Blog posts from A2 Hosting blog

253 blog posts:

Make Sure To Accurately Measure Your Conversion Rate!
Nov 07, 2014
Google Analytics is a great tool. We use it at A2 Hosting and it's something that I look at everyday. However like any tool, it isn't perfect and there are stats that you shouldn't necessarily take for granted. One of those stats, and it is an important one, is your conversion rate.   I for one have never paid much attention to the conversion rate that Google Analytics reports. I instead prefer to calculate this number myself with actual sales from our billing system. I would recommend that you do the same.   If you're going to use Google Analytics, or any website stats program for that matter to calculate your conversion rate, I would take a close look at your traffic sources. Some months you're going to purchase online advertisements and they're just not going to work. That's just the nature of marketing; trial and error.   Those visitors probably aren't sticking around for very long on your site and the bounce rate is probably quite high from those traffic sources. That's obviously going to negatively impact your conversion rate. Don't be afraid to strip those traffic stats out to give yourself a more accurate idea of what your conversion rate was for that month. Also feel free to remove stats from any pages on your site that aren't necessarily going to convert users. An example is a blog post that is getting a ton of hits, but just isn't converting your visitors. You can easily accomplish this by using Analytics to filter and segment these pages and traffic sources.   Stripping out these numbers from your traffic stats to calculate your conversion rate will allow you to more easily compare your conversion rate month over month and year over year. After all, your conversion rate is a key statistic to help you measure and really compare the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Where Did My WordPress Plugins Go?
Oct 22, 2014
From time to time, our support team receives the following question:   I installed a security plugin and some of my other plugins disappeared. What happened?   If you have plugins unexpectedly disappear when you are updating, deleting or adding plugins, your site has likely been compromised.  This does not mean the new plugin you just added was the cause of the compromise; this simply means by modifying your plugins, Wordpress has performed a basic check on all plugins that are installed and has removed any plugins that had code injected above the meta data for the plugin.   So what’s really going on when the plugins disappear?     When the plugins disappear, WordPress is just ignoring the files for missing metadata.  This is usually caused by code injection near the top of the file.  This is not a security feature of WordPress;  Instead, it is a byproduct of WordPress requiring a specific comment at the beginning of each plugin describing things like the plugin’s name, author, copyright, and version.  WordPress no longer recognizes the plugin so it effectively disappears from the wp-admin; however, the files are still in the plugin directory.     What is code injection?   Many exploits to plugins and themes in WordPress will take advantage of the fact that WordPress executes the code present in the main file of each active plugin on every page load. When infected files are executed, they will also seek out other files to compromise and very quickly every PHP file on a site will have several new lines of code in them for any number of evil reasons.  The lines of code that are copied into each php file are known as injected code.   Why do hackers inject code?   Code injection is a common way hackers use WordPress to send SPAM, advertise their hacker group or to even perform a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.  The code is executed at least once on every page view of your site, causing the hack to perform its task over and over again.  If the purpose of the hack is to send spam from
Affordable PPC With Remarketing For Search
Oct 10, 2014
About 4 years ago we saw the birth of a new tactic to target potential customers called remarketing (also referred to as retargeting). You may not be familiar with this term, but I would be very surprised if you haven't seen remarketing in practice. Remarketing is when you visit a website and then you start seeing banner ads and even ads in Facebook promoting the website you visited.   It's a very targeted marketing tactic because you are spending your marketing budget on customers who have at least shown interest in your website and product. That is instead of advertising to the giant pool of potential customers who may or may not be interested in you. Unless your conversion rate is 100% (I would love to speak with you to learn some pointers if that's the case), you should consider using remarketing. After all, a 2% conversion rate means 98% of customers didn't purchase from you.   Most of us have been using the Internet long enough that banner ads don't always grab our attention. Instead you may want to consider remarketing for search via PPC bidding. In your average PPC campaign, your bids, ads and keywords are identical for each searcher. However if you know that someone has already shown interest in your product, you can bid more for broader keywords and write more targeted ads.   For example, let's say you're a shoe retailer that specifically sells blue basketball shoes. A normal keyword you would bid on would probably be 'blue basketball shoes'.That's a very specific keyword that may not get a ton of searches, but it describes your product perfectly. By using remarketing for search, you know you're only advertising to previous site visitors who have shown interest in your product. Since this is the case, you don't have to be so defined with your keyword selection. You can choose a keyword like 'shoe'. Bidding on 'shoe' probably wouldn't be the best strategy without retargeting because it's likely a highly competitive keyword, therefore it would be extremely expensive to get clicks for.   Go ahead a
Shellshock Lessons for Developers
Sep 26, 2014
For anyone who doesn't know, Shellshock is the name of a particularly nasty vulnerability in Bash, the standard shell for most Linux distributions (and other Unix-like systems.) As of press time, new vulnerabilities due to this bug are still being discovered. Some distributions have only released patches that fix part of the problem, and a vast number of Internet connected computers are unpatched and vulnerable. There's bound to be some negative outcomes from a security problem like this, but let's see if we can scrape out some positive results. The first lesson to take from this problem is that no software, no matter how ubiquitous, is guaranteed free from vulnerabilities. The Shellshock bug in Bash has been there for a long time. It looks like over a decade. This isn't a result of an overwrought, unmaintainable mess receiving a poorly reviewed patch like the Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL. This is code that has been there for a long time, and everyone from Google to Facebook to Apple has been using Bash and not found it. Don't take for granted that because some program is standard and popular that it is safe. Because it isn't. That means, don't assume you can just stick with the version you have forever and not worry about updates down the road. It also means, don't trust software unnecessarily. Don't believe that any piece of software is a locked door, and you can be sloppy behind it assuming nobody will ever get past it. In the case of Shellshock, most people probably didn't even realize they were trusting Bash with their CGI setups, but they were. If you're using CGI to execute your web application, you're trusting Bash (or some other shell) to be free of vulnerabilities that would allow remote execution. It's not just CGI, though; any PHP script that uses shell_exec could be vulnerable. Or an application written in another language which uses a form of shell_exec. Remember when your paranoid, security-minded friend told you not to use shell_exec in your applications? This kind of thing is why. That's the thir
A2 Optimized - 6X Faster WordPress Page Loads
Sep 19, 2014
It shouldn't come as a surprise WordPress users really care about page load speed and website security. After all, page load speed impacts everything from your bounce rates, conversion rates, page views and Google rankings. On the security side, over 10 million websites are hacked each year and the total cost to fix those hacks are rapidly escalating.   We understand your concerns! That's why our team of WordPress optimization experts developed A2 Optimized. A2 Optimized is a WordPress plugin, exclusive to A2 Hosting customers, providing auto-configuration for your site so you get the best WordPress performance. Thanks to months of testing multiple combinations of compression and caching solutions, we've ended the guesswork of how to get the fastest WordPress page loads.   We don't want your site to become another hacked statistic.  That's why the plugin also helps to lock down your WordPress sites. With A2 Optimized, you automatically get:   Unique WordPress Login URL Automatic WordPress Updates ReCaptcha on WordPress Login Page   Automatically accelerate and harden your existing WordPress site with A2 Optimized in a few easy steps! Or are you a new customer who wants to give our A2 Optimized WordPress a try? Just visit our WordPress Hosting page and your A2 Optimized WordPress install will come pre-installed!
Reviewing Your Pricing Strategy
Sep 10, 2014
Imagine you're launching a new product you've been working on for months. It's perfect. Your creative ad copy is going to really hit home with your target market. You even have an affordable contract for product distribution. All you need to do is slap a price down and all your hard work will mean you'll get to see money rolling in. Out of the 4 P's of the Marketing Mix (price, product, promotion and place), doesn't it seem like pricing would be the easiest one to nail down?   Then you start thinking about price and it's really not so easy. Is it a unique product with few competitors where you can afford to price it a little higher? Are your potential customers going to be turned off by the high price? Are you in a crowded market place where you need to price low? What if you price too low and you can't cover your costs.   It's never a bad time to review your pricing strategy. Not every pricing strategy is the right one for every business and each business can utilize multiple strategies. Here is a quick look at 6 different pricing strategies for you to consider the next time you launch a new product or decide to re-consider your current pricing.   Competitor Based Pricing   Just as its name infers, this strategy focuses on your competitors. What are your competitors charging? Are you able to set a price without worrying about your own costs? What are your luxury and budget competitors charging?   Value Based Pricing   Pricing focused on determining on how much a customer is worth to you. This can be tricky to determine at first and may require you to put some customer lifetime models together.   Cost Based Pricing   Determine how much your product costs to make and marking it up by a percentage or flat amount.   Promotional Pricing   There are a number of techniques when using promotional pricing including offering special event pricing, comparison discounting (Was $100, Now Just $75) and offering pricing well above your competitors with heavy discounts on other items.   Psychological Prici
Stay Away From WordPress Security Plugins
Aug 21, 2014
When searching through all of the potential plugins to install on your wordpress site, you may notice that many of the popular plugins have to do with security.  This may seem very tempting to let a plugin handle all of your security needs for your site but, security plugins forget one important fact about the web:  if your site is too slow for people to navigate it, people won’t visit your site.     Most Security plugins add lots and lots of rules into your .htaccess file which the web server has to parse for every page load (even for static .html files). The longer .htaccess gets, the slower the site will get.  I’ve seen as many as 900 rules in a single .htaccess file from wordpress security plugins: needless to say, this site was one of the slowest that I have ever seen.  There are better ways to secure a wordpress site.  When security plugins are not writing hundreds of .htaccess rules, many of them use large amounts of CPU power to search through lists of bots and IP addresses of potential hackers.  They also write to log files constantly, which clogs up the performance of your server.  If it has Security in the name, chances are that it will slow down your site.   How do you secure our site without security plugins?   The simplest and most affective way to secure your site is to use a strong admin username and password.  Most of the time, the username for the site admin is drumroll please…. “admin”.  Using the same admin username as everybody else makes it easy for botnets to hack your site, since all they need to do is figure out your password (which is probably “pass” or “password” J.K... right? ) and they’re in.     Moving your login page is the simplest way to prevent bots from attempting to log into your site.  You can use “Rename wp-login.php” to change the URL of your login page, then bots will have no idea where to go to even attempt logging in.  You can also name the login page anything you want by a setting in wp-admin (Settings > Permalinks > Login url) .  So if you really want, your logi
Bid Your First Page Estimate On Best Converting Keywords
Aug 21, 2014
When it comes to your marketing efforts, it's impressive how often the 80/20 rule....rules. That is 80% of production comes from just 20% of the total source. This could mean 80% of your affiliate sales come from 20% of your affiliates or 80% of content views on your site are from only 20% of your pages.   In my experience, the rule is often closer to a 95/5 rule. This is especially true from the AdWords campaigns I have run. You can have 1000's of optimized ad groups, but the reality is only a select few of your keywords are actually the ones converting. If this is the case for your AdWords campaign, and I bet it is, doesn't it make sense to spend the majority of your budget on those keywords? More importantly, doesn't it make sense to do everything you can to make sure that your ads are being triggered when your top converting keywords are searched?   AdWords makes it simple to keep your most successful keywords above your competitors. Just go to your keyword tab and sort by Status. The keywords below the first page estimate will be sorted at the top. I highly recommend that you go through your keywords, especially your top converting keywords, and making sure that you are bidding them up to the first page estimate. In fact, if the cost per click and cost per conversion makes sense on a CPA basis, I would bid the amount AdWords recommends in their above the search results estimate.   If you're running a campaign with numerous keywords, I also recommend placing your top converting ad groups into a separate campaign. That way it's even easier to keep track of your most successful keywords and to keep those bids at a level where your ads are showing up. Otherwise you're missing out on a number of conversion opportunities.
How To Make Your WordPress Site Slower
Jul 25, 2014
WordPress is a pretty straightforward content management system (CMS) for blogging. It’s fairly quick out of the box, but WordPress has a community of developers that have made plugins to allow WordPress to do pretty much anything you want.  The downside of having so many options for plugins is that we, as webmasters, tend to want to install every plugin we can get our hands on.   When we overload our site with plugins that do everything we think we need, each time a page loads, the site is doing everything. This causes slower and slower page load times each and every time we add a new plugin.  Each and every time a page loads on your site, each installed plugin executes the code and database calls necessary to perform its task. Unfortunately, most plugins are not coordinated to work with each other and many of the same database and function calls will be repeated over and over again by different plugins.  This definitely slows down your site.  Adding a few plugins to your site can increase your page load time by double, triple or even more.  Having one plugin that does everything is not always the solution either, since the plugin may do more than you need and can be slower.   There are several plugins that can help speed things up though and some that can even help you identify what is slowing down your site.  At A2 Hosting, we recommend the W3 Total Cache plugin as a way to speed up delivery of pages on your site. By saving a copy of each page's HTML on the hard drive, W3 Total Cache allows your site to skip a few steps in processing a request from a user.  The site stores this cached version of the page until either new content has been added to the site or the page has reached a maximum age. At this point the next time the page is viewed, a new cached page is created. W3 Total Cache can also enable tools that reduce the file size of pages sent to your users making your site faster especially for users with slow internet connections.   The Plugin Performance Profiler (P3) plugin is a great tool for iden
Using Analytics To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
Jul 16, 2014
One of the most valuable, yet under used features of Google Analytics is the Funnel Visualization report. I'll admit that I've always been a bit confused on how to get this report up and running, but after spending a few moments testing it out, it's not as hard as it once seemed.   I can't stress the importance of looking at a Funnel Visualization report to learn more about your site's shopping cart abandonment and determining where you're losing users along the way. You've done the hard work to get the visitor to come to your site. You've sold them on your service or product. Don't make the mistake of losing them in your cart! Funnel Visualization will help you determine what steps in the checkout process may be causing customer confusion or trouble and help you focus on which steps need to be tweaked.   There are other solutions that will help you track movement through your conversion funnel aside from Analytics. However most estimates show that roughly half of all sites use Analytics, so I thought I'd share step-by-step instructions to show you how to set up Funnel Visualization. Best of all, it's a free solution and you can't beat that!   First you will need to create a goal: Click Admin at the top of Analytics Select Goals under the View column Click +New Goal Name your Goal, select Destination from the Type options and click Next step Enter your shopping cart's confirmation page URL in the Destination box. Click to turn the Funnel button on Name and add the URL for each of the shopping cart pages leading up to the confirmation page. Click Create goal.   Now that you've created your goal, it will take Analytics some time to record conversions. To view the Funnel Visualization report: Click Reporting at the top of Analytics Click Conversions, Goals and Funnel Visualization in the navigation menu Choose the goal that you just created if it isn't already selected in the Goal Option drop down. After a few quick steps, you'll be able to see the Shopping Cart Flow at the bottom of this page
Developing Single Page Web Applications with AngularJS
Jun 30, 2014
Anyone who has experience developing a Single Page Application (SPA) with naked jQuery or raw JavaScript knows that doing so involves a lot of work for basic UI functions like keeping your Model and View in sync. You end up with hundreds or even thousands of lines of JavaScript devoted to basic functionality, before you can even begin writing your application logic. This is why teams of developers have put tremendous effort into making a variety of JavaScript application frameworks. You can take your pick from BackboneJS, EmberJS, AngularJS and others. Each has its own advantages, but for this post I'll just be talking about what AngularJS brings to the table. There's a few key features that make AngularJS distinct from the alternatives. A big one is that Angular templates are written in HTML using directives (HTML5 data elements or custom attributes) for its template functionality. For example, if you have a list element that you'd like to repeat for each entry in an array, you use an ng-repeat directive on that list element like so:     {{ cookie.name }} : {{ cookie.description }} Assuming you have an array called cookies with elements that contain both a name and description, you will get a list as you might imagine from the above in AngularJS Angular will do automatic data binding as well, if the cookies array gets updated in your model, the view will automatically update. That means adding, removing or changing any of the elements in your model is automatically reflected to the user. This is just a very basic introduction to some of the functionality AngularJS has on offer. For a more comprehensive overview I recommend checking out the official AngularJS site which contains detaield documentation as well as a number of videos.
Using Google Analytics & WordPress
Jun 25, 2014
Below you'll find another batch of help articles to help you learn more about WordPress and optimize your WordPress Hosting account! If there are any topics you would like us to feature, just leave your ideas in the comments below.   Using Google Analytics with WordPress Learn more about your websites' visitors and how they found your site in the first place.   Installing and configuring the Google XML Sitemaps plugin Easily generate XML sitemaps for your WordPress sites to help search engines index your web site content faster.   Installing and configuring the Postie plugin for WordPress Learn how you can post to your WordPress site by simply sending an e-mail message.   Disabling plugins in WordPress Did you know you can disable WordPress plugins both individually and all at once? Learn how to disable plugins for WordPress, both individually and all at once.   Installing and configuring the Disqus Comment System plugin for WordPress Add the Disqus Comment System to make commenting easier and more interactive
Now Offering Free ManageWP Accounts!
Jun 17, 2014
Thanks to our brand new partnership with ManageWP, your WordPress Hosting service from A2 Hosting now features a free ManageWP account! Use ManageWP to run all of your WordPress sites from a single dashboard! I just ran through the setup and it couldn't be easier. Just click the ManageWP icon in your cPanel account, enter your email address, click sign in and just like that ManageWP will auto-detect WordPress sites on your A2 Hosting account. Your free ManageWP account features include: Manage and update your WordPress sites from a single dashboard 1-click theme and plugin updates Install and manage plugins and themes for each of your WordPress sites Mass spam comment removal Built in page view stats Two-factor login authentication for enhanced security You also get a free 14-day Professional ManageWP trial when you setup your account. In addition to all of the free features listed above, your free Professional trial includes their Google Analytics widget, traffic change alerts, scheduled site backups and much more!   Get started managing your sites with ManageWP now and let us know what you think of this slick new feature in the comments below!
Bid Adjustments For Better AdWords Targeting
Jun 05, 2014
One of the most important tasks for running any ad campaign is making sure that you're properly targeting your audience. One of the advantages of running an AdWords campaign is not only can you closely target audiences that are more likely to convert, but you can also eliminate audiences that are less likely to convert. One of the ways you can do that is by using Bid Adjustments.   To access Bid adjustments, start by clicking on your best performing campaign and then select the settings tab in your AdWords account. From there you'll have the option to select Locations and Devices. Click the Locations tab and set your date range to the last 30-days.   On this screen you'll be able to see which countries are sending traffic that is converting well, and conversely not converting so well. Next to each country, you can click the Bid Adjustment column to increase or decrease each countries bid by a certain percentage. For example, a $1 PPC bid and a 10% increase on US-based traffic would mean the PPC bid would become $1.10 for US traffic. I recommend doing the obvious; increasing the bid adjustment for countries that convert well and decreasing the bid adjustment for countries that don't convert so well.   Next I would select the Devices tab. Here you'll be able to see how well you convert on computers versus mobile devices with full browsers versus tablets with full browsers. On this screen you'll only be able to select a bid adjustment for mobile devices. Depending on whether you convert at a high rate or a low rate on mobile devices, select the proper bid adjustment for this setting.
Why You Should Consider 6Scan
May 29, 2014
It's an unfortunate fact that many people don't consider the security of their website very seriously until after they've already had an issue. It's easy to think "I don't need to worry about security, my blog is small!"  But this is like thinking you don't need to worry about getting into a car accident because you drive a small car. There are tons of automated tools for anyone who wants to cause trouble to find potential targets, no matter how small or obscure. So if your site is vulnerable, it's only a matter of time until someone stumbles across it.   That's why it's important to take security seriously before your site is hit. That means keeping your software up to date, using unique, non-trivial passwords and being careful about what plugins, extensions and themes you install. Even when you do all of those things, it's important to montior your site as well. Every day exploits are found in software that was previously thought to be safe   So if you don't have the time or inclination to monitor yoru site 24/7, software like 6Scan can be a huge help.  If you have an A2 Hosting account with cPanel you can enable 6Scan's Free version with only a few clicks. Prime Web Hosting customers also have an exclusive option of 6Scan Premium for only $2.99 (90% off.) Which will not only notify you of issues but fix them automatically.
Now Offering Free ManageWP!
May 23, 2014
Thanks to our brand new partnership with ManageWP, your WordPress Hosting service from A2 Hosting now features a free ManageWP account! Use ManageWP to run all of your WordPress sites from a single dashboard! I just ran through the setup and it couldn't be easier. Just click the ManageWP icon in your cPanel account, enter your email address, click sign in and just like that ManageWP will auto-detect WordPress sites on your A2 Hosting account. Your free ManageWP account features include: Manage and update your WordPress sites from a single dashboard 1-click theme and plugin updates Install and manage plugins and themes for each of your WordPress sites Mass spam comment removal Built in page view stats Two-factor login authentification for enhanced security You also get a free 14-day Professional ManageWP trial when you setup your account. In addition to all of the free features listed above, your free Professional trial includes their Google Analytics widget, traffic change alerts, scheduled site backups and much more!   Get started managing your sites with ManageWP now and let us know what you think of this slick new feature in the comments below!
How To Debug WordPress
May 22, 2014
Not only do we have the goal of offering you the fastest WordPress Hosting service possible, we also want to make sure you optimize your WordPress account. Each week we're publishing helpful content to teach you about all the ins and outs of WordPress. Below is a list of just some of our most recent articles:   How To Debug WordPress Learn about WordPress' provided settings used to help debug themes, databases, and more.   ‘Scheduled maintenance’ Message in WordPress WordPress sometimes displays a “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance” message in your web browser when you try to view your WordPress site. Learn what this message is all about!   Enabling and customizing maintenance mode in WordPress Learn how to enable maintenance mode in your WordPress install and how to customize the page WordPress will display when your site is in maintenance mode.   Configuring WordPress Cron Jobs A WordPress cron job can ensure scheduled tasks and other features work in a timely manner.   Scheduling WordPress Post Publishing Learn how to schedule your posts to be automatically published on a future date and time that you set!
Save 90% Off 6Scan Malware Protection
May 15, 2014
By most estimates, an average of 30,000 websites are hacked everyday. This is a serious concern for webmasters. Hacks come in all shapes and sizes including defacements, malicious redirects and theft of costly data. Obviously this is bad news!   The good news is that we offer our HackScan Protection for free on our Web Hosting platform to block common hack attempts. The better news is that we've partnered with website security company 6Scan to provide advanced hack protection. All of our Web Hosting accounts come pre-configured with free 6Scan vulnerability scans.   There's more though! Our Web Hosting customers now save 90% off 6Scan's Professional plan. For a mere $2.99/mo, the Professional plan includes enhanced malware protection as well as automatic vulnerability and malware fixes! 6Scan Professional is also available for Managed VPS customers for $25/mo and Managed Dedicated customers for $50/mo. Add 6Scan's Professional Plan to your account now.   Once you purchase your 6Scan plan, visit our 6Scan Knowledgebase Article to learn how to apply your license to your account.  
Adding Bing-Yahoo Ads To Your Marketing Mix
May 09, 2014
I often focus on providing Google SEO and AdWords tips. There's a good reason for that. Depending on which search engine report you pay attention to, Google's search network accounts for about 66% of search engine searches. I thought I would shake things up a bit this month and talk about Bing-Yahoo. After all, you can't ignore the fact that the Bing-Yahoo search network accounts for roughly 29% of searches.   Now if someone asked me how to optimize a site for Bing-Yahoo SEO, I wouldn't have the first clue (and I'm supposed to be an expert, right?). I would instead continue to focus on Google Webmaster's Guidelines for SEO in this case. Use Google's guidelines and any organic clicks you get from Bing or Yahoo should be viewed as a bonus.   What I will encourage you to do however is to look into the Bing-Yahoo Ad Network (we actually offer a $50 Bing-Yahoo Advertising Credit for you to get started). So why focus on Bing-Yahoo advertising, but not SEO? Competition. I'll give you an example. It's no secret that one of the key services we offer is SSD Hosting. One of the keywords we advertise on both AdWords and the Bing-Yahoo ad network is in fact "SSD Hosting". On AdWords our average keyword rank for "SSD Hosting" is 4.6. Our average rank on Bing-Yahoo is 1.3. Here's the kicker; we spend less than half per click on Bing-Yahoo ads versus AdWords. So not only are we paying less for keywords, we're also ranking higher as well.   If you're ready to start advertising on Bing-Yahoo, you can easily upload your existing AdWords campaign into a new Bing-Yahoo account. I've never had much luck using the Bing-Yahoo control panel to do this. Instead just export your AdWords campaign into a .csv file via the AdWords Editor and import it into the Bing Ads Editor. Depending on the size of your campaign, it really shouldn't take you more than 30-minutes before you start receiving affordable, new traffic.
A2 Hosting Coupon – Where Can I Find A Discount?
May 01, 2014
One of our most commonly asked questions from new customers is whether or not we offer discounts. The truth is, we are priced very competitively and we include features competing hosts charge extra for.  Just look at our All Inclusive Hosting page. Some of the free tools we pack into our Web Hosting accounts include Server Rewind Backups, a CDN, Malware Protection, the A2 SiteBuilder and SEO Tools. We include everything you need and charge you one affordable rate without hidden fees. We even have a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee so you can try our service, as well as all of these free features risk free.   That's not to say we're not willing to also give you an extra bonus to try out A2 Hosting. We do in fact offer discounts on your first invoice. Visit the A2 Hosting Coupon page for our 100% reliable current discounts. This you can spend your valuable time building your website on your brand new A2 Hosting package instead of searching the web for past discounts that may have already expired.   Get Your Coupon!
How To Manage Your WordPress Comments
May 01, 2014
We've been hard at work with another batch of helpful articles to help you get the most out of your WordPress Hosting service from A2 Hosting. Is there a topic you would like us to cover? Just leave a comment with what WordPress tips you would like us to cover next!   Some of our newest WordPress Help articles include: Managing WordPress Comments How to manage your comments with the WordPress' interface and how to use phpMyAdmin to bulk delete comments. Optimizing WordPress Trash Settings Recover posts, comments, pages, and attachments that have been deleted Changing the WordPress Auto-Save Interval Update WordPress' auto-save interval  to automatically save your post edits. Configuring WordPress Date and Time Settings Easily update the settings that WordPress uses to display dates and times for your site.
How Do I Make My Site Faster?
Apr 30, 2014
It's the concern of every developer. How do I speed up my site? Like cars, fast is never fast enough. Of course you can get super-fast SSD hosting from A2 Hosting. But there's always more to be done. We're with you. We are always looking to speed up the performance of our own internal applications, and looking for ways to optimize our servers for the benefit of our customers. Here's a few things to consider when looking into your own site. Choose your software carefully. The software package you base your site around is the factor that has the biggest impact on your site's performance. Some software is more resource intensive than others, and some scales better than others. Knowing the requirements of the site, what package will perform best under those conditions? Do you have a complicated site with significant database needs, requiring multiple indices on several colums among dozens of tables? Or do you have a simple blog with short articles free of complex templates? Starting with an appropriate, and a solid baseline will avoid putting you in a postion where you're doing optimizations just to get an acceptable level of performance. Don't over complicate things. When implementing your site, always strive for the simplest implementation possible. When designing a template, avoid breaking it up into sub templates that are then pulled together unless it's likely those sub templates are going to be re-used elsewhere, and that re-use will have significant benefits towards managing the site. Rendering a single template is always going to be faster than rendering six or a dozen. Likewise on the database side, keep it lean and simple whenever possible. Especially when it comes to tables that are going to have frequent lookups and massive joins performed on them, keeping the table as lean as possible will keep those operations from bogging down. Use a Content Distribution Network. We make setting up CloudFlare easy for our customers. Using a CDN can help immensely with many sites, serving static content from
Update on Heartbleed Vulnerability
Apr 09, 2014
A zero-day vulnerability nicknamed Heartbleed was announced Monday, revealing a bug in the popular OpenSSL software. The bug could potentially allow a third party to eavesdrop on communications encrypted over SSL/TLS.   At this time, A2 Hosting has patched OpenSSL on all of our shared and managed servers to a version which does not include the vulnerability. If you have an Unmanaged VPS, Cloud VPS, or Unamanged Flex Dedicated server, it is your responsibility to update your server to the latest OpenSSL version.   More specific information about the vulnerability can be found at heartbleed.com.   OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive) are vulnerable OpenSSL 1.0.1g is NOT vulnerable OpenSSL 1.0.0 branch is NOT vulnerable OpenSSL 0.9.8 branch is NOT vulnerable   If you have any questions or need further assistance in upgrading your unmanaged server, please open a support ticket from my.a2hosting.com.  
Advantages and Disadvantages of Infinite Scrolling
Apr 01, 2014
Every developer has had content that needs to be listed out line by line. Usually that means there is or will be a lot of it. Whether it's a list of past entries in your WordPress blog, a list of nodes in your Drupal site or a list of items for sale in your favorite shopping software. It used to be there was only one right answer of how to deal with this kind of content; pagination. You'd choose some number (or let the user choose) of entries to display per page and then list off the number of pages, letting the user navigate through as needed. Perhaps if you felt sophisticated you'd allow filtering and sorting. In today's modern web there's another option; infinite scroll. You may have encountered this technique on Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter on pages that let you keep scrolling seemingly indefinitely without ever needing to reload the page.. This technique works by initially loading the first page of data, and as the user scrolls down, fetch additional data via AJAX to load onto the page. It's an elegant solution for things like your Twitter feed or a list of comments. Anything where the content is pretty much always going to be accessed in the same order. But infinite scroll does add implementaiton complexity in a lot of cases, so it's worth considering if your use case is a good fit or not. If the average user is expected to specify a sort order or filter and then access only the first handful of entries, then pagination makes the most sense. You'll note that as of press time, Google for example, is still using pagination. This is because most users only look at the first few results. Adding infinite scroll to the results page would add needless complexity. Like with most modern web techniques, it's best to consider whether the new way of doing things really is the ideal fit for your particular case, or whether your users might be best served by an older design pattern.
5 No-Brainer Tips To Keep Your WordPress Blog Updated
Mar 27, 2014
You started a blog. It could have been a week, a month or 5-years ago that you launched your blog. You were excited about it too because you had a lot to say about the topic. You were starting a garden or buying a new house or wanted to share your expert chess tips. Whatever the reason for starting the blog, you obviously thought it was a good idea at the time. Your early posts were easy because you had a lot on your mind. As the days and weeks passed, your ideas for posts slowly began to vanish. We've all been there.   Here are 5 easy tips for reigniting your passion for blogging and how to keep those posts rolling in.   1.) Write About Something You're Interested In   Isn't it easier to write about something you're passionate about as opposed to trying to manufacture content because you found a niche you're trying to rank well for organically? This tip might be a bit difficult if you've already started your blog, but chances are you're passionate about your blog's topic. Remember why you started the blog in the first place and get motivated to keep it updated!   2.) Set Aside 10 Minutes A Day   Blogging can be time consuming and it can be hard work, but it doesn't have to be. Just like you set aside a few minutes a day to brush your teeth, set aside some time to update your blog. Set aside 10 minutes a day. You may not think you'll be able to accomplish much in that time, but give it a shot. You'll be surprised.   3.) Fight The "Block" By Writing Anything   I had a college professor once tell me that if I ever had writer's block, to just write anything. Even if it is "ABC 123" to get started. The trick is to get something written down. If you're setting aside 10 minutes a day like the previous tip urges, you want that 10 minutes to be productive. If you spend a few minutes just typing any thoughts you have, you can probably craft that into a post.   4.) Answer A Question   Sometimes writing about anything just doesn't work. Sometimes writer's block hits the best of us. If y
How To Install BBPress Forum Plugin for WordPress
Mar 26, 2014
We've been so hard at work creating articles and video to help you get the most out of your WordPress Hosting service from A2 Hosting that we haven't even had a chance to share those articles with you. Here are our newest WordPress articles. How To Enable and Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks in WordPress How to Install WordPress Themes How to Update WordPress How to Install WordPress Manually How to Troubleshoot Blank Pages in WordPress How to Change a WordPress Account Username We've also created a video tutorial to show you how easy it is to add the bbPress forum plugin to your WordPress install.     Please make sure to leave a comment on what WordPress articles or videos you would like to see in the future.
Updating WordPress Database Credentials
Mar 05, 2014
We've been hard at work creating a number of WordPress Hosting tutorials that we hope you find helpful. Some of our newest WordPress tutorials include: Determining Your WordPress Version How to Add External RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Site Updating WordPress Database Configuration Settings We also just uploaded this video explaining how to update your WordPress database credentials.     Our goal is to create tutorials that you'll actually use and find helpful. That's why we need your ideas! What WordPress tutorials would you like to see us post in the future? Post your ideas as a comment below!
Find & Report Sites Duplicating Your Content
Mar 05, 2014
As an A2 Hosting employee who writes a ton of content for our site, one of the most frustrating problems I encounter is when another site copies our content and uses it on their own site without permission. The fancy lingo for this act is content scraping.   As much as you may want to feel flattery when someone copies your content, it can be quite discouraging when the offending sites actually outrank you in Google's organic rankings. Thanks to Google's new Scraper Report though, you can let Google know about such occurrences. It's a simple form to complete. Just include the link where your content was copied from, the link where your copied content appears and the Google result where you are being outranked. Google doesn't promise immediate (or any) action if you complete this form. It's certainly a start though if you've been unable to get the offending site to remove your content.   On a side note, one of my favorite parts of my job is reading the response of a website after I email them requesting they take the copied content down. One site claimed to be updating their site anyway after I thanked them for removing the content. What perfect timing.   So how do you find sites who have duplicated your content? I have had a lot of luck (unfortunately) by using Copyscape. Copyscape is a free plagiarism checker for finding copies of your web pages online. All you need to do is search for your domain and Copyscape will show you where your content is potentially being copied.
A Few Principles of Good Web Design
Feb 25, 2014
As we begin the process of refreshing our website, it's got us thinking about what makes for good web design. Specifically, what are some principles that we can keep in mind that will lead us toward a good design. There's any number of sources you can choose to draw from on this topic. No matter how many you read, though, there's at least a few points that will always come up. Keep it simple. It always sounds so easy, and at the start every design is simple and clean. But as things progress, what started out as an elegant mockup turns into a garbled mess of gradients and images. The only way to avoid this is to truly value simplicity and clean design. Don't add things just because you can add them. Make sure anything you add is truly needed. Choose a color scheme ahead of time. This is most important when thinking about the call to action on a page. It should pop out and be unambiguous in its purpose. In order for that to happen the entire color scheme of the page must be constructed carefully and considered. If you use too many colors, it all becomes jumbled and your call to action (no matter how bright or punchy) will get lost. Use a grid. A page designed without a grid will feel off. Viewers may not be able to put their finger on a specific element that they don't like, instead it will be all the individual elements failing to coalesce into a seemless whole which creates a feeling of unease in the viewer. Making sure all of your elements fall along a common grid, and line up with each other as appropriate will make your site look and feel as carefully considered and crafted as it really is. Of course, this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Entire books, and series of books are written about good web design. But these few basic principles are ones that will start you off on the right path. If you have a solid foundation, it's a lot easier to build what you envision on top of it.
Stick A Fork In Guest Blogging For SEO
Feb 06, 2014
It seems like every few months there is a new SEO trend that becomes hot. When done the right way, you can soon see improvement in your organic rankings. Inevitably a few rule breakers will figure out how to game the system. When that happens Google will put the kabash on the strategy (rightfully so) and that ruins it for the rest of us. Isn't that how it always seems to works? Well this time around Google has announced that guest blogging is no longer a viable SEO strategy. It has become too spammy. If guest blogging has become your top or only SEO strategy, it's time to adjust your strategy. You could risk facing the wrath of being dropped from their rankings if you don't. Now let me clarify this. I wouldn't stop guest blogging as a marketing strategy. It's still great for generating exposure and cross promotion. This is especially true if you know the person or company well that you're collaborating with. Have you actually spoke to them on the phone or met them in person? This is a situation where you would want to consider guest blogging or accepting a post on your blog. You probably don't want to guest blog if you've received an email from someone you don't know who is requesting that you pay for a post. For example, at a conference a few years back, I met the representatives from CloudFlare. CDNs were just starting to become popular and I had an idea for how we could explain how a CDN works for those users who are non-technical like myself. I pitched the blog post to CloudFlare and they liked it. They got free, original blog content and we got free exposure to the CloudFlare audience. It was a win-win situation. The post's sole intention was not to pass Page Rank. As long as you're not guest blogging solely to pass Page Rank to your site, you're still using a quality marketing tactic. Just make sure it's a relevant topic for that blog. If you're accepting a guest blog or are writing one, it's always a good idea to include a section explaining the expertise of the author and the purpose of the
Announcing the A2 Hosting Video Library
Jan 29, 2014
Over the past few months we've really revamped our Knowledgebase to not only make it easier to use, but also to stock it with a ton of helpful articles. If you are part of a significant portion of the population, you might prefer watching a short sweet, video though. In our constant quest to offer you the best service possible, we have recently launched a new section of our blog; The A2 Posting Video Library.   The A2 Posting Video Library is where you can find our latest video tutorials and guides. We've started off with WordPress Hosting tutorials like How to Increase WordPress Security and How to Optimize WordPress with W3 Total Cache and GTmetrix, with many more to to come!   Have an idea for a video tutorial? Is there an application or hosting feature you've been having trouble with? Send an email to [email protected] with your suggestions for future tutorials!
No Click WordPress Setup
Jan 28, 2014
Whether you're starting your first WordPress blog or are a long time WordPress veteran, A2 Hosting makes it easy to get your blog up and running. Our no-click WordPress setup makes getting started a breeze. Don't believe us? The following video shows our entire WordPress Hosting order process and WordPress setup process in just 115 seconds.   
Increasing WordPress Security - Video
Jan 24, 2014
With every popular CMS comes the onslaught of hackers who will do their very best to take advantage of said popularity. WordPress is unfortunately no different - the increasing popularity of the WordPress platform has brought along an increase in attacks against WordPress installations. Our latest knowledgebase article and video will guide you through a few techniques you can use to help protect your WordPress installation from hackers.   KB Article: WordPress Security     Remember, when you choose A2 Hosting for your WordPress Hosting needs, you also get our free HackScan protection. This is just another way to further protect your blog!
How to Optimize WordPress with W3 Total Cache and GTmetrix - Video
Jan 24, 2014
As your site gains traffic and users, and as you add additional content, your site may begin to slow down because WordPress has to recompile every page every time a user accesses it. By utilizing caching, you can reduce the amount of work WordPress has to do for every page load, which in turn speeds up your site.   Our latest video and knowledge base article specifically address how to get more performance out of your WordPress installation. Take a look!   View our WordPress Optimization KB Article     A2 Hosting is the only place where you'll find SwiftServer SSDs featuring 300% faster page load speeds compared to competing hosts. Make sure visit our WordPress Hosting page for more details. 
Webmaster Tools Search Queries Data Now More Useful
Jan 09, 2014
While we've all become accustomed to Analytics' "Not Provided" keywords for organic traffic to your site, Google is now recording exact impression and click count information for your site in Google Webmaster Tools. This is as opposed to the rounded numbers or bucket numbers (generally +/- 10%  of actual numbers) that they had previously reported. This is a step forward in providing more transparency in viewing the search terms your visitors used to get to your site, though it would be helpful if we could see which keywords produced sales.   It's nice being able to see how many actual times a keyword drove traffic to your site, but combine that with how many times your site was viewed in organic rankings and that is very powerful information for a number of reasons: Improving CTR: Sort your data by impressions and look at the click through rate (CTR) for these keywords. If you have a low click through rate for high impression keywords, this signals a lot of missed opportunity, especially since we're talking about free organic traffic. This is a good opportunity to make your meta title and meta description more enticing to try and get more clickthroughs. Choosing keywords to focus on: You may have a keyword that you're already ranking decently for (say an average position of 8-10). If you are getting quite a few impressions and clicks for that keyword, I would look at seeing what you can be done to improve your organic ranking for those keywords. These are "easy pickings" because the amount of clicks increase rapidly for each position as you move up first page organic rankings. Decide which keywords to cut your losses on: Some keywords are so broad that they are just way too popular to try and compete on. If your average position is in the 11-20 range and you're knocking on the footsteps of being on page 1, by all means continue focusing on those keywords. If on the other hand you're focusing on keywords where you rank very poorly for, you probably want to focus resources on keywords
2013: A CEO’s Year In Review
Jan 07, 2014
When you look back on a previous year, you can often label it as your best year, worst year or busiest year. I can look back on 2013 and say that it was without a doubt our most exciting year to date. Before looking into what 2014 means for A2 Hosting and our customers, let’s look back at 2013 and the 5 biggest events of the past year.   We started the year right from the start with our biggest announcement; the launch of our SSD Hosting service. The first half of the year was dedicated to tweaking our SSD servers so our customers could get the highest performance out of them and spreading the word that sites on our SSDs servers load pages up to 300% faster than standard servers. June was our 10 year anniversary, and what better way to celebrate it than by giving away 10 lifetime SSD Hosting accounts and 60 1-year SSD Hosting accounts for free? In August, we started running speed tests to compare our servers’ page load speeds against a number of our competitors. It turns out that pages load 40% - 470% faster on our SSDs compared to competing hosts. SSD Hosting was one big product launch for 2013. September saw our other big launch; Cloud Hosting. Our Cloud service features a number of unique advantages including free high availability failover, paying for only the resources you use and the ability to resize on demand. To make sure our European customers could experience the same SSD speed benefits, we started offering SSD Hosting in our Iceland data center in September as well.   We’re working hard to make 2014 just as exciting with new product updates and continuing to offer you the high performance, developer friendly and ultra-reliable service that you’ve become accustomed to receiving from A2 Hosting.
The Importance of External Backups
Jan 03, 2014
We provide backup services on all of our Managed hosting accounts. Most quality hosts do. But whether we're lucky enough to be your host, or you're with someone else, it's important to not rely solely on your host's backup services. For your sensitive data, you should have additional backups elsewhere. That means your database and any custom code as well. It's unlikely that your data would ever become totally unrecoverable, but unlikely things do eventually happen to someone. If you are that someone, you can avoid potential disaster by having an independent backup of all your sensitive data. The first thing to do is decide how often you want to make this disaster recovery backup. The more often you can do it the better, but if you don't have a way to automate, then it becomes more work. If you decide you need to backup daily, then you wil probably want to automate it. If you can do it once a week or once a month, then perhaps a manual process will work for you. The easiest thing to do is simply download the files you need from your host to your local computer. This can serve the purpose, but it's not much of a backup. Home PCs are subject to pet hair, drink spills and lots of other damaging factors. But still, a local copy is better than nothing. Another layer of redundancy would be to have a dedicated home backup appliance. There are many available from various vendors, from Apple to Western Digital. You can find one that fits your budget and needs. It can backup all of your PC's data not just the local copy of your site. A more robust solution, though is to backup your data to a cloud storage service, such as Amazon S3 or Google Drive. These options aren't free, and have ongoing costs, but will provide you with more security for your data than a local copy. Additionally, these methods can be automated. You can set up a script on your hosting account to keep the cloud copy of your data updated every day if needed. Instructions for doing so vary depending on the service you choose, but should be pre
Don’t Stitch Your Content!
Dec 06, 2013
Matt Cutts, the head of Google's Webspam team, recently covered the topic of stitched content. Stitched content is where you copy snippets from multiple articles or sources, make one article from the snippets and call it your own. One of the things I really like to hammer home is to focus on writing original, quality content. On the surface stitched content seems like it's original content, but not so fast.   Google has a pinpoint focus on making sure the sites in their index provide value to Google users. According to Matt, an article created with stitched content does not provide that value. It makes sense too. I know I wouldn't find much value in an article that contains five snippets from other sites as the author tries to pass it off as their own original article.   Now some sites like Wikipedia can get away with it because they are creating significant value for their users. Generally Wikipedia takes complicated topics and condenses everything into a tight knit (no pun intended) article. This is a bit different because Wikipedia's goal isn't to automate their content creation to try and rank higher organically.   When it comes to tactics like stitched content, I would always first look at what the intent is. Is it just automating and making content faster so a site can rank higher? When in doubt on how to create content for a site, don't take short cuts. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. I would always recommend that you write one quality article each week instead of 5 substandard articles. In the long run your readers and visitors will appreciate it, and you will reap those gains.
Yii: MVC Code Generation and More
Dec 02, 2013
PHP developers have so many powerful frameworks to choose from it can be tough to keep up with them all. Each of the top tier frameworks has something to offer, though, and compelling reasons why you might choose it rather than all the other options. The Yii Framework is one of those top tier options. One of the big tools it brings to the table is its powerful code generation. Yii comes with both command line and web based code generation utilities which will alleviate the drudge works of creating Model classes for your DB schema, along with all the associated CRUD code.   Code generation exists elsewhere, but Yii not only generates clean, usable Model classes, it provides a whole skeleton for your web application. It pairs all this with a caching system built to reduce load on your server, along with a flexible theming/templating system like you'd expect from any modern PHP framework.   Yii is now celebrating five years since its initial release to the public, and it is still under active development. If you haven't yet found your framework soul mate, or you're going through a messy break up with your current one, Yii is a top contender you should take a look at. The solid documentation will give you a great introduction and guide to getting started.
Save 20% Off WordPress Templates At TeslaThemes!
Nov 19, 2013
A2 Hosting is proud to announce a new partnership with TeslaThemes. They are an exclusive shop of Premium Wordpress Themes coupled with clean design and advanced features. They offer multipurpose WordPress themes for all bloggers, developers, creative agencies or business owners looking to run professional websites with beautiful layouts.   TeslaThemes provide clean WordPress Themes for all demands & categories. Each theme comes with extensive documentation, dedicated 24/7 support, their own Tesla framework, responsive design, unique features, regular free updates and much more.   Use the coupon code “A2HOSTING” to get 20% OFF all their products and subscription packages. Personalize the look and functionality of your site using their awesome WordPress themes.
Discover An Up-And-Coming Niche In 3-Steps
Nov 08, 2013
Like many of my blog posts, they start with a question that I've read on a discussion board. As you probably guessed, this post is about how to  discover a new niche to start a website about. Of course I make it easy by saying it only takes 3-steps, but remember it's up to you ultimately to create the content  (and if it's a blog a continual stream of fresh content) for your website to succeed. This point leads me to step one:   1.) Brainstorm a list of broad topics that you are interested in. I start with this step because if you're going to start a website, especially one you're going to be managing for fun or in your spare time, you're going to want to select a topic you're already interested in or wouldn't mind learning about. Your website visitors are going to appreciate the passion that comes through in your writing. You could probably fake the passion, but why not pick something you're already interested in?   2.) Check both the popularity and the competition for that keyword. Anyone that reads this blog knows that I absolutely love free tools, and I'm more than happy to recommend the best and most useful ones. In this case, I would use WordTracker. Start plugging your keywords into WordTracker's search. As an example, I searched one of my favorite topics which is "basketball". As you can see, it will spit out a list of keywords based on search volume. Scroll down further and you'll see an even more useful report, showing the search volume AND competition for those keywords. On my "basketball" search, WordTracker just so happened to have 3 fairly popular keywords, with no competition. These are the keywords I'm interested in researching further. These keywords are: best basketball quotes top 10 basketball players basketball shoe technology   These are 3 niche topics that I could fairly easily start a website around. Which leads me to the next step.   3.) Check the growth potential of these keywords. For this bit of research, I recommend using Google Trends. Plug your searc
Ghost and the New Generation of Web Apps
Oct 30, 2013
Ghost is a new blogging platform that has recently been released to the public after a highly successful Kickstarter, followed by a closed testing period. Upon learning about it, many people immediately respond "What's wrong with Wordpress?" The answer is, if Wordpress works great for you, then nothing. But Wordpress has grown tremendously over the years, it's not a simple blogging platform any more. It's evolved to support a major use case for it nowadays; a full fledged CMS. As such, for those that only need a platform for blogging, they can do with something more focused. That's the niche Ghost was created to fill. It's not trying to be a CMS, it's just trying to be a great blogging platform. It's also written using Node.js, which didn't exist when Wordpress was created. Wordpress is written in PHP, and while you can set up a stack for PHP that has Node.js-like concurrency and speed, Node.js is fast out of the box, if not widely supported on Shared hosting platforms.   There's a new generation of web applications emerging like Ghost. As the old guard has grown over the years, and become larger and more feature rich, some users yearn for trimmed down, more focused software. This inevitably leads to some of those users to put on their developer hats and make that software that they want to use. This is great for everyone. Even if you continue to use Wordpress, as a competing platform gains popularity, the Wordpress developers will have to react to the copmetition, and whether they do so by adding features, improving performance, refining the interface or a mix of all of those, it means evolution and improvement for everyone.   If you're curious about this application and looking for Ghost Hosting, we've added Ghost to the A2 QuickInstaller for CentOS 6 on our Dynamic VPS. We will be rolling it out to other Templates and the Cloud VPS soon. You can also install Node.js via the QuickInstaller and then download and install Ghost for yourself. It's totally free and really cool.
Green Hosting Badge & A $50 Credit
Oct 24, 2013
One of the reasons that our customers ultimately end up choosing to host their sites with us is because of our Green Hosting. We've had a number of requests from customers who are using our green service proudly and want to let their visitors know it. For those customers, we have created a special Green Hosting badge for them to put on their sites.     We hope you decide to use the badge on your site too. If you do, we highly recommend you linking it with your A2 Hosting Refer-A-Friend link. For each of your visitors who clicks the green badge tagged with your custom link, you earn a $50 hosting credit.   As an A2 Hosting customer you already have a custom Refer A Friend link. To get your link, just log into your My A2 Hosting account. You'll find it below your Account Overview.
Get Your Sites Ready For The Holidays!
Oct 17, 2013
Where has this year gone? I just glanced at my calendar and we're only a few short weeks away from the holiday shopping season. I guess I need to dust off my winter coat.   This is the most important time of the year for most retailers. You'll want to start planning now if you're expecting a traffic boost to your site because of the holidays. Remember, A2 Hosting has the high speed solutions to help! If you have questions about our Managed VPS Hosting, Cloud VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers or any other services, drop us a ticket or give us a call now while you still have time.
Choosing A “Complete” SSD Hosting Solution
Oct 16, 2013
As one of the first hosts to offer SSD Hosting, it was inevitable that other hosts who lag behind would start to catch onto the benefits of solid state drives. It happens when you innovate. After all, at A2 Hosting we understand the importance of a site with fast page load speeds. We just wanted to make sure that if you're in the market for SSD Hosting, you read the fine print of the hosts you are considering. We've seen a number of instances of hosts who claim to offer SSD Hosting, but in fact only host your database or OS on an SSD. I'm sure this is nice and you'll experience a speed boost, but why settle? If you're going to choose an SSD Hosting solution, and we wholeheartedly recommend that you do, make sure to choose a host who offers complete SSD hosting. Choose a host who uses SSDs for everything (including your files) so you get the fastest hosting speed boost possible. Don't choose a host who has cut corners just so they can say they offer SSD Hosting. Host your site on our SwiftServer SSD platform for blazing fast hosting and 300% faster page load speeds than the competition.
What Is Google Hummingbird & How It Impacts Your Site
Oct 11, 2013
Last year when Google released its Penguin update, there were major waves felt throughout the webmaster community. Little would you have known Penguin only impacted a whopping 3% of Google searches. More surprising though is the fact that Google released a completely new algorithm at the end of the September and compared to Panda, not even a peep was made. The new algorithm, called Hummingbird, has impacted a 90% of searches and is Google's most significant update in 12 years. So what is Hummingbird? It represents Google's attempt to best answer a searchers question and predict their search intent. It's Google looking at syntax and word order as opposed to individual keywords to best answer their question. After all, searches aren't necessarily always in the form of a question, but they almost always represent a question. You don't search "where can I find a good Chinese restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI". You search "chinese food". Now my personal view of Hummingbird is positive because it gives websites with great content but not a ton of marketing resources to rank higher for long-tail keywords because Google is now concerned with intent. A massive retailer may rank highly for "sweatshirt", but Hummingbird opens up opportunities for other publishers when someone searches "red striped sweatshirt" because Google is looking at the phrase as a whole, not just individual keywords. It means we have to be more vigilant as marketers than ever researching long-tailed search terms to optimize our sites for. Hummingbird levels the playing field if we don't rank well for a single, particularly competitive keyword. Now I do in general feel Hummingbird is a positive update, but there is a drawback for some sites that do naturally answer question. With Google wanting to answer user questions quickly, you may have noticed Google is actually answering these questions themselves (if you haven't noticed search Google for "Ben Franklin's birthday"). With Google answering search queries themselves and their concern wit
Laravel is Awesome
Sep 26, 2013
If you're developing in Ruby you probably are going to use Ruby on Rails. If you're doing server side JavaScript, you're probably going to use Node.js. But if you're writing PHP, there's no shortage of frameworks to choose from. Each of them offers different advantages, and if you don't already have favorite, picking one can be a daunting task. At A2 Hosting we're fans of Laravel, and that's why we've become a sponsor. Laravel brings a lot of wonderful features together in one framework, so many that I can't go into all of them here, but I'll touch on a couple. Of course, Laravel is built around a now standard MVC (Model, View, Controller) application style, and I won't go into that here.   Laravel makes developing a RESTful application easy with Routing. Routing provides you a clean, easy way to specify application flow based on the request you've received. No big nasty switches, no endless series of PHP scripts which are called individually and each contain their own pages long switch. You have clean Routing which can be broken up into files as it best makes sense for your application design. The implementation is simple and elegant, and facilitates a clean RESTful design.   Most experienced PHP developers have stopped including HTML in line with their PHP code. We break it off into templates, and keep just PHP in our PHP scripts. Right? Oh wait, no, most of them are also full of tons of SQL statements. Where other languages have nice, fluent database interfaces, most PHP developers are stuck writing their SQL in line with their PHP. Sure we might be using PDO objects, but we're still often having to write large chunks of application logic in SQL. Which, let's face it, is not ideal. Laravel provides Eloquent, which is a fluent database interface reminiscent of Ruby on Rails' Active Record.  It provides you a way of dealing with your database in PHP. Easier to read, easier to write, since you don't have to shift gears constantly when writing your model code.   Ruby Gems come with their own headache
Transitioning From Keyword Tool To Keyword Planner
Sep 13, 2013
It's always frustrating when a tool you use everyday is no longer available. I know I always feel handcuffed when it happens to me. It happened recently with Google's Keyword Tool. I felt like this tool was the most useful SEO resource available, and best of all it was free. This just adds to my keyword research frustration, compounded by "not provided" keywords showing up in our Analytics account.   Luckily there is a new tool called the Keyword Planner that gives you the ability to do most of your keyword research. The drawback is that you do need an AdWords account to use the Keyword Planner. The good news is that you can sign up for an AdWords account in about 2-minutes and you don't have to pay a cent to access the Keyword tool. Trust me, I just tested it out myself.   Once you have access to your AdWords account, just follow these easy steps to do your keyword research: Click the Tools and Analysis menu at the top Select Keyword Planner from the drop down Click Search for keyword and ad group ideas Enter the keyword(s) you want to research in the box below Your product or service and click the Get ideas button Click the Keyword ideas tab to see the estimated amount of searches you will receive from the entered search term(s). You will also see a number of recommendations based on the keyword you entered. To get more keyword ideas, enter your keywords in the search box at the top with commas in between each one.   As you can see, you can still accomplish your keyword research with the Keyword Planner, but with a number of annoying, additional steps. If you do some investigating, you're bound to find other free keyword tools. They may nicely compliment the Keyword Planner, but I prefer to get my keyword research straight from the source. After all, 90-95% of your organic traffic likely comes from Google.
Now Offering SSD Hosting In Europe!
Sep 11, 2013
One of the questions we've been commonly asked over the past few months by our European customers was whether they would experience the largest speed boost by hosting their site closer to their visitors in our European data center or on our US-based solid state drives. There's no need to wonder any longer! That's because we've launched SSD Hosting in our European data center. Now our European Web Hosting customers can experience the speed benefits of both our SSDs as well as hosting their content closer to their visitors.     So what can SSD Hosting do for your site? The answer can be found in our competitor speed results. In our tests, we compared website page load speeds for sites hosted on our SSDs head-to-head against a number of our competitors. The results show that sites hosted on our SSDs load pages 2-3 times faster compared to our competition. We also have included a complete disclosure of our testing methodology.   The results of our test is especially significant considering how severely a 1-second page load delay can negatively impact your website. Tests show a mere 1-second delay in page load speed can cause a 7% decrease in conversion rate, 16% decrease in visitor satisfaction and a 11% reduction in page views. Upgrading to SSD Hosting is an affordable (just $3/mo) way to easily and effectively optimize the performance of your site.   Another reason to switch to our SSD hosting service is because we offer the Railgun network optimizer for free to our SSD hosting customers. This service loads HTML up to 143% faster. This is in addition to our free CloudFlare CDN which increases website speed by an average of 200%.   Make the Switch!          Learn More  
A2 Hosting Is In The Cloud!
Sep 05, 2013
  Cloud Hosting is all the rage these days. We've been commonly asked when our Cloud will be available. We never wanted to slap together a Cloud product just for the sake of saying we had Cloud Hosting. That's why when we were asked when our Cloud product would be available, the best answer we could give was "Soon". Well soon is today! We're excited to introduce the latest hosting service available on our exclusive SwiftServer platform; Cloud VPS Hosting. Our goal was to do Cloud Hosting correctly the first time, and we did.   We wanted to craft a sensible solution for customers; one we would want to use ourselves. That's where our Quick Start Cloud originated from. We noticed most cloud providers had confusing pricing schedules and complicated instructions that created a significant barrier for users looking for Cloud Hosting. Either that or they had "one size fits all" hosting plans. Not here. At A2 Hosting, you easily create your perfect Cloud VPS with resources that best fit your needs all from a single page. We also include our A2 QuickInstaller to help our customers save time by auto-installing popular application servers, frameworks, version control solutions and much more to their Cloud VPS.   Our Cloud VPS Hosting is an excellent solution for users comfortable with our traditional VPS Hosting product. It also features a number of distinct advantages including: Free High Availability  – In the instance of the node your VPS is on goes done , your account will automatically failover to another node. High availability provides the ultimate in reliability and redundancy! Usage Based Billing – Turn it on. Turn it off. Pay only for what you use. Re-size On Demand -  If your needs fluctuate, you don't have to contact our support team to change your resources. Re-size your Cloud VPS right from your My A2 Hosting account. See how our Cloud VPS stacks up against similar services. You'll be impressed. Design your perfect Cloud VPS today! Learn More
Speed Test: A2 Hosting vs HostGator
Aug 27, 2013
For our most recent batch of competitor testing, we put HostGator through a round of testing against our SSD servers, and the results were pretty staggering. Again using PrestaShop as our target platform to test with, HostGator had an average initial page load speed of 9.2 seconds, compared to our initial page load of 1.9 seconds.   For followup (cached) requests, HostGator averaged 3.9 seconds, as compared to our .94 seconds.   Visit our speed testing breakdown for full disclosure of our testing methodology. Or better yet, sign up for our Prime+SSD Hosting package today!  
More and Better Logging
Aug 27, 2013
Any developer has encountered bugs that make banging your head on the desk seem like relief. It's part of software development. It's complicated work which can be thrown off by the simplest of hidden mistakes. The question is; how do we reduce the frequency of bugs that stump us for long periods of time and increase cases where we quickly find the solution to the problem? There's many techniques, including testing, avoiding problematic patterns and coding only when awake and alert, avoiding late night or early morning coding when errors are more likely to happen. There's a ton of Best Practices for improving the reliability and debuggability of our code. But I'm going to talk about a classic, and one of my favorites here; logging.   The concept of programs writing logs of what they are doing is probably the oldest in computing. Even a Babbage computing machine will output the results of its calculation, which is itself a simple form of logging. But something I see a lot in modern software is anemic logging, or worse yet, useless logs that say what happened but no details about it that would let you determine what went wrong. Modern debugging tools can make a lot of traditional debug logging techniques obsolete when it comes to development, but what about when your code is in production, being used and you are unsure of what user input caused the error that you're trying to fix? This is where logging is indispensable and why you should err on the side of giving yourself more information than you might need rather than less. It's easy to grep for what you need and ignore what you don't, and it's impossible to generate logs that don't exist.   We live in a time where drive space is a commodity, and quite dispensable. When it comes to text logs, the space consumed is paltry compared to the value of a developer's time spent trying to chase down an error with no information. If your traffic volume is so high that storing the logs is still a consideration, you can always have them rotate aggressively. Having s
Check Out Our Brand New Knowledgebase
Aug 22, 2013
Some of the most common feedback we've received from our surveys and directly from our customers is that we needed to improve upon our documentation, especially our Knowledgebase. We agreed! That's why we set aside a few of our employees and gave them the task to do just that; improve our Knowledgebase.   Our goals when creating our new Knowledgebase was to update the 100's of articles we already had, logically organize them and make sure they are easy to read. We also wanted to design a Knowledgebase that was easy to use and could help our customers quickly find the article they're looking for. We're excited to announce we achieved all of our goals.   A Knowledgebase is a constantly evolving project though. That means if there are any topics that you would like to see us cover that we're not already, just let us know by contacting us via our Suggestion Box (you can send us any other feedback you may have through our Suggestion Box as well). Each KnowledgeBase article also has a Feedback link that allows you to send us any thoughts you have about the article or suggested edits.   Make sure to take a moment to check out our Knowledgebase and let us know what you think! You can also read our article about how to get the most out of our Knowledgebase.   See Our KB!
Create Separate Landing Pages For SEO & PPC Traffic
Aug 08, 2013
A few months ago I attended a landing page optimization conference. It pretty much taught how simplifying your landing pages can increase conversions. Simpler landing pages equates to less clicking around, less confusion and higher conversion rates. In theory that sounds great, but if your landing page consists pretty much of a headline, hero area, form and call to action, that's not going to rank very well in the search engines for the keywords you're targeting.   I asked the conference leader how to optimize a landing page for search engines when there is virtually no content on the page. The answer was that on page SEO doesn't play much of a factor anymore in SEO. This answer didn't really fly with me. Google is really locking down the link activities that it allows, so that makes creating backlinks even more difficult. Just this past week they added using anchor links in press release to its naughty list. To me, on page SEO has become more important than ever.   Instead of mish-mashing your landing pages to make sure that they work for both your SEO and PPC campaigns, try testing two different versions. Make an SEO version AND a PPC version for the keywords you're targeting. For the SEO version, make sure that it is content rich. Now that doesn't mean just to splatter a bunch of content on the page to make it attractive to search engines. Make sure it is attractive to your visitors as well. Follow guidelines of successful landing pages including having a captivating headline, clear call to action, display your USPs etc.   For the PPC version, focus on creating a more simple landing page that moves users quickly into your sales or lead funnel. Now the important thing to remember is not to internally link this page anywhere on your site and to not include it in your sitemap. Make sure it doesn't get indexed. You don't want to get docked for duplicate content, especially because your PPC landing pages will likely look very similar across the keywords you use.   I know it sounds like a lot of wo
Competitor Speed Testing – The A2 Hosting Way
Aug 03, 2013
At A2 Hosting, we constantly challenge ourselves to find new and innovative ways to speed up and secure our web hosting environment. We believe that everyone deserves a fast, secure place to host their websites. We’ve gone through great effort to compare ourselves to our competitors to determine exactly how we stack up against them in speed. In an effort to be fully transparent and fair, we are sharing our methodology for testing our servers against the servers of our competitors. Our main test is page load speed. Statistics show that the longer a page takes to load, the more visitors will bounce, conversions will decrease and ultimately (for e-commerce) revenue will decrease. To test page load speed, we installed replica versions of the target software on each hosting server. The actual test consisted of loading the home page of the software and timing how long it took the page to completely load. No CDN or caching was used on either server, and the page we tested contained mixed content (HTML, CSS, JS and images). The A2 Hosting server and test competitor server loaded the same page, from the same software, at the same time. During each interval, the page was loaded 10 times consecutively. The purpose for this was to ensure we would garner data that included testing the speed at which the server could retrieve data from physical storage, as well as the time it would take to load the page from RAM.  The logic here is that the first time a page is accessed, it will not be cached and not be in RAM, so the web server will have to load the scripts, data and resources from the physical disk and process them. On the subsequent 9 tests, all of that data will already have been loaded into RAM. This tests the overall speed at which the server can process through PHP and MySQL transactions. The above test was repeated every hour for 7 days straight on each host. This was to give us data over a period of time, capturing both peak and off-peak loads throughout the course of a week. The servers/hosting pa
Performance Pitfalls
Jul 24, 2013
At A2 Hosting we've been doing a lot of performance optimization on the server side, to make sure our customers' sites run at their best. But of course, as developers we can always improve our application's performance too. I thought I'd go over some potential low hanging fruit to look out for in your own applications.   Large Un-indexed SQL Columns   This is a common source of poor performance in web applications. Querying on a large SQL database table can be very fast if you are querying on indexed column(s). But try querying on some unindexed columns and suddenly the response time drops massively; and the more of these columns in your query the worse the situation becomes. If you know a table is likely to grow large, and it gets hit often or at key times when performance will impact end users, it's time to add an index to those columns. The cost of an index is usually just disk and memory footprint, and nowadays those are both affordable resources. That said, indexing every column in your database is a mistake as well. It should be obvious which columns are most likely to be queried on frequently and those are your best index targets.   Inefficient or Unnecessary Nested Loops   Everybody know nested loops can quickly become a bottle neck, and most developers will try to stop at 2 layers of looping. But sometimes you'll see people fall into the trap of calling a method or function which itself contains more nested loops. This is not improving the situation. Often times these are cases where there is a looping structure which is calling some function to iterate over some data and return it to the calling loops. If at all possible -- and you're not working within some tight memory constraints -- it's probably best to build up all your data first and then iterate over it once, rather than having these kinds of heavily nested looping structures. Often times passing over all the data once will be much faster than having a nested loop where you build up a chunk of the data and then do a pass over th
Tell Friends, Family & Clients About A2 Hosting – Earn $85!
Jul 19, 2013
A common question I answer from our customers is whether it's possible to earn money by telling friends, family, clients or co-workers about A2 Hosting. The answer is yes, you absolutely can with our Affiliate Program. For each person you refer to A2 Hosting, you earn $85/sale! It's easy to get started too: Sign up for our affiliate program. You get a $10 bonus just for signing up! After approval of your application, log into your affiliate control panel to grab your custom affiliate link and choose from our assortment of A2 Hosting banners and other marketing material. Post the link on your website, post it in a blog, add it to Twitter, mention us in your newsletter or email it to your friends.   For each person who clicks on your link and purchases a hosting package, you earn $85! It's that easy!   The great aspect of our affiliate program is you get the distinct advantage of promoting our high-performance hosting solutions. According to our recent customer survey, hosting customers take their server speed very seriously. We've got that covered! Tell your visitors about our blazing fast SwiftServer platform and our SSDs featuring page load speeds up to 300% faster than traditional hosting.   Now if you're just looking for a quick way to tell someone about A2 Hosting and want to earn a $50 hosting credit, you should check out our Refer-A-Friend program. If you're already an A2 Hosting customer, you already have a customized Refer-A-Friend link. Just log into your A2 Hosting Client Area to grab your link. It's very similar to our Affiliate Program; just send your link to those who needs hosting or post it on your website. When someone clicks on your link and purchases a hosting account, you earn your $50 credit.   Learn More
Is It Really Worth Testing Your Call To Action Button Color?
Jul 10, 2013
There are so many case studies and articles about how you can increase you conversion rate by 25-50% just by changing the color of your call-to-action button. I'm calling shenanigans on those tests not only because of common sense saying that a simple color change isn't going to massively increase your conversion rate, but because of our own trials showing that you're just not going to see these kinds of results.   You may see a small bump 1 or 2% bump in your conversion rate if you do test the button color. Kudos if you do. However you're going to need a lot of time and traffic if you're going to reach a level of significance to get conclusive results for such a test. To go from a 5% conversion rate to a 5.10% conversion rate, you need 736,812 visits to your page. If you can get that amount of visitors to your site in a short amount of time, I applaud you, but that's out of the scope for most websites.   If you're going to spend the time and potentially money for a test, go for broke! Change the color of your button, the location of the button, the page's headline and change the page's image to a video. Do it all once.  That's where you're really going to see results. When going from a 5% conversion rate to a 6% conversion rate, you only need 6131 visits to the page. Now that's more reasonable, and results we can agree would be worthwhile to pursue. Now if the test starts to lose, remember that many A/B testing solutions will begin to show the winning page more often so you minimize your risk of losing out on sales.   So what are some of the pages you should consider testing? The ones with the most visits. These pages are probably your most important and will provide the fastest results. Your landing pages producing the most amount of sales. These are your highest value pages. Your pages with the highest bounce rates. Be careful with this though because if you do landing pages correctly and only really offer one concrete call to action on the page (buy or leave), you're probably going
Website Optimization Primer - Part 1 - Caching
Jun 26, 2013
With many websites there will come a point where optimizing PHP code, adding memory to a server and tweaking configuration files can’t provide enough optimization to keep the site running smoothly. Even though server technologies are improving rapidly, all of the code processing, compiling and database queries that happen when serving up web content can take their toll on the available resources of the server. Eventually with a growing audience and without the proper solutions in place, the speed at which the server is able to deliver content begins to slow down. This article is Part 1 of a multi-part series sponsored by A2 Hosting, highlighting different web server optimization tools and techniques. These articles are geared towards users of VPS, Cloud and Dedicated servers. Part 1 - What’s the Cache? In the endless pursuit of a speedy website, there are many tools that can be used to gain a boost in the performance department. Caching can help speed things up by eliminating some of the duplicate processes that occur when serving up web pages multiple times over a period of time. Whenever a user types a web address into their browser, it sets off a chain reaction of events that process and put all of the data together to show the website in the viewer’s browser window. The first thing that happens is the web server has to interpret all of the PHP code for that particular web page. If the site is hosting using a framework such as Wordpress, the web server will load many different files into memory to gather all the code it needs to display the page. These files will include a configuration file, library files, templates, plugins, etc. A single web page may require resources from hundreds of files on the web server. The server must read the PHP in it’s human-readable code from each of those files, and then compile it into a machine-readable form of code. Once that process is complete, the server executes the compiled code. In the course of running that compiled code, the web server may be directed to
Plugins: Power, Responsibility, etc.
Jun 26, 2013
Everybody knows the popular quote featured in Spiderman; "With great power comes great responsibility." Well, I don't know if plugins qualify as great power, but they can be very powerful. And with plugins comes responsibility. Before you use a plugin you should make sure you are getting it from a reputable, trustworthy source. Plugins and templates are currently an extremely popular attack vector; the more popular the platform, the more malicious plugins will be targetting that platform. So before you download and install a plugin, make sure it's from a reputable source and author.   Beyond malicious plugins, there are many plugins that are just poorly made or poorly maintained. Even if a plugin isn't deliberately written to make your site vulnerable to attackers, it may accomplish the same task through sheer accident. Many popular platforms such as Wordpress and Drupal will do their best to let their community know about plugins or templates which are causing widespread problems, but ultimately it's your responsibility to make sure the plugins you're using aren't going to cause you problems.   Once you're aware of this issue and want to do something about it, what do you do? The first thing I'd suggest is that before installing any plugin or template pack, Google it. Look for people complaining about it or warning about problems with it. Take those complaints and concerns seriously, and consider alternatives instead. If you've already got plugins or templates installed in your site, hit Google now and look each of them up.   Additionally, you should make sure you keep all your plugins up to date. If there is a problem, any plugin that's currently under active development should receive a patch to fix that problem. When updates are released for your plugins, check out the update and if it's security related, don't wait to install it, update right away. If it's not security related, you may want to hold off and wait to see if other users of the plugin report any problems. Often times, feature rich u
Importance of SSD Hosting Explained In 41 Seconds
Jun 21, 2013
Whenever a salesperson calls me these days or I set up a conference call, I can't help but watch the seconds tick away. Do you have the same problem? We're all so busy these days, that we just want the executive summary. Just cut to the chase already! What's your product all about, how can it help me and is it worth the money?   Everything I write these days is about high-performance hosting, SSD hosting etc. This time around though, I thought I'd take my own advice and give you the executive summary. Learn what SSD Hosting can do for you by watching our 41-second video. It's worth every second, I promise.                                         Learn More     Upgrade My Existing Package     SSD Upgrade: Web Hosting: +$3/mo Reseller Hosting: +$5/mo VPS Hosting: +$5/mo Managed VPS Hosting: $5/mo See Flex Dedicated & Managed Dedicated for more SSD options
Facebook Rolling Out Hashtags
Jun 13, 2013
If you are a Twitter user, and you probably should be if you run a business, you know that using hashtags can be quite beneficial. Just some of the advantages of using hashtags in your tweets include: Running #contests Finding followers Help people find you Easy way to stay current without reading tons of news articles Jump into the middle of a conversation The word on the street is that Facebook is finally rolling out hashtags themselves. This means you'll be able to experience many of the same benefits of using hashtags on Facebook as you would on Twitter. Of course there are concerns about privacy, but according to Facebook, only the people you share a post with will be able to see your hashtag. So when you do use them and care to share it with the world, make sure to make the post public. Now before you get frustrated that Hashtags aren't working for you, Facebook is still rolling them out slowly. Also it appears that anyone can type a hashtag in a post, but not everyone will be able to click on it.
PHP Devs: Do You Still Inline Your HTML?
May 30, 2013
I'm surprised whenever I look at recently written PHP and see folks are still writing their HTML inline with their code. Perhaps it's because so many PHP tutorials teach this style, or maybe people just aren't aware of the advantages of separating it out. If you still write this way, feel free to comment on why. I'll try to explain the advantages of separating it out here. I won't get into the details of Model-View-Controller programming here, see that Wikipedia article or a blog post I will probably eventually do about it. But for now I will just plead that you separate out your display HTML from your functional PHP code.   The easiest way to understand why HTML and fnuctional code should be separated out is to think of your HTML as another function. Separating out your code into individual functions based on their behavior and use makes obvious logical sense. Similarly, your HTML is serving a separate purpose from the code that populates the data it's displaying. The HTML is display formatting code. The habit of putting your HTML inline with your PHP is based on thinking of either the PHP in little snippets that happen within the page, or thinking of the HTML as though it is string data whose syntax is somewhat irrelevant to the surrounding code. Both approaches are failing to respect the purpose and function of one or more parts of your program.   When you break out your HTML into a template file, you are respecting the HTML to fulfill its role and your PHP code to fulfill its role, and above all respecting any future developers who inherit your project.   Changes made to the PHP may not necessitate changes made to the HTML, and visa versa. So having them together in a single file is creating an unnecessarily complex situation which could be much more elegant and simple if it were simply separated out.   Even if your script is so small and simple that using even the smallest template engine doesn't make sense, at a minimum your HTML and display code should be separated into its own functions
10-Year Anniversary, SSD Servers & 50% Off
May 30, 2013
When A2 Hosting was founded back in 2003, our slogan was "Web Hosting done fast." Over the past 10 years we've grown and evolved, but our focus has still remained  on offering high-performance hosting solutions.   After many of our customers experienced up to 300% faster page loads with our SSD Hosting, there was a lot of demand for SSDs on our Flex Dedicated Platform. We heard you loud and clear, so we launched Dedicated SSD Hosting. SSDs are available both on our Flex Dedicated and Managed Flex Dedicated services.   In celebration of our 10-Year Anniversary, save 50% off your first billing cycle of our Dedicated SSD Hosting service. Use the coupon code 10YEARSSD. Just choose 1-month, 3-month or 6-month for your billing cycle.   We'd like to thank you for your support over our first 10-years. We obviously couldn't have done it without you. We can honestly say that we're quite excited to be your hosting provider for the next 10-years and for many years after that!   Learn More  
Results Of April’s Three Trees Initiative
May 15, 2013
A2 Hosting recognized Earth Day for the entire month of April. We planted two trees for each hosting package we sold during the month. CarbonFund.org also pitched in by planting a tree for each package sold, for a total of three trees. Thanks to our customers, we were able to plant a ton of trees. Take a look at the environmental impact of our Three Tree Initiative below. We planted enough trees to: Absorb 55,380 pounds of carbon dioxide each year Produce over 600,000 pounds of oxygen each year Provide a days supply of oxygen for 4,620 people Absorb the carbon dioxide generated from over 25 million miles of driving a car
How To Make Sure Your Website Is Trustworthy
May 09, 2013
I've read a lot of studies saying that if you add some sort of 3rd party trust seal to your site, your website visitors are going to be 80%, 90% or even 200% more likely to purchase from you. While these seals probably do help to a certain extent, developing trust with your audience goes a lot deeper than merely putting a seal on your site. Let's explore some ways you can develop trust with your audience.   Site Design You could have the most innovative product and exactly what your site visitors are looking for, but if your site looks like it was put together haphazardly or like it is from the 90's, it's difficult to build trust. We've all seen a site like this and it is only natural to wonder who are the people behind the site. Not everyone has a huge budget for designing a site, but there are plenty of affordable and even free template sites you can use. If your site is outdated, it may be time to refresh it with a new look!   Write An About Page Like I said, it's important for your visitors to see who is behind the company. That's what an About page is perfect for. Tell your visitors about you, your employees and your company's story. Knowing that there are actual people behind the company is a huge trust builder.   Have A Blog & Keep It Updated A blog is the perfect way to put your own creative voice behind your company and products. Your visitors will appreciate it! You're going to want to keep it updated though. If you haven't posted since 2009, your visitors are going to wonder if you're still around and available, especially if you have any questions!   Testimonials Ask the customers who you have your closest or most high profile relationships with for a review of your product or service. As we know, peer reviews are invaluable. Let your site visitors know about your existing successful customer relationships to help increase their own comfort level.   Proofread Your Content   This rule makes me paranoid because I'm scared I'm going to have a grammatical error in thi
Come Out & Meet The A2 Hosting Team!
Apr 22, 2013
Last year when we were sending out our happy hour invitation, we made a minor, last second edit to it. Since we didn't quite know how well the event would turn out, we changed the invitation from the First "Annual" A2 Hosting Happy Hour to just The First A2 Hosting Happy Hour. The good news is that the event was such a good time that we in fact decided to do it again.   Come on out and join us on June 6th from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST at the Corner Brewery (720 Norris Street Ypsilanti, MI). Mingle with the A2 Hosting staff and some of our other customers! If that's not a good enough reason to join us, we're going to have free food, free drinks and even giveaways (including an IPAD mini)!   So we can best plan for the event, please let us know by May 31st that you will be attending. We can't wait to meet you and to see you there!  
PHP 5.5 Now Available
Apr 18, 2013
PHP is the language of the web. Whatever your personal thoughts on it, its popularity cannot be denied. Many of the web's most popular applications are written in PHP and even with the growth of Ruby and Node.js, PHP is not going away any time soon. Beyond the massive entrenchment in existing applications, one of the main reasons PHP continues to hold the top spot is that the team behind it continues to add new features. A2 Hosting now offers PHP 5.5 Hosting! Just select PHP 5.5 in your cPanel control panel with our our exclusive PHP Switcher.   PHP 5.5 brings a nice assortment which should make developer's lives easier. I'll highlight a few of them here.   Finally, it's finally!   Those who follow PHP's development may remember a bit of a kerfuffle about the finally keyword a while ago. It was a highly requested feature that the developers behind PHP insisted wasn't necessary because its functionality could be duplicated (very clumsily) via other means. Simply put, finally lets you attach code to a try catch block which should be run whether or not an exception is thrown. You might think that means finally is useless since code after the try catch block would run next even without finally, right? In many cases that might be true, but if your have code within your try catch that alters the flow (e.g. throwing another exception which is caught elsewhere) that code after the block may never run or may be run much later. The finally block lets you ensure the code within it always runs before normal execution resumes, which can be quite handy.   Generators via yield keyword   A feature that is coming in ECMAScript 6 as well, Generators are a great design pattern. In PHP (and ES6) they are accomplished via the yield keyword. Yield lets you return a value to the calling code without actually ending execution of the generator function. This means you can iterate over an array of values or objects without actually building up that array. That obviously saves a lot of memory. In asyncronous languages
How To Start Buying Ads Online
Apr 04, 2013
I spend a bit of time on online marketing forums and one of the common questions I see asked is how to drive traffic to a new website. My first suggestion is always to write unique, relevant content and make sure that the site is optimized with the keywords that are being targeted. I like starting with SEO because it's a long term strategy. The content on your site does not go away. The second suggestion I generally make is PPC because it's targeted and if done correctly, it can be affordable. Obviously there are tons of other ways to market your site besides SEO and PPC (like guest blogging, forums and social media) there comes a time though that you'll probably want to try display advertising. This can be an effective strategy especially since the average person needs to see new information at least 3 times before it registers for immediate recollection. As with any marketing tactic, there needs to be a bit of a strategy behind it. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get started. 1.) Who Are You Targeting? You don't want to just start buying ad space without first considering where your target market is spending their time online. The first place I would look is at your Analytics sources to see where your traffic is actually coming from. If you look past PPC, direct traffic and organic traffic, I would look to see which sites are referring traffic to you and find similar ones to potentially advertise on. You can also get creative based on your product. If you sell treadmills, you probably will want to advertise on running sites, fitness sites and weight loss sites. 2.) What's Your Unique Message? If you're just starting display advertising, you probably don't have a huge budget. This can make it difficult to compete in industries where you have mammoth competitors because you can't just plaster your logo or company name on a banner. That's OK. You just have to be unique in your messaging. If you haven't identified what sets you apart from your competitors, this is a great time t
Buy A Hosting Package. Plant 3 Trees.
Apr 01, 2013
April 22nd may officially be Earth Day, but A2 Hosting is celebrating all month. In collaboration with CarbonFund.org, when you purchase any new hosting package during the month of April, A2 Hosting will plant 3-trees on your behalf! We do offer FutureServe Green Hosting after all and are 100% carbon neutral! We're also based in Ann Arbor, MI (AKA Tree Town), the home of over 50,000 trees and over 150 parks! Maybe you're concerned with the performance of your site. Choose our SSD Hosting service, with page loads up to 300% faster than standard hard drives. An added benefit is SSDs consume roughly one-third the amount of energy as traditional hard disks. We'll plant three trees! Maybe you're going to purchase a Web Hosting package from us because our partners like Sandvox, Drupal, Mantis, Elgg and PrestaShop recommended us. We'll plant three trees! Maybe your website visitors are located in Europe and you are interested in our Iceland Hosting. Did you know our Reykjavik, Iceland data center uses geothermal cooling technology and is 100% green? We'll plant three trees. The more packages we sell, the more trees we'll be planting! Let's do some tree planting!
Get More From Your Code with Zend Server
Mar 26, 2013
As our list of supported platforms continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment and look at one of the platforms we support that can make a big difference for PHP developers - Zend Server.   Zend Technologies has been around since the late 90’s, developing server technology that increases scalability, security, reliability and optimization. They’ve developed several products targeted towards the PHP developer community, namely the well-known Zend Guard and Zend Optimizer packages, which help developers secure and optimize their code.   Their most advanced and robust offering is the Zend Server platform, which comes in many flavors. The free Community Edition version is great for developers who want to become familiar with the platform and develop projects that utilize its functionality. The Community Edition includes powerful debugging tools, bytecode and data object caching, application metrics, and monitoring. Upgrading to any of their paid versions adds features such as application rollback, multi-server support, and fault tolerance.   The developers behind the Zend products are not only hosting partners to A2 Hosting, they are also customers! We’re proud to host misfitgeek.com, the personal blog of Joe Stagner, Zend Developer, for several years.   Joe recently wrote and published a very detailed article in their Dev Zone explaining how to set up Zend Server on an A2 Hosting VPS. You can view that tutorial here: http://devzone.zend.com/2957/zend-server-6-a2hosting/   If you want to learn more about how Zend Server can help you get the most out of your PHP applications, check out the Zend Server page at http://www.zend.com/en/products/server/.
SSD Hosting, Free Railgun & 143% Faster HTML Load Times!
Mar 13, 2013
It seems like everything I write about or talk to our customers about these days is our SSD Hosting and how pages load up to 300% faster on our solid state drives compared to standard hard drives. Many of our Web Hosting customers have already made the switch to our SSDs. If you're one of the customers who have switched or you're still considering, we're now offering a free, site speed boosting tool called Railgun for our Prime+SSD customers that you're going to love! Railgun was released by CloudFlare, the same company who we've partnered with to bring you a free content delivery network (CDN). As you may know, CloudFlare's CDN automatically serves content from servers closest to a website's visitors. Cloudflare optimized sites can see pages load up to 200% faster. If you haven't turned on CloudFlare yet, you can do so in right in your cPanel control panel. While CloudFlare automatically caches 65% of the resources needed to make up a web page, the other 35% of resources are unable to be cached. They are either dynamically generated or marked "do not cache". The remaining 35% is often the initial HTML of the page that has to be downloaded first. This is where Railgun comes in handy, by speeding up the remaining 35%. Railgun users will experience up to 143% faster HTML load times. How does it work? The markup of websites doesn't change often from one request to the next. Instead of transferring the entire request between CloudFlare and your server, Railgun only transfers changes in markup from one request to the next. This cuts down on transfer time and your overall page load time. Railgun caches these differences in memory so page processing is as fast as possible. As a CloudFlare Optimized partner, we're able to offer you Railgun for free at A2 Hosting! You only need our Prime+SSD package. Once you've purchased a Prime+SSD package or after you request your upgrade in a Sales ticket, just ask our team to turn on Railgun for your site. If you're not already a CloudFlare user, you will need to turn i
5 Tips For Marketing Your Website On A Tiny Budget
Mar 08, 2013
You had a great idea for an online business. You built your website, but it didn't take off like you had imagined. You need to get the word out! This can be stressful and scary, especially if you're not working with much of an ad budget. I understand! If you're a small fish in a big pond, you might even wonder how you can break through all the noise of your competition. You can! 1. Define Your Brand Before you do anything, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition. What sets you apart? You may think your product is simple, but your one defining factor could be the difference between a sale and non-sale. A fun exercise is looking around a grocery store and trying to figure out how seemingly homogeneous products differentiate themselves from competitors. Go to the deodorant aisle and determine the brand identity for each brand. Are they selling on performance? Are they selling on attraction to the opposite sex? Are they selling based on the way you apply it? 2. Define Your Audience Now that you know who you are, you need to determine who you are selling to. If you closed your eyes and envisioned your average customer, what are the characteristics of that person. Before you determine where to spend your time and money, you need to determine who you're targeting. This should be fairly easy to determine if you've spoken to any customers or potential customers. 3. Define Your Keywords I speak to a lot of people who say that they do not rank well in the search engines for the keywords they're targeting. I ask them which keywords they're targeting, and 9 out of 10 times they aren't even using those keywords on their site or they're using very broad ones that their huge competitors dominate on. Don't try to compete for "travel agency". You've defined your audience, where are they? They're probably looking for a local travel agency so focus on ranking well for "Michigan travel agency" or even more niche terms like "Orange County Travel Agency". 4. Define Your Ad Plan If you only have
Win A Year’s Worth Of SSD Web Hosting!
Feb 28, 2013
Our solid state drive (SSD) Hosting has attracted a lot of attention since we launched it last month. Our SSDs do load pages up to 300% faster compared to standard hard drives after all. Would you like to try out our SSD Hosting? It's your lucky month then! During March we're raffling off two, annual Prime+SSD accounts! That's a $131.88 value! To enter: Visit our SSD Contest page. Click the "Like" button if you aren't already a fan of our Facebook page and enter your email address into the email field. You may be asked to automatically add the Sweepstakes app if you're not already using it. That's it! You're entered. You can add a new entry each day during March! After each entry, you'll be given the option to share the contest on Facebook and Twitter. For each person you get to sign up, you'll get an additional entry into the contest! If you already have a Web Hosting account, we'll quickly migrate your account to an SSD for free and credit your account for a full year of hosting. Already have a Prime+SSD account? We'll credit your account for a full year.
Help Us Fight CISPA!
Feb 22, 2013
Has it already been a year since we won the fight against PIPA and SOPA? Another similar bill called CISPA has recently re-appeared. If this bill is passed, Internet companies and websites would be required to collect private information of their users and pass them onto the government upon request. It would also allow the government to use that information for matters that have nothing to do with cyber security. We won't mince words; we are wholeheartedly against CISPA! We highly recommend that you contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to let them now how you feel about CISPA.
What the Heck is a Closure Anyway?
Feb 21, 2013
If you've followed the world of JavaScript development at all over the past few years, chances are you've heard the term closure thrown around a lot. You may have some idea of what it means; chances are you associate it with anonymous functions treated as first class citizens, but you may not feel you have the definition nailed down. The good news is, you're on the right track.   The one sentence explanation is this; closures are functions which have access to the environment in which they are created. That means, when a function is created inside of another function, then returned outside of it, it still knows about the values of the variables within the function that created it. Clear as mud right?   Let's illustrate it with some JavaScript:   var foo = function spawn_a_closure () {   var enclosed_variable = 'something';   var my_closure = function () {     if(enclosed_variable === 'something') { return true; }     return false;   }   setTimeout(function () { enclosed_variable = 'something else'; }, 5000);   return my_closure; } So what does that code do? Well as the function names indicate, it creates a closure and returns it. Because of the special nature of closures, it will return true for 5 seconds until our setTimeout function runs, and the closure will return false thereafter. The closure is special because it has access to the value of enclosed_variable even though we've left the scope of that function. The closure still has reference to it because of the special nature of closures. So it not only remembers the value of that variable at the time the closure was created, it has access to it and knows when that variable is later changed by our setTimeout function.  If you'd like to test that code you can copy and paste it into the your browser's JavaScript console and then invoke foo repeatedly (by entering foo(); on the console) and you will see it return true for 5 seconds then switch over to false.   This is just the simplest illustration of a closure. There are amazing, p
Get Service Notifications Via Twitter!
Feb 18, 2013
We always strive to provide the most up-to-date information to our customers when we experience a server issue, maintenance, or any other event that may cause a disruption to services. To help make it easier to stay on top of our service notification, A2 Hosting has launched @a2hosting_alert - a Twitter account specifically used to notify you of service-related events. The account will automatically tweet any notifications issued by our support staff, as well as any subsequent updates to the event. You can receive these messages in your Twitter feed by following @a2hosting_alert. Our main Twitter account @a2hosting is still active and will remain our primary point of communication for messages that are not service related. We will also continue to post all of our service notifications on our website at https://my.a2hosting.com/serverstatus.php.
5 Ways Anyone Can Speed Up Their Site
Feb 14, 2013
According to recent estimates, over 570 new websites are created every minute. Even the most unique sites have competitors. That's why your website's performance is more important than ever. Remember, your website visitors are not patient. You can have an enormous advertising budget to drive traffic to your site, but if your site is slow, your visitors are just going to hit their back button to find a competing site. There are a ton of articles about what you can do to speed up your site. I've read a lot of these articles. Unfortunately they can get pretty complicated and I just don't have the skill set to do what they suggest. This is not one of those articles. One of the reasons we launched our SSD Hosting service in January was because it provided an easy way for everyone to boost your site's performance. After all, our performance tests have shown that pages load up to 300% faster on our solid state drives compared to standard hard drives. Even fully optimized sites will see a significant speed boost by hosting on an SSD. Aside from the obvious decision to switch to hosting on a solid state drive (submit a ticket if you're ready to switch), here are 5 tips anyone can use to speed up a site. 1.) Resize Your Images Resizing your images is one of the easiest ways to optimize the speed of your site. Yes, most website software will let you scale down a larger version of an image into a smaller one when you upload it. The problem is that it's the large image, not the small one you see on your site, getting downloaded every time your page is loaded. Make sure to scale down your images to the size you want them to appear on your site before uploading them. 2.) Fix Your Broken Links Don't you hate it when you go to a website, click on a link and instead of getting the information you want, you get one of those annoying 404 error pages? Yes it's annoying. So don't put your visitors through it! Fixing your broken links won't necessarily speed up your site, but it will get your visitors from point A to p
We Want You As A New Recruit!
Jan 30, 2013
Are you one of those people who hit the snooze button 10 times before getting up in the morning because you dread going into work? If so, we're truly sorry to hear that, but we have wonderful news; we're looking for new Guru Crew members! Over the years we have consistently posted on job boards and classifieds, but surprisingly we've never really tried to recruit members of the A2 Hosting Community. Why? Honestly, I have no clue. Our community is amazing so we're bound to find some amazing candidates. We have a number of open positions that you may be interested in. Also, if you know someone looking for a career, we would greatly appreciate you letting them know about our openings. Most of our positions allow you to telecommute so you don't have to be located near Ann Arbor, MI (though we do request our Systems Engineers be located in Southeast, Michigan). So are you ready for a career, not just a job? Fill out our application! Our staff could reach out to you about working at A2 Hosting.
Boost The Performance Of Your Site With SSD Hosting!
Jan 30, 2013
At A2 Hosting, we've always said we want to provide hosting to our customers that we would want to use ourselves. Our solid state drive (SSD) Hosting falls right in line with this initiative. This is especially true since we use SSDs ourselves. What's the big deal about SSDs? Our performance tests show page-load speeds are up to 300% faster on SSDs compared to normal hard drives. It’s no secret that your site’s speed has a direct impact on everything from your sales and page views to overall visitor happiness. In fact, market research company the Aberdeen Group ran some tests to see how a 1-second page delay will impact a website. Their findings found that this delay caused a: 7% decrease in your conversion rate 16% decrease in visitor satisfaction 11% fewer page views These stats are very telling, and they don't even get into another important benefit of boosting your site's speed, SEO. So the question really isn't why you should care about SSD hosting. The question is how could you not? If you've worked hard on your site and are going to spend your time and money to drive traffic to it, give it a speed boost with our new solid state drives. Ready to move your site to a brand new SSD drive? SSD Hosting is available on our Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting and Managed VPS Hosting. Contact our sales staff for more information on moving to an SSD server. Do you know someone who has slow hosting? Tell them about our SSDs! Make sure to send them your A2 Hosting Refer-A-Friend link. When they sign up for a new account, you'll earn a $50 hosting credit. We've also added buttons in My A2 Hosting that make it easier than ever to post your Refer-A-Friend link to Twitter and Facebook.
Have You Worked with SSDs Yet?
Jan 22, 2013
You likely already use Solid State or Flash memory every day in your smart phone and/or tablet. Today's smart TVs or Blu-Ray players also tend to have a bit of Flash memory. It's faster and more reliable than traditional Hard Drives because there's no moving parts. More and more laptops are coming with a Solid State Drive in addition to or in lieu of a traditional Hard Disk Drive.   When we built the server for our new website last year, we decided to try an experiment and use SSDs instead of HDDs. We expected it to be faster, but were blown away by just how great it was to work on that server. Any kind of file operations, tar, cp, find, etc. were amazingly fast. Even simple operations like ls which we are used to being responsive on a HDD based system were noticeably faster.   The difference is not limited to when you're working on the server, it's appreciable for your users too. A website on running on SSDs is extremely fast and responsive. Sure the most popular pages and resources are kept cached in memory, but it's not realistic or necessary to keep the entire site in memory. But with SSDs, no matter what data the server needs it's instantly available. This is compounded on a shared server where memory is the main limited resource. Increased storage speed means everyone's sites load incredibly quickly, even if yours is one with lower traffic that doesn't stay in cache for long.   Once we made the move to SSD based servers, I don't think we can go back. Try it out for yourself and I bet you'll agree.
10 SEO Predictions For 2013
Jan 10, 2013
2011 was the year of the Panda; Google penalizing sites with thin content and ultimately encouraging all website owners to publish high-quality content. 2012 was the year of the Penguin; Google penalized sites who were violating their Quality Guidelines with link schemes and other fishy link building activities. Will Google unleash a major update named after another one of my favorite animals in 2013? Stay tuned! What I have done is read through a number of predictions from SEO experts to compile a list of 10 of the most popular SEO predictions (and few of my own) for 2013.   A potential sneak peak of what to expect in 2013:   Content, content content. Quality content is already king and its importance will only continue to grow in 2013. Thanks primarily to the organic exposureGoogle Authorship can provide to a content site, more and more online content writers will begin to use Google+. Google will develop ways to delay their organic search ranking updates, making it more difficult for search engine spammers to correlate which of their black hat activities are having the greatest impact on their rankings. As inbound linking becomes more difficult and we all need to be more careful about our SEO activities, we'll start to see a lot more SEO auditing services to make sure we won't get bitten by the Penguin. Google will address the increase in "not provided" keywords reported by Analytics and provide a way to obtain this valuable data once again. This is more of a wish of mine, but seems like a reasonable request especially for AdWords users. If this prediction doesn't come true, I can foresee web analytics solutions becoming more and more inaccurate. Guest posting will become more and more popular. Likewise, search engines will become more vigilant in cracking down on spammy guest posting sites. Link baiting and earning links with useful content will become the norm, as we start to see link building begin to fade away. More and more link farms will begin to finally disappea
Improving Password Security for Reliable Email Delivery
Jan 04, 2013
Password strength requirements are increasing. Please inform all email users on your account. As part of our Perpetual Security program, we have increased password strength requirements. When you change your password, a minimum password strength of 50 is required. Starting Monday, we will also check all logins against a dictionary. Passwords that are too simple such as ‘password’ or ‘123456’ will be changed to a random string during the login and the email administrator for the account must set a new password to regain access. An email will be sent whenever an email password is changed by this program. Follow the instructions in our KB article to change passwords in advance of the new requirements. https://my.a2hosting.com/knowledgebase.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=886 During testing, we found these simple passwords to be used primarily on addresses like [email protected] and other addresses that are not typically assigned to individuals, so this change is likely to cause little disruption for most email users. This change does not prevent any account from receiving mail. It only safeguards email accounts from sending by unauthorized users. By increasing password security there will be less abuse of easily accessed accounts by spammers and reduced chance of your server getting on a block list. We are sure you will agree that is a result worth the effort. Thank you for your cooperation in making your server more secure and ensuring reliable email delivery. Best Regards, A2 Hosting Support
New European Server Location Option!
Dec 21, 2012
Since A2 Hosting's launch in 2003, we have offered hosting in a single data center location (Southfield Michigan). We're excited to announce the launch of our European server location in our new Reykjavik, Iceland data center. Our Iceland data center puts websites and content closer to users with primarily European website visitors. In addition to providing enhanced site performance, A2 Hosting's Iceland data center is one of the most eco-friendly data-centers in the world. This 100% green data center uses a natural free cooling technology that pulls in outside air into its cooling unit so no carbon footprint is made! Our Web Hosting, VPS Hosting and Managed VPS Hosting products are each available in the European data center. Just select Reykjavik Iceland as your server location from our order form. If you're a current A2 Hosting customer interested in moving your site to our European data center, just submit a Sales Ticket. We can provide more details on how to move your account to our new European data center.  
PHP 5.5 Deprecates MySQL Functions
Dec 19, 2012
The release of PHP 5.5 has been announced, and it will be deprecating the old standard MySQL functions (such as mysql_query). It's been known that this was coming for a while, and developers have been encouraged to migrate to MySQLi or PDO, but many haven't. If you've been putting it off, it's probably time to make the jump before moving to PHP 5.5. Of course the MySQL functions will still work in 5.5 but you'll have to suppress the deprecated warnings. So should you go with MySQLi or PDO?  PDO (PHP Data Objects) provides more flexibility and abstraction. If you anticipate ever wanting to change the underlying database to anything other than MySQL, PDO is definitely the right choice. PDO's abstraction layer isolates your code from the underlying database, meaning you can switch to Postgres, Oracle or other options without needing to alter all your database code. On the other hand, if you're unavoidably tied to MySQL and want a little more direct access to MySQL itself, going with MySQLi objects might make sense. In a lot of ways, MySQLi can simply be viewed as an object oriented version of the old MySQL functions. Much of the same functionality is present but via object methods instead of standalone functions. If you're unsure, erring on the side of PDO will give you more options in the future and is probably a safe default choice. Either way, if you're currently using the old MySQL functions you have a little work ahead of you and it's better not to put it off until PHP actually gets rid of those functions in a future version.
Not Provided Search Terms & Getting The Most Of Your AdWords Budget
Dec 10, 2012
Sitting here thinking about our eCommerce customers, I thought I'd share my absolute favorite AdWords feature with you; Keywords Details. This feature will help you get the most out of your budget. Keyword details will show you the actual search terms Google users searched when AdWords displayed your ads. This is especially true if you use broad targeting. To see your Keyword Details: Click the Keywords tab in AdWords Select the box next to the keyword you want to see more details for. I suggest starting with your most expensive keyword Click the Keyword Details button (it's to the right of the green Add keywords button) and click "Selected" I bet the first time you look at this report, you won't believe the amount of irrelevant keywords Google users are searching for where AdWords has displayed your ad. I'll give you an example: At A2 Hosting, we offer "VPS Hosting", but not "free VPS Hosting". It's a waste of money to have someone click on an AdWords ad if "free VPS hosting" was searched. To prevent these searches, I had already added "free" as a negative campaign keyword. You might think that was good enough to block searches for free hosting, but unfortunately that was not the case. After looking at our Keyword Details report one day, we were receiving searches for "VPS gratis" (Espanol for "free hosting"). Without the Keyword Details report, I wouldn't have caught this early on and blocked this search. It could've been a waste of money. If you see an irrelevant keyword being searched, just click the box next to it and select "Add as Negative Keyword". Your ads will no longer display for those searches. Now if you really want to optimize your campaign, I highly suggest that you order the Keyword Detail report by Conv. (1-per click) to see what the exact keyword was used by searchers who clicked on one of your ads and ultimately ended up purchasing from you. Just click the box next to those keywords and click the "Add as keyword" to add them to your campaign. This is also an ex
Don’t Let Your ‘password’ Be Your Demise
Nov 27, 2012
Passwords are the bane of our existence in the technology world – we have thousands of them. Every server, every user account, every website has a password. Unfortunately the authentication technologies we use on a daily basis haven’t evolved far enough to eliminate the need for passwords. As frustrating as they may be – they are effective when used properly. We’d like to take a moment to offer a friendly reminder and some advice about your passwords. We want your servers and your accounts to be safe from hackers and nosy relatives – so take a look at our recommendations and be sure you are up-to-snuff with your password-handling practices. The Anatomy of a Password Passwords should never, ever, EVER be human-readable, simple words like ‘password’ or ‘iloveyou’ or ‘changeme’ – these are the fastest passwords to guess. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be easy for you to remember, it just means you need to get a little creative.   A good-quality password should meet these criteria: At least 8 characters long – no less, and more is always better Multiple occurrences of upper- and lower-case characters – LiKEtHiS! Several characters that are not 0-9 or A-Z, like these: [email protected]#$%^&*()_+{}|”:<>? Is easy to remember even though it’s complex   Bad Password: thisismypassword Good Password: [email protected]$Sw3rD You can check the quality of your password here: http://howsecureismypassword.net/ Password Management Rule #1 – don’t use the same password for more than one service/site. We know this is hard to do – but it’s worth it. Just google “password breaches” and you’ll see why. Rule #2 – don’t write them down and stick them under your keyboard. If you *must* write them down, place them in a secure spot such as a locked file cabinet or a safe. Then be sure it’s actually locked. To help you manage your passwords, you can use a password storage engine such as KeePass or TeamPass which will allow you to store you passwords securely and access them using a master password. When u
Stay Ahead Of Your Competition With Google Trends
Nov 08, 2012
Yesterday in the newspaper (yes, I still get a newspaper), I was reading an article about the predicted top 10 toys of the 2012 holiday season. Now I'm not one to rush through Thanksgiving, but it got me thinking about hot toys of past holidays like Tickle Me Elmo and Furbys. Wouldn't it be nice for parents to be able to get a jump start on these trends so they're not slugging it out on Christmas Eve with other parents for a chance to buy this hot toy? Whether you run an eCommerce site or just a blog, you've probably wondered that same thing; "how do I get a jump start on these trends?" If you look at an innovation curve, over 66% of the population adopt new technology, new products or whatever it may be at about the same time. Once that portion of the population has already adopted the new technology, it usually doesn't make sense for a business to jump aboard that trend because the population is moving onto the big thing. How about we use blue widgets as an example. If you could determine that blue widgets are going to be very popular, wouldn't it be great if you could already be selling, promoting and optimizing your site for blue widgets before that 66% majority of the population was buying them? Maybe more importantly, you would be launching your blue widgets before your competitors would be. Not only would this give you a head start for optimizing your site for "blue widgets", but also give you time to become the authority on blue widgets. This was quite a large build up, but Google Trends can help you determine these "up-and-comers". Google Trends shows how often a search-term is entered today relative to the total search-volume over time. So if you enter a search term into Google Trends with a recent sharp rise in searches, you may have find the next "blue widget". This is especially true if you use Google Keyword Tools to discover breakout terms that get searched a lot. Try to optimize your site for those keywords early! If you discover a highly searched term that is starting to fade according
Auto-Install Frameworks With Softaculous!
Oct 29, 2012
When it comes to installing popular software, we almost always recommend that our Web Hosting customers use Softaculous. Not only does Softaculous make it fast and easy to install these solutions, but you can update your software when one is available with just 1-click. Softaculous also features a huge selection of software. There are CMSes like Drupal, blog software like WordPress, eCommerce solutions like PrestaShop and much more. We are excited to announce that a wide variety of frameworks are now available as 1-click installs in Softaculous! Even experienced developers will appreciate how fast and easy Softaculous makes it to install and update these frameworks. Some of the options now include:   *CodeIgniter *Yii *Zend *Symfony *CakePHP   For just $3/month, our Managed VPS and Managed Dedicated users can add Premium Softaculous to their account so they can auto-install these frameworks. Just submit a sales ticket with your request.  
Fight Back Those Nasty Hacks
Oct 25, 2012
Hacks are an unfortunate reality when you run your own website. The malicious nature of hackers can turn a successful website into a nightmare in a matter of seconds. While no website is immune against hacking, there are many things you can do protect yourself, your clients, and your revenue. Here’s a quick overview of some common practices that can help you keep your website safe and secure:   Keep It Updated   If you used a common platform to build your website - such as WordPress, Drupal or PrestaShop - you need to be sure you website is at the latest version at all times. Every time an update is released, there is a strong likelihood that one of the fixes in the update is to block a vulnerability that has been found in the software.   If you installed your software through Softaculous, you can update your site through cPanel by following these quick procedures:   1. Log into cPanel for the domain you want to update. 2. Click the Softaculous icon. 3. Click the “All Installations” icon on the top-right. 4. If there is an update for one of your installations, you’ll see two arrows next to the version number. Click the arrows next to the version. 5. Click the “Update” button to start the update process.   It is always recommended to perform of a backup of your website before you perform any upgrade.   If you didn’t use an auto-installer, many software packages have a self-update feature within their control panel, or some other method to easily update to the latest version. Follow these links for instructions on updating some of the more common software packages:   Wordpress http://codex.wordpress.org/Updating_WordPress   Drupal http://drupal.org/upgrade   Joomla http://docs.joomla.org/Upgrade_Instructions   PrestaShop http://doc.prestashop.com/display/PS14/Updating+PrestaShop   Magento http://www.magentocommerce.com/wiki/1_-_installation_and_configuration/upgrading_magento   OpenCart http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=documentation/documentatio
Is 7 The New 10?
Oct 15, 2012
The title of this post is kind of ridiculous isn't it? I hope it's at least attention grabbing, especially because a key goal of this post is to talk about the importance of grabbing your potential visitor's attention.   So how is 7 the new 10? Google has been testing only showing 7 results for organic searches instead of 10.  The scope of the test is pretty significant too, with a reported 20% of searches showing only 7 results.    Why is Google doing this? Google has mentioned that it is a speed consideration; it's faster for them to display 7 results instead of 10. This makes sense, but personally I believe it's a revenue consideration. If they can reduce the amount of organic results shown, there is a higher percentage of page real estate dedicated to AdWords listings.   Regardless of the reason why Google is testing this, it could be good news or bad news depending on your situation. It's good news for sites who have SEO resources at their disposal and are already ranking well for their top keywords. Only 6% of organic clicks occur past the first page of results. With only 6 other organic competitors on the first page, the top ranking sites are going to get a bigger chunk of the click-through pie.   This obviously isn't the best news for users without a whole lot of SEO resources. When sites could once pat themselves on the back for ranking on the first page in slots 8-10, they now found themselves fighting for that 6% of clicks on page 2.   So what can you do? Of course you still need to focus on providing original content and building quality backlinks. You can do that all day actually, but if your listing doesn't attract the attention of the searcher, it doesn't really matter. This brings me back to my original point; grabbing your potential visitor's attention. You really need to focus on your title tags and description tags.  Write interesting titles for your pages and focus on what makes you different from the competition in your meta description.   Do these things and your se
Designing for the Touchscreen World
Oct 01, 2012
There's no debating it; tablets (and smartphones) are taking over computing. A site or web app that is perfectly usable with a mouse on a desktop or a touchpad on a laptop may be totally unworkable on a tablet where the only input device is a finger and a touchscreen.   On the surface (no pun intended), touchpads and touchscreens may seem to be identical and an interface that works for one should work for the other; right? Nope. Not remotely. A touchpad is much more like a mouse, a touchscreen is a whole different beast with different needs, advantages and disadvantages.   To cite one repeat offender; drop down menus which only appear on mouseover/hover state. These are often a user nightmare on tablets, where there is no "hover state"  generally speaking. If you're designing a site for today or tomorrow, it's probably best to abandon all interface elements that trigger on hover and focus on click/touch events as the reliable and easy source of customer interaction.   Beyond the different input needs of touchscreen devices, the generally smaller screens present a different set of challenges. The smaller screens mean that either your site must be simpler with larger interactive elements (buttons, links, etc.), or users will have to zoom in and only view a portion of your page at a time; which means that everything they need to see to make a choice and decide what to interact with needs to fit in that view at once. If a user has to scroll around while filling out a form, or deciding what button to press, it's going to be much more frustrating than using a site where the designer has put the thought and effort in to make the site usable.   A lot of modern sites are being designed under a Responsive paradigm; which means the site recognizes what kind of resolution / device it's being presented on and adjusts itself to better suit the device in question. This is obviously great, and more and more Responsive templates are coming out for popular web platforms like WordPress, Drupal, etc. But if you fin
Now Offering TRUSTEe Privacy Policies At A2 Hosting!
Sep 19, 2012
Get your TRUSTe Privacy Policy now at A2 Hosting. A privacy policy is the page on your site telling your visitors what you will do with the information you or third parties collect from them. Even if you're not a business, you should consider having a privacy policy on your site. Why? Website analytics, shopping cart programs, social networking share buttons and advertisers drop cookies when users browse your site. You should make sure you disclose all data you collect, what you do with it and how it is protected. Even AdSense, most ad networks and many affiliate programs require you to have one just so you can show their ads on your site. Unfortunately sites without one leave themselves legally exposed. Don't hire an expensive lawyer to write a privacy policy and don't copy one from another site. Just use Truste's wizard-driven privacy policy generator. You'll generate and publish your privacy policy in minutes. Sign up now for your TRUSTe Privacy Policy for just $19.99/yr.
Upgrading From Web Hosting To VPS Hosting For Less Experienced Users
Sep 17, 2012
As the A2 Hosting employee tasked with getting the word out about our hosting services, it's fair to say that I am one of our least technical workers. I am a marketer after all, not a developer. When I see VPS Hosting, I read about things like Linux operating systems and root access. Stuff that is pretty much gibberish to me. What I do have knowledge of however is how to drive traffic to a website and the importance of a positive visitor experience. Any business you run, whether it is a restaurant or a yarn store, you need to find a bigger place for your business as it grows. Running a website isn't any different. As your site grows, you need ramp up the service where you're hosted. That's where VPS Hosting comes in handy.   So what is the advantage of upgrading your site to VPS Hosting? Remember that in a Web Hosting environment, all users have access to and share the server's pool of resources. On the other hand, you have allocated disk space and memory in a VPS Hosting environment. This means you'll host your websites in your own space without being impacted by other users or websites who are hosted on the same server. In a VPS, your site will be able to handle traffic bursts much better. You also won't potentially be impacted by traffic bursts from other sites, which could happen in a Web Hosting account. These are all important advantages, particularly for hosting users with sites that generate revenue.   You probably already knew these advantages though, but realize that VPS Hosting isn't for everyone. VPS Hosting is in fact designed for more experienced users. That's where a Managed VPS comes in handy, especially for users comfortable in a web hosting environment like myself. In a Managed VPS, your site gets the same performance benefits of a VPS Hosting account, but with the same easy to use control panel you're used to in a Web Hosting environment. Essentially Managed VPS Hosting provides you with the best of both the VPS and Web Hosting worlds; ease of use and high performance.
Server Rewind From A2 Hosting
Aug 22, 2012
Have you ever accidentally deleted a file just to realize 10 seconds later that you need it back?  Have you ever upgraded your Wordpress installation to the newest version, just to have it blow up in your face?    Luckily A2 Hosting has you covered.  We have been working diligently getting our in-house backup solution, Server Rewind, working in tip-top shape so you never have to worry about any of these issues.  With Server Rewind, a couple clicks and your files or databases are back in working order.  Our system uses a 100% custom backend solution to provide this service.  We have written it from the ground up to provide an easy-to-use point and click GUI via cPanel as well as the ability to restore your files and databases using command-line tools if you’d rather.   Using the system is EASY!  Log in to your cPanel account and click the green Server Rewind icon.  A list of available dates to restore from will be presented.  Simply click + to expand a date then click the check boxes next to the files you want to restore.  Next you decide if you would rather overwrite your files or restore to an alternate location.  Databases work the same way, just click the Databases tab. With A2 Hosting, restoring your website from a small oops or a catastrophic failure is just a few clicks away.  Give Server Rewind a try!
Google’s Pirate Penalty Sets Sail!
Aug 16, 2012
Usually when I write about pirates, it's to talk about a cool Johnny Depp movie. This post may be less exciting than movies with sword wielding drunkards, but you'll still walk away with a treasure chest of awesome information.   Since we were tiny tots back in elementary school, we were taught that copying someone else's work was wrong. As adults living in the online world, we know it's unethical and generally illegal to plagiarize someone's work. If those reasons never meant much to you, getting your site docked with a duplicate content penalty from Google probably got your attention. If that still wasn't enough, Google has started to factor a new Pirate Penalty into their algorithm.   What is the "Pirate Penalty"? According to Google, sites with a large number of valid copyright removal notices may appear lower in their search results. In the past, Google would just removed URLs from their index when they received a valid DMCA notice, but the sites would remain in the index. It will be interesting to see how exactly Google will handle this penalty, especially with the 4 million copyright removal notices they receive each month.   If you care at all about your online success, I would not take the Pirate Penalty lightly. The Pirate Penalty could very well be the real deal. Google even publishes a ranking of sites with the most amount of domains users have requested to be removed. You can see the list for yourself. The majority of these top sites do contain pirated files for download, but that doesn't mean a site won't be penalized for posting copyrighted text content.
Should You Use Facebook Comments on Your Site?
Aug 15, 2012
Many blogs and even news sites have replaced custom comments systems with Facebook comments. This obviously comes with advantages: Many users are probably already logged in, or have a login ready at hand. No registration process. If a user posts a comment this will show up in their stream, hopefully advertising your site to their Friends. It's a paradigm people are already familiar with. In theory reduced spam.   But is it all upsides? Very little ever is. Even some of the above advantages are double edged swords with possible downsides: If a user doesn't have and doesn't want a Facebook account, they can't comment. Similarly, if Facebook closes someone's account for any reason, they can't comment on your site. There *is* a registration process, it's Facebook's. It's out of your control. Facebook's registration process may very well be more involved than is necessary for a simple comment system. Similarly, if your site has any other membership requirements (e.g. your site is comemrcial, and you need customers to register in order to place purchases), then you already have a registration process you should probably be putting to use. Some people don't want their stream spammed with notices every time they comment on an article or blog. While it's a paradigm users are familiar with, it lacks many features that more advanced comment systems have; such as concepts of threads. And again, you have no control over it. Additionally, there's very little chance the Facebook comment system is going to look like it belongs on your site. Unless you've designed around them, they're probably going to look tagged on and out of place. While spam will be less than an open registration process, there are literally millions (estimates of up to 80 million) fake Facebook accounts out there, which are mostly used for spamming.   So then the question is; are Facebook comments right for your site? If you want a quick, fairly simple comment system that most users are already going
Performance Apache for Larger Web Applications
Aug 08, 2012
Apache has a bit of a reputation for being slow and unwieldy. Is that reputation deserved? Well, yes and no, but it doesn't matter. If you have people with web applications that you can't give root access to, you're probably stuck with it. Let's talk about a few little ways to keep your server 'happy with Apache'. That almost rhymed! This article is about web applications, so let's lay down some framework. You're going to be using a database system and some programming language tied in, through fastcgi, mod_fcgid, the PHP DSO, or what have you. We'll just be discussing Apache here.   So, what are the negative effects Apache can have on a server? What is it that we're trying to mitigate? Apache is almost never very CPU intensive. That's going to come down to your programming language and implementation depending on your application, so we can ignore that. Similarly, compared to your database(s) we can pretty much write off I/O limitations as negligible. At that point, we're left with bandwidth and memory. Apache can be bandwidth limited, though it's rarer these days. If you suspect that you are, and you have some CPU cycles to burn, try mod_deflate! It can be configured to compress text, HTML and/or JavaScript. Depending on the complexity and relative size of your application's client-side code, this can actually lower your bandwidth usage significantly, and it's cheaper than a faster uplink! You can take a look at the nitty-gritty details here (version 2.2 assumed): http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_deflate.html   With bandwidth out of the way, we can get to the real big one; memory. Depending on your selected MPM, which is probably prefork, Apache processes can get pretty big in RAM over time. Considering the additional memory requirements of the database management system and the application itself, the dangers of swapping memory out and dragging your server down grow to unpleasant proportions. Our memory problem can be boiled down to two fundamental issues: 1) Apache prefork hand
Introducing Anycast DNS
Aug 07, 2012
A2 Hosting will soon start using Anycast for our DNS servers.  What is Anycast, and why is it a useful technique to serve your DNS data?  "Anycast" is a term which refers to routing one IP address to multiple locations.  It is useful for DNS because of some problems inherent in the way computers traditionally look up IP addresses. If you aren't familiar with the Domain Name System (DNS), it is basically like a phone book by which someone can look up a name, and get a number used for calling them.  When you go to a website you typically follow a link or type a domain into your browser's address bar.  Either way, your browser gets a domain name like www.a2hosting.com.  In order to talk to the server that has www.a2hosting.com's web page, it has to find that server's internet IP address (the internet phone number).  To get the address, your computer uses the DNS system, and does this by asking a special server called a resolver to convert the domain name into an IP address. The resolver itself will have to talk to several other servers to find the address. Since there are so many domains, it would be very hard to keep all that information in one place.  Instead, the information is broken up among many servers which take responsibility for only one part of a domain name.  The internet has a handful of main DNS servers.  These serve as the starting point to get to everything else, and are the first servers a resolver will contact. For example, the top level servers know who holds all the .com domains, the .com servers know where a2hosting is and a2hosting knows where www is.  As you might have noticed, the resolver will work backwards from what you might expect.  To a resolver, .com is the first part of the domain, and www is the last part. So basically, a resolver goes through the following steps: 1. Contact the main name servers for the entire internet to find what servers hold the next part of the domain. 2. Ask every server it finds until it finds the server responsible for the last part of the dom
Network Upgrades & Updates
Jul 31, 2012
As some of you may have noticed, we recently suffered two rather large distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) that were targeted at customers on our network.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what a DDoS is, these are generally malicious network attacks designed to flood a network or host with specially crafted data packets that are intended to make the network or host inaccessible to legitimate users. You may have heard of these on the news when large company sites suddenly stop working and "hacktivist" groups like Anonymous are mentioned.  There is often a political or other policy motivation behind these groups. Unfortunately, these are not always very easy to stop or prevent due to the way the Internet Protocol (IPv4) is currently designed.    We want to let you know that we have already been planning a large network upgrade with our upstream provider and that should make us less vulnerable to these attacks in the future. By increasing our upstream connection by a factor of 10, this gives our network better ability to absorb large disruptive traffic bursts.  We are also currently working with our network engineering team to improve the tools we have to deal with these attacks, especially with the level of sophistication we have recently seen increasing.  This has made some of these attacks much more difficult to pinpoint and block. We can understand the frustration anytime there are network issues but want you to know we are diligently working on constantly improving our systems to provide you with a better customer experience.
Have You Tried Blekko For Researching Your Competitors’ Backlinks?
Jul 17, 2012
November 21, 2011 was a sad day for me. That was when Yahoo Site Explorer permanently went away. Now I hardly ever use Yahoo for anything, but I thought its Site Explorer was far-and-away the best free competitor backlink checker around. Losing this site left a size-able void in my array of free marketing tools. When you write quality content, optimize on page SEO factors and you still lag behind in organic rankings, spending some time link building is the next logical step to get a boost in your search engine rankings. Sure you can find original sites to try and get backlinks from, but the sites ranking above you for your keywords are probably doing something right. Why not see where they are getting their links from? You'll probably find some directories, wikis and other sites where you can get quick, free links from. I hadn't spent much time looking for a Site Explorer alternative until this week. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone by finding a new tool as well as finding a great topic for this month's Marketing Mojo. My criteria was pretty simple. It had to be free, it had to actually work, it had to be accurate and it definitely had to let me search a specific page (deep link) on a website. After searching around for quite awhile and downloading a few tools, I realized I probably should choose another Marketing Mojo topic. Fear not! I finally came across a site called Blekko. Now I'm not going to claim that this search engine is perfect, but it was far and away the best free backlink search I could find. To access the SEO tools, you will need to sign up for an account, but I just logged right in with my Facebook info. Blekko is very easy to use. Just type a link you'd like to research into the search box and click the search button. When the results come up, click the SEO link below the result. You'll see a lot of interesting information, but since we're most concerned with deep links, I clicked "inbound links" on the right-hand side under URL SEO. Here is where you'll find a list
CloudFlare’s new Railgun
Jul 11, 2012
At A2 Hosting we were one of the first hosts to recognize the potential of CloudFlare's CDN for our customers. If you're not already aware, CloudFlare brings the benefits of a Content Delivery Network -- usually reserved for enterprises -- to the average person, for prices as low as free. But normally CDNs have a big limitation; which is that they can only cache static content. If a page is changing all the time, they can't cache a copy of it for days at a time. They need to show users the latest version of that page at all times.   Well the folks at CloudFlare have been working on a solution to this, and are now unleashing Railgun. This is a premium product for professional customers who want to speed up their dynamic content. It's a sophisticated system with a lot of intelligent things goin on behind the scenes. But put simply, it uses software running within your datacenter to stay in constant communication with CloudFlare's network, allowing CloudFlare to very rapidly bring changes -- and only the changes -- in your dynamic content into the CDN.   In more detail, a sender runs on CloudFlare's network, which maintains a persistent binary connection to a listener running on your datacenter (or in ours, in the case of our customers, potentially.) When a visitor requests a dynamic page from your site, the sender requests any changes to that page from the listener. If there are any, only those changes are sent across the connection and the finalized page is delivered to the visitor via CloudFlare's worldwide network; ensuring the minimum number of hops between the user and the content.   We think this is really cool, and can't wait to try it out ourselves. Shortly thereafter, of course, we want to bring it to our customers and make it available to those customers for whom it's a good fit. As this is a premium product, it's not for everyone. But for those operating on more of a budget, CloudFlare's traditional CDN functionality is highly affordable, or even free depending on your needs.
Introducing The Improved A2 Hosting Community
Jul 05, 2012
We always listen to you, our customers. The feedback we received on our old community site spoke loud and clear; we want something else. After searching and debating the merits of various options, we decided a forum would best serve our community. So we're happy to introduce the new A2 Hosting Community; a customer only forum.   If you're an A2 Hosting customer, you already have a forum username and password. You just need to be logged into My A2 Hosting to post. This means you know you're talking to another A2 Hosting customer or one of our employees when asking or answering a question. By ensuring Community contributors are A2 Hosting customers, there won't be any spam that plagues so many forums. We've also simplified things so it's easy to find which forum you should post to:      *cPanel User Discussion – For questions related to our Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Managed VPS and Managed Dedicated products.    *User Managed Platform Discussion – For questions related to our VPS and Flex Dedicated products.    *Scripting and Development Discussion – Many of our customers are developers. This is your place! This is a great place for seeking scripting help or assistance for third party applications.   Drop on by, contribute and tell us what you think!
Hey Web Developers…Give Web Architect A Try!
Jul 05, 2012
I have to say, we're pretty excited about our new partnership with mirabyte, the developers of Web Architect. Not only is it a great solution, but the people behind it are pretty awesome too. So what is Web Architect? It's an easy to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript editor. Just click the tabs at the top of Web Architect to easily toggle between HTML, CSS and JavaScript. With it's built in CMS, Web Architect can be used for designing web sites, web applications or both! As a web hosting company who takes great pride in our PHP Hosting, we were pretty enthused about it providing the latest functionality for developing in PHP. We could go on and on about all of its features, but I think the most impressive thing that can be said is it can be completely customized to meet your individual needs. Web Architect offers a free trial so you can download it before you buy it. I've personally tested it and have published a project to our servers. I give it two thumbs up for how easy it is to use. Check out our step-by-step instructions to see how truly easy it is to publish your project to your A2 Hosting account.
Fix Those Broken Links!
Jul 02, 2012
As you may or may not have noticed, we launched a completely re-designed site last month. As the guy who wrote much of the content for our last site, I was well aware of the amount of pages we had. What I didn't realize was how much work it would be to re-write much of that content for our new site. It was a ton of work (and well worth it), but my job didn't end there. As much as we double checked and tripled checked the site, it still had broken links. Not that I expect the creators of Xenu Link Sleuth to read this, but I just want to say "thank you". I find this tool invaluable. To state the obvious, broken links are not good. They're bad for user experience and you're missing out on golden opportunities to pass link juice internally. Instead of checking every link on our site individually, Xen Link Sleuth did all the leg work and told me which links were broken. I was even able to use it before the site went live so we didn't have broken links on the site once we launched it. Xenu Link Sleuth is great for internal links, but what about those links from external sites? Like I said, we had a lot of pages on our old site and I wasn't able to re-create them all in time for the site launch. This is where another tool was very helpful; Google Webmaster Tools. You'll find a Crawl Errors tool that will show your pages external sites are linking to that don't exist. You'll definitely want to take a look at this report because external links can certainly improve your search engine rankings. Obviously these sites already like you and want to link to you, so why not let them? Google lists the crawl errors from highest priority to lowest, so I suggest working your way from top to bottom of the list. There's a number of things you can do to correct these crawl errors. You can contact the site owners who are incorrectly linking to you and ask them to correct the link. You can forward the broken link to the correct link. If it's a page that you were going to eventually replace anyway (as is our case), you can add a
Now Offering Additional Notification Center Options
Jun 18, 2012
Our customers want to know about a server issue as soon as it happens. We were happy to deliver the Notification Center a few months ago to make that happen. When opting into our Notification Center, you receive emails as soon as a Service Bulletin about your server is posted. Your feedback to date has been positive regarding the Notification Center. We have received a number of suggestions to enhance this tool. After listening to your feedback, we've added two additional options: Network Issue Update – Sent when a Service Bulletin is posted with updated information about an existing issue. Network Issue Resolved – Sent when a Service Bulletin is posted informing you that the issue has been resolved. Please note that all three of the Notification Center options are opt in, so you'll need to log into your My A2 Hosting account to select which of the notifications you would like to receive in the future. You can log into one, two or all three of the options and opt out at any time.
Coding for Posterity
Jun 18, 2012
Do you write code differently when you're working on a personal project versus when you're writing for work or another project that may one day be someone else's responsibility? If you don't, have you considered if you should? Because the answer is probably yes, you should.   We all have code idiosyncracies, habits, odd patterns or even non-standard tools that we like to use. For personal projects that aren't going anywhere, that's fine. In fact it's good and healthy to play around with new, up and coming tools. But when you're working in a production environment, especially developing a codebase that is meant to last for years, adhering to standards and prioritizing readability is a must.   Douglas Crockford (author of "JavaScript: the Good Parts") recently said during a Q&A that he would advise against using CoffeeScript in production. He thought it was a solid utiltiy, and even went so far as to say that he would like JavaScript to be more like CoffeeScript. However, he also said that because CoffeeScript was not a standard, it was unreasonable to develop production code under it and expect future developers to know or learn CoffeeScript just to be able to maintain your code. This is solid advice. But how far should it go? Should you also avoid jQuery for production? After all, who knows if jQuery will still be popular in 10 years; maybe your jQuery laden code will look like nonsense to a junior developer in 10 years, and require him to look up documentation for a long gone library. At this point jQuery is probably pretty safe to use, being very popular and widely supported. But it's still a valid question.   The real answer is your codebase should be consistent. If you choose to use jQuery (or choose not to), be consistent throughout your codebase. As long as you're only asking future developers to learn and work with a standardized set of tools, it's not an onerous proposition. As much as possible, make sure those tools are also industry standards as well. This will not only improve the day to
The New & Improved My A2 Hosting
Jun 05, 2012
Have you had a chance to see the re-designed A2 Hosting and My A2 Hosting customer portal? Our hope is you find them cleaner, less cluttered and most importantly very easy to navigate. A few things I want to draw your attention to in My A2 Hosting: *Your Refer-A-Friend link can be found right under your Account Overview. Remember, you can earn a $50 hosting credit for each new customer you send our way who purchases a hosting account. *You can still find the link to our Suggestion Box on your Client Area page. This is your direct line of communication with our management team with any suggestions you have about our service and website or any other feedback you'd like to share. *Need to submit a ticket? Just click the Open Ticket link in the black My A2 Hosting navigation bar! *You can reach the Notification Center by clicking the link in the Support drop down menu. This is where you can choose to get automatically emailed if there is an issue impacting your server.
A/B Testing or Multi-Armed Bandit?
Jun 04, 2012
There's been a lot of talk on the web recently about the Multi-Armed Bandit method of testing new web designs being superior to standard A/B testing. For those who aren't familiar, Multi-Armed Bandit method tests with only 10% of your traffic, and for the other 90% uses whatever the currently best performing variation is. The actual percentages are adjustable of course, but the idea is you test with less of your traffic and convert on more of it.   Of course, this is a great idea but the problem is the majority of sites on the web don't get enough traffic for 10% of it to result in a statistically significant number quickly. If you're testing over a long period of time, things can vary greatly, and you no longer have as solid of a control to compare against (since your control is possibly only getting a portion of that 10% as well.) The 90% isn't usable in the statistical comparison since which variation is getting 90% of the traffic can change over the course of the test.   The bottom line is standard A/B testing is probably better suited for smaller web sites. It's also best for those interested in concluding the test quickly and for having solid conclusions to base a plan of action on. However, if you have a high traffic website and want to be constantly testing multiple variations, and using whatever variations perform best, then Multi-Armed Bandit can do just that. Multi-Armed is also great for reducing risk when testing radical design changes because you're only showing it to a small percentage of your traffic.   As usual, tools are tools and it's up to the informed and thoughtful developer to use them appropriately to create the best results for herself or her clients.
Watch Out For Google’s Penguin Update!
May 17, 2012
I like Penguins as much as the next guy, but make sure to watch out for Google's new Penguin update. If you've been doing anything fishy (pun intended) to try and take advantage of your site's Google ranking, it could come back and bite you. You may not necessarily be doing anything "fishy", but you might be over-optimizing your site with excessive on-page and off-page SEO factors. With the Penguin update in mind, here are two of the main things you can do to avoid getting dinged by Google:   1.) Quality Content – You hear this from me time and time again, but quality content is king. Don't over-optimize every on-page element with the keywords you're targeting and certainly don't stuff your content with those keywords. Just focus on writing great content people will want to read. People will come!   2.) Quality Link Building – I get emails everyday about how I can get thousands of "white hat" back links for $99. I have news for those people; even if those were once considered white hat links, the Penguin update 100% officially nixes these linking schemes. Avoid these schemes at all costs! Any tactics that involve grabbing tons of back links to manipulate page rank are a bad idea and simply a waste of money. Take your time building quality back links with other web sites you can build 1-on-1 strategic partnerships with.   Even if you're doing SEO by the book, something kind of scary about the Penguin update is Negative SEO. You can avoid linking schemes, but there have been stories of competing sites using linking schemes with their competitor's websites. Their hope is that their competitor is caught by Google and penalized in their rankings. To keep an eye on this, I highly suggest using Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and Google Webmaster Tools to see which sites are linking to you.
Introducing The A2 Posting
Apr 23, 2012
Things are looking a lot different around here at A2 Hosting. We've got a completely re-designed website, a customer forum and even a brand new logo. As you can see, our blog has a fresh look and feel to it as well! When we launched our previous blog, the posts were about our Marketing Manager's (that's me!) adventures learning about the world of web hosting. After further review, that's not really something our customers are all that interested in. Our customers are developers and businesses, so instead we're bringing you fresh web development news in Developer Depot and marketing info in Marketing Mojo. Check them out; they're already loaded them up with a ton of interesting posts. All our employees will be contributing to The A2 Posting. We'll have posts from our support staff, developers, engineers, billing manager, community manager and even our CEO. With everyone involved writing about the topics you're interested in, there will never be a shortage of cool stuff to read. Thanks for stopping by and make sure to come on back regularly for more!
Have You Tried Inbound Marketing?
Mar 22, 2012
In a perfect world, your customers would just come to you. You wouldn’t spend any advertising dollars. That’s sort of the idea behind inbound marketing. Though people are coming to you, and not vice versa, it takes a lot of work. So what is inbound marketing? It’s about becoming the expert in your market. You release great content, blog posts and videos. You answer the most commonly asked questions and you keep your audience updated on the latest industry trends.   Outbound marketing, in contrast, is when you go out and try to bring in customers. As far as online marketing goes, it often means banner advertising. In most instances, outbound ma­rketing is much quicker (and pricier). You make your ad spend and you’re all set. The problem is you’re screaming in a crowded marketplace.   I bet it’s a lot easier for you to remember who wrote the last interesting blog post you read as opposed to the last company you saw a banner ad for. I bet you can’t even remember the last banner ad you saw. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve saved the banner ads that have actually gotten my attention in a special folder. There are a grand total of two banners in that folder.   Think of outbound marketing like a child who has ten siblings. He is constantly competing with those siblings for the attention of his parents by screaming for their attention. Is it worth the effort? Or would it be better for the child to do something like get straight A’s on a report card to get his parents to come to him?   Here’s a real example of an inbound marketing success we’ve had here at A2 Hosting. A few years ago, we became a popular place to host the Kloxo control panel on a VPS. How? It wasn’t by posting Kloxo VPS ads. Trust me, I tried that. No, it was actually kind of by accident, but taught us a great inbound marketing lesson. All we did was post instructions on how to install Kloxo to a VPS. These instructions actually became one of our most visited pages thanks partly to Kloxo sending their users to those instructions. W
What’s the Deal With 12-31-1969?
Mar 22, 2012
If you've been running or developing websites for awhile, you may have run into a problem where a field that should contain a more recent date is instead showing up with the date 12-31-1969. Many people may just recognize this as a problem, get it resolved somehow and move on. But have you ever stopped to wonder just why this specific date is the one that shows up when there's an issue? This occurs when data that should be a UNIX timestamp is instead either empty or contains a value of zero. UNIX timestamps are integers that count the number of seconds since midnight on 12-31-1969. As you can imagine, nowadays they're pretty big.   Sometimes a bug in the software will cause these fields to lose their value -- maybe during a software update or database migration -- and that's when you see the epoch date (12-31-1969) instead of the value you were expecting. The good news is the software which is rendering out the timestamp to human readable format is doing its job (a timestamp of zero does correlate to that date). The bad news is you've got missing values which are going to have to be tracked down.   So the obvious question is why this particular date? Well it's very early in UNIX's history (though this date wasn't actually chosen until 1972), and basically it just seemed to be a good starting point to begin counting from. It's amazing how many of the standards we live by today were chosen almost arbitrarily sometime in the past!
We Need Your Help!
Mar 06, 2012
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Iterative Development
Feb 20, 2012
If you're a professional developer, or even a hobbyist who keeps up with the industry, you've probably heard of iterative development already. If you haven't, it's just what it sounds like; the practice of writing and then rewriting code repeatedly throughout development. It puts an emphasis on writing code over planning. It focuses on improving your final product by consistent testing and refactoring. For experienced developers, it tends to make a lot of sense. Testing will almost always reveal issues which require addressing that were not anticipated during planning. Planning is definitely a stage with diminishing returns. Some is always necessary, but it tends to be the case that for each additional block of time you spend on it, the less you're getting out. So once you've done the necessary planning, why not start writing? Start working. Write some code that at least attempts to solve the problem you're trying to solve. Then test it. Functional testing and just as important, user testing will reveal further issues to work on. Iterative development means not being scared of refactoring code; don't view rewriting a class or function as lost time, recognize it as a learning experiment, and know that you couldn't have gotten to the better version without writing the previous version first.
Focus On Your Core Competencies
Feb 20, 2012
Can you think of any restaurants you absolutely love? One you know you have to get to extra early because if you don't, the line will be out the door? Then one time you go, you notice the restaurant's décor and the menu items have both dramatically changed. Before you know it, you drive by the restaurant and there's a "For Lease" sign in front of an empty building where the restaurant used to be. What happened? That restaurant lost focus on its core competencies, the things making it better than its competitors. That restaurant had a good thing going, but lost focus. In no way do I mean the example restaurant should have become complacent and not considered tweaking things. The business world is a dog-eat-dog world, but you always need to stay focused on what makes you better than your competitors. Here's another example. I clicked on a random, local graphic design company's site. It talked about what they do. Perfect. That gets that right out of the way. Unfortunately it uses a ton its valuable site real estate on irrelevant fluff before they ask me to contact them. I won't. Why? Because I don't know what makes them better than all those other graphic designers. I don't need to know everything about you right this instant. If I did, I'd click your About page. I have a problem and I need a solution. Are your designs the hippest around? Are your up to date on all the latest standards? Do your create faster web pages? Can you create a quality web page in under a month? We're all very busy. Tell me right away why should I choose you or call you? It doesn't matter what you do, you need to tell your audience why you're better than your competition. If you make french fries, are yours the crispiest? The freshest? The thickest? What makes you the best? If you don't tell me, you're just like all the other generic french fry makers out there. If you sell anything at all, take a moment and type what makes you better than your competitors in a text file. Save that file on your desktop and look at it everyday. Rem
The HTML5 Video Codec Battle
Feb 20, 2012
HTML5 is a standard that is still forming. Think of it like the ancient earth, still mostly molten but cooling, with islands of fairly solid stone but still many lakes of roiling magma. One of these roiling lakes is the battle over video codecs (or formats). As you may already know, HTML5 includes built-in support for playing video. In practice, this means whatever web browser the user is running is going to be doing the video playing. This is instead of Adobe's Flash plug-in, which is usually the case right now. The big question then is, what video codecs can the browsers play for users without requiring a plug-in or extension? H.264 (or MPEG-4 AVC) is probably the most widely used format for high definition video right now. It sees use in Blu-ray Discs (all Blu-ray Players must be able to play H.264 files), on Youtube, Vimeo and iTunes and is supported by both Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. However, H.264 is also patented and controlled by an entertainment industry consortium called MPEG-LA whose members include Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and many others. This means that H.264 is not a totally Open and Free Standard. MPEG-LA can and does charge for its use. Meanwhile, Google has released a standard it dubbed WebM (which uses the VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio) as a fully open and free standard. Google indicated its seriousness about this in January when it removed native support of H.264 from Chrome.This is an uphill battle due to the previously mentioned ubiquity of H.264. Google's argument is that H.264 is not suitable for a fully open and free standard like HTML5, and that WebM (or presumably some other fully open standard) should be embraced instead. Both formats have advantages and disadvantages. Your average user is ultimately unlikely to be able to distinguish between the two formats. This is an issue that matters solely for web developers and businesses who may find themselves having to pay a royalty if their site employs H.264 and gets popular enough that MPEG-LA feels justifi
HTML5 & CSS3 Now or Later?
Feb 20, 2012
There's been buzz for months about HTML5 and CSS3 and the ways they are changing the web. The biggest headline grabber is the canvas element; with its ability to enable video, games and other media-rich content inline without the need for any plugins. Many developers are also excited about the new HTML5 form elements which allow for more specific form elements including date, time, slider, color picker and more. At what point do we as developers start taking advantage of HTML5 and CSS3? Well the answer is a little complicated. Being suites of features rather than a monolithic package, some features are more completely defined than others. Similarly, some features are more broadly implemented and supported by modern browsers. There is a correlation of course; the further along a given feature is in the approval process, the more widely supported it is. The current versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera all fully support the canvas element. Internet Explorer 8 does not, however Internet Explorer 9 beta does. IE users historically have been the slowest to upgrade though, so it may be some time before we can reliably assume all users are able to render canvas elements. Support for other features is spottier. In the end, whether to use a given HTML5/CSS3 feature (such as a canvas element) depends on the needs of your project. For a well supported feature it makes sense, particularly if the HTML5/CSS3 solution will be more lightweight than one using plugins. Users have an expectation nowadays for pages to load quickly and run smoothly. If the page requires a resource hogging plugin which causes spotty performance, that will shape users' perception of your site. On the other hand if you can give users a new or better experience than they have seen elsewhere, that will leave a positive impression.
A2 Hosting’s Stance Against PIPA/SOPA
Jan 17, 2012
We wanted to take a moment to express our official stance against SOPA and PIPA legislation. While SOPA has been temporarily shelved and the January vote has been canceled, there is still the distinct possibility of SOPA coming back after being adjusted to meet White House specifications. In either case, A2 Hosting will continue to...
ISPConfig Hosting
Jan 12, 2012
A2 Hosting is your #1 source for ISPConfig Hosting. Where else do you get exclusive access to the A2 QuickInstaller to auto-install ISPConfig? Only at A2 Hosting of course! Just select our VPS Hosting plans. You’re going to love it. Look at everything you get: -A2 QuickInstaller (It’s so awesome we had to mention it...
Brand New CentOS 5 w/ Kloxo VPS Template!
Dec 01, 2011
Have you been searching for a full-featured VPS with all the developer bells and whistles, but would also like to manage your account with an easy-to-use control panel? You get the best of both worlds at A2 Hosting! We just launched a VPS Hosting template that comes pre-installed with Kloxo. No headaches. Just choose our...
Celebrate Black Friday & Cyber Monday The A2 Hosting Way
Nov 23, 2011
Last year, we ran a 1-day sale on Cyber Monday offering the largest discount ever at A2 Hosting. This year, we’re offering even larger savings. Save 51% off all of our hosting packages. Web Hosting. Reseller Hosting. VPS Hosting. Managed VPS. Managed Dedicated Servers. You can save on them all! Just use the coupon 51FTW...
Follow A2 Hosting On Google+
Nov 16, 2011
I know you want to! I wanted to create a page for A2 Hosting as soon as Google+ was launched, but I was patient and heeded Google’s request for businesses to wait. And waited we did until yesterday when I put our page together. Since creating our page yesterday, we’ve gained a whopping 13 followers...
Congratulations To…
Nov 11, 2011
Inner Circle Media! They are the winner of A2 Hosting’s $250 bonus affiliate contest. We randomly selected them from a pool of affiliates that referred their first sale in September. Inner Circle Media is a marketing, communications design and web development firm based in Ann Arbor (go A2!). Sign up for the A2 Hosting Affiliate...
cPanel Hosting
Oct 27, 2011
Looking to use cPanel with a great hosting provider? Look no further than A2 Hosting where you can save 33% off our cPanel Hosting plans until the end of October. Just use the coupon SCREAM33 at the checkout. Plans start at just $3.32/month! Sure you get unlimited space, bandwidth and email accounts, but look at...
Railo Hosting
Oct 07, 2011
A2 Hosting is proud to announce the launch of our Railo Hosting service! Railo is the fastest Cold Fusion Markup Language (CFML) engine available and now you can host it on our VPS Hosting accounts! For a limited time, we’re offering 33% off our VPS Hosting accounts. Just use the coupon code SCREAM33 at the...
There’s Still Time To Enter To Win…
Oct 07, 2011
$250! Remember, every A2 Hosting affiliate who refers their first valid, new customer until the 15th of October will be entered into a drawing. One of those lucky affiliates will be picked at random and will win $250! I uploaded a bunch of new text links and text ads into the affiliate portal yesterday so...
1-Click WHMCS Install
Sep 19, 2011
A2 Hosting offers some of the best WHMCS licensing costs around. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone offer WHMCS licenses from $10/mo like us. Now it’s easier than ever to get started with our WHMCS Hosting. Once you purchase your WHMCS license, we’ll email you your license key. Just install this awesome billing...
Send Your First Sale. Win $250.
Sep 16, 2011
Every affiliate who refers their first valid, new customer during the next 30-days will be entered into a drawing. One of those lucky affiliates will be picked at random and will win $250! There’s no better time to refer your website visitors to A2 Hosting than right now. Just log into your affiliate account to...
MemHT Names A2 Hosting Their Official Recommended Hosting Provider
Sep 16, 2011
Open source CMS software solution MemHT has partnered with Linux hosting company A2 Hosting. MemHT is now recommending all their users choose A2 Hosting when hosting their CMS software. A2 Hosting’s support staff will install MemHT for free on any Web Hosting package. MemHT is an easy to use, free and multilingual solution that can...
TurboGears Hosting
Sep 15, 2011
What sets our VPS Hosting accounts apart from those other generic VPS providers? For starters, a lot; one of the features you’re going to love is the A2 QuickInstaller. This tool will auto install TurboGears to your VPS in a matter of moments. It’s the only tool of its kind and it’s available exclusively only...
Nginx Hosting
Sep 02, 2011
Looking for a high powered hosting company for nginx? You’ll love the nginx hosting service available at A2 Hosting. Our VPS Hosting plans include the exclusive A2 QuickInstaller tool. The A2 QuickInstaller will help you add nginx to your VPS fast, and correctly the first time. Intrigued? How about we throw in a 38% off...
A2 Hosting & Joget Workflow Partner Up!
Aug 25, 2011
Joget Workflow has named A2 Hosting as an official hosting provider for their solution. A2 Hosting is very excited to be partnered with this organization! Joget is a free workflow management system that will inevitably save you time and money. A2 Hosting has the VPS plans that can handle this solution. Joget requires Tomcat to...
Plone Hosting
Aug 25, 2011
Thanks to the A2 QuickInstaller, Plone Hosting has never been easier. Choose one of our developer friendly VPS Hosting accounts. Just SSH into your VPS to access the A2 QuickInstaller and select Zope from the available solutions. When you install Zope, you automatically install Plone, the popular CMS, too! Use the coupon SUMMER40 to save...
A2 Hosting’s Release Of The Exclusive A2 QuickInstaller
Aug 18, 2011
A2 Hosting has announced the launch of the A2 QuickInstaller on their VPS Hosting packages. The A2 QuickInstaller makes it easier than ever to install the most popular developer tools to a VPS in a matter of seconds. The A2 QuickInstaller is available exclusively at A2 Hosting. VPS users who SSH into their account get...
Zend Guard Hosting
Aug 05, 2011
We’ve upgraded the default PHP version on our servers to PHP 5.3 with Zend Guard. The previous default version, PHP 5.2 with Zend Optimizer, is still available for use. Just use our PHP version switcher in cPanel to select this version. PHP 5.2 with Suhosin is another available option. So what is Zend Guard Hosting?...
Redmine Hosting
Aug 04, 2011
Redmine Hosting is now available at A2 Hosting! Best of all, you can install it on one of our VPS Hosting accounts with the new, exclusive A2 QuickInstaller. Just SSH into your VPS account and choose Redmine from the drop down menu. It couldn’t be faster or easier to install. Use our limited time coupon...
Pylons Hosting
Jul 22, 2011
Looking for a host to handle all of your Pylons Hosting needs? Look no further than A2 Hosting! Our VPS Hosting plans offer the perfect Pylons host environment. We’re even offering a 40% off coupon code until the end of this month. This means you can host Pylons for less than $9/mo. Just use the...
Is Your Site Ready For Google+?
Jul 18, 2011
Have you heard about Google’s next endeavor into the social networking world? After a failed attempt with Google Buzz, Google is rolling out Google+. Google+ is supposed to be the next big attempt to rival Facebook. A large portion of Google+ is the +1 button (don’t forget to press the button on A2 Hosting!). When...
Zope Hosting
Jul 15, 2011
Come on over to A2 Hosting for all of your Zope Hosting needs! Zope is a Python, open source application server. Zope is short for Z Object Publishing Environment. What makes A2 Hosting the ideal place for hosting Zope? You get exclusive access to our QuickInstaller tool. You’ll have Zope up and running on your...
Fedora 14 VPS Hosting
Jul 15, 2011
One of the biggest advantages of hosting your VPS at A2 Hosting is your choice of Linux operating systems! If you’re looking for a Fedora VPS, you’ve found your host! We recently have updated the version options available on our virtual private servers. In addition to versions 13 (Goddard) and 12 (Constantine), we have just...
FastCGI Hosting
Jul 15, 2011
For the very first time, A2 Hosting supports FastCGI on our Web Hosting accounts! FastCGI is a popular method for running Django and RoR apps. Are you ready to get started hosting with this quicker version of CGI? Just visit our FastCGI Hosting page to get started for less than $5/mo!
Phusion Passenger Hosting
Jul 15, 2011
The easiest, fastest and most efficient way to deploy your Ruby on Rails apps is with Phusion Passenger (AKA mod_rails). A2 Hosting is very excited to announce that Phusion Passenger Hosting is now available on our Web Hosting packages! Even the developers of Ruby on Rails recommend the use of Passenger. Head on over to...
PostgreSQL 9 Hosting
Jul 15, 2011
A2 Hosting was one of the very first hosts to offer PostgreSQL Hosting. We’re excited to announce that we now have PostgreSQL 9 Hosting available on our VPS accounts. When you choose A2 Hosting as your VPS host, you get access to our exclusive QuickInstaller tool. Add PostgreSQL 9 to your VPS in a matter...
Ruby on Rails 3 Hosting
Jul 15, 2011
A2 Hosting now offers Rails 3 Hosting on our Web Hosting accounts! This is an update that has long been requested by our customers. If you poke around on our site a bit, you’ll also notice another major Rails 3 enhancement. You can deploy your Rails apps with your choice of Passenger and FastCGI, in...
Django Hosting
Jul 14, 2011
A2 Hosting now offers Django on our Linux Web Hosting packages! Django was once only available on our VPS Hosting and Dedicated server accounts; no longer! Our Django Hosting packages start at just $2.97/mo when you use the limited time only 40% off coupon code “JULY40? at the checkout. Check out everything else that’s included...
APC Hosting
Jul 08, 2011
Looking for a host that can really speed up your PHP code? Check out A2 Hosting and our APC Hosting service. APC, short for Alternative PHP Cache, is a free PHP accelerator used for optimizing and caching PHP intermediate code. APC is a breeze to install on our VPS Hosting and Managed VPS Hosting accounts!
Refer-A Friend & Earn $50!
Jul 08, 2011
One of the most common questions I have been asked as affiliate manager for A2 Hosting is whether commissions can be applied to hosting costs. The answer has been no, but we have just launched our Refer-A-Friend program that lets you do just that. Every A2 Hosting customer is automatically enrolled into the program. Just...
MongoDB Hosting
Jul 07, 2011
A2 Hosting is your top stop for MongoDB Hosting! Just use our exclusive QuickInstaller to add MongoDB to your VPS Hosting account lickity split! MongoDB is the perfect database backend for your Node.js development projects. For a limited time, we’re offering 40% off our VPS plans when you use the coupon code JULY40. Move into...
WordPress 3.2 Hosting
Jul 05, 2011
WordPress has upgraded to version 3.2. If you haven’t upgraded your host to A2 Hosting, it’s time. The new WordPress requirements are PHP 5.2.4 or greater (previously PHP 4.3 or greater) and MySQL 5.0 or greater (previously 5.0.15). Does your hosting company have your WordPress 3.2 Hosting needs covered? A2 Hosting does! I just tested...
Drupal 7.4 Hosting
Jun 30, 2011
It’s time to update your Drupal install to v7.4. Lucky for you, A2 Hosting offers Drupal 7.4 Hosting. If you installed Drupal with Softaculous, you can update it with the Softaculous module. Or if you’re looking to start a new Drupal site, you can install the latest version with this module. v7.4 has a number...
WordPress Pi Hosting
Jun 30, 2011
So you’ve never heard of WordPress Pi Hosting? I can’t really blame you considering I just made it up. A2 Hosting now offers WordPress 3.1.4 Hosting. Get it now? Sorry for the poor joke! You can install WordPress 3.1.4 to your Web Hosting account with the ever popular Softaculous module found in your cPanel account....
Python 3 Hosting
Jun 30, 2011
A2 Hosting is now offering Python 3 Hosting! Well technically we have gone above and beyond and are offering Python 3.1 hosting. In addition to the latest version of Python, we also offer support for the greatest versions including Python 2.4 and Python 2.6. If you are a Python developer looking for a host, I...
New cPanel Hosting Pages!
Jun 30, 2011
We just published loads of new cPanel Hosting pages this week. You’re bound to find a cPanel Hosting service that interests you! Check out the new pages below. Of course if you don’t see a service below that interests you, contact our sales team and we’re bound to be able to discover a solution that...
Tomcat Hosting – 40% Off!!!
Jun 30, 2011
Choose A2 Hosting for your Tomcat Hosting needs! Host Tomcat on any of our developer friendly VPS Hosting packages. Save 40% while supplies last when you use the coupon “JULY40? on your new package purchases. Look at what’s included with each of our Tomcat VPS packages: *Exclusive Tomcat QuickInstaller *Choose CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu or Debian...
A2 Hosting Launches CloudLinux OS on Web Hosting Plans
Jun 24, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI – June 24, 2011 – Linux hosting company A2 Hosting has announced that they are now offering CloudLinux™ on each of their Web Hosting packages. CloudLinux™ is the only commercial-supported server operating system which is fully CentOS and RHEL compatible and designed for shared hosting. CloudLinux has made a name for itself...
Hosting With MySQL
Jun 23, 2011
Choose A2 Hosting for your MySQL Hosting needs! Our developer friendly service is perfect for hosting with MySQL. Host unlimited MySQL databases with our Executive Hosting plan, starting at just $7.95/mo. Use our coupon SMILE to save 30%! That cuts your price to just $5.57/mo. Look at what else is included with our Executive Hosting package: *Free...
eAccelerator Hosting
Jun 20, 2011
Are you looking to increase the performance of your PHP scripts. Use our eAccelerator Hosting service available on our VPS Hosting and Managed VPS Hosting packages! eAccelerator increases the speed of PHP code by 1-10 times on average. It couldn’t be any easier to install. Just follow our eAccelerator install instructions. After installing it, you...
Safe Harbor Hosting
Jun 20, 2011
I thought our European Union customers and visitors might be interested in the fact that A2 Hosting offers Safe Harbor Hosting. We were certified as Safe Harbor by following the 7 principles listed here. They include: Notice Choice Onward Transfer Access Security Data Integrity Enforcement These principles are intended to prevent the...
Drupal VPS Hosting
Jun 16, 2011
Choose A2 Hosting as your Drupal VPS Hosting provider! Each and every one of our Managed VPS Hosting packages includes cPanel for free. Use Softaculous Premium to install the ever-popular Drupal CMS to your account with one click. Get ready to give us a grin; when you use the coupon SMILE at the checkout, you...
Contao Hosting
Jun 13, 2011
A2 Hosting now offers Contao Hosting! Well the truth is, we have offered Contao hosting for some time now, it just took me awhile to update our Typolight page. In case you didn’t know, Typolight changed their name to Contao. So come on over to A2 Hosting for your hosted Contao needs. Why? We offer a...
MODx Hosting
Jun 09, 2011
Choose A2 Hosting as your MODx Hosting provider! You can install MODx to your Web Hosting account with only 1-click. Just use the Softaculous module found in cPanel. MODx is a website builder and CMS that gives you the tools necessary to build your site exactly how you want to. If you need MODx web...
WordPress VPS Hosting
Jun 09, 2011
A2 Hosting is your stop for WordPress VPS Hosting! Each of our Managed VPS Hosting packages with cPanel and Softaculous Premium allow you to install and update WordPress with a click of your mouse. Does this make you happy? Great! Use the coupon SMILE at the checkout and save 30% for a limited time. Look at...
Best Linux VPS Hosting
Jun 02, 2011
Want to hear some good news that will make you smile? You can save 30% off at the Best Linux VPS Hosting provider around during the month of June. Just use the coupon SMILE at the checkout on your new purchases. Look at what you get with our Core VPS package: * 256 MB Dedicated RAM *...
Webmail Hosting
May 27, 2011
Curious what sort of Webmail features A2 Hosting offers? Check out our brand new Webmail Hosting page. You’ll be able to read about the 3 distinct webmail software options available with our Web Hosting accounts as well as all of the Webmail features we offer.
Stats Hosting
May 27, 2011
A common question our support staff receives is, “What stats programs do you guys have?” I guess the easy answer to this question is, “a ton”. Even better, these stats tools are pre-installed in all of our hosting packages that include cPanel. Just some of the stats programs we offer are: AwStats Latest...
Drupal 7.2 Hosting
May 27, 2011
So you want to host the latest version of Drupal? We are now offering Drupal 7.2 Hosting. Drupal 7.2 can be installed with 1-click with Softaculous. You’ll find Softaculous in your cPanel account. If you already have Drupal installed, use Softaculous to upgrade it to this newest version. There are a ton of updates in Drupal...
WordPress 3.1.3 Hosting
May 27, 2011
Want to host the latest version of WordPress? A2 Hosting is now offering WordPress 3.1.3 Hosting. You can auto-install WordPress 3.1.3 with Softaculous, found in our cPanel control panel. Already have WordPress installed? Upgrade it to the newest version with Softaculous! What’s new in WordPress? Security and taxonomy query hardening Using...
30% Off – Fully Managed Virtual Private Server
May 26, 2011
There’s only 1-week left for our 30% off Fully Managed Virtual Private Server discount. Take advantage while you can! Just use the coupon GEEKPRIDE at the checkout. Our Managed VPS plans are loaded with features. Look at what’s included with each plan: * FREE CloudFlare CDN * FREE cPanel Control Panel * 30-Day Money Back Guarantee * 24/7/365...
Node.js VPS Hosting
May 19, 2011
Choose A2 Hosting as your Node.js Hosting provider! We offer developer friendly VPS Hosting plans perfect for your Node.js development project. Use the coupon GEEKPRIDE and save 30%! Our VPS plans start at just $9.77/month! Look at all the goodies you get: * Full Root Access * 256 MB RAM * 512 MB Burstable RAM * 300 GB Monthly Transfer *...
A2 Hosting Enhances Managed Dedicated Server Offering
May 18, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI – May 18, 2011 – Linux hosting company A2 Hosting has boosted the resources included with their Managed Dedicated Hosting plans. Each of their resource-rich dedicated packages now has double the monthly data transfer as before. A2 Hosting has also waived the setup fee on each dedicated package to make the plans...
SolusVM VPS Hosting
May 13, 2011
A2 Hosting’s VPS Hosting accounts now include the SolusVM control panel. SolusVM has replaced HyperVM on all new VPS accounts. I’m the first to admit, I’m not the most technical guy in the world, but SolusVM VPS Hosting couldn’t be easier to use! Once you log into SolusVM, you are able to boot, reboot and...
CloudLinux Hosting
May 13, 2011
Did you know that we have updated the operating system used on our Web Hosting accounts? We are now using a souped-up version of CentOS called CloudLinux! CloudLinux Hosting increases the reliability of our servers and creates further isolation among Web Hosting accounts. CloudLinux helps prevent a single resource hogging account from crashing the server your...
CloudFlare Hosting
May 13, 2011
If you’ve been looking for CloudFlare Hosting, look no further than A2 Hosting! Each of our Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Managed VPS and Dedicated Hosting plans offer the CloudFlare CDN for free! All you have to do is log into your cPanel control panel and opt into the CloudFlare  CDN network. It takes about 2 minutes...
Node.js Hosting
May 13, 2011
A2 Hosting is proud to announce the launch of our Node.js Hosting service. Our customer base is up on the best and newest web development technologies and this one can definitely be categorized as “the new hotness”. Node.js is an event driven, server-side framework allowing server-side JavaScript utilizing Google’s blazing V8 engine. Node.js changes how connections...
cPanel Managed VPS – 50% Off!
May 12, 2011
If you haven’t already, you need to check out A2 Hosting’s cPanel Managed VPS plans. Each Managed cPanel VPS gives you the power of a VPS, with the easy usability of a Web Hosting account. Make sure to use the coupon GOMANAGEDVPS at the checkout and get 50% off your first billing cycle. Move into a...
A2 Hosting Named as Recommended Hosting Provider for Sandvox 2 Customers
May 11, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI – May 11, 2011 – A2 Hosting is proud to be named today by Karelia Software as “recommended hosting provider” for Sandvox 2-created websites. A2 Hosting offers a number of reliable hosting solutions, which make it easy for Sandvox users to publish their created websites online. The affiliation comes at an exciting time...
50% Off Linux Managed VPS – First 100 Customers Only!
May 05, 2011
Get your hands on one of A2 Hosting’s brand new Linux Managed VPS accounts. Each Managed virtual private server offers the power of a VPS, with the ease of use of a Web Hosting account. Just use the coupon GOMANAGEDVPS at the checkout and get 50% off. Hurry! This offer is only available to the...
A2 Hosting Offering 50% Off New Managed VPS Hosting Plans!
Apr 29, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI – April 29, 2011 – Linux Hosting company A2 Hosting has launched a brand new Managed VPS Hosting line. Webmasters interested in A2 Hosting’s VPS packages can choose between 2 distinct service levels; Managed and Semi-Managed. A2 Hosting’s Managed VPSes offer a unique combination of privacy and stability found with dedicated servers,...
WordPress 3.1.2 Hosting
Apr 28, 2011
A2 Hosting now has WordPress 3.1.2 Hosting! Install WordPress with just 1-click to your Web Hosting account with the easy-to-use Softaculous module. Already have a WordPress blog that you installed with Softaculous? Update it with one click! WordPress 3.1.2 addresses a security concern that allowed contributor level users to improperly publish posts. WordPress developers advise that...
Fully Managed VPS – 30% Off – 3 Days Only
Apr 28, 2011
Save 30% off your first billing cycle of our Fully Managed VPS packages. Just use the coupon code JELLYBEAN at the checkout. This discount expires 4/30/2011 at midnight, so take advantage while you can! Each fully managed VPS includes cPanel for free! You’ll experience the easy usability of a Web Hosting account, but with the...
Whois Privacy Protection Service Price Reduction
Apr 27, 2011
A2 Hosting has reduced the price of our Whois Privacy Protection service! It’s only $9.95/yr to keep malicious spammers from pulling up your information in the public whois database. You can add Whois Privacy Protection when you register your domain. If you already have registered your domain(s) with A2 Hosting, just fill out this Whois...
Semi-Managed VPS vs Managed VPS
Apr 25, 2011
You might have seen the announcement that A2 Hosting now offers Managed VPS Hosting. We thought you might have been interested in reading how this service compares to our Semi-Managed VPS Hosting packages. That’s why we have created a handy side-by-side comparison on our Semi-Managed VPS vs Managed VPS page. You can see how security,...
Easy SSL Hosting
Apr 25, 2011
Purchasing your SSL Certificate from A2 Hosting has never been easier! Just visit our newly updated SSL Hosting page. You’ll see a breakdown of all of our SSL Certificates on this page and can begin the ordering process directly from this page. Remember you will need a Dedicated IP, which you can request by completing...
New Services Page
Apr 25, 2011
We have recently re-designed our Services pages. This page offers a very nice breakdown of our Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, Managed VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting services all on a single page. If you are looking for a clean, quick comparison of all of the hosting plans available at A2 Hosting, I strongly...
Managed VPS Hosting
Apr 21, 2011
A2 Hosting is proud to introduce Managed VPS Hosting! Each of our fully managed VPSes include cPanel for free! Experience the easy usability of a Web Hosting account with the resources of your very own high powered VPS. For a limited time, save 30% off your first billing cycle with the coupon code JELLYBEAN. Look at...
A2 Hosting Increases Usability with Single Support & Billing Portal
Apr 14, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI – April 14, 2011 – VPS Hosting company A2 Hosting has launched a one-stop portal for customers to submit support requests and to handle billing tasks. A2 Hosting customers previously were required to use 2 separate portals with different login information respectively for support and billing. This brand new, time saving portal has...
WordPress 3.1.1 Hosting
Apr 11, 2011
WordPress 3.1.1 Hosting is now available at A2 Hosting. Use Softaculous to install this latest version of WordPress with 1-click to your Web Hosting account. If you already have installed WordPress with Softaculous, you can update your WordPress install with just 1-click as well. What’s new in WordPress 3.1.11? Security hardening for media...
A2 Hosting Reviews & 30% Off!
Apr 07, 2011
A2 Hosting posts here regularly and we thought maybe this time around you would like to hear from someone else; actual A2 Hosting customers. A2 Hosting is partnered with RatePoint, a 3rd party that manages the customer reviews found on our site. Visit our A2 Hosting reviews page to read non-biased, real testimonials from actual...
5 Important Features To Look For In An Easy-To-Use Web Hosting Provider
Apr 06, 2011
When I first became interested in started a website a few years back, I thought I needed to pay a few dollars for a domain name and I could put up my site. When I spoke to a co-worker about my plans to start a website, she mentioned that I would also need web hosting....
Joomla 1.5.23 Hosting
Apr 06, 2011
Joomla 1.5.23 Hosting is available at A2 Hosting! You can install Joomla with one click with cPanel with the easy to use Softaculous module. Current A2 Hosting customers can also use Softaculous to update their Joomla install with a click. This is a security release and Joomla recommends that users upgrade immediately.
A2 Hosting Help
Apr 04, 2011
My A2 Hosting is your place to go if you ever need A2 Hosting help. All of our support features can be found within this handy portal. A2 Hosting Knowledgebase – Search our database of FAQs for a quick answer to your question. A2 Hosting Wiki – Edited by both A2 Hosting staff members and its customers,...
2 Hosting Backup Protection Solutions
Apr 01, 2011
A2 Hosting offers 2 user-friendly hosting account backup solutions. 1.)    The first is Server Rewind. Easily restore your data from a snapshot of your account taken automatically and daily. This solution is available on our Web Hosting and Reseller Hosting packages for free. Server Rewind gives you the ability to restore a single file, database, site...
A2 Hosting Status
Apr 01, 2011
If you are an A2 Hosting customer, log into My A2 Hosting to see server Service Bulletins. This is where you can read about current and scheduled server maintenance. It’s always a good idea to check out the service bulletins section before submitting a support ticket.
April 2011 A2 Host Post
Apr 01, 2011
Check out A2 Hosting’s newsletter for April 2011. This month’s A2 Host Post topics include: EXCLUSIVE 50% Off Dedicated Hosting Discount My A2 Hosting – Checking Your Support Ticket’s Status Coming Soon – Managed VPS Hosting Developer Depot –...
Dedicated Hosting Plans – Setup Fee Waived!
Mar 31, 2011
It’s true! We’ve waived the setup fee on every dedicated hosting plan. There’s no better time to move your site/account into a dedicated server at A2 Hosting than right now. To sweeten the pot even more, we’ve doubled the monthly data transfer of each dedicated plan. With the 30% off coupon JELLYBEAN, your first billing...
A2 Hosting Loves Elephants!
Mar 31, 2011
Looking for a place to host your sites? Come on over to A2 Hosting where you can save 40% with the coupon WELOVEELEPHANTS until 4/1/2011. Move into our StartUp Hosting plan for under $3/month! Look at what you get: *Unlimited Disk Space *Unlimited Monthly Data Transfer *Unlimited Email Accounts *99.9% Uptime Guarantee *cPanel Control Panel *FREE CDN *30-Day Money Back Guarantee *Server Rewind Data...
A2 Hosting cPanel Login
Mar 28, 2011
Logging into your A2 Hosting cPanel account is a breeze thanks My A2 Hosting. Here’s how: 1.)    Log into My A2 Hosting. 2.)    Click My Products & Services 3.)    Click View Details next to the account you want to log into 4.)    Click the “Login to cPanel” button (you can see your Username and Password to log into cPanel...
PostgreSQL Hosting
Mar 24, 2011
Save 30% on our PostgreSQL hosting for the next week only (expires 3/31/2011)! Use the coupon SPRINGTIME at the checkout. Choose our Executive hosting plan to host UNLIMITED PostgreSQL 8 databases. Look at what else you get for under $6/month: *Unlimited Disk Space *Unlimited Monthly Data Transfer *Unlimited Domains *Unlimited Email Accounts *cPanel Control Panel *99.9% Uptime Guarantee *24/7/365 Support *Choose PHP 5.2...
Check The Status Of Your Support Ticket
Mar 21, 2011
One of the coolest features of our My A2 Hosting, is a page dedicated to viewing the status of a support ticket. If you ever want to see the status of a question you asked or if you want to double check to see if we received your ticket, just log into “Support Ticket Status”....
Award Winning CDN Web Hosting
Mar 17, 2011
It’s been an exciting week since we partnered with CloudFlare to offer their content delivery network solution to our Web Hosting customers. We’ve already heard a number of our new customers rave about the solution. How does CloudFlare work? First, our customers have to opt into the CloudFlare network with just 1-click within their cPanel control...
1-Page Checkout
Mar 16, 2011
A2 Hosting launched a brand new shopping cart yesterday where transactions take place on a single page. This is a vast improvement in usability over our previous cart where transactions spanned a few pages. With a quicker and easier shopping cart process, we hope to see a nice up tick in our conversion rates. More...
My A2 Hosting – New Support & Billing Portal
Mar 16, 2011
We officially launched our brand new My A2 Hosting billing and support portal! Previously our customers were required to log into two separate portals to handle billing and support tasks with two different sets of login information respectively. No longer! Billing and support tasks are now all done within My A2 Hosting, with a single...
FREE CDN with Every Web Hosting Account!
Mar 10, 2011
A2 Hosting has partnered with content delivery network (CDN) provider CloudFlare to offer their service for free to our hosting customers. A2 Hosting users can opt into CDN Hosting with 1-CLICK in the award winning cPanel control panel. A2 Hosting’s CDN is a group of connected servers located all over the world that automatically discovers the...
How You Can Benefit From Using A CDN
Mar 09, 2011
Looking for an easy and affordable way to boost the performance of your website? Try using a content delivery network! A content delivery network, or CDN for short, is a group of servers located worldwide that work together to automatically optimize the delivery of your website to your visitors. A CDN stores your static content (stuff...
How To Use Google Webmaster Tools For SEO Keyword Research
Mar 08, 2011
If you don’t use Google Webmaster Tools, I highly suggest you get on board. I find the “Search queries” tool very useful. Search queries breaks down your organic keywords and shows you how many impressions and clicks you receive from those keywords. It also shows you what your average search ranking is for those keywords. I’ve...
30% Off Linux Virtual Private Servers
Mar 03, 2011
A2 Hosting’s Linux Virtual Private Servers are the ultimate developer platform! During the month of March, you can cut 30% off of these already affordable plans. Just use the coupon SPRINGTIME at the checkout. There are a number of VPS hosting plans to choose between. Look at everything you get with one of our most...
March 2011 A2 Host Post
Mar 03, 2011
A2 Hosting’s newsletter the A2 Host Post March 2011 edition has been published. This month’s newsletter topics include: Claim Your $25 Bing-Yahoo! PPC Credit Another Look At My A2 Hosting Portal Marketing Mojo – Ongoing Site Maintenance & 503 Status Code Developer Depot –...
WordPress 3.1 Hosting
Feb 28, 2011
WordPress has worked their way out of the 3.0 versions and into the 3.1s. Yes, WordPress 3.1 Hosting is now available at A2 Hosting. Auto install WordPress 3.1 with Softaculous, or use this module to update your WordPress install to the newest version. So what’s new with WordPress 3.1: • Easier linking to existing posts and pages • An improved...
Free $25 Bing-Yahoo! Search Ad Credit
Feb 21, 2011
A few weeks back, MSN contacted me to see if we would be interested in offering a free $25 PPC credit for Bing-Yahoo! search to our customers. I am excited to announce that we officially launched our partnership today! Yahoo! and Bing are the number #2 and #3 most used searched engines respectively. With this $25...
Unlimited Bandwidth & Disk Space with cPanel – $3.46/month
Feb 17, 2011
A2 Hosting’s entry level web hosting plan, the StartUp package, offers unlimited bandwidth and disk space from just $3.46/month. Just use the 30% off coupon code “SAVE30? at the checkout before 2/28/2011 to take advantage of this ultra low price. Look at what else is included with one of our best Linux website hosting packages! * Unlimited...
A Short Valentine’s Day Poem
Feb 14, 2011
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Those candy hearts hurt my teeth. So I’ll drown my sorrows with some Toby Keith.
A2 Hosting Doubles Affiliate Cookie Life
Feb 11, 2011
Affiliates of A2 Hosting’s web hosting affiliate program will be happy to learn that we have doubled our cookie life from 30-days to 60-days. Cookie life is the span from when someone clicks an affiliate link to when they purchase a hosting package that an affiliate is eligible to receive a commission. This means affiliates...
Linux VPS Web Hosting
Feb 10, 2011
Have you outgrown your shared or reseller account and need something with more resources? Something with a little more pep? Something that will make your site move the way it’s supposed to be moving? Check out the user-friendly Linux VPS Web Hosting packages available at A2 Hosting. Look at everything that comes with A2 Hosting’s Enhanced...
WordPress 3.0.5 Hosting
Feb 10, 2011
WordPress 3.0.5 Hosting is now available at A2 Hosting! You can install it with 1-click with Softaculous. Have you already installed WordPress with Softaculous? You can update to WordPress 3.0.5 as well with Softaculous. So what’s new in WordPress 3.0.5? Some security fixes. Fixes an issue where lower level contributors could...
Best MySQL Hosting
Feb 03, 2011
Are you ready to host your website or web development project with the best MySQL hosting service provider around? Choose A2 Hosting! Host unlimited MySQL databases for under $6/month. Make sure to use the coupon SAVE30 at the checkout before 2/28/2010 to take advantage of this discount! What is included with our Executive hosting package? *MySQL 5.1...
Special 1-Day A2 Hosting Promo
Feb 02, 2011
I just wanted to let you know that A2 Hosting is running a 1-day 40% off Groundhogs Day promo with the coupon “BUCKSutawney”. This coupon is available today only. We welcome you to update your site accordingly to take advantage of potential increased affiliate commission opportunities.
Affordable Hosting With DIY Web Design
Jan 31, 2011
You don’t have to break the bank for quality web hosting. You also don’t need web design experience to be able to create your own website. Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not! A2 Hosting offers an affordable, quality and easy-to-use web hosting and design solution just for you. Web hosting plans at...
Improve Your Search Rankings And Site Usability With Fast Hosting
Jan 28, 2011
Did you know that one of the factors Google uses to index sites is speed? Google wants to index the best site possible to fit a search query. If there are a number of sites that are very similar in search rankings for a query, Google could very well index the faster sites because of...
February 2011 A2 Host Post
Jan 28, 2011
The February 2011 edition of the A2 Host Post has been published. This month’s A2 Hosting Newsletter topics include: Coming Soon – New & Improved Support & Billing Portal! Drupal 7 Hosting Now Available! Marketing Mojo – AdWords Modified Broad Match Developer Depot – The HTML5 Video Codec Battle
Starting A Blog Is Easy With 1-Click WordPress Hosting
Jan 27, 2011
Many new bloggers turn to free blog services because they are perceived as easy to use. They may be user-friendly, but the drawbacks are vast. Below are just 3 disadvantages of using a free blog service. 1.)    Remember that you get what you pay for. If you are not paying for your service, is there any...
Linux Hosting with cPanel
Jan 27, 2011
If you’re looking for Linux Hosting with cPanel, we’ll save you some time. Stop looking and visit A2 Hosting. For as low as $3.46/month, you can get easy to use Linux web hosting with the award winning control panel. Are you skeptical? We welcome you to search for A2 Hosting reviews in Google to read...
New A2 Hosting Content For Your Site
Jan 26, 2011
I thought our affiliates would be interested in the fact that I have re-vamped our text links. I have also created longer text links, as long as a paragraph in some cases. I have also posted a couple of full length articles that you can use to promote us. These can be found by clicking the...
#1 Linux Host – 99.9% Uptime Guarantee, cPanel & 24/7 Support
Jan 20, 2011
A2 Hosting is your 1-stop Linux Host. Our Executive Hosting plan covers all of your needs with your choice of PHP 5.2 or PHP 5.3 and MySQL 5.1. Get everything listed below and more starting from just $5.57/month! * Unlimited Space * Unlimited Bandwidth * Unlimited Domains * EASY cPanel Control panel * 1-click install for WordPress, Joomla & Drupal *...
DokuWiki Hosting
Jan 18, 2011
A2 Hosting offers wiki software solution DokuWiki as a 1-click install! DokuWiki is one of the most popular wiki software programs in use today by small businesses and developer teams. DokuWiki is a lightweight solution because it does not require a MySQL database backend. DokuWiki web hosting starts at under $4/month at A2 Hosting! Visit our...
Upgrading From Shared Hosting Can Be Both Easy & Cost-Effective!
Jan 17, 2011
It sounds like a dream situation. You launch a website on a topic that you love and with some work, your site becomes a wild success. You have a loyal following of visitors who just can’t wait to read your next article or blog post. And you can’t wait to quench their thirst by giving...
Joomla 1.6 Hosting
Jan 17, 2011
On Friday, 1-click installer module Softaculous announced that they have updated the Joomla version they offer! This means that Joomla 1.6 Hosting is now available at A2 Hosting. So what’s new in Joomla 1.6? Control over who can view and manage content. Unlimited user-defined category levels allows the creation of category trees...
cPanel Virtual Private Servers
Jan 13, 2011
A2 Hosting offers quality, reliable and high-performance cPanel Virtual Private Servers at an affordable price. Make sure to take advantage of our 30% off coupon before it’s too late! Just use the code TOOCOLD at the checkout to save. Check out the load of resources included with our Pinnacle VPS plan: *4096 MB RAM *50 GB Disk...
Drupal 7 Hosting
Jan 10, 2011
A2 Hosting is proud to announce that we now offer Drupal 7 Hosting! Did you know that Drupal actually recommends our hosting services for their solution? Install Drupal with 1 click with the easy-to-use Softaculous module found within cPanel. Our Drupal hosting plans start at under $4/month and include 24/7/365 support! So what’s new with Drupal...
A2 Hosting Reviews
Jan 07, 2011
Yesterday we moved the A2 Hosting Review site to a new URL. Our review page is powered by 3rd party review site RatePoint so you know that you can trust the reviews on the page. If you’re a current A2 Hosting customer, please do us a favor and submit your own review of our service...
Unlimited Linux MySQL Database Hosting – Just $5.57/mo!
Jan 06, 2011
I’ll give you a second to catch your breath after running around the room in excitement over quality MySQL Hosting at such a low price… All set? Make sure to visit A2 Hosting and select our Executive Web Hosting package. You’ll also want to use the 30% coupon “TOOCOLD” at the checkout to take advantage of...
First A2 Hosting Newsletter of 2011!
Jan 05, 2011
A2 Hosting’s newsletter, the A2 Host Post, has been published for January 2011. Topic’s covered in this month’s newsletter include: Review A2 Hosting And Earn! November’s 200 FaceBook Likes Results Speaking of Facebook… Marketing Mojo – Using AWStats As...
WordPress 3.0.4 Hosting Critical Security Update
Jan 03, 2011
WordPress has released a critical update with WordPress 3.0.4. According to WordPress, version 3.0.4 will: Fix XSS vulnerabilities in the KSES library: Don’t be case sensitive to attribute names. Handle padded entities when checking for bad protocols. Normalize entities before checking for bad protocols in esc_url(). This is gibberish to a marketer like me, but when I...
Hosting Linux VPS
Dec 30, 2010
Looking for a premium platform for Hosting Linux VPS? Look no further then A2 Hosting! Choose your Linux OS from our array of popular options including Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora Core. Or choose the ever-popular cPanel control panel within CentOS. Linux VPS Hosting starts at under $11 at A2 Hosting when you use the 30%...
2010 Year In Review
Dec 29, 2010
I just took a moment to take a look at what we were working on towards the end of 2009 and I really can’t believe how fast the year has gone. It seems just like yesterday that we were working on the following things. It’s crazy that it was actually November and December 2009 when...
100% Uptime For 2010 Reported By WebHostingStuff!
Dec 28, 2010
Web Hosting Stuff is an independent web hosting review site. They have ratings and reviews for over 13,000 web hosting companies. In addition to offering a medium for customers to review their hosts, Web Hosting Stuff also has been monitoring the uptime of the hosts listed on their site since 2005. I’m excited to announce that...
A2 Hosting Upgrades To MySQL 5.1 Hosting
Dec 27, 2010
Ann Arbor, MI – December 27, 2010 – Linux hosting provider A2 Hosting has announced that they have upgraded to MySQL 5.1 Hosting on each new web hosting package. MySQL is the world’s most used Open Source database. One of its primary uses is as the database backend for popular software solutions including WordPress, Drupal,...
liveSite Hosting
Dec 20, 2010
A2 Hosting has been named a recommended liveSite Hosting provider! You can see our listing here of liveSite’s recommended hosting providers. liveSite is a free and easy to use website builder. Its main requirements are MySQL, PHP and Zend Optimizer. Lucky for you, our default PHP hosting version is PHP 5.2 with Zend Optimizer! Just...
MySQL 5.1 Hosting
Dec 16, 2010
MySQL 5.1 Hosting is now available at A2 Hosting! A2 Hosting packages are the ultimate developer platform! Check out our Executive Hosting plan and see for yourself. You get: *Unlimited MySQL Databases *Choose Your Version of PHP *Remote MySQL Access *Easy PHPMyAdmin MySQL Database Management *Unlimited Disk Space *Unlimited Bandwidth *Unlimited Domains Ready to host with the #1 developer hosting company? Are you ready...
WordPress 3.0.3 Hosting
Dec 13, 2010
Wasn’t it just last week that I posted that WordPress released v3.0.2? Well I just received word that WordPress 3.0.3 Hosting is now available thanks to the easy 1-click install capability of Softaculous. WordPress 3.03 corrects some problems in the remote publishing interface. It fixes occurrences of improper editing, publishing and deleting of posts by...
A2 Hosting Guarantees Customers’ Search Engine Visibility Thanks to New SEO-Enabled Hosting Platform
Dec 10, 2010
Ann Arbor, MI – December 9, 2010 –   A newly expanded partnership between www.A2Hosting.com and search engine optimization (SEO) technology developer www.Attracta.com provides A2 Hosting customers with a free suite of powerful website marketing resources and guaranteed placement in organic search engine rankings. Attracta’s suite of easy-to-use SEO tools and services are now integrated directly into...
Softaculous Hosting
Dec 09, 2010
Looking for a hosting company that makes installing Joomla, Drupal or WordPress a breeze? You’ll love the Softaculous Hosting service available at A2 Hosting. Install those 3 popular software applications and a ton more with just one click with Softaculous. Softaculous is included within the award winning cPanel with each Web Hosting package available at...
Choosing a Hosting Company: What to Know
Dec 08, 2010
This article has been contributed by Daniel Thompson who is the part of WebHostingSearch. Picking the right hosting provider is an integral process in the successful development of a site. Before choosing a provider, you need to learn all there is to know about the options so as to make an educated and, hopefully, correct decision....
Upgrade Your StartUp Package To An Executive Package And Save!
Dec 03, 2010
A2 Hosting has a special holiday treat for our Startup Package subscribers. Upgrade to an Executive Hosting account during the month of December and we’ll give you a free $5 hosting credit. There’s a major difference between these too packages. For about $2 more per month, you’ll get UNLIMITED disk space, UNLIMITED bandwidth, UNLIMITED email accounts...
WordPress 3.0.2 Hosting
Dec 02, 2010
I love the fact that I installed my personal WordPress blog with Softaculous. Not only do I get an email that there is a newer version of WordPress available, I can update my blog with one click with Softaculous (found in cPanel). I’d be lost otherwise! Yesterday I read a post on Facebook that WordPress...
December 2010 A2 Host Post
Dec 01, 2010
Make sure to check out this month’s A2 Hosting Newsletter! The topics covered in this month’s A2 Host Post include: StartUp Package To Executive Package Holiday Upgrade Special Ultra Affordable RapidSSL Certificate Use AdWords To Attract New Visitors This Holiday Season Marketing Mojo –...
A2 Hosting Hits 200 Facebook Likes
Nov 30, 2010
It’s been a tough road to 200 Facebook likes. Back at the beginning of the month when our CEO challenged us to reach 200 in one month, I didn’t know if it was possible. We started at a meager 64 and just kept chugging along thanks to the perseverance of the A2 Hosting Community. We...
Happy Cyber Monday – 50% Off – Outrageous Biggest Sale Ever!
Nov 29, 2010
Save 50% at A2 Hosting! Use the coupon CYBERMONDAY to save! This is our largest discount ever.  It’s valid today only on your new purchases. Don’t hesitate and miss out. You’ll be disappointed! With our 30-day money back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose, except missing out on this ridiculous discount. Order our Executive Hosting. Look...
50% off PHPAuction Upgrade
Nov 24, 2010
I just got an email from PHPAuction with a promotion that they’re running. Apparently they are offering a 50% discount for users that upgrade from an obfuscated to their non-obfuscated version. Sounds like a good deal to me, especially since it’s a perfect time for a holiday sales ramp up. On a side note, if...
Turning Off Comment Email Notifications In WordPress 3
Nov 19, 2010
For the longest time I was receiving email each time someone commented on my WordPress 3 blog. How annoying! I’ll moderate those comments the next time I long in, you know? But I never took the time to figure out how to stop these emails.  It’s not very intuitive that’s for sure. Here’s how to...
SSL Certificate For Less Than $70/yr!
Nov 17, 2010
RapidSSL Certificates are now available at A2 Hosting! These fast and secure 256 bit certificates are compatible on 99%+ of web browsers. And you can purchase yours for just $69.95/yr. That’s almost 50% less than our previously most affordable QuickSSL Certificates. Visit our SSL Hosting page for more details.
Cheap Linux VPS Hosting
Nov 15, 2010
A2 Hosting’s VPS Hosting plans are extremely affordable. When you throw in our 30% off discount currently available, the prices become downright cheap. Use the coupon 30OFF by 11/30/2010 at the checkout to save! Look at the load of goodies you get with our Core VPS plan for just $10.46/month (with our 30% discount)! 256MB RAM 512MB Burstable...
A2 Hosting On Manta
Nov 11, 2010
Any Manta users out there? Yesterday I claimed and updated A2 Hosting’s Manta profile. Check it out! Manta is a huge, free resource of information for learning more about over 64 million businesses and organizations worldwide. Now you have a single source to connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and read additional information about...