The Evolution of WordPress and Why It’s Not Just For Blogs Anymore

Posted at December 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm by Stacey Talieres

After more than a decade of development, WordPress powers nearly one-quarter of the Internet. Through its vibrant and passionate fan base of volunteer’s developers, WordPress provides power, security, stability, and convenience unrivaled by any other free blog platform.

What you may not realize is how few of the WordPress-powered sites are actually blogs. In fact, WordPress had been a go-to staple for website developers across the globe. Whether you’re building an e-commerce site, a portfolio, a niche forum, or a blog, WordPress will allow you to develop your online presence. If you’re searching for a Web Hosting provider to host your site, then no look further. InterServer offers a vast array of hosting solutions ranging from Web Hosting to Virtual Private Servers.  Below we have outlined the major features that makes WordPress a universal platform.

Themes 

The WordPress community is what makes it so attractive to users. This CMS has a passionate community of developers at its core. One of the best ways for a website designer to build a following is by creating free themes. A well-crafted theme can mean exposure, as well as a significant number of back links, especially if the designer includes his or her site in the footer.

When searching WordPress’ theme database you will find thousands of results for free themes. No matter what style works best for your website, you will find dozens (or even hundreds) of high-quality options.

Furthermore, WordPress’ core programming means most themes are easily customizable through widgets, menus, and color selection items. As long as the designer does his or her due diligence, you’ll be able to choose how you want each page of your site to appear, even with no programming knowledge.

For small businesses, this means creating a website is relatively easy compared to the days of individually coding your own website. Designers can easily utilize a pre-built theme as the foundation and customize according to their client’s needs and preferences.

Plugins

WordPress has several plugins that can enhance a site’s functionality. Whether you are looking to start a blog, forum, e-commerce site, or a photo stream, there’s a WordPress plugin that will provide that functionality.

When making minor tweaks (or even major ones), there’s a 99% chance that a plugin can do it for you. Plugins can do anything from running SEO audits, generating XML sitemaps, to automatically resizing images and thumbnails. Did you know that there’s a WordPress plugin that allows you to include JSON information in every post?

Support

WordPress’s passionate community isn’t only helpful in providing themes and plugins, but also support. Developers are willing to help beginners master the ins and outs of the system. The platform is well documented with a large resource base to help troubleshoot almost any issue. One of the greatest parts of the WordPress community is that there is no shortage of helpful forums full of people who love to teach others how to use WordPress. To top it all off there are local meet ups for several communities worldwide that are led by passionate enthusiast who want to share their knowledge. You can find these meetings posted on WordPress.org under meetups.

Security

Since WordPress is so widely used, hackers will attempt to find security holes and exploits that will allow them to take gain access to vulnerable sites. Due to its open source nature, those exploits can be slightly easier to locate. However, there is a vested interest from the community to ensure that any security problem is patched up immediately.

Additionally, WordPress comes with a cluster of built-in and add-on security features to guarantee your site’s safety, including defense from bots, brute-force logins, cross-site scripting, and many other security holes.

WordPress continues to be an outstanding platform for bloggers around the world, but it can also be a powerful tool for building any website. If you take the time to master this platform, you can easily save time, money, and energy on the design and development of any project.

Password Security

Posted at November 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm by Stacey Talieres

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Hackers and malware continue to constantly plague Internet users and ISPs. As recent as last week, the public was not able to access major websites such as Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon for several hours. This downtime occurred as a result of  DYN.com, a popular provider for commercially managed DNS services, which had been experiencing a massive DDoS attack resulting in the downtime of these popular sites.  A domain name server has the ability to change an easy to remember name such as interserver.net into a series of numbers known as an IP address. This is comparable to searching for a random phone number in a phone book.

These attackers were able to successfully pull off a major DDoS attack as a result of human error for example someone forgetting to change their passwords on their Internet devices. These devices known as “Internet Of Things” are everyday objects that connect to the Internet. When you initially set-up many of these devices, you are provided with a default password. If the owner of his/her ‘Internet of Things’ forgets to change the default password then hackers will be able to search the web for default passwords to your device. This will enable hackers to take control of your device and utilize them for their purposes. Your device can end up a part of a larger botnet used in a major DDoS attack.

The premise of this article is to inform our followers about the importance of password security. We highly recommend changing default passwords into something more complex in order to deter hackers. There has been countless times where someone’s web service is compromised as a result of having used passwords like “Password123” or their birthdate. Of course, it may be difficult to remember long and complicated passwords, so we suggest using password managers. Instead of having to memorize a bunch of passwords, you can have all of your passwords in one secure place. If everyone took the necessary steps to ensure password security it would in turn minimize the impact and damage of major caused by DDoS attacks.

Free Webhosting for NonProfits Available from InterServer

Posted at October 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm by Stacey Talieres

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Nonprofit organizations help to meet the needs of millions of people around the world. From feeding the hungry to offering shelter to the homeless, and countless other helpful good deeds, nonprofits are essential. As a small way of giving back to these selfless organizations, InterServer is offering free web hosting to all qualifying nonprofit organizations.

High Quality Hosting

Unlike many other companies that offer free hosting to people, InterServer is providing industry leading shared hosting that will meet the needs of most organizations. The hosting is housed on the state-of-the art servers, within the world class data centers. These are the same types of hosting accounts that individuals and businesses use every day. Whether you’re just starting up a nonprofit organization, or you’ve been serving the community for years, InterServer’s free hosting offer is here for you.

Hosting is Essential for Nonprofits

In today’s Internet focused world, nonprofits must have a good website in order to reach out to those in need as well as potential donors. A good website starts out on a good hosting server that can house the data and service the traffic. Of course, nonprofit organizations need to keep their expenses down, so they can spend their limited resources serving the causes they are passionate about. With the help of InterServer, nonprofits are able to harness the power of the Internet, without spending a dime on the hosting they need.

What Nonprofits Qualify

InterServer offers this exclusive deal to all 501(c)(3) organizations free hosting. After signing up for hosting, simply submit a 501(c)(3) determination letter to get the free hosting services. This free offer is an ongoing service that InterServer provides to nonprofits.

InterServer Offering Free SSL for All cPanel Users

Posted at October 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm by Stacey Talieres

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Digital security has been an issue that has been of growing concern for website owners for quite some time now. It has actually gotten to the point where Google and other search engines have confirmed that they provide SEO benefits to websites that use secured connections. To help Webmasters to secure their sites, cPanel has been working on a new feature that makes it faster and easier than ever to use SSL certificates, which are the industry standard for website security. This new feature is called AutoSSL, and is available for all InterServer customers.

Making Security Simple

In the past, when a website owner wanted to use a SSL certificate they needed to go through a number of difficult steps including filling out forms and manually copying the certificates into place. AutoSSL removes these requirements and handles it all for you.

Once enabled, the AutoSSL system secures your websites (all of them using that cPanel) using a domain vaulted SSL certificate. This protects your website, and the data that is transferred to and from it, with a high level of encryption.

In the past, one of the biggest hassles with using SSL certificates is having to keep track of when they are expiring, and going through the renewal process to avoid problems. AutoSSL solves this issue by automatically requesting a new certificate and having it installed without any need for user interaction.

Difference Between Paid and Free SSL Certificates

The AutoSSL system provides users with what is known as a domain validated certificate. This is essentially the entry level SSL option because there is less verification that goes into issuing the certificate. Issuing DV certificates is automated, unlike paid options that require human interaction between the issuing and requesting companies, which is how cPanel is able to offer this level of security for free. Choosing the right type of SSL certificate is very important for ensuring your data is protected to the level you require. There is a huge difference between paid and free SSL certificates being offered. The following three types of SSL certificates are available to individuals and companies that are looking to protect their data:

  • Domain Validation – This is the level being offered with AutoSSL and is also free. While the encryption standards are high, this level does not require extensive verification and paperwork to get the needed certificate.
  • Organization Validation – OV certificates require that the company applying complete the proper paperwork, and the company issuing the certificate go through a process of verifying the details of the company before issuing the certificate. These added steps help ensure the protected website is owned by the company that it claims to be. These added steps are also what makes this level certificate cost money.
  • Extended Validation – Extended validation goes through all the steps as the OV level, but is also in compliance with the highest levels of security in place by major web browsers like Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. Sites with this type of certificate trigger the address bar in popular browsers to turn green to show that the connection is secured. This level of validation is what makes this certificate cost money.

The extra manpower required to validate the organization and extended validation levels of certificates are what makes them cost so much money. Since SSL certificates expire after a set amount of time (typically 90 days, 6 months, or 1 year, depending on the issuer) having a free certificate can save a lot of money over time.

Just the Beginning

AutoSSL is a great way to improve website security, but it is just the beginning of what is going to be offered by cPanel, and available to all InterServer customers. cPanel has confirmed that they are working on support for other encryption features (through Let’s Encrypt) to help keep people’s web content safe and secure. These types of advancements are becoming an essential part of safely running any type of site today. They can keep both website owners, and the visitors to their sites, safe from the increasingly sophisticated threats that are present throughout the web today.

Enabling AutoSSL

AutoSSL is already available in all cPanels from InterServer. To enable this great feature, simply browse under the SSL/TLS heading, then click on Manage AutoSSL. The page that loads up will have two options, one to enable and one to disable the feature. Simply click enable and press save. This is all that is needed for an excellent first layer of security for all your websites.

 

*Disclaimer: This feature is not available for Windows Shared Hosting Plans

InterServer Now Offering One Full Year of Hosting for Those with a .EDU Email Address

Posted at September 30, 2016 at 3:55 pm by Stacey Talieres

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A lot is expected out of students today, which is why many companies offer them a variety of discounts and other perks. To help encourage students to learn more about web development, and what the Internet has to offer, InterServer has decided to offer anyone with a .edu email address free web hosting for an entire year. This web hosting can be used to house any type of personal or business website that they would like.

With some of today’s biggest websites (Facebook, for example) being started from a college dorm room, this great offer could help to produce new web services that will literally change the way the world works.

Powerful &  Reliable Hosting

While there are a variety of free hosting options available online, most of them require the user to display ads in order to pay for the hosting services. Students who sign up for InterServer’s free hosting offer will be able to build their websites without these types of restrictions, and they will have access to the high quality hosting solutions that they need. InterServer is well-known for having the fastest and most reliable shared hosting solutions around, and this is exactly what students will be receiving.

Simple Website Creation Tools Included

InterServer offers all of their clients, including those taking advantage of this free hosting offer, hundreds of one-click installation scripts used to set up websites. This includes a script to automatically install and configure WordPress on the hosting server. WordPress is the world’s most popular website platform, and can help students get their sites up and running just minutes. Even those who have no experience running websites can create beautiful pages without any coding skills at all.

Great for Classwork Too

A growing number of courses are requiring students to create their own websites. This includes programming classes, web development classes, digital marketing classes, and many others. While some universities will provide students with hosting, it is typically low quality and very locked down. Having access to a full web hosting account from InterServer will help ensure the websites used in classes are not only high quality, but that the students can take them with them long after the course is over.

Request Your Free Hosting Today

Any student (or teacher) with a .edu email address can sign up for their free hosting account anytime by visiting InterServer.net. Go through the normal registration process, using your .edu address, to gain access to your full year of free hosting.