Solar VPS Blog

Best Practices For Working From Home: One Year Later

Learn to work from home effectively .
Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many people found themselves working from home for the first time. Many employees were unprepared for the sudden shift from an office or business setting to sitting in their living room to get work done. Everybody was overwhelmed but learned to adapt to endless Zoom meetings, functioning entirely online, many phone calls, and working with customers to make business operations as smooth as possible. No matter the field you work in, chances are this all sounds familiar on some level. 

As difficult as this time has been for everyone, we can all say we have learned a lot about working from home. Working remotely doesn’t have to be daunting. At Solar VPS, we understand these frustrations but are here to help you through it all. Here are some best practices that might help you continue to work from home even after the worst of the virus has subsided. 

Create a Focused Work Environment

One of the critical factors to being productive when working from home is to create a focused work environment. When you work in an office setting, you become used to having everything you need at your fingertips. Office settings are conducive to productivity because they are set up to help individuals focus. It is also easier because you have others nearby to help if you have questions, brainstorm ideas, and make sure that you are hard at work. When you are at home, there are numerous distractions, especially if you are home alone. Young children home from school, other adults, and even needy pets can cause you to be less productive when working from home. As a result, you need to try to create the best work environment possible. 

Some tips we have for you at Solar VPS include dressing as you would for work, establishing a concrete work time and space, and connecting with nature. Dressing like you would for work puts you in the mindset of your former work environment and reminds you that you aren’t at home to lounge on the couch. While your hours may be more flexible, establishing a general routine and dedicated space is still a good idea. Even if this space is not a home office, try to use a regular space, such as a table or outdoor setting. Working outdoors close to nature is a safe way to increase productivity, because fresh air works wonders for the brain. These small changes can help create a focused work environment that is bound to help you get more work done. 

Ask Others What They Are Doing

Another good idea is to brainstorm with others, even if they work elsewhere. Everyone is going through this together, and maybe a friend, colleague, or family member has an effective method for working from home that they could share with you. This will also help you not to feel so isolated while you are at home. Just remember to social distance when bouncing ideas off one another, or share them virtually. Video conferencing is the best way to communicate; it is safe and allows both visual and audio contact. 

Practice these habits to work from home.
Image by Luis Ricardo Rivera from Pixabay

Give Yourself A Break

While it is crucial to learn how to work hard from home, it is also important to realize that these changes can be stressful. Mental health is just as necessary as social distancing to protect your physical health. Because of this, it’s a good idea to learn how to give yourself a break. These breaks don’t have to be long, but taking a short walk, drinking a mug of tea or coffee, or taking some time to cuddle with your furry pals might help increase your productivity. Sometimes sitting in front of a screen for hours trying to force work to happen when you are lagging isn’t worth it. Take a break and come back refreshed!

Invest in the Best Technologies

You don’t have to break the bank or buy entirely new versions of the technologies you are currently using, but investing in some essential upgrades can’t hurt. Even if your business plans on eventually returning to the way it ran before the pandemic, these technology upgrades will still be helpful. You want to be as efficient as possible when working from home, so choosing the best technologies is critical. Solar VPS offers a wide variety of services, including cloud-based and dedicated servers, multiple add-ons, and reliable and secure data centers.

Contact Solar VPS Today

Solar VPS is here for all of your computer, web hosting, and technology needs. We understand that you need fast, reliable, and secure computer systems to keep your business running smoothly, especially when you’re working from home. We also understand that unforeseen circumstances may arise. Therefore, we make ourselves available to you with just a quick phone call. Want to learn more about our services and what we can do for you? Give us a call today toll-free at (800) 799-1713, or follow us on our social media platforms for more information.

What to Insist on in a Web Hosting Partner

Web hosting has become increasingly popular among business owners looking to boost their operations. However, starting in the world of web hosting can be a little difficult for beginners. When creating your web hosting enterprise, you want to establish a strong foundation with a reliable web hosting partner. Finding the right web hosting partner for you does not have to be complicated; you should remember that your needs as a business owner should come first. Solar VPS is here to help you navigate the world of web hosting step by step. Here are some elements you should consider and insist on when searching for your web hosting partner.

What is a web hosting partner?

If you are entering the world of web infrastructure, the different terminology you hear can seem overwhelming. In terms of web hosting, a web hosting partner refers to any third-party company that helps your business with web hosting services. A web hosting partner provides services that include running data centers, organizing and granting you access to various cloud platforms, and providing excellent data security for your business operations. 

Web hosting provider gives 6 tips for creating good content
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Brainstorm your needs

Before you even begin looking at different web hosting partners, you must assess what your company’s needs are. Not everyone needs the same range of services, especially if you are a smaller business starting. You can continually expand and add various options later if you decided they would be helpful. Therefore, it is essential to write a list of your enterprise’s needs and some primary financial restraints. This will help you narrow down your search for a web hosting partner from the outset. It will also teach you how to ask potential companies the right questions when you begin your search process. 

Choosing a web hosting partner

As you begin the process of selecting a web hosting partner, keep in mind your list of critical needs. Additionally, there are some general guidelines and priorities you should insist on with any web hosting company. 

  • Reliable Servers

When you are trusting a web hosting partner with your business-sensitive data, you must have reliable servers. The last thing you want is servers crashing or becoming vulnerable to data breaches when you need them most. 

  • Data Security

This should probably be at the very top of your list when insisting on critical features in a web hosting partner. If your data security is at fault, you could risk exposing clients’ personal information and essential business data. To protect your company’s future, make sure you find a web hosting provider known for their data protection. Solar VPS offers clients a fast web hosting platform with increased data security measures. 

  • Affordability

You want a service that is reliable and secure but at an affordable price. Check out Solar VPS’s numerous pricing options to find what is right for you today. Never compromise quality or your wallet. 

  • Timely Support System

Web hosting can pose several challenges to newbies, so you must work with a partner who’s there for you. Most web hosting services are helpful initially, but then become distant as problems arise in the future. It’s a good idea to mandate that your web hosting partner is available to help you with all of your needs. Solar VPS is available for clients 24/7 to answer all your questions.  

  • Fast Speeds

Part of web hosting is being able to quickly and efficiently carry out the ins and outs of your business. You can’t operate a business well without fast connection speeds; therefore, it is worth considering web hosting partners with high ratings on their infrastructure speeds. 

  • Reliable Backup System

You never want to run the risk of losing all of your business’s critical information. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that you have a reliable backup system. Your web hosting partner might offer various options for backing up your data to help you ensure all your needs are met. 

  • Easy to Navigate

Having an easy-to-navigate web hosting landscape is especially important for those new to web hosting. Make sure to put web hosting companies like Solar VPS at the top of your list for their high rating with easy navigation. 

  • Guaranteed Uptime

You don’t want to risk losing valuable time and money with crashes. When searching for a web host provider, make sure you look for one with a high guaranteed uptime to keep your business’s operations running smoothly. 

  • Scalability

You never know what your future web hosting needs will be. Therefore, it is a good idea to find a web hosting provider that offers a wide swath of scalability capabilities. Scalability makes it easier for you to add or subtract various services as you need them in your business enterprise. Solar VPS offers numerous plans which are easily scalable for all of your needs. 

Remember that your web hosting needs may differ from other enterprises, so you don’t want to model your hosting system off different businesses. It’s best to consider your enterprise’s needs and then search for a web hosting partner, like Solar VPS, that offers those services for you. 

Contact Solar VPS Today

Solar VPS is here for all of your web hosting needs. We understand that establishing a reliable connection with your web hosting partner is critical for smooth business operations. Want to learn more about our services and what we can do for you? Give us a call today toll-free at (800) 799-1713, or follow us on our social media platforms for more information. 

What to Look for When Searching for a Web Service Provider

Cloud VPS web service providers

Before your website launches, selecting a web hosting company is a major consideration. With the number of web service providers in the marketplace, knowing what to look for in your search saves time. It’s also helpful to know what you need from a provider to help cut through the hype. 

Or, maybe you’re looking for a change because the web host provider you originally selected didn’t deliver as expected. When searching for a new web host provider, there are basic things to look for and expect. 

Look For Web Service Providers with the Best Speeds

Today’s users expect websites to load quickly. In fact, if a site takes longer than two seconds to load, many users leave. It is also important that search engines use page speeds as ranking factors. As a result, choosing a web host provider with the processing power for lightning-fast page loads is your best bet. 

The other factor related to speed is consistency. Web host providers with limited shared resource solutions mean your site is affected by things outside of your control. If another site experiences a traffic spike, your page might be slowed down. The way to avoid this competition for resources and achieve consistently fast uploads is with a cloud VPS provider. 

Expect your web host provider to provide the infrastructure necessary for the best speeds. SolarVPS offers this advantage to customers with five state-of-the-art data centers. We built our centers with the best Juniper networks possible. Our customers enjoy connectivity via a ten-gigabit fiber upstream and diverse carrier IP transit. 

Select A Web Host Provider that Provides Maximum Uptime

Your hard work is in vain if a user visits your site and it’s down. When selecting a web service provider, check their uptime percentages to avoid this problem. The recommendation is a web hosting provider that offers guaranteed uptime. The parameter to expect is a guaranteed uptime of 99.5 percent. SolarVPS invested in the technology and infrastructure to provide our customers this maximum uptime. 

Make Sure a Web Host Provider Offers 24/7 Support

Your website is open for business 24/7, every day of the year. A web host provider needs to be available to provide support anytime you need it. Additionally, check for web service providers that offer around-the-clock support at a reasonable price or in a pay-as-you-need-it plan. 

Look for Scalable Solutions from Web Host Providers 

A scalable web hosting solution grows with your site. As your website needs increase, you purchase additional resources in increments with scalable solutions. The advantage is you aren’t paying for more than you need from a web hosting provider. 

Solar VPS cloud hosting plans are scalable and save you money while offering growth options. You purchase additional resources in increments accessed easily online. 

Web Host Providers and Pricing

Website hosting plans vary widely in cost. Some host providers lure customers in with “free” plans – but read the fine print. A web host provider offering something for free expects something in return. For example, they run ads on your site in exchange for their service. Or, the free site is actually an add-on for a larger package. Finally, free web hosting does not always offer the best performance. 

While caution is necessary for free web host offers, there are affordable solutions available. It pays to shop around for the best deal and performance. Another thing to look for from web host providers is the option of cost savings when you commit to longer contracts. 

While some host providers offer a low fee that you pay monthly, this is usually not the most cost-effective solution. The best deals host providers offer are for annual upfront payment. SolarVPS offers an annual plan, but also has the option of subscribing in shorter increments with cost savings.

Additional Features to Expect From a Web Host Provider

Web host providers offer a variety of both included and optional features and services. Depending on your website’s needs, look for options like hosting control panels and disaster recovery backups. Also, host providers like Solar VPS offer multiple IP addresses if that is what you require.

The interface provided by the web host to manage your page is another consideration. Regardless of your skill level, it doesn’t need to be cryptic or complicated. Check for examples of a web host provider’s interface panel before committing to ensure it’s simple and easy to use. 

A Cloud VPS Web Host Provider 

We offer affordable cloud-based VPS web hosting services. Our hosting packages work for websites of any size. The Solar VPS Cloud Apps on Demand is a good starting place for many new to cloud hosting. The Linux and Windows cloud hosting options we provide are also accessible solutions for any type of business. 

Users starting with a monthly package to try us out appreciate the option of upgrading to longer subscriptions. The cost savings escalate along with the number of months purchased upfront. Additionally, our customers tailor their hosting service with scalable solutions and tech support options. When you are ready for a cloud VPS web host that offers amazing speeds, vast storage options, and maximum uptime, select one of our plans online

How to Recognize Web Abuse And What To Do About It

Different web hosting services may inadvertently find themselves providing service to entities that are engaged in web abuse. The concept of web abuse covers many different topics and can range anywhere from cyberbullying to committing fraud and spreading malware. The internet exists in all our lives to varying degrees. Today, we are constantly plugged in. The more exposure people have to the internet, the higher the likelihood that one may encounter web abuse in some form or another.

Here are just a few different types of web abuse, how to identify them, and how to report them. 

Cyberbullying

This form of abuse can lead to serious consequences for the parties involved. As people have increased access to the internet, especially students, the opportunities for cyberbullying increase. This form of abuse is more commonly seen on social media websites or any other platforms in which people may interact with one another, such as online video games.

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, 73% of students said they experienced bullying in 2020. Additionally, four out of five students stated they experienced cyberbullying in some form. Two-thirds of these students stated that the bullying made them struggle in school.

It is clear that cyberbullying has a significant impact on those who endure it. If you see something that you suspect may be cyberbullying, it should be reported to the web hosting service, an administrator of the site, or the appropriate authority, depending on the platform and severity of the cyberbullying. Also, be aware of sites that are designed specifically for spreading derogatory information about or pictures of individuals. 

Phishing

Phishing is a method of surreptitiously acquiring a person’s private information. This can be done through a few methods. A person can create a fraudulent website that poses as legitimate while requesting a person’s details. Another method can be seen through social media or emails. A person will email or message a victim and inquire for their details. These details usually involve passwords, credit/debit card information, names, dates of birth, and other identifying factors that can be used by fraudsters. 

Unfortunately, the elderly are a common target of phishing. If you notice a friend or loved one who is talking about someone they met online and how they are sharing information with them, there is a possibility they may be a victim of phishing. In addition, be on the lookout for people who are requesting funds via Western Union or cryptocurrency. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to successfully track down a fraudster who uses those methods of currency transfer. 

Some phishers create websites that pose as “official” well-known companies such as Google or Apple. On these websites they will indicate to a viewer that they have supposedly lost access to their account and must input their information on this false website. On the other side of the website, the phisher will receive that login information.

If you notice a suspicious website that is asking for information or is obviously posing as something else, you should contact the web hosting service to report what you see.

Malware

A malware website is one that attempts to install malicious software onto a browser’s computer. This malicious software is usually used to disable their computer system or to acquire information. For particularly malicious hackers, malware can even be used to take full control of a computer system. 

One example of a recent malware cyberattack happened at the University of Vermont’s Health Network. The computer system for the entire hospital network was shut down and hackers demanded a payment in cryptocurrency. This can also be referred to as “ransomware,” in which a computer system is essentially held hostage until a ransom is paid off. 

Malware can be uploaded to legitimate and well-meaning websites without the domain owner’s knowledge. Some tactics that hackers use are through phishing, misdirection, SQL injections, or DDOS attacks. If you are a website owner and notice changes to your domain, you should immediately contact your web hosting services.

Some changes to be on the lookout for are account/password changes that you did not request, changes to the content of your website, unexplained decrease in traffic to your website, changes to search engine results, and bugs/glitches on your page. 

You can also take the time to review your code and files that support your domain. This can involve different levels of effort and time, based on the complexity of the files and severity of the threat. Depending on the nature of the cyberattack, there are often typical codes or syntax that a hacker may use. If you identify any of these codes or syntax, contact the security team at your web hosting service. 

SQL Injections

These attacks are one of the more common methods of installing ransomware. This tactic allows a hacker to interfere with the data that is input on a website or other application. These can be uploaded using the above-mentioned tactics onto under-protected websites and applications. It involves the hacker uploading code that will allow them to interfere with data entry fields.

If you notice signs of an SQL injection after running a malware scanner or see changes to your website code, you should contact your web hosting services.

SolarVPS and Security

As software and the internet continues to evolve, so too do the threats presented by cybercriminals. In order to successfully avoid cyberattacks, you must continuously monitor your software and domain while regularly updating the systems as well. If you notice other websites being used for malicious purposes, you should consider contacting the web hosting service regarding the abuse. 

At SolarVPS, we strive to keep our customers and their domains safe and secure. Our dedicated IT team will be able to support you and reduce downtime of your domain in the event of a cyberattack. If you notice your website or another website has been compromised, contact our security team at abuse@solarvps.com

What To Do When The Domain Name You Want Is Taken

If you are starting a new business or looking to set up a website for any reason, finding out that your desired domain name is taken can be frustrating. Sometimes it requires you to get creative; other times, you may be able to take certain steps to acquire the name. Depending on the web hosting services that are hosting the domain, you may have different options to pursue.

Web service providers

It is important to carefully research your options if you encounter challenges when trying to establish your domain name. 

Offering to Purchase the Domain Name

You can learn the contact information of the owner through a service such as https://lookup.icann.org/lookup. However, the owner’s contact information is not necessarily always public. The contact information may also be present on the website itself. 

Beware of a technique called “domain squatting” or “cybersquatting” when you finally do make contact with the domain owner. This technique involves an individual buying a domain name and holding it for a period of time until someone wants to purchase it. The price for the domain name is then inflated and the owner will request an exorbitant price. If this occurs, you can contact the web hosting services that are hosting the domain name for a possible resolution. 

If you encounter a domain name owner who is operating in good faith and is willing to sell the domain at a reasonable price, this may be one way to resolve your issue. Unfortunately, it takes more time and will cost you money. There are other possibilities open to you that will cost less and save time.

Modify the Name You Want

This is a possibility depending on whether you feel it will not have any major impact on your goals. Remember that domain names should be simple and to the point. For example, if you wanted to have the word “Company” in your domain name, but the exact phrase is already taken, perhaps you could shorten it to “Co” instead of “Company.” It may not be precisely what you had in mind, but it will still get the point across. Get creative, so long as you feel your goal will still be accomplished.

You can also change the suffix to “.net” or “.org.” It is reasonable to seek out a “.com” instead because that is the most popular suffix; however, that is not always an option. Even though this is a quick solution, it may be problematic in drawing traffic to your site. Those less-used suffixes are not as popular for that reason. You may also want to be careful that you are not inadvertently infringing on another domain’s name. It is also possible to add a country to your suffix that will allow you to separate your domain from others. For example, you could add “.uk” or “.us” to the ending. 

Start Over With the Name

If your business or website idea is in its infancy stage, it may save you more time and energy to just take a step back and rethink the name you want. Although it is not what you had in mind in the first place, it may protect you from someone else filing a trademark infringement as well. 

Additionally, if someone else already owns your desired domain name, starting over with a new name may help to avoid confusion. If you come up with something completely different, you will likely worry less about viewers going to the wrong website, getting confused, or possibly even visiting your competitor’s website instead of yours. 

Simplify the Name

If your company or website idea has a long name, it may be worthwhile to try simplifying it or abbreviating it. Website names are more effective when they are shortened and simplified. This allows users to more easily remember them, or to more easily share the website information through word-of-mouth. 

Trademark Lawsuit

If your domain name is part of a trademarked brand or phrase, you may be able to file a trademark infringement lawsuit. In this scenario, you would take the domain name owner to court and if you prevail, the domain name will be handed over to you. It is also possible you may be awarded monetary damages if you can prove the defendant has caused you to lose money. This approach will cost money in the form of retaining an attorney; however, if you prevail, you may also be awarded attorney’s fees. 

This approach may also take a long time. Litigation in these matters can move slowly, depending on the jurisdiction. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney in this matter if you have exhausted other, simpler options. 

ICANN Dispute

ICANN is an international nonprofit organization that oversees and manages domain names around the world. They are the entity previously mentioned that manages the system in which you can look up domain name owners at https://lookup.icann.org/lookup. ICANN has a system called Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which will allow you to initiate a dispute if you encounter trademark infringement or cybersquatting. 

If you do encounter trademark infringement and the domain name owner is in a foreign country, you may have an even more complicated lawsuit if you retain an attorney. Litigating international law is expensive, complicated, and time-consuming. Resolving disputes through UDRP may be a more effective way to acquire your domain name. 

UDRP can also be an effective way to resolve cybersquatting disputes. 

UDRP disputes on average cost between $1,000 and $2,500. They are resolved on average within 57 days. That is significantly less expensive and less time-consuming than hiring an attorney to litigate the matter. 

Contact Solar VPS 

If you are looking to set up a virtual private server or are seeking additional web hosting services, contact Solar VPS for additional information. Solar VPS has been providing web hosting services since 2005 and can work with you to meet your goals. 

What a Control Panel Does and Why You Need One

A hosting control panel is a simple graphic user interface (GUI) for managing web hosting services. In the past, managing web services required a high level of technical knowledge. Today, control panels make it easier for individuals of varying technical levels to manage web services. 

web hosting services control panel man looking at screen

Some system administrators can manage functions without a control panel but appreciate that they save time. Web design companies use control panels for managing multiple aspects of their web presence. They also find control panels helpful for controlling server management operations. 

Managing Domains on a Control Panel for Your Web Hosting Sevices 

A hosting control panel allows easier management of web site domains. Subdomains are added and managed from the control panel. Subdomains allow the user to add a separate area on their site or another site altogether. The benefit is they use the same domain name with prefixes. 

The control panel gives the option of adding many domains to the host server. These are considered add-on domains. From the control panel, a user can assign an add-on domain to an individual website. In addition, they can create a parked domain that points to an existing site. 

How a Control Panel Supports DNS Management

A hosting control panel allows the administrator to customize DNS for every add-on domain that is hosted. The control panel is a way to manage this in an organized fashion. All of the DNS records are available for access from the control panel. 

File Management with a Control Panel 

Some people struggle to manage the files on their laptops. Imagine the difficulties in managing a server with a vast number of files. The control panel is an easy way to upload, remove, and manage server files. Admins manage files daily, and this process is simplified with a control panel GUI. 

Managing Mailboxes on a Control Panel

Managing the number of mailboxes associated with a domain is often a headache. A control panel makes it a painless process. From the control panel, an admin can create, remove, and manage mailbox accounts. 

Some control panels allow for mail forwarding which is a nice feature. The control panel is also where the admin configures anti-spam solutions. The admin can also monitor what is being caught in spam folders from a control panel. 

Logging and Monitoring with a Control Panel

It’s critical for an administrator to monitor usage statistics: specifically, site visitor counts, bandwidth, and memory use. The control panel puts these functions at the admin’s fingertips. 

Advanced Control Panel Features

The ability to manage TLS/SSL is a critical feature of a control panel. Encryption features keep confidential data from being intercepted. It’s a way to safeguard user information and credit card numbers.

Control Panel Security Features

Control panels help protect against Hotlinking. Hotlinking is when another website links to images on a site and claims them as their own. Not only is this a security problem, but it also takes up bandwidth. 

Some control panels include ModSecurity. ModSecurity is an open-source firewall. ModSecurity helps prevent unauthorized users by blocking IP addresses. ModSecurity also helps the admin monitor logging activity and limiting access when necessary. 

Control Panel Automation for Web Hosting Services

Most administrators prefer the convenience of automatic server maintenance. Many control panels allow the admin to use Chron for scheduling maintenance. Tasks like backups and checking for broken links are easily scheduled automatically on control panels. 

Control Panels and Custom Error Pages

Control panels allow administrators to set up custom error messages. Hopefully, this isn’t necessary often with a good web hosting provider! But when they do happen, the administrator can create a custom message that could even include the company logo or instructions on what to do when receiving the error. Custom error messages project a professional image that leaves a better impression than the standard 404 message.

Do You Need a Control Panel for Your Web Hosting Services?

Control panels make life easier for system administrators and enhance the management of web hosting services. A control panel is helpful for automated configurations. It also manages many of the everyday tasks a server handles. For example, a system administrator’s time is better used on tasks other than spending hours setting up email boxes. A control panel makes adding email boxes a simple and quick process. 

Control panels are worth the cost as they significantly reduce the time spent on server administration tasks. Functionality and automation save time. In addition, system administrators appreciate not having to remember high-level text commands and configuration syntax rules.  

SolarVPS is a Cloud Web Hosting Services Provider That Offers a Control Panel Add-on

SolarVPS offers a control panel add-on for your web hosting services. Cpanel and Plex are available for Linux users, and Plesk is available for Windows. 

Our control panel allows users to run their DNS panels. System administrators can configure their own notification thresholds. Additionally, plug-ins are available that make installing software a quick and easy process. You can even create custom log-ins for your customers. A SolarVPS control panel lets you be your own host and manage multiple sites easily. 

Our control panel is an effective way for system administrators to take charge of their web hosting environment. For more information on our Control Panel addon, click here.