Using Royalty-Free Images On Your Website – Advantages & Disadvantages

Posted at April 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm by Stacey Talieres

When building a successful website, the standard of the images used is vitally important. Poor-quality photographs or graphics will not project a professional impression to most visitors, and your site’s performance will suffer because of it. Unfortunately, hiring the services of a graphic designer doesn’t come cheap, and if you’re on a limited budget, this clearly presents a problem.

Luckily, there exist many websites that offer archives of photographs, icons, buttons, and other graphics, many of which are free to download and use. Utilizing images from these sites has it’s drawbacks, but it does provide the following advantages.

Low Cost

You should spend some time searching for the right images. Some of them might require editing to suit your purpose, but this option is more affordable compared to hiring a graphic designer.

Broad Range

Almost any type of image you can think of will be available somewhere. You just need to take the time, and the patience to dredge through thousands of possibilities, many of which may be mediocre at best.

Can Inspire Ideas

As you scour the web for ideas, you may stumble across your own inspiration. Coming up with a concept for a graphic designer will limit results to your initial criteria, depending on the creativity and independence of the designer. However, something you see in a free image repository may spark a whole new direction of thought for creating your website.

High Quality

Most image repositories will set a minimum standard for entries they allow into their archives. While you may not be able to find a perfect fit in terms of content and style, the technical quality of the images will be at least acceptable.

 

However, there are significant drawbacks to bear in mind as well.

The Need to Compromise

Despite the vast range of choices, chances are you’re unlikely to find a file that’s 100 percent true to what you had in mind. You may have to forfeit your original requirements, unless you want to spend hours upon hours sifting through archives in hopes of the perfect match.

Brand Dilution

By nature, free public image archives don’t grant exclusive usage rights for their images. This means there is a chance the graphics you use will already been included on another website. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, if you use popular images, it’s harder to establish uniqueness and awareness for your brand.

Consistency

In some cases you can download groups of images that revolve around a theme. More often than not, you will probably have to take your graphics from several sources to cover all your needs. This makes visual consistency across your site difficult to achieve.

Future Limitations

A lack of consistency can pose a problem should you expand your site in the future. It especially may be difficult to find a new graphic that matches your existing selections. Sourcing a new free image will be time consuming, with hit-and-miss results.

For a fully polished look and feel, a website will always benefit from the use of unique photography and graphic design. However, for those just starting out, or otherwise are on a tight budget, the limitations presented by royalty-free stock images are relatively minor and can be overcome. If you’re prepared to put in the time searching through archives, free graphics offer a cost-effective way of putting together a professional-looking site.

InterServer’s Shared Web Hosting Servers

Posted at March 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm by Stacey Talieres

When building our webhosting servers, we strive to ensure that our customers will have the best experience when utilizing our services. When purchasing standard webhosting you are probably unaware of all the components that go into making sure that our server is ready to perform. There are three major layers that we protect our servers against which include: external, internal, and outbound. The external environment includes all the of traffic from the Internet, which poses a unique challenge to us. However, there are several applications that we use in order to strengthen our servers which include: clamav, Firewalld, brute force, and ModSecurity. In order to protect the server’s internal environment we use applications such as: CageFS, Kpatch, and ClamAV scanning. Which is used to uphold  the integrity of these servers while also monitoring outbound traffic through monitoring applications such as SpamAssassin, clamav, and mailchannels.

External

  • ModSecurity

A web server may experience a wide range of attacks from various sources. A major Apache module to help protect our servers is ModSecurity. It works simply by blocking common code injection attacks. It’s flexible ability allows administrators to implement a react and response policy. Also, administrators are able to analyze behaviors which helps them detect exploits before they occur.

  • Clamav

Discussed in our previous article, this anti-virus application was originally developed for Unix. This free open source software allows us to scan any incoming email and web traffic. It’s database is constantly being updated, with its users updating it every four hours. Clamav is not only used to detect malware coming from the Internet, but it is also used to monitor email or web traffic that resides in or that is sent out from our servers

  • Firewalld

Firewalld allows for us to actively manage our firewall on our web hosting servers. With this application, we are able to deploy persistent network traffic rules. In simpler terms, it ensures that unwanted visitors are kept out.

  • Login Failure Daemon

This is an essential feature that many firewalls come with. LFDs search for brute force attacks against the server. Once an IP address has been identified the LFD will block it from making any further connections. This is extremely crucial since brute force attacks are unrelenting.

Internal

  • CageFS

As you might know, a web hosting server has many users sharing the server’s resources. To help better understand how a shared web hosting server works, imagine an apartment filled with tenants. In an apartment the tenants are renting and sharing the facilities resources. With CageFS, users are prevented from seeing each other. This stops them from viewing sensitive information, information disclosure attacks, and viewing configuration files. The only thing users will have access to is safe files and their individual account.

  • kPatch

kPatch was created to ensure maximum system uptime and availability. From time to time, patches need to be implemented. Usually when patches are made, the server must restart and go down for a bit. With the implementation of live patching, the downtime of a server is reduced. This powerful application allows system administrators to apply important security patches without fear of disturbing users.

Outbound

  • Apache SpamAssassin

This open-source application allows for system administrators to filter email and block spam.It’s API is highly integrable into an email stream which makes it easy to setup. Spammers will find themselves having a difficult time when trying to find new methods to spam, because this advanced system is quick at determining the criteria for spam.    

  • MailChannels

In order to stick to our guaranteed email delivery promise, we use this application to ensure that our customers aren’t sending spam. Mailchannels is a tool that provides outbound email filtering and is a perfect delivery solution for web hosting companies. It is a highly trusted member of the messaging, malware, mobile anti-abuse,  and anti-phishing working group. The way it recognizes spam is by looking for spammers within the network to improve email reputation. By doing this, it ensures other users will have reliable email delivery. Certain spam signatures are tested against a database of known spam signatures which is constantly being updated. Spammers face harsh consequences because they will instantly be shut down.

The quality of our web hosting server is of the utmost importance to us. We utilize a vast array of tools to make sure that your experience with us is the best. We offer our standard web hosting plan at $5 per month with no contracts. How much better does it get than that? You are easily able to manage your websites through cPanel which is included for free. We manage every aspect of the server, in order to allow for your primary focus to be running your website.

A System Administrators Dream Come True – KernelCare

Posted at March 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm by Stacey Talieres

I am sure we can all relate to the gut wrenching feeling when working on your computer and all of sudden it needs to reboot in order to update the OS. It typically happens when you are in the midst of something very important and during the most inopportune time.

When this occurs we  find ourselves frustrated and wanting to avoid the whole issue altogether by delaying the reboot. Hence why we wanted to share a nice solution which is through CloudLinux whom has a feature called KernelCare which happens to be an awesome application that allows for kernel patching without the hassle of reboots! Who could imagine that a simple single line of code could be so powerful and alleviate unwanted stress.

System administrators who are constantly monitoring  their server for the latest security patch don’t have to wait around anymore.  KernelCare is able to automatically check for the latest patches and apply them as quickly as possible. You also never have to worry about live patch updates slowing down your server either. KernelCare does not only promise superb server performance, but saves you time and money.

At InterServer it is our belief that this tool has proven to be beneficial to us and our customers.  Our goal is to ensure we never have to warn users about unexpected and sudden system reboots.  KernelCare ensures that you can seamlessly run your website 24/7 which we all know brings relief to many.

 

Digging in the Trenches

Posted at March 8, 2017 at 1:00 am by Stacey Talieres

The Backbone of a Web Hosting Company

In the beginning of 2017, we decided to further expand our current fiberpath to meet our network demand. Fiber is comparatively easier to install compared to other telecommunication mediums. Due to its nature, fiber installation can be done underground. Installing fiber underground protects cables from experiencing any outside interference such as bad weather or natural disasters.

What is Fiber?

The cornerstone of any strong and reliable network is built upon fiber optics. Ever since the 1970s fiber has become a necessary tool for building networks. Fiber optics allows for information to be spread through pulses of light. Not only do we rely upon fiber optics for our network, many other telecommunication companies use it as well.  There are multiple advantages that come with using fiber despite how expensive it is. These include:

  • No electromagnetic interference which is present in metal/coaxial cables.
  • Enhanced security – Fiber does not leak any electromagnetic signals, which prevents people from listening in.
  • Easier installation because fiber is flexible and thin.
  • It can transmit a large amount of data over large distance compared to other mediums of communication. Fiber optic cable has a bandwidth of 400MHz/km.

In the pictures below, you can see the steps that were taken to ensure a successful underground fiber installation. When hiring a team of experts fiber can be installed with ease.

In order to install new fiber, contractors will first dig into the ground and clear away any debris that would interfere with installation.

Fiber cables being installed into the designated trenches.

After a successful installation, the trenches are paved over. This is the process that we undertake when expanding our network to provide our customers with a reliable hosting experience.

Auto Clamav

Posted at January 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm by Stacey Talieres

Let’s face it, anti-virus software is just an afterthought when purchasing a web-hosting service. Nobody is excited to spend money on something they do not believe is essential. However, the Internet can be a very dangerous place for those unaware of what lurks behind each corner. When you purchase a standard web-hosting package, you will notice how secure we have made our service by integrating clamav. We believe that a strong anti-virus software is the cornerstone of a robust security policy.

What is clamav?

Linux has a well known reputation for encountering less malware verses a Windows operating system. This is due to the fact that Linux OS downloads programs from a centralized source and cannot originally run any Windows software. With a Linux system you can install a free open source anti-virus software known as clamav. Clamav was originally developed for Unix, but later made available for Linux systems.  It can be used in various scenarios which involve email scanning, web scanning, and endpoint security.

Many people would argue that you get what you pay for, but clamav is highly effective compared to the competition. In the most recent testing results available, it was able to detect about 75% of all viruses ranking them fifth. They were not far behind first place, which was only about 5% above them.

Behind the scenes

You will never have to worry about manually running clamav on your web-hosting account or installing another anti-virus software either. Scans are specifically designed to never slow down the speed of your website. However, we do provide you the option to run your own scans if you prefer. When you login to your cPanel you should see a section labeled “advanced”. Underneath this tab you will notice a button called “Virus Scanner”. Once clicked, you will be given several options on how you want to run your scan. The options range from: scan mail, scan entire home directory, scan public web space, and scan public FTP space. The virus scanner included in cPanel covers all of your needs to protect your website.