WordPress- The Incredible Content Management System

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WordPress has been around for a while now, but that doesn’t mean that people automatically know everything there is to know about it. WordPress, despite starting from pretty humble blogger beginnings, has turned into a complex, feature-rich, incredible Content Management System. If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the last 10 years, you’ve been on WordPress sites.

So to answer your questions about WordPress, what it can do, and to give you some history…we’ve created a great little infographic that’ll run you through the details. Even if you’re using WordPress today, chances are you’ll learn something new about it. And if you’re not using WordPress yet, this might inspire you to. It’s FREE and it’s so powerful.

Check it out!

WordPress-incredible Content Management System

Pretty cool!

Interested in trying WordPress? If you’re hosting with us already and want to know how you can get started using WordPress, you can give us a call or open a chat today and we’ll help you get set up. It usually doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes.

If you want to install it but don’t feel like socializing with us, all you have to do is:

  • Log into your control panel at my.ixwebhosting.com
  • Click “Manage” for your hosting account
  • Go to the “Easy Apps Collection” icon, select WordPress, and then hit “Install”
  • You have WordPress! And it’s FREE!

Look through some free themes here: https://wordpress.org/themes/. If you see one you like, you can activate them pretty easily following the instructions on that site.

And if you get stuck at any time, IX is staffed 24/7 with WordPress experts. We have people who live, breathe, eat, and sleep WordPress and they’re on site, ready to help you figure things out when you get stuck. WordPress and IXWebHosting are a pretty good combination.

Not hosting with us yet? Get started on our Expert plan, which gives you one free domain, unlimited space & bandwidth, 24/7 support, and access to easy installs of great free apps like WordPress. It’s only $3.95/month too!

Thanks for reading. Happy hosting!

 

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Important Information about HIPAA Compliance

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As part of IX Web Hosting’s ongoing compliance initiatives, we have identified recent changes in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) that may impact some of IX’s customers. Specifically, these changes require Covered Entities and all of their Business Associates who create, receive, maintain transmit or have access to protected health information (or the possibility exists that the protected health information in the business associate’s custody or control could be compromised) to independently comply with HIPAA.

To help identify those customers who may be impacted, IX is asking its customers to notify IX if they are considered a Covered Entity or Business Associate under HIPAA and store or transmit electronic protected health information using IX’s services. IX will assume that the recent changes in HIPAA do not impact IX customers who do not identify themselves as a Covered Entity or Business Associate. IX has also updated its Terms of Service with customers to prohibit the use of protected healthcare information on websites that IX hosts.

If you answer “yes” to both of the following questions, please contact legal@ixwebhosting.com no later than 09/23/2013.

  • Is your business a Covered Entity or a Business Associate as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA (45 CFR 160.103)?
  • If so, are you maintaining or transmitting Protected Health Information or PHI (defined in 45 CFR 160.103) using any of the IX services?

If you did not answer “yes” to both of the above questions, there is no need for further action

Please see below for some frequently asked questions.

We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to continuing to serve you.

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If I answer “yes” to both questions will my service be impacted or change as a result of the new regulations? What if I answer “no”?

If you answer “yes” to both questions your services will change. You must transfer to another hosting provider. Upon request, we can provide you with the name of a provider who is HIPAA compliant and operating in a HIPAA compliant data center. If you answer “no”, there will be no changes to your services at this time.


If I answer “yes” to both questions what will IX do with the information that I provide?

IX will use the information to recommend you transfer your account to a provider who can supply HIPAA compliant services.


Will I be contacted by an IX representative whenever new regulations apply to my business?

Not necessarily. We may contact you if the regulations apply to and affect IX’s provision of services to you.

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Important Yahoo Mail Update

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On Monday, July 15th, Yahoo Mail will be removing all inactive email accounts (specifically, those that haven’t been logged into for the past year) and will be releasing them back into the public domain.

This could potentially affect anyone who currently has a mailing list that includes these unresponsive Yahoo email addresses, because if someone else picks up the released email address and gets an unfamiliar email or newsletter, they may end up marking it as spam.

If you have a mailing list that may include some of these email addresses, you may want to identify and remove them as soon as possible. If someone re-registers one of the released emails, gets your newsletter by mistake, and marks it as spam, it can easily cause ISPs like Google and Gmail to block any further emails you attempt to send.

It’s never pleasant to have to delete subscribers, but it’s better than being marked as spam.

Remember, Yahoo is making this change on Monday, July 15th, so try and contact your Yahoo contacts ASAP.

 

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What the mailman dragged in

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So, yesterday my mailman brought me yet another one of those Domain Registry of Amer*** letters. These letters are seriously annoying.  Take a look (click below to see bigger image) :

If you didn’t already know, these letters are a notorious marketing ploy.  They try to convince you to renew your domain name with them by sending you an official-looking notice, by postal mail.  If you follow the directions, not only will you pay an arm and a leg for a year of registration, but you’ll also be transferring your domain registration to another company. I often get letters from customers, who ask me, “How did these scumbags get my snail mail address?”  It’s actually really easy.  And sort of scary, too.

Your domain name’s ownership information (it’s also called the “WHOIS information”) is available in a public database – which can be accessed by anyone.  See for yourself right here.

This is the same reason you usually started getting boatloads of spam to the email address associated with your domain.

Obviously this is bad.  Only for specific reasons would you want to share your info (and I’ll tell you about those in a couple of weeks).  But as a general rule, it’s better to hide your contact information from public view.

So how can you hide your contact information?

Until now, there hasn’t been a lot you can do about it.  But because so many of you have been asking for it, we’ve added a sweet new feature called Domain WHOIS Privacy.  It basically removes your information from the WHOIS database.  You still own your domain, but now you won’t have to deal with all the spam, fake mail, and telemarketing calls.  Of course you always have the option to turn privacy off at any time, but I don’t recommend it.

I’ve got all my personal names, and even some of my business names, protected with Domain WHOIS Privacy.  It works wonders and the spam you get decreases considerably.

So if you want to add it to your existing domain(s), it’s only $6/year (which is like one or two lattes from Starbucks, depending on how complicated of a person you are). And it’s well worth it.  Here are some instructions on turning privacy on.

To make it a no brainer, we’ve bundled domain privacy with new .com domain registrations. For a short time, you can register new .coms for just 4 bucks if you add domain privacy when you order them.

I hope you like this new feature, and that it’ll help you as much as it has helped me.

Yours,

Fathi Said, CEO
IX Web Hosting

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The importance of maintaining your web applications

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Web application maintenance is vital to the health and security of not only your website, but your entire hosting account.  Not only does this directly impact your security but also your reputation on the Internet.  Failure to maintain web applications is one of the leading causes of hacked sites.  A hacked site sees a negative impact on their Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What is a web application?

Generally, a web application is a type of application that is accessible over a network and usually uses a browser as the primary interface.  A more in-depth explanation can be found on Wikipedia, but that is beyond the intended scope of this post.  Web applications can come in many flavors and purposes.  Some are designed to help you manage and display content to your visitors.  Some are used as shopping carts to help you display and sell your products.  Others are designed to display content in a gallery format.  In the next section, I include a list of many of the popular web applications.

Why should I upgrade?

One reason new versions of applications are released is because new features are added.  That’s usually the first thought that comes to mine when you hear about a new version:  What was added?  Sometimes a new version is released and nothing obvious appears to have changed.  Chances are, that version was released to patch one or more security vulnerabilities.   Most applications include a change log file; reading it will explain what has changed from one version to the next.  To help illustrate the importance of these upgrades, I have compiled a list of some of the more common web applications and their corresponding advisory listings at the popular security site, Secunia:

You will notice that many of the advisories listed have been resolved by installing the current version.  While hosting account security hinges on many aspects of your account access, up-to-date software goes a long way towards keeping your account secure.  There are also several tutorials available to suggest configuration changes to make your applications more secure, here are two to get you started:

How do I maintain my site?

The very first thing to do is to backup your site.  It is imperative you back up your own site before every major change.  Do not depend on the hosting company’s regularly scheduled backups!  What would happen if the hosting company’s regularly scheduled backup occurs after you have made changes that did not have the desired effect – you would have nothing with which to revert.

Also, do not depend on plugins to handle your critical backups.  Consider for a moment:  All of my backups use a plugin inside my application.  After applying an update, access to my dashboard is broken.  I cannot restore from my backup without dashboard access.  This makes about as much sense as keeping the spare keys to your locker inside the locker.  Sure the spare keys are safe, but you’ll never open the locker to get your spares if you lose your main key.

To properly backup the site, you will want to download a copy of your web files using an FTP application and also export a SQL dump of the active database.  Both of these actions are outside the scope of this article, but check back in the coming weeks for more info.  Until then, Google is your friend!

Once you have a solid backup, log into the application’s dashboard and update each plugin individually before attempting the core application update.  This order is important as some plugins will need to be updated to be compatible with your application’s newest version.  This can be time consuming, but it is worth the effort of updating one module at a time.  If you succumb to the temptation to update them all at once and your testing shows some aspect of your site is broken, you will not know which plugin was the cause of the error.

When your testing is complete and all plugins are updated, then it is advisable to review your active plugins to ensure their compatibility with the core application’s update.  Personally, I would make a backup of this configuration now.  While not absolutely necessary, it will save you time if the core update breaks your site.  Now follow the update steps recommended by your core application.  Some have buttons to update within the dashboard, some require more intricate steps.

I like to take another full backup of the known good configuration after you have completed your updates of plugins and the core application.

Many web applications offer the ability to sign up for their newsletter.  This is a great way to keep yourself appraised of updates and will help you to continue maintaining your site.  Keep your web hosting account (as well as your visitors) safe!

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We're Always There When You Need Us The Most!

Your Dedicated Support

At IX, we take care of our customers. And dedicated support is one of the ways we prove to you again and again that we are here to help you every step of the way, regardless of your skill level. With IX dedicated support, you get a support technician personally assigned to assist you. You get their name, number, email, social media connections, and work schedule! It's just one more facet of our service which proves our deeply rooted belief that being a great hosting provider requires more than just cutting-edge technologies, but the best in support and service.