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Atol Solutions highly recommends the hosting services and helpdesk of Siteground. They are fabulous and have hosting centers in Noth America, Europe and Far Eas. Did you know that 80% of shoppers are influenced by product and service reviews and recommendations during the holiday shopping season. More than 50% of shoppers will do their holiday purchases online, and a quarter of those will be done during the Black Friday weekend. Do not miss the momentum. Guide the audience that trusts you to make a shopping decision that they will benefit from.
For more info, read the 7 tips below.
SSD drives on all plans!
Files and databases on all of our shared hosting plans are stored on cutting-edge Solid State Drive technology. SSDs provide for a 1000x increase in input/output operations as compared to regular drives.
SSD drives are included in all shared and cloud plans.
THE FASTEST WEB SERVER
NGINX server speed
We use NGINX web server technology to speed up the load of the static content of all the websites we host.
NGINX setup is included in all shared and cloud plans. It is also available for dedicated servers as part of the performance boosters.
BEST SPEED FOR WORDPRESS, JOOMLA & DRUPAL
For the most popular applications - WordPress, Joomla and Drupal we have also built our own caching mechanism based on NGINX reverse proxy. It speeds up dramatically the serving of the dynamic content of the sites too. Our SuperCacher also allows website speed optimization through memcached and Google page speed.
Learn how to activate the SuperCacher
FAST LOAD FROM ANYWHERE.
Free CDN available
Our free Cloudflare CDN makes your website load faster in any part of the world by caching its content and distributing it over multiple data centers. When foreign visitors access your website, our CDN delivers the content much faster from the data center closest to them.
Learn how to activate the Cloudflare CDN
THE FASTEST LOAD IN THE BROWSER
HTTP/2 enabled servers
HTTP/2 is the newest network protocol, which significantly speeds up loading of websites in the browser. We are proud to be among the first hosts to support it on all our servers. HTTP/2 requires encrypted connection. To allow anyone take advantage of this great protocol we provide Let’s Encrypt free SSL Certificates.
Learn how to activate Let’s Encrypt and HTTP/2
TOP SPEED PHP EXECUTION
PHP7 and HHVM
Whenever a technology or update is introduced, that makes php executions faster, you can count on us to implement it promptly on our servers. For example, we made it possible for our users to take advantage of PHP7, which is known for its great speed benefits, while it was still in beta.
Learn how to activate PHP7 for your account
Learn how to activate HHVM on a cloud account
Our platform is built on top of the cutting edge LXC (Linux containers) technology. We have chosen to use LXC, because it is extremely resource efficient, highly elastic and provides great stability in times of unexpected traffic spikes. While building our own implementation of the LXC, our talented DevOps have written multiple Linux Kernel patches, which we are proud to see now incorporated in the official Linux Kernel code itself.
Our in-house created server monitoring is another piece of art of the SiteGround DevOps team. It is extremely lightweight and can check the server status far more often than standard monitoring systems. It not only detects current issues and fixes them immediately, but is also able to foresee upcoming problems and to take actions to prevent them.
Two things are important for a good backup system: to create the backups with minimal resource usage and to allow for fast restore in times of need. The currently existing and massively used backup solutions did not perform to our high standards, and that is why in 2015 we have launched our own backup system, which has significantly reduced restore times.
Read how we now restore data 4 times faster.
Brute-force attacks by botnets are serious global issue that very few companies can handle effectively. We have developed an extremely effective Artificial Intelligence solution that stops between 500 000 and 2 million brute-force attempts per hour across all our servers before they have even reached our customers’ sites. It not only prevents unauthorized access, but saves your resources.
This was one of the first technological innovations SiteGround introduced back in 2008. We were the first to come up with an efficient CHROOT account isolation of accounts on shared servers at a time, when other hosts thought this was not possible. On our machines we still have one of the best security isolations in the industry.
As a web hosting company we move around tons of websites all the time. The most challenging migrations happen when physical datacenter locations are changed. On such occasions we transfer upwards of 300TB of data. It usually travels over the wire, but we have also physically moved server machines and literally transported websites by the truckload!
Another massive migration event is when we update our infrastructure, and move all our customers to a new platform (for example when we introduced the LXC infrastructure last year). We do this every other year, so that all our users’ websites can always take advantage of the most innovative solutions.
Yet there is another kind of website migrations, that seems more humble at the surface, but is actually extremely important for us, because it has been happening every single day since we started our company. This is the transfer of new customer websites that come from another host. We believe that this “welcome transfer” is an art of itself and here I will share how we have mastered it.
We provide free website transfers as part of our onboarding service since day one of our company. Currently we receive more than 3000 migration requests each month. The accumulated experience is tremendous and you can bet that our team has come across and solved (almost) any possible problem that can appear during a website transfer.
We know the pitfalls of the process of all the popular hosting providers, from which we see incoming users. For example, sometimes even the otherwise straightforward cPanel transfers can be made tricky by hosts that use a specific file structure. Being aware about such issues, we always manually go over the accounts of these users, and fix several things so that the website can start working flawlessly on our infrastructure.
We also have an extensive list of important things to be checked for all popular applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. when they are being moved to a new server. For example, some of the hosts that accommodate WordPress only, make crucial changes to the wp-config.php files of their users, which, if not reverted, may prevent the website from functioning on another platform. These include adding custom rules that will not work on a new environment, or including a closing php tag at the end of the file. Another thing we always check are the file and folder permissions. If they are not set right, this can result in an error on the front page of the website. The MySQL connection settings are also very important, and we check them with extra caution, so that the site does not continue to try to use the previous server MySQL, after the transfer.
The things mentioned above are just a small fraction of what we do when a website is being transferred. There are multiple other things that should be done and checked, depending on the particular host from which we make the move, the availability of a cPanel backup, whether we have SSH access or FTP only, if the transferred site is WordPress or another application, etc. To make sure all customers receive the same high quality of the transfer service, we have created an extensive procedure that is followed by all our transfer specialists and is being continuously updated. It also includes the activation of our own cool systems like application autoupdater, SuperCacher, etc. And to add a classy finishing touch, we even scan each website we transfer for malware as part of the procedure.
We want the best for the start of your journey at SiteGround, so we’ve worked hard to make our onboarding process quick and hassle free. While the above is just a summary of the magic that goes on behind the site migration, in essence it’s what leads us to the sweetest moment, when we can finally say - Welcome to SiteGround.
Our support team has advanced WordPress expertise and can be reached 24/7. With virtually no wait time on chat and phone and around 10 minutes for the first response in our ticketing system, we consistently achieve nearly 100% customer satisfaction rates.
Our hosting platform is built on the latest SSD hardware. Then we add our own caching tool, the SuperCacher, which uses NGINX technology to drastically increase WordPress speed. Last, our servers support PHP7 and HTTP/2, and come with a free CDN to make your website fly!
Our security experts constantly monitor for WordPress related vulnerabilities and proactively protect our users with custom WAF rules when needed. We also update your WordPress and its plugins automatically, and make daily backups of your hosting account.
The short answer is: very rarely. Having a highly redundant infrastructure with multiple SSDs in RAID almost eliminates the need of such restores. Normally, when an SSD fails, it is seamlessly replaced with a new piece of hardware without any noteworthy downtime or data loss. And disk failures are very common: for a provider of our size, it is normal to see such events on an almost daily basis. However, every now and then, a misfortunate coincidence of several hardware and software failures at once can make the standard hardware replacement impossible. And these are the times, when we need to restore all the accounts that were on the damaged instance from our backup copies.
The previous time we needed to make full backup restore of a whole shared hosting server was more than an year ago. Back then we were using R1Soft backup, which is among the most popular in our industry. Hosting providers like us use this software for two main reasons. First, it is quite reliable. We've almost never had any serious issues with missing and corrupt backups. And second, it is very lightweight and does not create significant load on the production servers while creating the backups (a resource-intensive process that takes place every day). With these two features R1Soft works perfectly in 99% of the time -- when it creates the backups and when individual backup copies are needed.
However, in the rare occasions when a full restore of multiple accounts is necessary, R1Soft has one serious drawback -- the recovery process is painfully slow and the affected sites can experience prolonged outage. In the event in question, all our affected accounts were down for 28 hours. It took this long for two reasons. First, R1Soft does not allow simultaneous restores from and to multiple locations. All the data needs to be recovered through one single network interface and this is slow. Another issue with R1Soft is that the recovery cannot be incremental and the server instance is down during the whole restore process. All affected sites can only come back online at the same time, after the whole information is transferred from the backup server to the production machine. Therefore, even the smallest website could not be brought back up until we have restored the full server.
Most shared hosting providers will hardly consider this story a serious problem that requires further actions once the restore is over. After all, only a single machine was affected and all customers got their websites back without data loss. The downtime of the sites was also almost negligible on an yearly basis: 28 hours are just 0,3% of the year. However, at SiteGround, we were quite unhappy with the duration of the issue and were determined to prevent this from repeating in the future.
That’s how we set our minds on creating our own backup system to guarantee a faster restore process and our talented DevOps department started working on it. We launched the new solution in October 2015 but it wasn’t until just a few days ago that we had to use it in an event similar to the one described above. Compared to our then-used solution R1Soft, our own system makes distributed backups and allows simultaneous restores from multiple backup instances to multiple production servers. Thus, we now were able to recover 4TB of data (which was nearly three times more than the previous time), in just 4 hours, compared to the 28 hours from the story above. Moreover, our system allows incremental recovery and the first accounts were up just a few minutes after the issue was identified, with the longest downtime (about 4 hours) affecting only few individual sites. This brought down the average downtime for all affected accounts to less than 2 hours, compared to 28 hours from before. Quite an impressive improvement, isn’t it? But...
Yes, it can! In our latest massive restore case, we actually were not able to use the Infiniband network connectivity between our backup servers and the production ones as planned in such cases. Thus the data was transferred through the standard network of 1 GBit/s, instead over the 10 Gbit/s Infiniband connection. This, we found, was due to a dormant hardware issue that we were able to discover only during an actual restore. However, we have already made sure that next time this will not be an issue, and thus will make the restore even faster.
Another thing is that with the new system we can theoretically restore on unlimited number of production instances simultaneously, but in practice we are limited, not by the backup system itself, but by the way our DNS system works at the moment. We had three instances affected by the issue and each of them had individual DNS. Thus we needed to restore to only three new instances using the old IPs, so that the domain names, which are not registered with us can continue to work as before and do not experience additional downtime, due to DNS propagation time. To avoid such limitation in the future we plan to work on a brand new central DNS and/or proxy system.
Our backup system story is just another example of how we approach problems. We are never satisfied to just fix the immediate issue and forget about it until the next time. We take each problem as a challenge that needs a unique solution. And if such a solution does not exist at that time, we never shy away from inventing it ourselves.
Each hour it blocks between 500 000 and 2 million brute-force attempts across all our servers. Thus, we have prevented an unknown number of potential unauthorized logins, but what is even more important -- we have managed to save an enormous amount of server resources that can now be used for a meaningful and legitimate activity by our users.
Malicious traffic is an enormous problem that probably affects every single website that is online. This traffic is usually created by bots trying to gain access to your site by brute-forcing its login. The bots perform multiple login attempts using different combinations of usernames and passwords. Actually, if you have a strong password, the chance of a successful bot login is minimal. However, this activity is still a serious problem. In their login attempts the bots use huge amount of server resources. For a personal blog, for example, it can exceed multiple times the legitimate traffic created by the real human visitors. Even if bot activity is not in big volumes resulting in denial of service, it can still make your hosting more costly by causing you to go over your account resources. The reason for that is that the account has to handle not only your legitimate visitors traffic, but unwanted bot traffic as well.
The main difficulty with fighting the bot activity is that bots are very clever and elusive. Bot attacks use different IPs and user agents, and often the data from attempts aimed at a single site login, or even a single server, is not good enough to determine a brute-forcing bot. We have had brute-force prevention system on each of our servers for a long time, but the new AI is much more efficient as it is able to collect and analyze simultaneously the data from all our servers. Based on the results of the analysis it can also automatically apply actions to stop unwanted bots. There are numerous indicators that our AI monitors in order to detect malicious behaviour patterns and block bad traffic. Some of them are:
Once our system flags a certain IP address or user agent as malicious, it’s been immediately blocked and challenged with a Captcha page. The system is learning continuously how to minimize false positives. If a human visitor reaches the captcha page and solves it, the address/agent related with this solution is whitelisted.
So, can you still use the plugin to configure your SuperCacher? Yes, and we highly recommend you do! As always, in order to take advantage of the dynamic caching and increase drastically the performance of your site you need to: use GrowBig or a higher hosting plan, switch on the service from your cPanel, and then switch on the service in the SuperCacher Config section of the SG Optimizer plugin. To learn more refer to our detailed SuperCacher tutorial.
You can also use the SG Optimizer to enable HTTPS with a single click. We’ve been automatically installing Let’s Encrypt certificates to all new domains since the end of 2016 and we wanted to make it possible for everyone to easily and effortlessly enable HTTPS for their WordPress site. The moment your site starts working through https, the HTTP2 protocol kicks in automatically since it’s enabled on all SiteGround servers. This means that on top of having your website loaded in compliance with the latest Google and Chrome encryption requirements you will also receive performance benefits that come from using the HTTP2 protocol.
We’ve already written few blog posts on this topic but I can’t get tired of emphasizing the amazing performance boost that using PHP 7.0 and above gives to your site. In a major effort to increase the use of PHP 7.0 or higher for the sites of our WordPress users, we've developed the third major functionality to the SG Optimizer. Thanks to this new addition you can check if your site is compatible with PHP 7.0, and upgrade to it right from your WordPress admin panel. See more in our detailed PHP 7.0 blog post.
As you can see all the functionalities in the SG Optimizer plugin help you use the systems and resources available on the SiteGround servers in order to make your WordPress faster and safer. If you have not installed the plugin yet, we strongly recommend you do it now!