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Sep
16
SSL Encryption: Why it’s important to your website
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 16 September 2016 10:59 AM

SSL Certificates

SSL Encryption: Why it’s important to your website 

When it comes to keeping your website well-protected, an SSL certificate is a great place to begin. SSL (which stands for secure sockets layer) works by protecting sensitive information as it travels across the internet and offers a range of benefits to both you and your business.

What is SSL?

SSL is a form of security that can handle sensitive information – such as customer names, telephone numbers and credit card details. SSL certificates create a secure connection between your customer’s browser and your server, ensuring that details remain secure and protected throughout the transfer process.

SSLs encrypt information

One of the main purposes of an SSL certificate is to encrypt information which can only be read and understood by the intended parties – usually e-commerce or data storage software. Information submitted on the internet passes through more than one computer before it reaches its destination, so the more computers it passes through, the higher the chance of a third party getting access to the personal data.

By encrypting this information, SSL certificates render such information unreadable and undecipherable to third parties.

SSLs are authenticators

Some types of SSL certificates also come with a ‘server certificate’, acting as a mediator between browsers and the SSL servers. Customers can freely view information about the owner of the SSL certificate through their web browsers, most commonly through the green padlock and “https” text which is shown in the user’s web browser. This increases trust and allows for a deeper level of authentication, which is particularly useful when sending sensitive information through contact or order forms.

SSLs allow you to take card payments

To meet Payment Card Industry standards, all online businesses need to have an SSL certificate installed on their server. Without an128-bit certificate, your website won’t be able to take credit card payments, so it makes sense to install one.

SSL can form part of your SEO solution

Having an SSL-encrypted website can also improve your website’s your search engine optimisation, with Google offering secure websites a slight ranking boost as part of its aim to encourage a safer browsing experience across the web.

SSL Certificates come free with shared web hosting packages

At PAC Web Hosting, all of our shared web hosting packages now come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, which is automatically applied when you sign up for a new account. When you add additional domain names or subdomains to your web hosting account, each will get its own free SSL certificate, meaning that you can take advantage of the power of SSL across all of your domain names and improve the security of your website.

If you are interested in finding out more about SSL certificates, or you’d like to take advantage of our web hosting packages which offer free encryption as standard, don’t hesitate to get in touch with PAC Web Hosting today.

With years of experience in the web hosting industry, we are best-placed to offer impartial advice and deliver a service that will help to improve the safety of your website.


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Sep
5
Ten quick tips about web hosting
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 05 September 2016 09:48 PM

Top WebHosting Tips!

Ten quick tips about web hosting

Whether you’re a complete novice or you’ve been using hosting services for a long time, sometimes you need a helping hand to make the right decisions for your website and business. At PAC Web Hosting, we’ve put together ten quick tips to help you make the most out of your web hosting.

Overestimate your space

If you are building a new website from scratch, then opting for the cheapest web hosting package available can be tempting. However, it’s important to consider the growth of your website, so be generous with your space and choose a package that allows room to grow.

Choose a UK-based web host

If you have customers based in the UK, then opt for a UK-based web host. Not only is it good to support British businesses, but you can enjoy a significant speed boost by hosting your website on a server closer to home.

Backup your content regularly

From the moment you begin designing your website, you need to protect your content. Whether you manually keep a copy, or you set up an automated backup system, make sure you have the protocols in place to save you the heartache of data loss. At PAC, all of our hosting packages come with free thirty-days of back-ups taken hourly! for your peace of mind.

Work with cPanel

cPanel is the most reliable control panel for web designers, so make sure your web host uses it.

Add an SSL certificate                                                                                                                    

If you are running an e-commerce store, an SSL certificate is essential to protect the data of your customers. At PAC, we offer a range of encryption solutions to benefit your business.

Keep up to date on payments

Regardless of where you choose to go for your web hosting, make sure you keep up to date on your hosting payments. If you fail to do so, your website may go down, and you could lose valuable custom. We recommend paying for a web hosting plan annually, or setting up recurring payments.

Monitor your bandwidth

If you want to maximise your website’s performance and reduce the chance of running out of your allocated bandwidth, make sure you monitor your usage throughout the month by using cPanel or another control panel behind the scenes.

Measure your uptime

Not only is downtime bad for customer experience, but it can be bad for your overall brand image and even your SEO rankings. So, if your web host is offering 99.99% uptime, hold them to account! Sign up to a service such as Pingdom so you can monitor your uptime throughout the month, and get a notification when your site goes down.

Utilise your host’s support

If you need help when it comes to optimising your website or installing some software, then work with your web hosting providers who will be on hand to help. At PAC, we offer 24/7 support with all of our products and services, and we’re always on hand to help in any way we can.

Don’t fall for a bargain

When finding the right web host, use your common sense. If a web hosting provider is offering unlimited features for 99p a month, then the chances are, there’s something that will trip you up. Choose a web host with an honest pricing structure, without the gimmicks.

There you have it, our top ten tips for web hosting! If you’d like to chat to an expert about any of your web hosting related queries, click here to speak to a member of the PAC team.


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Aug
25
How to transfer your domain name between hosts
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 25 August 2016 02:02 PM

domain name transfer

How to transfer your domain name between hosts

If you want to transfer your domain name to a new registrar, or transfer it directly here to PAC Web Hosting, then you’ll soon realise it’s easier to do than you first thought. Rather than the worry of weeks of having a domain floating between two registrars, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to transfer your domain name without the fuss!

Do I need to transfer my domain name to move hosts?

Although many people think that transferring a domain name is part of transferring your website to a new host, this isn’t the case. In fact, your domain name can be registered through any provider, so long as you link your domain name to your nameservers or web hosting IP address.

However, there are advantages of transferring a domain name to your new host – for example, you will be able to manage it conveniently alongside your web hosting account, and your host can provide assistance in relation to DNS, CNAME and MX entries to maximise performance.

What should I know about domain name transfers?

When you purchase a transfer – such as a domain name transfer to PAC Web Hosting – your site will remain online, regardless of whether it is registered with your old registrar or moved to PAC. However, it is important to note that the entire process may take up to ten days, and you will not be able to make any changes to your domain name settings (like nameservers, MX entries and other variables) during this time.

Steps to take before starting the transfer process

Before you purchase a domain name transfer, you need to find your EPP code*, which can be obtained from your current registrar or web host. Most have the option to reveal the code through a control panel, but if not, you will have to ask for it. During the transfer process, you will be asked to provide your EPP code, and your transfer won’t complete without this key.

Next, make sure your domain name is unlocked. Again, this can be done through your domain name control panel – failure to unlock your domain will result in the transfer failing.

Finally, if you have WHOIS protection enabled, make sure that this is disabled before initiating your transfer. If your contact details for your WHOIS information, such as your email address and telephone number, do not match the personal info you have registered on your new host, then make sure you update it, otherwise, again, your transfer request will be rejected.

*Most domain transfers use an EPP code with the exception of domains ending in .uk for these you need to change the domains IPS TAG at the current registrar to the IPS TAG of the new registrar, also for this type of domain you do not need to unlock your domain.

Initiating the transfer process

Once you have completed the transfer steps and have initiated the transfer process – by purchasing a domain name tranfer and filling out all of the relevant information – your new host will send an approval request to the email address that is registered as part of your WHOIS information**

You can then click this request in an email, and then the registrar will request your current domain registrar to release your domain name. Within a few days – sometimes up to 10 – your domain name will then appear in your new registrar’s control panel, where you’ll be able to access your domain name.

**If the domain being transferred ends in .uk then once you have purchased the domain name transfer all that is left to do is change your domains IPS TAG to complete the transfer.


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Aug
3
What to consider when choosing your domain name
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 03 August 2016 11:03 AM

Domain Name Search

What to consider when choosing your domain name

Finding the right domain name for your business can be a difficult task. Not only is it tough to get creative and come up with a name that suits you, but you have the added task of finding a domain name that is actually available to purchase. To help you make the right decision, we’ve put together some top things to consider when choosing the right domain name.

Make sure it is memorable

The most important thing about a domain name is how memorable it is. If your domain name is 20 characters long or features some difficult-to-spell words, the chances are that visitors won’t be able to remember you.

Make it easy to pronounce

BrandRoot argues that the "processing fluency" of your domain name will determine how people view your brand, and that "simplicity wins over complexity every time" because people refer names that are easier to understand.

Short is best

When it comes to finding the right domain name, short works best. Not only can shorter names be good for giving customers an easy way to access your website, but it works better on social media, and gives you more room to experiment with things such as sub-domains or subfolders.

Choose a TLD when possible

Over the last several years, there has been an influx of new domain name extensions. From simple extensions such as .tech or .chat, to unusual choices such as .george, .sucks or .ninja, you now have a lot of choice over how your brand is represented, but choosing a top level domain name (TLD) such as .com, .net or .org is still your best bet, as it’s an extension users are familiar with.

Add a keyword if you can

When possible, adding a keyword into your domain name can give you some credibility and potentially boost your SEO. Although Moz.com argues that generic keyword strings – for example, things like best web hosting – are bad for business, including a single keyword as part of your name is better. For example, you could choose a focus keyword and then ‘verb’ it by adding on an ‘able’ or ‘ify’ to the end of it, similar to big-brand websites such as Mashable and Shopify.

Be creative

Unfortunately, lots of the best domain names have already been taken, whether they’re used by companies or lying dormant by ‘domain sitters’. Therefore, it is important to be flexible when it comes to finding the right domain name for you and be creative. Instead of using your brand name, why not come up with a creative domain name that represents your core values and ethos?

Buy in bulk

If you want to protect your brand name, the best way to do so is by purchasing multiple domain names. For example, if you get your hands on mybrand.com, purchasing the .net, .org and .co.uk extensions can protect you against competitors or hackers who want to disguise themselves as your business. Registering a domain name couldn’t be easier, so visit our website to buy yours today!

PAC Web Hosting


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Jul
14
How to Know the Amount of Bandwidth Your Website Needs
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 14 July 2016 03:49 PM

Bandwidth

How to Know the Amount of Bandwidth Your Website Needs

After setting up your website and growing an audience, the amount of bandwidth your website requires can easily add up. According to Hosting Manual, 99% of websites use no more than 5GB of transfer bandwidth per month, but there are various factors that can influence this.

Before we begin, let’s explain what bandwidth is. Bandwidth refers to the speed at which data is transferred from a web host to a visitor in a given period, and is measured in seconds. Transfer bandwidth, on the other hand, refers to the amount of data your website is allowed to send and receive as part of your web hosting package and is allocated monthly.

Here at PAC Web Hosting, we’ve rounded up some tips for working out how much bandwidth you will need.

 

The type of website you're working on

How much bandwidth you use will depend on the type of website you are working on. If you’re running a small blog, you are likely to use a lot less bandwidth than if you were running an online store, which requires more data to be transferred.

Typically, the more multimedia you use on a website, such as high-resolution images or videos uploaded to the server, the more bandwidth you will use. If your website offers direct downloads, such as software packages, expect this to use a significant amount of your bandwidth.

The traffic to your website

Your website traffic is another vital consideration when deciding on the amount of bandwidth you need. If your website has peak times or spikes, try to estimate when they will be and how many people will visit your website; will you run out of your month’s dedicated bandwidth if your blog gets an unexpected spike in traffic? For this reason, it’s important to overestimate, rather than underestimate the amount of bandwidth that you require.

The design of your website

If your website relies heavily on big images or advanced CSS, it may impact on the amount of data transferred to your visitors. To reduce the size of your web pages and boost your site's all-round efficiency, try open-source projects such as Bootstrap that offer free tools for creating stripped-back designs. This, in turn, will reduce the amount of transfer bandwidth that your website uses throughout the month.

How your website is optimised

Your website will use less transfer bandwidth if it is well optimised. Tools such as the W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress reduce your page sizes, thereby decreasing the amount of bandwidth used.

If your website receives a significant amount of traffic, Content Delivery Networks such as CloudFlare and Amazon Cloudfront could be an option. By acting as a ‘third party’ between your web host and your visitor, they will reduce the time that it takes to serve a page, as well as the transfer bandwidth used when a visitor logs onto your site.

The size of your pages

Online tools such as Pingdom analyse your web pages to find out how much data they require. From this information, you can work out a rough estimate of how much transfer bandwidth you need.

Beware: "unlimited" bandwidth doesn't exist

When choosing the right web host for your site, beware of companies offering 'unlimited' bandwidth. It is impossible for any web host to offer truly unlimited bandwidth, as bandwidth is a costly part of the web hosting process. To avoid expensive add-on or 'overuse' fees, choose a web host that offers a set amount of bandwidth so that you can prepare your website for this. Here at PAC Web Hosting, all of our plans come with generous transfer bandwidth allowances to give you ultimate peace of mind.


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