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Domain Pricing Change Spring 2016

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This post serves as a notice of domain price increases, effective April 15, 2016.

Our domain registrar, Enom, has increased prices on all common domain extensions and our new pricing will reflect this cost increase. The increase will apply to all new domain registrations, transfers, and renewals. To lock in your current pricing, please register or renew your domains by April 14.

New Pricing:

.COM: $13.99
.NET: $15.99
.ORG: $14.99
.BIZ: $15.99
.INFO: $14.99

Looking Ahead to 2016

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The new year marks 14 years we have been in the hosting business and we thank all our many clients (past, present, and future) for making those years the most blessed we could have imagined.

E-Starr began in 2002 as a solution to a problem. There was quality hosting, and there was cheap hosting, but quality cheap hosting was near impossible to find. Our goal from day one was to provide the best service at a price anyone could easily afford. Our smallest package costing less than a cup of coffee, providing ample space and bandwidth for most websites.

Over the years hosting has changed, including the ruse of “unlimited” hosting solutions, but we have maintained our affordable pricing structure that allows us to avoid overselling and keep above average uptime. This will continue throughout 2016, along with some improvements!

New products you can look forward to during 2016 include Cloud VPS, Managed WordPress Hosting, and Dedicated Servers. We have been working toward adding these services through the end of 2015 and are adding each service soon.

We hope you’re as excited as we are! If you’re interested in any of these services before they’re released on the website, please contact support and we will get you entered into our beta program!

Happy New Year!

Protect Wordpress Like It's A Child

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Not many people think of WordPress as a child, but maybe they should..

When you first install WordPress on your new site, it seems like there’s a world of possibilities. At first your WordPress can’t do much, but you can dress it up in pretty premade themes and start playing around with it. You probably have the themes you got from the babyshower (zip file) and you want to go out and find a few more than will reflect your personality and style. Just like a new baby, your new WordPress is a reflection of you.

A few months later when your website is built and released to the public, you find that your WordPress is getting bored with it’s current toys and you venture out to find some new plugins that will make your website run more smoothly, rank better in Google, or let everyone know how to find you on social media. Since there are multiple plugins that do the same thing you install them all, trying each one out to find the one you like.

About 6 months into your WordPress site you’re likely actively working with your WordPress regularly or maybe you’re not. No one is a perfect parent, but we try. Regardless of your activity on your WordPress, others are starting to notice it and will soon begin influencing the way it acts.

Around the 1 year mark of your WordPress, it’s effectively an angsty teenager. It’s beginning to hang out with a tough crowd of hackers and spammers because search engines made it easy to pick out. This is the point where the type of parent you are makes a difference.

The Unattentive Parent

If you have a WordPress that hasn’t been maintained in the slightest, this is probably you. At this point Google as crawled your site and found all its insecurities to share with hackers and spammers as soon as they search for it. And there are a lot. If your site as at this point and has not yet been hacked, you can still save it. But do you want to? If you don’t care for it, save what you want to keep and uninstall it. If you do want to keep it, read more about The Over Protective Parent below. If it HAS been hacked, save what you need and uninstall it. Saving a hacked WordPress is a lot less work than installing a new one.

The Loving Parent

If you have a WordPress that has been a even a semi-weekly presence in your life, it’s safe to say you love your WordPress site. It’s likely that you keep it updated each time there’s a new version of WordPress, or your plugins, or your themes. You probably know there’s more you could do to keep your WordPress safe, but you feel like what you’re doing is enough and you keep backups just incase. This site has about a 50/50 chance of getting hacked. If it is hacked, you will need to decide whether to start over, take the time to clean it up properly, or pay someone to do it. Keep in mind a hacker doesn’t usually just make himself 1 door.

The Over Protective Parent

Typically this type of person uses their WordPress for business and can’t tolerate the possibility of being hacked. It could ruin their reputation or even cause them to lose money. Despite the purpose of your WordPress, it’s important to keep it safe and make sure it isn’t going to be a bad influence on the other kids. I’m going to put these steps in a bullet list so you can follow them as if it were step-by-step. Each of these steps is necessary for all WordPress installs. I challenge you to check this list against your current WordPress sites.

  • Delete the ‘Hello World’ post!
    Google the words Hello World to find a list of poorly maintained WordPress sites… Go on, try it.
  • Delete all the themes you won’t be using.
    Wordpress ships with Twenty Eleven, Twenty Twleve, Twenty Thirteen, Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen – you don’t need them all.
  • Decide whether or not you will want your visitors to comment.
    If you don’t, go in the settings and turn off all comments (spammers instantly stopped!) If you do, set up Akismet or find another comment spam plugin.
  • Install a good security plugin like Sucuri Security and harden your WP.
    This plugin will harden all the directories that are commonly hacked, as well as offer other suggestions.
  • Create a new user account for yourself with Administrator permissions.
    Once you have this new account, set the old one to have no permissions. The first user is commonly the one to get attacked with brute force.
  • Delete any plugins you’re not using.
    When you try out plugins for your site you usually end up with some that weren’t what you needed. Don’t just DeActivate them, delete them completely.
  • Upgrade everything, always.
    Wordpress can only be as safe as the version you’re running. That also goes for its themes and plugins.Check your WordPress for updates often and subscribe to the newsletter to be notified by email when there’s an upgrade available.

Hosting your own WordPress site allows you the flexibility to run it however you like and own your own content, but it comes with responsibility.

If you have any suggestions for securing WordPress that are not listed here, please comment!

 

Goodbye Bandwidth Limits

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I am so excited to announce that we will no longer be limiting bandwidth on any accounts! Not the Lil’ Blogger, not the Shared hosting, not even the Resellers (what?!).

If you’ve taken a look in your account you may still see a bandwidth bar there, and it doesn’t have a little infinity symbol. We aren’t going to be switching to ‘unlimited bandwidth’ in a way you might be used to. While your account will not be suspended for the amount of bandwidth used (which is the amount of visits to your website) you will still be notified when you reach a certain limit that may be a cause for concern. Let me explain..

If a website with 100mb space used ends up using 100,000mb of bandwidth, that can be red flag that the site has been hacked or is being attacked by spammers. You want to know this. You need to know this. So cPanel is going to email you when you hit that much and tell you that your limit has been reached. Your site wiill not be suspended.

The reason we impose limits on bandwidth is about trying to keep a site from getting out of control if it is compromised with an outdated script or being spammed because you’ve installed a WordPress and forgot it was there. Taking off these limits is a cause of concern, which is why we leave the limit in and simply remove the suspension of the account for reaching that limit.

Please note that while you won’t be suspended for using too much bandwidth, you may be suspended due to another issue that can cause excess bandwidth, like a compromised script or spam attack and we will notify you with information as soon as our investigation is complete.

Feedback on this and everything is appreciated! Please comment or send us a helpdesk ticket if you have any questions, concerns, or kudos.

Do You Want A Free Domain and Hosting?

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UPDATE! The winner is Leiza M! We will be emailing you soon.

This email was sent out to our clients today, have a read..

Hello,

Do you want a free domain and hosting? I hope that you will take a couple of minutes to read and respond to this email, because we are dedicated to providing you with the best possible service and we can only do that if we know what you want/need. August 3rd we will draw a random name from those who respond to receive a free domain and hosting for a year!

There have been some changes to the offerings of our providers that position us to be able to release some new services, as well as make some changes to the services we currently offer. Two changes will be made immediately, while some others will be following shortly. To make sure we’re offering the best we can for our customers, we ask only that you reply to this email with any positive or constructive feedback. If we’re falling short in some way, please let us know so we can fix it. If we’re doing something right, please also let us know so we can keep doing it!

The first change that will begin August 1 will be a change to the domain pricing. Since the .ORG domain extension has gone up again, we will be increasing it to $13.99 with the .NET extension. The .ORG extension is much less popular than .NET, so I don’t expect much of an impact for our customers.

The second change that will begin August 1 will be a lift of bandwidth limits. Our network provider has increased our bandwidth limit ten-fold, which means we no longer need to monitor bandwidth as closely as we have in the past. We’re pretty excited about this. More information will be posted on the blog August 1.

All of the information on these changes and more will be posted on our blog, as well as reflected in our website ASAP. We will begin offering VPS and other services, which will be added over the next couple of months, so keep an eye on the blog. We also need some clients who are interested in helping us test these new offerings, which we will request via blog and social media when the time is right.

Thank you for choosing E-Starr!