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среда, 28 декабря 2016 г.

Why you need a dedicated server for your MMORPG?

Those who create MMORPG games know how many resources it requires when the number of users grows to several thousands of players a day. To deal with enormous volume of traffic and ensure smooth and trouble-free experience for users, you should try a dedicated server. This is the best alternative to all other types of web-hosting.

Dedicated server will provide you with enough resources guaranteeing outstanding performance, decent graphics and fast loading speed. Besides, managed servers require minimal owner’s maintenance which saves time greatly. This is especially important for beginners who don’t have enough technical skills. In case of server slowdown, failures and traffic spikes, your provider will fix everything for you. Note that dedicated server is not the cheapest solution, but its cost will pay off quickly.

How to make the right choice?

Pay attention to the following aspects when selecting a dedicated server:

1. Are your visitors concentrated in one certain region? If yes, choose a server that is physically closer to them. If players access your web-site from the entire globe, you may opt for a CDN (read more: https://www.jodihost.com/blog/reviews/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-essence-of-cdn ).
2. Choose a server that will be able to process the amount of traffic used. If your database contains more than 500,000 players, you will need a lot of RAM. 8-16 GB is optimal for the start.
3. Ensure that the provider has strong customer support and will be able to solve technical issues and problems for you. Thus, you won’t have to deal with angry users – the site will be always up and running.

Dedicated server is a great solution for MMORPG hosting. Investing into it you make sure that your web-site will load fast without risk of downtime.

How to attract traffic with the help of your web-content?

If you have launched an online project, but the number of visitors isn’t growing as fast as you expected, you should consider optimizing your web-site with the help of outstanding content. All in all, isn’t it what your visitors come for? Bare pieces of text won’t impress people. There are eight types of content that improves SEO, boosts traffic and helps to establish better contact with audience.

1. Infographics present information in compressed but very vivid way. They may contain contacts, offers, and statistics –literally everything. Make sure that your infographics are created by a professional designer. To attract more attention, use “gifographic” – an animated image.

2. Meme is a content that gives many visitors a real buzz: it touches burning issues and tells about the experience many people had making them laugh. Besides, memes are easy to create. But do not use them too often: abundance of memes may devaluate the image of your project.

3. Video is the basic type of content: it allows showing and explaining information so that people could understand and memorize it better. Start from a few clips, and look at visitors’ reaction. Note that if you are going to post many video, you should use a reliable and strong web-hosting solution (read about hosting solutions: https://inxyhost.com/blog/choosing-between-a-dedicated-server-and-hybrid-server ).

4. You have a lot of texts? Why not making them in the form of lists like “Top 10 methods…” or “8 shocking facts about…”? That attracts attention and makes reading simple and interesting. Besides, this is an easy task for writer because of its structure: introduction, the list and conclusion.

5. Discussions and reviews make for public outcry on your web-site: people like sharing their experience and opinions. Make a forum in the frames of your web-site, or allow users leaving comments to your articles, and they will communicate and surf your site eventually.

6. “How-to” is becoming a popular type of content today. Hire a copywriter who will create texts and instructions for your visitors, and don’t forget to add keywords and links.

7. Case study (explanation of how some certain product or service works and can help a user) is suitable in some certain niches and would be interesting for experienced and advanced users. You can promote products and services of your own brand, sincerely describing its pros and cons. 

8. Interviews with leaders and authoritative people will improve the image of your web-site and attract customers’ attention.

There are many other types of content available: try something new, or invent your own content. Make your site rich with various types of content, and you will boost traffic considerably.

понедельник, 26 декабря 2016 г.

How to select a good CDN? 4 important questions to ask


CDNs are becoming well-liked among many site developers being affordable and efficient, and many companies start using them in their work. The market is full of various CDNs, but it is a big mistake to go for the first solution offered. How to select a CDN correctly? Here are four major questions you should ask yourself when selecting a CDN.

  • Ask the company how performance is measured. Most likely, you will be told that their products are high-quality, 100% reliable and very effective. But performance depends on many other aspects. For instance, it is crucial to have a strong client support service and compliance with SLA terms. Other users value the speed of connection and content delivery. When you are looking through CDN solutions, pay attention to everything: cost, speed, support team and SLA.
  • Are users compensated for outages of network? They cannot be avoided even if you are promised 100% uptime. The main pitfall is that most providers compensate for downtime only in cases when a user notices them and asks foe refunding. Typically, the sum of compensation is defined by the time of outage. If a provider does not comply with SLA conditions, you should terminate the contract and try another company. Look for SLA that allows doing so.
  • How the price is calculated? There are two different payment models: per gigabyte and per bandwidth package. You should select which one is better for your exact business (learn more about pricing models: https://www.inxy.com/blog/comparison-of-cdn-pricing-models).
  •  What is included in delivery service? Some companies provide opportunities for streaming and mobile connection.
You should keep in mind which features are important for your online project when selecting a CDN. Use these four questions, and choice will be easier for you to make.



Origin shielding in CDN: How it protects your server?

How to make sure that your web-site will work smoothly during traffic spikes? One thing that protects your origin server from the flaw of requests and breakdowns is origin shielding. What is it, and how does it help?

What is CDN origin shielding?

This technology appeared recently. It redirects users’ requests from the origin server to some other points of presence and secondary PoPs that are used for failover situations. Origin shielding decreases the load from the origin server by redirecting requests from a special data center (it is also called “shield”) that is typically located near user’s origin server. This way several data-centers from the network do not need to request the same information from the origin server.
The main point of origin shielding is to make the user receive fewer requests for content from the content delivery network. Similar requests are duplicated, and content is delivered from CDN cache. As soon as origin shielding is activated, CDN will make a request for content from the origin server only in case if content has not been requested before. But even in this instance you will see that less bandwidth is used, and load on the server has decreased. In addition, origin shielding reduces expenses on origin egress.

How to activate the “Shield PoP”

Note that not all providers support the function of origin shielding. But if they do, you can customize and configure this option in admin panel within origin pull policy. Besides, there are different tools allowing testing performance from several PoPs working with the origin server. This function helps you to configure the best origin and the most effective PoP.  Usually CDN providers offer only one PoP which may be a shield of the network, but it is usually enough for providing protection.
If you want to learn more about CDN technologies and features, read this article: https://inxyhost.com/blog/cdn-terminology:-a-short-guide-for-the-starters



четверг, 22 декабря 2016 г.

Server Issues That May Influence Your Web-site

If users can’t access your web-site, they are more likely to go to the competitors. In many cases, server problems cause complications in work of a web-site: slow loading, quality degradation, or complete breakdown. Different studies show that slow loading of pages affects the perception of a company and brand, making users stress and abandon the web-site. How to avoid it? Learn to fix major server problems.

1. Security is the main condition of smooth work. You should always try to protect your customers and employees making the web-site secure.  Cyber attacks and viruses are more dangerous than you think. They can lead to server disruption, server cracking and data loss. Avoid it my selecting a managed host: it will examine the systems around the clock and provide effective services against security breaches.

2. Downtime is a real disaster: there is nothing worse that complete shutting down of your web-site. It may happen because of fires, floods, or simply cyber attacks. In the worst scenario, you may stay without any back-up options when a site crashes. Downtime takes its toll: a company may lose thousands, if not millions of dollars when the web-site is inaccessible. Use the security services of your hosting provider, and its specialists will do everything possible to resolve appearing problems.

3. Traffic management becomes a real challenge when it grows. Of course, boost of traffic is the sign that your online business is doing well. But traffic spikes are dangerous since they affect the speed and functionality of a web-site. To avoid such problem, you should choose an advanced hosting solution and work with a reliable provider. If anything, you may ask your provider to supply stronger hardware to make sure that your level of service is great.

4. Problems with hardware or software are almost inevitable. Your company may face them, too. To reduce the side effects, you should have a reliable customer support team. Good specialists may solve problems within minutes. Use a reputable data-center and professional help of tech staff to make your web-site always operable.

5. Slow page loading is what makes 50% of users abandon a web-site. Many things affect site speed (read here: https://inxyhost.com/blog/five-server-problems-that-may-affect-work-of-your-website), but it should not be your server. Order up-to-date models of servers from reliable providers and make sure it is monitored 24/7.



пятница, 16 декабря 2016 г.

Frequently used web hosting settings

As soon as you have started working with a hosting provider, you need to adjust settings so that to reach maximum efficiency and performance. Here are our recommendations concerning settings.

Security

Some providers allow setting security level between High, Medium and Low. As a rule, malicious attacks are stopped by blocking requests before they reach a server. These requects may come from automated bots that crawl your web-site and look for vulnerability. In other cases, the threat may come from a web user accessing sites from a “contaminated” computer and spreading viruses unknowingly. In this case, users visiting protected sites are required to enter a CAPTCHA. Security settings state which visitors are challenged according to their threat score. 
Your challenge page may be customized to look better on your web-site. The displayed text may be chosen, as well.

Development Mode

If you are going to alter cacheable content of your web-site (CSS, JavaScript, images), first go to development mode to make site changed be reflected immediately.

Purge Cache

If you want the renewed cacheable content to appear on your web-site immediately, use Purge Cache option that expires cached resources. But remember that it takes several days for the new cache to be introduced.

Analytics

Make sure that Google Analytics will be displayed on all of your pages: that will boost the accuracy of the analytics. Add Google Analytics' code, and you will ensure that the most recent version is used for analytics.

Settings in Pro Accounts

Some providers offer Pro accounts that feature additional options. They can be adjusted on the settings page:

·         Advanced Security achieved with the help of WAF (Web Application Firewall). It boosts protection against malicious attacks. Note that you can also choose the protection level from low to high just like in basic settings. Read what other solutions for server protection exist on https://www.inxy.com/blog/6-solutions-to-secure-your-server.

·         Web-site preloading. This option is offered not by all companied. Web-site preloader is a caching option that improves page loading time working with the most popular cached static resources for subsequent loading. If you don’t want JavaScript to run, turn this option off.



How to Fix Error 403?

When you see your web-site showing you the error 403 and word “Forbidden”, it is at least embracing. How come you can’t access your own web-site? If you run a project on WordPress basis, you can easily restore the access to your web-site, because it is easy and requires just several minutes when you use a cPanel or FTP.

Don’t forget to back up

Before doing any actions, perform a full backup of your web-site. Troubleshooting of error 403 requires altering the site, so you should be able to restore it just in case. As soon as backup is made, you can try to restore it with earlier backup to see whether the error will be eliminated this way. If you can’t access the back-end of your site, this is not an option for you.

Then you can start troubleshooting two ways (note that they are better to be done in this order):

1. Review User Permissions. If you use a plugin that manages users’ signups and accounts somehow, there may be a bug or some manual error that has accidentally locked your site. Since some plugins have control over permissions, you can access your database via phpMyAdmin to alter your admin account manually and include the missing permissions. If you don’t know what should be done with this or that plugin, consult the plugin developer or documentation.

Sometimes access to pages may be blocked by security plugins, which is actually not bad, because it lists the files and pages on your web-site. Sometimes hackers use certain file locations to attack a web-site directly, not searching for the targeted file.

2. Another step is to examine your file permissions, because every file in your site has some rules defining who can open and manage it. They are called permissions and they have been created to check if visitor is allowed to access what he has requested. If a user is prohibited to look at a file, an error 403 will appear.


Check for more information about error troubleshooting and resolving in https://inxyhost.com/blog/cdn:-errors-and-their-reasons.

вторник, 22 ноября 2016 г.

HTTP2 Protocol: How to Deliver Content Faster



In 1990, HTTP was introduces as a method to allow browsers request information from servers where web-sites are hosted. But there is a more advanced option today: HTTP2. It was invented by engineers and IT specialists working in the biggest enterprises. HTTP2 ensures quicker and safer data loading, enhancing users’ security. It may handle the same requests without damaging servers.

HTTP2 Essentials

HTTPS is based on SPDY protocol that connects HTTP and HTTPS protocols, simplifying, tokenizing and compressing requests. They both make browsing faster allowing making several requests at once. What is the difference between HTTP and HTTP2? HTTP2 is a binary protocol that is less prone to errors and more compact. In comparison with HTTP that is textual, HTTP2 is multiplexed, which makes parallel connection possible.

Evolution of HTTP2

Over time, HTTP2 acquired the following improvements:
  • ·     Multiplexing, e.g. ability to same multiple requests over the same TCP connection and get responses out of order.
  • ·         Dependency of stream: user may indicate to the server which resources are in priority.
  • ·         Server push, e.g. sending the resources that have not been requested by the client yet.

Where is it used?

Implementing HTTP2, you don’t have to change applications or websites to ensure their proper work – they will function uninterrupted, consuming fewer resources of client and server. Many global organizations use HTTP2 connection on browsers, benefiting from better security and performance. In the future, many of them plan to replace SPDY totally with HTTP2. 

HTTP2 standard was approved in February 2015, and most browsers already support it. If you are CDN user, you can allow implementing this technology, too. With HTTP2, you will greatly improve page loading speed and user’s experience. The sooner you grasp the possibilities, the more successful your project will be! 

четверг, 17 ноября 2016 г.

7 Tasks to Keep Your Server Up-to-Date

If you have leased a high-quality dedicated server with full management, there are still some things that need be done to ensure its good performance and protection. Here are seven monthly tasks for server maintenance that should turn into your habits.

1. Take backups. When it comes to your data, you should always be proactive. Happily, there are convenient tools for monthly backups, such as cPanel. To activate it, open your Web Hosting Manager account, select “Backup Configuration” and enable “Backup Status” settings.
In your account, you may always specify the settings and select between daily, weekly, or monthly backup, or even combine these options. It is highly recommended to save backups on some destination different from the local one. It will save you in case of hardware failure, data stealing and other errors.
WHM has various “Scheduling and Retention” settings that let you specify when the backup process runs. Choose between daily, weekly, or monthly backups, or a combination of the three settings. Your system then creates a backup on the day you choose.

2. Use the latest CMS installations. No matter what CMS you choose - WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or something else – make sure you have the most current installment. This way, you will have all security improvements. As a rule, update patches are offered automatically. Don’t forget to perform backup before updating.

3. Update all plugins and themes and delete the ones you don’t need any more. Besides, get rid of third party plugins, because they bloat and slow down your site dramatically. 

4. Check RAID alarms and do not miss notes about any kind of disc failure, because sometimes only a single disc failure is accepted before it stops functioning.

5. Eliminate old and unnecessary content. Remove all databases, scripts, and files that are no longer used.

6. Clean your e-mail. If you don’t delete messages immediately, get the habit to check and delete them at least once a month. Thus, you make sure your account won’t reach the limit. To boost security, remove email addresses that are no longer used (for instance, “Info@”, “test@”, and “admin@”) to reduce the chances of crack down on spam, because these addresses are often targeted by hackers.


7. Change old passwords. Alter your password for at least every few months, and do not use the same password for different logins. 

вторник, 15 ноября 2016 г.

4 Reasons Why Your CDN Still Works Slowly


A CDN (content delivery network) is a technology that makes web page loading faster, but there are some factors that slow down your applications or website despite using such a network. If you are considering using a CDN, or have already implemented it, here are four things that you should settle up to achieve better performance.

Do you have enough hardware resources?

Although CDN offloads traffic from the origin server, your hardware may be not enough to provide sufficient speed even though it is lightened. If you observe usage spikes of CPU and RAM, it’s time to upgrade hardware resources. By the way, CPU spikes and leaks of memory can be caused by software bugs or misconfigurations. Ensure that you have the latest patches of OS and software, and check server configurations.

Problems of Network

Accidents can cause serious delays on several routes. Despite being a reliable and helpful, CDN cannot do anything with server’s ISP and prevent bandwidth bottleneck. Internet outages can be conditioned by natural disasters, DDoS attack, stealing and damage of optic cables, hardware outage and issues with ISP routing.

Third party objects

Today, sites often use objects from third parties: JavaScript, analytic tools, and media files, which helps to cut expenses. But CDN accelerates only what comes from your server, not third party servers. If such objects comprise more than 30% of page, improvement from CDN won’t be so considerable. The more third part objects are used, the less CDN effect is observed.

Inaccurate cache settings

The more objects from a web-site can be cached, the higher CDN benefits are. Mind that some objects, such as scripts and html files cannot be cached as they should be updated often, and you can set sow cache frequency for them. However, objects that do not change (static content) should be cached properly to optimize CDN use. Watch for cache control age: if it expires, the next request will get back to server instead of CDN’s edge.
CDN can help to solve most problems that solve slow speed of websites and applications, but some factors cannot be controlled with this technology. Watch for these four possible reasons for slow performance, and don’t let them spoil your CDN’s potential.



пятница, 11 ноября 2016 г.

How to Optimize CDN Performance and Uptime

If you your site runs on CDN service, you may be interested in ways to optimize its work and make it even faster than before. Here are some techniques worth of anybody’s consideration, because they are commonly beneficial for caching and performance being cost-efficient.

Setting a Default TTL

Setting a default time to live (TTL) for cached data is defined by the type of your website. If you have a news site that is updated several times a day, TTL of two minutes may be required. On the contrary, an e-commerce website where information stays almost the same every day may have a default TTL of 1 week. Ideally, browser cache time should be a bit shorter than CDN cache time so that a user would load data locally from browser instead of transferring CDN cache of original server. To find out what optimal TTL should be like, analyze how often web-site is updated, and how often it is visited by an average customer.

Strip Cookies for More Cache Hits

When a static object sets cookies on the client’s side, CDN assumes that cookies are dynamic, which causes cache miss. Check whether your origin server sets cookies, and, if it is allowed, change it. If that is not possible, see if your CDN can ignore cookies from origin server’s response. That will boost CDN ability to cache objects. 

Ignore Query Strings for More Cache Hits

Query strings can create the same problem of cacheability as described above. When they are included in URLs of static objects, they are considered to be unique objects and are requested from the origin server every time. It results into less cache hit value. If you disable such option, CDN will ignore query strings, which will improve cache hit. 

Use the If-Modified-Since Header

When a TTL file expires on CDN, it pulls a new copy from the origin server, even if the file was not changed. That results into unnecessary bandwidth consumption. The If-Modified-Since header may be used in requests from CDN to the origin server. Studies show that If-Modified-Since cuts origin strain by 70%, and that helps to offload the origin server considerably. 

Select an Appropriate Pricing Model

CDN market offers two different pricing models: per-gigabyte pricing and pipeline pricing. Simply stating, the first variant is good for sites with fluctuating traffic, while the second one will be suitable for web-sites with more or less stable traffic patterns. With per-gigabyte pricing client may have a certain amount of bandwidth a month that can be used when and how needed. With pipeline pricing (also called 95/5 pricing), certain amount of bandwidth per second is set. It is cheaper, and is better or sites that don’t experience considerable traffic spikes.



Popular services for URL shortening

If your web-site pages obtain long web-addresses, you can generate a short link that will be easy to type and use, and will make a text with link more visually attractive. There are several reliable free services that help to make a long web-address shorter. How do they work? You provide a long URL to some certain page, and get a shorter URL from service provider. URL shorteners work with the help of such function as redirect, or URL redirection. The shortened URL redirects users to the old long URL.
There are many free URL shortening services that are very simple in use: you just enter your web URL, click a button, and the new URL is generated. Then you can copy and paste the new URL wherever you want – in email, social media, other web-sites, etc. This type of service has many names: URL redirection, URL generator, URL shortener, URL forward, URL shortening, and URL shrinker (the last two names are most common). 

Here are some of free services:

    Ad.fly
    EasyURL
    Bit.ly
    Cutt.us
    doiop.com
    Fur.ly
    v.gd
    is.gd
    ity.im
    McAfee Secure Short
    Ow.ly
    Goo.gl
    Po.st
    Qr.net
    reducelnk
    ShrinkURL
    Su.pr
    TinyURL
    u.to
      Short URLs are quite common in social media, besides, some social media sites already have URL redirection in their platforms. These services can be used when you post URLs within a social network site. URL toolbars are preferable, because they are compatible with vast majority of web-browsers and JavaScript. When you visit a web-page, you can clink on the button from this toolbar, and it will create a short URL of the address.