to build and maintain their own Joomla sites. We've now set our sights on doing the same thing with WordPress.

Over the years we've received countless requests to extend our services to incorporate WordPress. After a great deal of hard work by the entire CloudAccess.net Team, we are happy to announce that we are officially providing managed hosting and support for the WordPress application. Just like with Joomla, clients can immediately provision a WordPress website through the Cloud Control Panel™(CCP) and use all the CCP features to manage their application.

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Introducing the Cloud Control Panel™2.0

We take great pride in our customized Cloud Control Panel™(CCP) that is simple, intuitive and powerful. The CCP is at the heart of our platform and the main interface between CloudAccess.net clients and team members. You won’t find a better control panel at any other hosting company. Today we are launching a new version of our Joomla-specific, feature-rich CCP and we know you'll enjoy your new client experience.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Joomla Compression and Caching

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The Basics of Compression and Caching

When visitors come to your site, their browser displays content that is served from a web server. The web server is told what content to send based on the output of the Joomla application. Each page that the visitor loads requires Joomla to generate content into an html page for the visitor's browser. Sometimes Joomla has to generate the same content over and over. When this happens, site administrators can take advantage of caching to reduce the amount of work required from Joomla and the web server, which can greatly improve performance.

Compression comes into play when the files and data that is generated by Joomla gets sent from the web server to the browser. In many cases, compressing that data can increase the speed at which the data is sent, as well as the performance of the web server itself. In combination, these two factors can greatly decrease the speed at which your pages load for site visitors.

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CloudAccess.net Reaches a PageRank of 8

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Warning to all readers: this is not a blog post. It is a shameless brag post!

Now that you have had fair warning, and you've chosen to continue reading, we would like to unveil the latest CloudAccess.net news tid-bit. Earlier today, during some routine Google PageRank checking, we found that the CloudAccess.net PageRank has risen to the astronomical value of 8!

The History of PageRank

Developed way back in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page (that’s where the “Page” comes in), the system was set to use algorithms that ranked sites on a 1-10 scale based on link popularity. Soon after this system was designed, it was put into use when the same two gentlemen founded a company you may have heard of, Google. Essentially, PageRank is one of many indicators to a sites link popularity. 

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