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More than just a company blog, we are here to share with you ways to make the most from your website. Look for tips, tricks, and resources for creating and maintaining a successful website.

Another Domain Price Change

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This article was created to alert you to the fact that .NET is raising their prices again and they will be adjusted accordingly in the portal’s pricing. This change is effective February 1, 2015. If you currently have a domain registered and due for renewal in the February-March-April time frame, I would suggest renewing it now for the best price. Possibly even for multiple years, considering the .NET extension yearly price has gone up more than $4 over the past decade.

It is not only us. Wherever your .NET domain is registered, the price is going up!

Over the past years we have tried to absorb many of the price increases and continue to offer the free domain registration/renewal with yearly hosting. We attempted to offset the .NET price increase by only increasing our prices by half, and allowing the .COM’s lower cost to cover the difference. In this year’s increase, the .COM will no longer be able to do this as .NET registrations are more common and it is the biggest increase yet.

Based on the new pricing, starting February 1st we will be offering .NET at $13.99/yr.

All other domain extension prices will remain the what they are now until their authorities change the prices.

Jodi's Jungle Jym Gets A Facelift

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Jodi from Jodi’s Jungle Jym is a long time client of ours and decided it was a good time to revamp her site. Her old site was great back in 2010 when it was first released, but it was no longer holding her interest or meeting her needs. We were able to recreate her site on a modest budget with a Divi child theme.

Screenshot_1

The old site was actually designed by E-Starr 5 years ago, but was put into WordPress and set up by another designer. The coding she used was outdated and because she wasn’t using a premium theme that’s updated regularly, the site had many security holes.

screenshot

Jodi’s new site uses softer colors, attractive images, and larger text to make it easier to read, navigate, and increase average page visits. On top of the new design, we’ve hardened her WordPress to give her extra levels of security on her site. The Divi theme includes a page builder, which allowed us to make each page different or exactly the same and is updated regularly by the Elegant Themes staff.

Our website maintenance service is billed at $30 per hour and can include any service you need, from cleaning out infected files, adding/removing content, revamp and redesign, or even just script upgrades and customization. Feel free to open a ticket to inquire about this service.

This entire website took 2 weeks to complete, with all content provided by the client. By using a child theme we were able to cut the cost and time to complete by 75%.

Network Outage 03-31-14

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Yesterday our network provider for all E-Starr servers, AtlantaNAP, experienced a full network outage. Because of this, all sites on E-Starr and many other hosting providers were inaccessible for about an hour. Because our main site was also down, we blasted the information on social media for our clients to know the issue was being handled. Here is the official statement on this rare outage:

“On Monday, March 31 at 2:17 PM EST, GNAX routers were unable to effectively route traffic to the internet. The issue stemmed from a large peer at the TIE peering fabric flooding the peer routers with unproductive routes, which crippled our route tables on the adjacent routers and then propagated and affected our core routers as BGP neighbors. The immediate fix re-converged routes at 3:12 PM EST.

To prevent this type of incident occurring again in the future, our network team has applied more stringent access lists in those peers. Also, our stricter configuration will terminate a BGP peer if they show a sudden, unexpected increase in routes, further protecting our customers from this type of occurrence in the future.

The immediate fix was determined and implementation was started in less than 30 minutes, as our network team launched in to action. However, due to the scale and variety of our network infrastructure, it took a few hours to fully diagnose and confirm the issue from the logs, design a more permanent resolution and carefully test it.

We apologize for the inconvenience and trouble this disruption caused to our customers and sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through the issue. We know how critical our services are to our customers. We will do everything we can to learn from this event over the coming days and weeks to further understand the details and refine our resolution and processes. We are committed to providing our customers mission-critical IT infrastructure, therefore we are implementing a status page that will give periodic updates during any future issues. We will only update events as they are confirmed with factual information.”

How To: Set up your domain email in Gmail

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POP email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird are kind of obsolete now, since many people get their emails on multiple devices. There’s all this talk about the cloud (which isn’t free) and you can sync your devices or even use IMAP to be able to have your email match on all devices. Any of these setups can give you a headache, or even cost you money if you have to pay someone to help. Give up your programs and switch to Gmail.

With Gmail you can send/receive from all of your email addresses in one place. You can add your domain email addresses and AOL email address you’ve had for 2 decades all in one place. This tutorial is to show you how. Just repeat each step with each email address.

Set up Gmail to Receive your email with a forwarder.
Set up Gmail to Receive your email with POP3.
Set up Gmail to send email from your domain email address.

Receiving with Gmail, Forward Method:

My favorite way to do this is to use the forwarding method. It’s the easiest to set up and when email is sent to your domain email it will show in your Gmail instantly.

Set up the forwarder in cPanel

  1. Log in to cPanel (yourdomain.com/cpanel)
  2. Navigate to the Forwarders page under the Mail section:
    Screenshot_1
  3. Create the forwarder, forwarding the @domain.com email to your gmail email address. Click Add Forwarder.
    Screenshot_2
  4. Next, you must allow Gmail to send email as your new address. [Jump to it]

 

Receiving With Gmail, POP3 Method:

This method can cause messages to sit on the server, taking up your space, but does provide an ‘in between’ place for emails to go. You can manually check POP emails in Gmail if it isn’t checking often enough.

Set up the email account in cPanel.

  1. Log in to cPanel (yourdomain.com/cpanel)
  2. Navigate to the Email Accounts page under the Mail section:
    Screenshot_3
  3. Create the new email account and click Create Account:
    Screenshot_4
  4. Log in to your Gmail in a separate tab. In the top right corner, click the gear to bring out the drop down menu and click Settings:
    Screenshot_5
  5. Along the top you will see tabs, choose Accounts:
    Screenshot_6
  6. Find the link that says “Add a POP3 mail account you own” and click it.
  7. You will get a popup asking what email address you would like to add. Enter your new email address and click Next Step:
    Screenshot_7
  8. It will then ask for your POP3 settings. Your username is your full email address and your server is your domain name. Leave the port set to 110 and click Add Account:
    Screenshot_8
  9. Now you must give Gmail permission to send from this email address.

 

Sending with Gmail

  1. In Gmail, click the gear icon to show the drop down menu and choose Settings:
    Screenshot_5
  2. On the tabs along the top, choose Accounts:
    Screenshot_6
  3. Find the Send Mail As section and click the link that says “Add another email address you own”.
  4. Enter the Name you want to appear when someone receives an email from this address and the email address. Uncheck “Treat as an alias” and click Next Step:Screenshot_9
  5. If you want to be finished with this, choose “Send through Gmail” and click Next Step.
    Screenshot_10
    The next page has a button to send a verification to the email address that you want Gmail to be able to send from this address. Click Send Verification and check your email and click the confirmation email that arrives and you’re all done!
    Screenshot_11
  6. Or, you can set up the SMTP server so Gmail can send through your POP email. In this case, the SMTP server is your domain name and the username is your full email address. Choose Port 25 and Unsecured connection, then click Add Account:
    Screenshot_12

If you have any questions or if you feel like anything’s missing, please leave a comment and I will update this tutorial. I will also add a video walkthrough soon.