A Fool-Proof Guide for Easy cPanel Usage

When it comes to web hosting, you will find that there are thousands of options out there, with hosts all over the world offering their services. Some will be large international companies with data servers in different continents, while others will be small independent web hosts who may be renting the servers that they use for the hosting.

The majority of web hosts will have a number of different options available for their hosting, with the most popular option being shared hosting. Others more advanced options include VPS (virtual private server) hosting or a dedicated server.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is what the majority of people who are getting started with websites and hosting will use. As the name implies, shared hosting is where the resources of a server are shared among hundreds, and potentially thousands, of clients, each with their own portion of resources such as disc space, data transfer, CPU usage and various others.

There are a couple of downsides with shared hosting in that there may be instances when other clients on the server are overusing the resources that they have been allocated, which in turn can affect every other user on the server, but these problems are often quickly resolved by the host when spotted. However, if you are using very cheap $1 a month shared hosting, then you should expect such issues to occur more frequently than you’d like.

Many web hosts like the shared hosting option as it is relatively easy for them to set up a server for this, and they can offer this for a much cheaper price when compared to something such as VPS hosting, which is a much more powerful option. You find some excellent comparisons of shared hosting at the Fortune Lords website, which is packed full of useful information and reviews.

Managing your hosting account

One of the most popular control panel systems for managing shared hosting accounts is cPanel. It is a very powerful  system and provides you with everything you will need to effectively use your hosting account.

At first glance, you might sign into your hosting account and see the multitude of different sections and options of cPanel and feel a little nervous about how to use it. However, don’t worry. For most users, you will only ever need to use very few of the options in front of you. In this article, we will take a look at the most important features that you need to know to get your websites up and running.

Add-on Domains

The domains section of cPanel is where you add your domain name to the system. Depending on the hosting package that you signed up for, you might be limited to a single or small number of domains. Other packages will offer you the ability to add unlimited domains to the server, which is the best option if you are someone who has a large number of sites to manage.

To add a new domain to the hosting account, simply click on the “add-on domain” option. You will then need to enter the domain name and set the folder location for where the files for the site will reside. The folder for each domain name you add should be inside another folder which is called “public_html”. Sometimes you may actually need to enter this as well as your folder name when adding a site. Other times it might be set to default to that folder.

File Manager

The file manager option is where you have the ability to manage all of the files on your hosting account. If you click on the “file manager” button, a new window should open in which you will see all of your files. For the website files, you will want to navigate to the “public_html” folder.

You can upload files to your site folders through the file manager, but this must be done one at a time. If you have a multitude of files to upload you should either compress everything into a zip or rar file to upload, and then decompress inside the folder, or to use an FTP program, which connects with the server and allows you to upload multiple files at the same time. If you do want to use an FTP program then FileZilla is an excellent choice. It’s a free download that is very powerful and extremely easy to use.

Email Accounts

Once you have your website up and running, you will most likely want to create an email account for the site. Simply click the “email accounts” option, where you will be able to see any existing email accounts, as well as the ability to create a new one.

Simply click on the “new” button to create a new email account. Enter the name for your email, such as info, hello or anything else. Then select which domain name you want the email for. If you have multiple domains added to the hosting account, you simply use the drop down menu to select the one you want.

Then you enter your password – which should be a combination of numbers, letters and capital and lowercase. There is a password generator option that you can use to create an automatic password for you which will be secure. If you want to set up your email account in a program such as Outlook on your computer, then you can click for the email settings details, which will list all the information including the mail servers. 

Alternatively, you could use the web based mail that cPanel provides, and log directly into the server to check or send any emails.

You can also set up any forwarders, so that copies of emails can be sent to additional emails, or even create autoresponders, which will automatically send a message any time an email is received.

Some closing thoughts

Hosting your own websites needn’t be something to be troubled or anxious about. There are just a few things you need to be aware of with your hosting package. There are lots of advanced features that you probably won’t ever need, so don’t panic when you open cPanel for the first time and see so many different sections and options.

As mentioned earlier, cPanel is the complete hosting management system, and provides a huge range of features that many power users may need, but for the average user, they probably won’t ever need to click on over 80% of the options on the screen. Of course, if you do have questions or need help, then get in contact with your host. They will be in the best position to assist you and take care of any problems you are facing.

Local Web Hosting vs International Web Hosting

Typically, I try to avoid controversial posts like this but I think it is important to answer those questions that had been lingering in your minds. In today's post, we will do a quick discussion on local web hosting vs international web hosting. Which is the better choice for you and your website business?


Uncovering the myths

Living in Malaysia is just like living in any parts in the world. There are local web hosting companies and at the same time, international (big names) web hosting companies that paste their ads everywhere on the Internet.

A quick guideline in comparing local web hosting companies to international ones are:

  • Loading speed

  • Server location

  • Level of support


Advantages using local web hosting companies

Web Hosting Malaysia

Web Hosting Malaysia

It varies from people to people, project to project but for me, I would go for local web hosting companies if I am on a tight budget and doesn't have much requirements.

For example, Malaysia is blessed with a large number of web hosting company such as Exabytes. It offers very affordable web hosting solutions — minus all the addons and crazy (time consuming) setup process.

More importantly, local web hosting companies charge you based on your local currency, not USD or Euros (which can save quite a bit in the exchange rate).

Local web hosting companies often tailor their web hosting services to the local community. This offers better bet if you are hosting your site for the locals and not to the International community.

Reginald Chan // Serial Entrepreneur


Advantages of using International web hosting companies

International Web Hosting

International Web Hosting

International web hosting companies are not bad to be honest. Sure, you are most likely to pay slightly more but they have bigger names and brand reputation to take care of. However, my experience with international web hosting companies been great all this while — especially with managed WordPress hosting such as Kinsta and WP Engine.

Apart from that, international web hosting solutions are best when you have website visitors from around the world (and not just from your country) as they have various datacenters that you can choose from.

Reginald Chan

Personally, I prefer going for International web hosting companies because they are extremely competitive and in most cases, offer better features (not pricing). These web hosting features would easily add perks especially to your offering if you are running a B2B or B2C service.


Choosing between local web hosting and international web hosting

I hope you find this article intriguting and useful. If you are looking for a reliable web hosting solution in Malaysia, Exabytes is an excellent choice to go. If you are looking for international web hosting, I can't help but to recommend WP Engine.

GridPane Lifetime Deal: The Deal Breaker In WordPress Hosting Control Panel

I wrote about Gridpane early this year (here's the article on Gridpane) and I even did a Gridpane comparison on another blog. For the record, I'm a hardcore Gridpane fan which I can be rather proud of to be honest. Last month, I received an email from the Gridpane team on the final Gridpane lifetime deal (Gridpane LTD) and there were only 7 slots left. Now, I was "WOW" and before I knew it, I took our my credit card to pay for the lifetime deal.

Here's the thing.

There were only 7 slots left and it is based on first come first served basis. Trust me, that was the longest 72 hours of my life as I did not hear any response from the Gridpane team on the LTD except for "we had received your message and we will send an invoice to you soon."

Reginald Chan

Gridpane is the world's first WordPress control panel. No, it is not a managed WordPress hosting solution per se. Instead, it is a tool that makes your website loads faster on VPS by allowing you to automatically optimize the server with the best settings, without knowing any server knowledge. More importantly, Gridpane isn't built for anyone but selected few who know exactly what they are doing and what they need from a VPS solution.


Gridpane Lifetime Deal

Prior to getting Gridpane lifetime deal, I kept asking myself if this is something worth it. I mean, the final Gridpane LTD costs a whopping USD$2,500 and that's approximately RM10,500 in Malaysia (that's my conversion rate of 4.2).

Is Gridpane LTD that worth the money?

What's included in the Gridpane LTD?

  • A lifetime deal under the Developer plan ($100 per month without the LTD)

  • Unlimited servers

  • Advanced security and firewall settings

  • Creation of teams or subaccounts (up to 10 slots without charge)

  • World class hosting infrastructure

Gridpane LTD: Is Gridpane really worth the money?

The funny thing is that I even get this question on Facebook from some of my peers too. Now, let's do some quick calculation.

Initial investment: $2,500

Potential charges for hosting (assuming mid-tier hosting plan): $30 per month

Potential charges for addon hosting services: $10 per month

That's around $40 per client and with around 5 clients a month, I get around $200. A clean profit would be around $150 with the assumption of no manpower cost and $50 goes to a VPS service like Vultr high frequency.

In order to breakeven with the initial investment, I need 16.6 months (rounded to 17 months) before I can make a profit for a lifetime.


Gridpane LTD is best for some (not everyone)

Why I publish this article? Well, for starters, I want to make it straight up clear with everyone who have doubt.

  • Gridpane is not a WordPress hosting

  • Gridpane LTD is all about the long game

  • Gridpane is best for those who cares about website traffic, performance and security

  • Gridpane is an excellent tool for website developers and agencies who have clients using WordPress CMS


How to get Gridpane LTD? When will Gridpane LTD comes back?

I'm pretty confident that Gridpane LTD won't come back anytime soon (their CEO made it a point to emphasize this).

But what if you really need Gridpane LTD? I can't promise you much, but my WordPress agency do collaborate with several website developers around the world with Gridpane. If this is something you are keen to explore, feel free to reach out to me or my team using the form below.

How To Stop DDoS Attack?

If you do fall victim to a DDoS attack, you are not alone. High-profile victims of DDoS attacks in 2018 include organizations as diverse as Google, Amazon, PlayStation, Pinterest, and GitHub – which was on the receiving end of the highest volume DDoS attack ever witnessed.

In this article, you will learn how to stop DDoS attack on your website quickly and effectively.


1. Identify the DDoS attack early

The trick to stop DDoS attack is detect the DDoS attack as early as possible. The earlier the detection, the faster you can implement security measures to reduce and ultimately, overcome the DDoS attacks.

To be in a position to do this, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with your typical inbound traffic profile; the more you know about what your normal traffic looks like, the easier it is to spot when its profile changes. Most DDoS attacks start as sharp spikes in traffic, and it's helpful to be able to tell the difference between a sudden surge of legitimate visitors and the start of a DDoS attack.


2. Enable Cloudflare security features

Cloudflare is an excellent website security feature when it comes to avoiding DDoS attacks.

Cloudflare’s layered security approach combines multiple DDoS mitigation capabilities into one service. It prevents disruptions caused by bad traffic, while allowing good traffic through, keeping websites, applications and APIs highly available and performant.


3. DDoS mitigation services at urgent times

For very large attacks, it's likely that your best chance of staying online is to use a specialist DDoS mitigation company. These organizations have large-scale infrastructure and use a variety of technologies, including data scrubbing, to help keep your website online. You may need to contact a DDoS mitigation company directly, or your hosting company or service provider may have a partnership agreement with one to handle large attacks.

"If a customer needs DDoS mitigation, then we divert their traffic to (DDoS mitigation company) Black Lotus," said Dufficy. "We do this using BGP, so it only takes a few minutes."

Black Lotus's scrubbing center can handle very high levels of traffic, and sends on the cleaned traffic to its intended destination. This results in higher latency for website users, but the alternative is that they wouldn't be able to access the site at all.

DDoS mitigation services are not free, so it's up to you whether you want to pay to stay online or take the hit and wait for the DDoS attack to subside before continuing to do business. Subscribing to a DDoS mitigation service on an ongoing basis may cost a few hundred dollars a month. If you wait until you need one, however, expect to pay much more for the service and wait longer before it starts to work.


4. Overprovision bandwidth

It generally makes sense to have more bandwidth available to your Web server than you ever think you are likely to need. That way, you can accommodate sudden and unexpected surges in traffic that could be a result of an advertising campaign, a special offer or even a mention of your company in the media.

Even if you overprovision by 100 percent -- or 500 percent -- that likely won't stop a DDoS attack. But it may give you a few extra minutes to act before your resources are overwhelmed completely.

Bluehost Alternatives: Which is the best alternatives to Bluehost hosting?

It has been awhile since I had talked about web hosting, particularly, BlueHost. But it is not about BlueHost but BlueHost alternatives. I know that there are many lovers and haters when it comes to BlueHost. So, this post is all about the best BlueHost alternatives that money can buy.

Let's get into the comparison, shall we?


Why BlueHost Alternatives?

BlueHost is a good web hosting service for websites of all sizes. However, they have some negative reviews in the past years, including underperforming servers, overcrowded servers and unsatisfactory customer support.

"Finding for a good BlueHost alternatives is an excellent choice especially if you noticed the web hosting service is not working up to par.

Reginald Chan


The Best Alternatives To BlueHost Hosting

Reliable BlueHost Alternative

SiteGround

When it comes to reliable web hosting alternatives to BlueHost, SiteGround is definitely the go-to option for many. SiteGround offers crafted web hosting performance with affordability in mind.

BlueHost Alternative For Best Customer Support

HostWithLove

With 8 continents and 4 regions, HostWithLove is one of the BlueHost alternatives when it comes to fully managed web hosting and round the clock top notch customer support. This is an excellent option if you are looking for Bluehost cPanel alternatives.

BlueHost Alternative For High Performance Servers

Kinsta

If you are looking to host a high traffic website and BlueHost doesn't really make the cut, Kinsta hosting is a world-class fully managed WordPress hosting solutions that is powered by Google Cloud Platform. All plans come with inbuilt cache plugin and global CDN services powered by KeyCDN.

BlueHost Alternative For Enterprise Hosting

WP Engine

While BlueHost is an excellent hosting solution, it is often not the best for enterprise level, especially when you are hosting a large reputable website with high traffic volume. With over two decades of enterprise hosting, WP Engine offers expertise, reliability, security and highly competitive pricing to ensure that your enterprise is hosted on highly secure and high performance servers (so you can focus on your business).

BlueHost Alternative For WooCommerce Hosting

Liquid Web

WooCommerce is a WordPress eCommerce plugin to help business owners to build and launch an eCommerce store with no coding skills. Liquid Web is the leading WooCommerce hosting that offers fully managed and optimized servers, specially for WooCommerce. And yes, there's no better alternative when it comes to performance and reliability.


How to choose the best Bluehost alternative?

The easiest way to choose the best Bluehost alternative is to understand what you really need from a web hosting solution. "Needs" can range from having a higher performance servers, unlimited domain hosting, reseller option and even customer support, to name a few.

Once you have determined the needs, it is much easier for you to decide which is the best option for you.

Always remember, there is no one size fits all when it comes to web hosting services.

Why Is My Web Hosting Slow (And How To Fix It)?

I hate it when my website takes forever to load and my term of "slow" is 2 seconds or more. When that happens, I often ask myself why is my web hosting slow. What were the things I did right and I did wrong that lead to a slow loading WordPress site?

You see, there are many reasons that could lead to a slow web hosting and slow website loading speed.

Here are the top reasons (as well as how to fix them).


Your Web Hosting Is Generally Bad

A bad web host—that's what I call it. If you are using a cheap web hosting solution, this could be a real problem for you. You see, you may have the best WordPress plugin installed and setup, you may have the lightweight WordPress theme and a well-optimized WordPress database.

Bad Web Hosting Examples

But if your web hosting is generally slow, you are going to get a slow loading website. Period.

The solution to a bad web host?

Get a better web hosting solution such as SiteGround or Kinsta (if you can afford managed WordPress hosting solution). A good web hosting company is going to give you better optimized servers that will make your WordPress site loads faster. Plus, other perks such as nightly backups and live chat support.


Lightweight WordPress Theme Matters

Generally, the larger the page is, the longer it will take to load. In this case, using the right WordPress theme is important to improve your loading speed. If you are using a heavy WordPress theme builder, it is not the fault of your web hosting company that your site loads slowly. Instead, it is actually your own!

Here are some of the best lightweight WordPress themes:

  • Thrive Themes Builder with ShapeShift

  • Elementor Builder

  • Oxygen Builder

This website is using Oxygen Builder with Thrive Architect for a customized solution—lightweight WordPress theme with powerful content builder plugin under one roof.


Overselling Server Allocation

Web hosting is a complicated business and ROI is all that matters. In order to generate more income and achieve breakeven point faster, most shared web hosting companies will oversell their server allocation.

Here's an example.

  • Server "A" can host up to 1,000 websites at one go.
  • The real occupants in server "A" is 100,000 at any given time.

Instead of having the resources equally distributed between 1,000 websites, now you are looking at a distribution ratio of 1:100,000, that's a 100% oversell ratio.

Sure, not every website generates more than 10,000 visits in a month, but you only need one who has a super high traffic and you are pretty 'toast'.

"Ask your web hosting company about overselling. It is best to avoid web hosting companies that oversell their servers."

Reginald Chan


Unoptimized Servers

Are you using a normal web hosting service or a dedicated to WordPress? In most normal web hosting companies provide servers that are not geared towards WordPress but to a wide range of applications such as Magento, PrestaShop and OpenCart.

Each of these application performs differently and you will end up with servers that are not optimized for WordPress. 

In easier terms, unoptimized servers = means slower web hosting performance.


Shared Web Hosting Solution

Are you using a shared web hosting? If the answer is yes, shared web hosting is known for a slow hosting performance. In shared hosting environment, a hosting server is shared by a large number of websites and this will lead to performance issues. 

As servers have a fixed CPU and memory, having 'bad neighbours' in your hosting environment will be a problem for you.

Take a look at SiteGround GoGeek plan:

SiteGround GoGeek Plan

SiteGround GoGeek plan is a great example of shared hosting done right. This particular plan comes with the highest tier of resources, means that you get more resources at one go, as compared to other tiers such as SiteGround Startup or SiteGround GrowBig plans.

If you are doing freelance web development, SiteGround GoGeek is also an awesome hosting plan because it comes with white-labelling which allows you to add client's domains into your account without them seeing any SiteGround logo.


Speak To Your Web Hosting Support

Last but not least, speaking to the web hosting support might help you fix a slow loading website. You see, 50% of the 'slow web hosting' issues often originated from server level. By speaking and voicing out your concerns with the support team, they would be able to advise you on the matter.

Here's the thing. Not every web hosting support will support you on that as it is rather out of their job scope. However, it is definitely worth the try to say the very least.


Summary: Fixing A Slow Web Hosting

There are many ways to fix a slow web hosting. More importantly, it is important to get this fixed once and for all because your website ranking is going to be affected badly with a slow web host.

If you are struggling with your web host below slow, I recommend you to change web host to something more affordable such as SiteGround.